Examine 2024 sneak peek

    We have some big plans!


    I hope you had a very happy New Year’s celebration! We’re excited to make Examine even bigger and better this year. Here’s a glimpse of what’s in store for 2024:

    Examine coming to your local library?

    In 2023, over a dozen school and public libraries signed up to give their patrons full access to Examine+ both in the library and remotely from home.

    In 2024, we’re aiming to expand the number of libraries signed up. If you work at a library or are a patron, we’d much appreciate it if you request that your library sign up for Examine and send them our Library FAQ page. Don’t hesitate to get in touch by replying to this email if you have any questions about library sign-ups, or if we can help you with the process.

    More safety information

    Before 2023, we had two part-time researchers on the Examine team with pharmacy degrees. In 2023, we hired two more pharmacists as full-time researchers.

    We specifically recruited pharmacists because supplement safety is critical, yet frequently undercovered.

    Most people presume supplements are safe because they’re not prescription medications. There are many reasons why this is misguided, including …

    • Most supplements that provide benefits can also be detrimental for certain people.
    • Supplements have very sparse safety data compared to pharmaceuticals (through trial data or adverse event registries), which implies that many of the downsides of supplements aren’t well quantified or tracked.
    • Supplements can interact with other supplements, pharmaceuticals, foods, or health conditions. It takes specific expertise in pharmacology to analyze data on these interactions, and to understand where the data may be lacking.

    Our four-person pharmacist team has been conducting tests during the past two months to see how long it takes to find, analyze, and add robust safety information to a small number of supplement pages.

    Since the research team also has a ton of other tasks to do, this won’t be something that pops up overnight on the site. But now that we have the expertise on staff and some time carved out, expect progress in 2024.


    We realize Examine can be … a lot. We have over 10 million words on the site, and because we update every single day, it can be overwhelming to stay on top of everything.

    Now, anyone with a free account can follow any page on Examine, which sends an email notification whenever the page is updated with new research.

    Examine+ subscribers can also personalize their study summaries feed by selecting which categories they’re interested in, and they can pick their preferred update frequency.

    In 2024, we’ll be expanding our customization options, giving you a dashboard with all the information that is relevant to you.

    Examine Pro

    We simplified our product offerings a few years ago, ending up with just a single product: the Examine+ membership. Our members span from physicians to personal trainers to interested laypeople and people just starting their nutrition and health journey.

    We knew that at some point, a chunk of health professionals would need a more specific product that helped them with patient and client care. That point is now.

    During the first half of 2024, we’ll be developing the Examine Pro membership. As the features start to solidify, we’ll draw in some beta testers. I’ll let you know how things shake out through these weekly emails. If you’re interested in participating or providing feedback — let me know!

    Exciting Super Secret Project

    I can’t reveal much about this one, because then it wouldn’t be very super secret. But I’ll be deliberately vague to (hopefully) pique your interest.

    Health research is astoundingly powerful. Yet most of it is locked away behind journal paywalls and written in dense, boring, jargon-heavy language. Hence the emergence of Examine, with our 30 or so researchers serving as a bridge between this useful data and you.

    But health research is only one part of the puzzle when it comes to health improvement and achieving health-related goals.

    Since Examine is a relatively small company that doesn’t accept outside funding and obsesses about objectivity, we can’t be your one-stop shop for health improvement. We don’t sell supplements, we don’t provide diet plans, and we don’t do health coaching.

    Yet there is one thing that most every Examine reader could benefit from, which we could theoretically provide. Something that’s tied to research, but doesn’t involve analyzing and summarizing studies.

    I can’t tell you what that is yet, though. When the idea is more fully fleshed out, and we figure out how much time and money we can dedicate to it, I’ll fill you in. For now, just know that all of us on the Examine team are really, really pumped about the Exciting Super Secret Project!

    “Hard mode” health conditions

    In response to an email from last month, 25% of Examine readers classified themselves as having a health condition that feels all-consuming. That number is astoundingly high.

    I’ve started calling these “Hard mode” conditions. In some video games, you can choose “hard mode” to make gameplay even more difficult. If you still manage to win, you’ll get a boost of satisfaction knowing that you beat tougher obstacles than usual.

    For “hard mode” health conditions, it’s a very similar setup: life can be challenging for most everyone, but if you’re on hard mode, daily life is consistently more difficult.

    But unlike in video games, that boost of satisfaction from winning is usually missing: most of these conditions don’t suddenly go away when you “win”. Nor, sadly, will most of your peers care that you got through another tough day.

    It may sound trite and a tad bit convenient, but Examine cares. Partly because we think about health conditions a lot while looking through research, and partly because some of us have a hard mode condition ourselves and feel extra empathy when we hear of others struggling.

    The most common hard mode conditions that Examine readers reported were:

    There are plenty of other hard mode conditions, but the above came up the most. So our immediate next step is to gather more research on a couple of the above conditions, and start covering them in more detail.

    Examine readers with these conditions want to know more about disease mechanisms and potential current and future treatments, given that there’s rarely a straightforward treatment that works for everyone. As much as time allows, we’re happy to oblige and keep digging.

    Thanks for reading all the way down this email. We’re going to make Examine even more useful and innovative this year, and are glad to have you along for the ride!

    Kamal Patel
    Co-founder, Examine