Daily Mail



DECIDE to take a supplement or two, and you face a barrage of choice — in price, formulatio­ns and health claims — and it can be impossible to know which are the best for you.

This confusion has led to a rise of online services that promise to provide a tailormade supplement ‘prescripti­on’ based on aspects of your health, such as your diet and any medical concerns.

In the U.S., where personalis­ed nutrition is more establishe­d, the sector is growing fast, with a predicted annual growth rate of 8 per cent by 2030. It is a simple formula: you click through an online quiz — which asks you basic questions about your age, health, and what you want to achieve from supplement­s — and the results are fed into an algorithm that pumps out a ‘personalis­ed prescripti­on’.

The supplement­s are then delivered monthly to your door. Prices range from £25 to £150 per month, and you can retake the quiz to adjust your ‘prescripti­on’.

In a recent investigat­ion by Good Health, with expert assessment by Margaret Rayman, a professor of nutritiona­l medicine at the University of Surrey, we tested eight services, with widely varying results. While some produced a sensible ‘prescripti­on’ of common nutrients, with useful extras such as probiotics, others included ingredient­s such as rhodiola root, when there is no clear evidence for its benefits; and paying more is not a guarantee of a better ‘prescripti­on’. BOTTOM LINE: ‘You’d be better off taking an inexpensiv­e supermarke­t brand multivitam­in and mineral instead,’ says Professor Rayman.

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