Rootine is a newer personalized nutritional supplement manufacturer. They customize each product they ship to meet the unique needs of every individual customer. Rootine ships their product in single serve sachet packets with the customers name on it. In order to get your custom supplements formulated, Rootine requires customers fill out a basic health questionnaire. If possible they recommend sending in genetic data, like 23 and Me results, and blood work to best customize each supplement pack. The company has been featured on NBC and Forbes for their innovative technology and approach to the wellness industry.
Rootine is based on the premise of providing customers with the most targeted supplement formulation based upon their genetic and metabolic profile. This is why Rootine utilizes information from health questionnaires, blood work, and genetic data.
Enhanced Nutrient Absorption
With respect to enhancing nutrient absorption, Rootine promotes its use of a microbead delivery system.
They claim their research indicates microbeads enhance absorption in the gut by decreasing competition between the vitamins and minerals.
Additionally the microbead technology produces a time release effect of the vitamins and minerals. Rootine’s website states absorption takes place over 12+ hours.
This section will not discuss doses of ingredients because Rootine custom formulates products specific to each customer’s profile. This section will just assess the quality of each ingredient Rootine has listed on their website.
Phytosterols may often be referred to as plant sterols. To oversimply, phytosterols are the plant equivalent of animal cholesterol. There are many different types of phytosterols (sitosterol, campesterol, stigmasterol, etc.) When phytosterols are ingested, they compete for absorption with cholesterol. This is the reason phytosterols have often been recommended as a natural way to lower LDL-cholesterol. However, Rootine does not specify which phytosterols they are using which makes it difficult to assess the ingredients efficacy.
Vitamin B6 (as pyridoxine hcl)
Vitamin B6 is a coenzyme involved in numerous metabolic pathways in the body. Most people tend to think of vitamin B6 as an energy booster. This is because vitamin B6, in its active form of pyridoxine-5-phosphate, is needed to help convert stored glycogen into glucose. If B6 is low then energy levels may also drop. Additionally, pyridoxine is used in something called the methylation cycle. Without B6 levels of a substance called homocysteine may be elevated. This should be a cause for concern because high homocysteine is a risk factor for sudden cardiac death. There are a variety of genetic issues that cause low levels of B6 and even impair B6 metabolism. It should also be noted that Rootine does not list their vitamin B6 as a United States Pharmacopeia (USP) certified ingredient. All this means is the quality of their ingredient may be questionable. It does not guarantee poor ingredient quality, but there is no way to know for sure.
Folate (as folic acid or methylfolate (5-MTHF))
Folate, similar to vitamin B6, is a coenzyme responsible for many different actions. Folate has become one of the more prominent vitamins on the market due to our understanding of genetics. Many people have what is called a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), which is a fancy way of saying a genetic mutation where one nucleic acid is switched for another one. There are two different alterations that may occur. They are often referred to as C677T or A1298C. While one single base alteration out of approximately 3 billion bases may seem insignificant, it is not. These genetic changes result in a dramatic reduction in the body’s ability to transform folic acid into its active 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF). People without the SNP process folic acid normally and there would be no need to use the much more costly 5-MTHF form.
The fact Rootine indicates the use of folic acid OR 5-MTHF indicates their understanding of these SNPs and brings credibility to their claim of customizing based on genetics. Folic acid gets a lot of attention for supporting cell replication and division. As a result folic acid is vital throughout pregnancy. Additionally, those with folate deficiencies are at risk of elevated homocysteine and impaired neurotransmitter production. However, Rootine does not indicate their ingredient being USP certified.
Vitamin B12 (as cyanocobalamin)
Vitamin B12 serves many roles similar to folate and vitamin B6. Vitamin B12 deficiencies are associated with a blood condition called anemia. Anemia occurs when the body is not producing enough red blood cells. Vitamin B12 often comes in one of two forms; cyanocobalamin and methylcobalamin. Cyanocobalamin is the synthetic form of vitamin B12 and is only found in supplements. Methylcobalamin is widely regarded as the superior option. Unfortunately, Rootine has opted to use the synthetic cyanocobalamin.
