The Perks of Precision Supplements
There is a reason that the study of nutrition is considered a science. The foods and nutrients we consume are broken down into the ‘building blocks’ our body needs to support health and regeneration. One aspect of the field of nutrition is understanding how these digested compounds become the essential nutrients we need and how they interact on a molecular level with our cells.
The macronutrients we eat (carbohydrates, fat, and proteins) are used for energy and replication. The micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) we consume with them are used to help support how that energy is being used. And other components of our food work to support (prebiotics) or add (probiotics) to the colonies of microbes that thrive inside our gut ecosystem. Together, the nutrients in our diet - like vitamin B12 or inulin - support cellular functions or improve the effectiveness of our gut microbiome.
Needless to say, you can’t live without one or the other. And even if you believe your diet contains plenty of nutritional variety - you may still have a few gaps preventing you from achieving optimal health.
Why Do We Need Supplements?
As we go through life, we tend to note changes in our day-to-day energy as normal aspects of aging. And although it’s very normal to experience transitions in our bodies or emotions as we mature, many aspects of our physical health should not be impacted. If you experience high levels of fatigue, difficulty staying focused, dry mouth, excessively dry skin, or maybe even your hair feels like it’s lost its luster - you may find real benefits to adding a supplement to your routine.
Even with a healthy diet, there are many things that can reduce the ability for our digestive system to properly break down and absorb various nutrients. Sometimes it has little to do with the foods we eat, but the impact on mainstream farming practices. For example, even if you believe your diet contains plenty of nutritional variety, it may still be lacking in potency of beneficial vitamins, minerals, or antioxidants to help you achieve optimal health. Take magnesium for example. While it’s found in many foods like nuts and seeds, spinach, and avocado, ‘subclinical magnesium deficiency’ is a growing problem because of the low levels of magnesium in our soil. In addition, the removal of magnesium from processed foods and from medication interactions can greatly reduce how much magnesium from your diet you’re actually getting.
And your gut might be going through the same changes. If your body is experiencing imbalance in the gut, the diversity or balance of your gut colonies might be reducing how well your body absorbs many essential nutrients. It doesn’t take much to sway the tides of balance in your body - and sometimes helping promote a few targeted microbial strains can completely change how well you are digesting your food. Unfortunately, there are very few options for targeted pre- and probiotics supplements - until now.
If you’ve recently taken one of our wellness tests, your results may have shown an incredible dynamic between many simple foods and how well your body operates. We all experience unique health differences - that is the nature of being an individual. And sometimes we stick to foods we love but that do very little for us (even when they’re considered ‘healthy’).
But in many ways, adding a supplement - something you may never have even heard of before - could make all the difference. It’s important to seek out nutritionally dense foods right for you, but optimizing your diet to include key botanicals - or specific bacterial strains - can support your body no matter what obstacles you face. Now, with Viome’s new line of precision supplements, we have taken a new approach to giving you the targeted precision support your body needs.
Rethinking “Personalized” Supplements
Americans have been taking supplements in the form of multivitamins since they became available nearly 80 years ago. Whether you are taking a ‘once-daily multivitamin,’ a specific vitamin/mineral supplement line, or some form of proprietary recipe - nutritional supplements are here to stay. It’s been reported that at least 1 in 10 Americanshas some form of nutrient deficiency.1
But when it comes to supplementing your diet, pulling a generic label off the shelf in your local grocery store may do little for you. You may not reap the benefits of a “personalized” nutrition regimen either. After all, what do those 5-minute questionnaires really know about what’s happening inside you?
Even if an assessment has determined you’re lacking a specific vitamin or mineral, there are other things to consider like quality, absorption, and bioavailability.
These are all things we’ve considered when creating Viome’s new line of Precision Supplements & Precision Prebiotics + Probiotics™. We’ve spoken about the benefits of precision supplements before, but we know there is always a lot to consider when making any kind of decision about your health especially when you're making it a part of your daily life.
Our Precision Supplements and Precision Prebiotics + Probiotics are not put together from categories or general health goal questionnaires, which is often the case when one Googles for supplemental solutions for common health and body symptoms.
