Believing that “one-size-fits-all” fits no one when it comes to health, Rootine Vitamins wants to revolutionise the supplement industry.
Rachel Soper Sanders and Daniel Wallerstorfer, the co-founders of Rootine, have hopped on the precision medicine trend to design personalised multivitamins. The startup analyses DNA, lifestyle, and blood levels to create a balanced multivitamin that fully addresses users’ health needs and deficiencies, eliminating all guesswork.
Precision medicine, also known as personalised medicine, is an emerging approach that takes individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle into account when determining treatment, prevention and disease management.
According to the Precision Medicine Initiative, a multi-agency program launched by the Obama Administration, precision medicine has led to powerful advances, discoveries, and new treatments that focus on individual patient characteristics, such as genetic makeup or the genetic profile of a tumour.
Prior to founding Rootine, both Rachel and Daniel had personal experiences that made them doubt the efficacy of typical vitamins. After getting an MBA from Harvard Business School, Rachel decided to focus on the health and wellness sector, wondering what could be done to foster well-being on an individual level.
“Before Rootine, I was skeptical of vitamins,” Rachel told Forbes. “I often wondered why it made sense for me to take the same vitamin as everyone else or how a company could know what I needed based on a simple lifestyle quiz? Standard multivitamins are built for the ‘average person’, filled with standard dosages and often have unnecessary fillers or unhealthy ingredients”.
Daniel, the chief scientist of the company, is a leading genetic scientist with over a decade of experience creating personalised health and wellness products. As such, he is well-aware that even customisable results have their limits without the right technology behind them.
“Other companies that do personalisation, essentially what they do is, depending on your lifestyle, they give you a red pill or a green pill,” Daniel told Nutraingredients-USA. “But we realised that one person might need 580 mg of calcium and another person might need 585 mg. We tried to figure out what’s the best technology to make it so personalised that we can create any recipe”.
A study by The New England Journal of Medicine found that an estimated 23,000 emergency room visits in the United States are linked to dietary supplements, and multivitamins accounted for 16.8 percent of such visits. By focusing on genetics, Rootine can design a supplement without any harmful additives or unnecessary factors.
“On average, if you take 20 different nutrients, one will be harmful, two will have no effect and the rest will be incorrectly dosed”, Rachel explained, “DNA plays a large role in determining which nutrients are the harmful ones and which are helpful. For example, certain individuals with a genetic variation on the HFE gene, taking extra iron supplements can be similar to poisoning your body over time and may even lead to death”.
Rootine has partnered with Novogenia, the leading genetics and nutrition lab in Europe. After three years of research and development, the team has designed the vitamins as slow-release microbeads. Typical large pills tend to have fillers, and powder and liquid supplements tend to be unstable, according to Daniel. After consumption, the contents of the microbeads are released over 12 hours, emulating how the human body naturally absorbs nutrients. The microbeads are 100 percent vegetarian and can be taken with a glass of water or sprinkled onto food.
The company is currently focusing on the US market. Rootine Vitamins cost $2.00 a day, with a three-month commitment to the platform.