Vitamin B2 (as riboflavin)
Riboflavin is a very common vitamin supplement marketed to help with energy production. Riboflavin is required by the enzyme Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. This enzyme is responsible for the conversion of folate to its active form 5-MTHF. Riboflavin is often marketed to help with energy due to its role with oxygen utilization. It also aids in the breakdown in carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Again, Rootine has not opted to use USP certified riboflavin.
Magnesium (as magnesium hydroxide)
Magnesium has been credited as a critical cofactor in over 300 different enzymatic processes. More than 2/3rds of American’s are reported to be deficient in magnesium. Magnesium deficiencies often contribute to poor sleep, muscle spasms, headaches, and general irritability. Magnesium also plays a role in blood sugar control.
With magnesium being so important, there are a variety of different forms available on the market. Magnesium may be sold as a chelate, bound to an amino acid to enhance intestinal absorption. They may be listed as magnesium bisglycinate, magnesium threonate, etc. Magnesium may also be sold as a mineral salt such as magnesium chloride. The magnesium with the lowest absorption/ bioavailability happens to be magnesium hydroxide. Rootine utilizes magnesium hydroxide in their formulations. In fact magnesium hydroxide is so poorly absorbed it causes an influx of water into the intestines. Magnesium hydroxide is often recommended for those suffering from constipation.
Vitamin D3 (as cholecalciferol)
Vitamin D is often thought of as the bone vitamin. This is because it aids in calcium absorption from the gut. But, vitamin D is responsible for regulating much more than calcium metabolism. Low levels of vitamin D are often associated with fatigue, chronic pain, and a devastated immune system. There are two forms of vitamin D. One is is vitamin D2 which is often sold as a prescription at 50,000 IU. However vitamin D3 is the more active form and preferred by most physicians and pharmacists.
Calcium (as calcium carbonate)
When people think calcium, they think bones. But, calcium is actually required for far more than just our bones. Calcium is a principal molecule involved in regulating muscle contraction and cellular communication. Calcium absorption is regulated with the help of vitamin D and its metabolism is regulated by vitamin K2. Like all minerals calcium can come in a variety of forms; salts, amino acid chelates, and oxides. Rootine is using calcium carbonate which is a calcium salt. This is the same form of calcium used to make chalk. Calcium carbonate has a poor absorption profile. In fact, it is most often used as an antacid and increases the stomachs pH. While thee microbead delivery system may balance out the antacid effects of calcium carbonate, it is difficult to know for sure. Also, the calcium carbonate used is not listed as USP certified.
Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid)
Everyone today knows when you’re feeling sick, take vitamin C. This vitamin plays a large role in the immune system and fighting off infections. With the popularity of vitamin C in the market, there are a lot of companies that produce it. This results in a wide array of quality, potency, and price. Supplement manufacturers have the opportunity to purchase vitamin C that may cost anywhere from $0.50 to over $32.00 per kilogram, and everywhere in between. It is difficult to assess whether or not the vitamin C is of any substantial quality. One of the benefits of utilizing USP certified vitamins is ensuring some form of quality control. However, Rootine is not using USP certified vitamin C and there is no way to know for certain the level of quality in their product.
Vitamin E (as dl-alpha tocopherolacetate)
Vitamin E was the first vitamin discovered back in 1922 and was originally called vitamine. Since then we have learned that vitamin e is made up of a family of eight structurally similar molecules called tocopherols and tocotrienols. It is widely accepted in the clinical nutrition world that vitamin E should only be supplemented as mixed tocopherols. This means a mixture of all the different vitamin E forms as they are found in nature. Rootine has decided to only utilize dl-alpha tocopherol. Not only is this missing out on the benefits of the rest of the vitamin E family, but dl-alpha tocopherol is a synthetic compound with very low biologic activity.
Zinc (as zinc citrate)
Another vitally important element, zinc, plays a large role in the immune system and protein synthesis. As mentioned previously, all metal elements may come in a variety of forms that enhance absorption/activity. While zinc citrate is not the best form for absorption, it is also not the worst.
