HomeArticlesWhy Ari Tulla and Tapio Tolvanen founded the precision nutrition service, Elo.

Why Ari Tulla and Tapio Tolvanen founded the precision nutrition service, Elo.

Ari is co-founder of Elo, a dad, a wannabe surfer, and an avid rock climber living in San Francisco. He focuses on solving problems that help people live better lives. Learn about his latest precision nutrition venture, Elo.

Ari Tulla, Elo CEO
5 mins
Caring about your health is one thing. Making the choice to optimize your wellness, and taking your nutrition to the next level, that’s Elo.
A Finnish translation for either “life” or “happiness”, we think Elo is an excellent name for a company that helps you turn nutrition into your best medicine. Elo does this by leveraging your personal biometric data to give you precisely calibrated supplement recommendations, underpinned by science and expert guidance. 

How Elo Works

It starts with a quick, at-home blood test that we use to build a precise micronutrient plan, unique to your needs. Then we ship a personalized daily supplement regimen to you on a monthly basis. We repeat your bloodwork quarterly to ensure continued optimization. Health is dynamic and your supplement regime should be too. 
We call this nutrition with precision.

My Personal Journey

The idea for Elo was born out of personal tragedy and triumph.  My passion for helping others optimize and understand their own health began when my wife, Anu, had a benign tumor removed from her neck, along with part of her thyroid. Her doctors attributed the tumor to hormonal imbalances and, though the surgery was a step in the right direction, it wasn’t a complete resolution.
Months after the procedure, Anu’s hormonal imbalances persisted and we found ourselves shifting our focus from the symptoms to the causes. We started tweaking our already healthy lifestyle by making changes to our diet. We removed gluten, significantly limited added sugar, and shifted to an entirely plant-based, whole foods diet. We also paid more attention to our sleep patterns and made time to exercise daily. We found that these changes drastically improved how we felt, both physically and mentally.

Starting Our Family

Ari Tulla CEO Elo Health - family at beach
With this new foundation of health, my wife and I decided it was time to start a family. But a solid foundation of health just wasn’t enough. After months of trying, we recognized that we needed the support of Western medicine and modern science. We spent two years exhausting all of our available options before recognizing that our last hope was to try in vitro fertilization (IVF).
We were fortunate enough to conceive in the first round. However, the pregnancy ended in tragedy. Anu went into preterm labor at 23 weeks and the baby didn’t survive. There are no words to describe the heartache of losing a child, but this devastating experience led us to explore the reasons for preterm delivery.
Our research brought us face-to-face with many doctors who coached us through our different options for another pregnancy. These years were physically and emotionally exhausting, but the final outcome was worth every bit of struggle. We now have two vibrant, healthy, happy children.

The Right Support Made All The Difference

A good doctor does more than just make the right diagnosis or prescribe the right medicine. Anu and I were lucky enough to find doctors that helped us navigate these impossibly difficult situations and these doctors made all the difference for us. But finding them was not an easy feat. We often felt that choosing a doctor was essentially like a coin toss. We explored different health care tools and search engines, combing through specialist after specialist for months at a time just to find one doctor to address a specific issue. 
This experience spurred me to launch BetterDoctor, a company built on the mission of helping people find the right doctor with efficiency and efficacy. Thanks to my co-founder Tapio Tolvanen and the entire BetterDoctor team we have been able to help tens of millions of Americans find better care. 
Today, BetterDoctor is part of Quest Analytics, a company that builds networks of doctors and is accessed by 200 million Americans each year. I’m incredibly humbled that our family’s health struggles have led to something much bigger. Something that is genuinely helping people live better lives.

Elo: Nutrition with Precision

Elo Health - Precision Nutrition - Daily Packet
After a decade of experience as the CEO of both BetterDoctor and Quest Analytics, I have a unique vantage point of our current healthcare system. I’ve spoken with hundreds of doctors, healthcare leaders, and policymakers, and concluded that the only way to correct the current health trajectory is to transform food from the root cause of disease to our best medicine.
This passion led Tapio Tolvanen and me to found Elo. I believe we need to pay better attention to how our lifestyle - specifically the foods we eat and the way we live – sets the course for our health. Those everyday choices can lead you down a path of sickness or health, and we want to help people change their course.

The Bigger Issue

Chronic health conditions related to diet are the number one cause of death in America. 70% of adults are overweight. We spend $1.7 trillion each year managing these preventable conditions. And if these statistics aren’t scary enough, American life expectancy has declined for the first time since the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic. Good nutrition has the capacity to change all of that. 
I’ve centered my career around building tools to help you make better choices. And now, I want to help you prioritize your health and wellness through personalized and data-driven practices. Choose Elo, choose your health. 
You can now request access to the Elo Sisu100 program at elo.health.