In addition, our Precision Supplements do not take personal DNA results into account for your formulation. At first glance, this may not seem logical--you can’t get much more specific about your body than your DNA, right? Unfortunately, not only is the DNA of every human on the planet 99.9% identical, but your DNA is static and does not change over the span of your lifetime. It doesn’t make much sense to take the same supplements over years and years, as your body’s health will absolutely change over time, for better or worse.
Instead, your personalized Precision Supplements & Precision Prebiotics + Probiotics formula is created directly from your body’s health measurements at a molecular level, from over 50 different health scores included with our Full Body Intelligence™ Test. Your personal health scores are used in conjunction with our robust AI platform to recommend a fully personalized, accurate list of supplement ingredients that target the areas in your body that need attention.
See our ever-growing list of ingredients here.
This was no small task for the Science and Technology teams at Viome. Our dedicated and diligent crew worked tirelessly towards developing and finalizing this solution for Precision Supplements. This is the first time in human history that this precise level of insight into which precise nutritional ingredients your body needs to be healthy, and look and feel great has been achieved.
Determining the Supplements You Need
What makes a supplement right for you? Take into consideration the cost, the convenience, the quality, and the relevance to you as an individual.
There are a number of questions you should consider before trying a supplement.
How do I know if I need this?
How much do I need of this?
Are there interactions with this supplement that may not benefit me?
Are there different nutrients that might work better for me?
What foods on my ‘Avoid’ list contain nutrients I need?
Why don’t I just eat whole foods - isn’t that enough?
Can these nutrients interact with my medication?
Will my needs change over time?
These questions are a necessary aspect of making the right decisions for your health long term. It is because of this complex dynamic between our food and our gut microbiome that adding a line of personalized, precision supplements may be vital - including the knowledge behind each recommendation. As each individual has unique needs - including the type, the dose, and the impact of each supplement - each ingredient has the potential to impact our body’s biochemistry for the good, or the bad.
At Viome, we are dedicated to creating the most beneficial and comprehensive preventative medicine possible. Thus, our recommendations examine all the minute interactions among your food, supplements, and medications. We provide the logic behind each choice and fill the gaps sometimes made in your ‘Avoid’ list. And with regular testing, you can not only monitor the trends of your health and the changes in your food, but you can ensure you’re not committing to a regimen that won’t fit your needs long-term.
Can You Take Too Many Supplements?
Sugar, as in glucose, is an essential source of energy for our bodies, but too much of it can support the progression of many diseases. And just like sugar, consuming too many - or the wrong types of - supplements can sometimes have a negative effect as well.2 You may have noticed that the supplement industry has done a great job of marketing every kind of supplement to every kind of person. Unfortunately, their strategy is often not based on science. As individuals with different backgrounds, lifestyles, diets, locations, medical history, and more, we don’t all have the same needs. In truth, we are all different in both our human and our microbial genes. So why wouldn’t we consider that our needs for different supplements vary, and often in different amounts?
There are also several other important reasons why you should be more particular about the types and doses of supplements in your diet. A recent scientific study noted that, “..some vitamins such as fat-soluble vitamins (vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E), and also some of the water-soluble vitamins like folic acid may cause adverse events,”3 It also determined that many individuals assume that taking excessive amounts of other nutrients like vitamin C won’t result in negative consequences. This is not always the case.
Ultimately, it comes down to how different you are to your neighbor, what medications you may be taking, and interactions they might share with other supplements.4 It’s also important to note that every action has an equal or opposite reaction. Everything that we put into our bodies must be broken down, absorbed, used, and ultimately removed as waste. This requires the use of our organs, like our kidneys and liver, to help metabolize and filter out excessive nutrients. Our bodies are extremely efficient machines, but even our organs need a little R&R. If you’re taking too many of the wrong supplements, these organs have to work continuously to get rid of the excess, and that could contribute to other diseases and increase your signs of aging.
At Viome, we understand that supplements are nutrients that are necessary for the normal functioning of our own genes and our microbial friends. Furthermore, we also have studied the factors that allow us to determine the correct amounts of different supplements. But most importantly, we make precision supplement recommendations for you using your own personal results and not based on the general advice of a one-size-fits-all approach.
