Started being more health conscious since the whole pandemic began?

So you’ve started going to the gym, eating healthier and perhaps decided to get onboard the organic beauty-train. What’s next? Aside from switching out your regular rice to cauliflower rice or pasta to zucchini noodles as healthier alternatives, have you considered upping your vitamin intake?

Yes, you get your nutrients, vitamins, and minerals from food. However, are you confident enough to say that you can maintain a healthy diet, eat on time and drink two litres of water daily while working a 9-to-5 job? If you can, good on you but if you can’t, it’s not a crime either. That’s why vitamins and supplements are created, to give you the boost and proper vitamin intake you need on a daily basis.

It’s a good thing that people are starting to get more health-conscious and starting to eat healthily, but it’s hard to maintain this habit. You would need to have five servings of fruits and veggies daily and it’s not easy to do. Most people can’t even go through half of that.

PJ Lai, founder of Vitamine

“This is just a daily requirement. So if you miss it, the next day theoretically you need to take what extra to make up for the loss from the day before,” he added. Lai is the founder of Vitamine, a personalised vitamin subscription service that basically does all the hard work and calculations for you.

Consumers that are keen on trying Vitamine would have to go through a consultation and several health tests before getting their very own subscription. Vitamine then helps to determine the nutrients needed, that would fit into their own personal diet, lifestyle and health goals. These are then packed into little sachets, then goes into a dispenser for ultimate convenience. There’s no need to open or purchase large bottles of vitamins on a monthly basis. These sachets can be sent every 28 days to ensure freshness.

Lai is a certified pharmacist with over 10 years of experience with an aim to only include the best supplements in this service. However, there’s still a fear of purchasing vitamins and supplements online — most would rather go to the pharmacy or health and wellness retailers instead.

“Normally, there’s only one pharmacist in the whole store, and most of the time when you’re asking for supplement information what you’re getting is just from general sales. They are there to sell you stuff, and not necessarily the most suitable one for you. You might ask for a certain type of supplement, but they might sell you another without taking into account your health condition,” said Lai.

“At Vitamine, we look at you as a whole. At the end of the conversation, we start talking about your specific condition and then we curate a plan according to the whole situation — taking into account is your medications if you have any, other supplements,” he added.

Supplements shouldn’t be used as a medication. You can’t rely on them to fix a specific problem. It would make much more sense to take supplements to treat you as a whole.
PJ Lai, founder of Vitamine

Vitamine just simply aims to take up the inconvenience of people that have to buy the supplements themselves. This subscription service would also highly benefit those who aren’t sure of what to take and reduce the risk and wastage of buying one whole bottle from the store, to only find out that your body doesn’t react well to them.

We spoke further with Lai, on when’s the best time to take supplements or even know which vitamins or supplements would work best on you. Read on to find out more.

How would you know if you're lacking in certain vitamins or minerals?

Minerals are easier to detect if you go for a blood test. Then, we can see based on the results what’s deficient. As for certain ones like vitamin D, its deficiency test is available but very expensive. When a consumer comes to us, we would definitely recommend them at least a multivitamin. Other things like supplements, hormones are conditions that have symptoms. We can then recommend based on their symptoms. For example, if you tell me that you have issues with your cycle or joints, then we can prescribe the supplements based on that.

Aside from the size and taste of the pill, how else would you know if the supplement is suitable for you or not?

We provide free cholesterol and blood pressure tests. So we’ll be able to see the before and after taking the supplements. If there are no improvements shown in the results, that means the supplements may not be right for you. We also recommend taking them for at least two months, only then we’ll be able to see clearly.

Are there any advises that you would like to share about vitamins and supplements?

A lot of supplements are actually oil-soluble. These are often advised to be taken after food so because the oil in the food is going to help with the absorption.

However, there is one misconception that many believe is that you can’t overdose on vitamins — which is not true. Vitamins such as B and C exempted because these are water-soluble. Anything ‘extra’ that’s not absorbed by the body will just come out via your digestive system. But as for Vitamins A, D and K, these are stored in the liver so theoretically, you can overdose on those.

All images: Vitamine Malaysia

Jolin Lee
Contributor
Unlike most modern-day millennials, Jolin does not need caffeine or alcohol to power through the day (and night). Her eye for beauty is as sharp as her eyeliner flick, and she can spot your unblended eye makeup from a mile away.