- Rootine specializes in vitamin mixtures based on your lifestyle and a DNA test, and delivers them directly to your home once a month – their microbead design allows for optimal delivery of nutrients, too.
- Though it’s expensive (currently $60 for a 30-day supply), Rootine avoids overloading you with megadoses of vitamins and minerals that could be harmful to you.
- Before taking supplements, it’s always a good idea to check with your healthcare professional first to determine if the supplement is right for you.
- This article was medically reviewed by Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD, nutrition and wellness expert with a private practice based in New York City.
I’ve tried dozens of multivitamins. The generics, the expensive options, the custom formulas designed to aid in achieving specific health goals; all of it. For the most part, I haven’t noticed much of a difference when taking them despite feeling sluggish when I don’t.
Then I tried the vitamins from Rootine. After only a few days, I felt a bit sharper both mentally and physically (something I didn’t think I’d be able to notice so clearly). In the month after I started, I didn’t experience any noticeable sickness or illness – whether or not these observations can be attributed to the vitamin, I’m unable to say.
Before we further explore my experience with the vitamin and the Rootine service as a whole, I need to provide a few disclaimers.
First, this review is based entirely on my own opinion – this is not a scientific review of the vitamin. Our health editor looked at the research and there is a lack of evidence affirming Rootine’s claims that a DNA test provides a beneficial multivitamin. Registered nutritionist Samantha Cassetty, who medically reviewed this article, also pointed out that there’s no scientific validity of the vitamin nor is there enough research to certify the brand’s claims.
Additionally, before taking supplements, it’s always a good idea to check with your healthcare professional first to determine if the supplement is right for you. Finally, be careful to keep these vitamins out of reach of children.
How Rootine works
Rootine is different from other multivitamins because the company creates a custom formula based on your lifestyle, health history, and a DNA test.
To get my custom-made vitamin pack, I first answered an 18-question lifestyle quiz. This includes questions like:
- “Do you follow any specific diet?”
- “Do you smoke cigarettes?”
- “How tall and heavy are you?”
The quiz takes roughly 10 minutes. You then enter your contact information so Rootine can send you a DNA test kit. If you already have DNA test results from 23andMe, Ancestry, or similar services, you can simply upload your genetic data, and Rootine analyzes it.
This is much faster (one or two days) than doing a DNA test from scratch. You can also upload blood panel results from a health care professional to provide even more data to help Rootine craft a custom multivitamin.
I chose to submit my DNA via Rootine’s kit. With the kit, you swab out your mouth first thing in the morning then send it back via a postage-paid box. Collecting the DNA samples takes about 15 minutes.
Six weeks after I mailed the DNA test back, I received my first month of vitamins.
What you get with a Rootine subscription
Rootine is a subscription service, so after the initial quiz and DNA test, you receive 30 packs of vitamins each month at a rate of $60 per month. Each pack is filled with microbeads that you’re supposed to take with a meal each morning.
Printed on the box containing my packs were the supplement facts and ingredients. Though the numbers vary based on your personal profile, my packs each had at least 100% of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin C, vitamin D3, vitamin E, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, folate, iron, zinc, and selenium. There were also significant amounts of fiber (5g), calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper, alpha-lipoic acid, CoQ10, MSM, and phytosterol.
When you access your Rootine account, you can see why your multivitamin contains the nutrients it does. For example, my vitamin has 506 mg calcium, which is higher than most because Rootine determined my lifestyle and genes warranted an elevated dose. My profile also shows what the vitamins are intended for. For instance, as the most abundant mineral in the body, calcium is needed for strong, healthy, bones.
What makes Rootine multivitamins stand out
Rootine was co-founded by Dr. Daniel Wallerstorfer, who is a leading genetic scientist and has more than a decade of experience building genetics and nutrient labs.
I had the opportunity to ask him about Rootine over email, and he gave me a long list of examples for why taking DNA, lifestyle, and blood nutrient levels into consideration is important when choosing a multivitamin. We don’t have room to cover all of them in this review, and there’s an easy-to-understand explanation here, but here are a few ways a custom-made vitamin could be advantageous for you, according to Dr. Wallerstorfer:
- If you have the HFE gene, your body stores more iron than needed, a condition called hemochromatosis. If you were to take a supplement with extra iron in it, it could potentially be fatal.
- Rootine takes your lifestyle into consideration for several reasons. For instance, vegans typically don’t get enough B12, gluten-free individuals may not be getting enough selenium, and people who avoid dairy may need extra calcium.
- The blood panel might be helpful because if your blood has low levels of a certain nutrient, there may be a deficiency in the body that a supplement could help with.
I liked that there were no megadoses of any of the vitamins or minerals. At the most extreme, my vitamin C dose was 182% the RDA. Though there is no specific definition of “megadose,” it’s usually used to describe taking many times the recommended amount.
What to keep in mind
It’s important to follow the directions for how to ingest the microbeads. I figured I’d just toss them in a bottle of water and drink them but this was a huge mistake as I had trouble getting the beads down my gullet. They would stick to the water bottle and the crevasses between my teeth.
Instead, I needed to put them in a thicker substance that didn’t require chewing. Something like a thick smoothie works (and you’d add them after blending) or I might sprinkle it on top of yogurt. My favorite method for swallowing the beads was to pour a little at a time directly onto my tongue – this takes some practice – before taking a swig of water.
A few inconveniences
To me, the microbeads are annoying but they’re a nice option if you have trouble swallowing large multivitamins. Rootine co-founder Rachel Sanders told me the design “ensures the best quality product and optimal delivery for vitamins and minerals.” She added, “The innovative slow-release microbeads deliver a customized dosage of vitamins into your bloodstream throughout the day, which is aligned with how the human body absorbs nutrients from food.”
The DNA test was a little bit of a pain, too. You’re supposed to swab out your mouth first thing in the morning before you eat or drink anything. I need espresso to exist and down a shot of it before even opening my eyes. It took some real trickery to derail my normal routine to do the DNA test (this is dramatic, I know).
Once I sent the test back, it seemed like there was a large window – six weeks – before I finally got my vitamins. Fortunately, they told me this would be the case ahead of time and sent updates throughout the process. Plus, you only have to do the test once before the vitamins arrive like clockwork. You might also consider skipping the DNA test altogether since the efficacy of it is questionable.
The bottom line
After the long customization process, and once I got the hang of the microbeads, I found Rootine to be an outstanding multivitamin. Based on my opinion, they kept my health on track even when my eating was less than exemplary. But is it worth the $2 a day price tag?
I found the experience to be positive but due to a lack of scientific evidence capable of confirming Rootine’s claims, it’s not guaranteed you’d feel the same about them as I did. It’s also hard for me to confidently recommend them.
According to our medical reviewer, Samantha Cassetty, there isn’t enough research pertaining to DNA-based multivitamins to suggest they’re any better than a routine multivitamin formulated specifically for your age or gender.
- Should you buy it? This is entirely up to you. I enjoyed taking Rootine, as well as the process of getting the vitamins, but understand that everyone’s personal experience can differ significantly. It’s recommended you consult with your doctor to determine if a multivitamin is right for you.
- What are your alternatives? If Rootine doesn’t seem like the right fit, consider some of the suggestions in our guides to the best women’s multivitamins and men’s multivitamins.
Pros: Customized multivitamins, microbeads may be easier for users to swallow than the usual large pills, vegetarian/vegan, no megadosing