The True Cost of Precision Care
The FDA has reported that there are nearly 29,000 supplements on the market - and many without clinical evidence to back up their claims.5 Sure, on paper the benefits of each ingredient is well established, but, as we’ve mentioned, each person’s biochemistry is incredibly unique - and their needs more so.
With Viome’s line of Precision Supplements & Probiotics + Prebiotics, your body’s needs are assessed using a snapshot of your current health. Your supplements and prebiotics + probiotics are formulated for youfrom nearly 200 premium ingredients and in just the right amount you need including vitamins, minerals, enzymes, botanical extracts, and amino acids. Probiotic formulas for our customers average 8-16 well-studied probiotic strains.
The cost? For around $5 a day you can get all your supplements and biotics delivered monthly.
No other health or supplement service offers this level of personalization.
Precision Ingredients: How Does Viome Compare?
We’ve evaluated the market, and compiled some common categories of supplements. Each category includes the names, for what reason - and their cost per bottle (typically 1 month of use). Each individual one can have a number of benefits that make it worthy of your daily routine.
This list features over 60 ingredients supplements scientifically shown to have beneficial effects to health. Ranging from pro/prebiotics to botanicals and vitamins to minerals, many of these supplements may optimize your condition, but others might have severe interactions with each other, or even to medications you may be taking.
Take a look below.
Antioxidant Rich Supplements
Antioxidants are naturally occurring compounds that neutralize free radicals produced in our body. Free radicals are compounds produced through normal consequences of our body’s biological processes, but too many can be toxic. Antioxidant supplements are some of the most common supplements taken today.
Many compounds - both naturally occurring and isolated - can be used to create an antioxidant supplement. If your scores suggest your body may be experiencing high levels of Cellular Stress or low Mitochondrial Health, you may find a variety of antioxidants in your precision supplement formula. Unfortunately, a wide variety of antioxidant supplements are on the market, which make choosing some, or several, a difficult decision. Not to mention, some of these may impact negatively on your other scores.
Some common ones and their cost include:
Ingredient & Typical Cost Per Month (USD)
Green Tea Extract
Pyrroloquinoline Quinone (PQQ)
Grape Seed Extract
Vitamin K2 (MK-6, MK-7, MK-9)
Perilla Leaf Extract
Quebracho Bark Extract
Natural Anti-inflammatory Supplements
Understanding causes and symptoms of inflammation can be a challenge. Many over-the-counter pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories can have side effects that can damage your liver with long term use. Fortunately, there are a variety of natural herbal remedies available. Many of these can help relieve inflammation associated with gastrointestinal issues, arthritis, trauma, and other conditions.
If your Immune System Health score shows a high activity of inflammation inside you, you may find a number of natural anti-inflammatory supplements on your list. Although under certain circumstances, your gut health could convert some anti-inflammatory supplements to more proinflammatory activities. Understanding the dynamic state of your gut health could be paramount to making the right decision for you with an anti-inflammatory supplement.
Ingredient & Typical Cost Per Month (USD)
Astragalus Root Extract
Tinospora Cordifolia Extract
Peppermint Leaf Extract
Amino acids are simple proteins that our body can use for rebuilding. Whether you’re trying to increase muscle mass or helping your body with the necessary resources to regenerate damaged cells, amino acid supplements can be a great addition to your routine.
Many of these amino acids can promote healthy mitochondria, but understanding where the gaps are in your mitochondrial health may help you address more serious issues. Rather than assuming some amino acids might benefit you more, your mitochondria may actually benefit for more specific antioxidants. With your own line of precision supplements, your formula is closely associated with the data from all your scores.
Ingredient & Typical Cost Per Month (USD)
Anti-Aging and Brain Health Supplements
Some supplements exhibit special anti-aging benefits or promote brain cell regeneration and/or improve memory. These supplements may give you a new performance edge or help you improve your brain’s health and potential. Many of these are found in a variety of healthy foods - but if you were to consider consuming some of these ingredients in their whole food form, you may find ill effects.
For example, Fisetin is known to tout strong anti-aging properties and is commonly found in strawberries. But your test results may determine that adding strawberries to your ‘Avoid’ list could help reduce your Histamine Production score. In these cases, understanding how different foods and isolated supplements interact with you could help you from making poor dietary choices for your health.
