New female health supplement syncs with the menstrual cycle
Triumph by start-up Vitropics is designed to provide nutritional support for women
Donna Ledwidge and Renée O’Shaughnessy, founders of women’s health start-up Vitropics
Triumph Monthly Cycle Supplement is the launch product from women’s health start-up Vitropics. It is designed to provide nutritional support to women throughout their menstrual cycle and what makes it different to existing supplements is that the composition of the product changes in line with their cycle’s phases.
“Current multivitamin offerings have a shotgun approach to formulations for women with the assumption that nothing changes in a woman’s body from one day to the next,” says company co-founder Donna Ledwidge. “Our next generation nutritional blend recognises that changes occur and syncs with the three main phases of the monthly cycle [pre-ovulation days, menstrual days and post ovulation days] and changes the blend of nutrients to reflect this.”
Each box of Triumph is broken into three units, pink soluble sachets for the first phase, purple sachets for the second and yellow sachets for the third. These are supplemented with a daily tablet and the combination of the two helps regulate hormonal activity, sustain energy and maintain heart and nervous system health. The products contain a mix of vitamins, minerals and herbs such as shatavari which has been traditionally used to ease cramps and maritime pine bark which is an anti-inflammatory which supports joint and skin health.
“The idea for the product came from my own experience of debilitating period pain, something I had suffered with from the age of 14,” Ledwidge says. “Then the more my co-founder Renée O’Shaughnessy [who looks after the company’s PR and marketing] and I talked to women about their menstrual health issues the more we understood the need to rethink and streamline female supplements. Every woman knows how confusing it can be to navigate the supplements aisle and how expensive it becomes when you’re taking a few different products. Our idea was to put everything women need in one place. The pill is often prescribed to help with menstrual symptoms but we felt there had to be a more natural way, especially for young girls, and ours is the first nutritional blend in the world that syncs in harmony with the changing female body.”Vitropics has also developed a supplement for pregnancy which changes with the different trimesters and one for the menopause which reflects its different phases finishing off with a healthy aging formulation. Both products will be launched later this year while the menstrual product is already on sale.
“It took three years of hard graft to develop the products and go through the process of identifying what should be in the supplements and in what doses and to find the right technical and manufacturing expertise to turn the idea into a reality,” says Ledwidge who graduated from the New Frontiers programme at TU Dublin Hothouse last November.
The “right” technical expertise was subsequently provided by manufacturing chemist and raw materials expert Deepak Sharma, while the manufacturing capability has been supplied by John Raftery, whose company contract manufactures sports nutrition, healthcare supplements and herbal medicines in Co. Mayo. Chemist Reiner Eschwey is the company’s director of manufacturing and all three are co-founders and shareholders in the business which was established in 2017 and employs three. The founders have self-funded the start-up to the tune of €250,000.
Triumph was soft launched last year and while the range will be available through a growing number of retail outlets as sales efforts are ramped up, the company is also offering a subscription service whereby women sign up to have their product delivered to them every month at a discount. “This type of subscription model is unusual in Ireland but very common and successful in North America and of course our product is aimed at the global market. It’s a universal problem but one solution for the 90 per cent of women who suffer menstrual cycle symptoms,” Ledwidge says.