Manganese (as manganese sulphate)
Manganese is a considered a trace mineral. We do not need as much manganese as other elements like iron or magnesium. However, manganese is still important to biological activity of growth, reproduction, and metabolism. A little goes a long way with manganese. Again, Rootine has opted to use a poorly absorbed form of the mineral which is also not USP certified.
Copper (as copper sulphate)
Another trace mineral, copper is only needed in minute amounts. In fact, copper deficiency is often the result of too much zinc in the diet. The two elements compete for absorption through the same pathway. Rootine is not using a USP certified form of copper.
Alpha Lipoic Acid
Often referred to as simply ALA, alpha lipoic acid may help a variety of different health conditions. ALA is often recommended for those with diabetes and neuropathy. This is due to the fact ALA can help pull glucose out of the blood and bring it into the cell as well as reduce inflammation by targeting something called free radicals. The manufacturing side of ALA can be tricky though. Cheaper forms of ALA are often contaminated with a caustic chemical called benzene. There is no way to know for certain the quality of ALA any supplement company is using, but it is important to consider when making your supplement buying decisions.
MSM (as methylsulfonylmethane)
MSM was once regarded as the best alternative treatment for joint pain. It is often used by people with arthritis. Over the years the popularity of MSM has dipped because of the lack of scientific evidence supporting the claims. However, MSM has started to gain interest again because of our new understanding of methylation. Not everyone may benefit from MSM but thanks to Rootines personalized approach, the patients that may benefit from it will won’t need to worry about missing out.
CoQ10 (as coenzyme Q 10)
It is upsetting Rootine lists their “CoQ10” as coenzyme Q 10. This does not give any indication of the form they are using, ubiquinone vs ubiquinol. There has been an ongoing debate about which form is superior. Additionally, CoQ10 (in either form) is a fat soluble oil. What this means is, coQ10 should always be taken in its liquid state for maximal absorption and activity. Based on Rootine’s manufacturing process one can reasonably assume they are using powdered (or crystalline) CoQ10. Powdered coQ10 is poorly absorbed and in fact very expensive. It is often dosed far lower than what the research recommends as a result of its cost.
Iron (as iron sulphate)
Iron is required to ensure transportation of oxygen throughout the body. It is found in a protein called hemoglobin. Women are at a higher risk of iron deficiency due to their menstrual cycle. Genetics and blood work will clearly indicate if a person needs iron. Iron sulphate is not the best form available.
Selenium (as sodium selenite / selenomethionene)
Selenium is a trace mineral that people are often deficient in. Selenium is required to maintain thyroid function and inflammatory balance. One Brazil nut is enough provide more than enough selenium for a person each day. Selenomethionene tends to be the preferred for recommended by integrative/function medicine practitioners.
Does Rootine Work?
Rootine is a brilliant concept that personalizes their multivitamin to each customers uniqueness. While they don’t use the best forms of each ingredient, they are much better than average multivitamin brand you can buy at the store. Their big marketing pitch is about customizing the product to each customer and not providing a one size fits all product. When it comes to a multivitamin though, there doesn’t need to be much customization though. The majority of your micronutrients should come from real food. A multivitamin is simply a security blanket to cover your bases. This is why the one size fits all approach has been so successful.
At our core, every humans BASIC nutrient needs are the same.
The differences between people should be made up through diet or very targeted nutritional therapies. The Rootine product will definitely provide you with your core nutrients. However, it is mostly just a great marketing story.
Who is Rootine Best For?
Rootine, or any multivitamin for that matter, is best for people that are already healthy. There have been extensive studies showing people with severe health issues do not benefit from multivitamins. It seems to be a case of too little too late for those with chronic disease. Specifically Rootine would be good for someone focused on the fine details and interested in targeting a few of their genetic concerns, like the MTHFr SNP.
- Pyridoxine (Vitamin B-6) – Health Encyclopedia – University of Rochester Medical Center
- Effect of pyridoxine or riboflavin supplementation on plasma homocysteine levels in women with oral lesions. – PubMed – NCBI
- Methylcobalamin vs Cyanocobalamin: What's the Difference?
- Magnesium hydroxide Uses, Side Effects & Warnings – Drugs.com
Where to Buy Rootine Personal Vitamins
Rootine can only be bought off the company website: www.rootinevitamins.com