Science

The Ritual Method: Our 4-Step Approach to Formulation

5 min read
Every product at Ritual is grounded in science and research. Our scientific team identifies nutritional needs across life stages, lifestyles, diets, and genetics to precision-formulate products that provide key nutrient support.
Every product at Ritual is grounded in science and research. Our scientific team identifies nutritional needs across life stages, lifestyles, diets, and genetics to precision-formulate products that provide key nutrient support.

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When it comes to product development, our M.O. is simple: to create science-backed, obsessively-researched formulas designed to provide nutrient support. As for the “how” side of things? Like most worthwhile endeavors, the process is a bit more complex. Few things in life are cut and dried—scientific advancements and evolving bodies of knowledge included—but when it comes to making products, our scientific team is clear on what factors need to be in place to ensure a high-quality multivitamin.

Enter The Ritual Method. Developed by our scientific team (in collaboration with some of the world’s leading scientists, researchers, and advisors), this novel 4-step approach informs and underscores everything we create. By identifying nutritional needs across ages, lifestyles, diets, and genetics, our team is able to precision-formulate products for specific life stages. Think personalization, but with context—after all, what good is a product if the people making it don’t put in their due diligence on the backend?

At Ritual, we ask important questions at the outset, before the formulation process even begins:

“Who is this for?”

“What should be included?”

“Are there ideal forms?”

“How does everything work together?”

It’s the small pieces that make the big picture—and The Ritual Method ensures that we consider both, at every step of the way. The result? Traceable, trustworthy, science-backed formulas designed and customized by experts to support nutrient needs by sex and life stage. Here’s how we get it done.*

The Ritual Method

Step 1: Identify common gaps

What is needed?

In order to build something from the ground up (like a reinvented multivitamin), it’s important to start with a strong, carefully-considered foundation—one informed by the latest scientific research. (Foundational health requires foundational knowledge, and our goal is to make supporting your body as easy as possible. By weeding through studies and data to bring you evidence-based products—and educational content—that you can trust, we aim to do the heavy lifting so you can rest assured that your products don’t just look good, but actually perform.)

When it comes to multivitamins, our ethos is no different: We lead with the science, sifting through thousands of published human research studies to help determine what should be included and why. More specifically, we’re looking for information that helps us pinpoint common dietary gaps of different life stages. Using vetted, credible, highly-respected tools—like the nutritional database NHANES—we’re able to cross-reference nutritional needs at different ages, sexes†, and life stages with nutritional intake from diet.*

To put it simply, these findings reveal specific nutrient gaps for different people—crucial information when it comes to formulating high-quality multivitamins supported by the latest research.

Step 2: Include different diets

What do we consume and how does this affect our needs?

Speaking of dietary intake, we also take into account varying lifestyles. For example, not everyone eats animal products like dairy or meat, and some people may have to forgo ingredients like gluten altogether. Whether due to dietary restrictions or personal preferences, our POV is straightforward: No matter your lifestyle, your nutrient needs deserve to be supported—and finding that support shouldn’t feel complicated or difficult. That’s why we audit for different lifestyle-related nutrient gaps and size up diets against what the experts recommend; we then use these findings to formulate our line of multis with a diverse range of lifestyles in mind (we see you, vegans, vegetarians, and the gluten-free!).*

Step 3: Find ideal forms

What is a nutrient form the body can use?

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: A multivitamin is only as good as it is bioavailable. Bioavailability refers to the degree to which a substance becomes entirely available to its biological destination(s)—essentially, how successfully a nutrient reaches its intended landing place. With that in mind, it makes sense that if important vitamins and minerals are present, but they aren’t in forms that the body can efficiently use, we may not be reaping the full spectrum of nutritional support.* (1)

In other words, form matters, and not just when starting a workout routine—some of us have gene variations that make it hard to efficiently process certain nutrient forms. We can circumvent that by choosing high-quality forms that the body can utilize with or without said gene variation. Take folate, for example: Many multivitamins on the market may contain the synthetic form of folate, also known as folic acid, even though up to one-third (!) of people carry gene variants that make it difficult to efficiently utilize. Instead, we opt for 5-MTHF, a bioavailable, cell-identical form of folate. (If you’re having trouble discerning whether or not a multi was made with such considerations in mind, you may want to pass altogether and opt for a brand that embraces transparency in plain sight.)*

Step 4: Consider the big picture

How do these ingredients interact and what supports their function?

Finally, we move from looking at individual ingredients to assessing the overall function of our formula, examining it holistically to determine if certain ingredients are compatible—or if some may work against each other. (The truth is, there’s a delicate balance to the way that nutrients work together in our bodies, and too much of one thing can impact another.) We discern this information by scouring interaction studies, which help inform whether certain nutrients in our formulas need supplemental support for efficient absorption, then adjust accordingly based on the science. It’s the reason we include helper nutrients like boron (which works alongside vitamin D3—a nutrient that helps support calcium absorption). All of this is to say: When it comes to multivitamins, sometimes less really is more—a philosophy that extends beyond nutrients into things like shady fillers and additives (which you won’t find in our formulas).*

While this method may seem like a lot, it’s because it is—and it should be. Reinventing an entire category, and aiming to support the nutrient needs of different life stages, doesn’t happen by cutting corners. It happens by putting in the work, sifting through evidence, asking tough questions, and leaving no stone unturned. No shortcuts. No secret formulas. Just scientific ones—and that’s how we like it.*

References:

  1. Price, G., & Patel, D. A. (2020). ...Bioavailability. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing LLC.

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