4 THINGS HEALTH EXPERTS WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT THE SURGE OF ‘CUSTOM’ SUPPLEMENTS
And clinical nutritionist Stella Metsovas, CCN, says, “The word ‘custom’ is generally not a safe term to use in health. So there is no real definition [for these types of supplements] unless you’re a marketer.”
Metsovas acknowledges that food comes first but she also recognizes the potential in vitamins as an additional—or, properly supplemental—source of nutrients. “I see value in multivitamins, but they will never replace nutrient-dense whole foods.” What you take depends on your age and lifestyle, she says. For young adults up to age 35, she says the focus should be on prevention. “Look for a whole food based multivitamin, digestive support through prebiotics and probiotics; essential fatty acids are crucial as well.” Thereafter, every individual’s needs will differ based on his or her history and lab work.
Metsovas says that if you’re interested in customization, you should actually look into “getting your annual lab work combined with out-of-pocket expenses like sequencing your microbiome (taking a sample of your gut bacteria) or looking into your DNA,” for $89 and $199, respectively. You can use your results to address a symptom or learn more about health issues such as lactose intolerance and genetic weight. If these tests don’t fit into your budget, ask your doctor or a certified nutritionist (services are often available at gyms, sometimes even at grocery stores) for his or her recommendation based on your current health and lifestyle.
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