Persona Nutrition (formerly Vitamin Packs) is a personalized daily vitamin and supplement subscription. Answer a questionnaire and have vitamins, minerals, and other supplements selected for you based on your individual health concerns.
Editor's Note: We have a more recent review of Persona that covers the current version of their service in detail. Read Marne's Persona review here.
(Vitamin Packs just changed their branding to Persona Nutrition while we were writing this review, so you may see a mix of brand names referenced in this review.)
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
About Persona Nutrition (formerly Vitamin Packs)
The Subscription Box: Persona Nutrition
The Cost: Varies depending on what supplements are recommended for you. I received the following supplements:
- Vegan foundation formula I (with turmeric, a vegan multivitamin, and DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid) $47.88
- Blood pressure support (with CoQ10 and garlic) $12.04
- Sinusitis support (with an enzyme complex) $14
The Products: Vitamins and supplements personalized for you based on your answers to a health questionnaire (you don’t have to accept all their recommendations; more on this below)
Ships to: the US for free
This box will be different for each subscriber, depending on your answers to the sign-up quiz. We received Vitamin Packs branded items, but everything will be changing with our next shipment (more on that below):
The first thing you see when you open the box is this orange folder (about the size of a CD case) packed with information about the subscription and your particular vitamin/supplement selections.
For the record, I selected a vegetarian dietary preference (but as you can see, vegan is also available) and particular health conditions included high blood pressure and sinusitis.
This is also nice because it provides a visual key to the supplements. Though I will say, the enzyme complex and the vegan multi-look almost the same in person and the CoQ10 and turmeric are also pretty similar looking.
You are not required to accept every recommendation. I will talk about this more later on. But after you take the sign-up quiz, if there is something you don’t want or you are trying to reduce costs, it is very easy to hit the “x” button to remove it from your cart.
Lots of product information here! Importantly, there is contact information if you’d like to get in touch with the nutritionists. (I have bachelor’s degrees in biology and chemistry and a Ph.D. in biochemistry so I have an appropriate technical background and didn’t need to ask for help, but the option is there if you need it.)
Persona also supports Vitamin Angels, a nonprofit that provides vitamins and minerals to pregnant women, new mothers, and children in need.
There was also a note informing subscribers of an upcoming packaging change.
This subscription comes with a LOT of paper. But this brochure here is particularly useful in terms of explaining why you have the number of packs you do, when and how to take the supplements, etc.
Not all people will have nighttime packs. I just had AM and PM packs.
Next up, we have handouts about the specific products in my packets. Yours will vary, of course, based on your quiz results. I had CoQ10, which is an antioxidant that supports cardiovascular health because I had selected high blood pressure as a concern.
I like how transparent they are about the ingredients the capsules are made from.
I had this enzyme complex because I’d said that I have sinusitis. This capsule includes a number of digestive enzymes designed to break up peptides and proteins, starches, fats, and other biological macromolecules.
I am not convinced enzymes are the way to go when it comes to sinusitis. If you search the use of enzymes to treat sinusitis on the web, you get a lot of questionable “natural health” websites that tend to push avoiding doctors, chemical phobias, and an otherwise anti-science agenda. If you use a scientific search engine (even Google Scholar) to search the same topic, you have a hard time getting applicable results in peer-reviewed journals.
On the other hand, taking these enzymes is unlikely to cause actual harm, so I’ll give it a go. At best, they’ll do something and at worst, they’ll be ineffective. Time will tell.
I am not entirely sure why turmeric was included in my pack, but it was already in the multivitamin I was taking before starting Persona, and it is an ingredient from food, so it should be safe. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory and this actually does have some peer-reviewed science to back it up.
Up next is Vegan DHA. DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid. Of course, you can get this from fish oil, but since I have the vegan/vegetarian option, mine is extracted from algae. I have been taking omega-3 fatty acids for years. I like that this is DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid, (instead of ALA, or alpha-linolenic acid, which is what you see in flax, walnuts, etc.) because ALA is inefficiently converted by the body to DHA. I do wish this also had EPA, or eicosapentaenoic acid. DHA is known to support brain health, while EPA has anti-inflammatory effects. From personal experience, a DHA/EPA supplement can help lower your triglycerides when accompanied by dietary changes.
Of course, there is a multivitamin. This is formulated to bridge gaps that may form when you eat a vegan or vegetarian diet. This includes a high amount of B12. I am probably not actually lacking in B12 since I eat dairy and eggs. But on the other hand, B vitamins are water soluble and you just excrete what you don’t need in the urine.
