The Vitamin Inspector story – our origins
~ by Karen Lily, BSc Computing and Information Systems (article dated 2016, updated 2019)
Since developing Vitamin Inspector, the first question people ask me is “How did it come into being?” and what drove me to design this new concept. Like many good ideas it was conceived to solve a practical problem.
A few years ago, after a serious health scare, I did a great deal of research into nutrition and its effect on health. One of my aims was to find a supplement that would speed my recovery from treatment and help me to stay well.
Alongside a great diet, my nutritionist, the micro-biologist Victor Trosky, recommended USANA multi-vitamin products to help boost my immune system. Vic suggested I take USANA Essentials, or, if cost was an issue, then USANA Body Rox, which was a little less expensive and a less comprehensive than Essentials.
“What is the difference between BodyRox and Essentials?”, I wondered. It was hard to see properly by just looking at the labels and I wanted to know to potentially make up the difference with diet or by using some of my extensive collection of single supplements. So using a spreadsheet I tried to enter the ingredients side-by-side. This was very difficult to do accurately as ingredients were listed under different headings and some were mentioned multiple times.
From my research into nutrition it seemed that some of the ingredients had similar health effects and this also needed to be factored into the results. It was not simple and the results were not clear even when comparing the same brand of multi. Trying to do this with supplements from different brands is pretty much impossible.
In the end I decided that I could design and build a computer program that would make sense of this complex data. Using chemistry, original algorithms, nutritional research and artificial intelligence, I began to develop this unique and innovative software that examines supplements in a completely impartial and objective manner. The result of this research, design and development work is the nutritional comparison technology called – ‘Vitamin Inspector’. It is easy to use and is capable of assisting you to compare supplements and make informed decisions to find the best multi-vitamin for your needs.