Exclusive: Could A New Startup Make Taking Your Vitamins Cool?

Former mbg Deputy Editor By Elizabeth Inglese
Former mbg Deputy Editor
Elizabeth Inglese is a writer living in San Fransisco, California. She earned her bachelor’s in english literature and cultures from Brown University and her master's in writing from The University of Southern California. She's the former Deputy Editor of mbg, and has also worked for Vogue, Architectural Digest, Bon Appetit, and Good Magazine covering food, health, and culture.
Exclusive: Could A New Startup Make Taking Your Vitamins Cool?

Photo by Care/of

If you eat your greens and swizzle superfood smoothies, you may think you're getting your nutritional needs met. You could be right, but it turns out 90 percent of us are falling short of our recommended daily dose of key vitamins and minerals. Certain types, like D, are almost impossible to get in high quantities through diet alone, and the benefits of adaptogenic herbals and botanicals, as well as probiotics, are most powerful when harnessed in high-concentrate capsules.

All this points to the importance of supplements, but Craig Elbert, CEO of Care/of, a bespoke supplement subscription service launching today, says in an unregulated industry, it can be difficult to discern the fresh, pure, and potent from the hocus pocus. "There's broken trust," he says. "What we saw when we looked at the vitamin market was confusion around the products available and, frankly, a lot of bad actors." Elbert's start-up aims to supercharge healthy diets with the right combination of vitamins, minerals, and botanicals personalized to each client.

“Everybody has different goals," says Elbert. A questionnaire covering family history, stress sources, eating habits, and lifestyle paint his team a vivid picture of each client, allowing them to suggest supplements uniquely suited to her needs. "We have folks looking for healthier hearts or bones, or improved digestion, greater energy, or lessened stress, and we guide them to make decisions based on their values." To accommodate varying viewpoints, Care/of offers products backed by western science, like vitamins and minerals, and those popular in traditional use, like Ashwagandha, as well as emerging ingredients like Bacopa that recent research find promising. "There's value in both eastern and western perspectives so we share information on both to empower our customer."

And the story of those ingredients spans the globe. "Whether its magnesium from Irish sea water or calcium from Icelandic algae, we want to be transparent about where each ingredient comes from." On Care/of's website customers can read in-depth information about each supplement's origin and its applications. A cadre of advisors including Harvard Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition Eric Rimm and Functional Medicine Doctor Jeffrey Gladd steer Care/of's recommendations, ensuring they're based in the best information available.

With colorful packages you'll want to keep out of the cabinet and grab-and-go daily packs, Care/of hopes to become a part of their users' daily lives. "We want to be a partner so folks aren't going at this alone," says Elbert. Fine-tune your pill pack on their freshly-launched site now. Wild Alaskan salmon oil, natural elderberry, and golden turmeric capsules, washed down with a favorite tonic, sound like the start to a good day.

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