This also has some of the same enzymes that are in the enzyme complex, some algae extracts, and some antioxidants, as well as some essential minerals. It doesn’t have iron but I suspect that is available in a separate pill and I don’t need an iron supplement since I have never been anemic.
I also got recommended garlic. This is another one for blood pressure support. There are some peer-reviewed studies to back this up as well. I can’t provide you with immediate results since I don’t currently have a blood pressure monitor I can use (the arm cuffs in most adult ones are way too large for me) but garlic is something I have never tried before, and it is in food, so I figure it is OK to try. (Studies suggest the duration of treatment with garlic is also important, so you might not see a change right away.)
There was also more information about their referral program.
And there was an insert advertising PetPlate. Sadly, Nyx can’t use services like this because she can only tolerate prescription food. However, check out our reviews to see what Buckles thinks and to save 50% off your first box!
Included was a small zipper pouch. If you are going to be traveling or want to take your supplements at work or school, you could throw a few packs in here for convenience.
Here is what the packs actually look like. This is the AM pack that I take with breakfast. The pills are packaged in a little roll and there are perforations between each day’s dose. This includes 2 vegan multi pills, a vegan DHA, turmeric, and an enzyme complex. (I’ve already discussed the purposes of these up above so I won’t rehash that here.)
PM Vitamin Pack
This is the PM Pack that I take with dinner. This includes two vegan DHA capsules, garlic, the enzyme complex, and CoQ10. I like that the number of pills is fairly evenly split and I’m not taking like one pill in the morning and nine at night.
Also included is a supplement facts card for all 10 pills in my packs together. This will obviously vary for each subscriber.
Verdict: I think the main benefits of Persona are:
- Helping you choose what supplements are right for you based on your own health concerns
- Convenience – you don’t have to remember to order each month or to keep 8 bottles on hand and remember which pill you need 3 of, 2 of, to take at night, to take with food, etc. So if either of those is important for you, this is definitely one to consider.
I did think the questionnaire was useful, although sometimes you have to choose an imperfect answer for your situation. Some unusual situations are maybe not covered. For example, there was a question where I answered “I get less than 6 hours of sleep a night” and I was recommended a sleep supplement. But my problem is not that I am unable to fall asleep or stay asleep, but that there just aren’t enough hours in the day for everything I need to do, so I end up going to bed late and getting up early, and a supplement really isn’t appropriate for that situation. Also, the questions about menstruation/menopause didn’t really cover my situation (I had a hysterectomy last year so I don’t get periods, but I kept my ovaries, so I am also not hormonally menopausal). Just do your best on these and feel free to contact Vitamin Packs via the phone number or email address provided if you’re not sure what to put.
There is a place in the questionnaire to put prescriptions you’re on, which is great, but one concern I had was that my prescription (carvedilol) was not on the list! It is a beta blocker, and there were other beta blockers on the list, so I was a little worried that I didn’t see it. I went ahead with the questionnaire, though, because I felt like I had the knowledge to look up and understand interactions, and I didn’t find anything worrisome when I further investigated. (If you don’t have that background, though, the Vitamin Packs nutritionist contact information is all over their website and product literature.)
One last thing: I did refuse a couple of the recommended supplements. I mentioned the sleep supplements above. I also turned down some brain support/mood support supplements. I just did not want to be taking more than a dozen pills a day (I also have my prescription and I take Zyrtec). Also, I am trying some supplements from NeuroBox on occasion and I was worried there would be overlap in the brain/mood support supplements and what comes in NeuroBox. So you can prioritize certain health conditions if you want, by eliminating some of the options from your cart before payment, but this is not really an “a la carte” service for choosing your own vitamins– though you can always chat with the nutritionists to review other supplements you're interested in, and they can add them to your shipment.
Can you get the same supplements for less money somewhere else? If you purchase full bottles from places like Swanson or Amazon, you can average a lower price per pill. But, getting the exact dosages to match Vitamin Packs would be tricky, especially if you are looking for supplements that conform to particular dietary restrictions, and Vitamin Packs also clearly prides themselves on quality and sourcing, which you can’t always be sure of from other sellers. Plus, you’d have to know what you wanted beforehand. There is definitely some convenience value here, as well as some value in the resources (like chat with nutritionists) offered by Vitamin Packs. If you are very knowledgeable about nutrition and supplements, this may not be the best choice for you, but if you are overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, this subscription may be just what you’re looking for.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Everyone’s package will be different depending on your answers to the initial questionnaire. I selected “vegetarian” as a dietary preference and “high blood pressure” and “sinusitis” as particular health conditions that I had.
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