Is Turmeric Really Good for You? (And 4 Other Supplements You Might Not Know!)


It seems as if everyone is taking something – something to improve memory, something to support the immune system, something to help curb cravings. It feels like everyone is taking a supplement that they absolutely swear by, but is it guaranteed to work?


Or could it do something altogether different…


What if it made you feel worse?

How Do You Know What’s Right For You?


There are certain standards most people can agree on: limit your consumption of trans fat, reduce your intake of simple sugars, and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables – but nutritional advice is often just that: advice. As Viome is showing, the future of health is preventative medicine, and that starts with viewing nutrition with a more personalized approach. Each person has different needs, many of which stem from their individual gut microbiome.


Our gut ecosystem determines how we digest our food, how well we absorb it, and interacts with many other aspects of our bodily health.


Just like our fingerprints, each gut microbiome is inherently different. These key differences can impact how well we absorb nutrients from our food and our supplements. In some cases, it can mean more readily absorbing them. In other cases, it could mean halting absorption of certain nutrients all together! 

But there could be a dozen other reasons why one supplement may not be right for you. With Viome’s new Health Intelligence Service, we take a complete look at all angles of your health: your gut microbiome, your cellular health, and how well you’re functioning as a whole. This allows us to view you entirely and make calculated recommendations for foods and supplements that fit what’s right for you.

And They’re Not All Right For You


The health benefits of the following nutrients have been supported with some hefty research. Many of these ingredients have origins in ancient herbal medicine and others were discovered by scientists within a lab. We’ve taken a look at some of our personal favorites included in Viome’s new supplement recommendations and considered how they might benefit or might not be the right choice for everyone.

1.   Turmeric

You would be hard-pressed to avoid seeing this supplement around town - and with good reason. One of the most commonly used herbal supplements in our time (and in the past), turmeric is a bright orange powder known for its powerful soothing effects. Used in a variety of cuisines and sometimes as a food coloring additive, turmeric can help reduce joint discomfort and even muscle soreness.*1 Although many people could benefit from adding a little turmeric to their diet, recent studies have found that it can have a blood thinning effect as well*. If you’re taking anticoagulants such as warfarin, or have a blood-clotting issue, adding turmeric to your lifestyle might not be the right choice for you.2,3


2.   Elderberry


Elderberry extract has been found to help promote and stimulate the immune system*. If you’re looking to boost your body’s full fighting potential, elderberry is an excellent way to naturally support your body*.4 However, for those on immunosuppressant medications, that might be exactly the wrong thing to do. For individuals with autoimmune disorders or organ transplants, elderberry extract might prove more harmful than good.


3.   Ginger


Found in many different types of cuisine, ginger root can pack a powerful punch in flavor. Its health benefits are also widely known, including a calming agent for stomach upset, motion sickness, and nausea*. It’s also been shown to alleviate discomforts associated with menstruation and various respiratory problems*. Unfortunately, it can also counteract the effects of prescription blood thinners like warfarin and aspirin.5


4.   BeetRoot


Beets are earthy root vegetables with a ton of nutrients like Vitamin A and various antioxidants, but they also make for an excellent supplement. Beetroot has been a secret ingredient for a multitude of athletes, beloved for its ability to improve performance*. The secret is in the high nitrate content, which can super-charge nitric oxide (NO3) levels and increase blood flow to muscles under strain*. Though this might mean better performance, those with low blood pressure are at risk of taking beetroot.6 In addition, beets contain high levels of oxalates. If your gut microbiome has low levels of oxalate-digesting microbes, beets might contribute to your risk of kidney stones.


5.     Valerian Root


If you have trouble sleeping, you might be reaching for valerian root. Used for hundreds of years, valerian root is a powerful yet natural sleep aid*.7 However, interactions with other prescription sleep aids or depressants (such as alcohol) have been documented. Valerian root has also been shown to interact with other natural supplements, such as St. John's Wort, traditionally used to naturally impact mood.


These supplements, along with many others in our supplement recommendations, come with strong benefits to many - but they also come with the potential to impact others negatively. When creating a strategy to improve your health, it’s important to consider your own individual needs. Under Viome’s service, each supplement recommendation is assessed to reflect each individual’s own needs. This means real results without the hassle of trial and error. It means looking at you, inside and out, and creating a comprehensive nutritional plan that fits with what’s happening in you, now.


That’s the power of personalized nutrition.


1 Hewlings, S.J., Kalman, D.S. (2017). Foods. PubMed Central.
2 Liu, A.C., Zhao, L.X., et al. (2013). Planta Medica. PubMed.
3 Kim, D.C., Ku, S.K., et al. (2012). BMB Reports. PubMed.
4 Tiralongo, E., Wee, S.S., et al. (2016). Nutrients. PubMed Central.
5 Maadarani, O., Bitar, Zouhair, et al. (2019). European Journal of Case Reports in Internal Medicine. PubMed Central.
6 Mirmiran, P., Houshialsadat, Z., et al. (2020). Nutrition & Metabolism. PubMed Central.
7 Bauer, B.A., M.D. (n.d.). Q&A, Mayo Clinic.