Take three people: a smoker, someone on prescription drugs and an athlete.
Who's more likely to have nutritional deficiencies caused by lifestyle choices?
Answer: All three, and each could be setting themselves up for future health problems according to the co-founder of Bastyr, Joe Pizzorno, ND.
"About 85 percent of the disease burden is simply due to nutritional deficiencies, nutritional excesses and environmental toxin exposure," said Dr. Pizzorno.
At the same time, he cautions that vitamins and supplements are powerful and have the potential to do more harm than good.
"People do need multivitamins, but they should be relatively low dosages to provide kind of baseline support and then when you use a large amount of a nutrient, you better make sure that person needs that particular nutrient," he said.
But how do you know?
Sarah Smith is taking an online "personalized vitamins" test to find out. The more information you supply, the more accurate the results.
Sarah knew she needed to boost her iron intake, but the recommended dose was unexpected.
"I am surprised. I thought my multivitamin would be covering my needs for iron, but based on the new blood work I got done with my physician, I now see I need to focus in on increasing my iron intake," Smith said.
Results are based on scientific studies.
Dr. Pizzorno says it's not intended to be a one-time test.
"We're hoping that people will do this on a regular basis because things change. Stress levels may change, where you live may change, you may decided to develop a healthier or less healthy diet and so all these things require differences," he said.
Athletes may require more antioxidants, smokers more selenium and for those on medications, it varies according to the drug.
"It's not just a matter of preventing cardiovascular disease in 20 years or Alzheimer's disease in 30 years. It's about feeling better today," said Dr. Pizzorno.
Once you determine which vitamins and supplements you need, you can buy them online through the site or purchase them elsewhere. Dr. Pizzorno stresses, however, you still need a good quality diet to stay healthy.