Science

A Scientific Review of Personalized Supplements

2 min read

You're a unique creature. We're all different, including our nutritional intakes, our metabolisms, our exposures and our genetics.

But these differences are nuanced, and they're not just skin-deep—they're cell deep. That's why toggling through an online quiz in the hopes of "better skin" or "helping brain fog" merely scratches the surface, as well-intentioned as it might be. Done right, personalization should include comprehensive testing that can help identify any unexpected nutritional needs a person might have. And it should probably be done with the help of your doctor.*

With the technology we now have available, what’s possible currently?

The dream would be to look at a battery of all kinds of tests, but that’s a ways away from being the current norm. Why? Because it can be costly, difficult to collect and needs to be analyzed in multiple labs. Currently, it’s possible to get an idea of what might help from a questionnaire or diet survey and even a few simple blood or urine tests. The key to making any findings worthwhile, however, is to work with a good physician or healthcare expert, or with a company that can support its recommendations with credible studies and data.

Let's put it this way: How cluttered is your current supplement routine?

One thing to look out for is ending up with a lot of different bottles of supplements. This can pretty easily lead you to take more than you really need, when in reality, overdoing it on one nutrient can hinder the impact of another. Plus, it can get expensive.*

Where does Ritual fall on the spectrum and why did you choose to build it that way?

The fact is that in the realm of nutritional needs, our bodies are often more alike than they are different. So our approach is to scour thousands of peer-reviewed, published scientific population data to pinpoint some of the gaps we share in our diet, with considerations like genetic variations, dietary restrictions, and lifestage.

Want an example? Up to one-third of the population has a genetic variation that makes it difficult to efficiently utilize folic acid, the synthetic form of folate—which is why we include methylated folate (a bioavailable version) in all our multivitamins. But pregnant women require more folate than women who aren't expecting, or postmenopausal women, or men, so we adjusted the amount accordingly in our Essential Prenatal. On the flip side, it's easier for women to get enough zinc from their diets than men—so we skipped zinc in our women's multivitamins and included it in Essential for Men. That's personalization we can get behind.*

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Meet Our Science Team

What happens when a Harvard trained physiologist, a biochemist, and a registered dietician walk into a lab? The answer: Ritual multivitamins.

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Dr. Nima Alamdari, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Nima Alamdari is Chief Scientific Officer at Ritual. He was previously faculty at Harvard University where he researched muscle metabolism in health and disease. He received a PhD in Muscle Physiology and a First Degree in Biochemistry from The University of Nottingham in the UK. He has authored many original articles in top international peer-reviewed journals and presented at world-leading international conferences.

Science Thumb — Nima

Dr. Nima Alamdari, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Nima Alamdari is Chief Scientific Officer at Ritual. He was previously faculty at Harvard University where he researched muscle metabolism in health and disease. He received a PhD in Muscle Physiology and a First Degree in Biochemistry from The University of Nottingham in the UK. He has authored many original articles in top international peer-reviewed journals and presented at world-leading international conferences.

Dr. Luke Bucci

Dr. Luke Bucci, Ph.D, CCN, CNS, Research and Technical Fellow

Dr. Luke Bucci received a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Texas and has over thirty years of experience in the nutrition industry, encompassing all aspects of scientific applications. He has brought blockbuster products to market, written books, patents and numerous articles, and developed certification programs for clinical nutritionists.

Dr. Luke Bucci

Dr. Luke Bucci, Ph.D, CCN, CNS, Research and Technical Fellow

Dr. Luke Bucci received a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Texas and has over thirty years of experience in the nutrition industry, encompassing all aspects of scientific applications. He has brought blockbuster products to market, written books, patents and numerous articles, and developed certification programs for clinical nutritionists.

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Dr. Mastaneh Sharafi, PhD, RD, Senior Director, Scientific Affairs

Dr. Mastaneh Sharafi has a PhD in Nutritional Sciences and is a Registered Dietitian. She received her training from Penn State University and University of Connecticut where she researched dietary patterns, chemosensory perception and community nutrition. Her dietetic work is focused on promoting healthy eating habits by translating the science of nutrition into practical information for the public.

Science Thumb — Mastaneh

Dr. Mastaneh Sharafi, PhD, RD, Senior Director, Scientific Affairs

Dr. Mastaneh Sharafi has a PhD in Nutritional Sciences and is a Registered Dietitian. She received her training from Penn State University and University of Connecticut where she researched dietary patterns, chemosensory perception and community nutrition. Her dietetic work is focused on promoting healthy eating habits by translating the science of nutrition into practical information for the public.