Ingredient & Typical Cost Per Month (USD)
Nicotinamide Riboside (NR)
Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract
Cat's Claw Bark
Newer to the supplement category are adaptogens - a unique group of natural ingredients that promote well-being by helping the body adapt to stress. They can include herbs, roots, and fungi and can aid the body in restoring balance to many physiological functions.
Adaptogens may be newer to the market, but many have been used for centuries. If anxiety or stress is a common theme in your life, adaptogens may give you a more resilient boost to your day.
But like everything, understanding your personal internal environment can help you see more effective results. For example, if you learn you have a nightshade allergy, ashwagandha may not be right for you. Instead, you may find other adaptogen options that might work more efficiently to help reduce your anxiety (and improve your gut microbial diversity as well!).
Ingredients & Typical Cost Per Month (USD)
Rhodiola Root Extract
If you’ve learned one thing from Viome, we hope it’s how important your gut microbiome is to your health. Many chronic conditions are considered to stem for an imbalance in our gut ecosystem. Providing our bodies with nutrients that promote a healthier and more balanced gut microbiome (through pre-biotics) and increasing the numbers or diversity of commensal and beneficial microbes (through pro-biotics) can help stabilize your gut health.
A number of pre- and probiotics are available on the market. Though listed separately, many of these are rarely found isolated in their own supplement line. Rather, most are grouped together in various formulas. It is important to note that when it comes to probiotics, more isn’t always better. Some tout a dozen different strains, while others may concentrate on just one or two. It can be hard to determine what is right for you, especially with the most common side effects of pro/prebiotics being digestive upset. But with dozens of unique probiotic strains, prebiotics/herbal ingredients, and access to nearly 200 unique compounds for our precision supplement formula - Viome can assess from a broad range of options and take the guesswork out of what may be right for you.
Ingredient & Typical Cost Per Month (USD)
Bacillus coagulans SANK 70258
Lactobacillus acidophilus La-14
Psyllium Husk Fiber (Prebiotic)
L. plantarum Lp-115
L. plantarum LM
Streptococcus thermophilus St-21
L. delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus LE
L. reuteri 1E1
L. rhamnosus LB3
L. gasseri Lg-36
Bacillus subtilis DE111
If you were to total all these supplements together, the bill would be astronomical - over $1000! - and even so it’s highly unlikely you’d go through with the quantity alone!
But even if you were to choose just a few in each category to optimize your health - or to mirror the variety in our line of precision supplements - you’d still foot a bill at over $408.13 (our cost analysis at just 15 supplements, and 4 probiotics!).
Tied to the current health of your body, it’s time to put away the questionnaires and ‘personalized’ supplement recommendations formulated for others in mind. With Viome’s Precision Supplements, you’re getting the convenience of a service shipped right to your home with unbeatable quality ingredients relevant to you. And at about $5 a day, a cost we can genuinely say won’t break the bank, but is built to serve you - and only you.
1 Peters, S. (2019). [Nutritional Deficiencies in the US]. usatoday.com.
2 Wooltorton, E. (2003). [Alert on effects of too much supplements]. CMAJ JAMC, PubMed Central.
3 Hamishehkar, H. et al. (2016). [Report on safety of vitamins]. Advanced Pharmaceutical Bulletin, PubMed Central, National Library of Medicine.
[4 Ronis, M.J.J. et al. (2018). [Brain supplements and adverse affects]. HHS Author Manuscripts, PubMed Central, Nationa Library of Medicine.
5 Sarubin Fragakis, A. (2003). [Professional guide to supplements]. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Barton, J.C. et al. (2006). [Report on overuse of iron supplements]. PubMed.gov, National Library of Medicine.
Swanson, C.A. (2003). [Report on regulating iron intake]. PubMed.gov, National Library of Medicine.
Rothman, K.J. et al. (1995). [Report on affects of high vitamin A use]. PubMed.gov, National Library of Medicine.
Ramanathan, V.S. et al. (2010). [Report on affects of high vitamin A use]. PubMed.gov, National Library of Medicine.