Good Research and the Business Model of Supplements
Two opposite worlds in Contrast
by Steve Bruner
I have read and compiled data from thousands of university studies. This is called a meta-analysis of data and we use this is a primary research tool at Natural Biology Labs. As the Chief Science Officer my job is to evaluate research, looking for the common threads of success in natural ingredients, understanding what is proven, what has promise, and knowing the difference between fact, myth, and folklore. So many times I want something to be true that just does not stand up to our total analysis.
I would like to make a difference in your life by sharing my analysis and understanding of supplements with you. I’ll even tell you before this series of articles is over how I modeled Natural Biology after the technology industry. I worked for Fortune 100 companies as an executive for twenty years in the computer industry. Technology operates from a superior business model compared to the supplement industry. Supplement companies say “make it for less and sell it higher than they should because they use hyperboles to inflate the value.” Technology companies compete in a world where you say “make the very best and sell it at market prices.” That is what Natural Biology does!
Today, we live in exciting times. We have access to much better ingredients if you can find them. The market is overwhelmed with Chinese ingredients because they are cheaper. I would estimate over 90% of all the ingredients used in hundreds of brands in your typical GNC or vitamin store come from China. Some are okay but how do you know the difference? The only way you can know is if you fully trust and understand the motivation of the company behind the product.
Let me give you an example. 99% of all Royal Jelly, Propolis, and Bee Pollen comes from China that is sold in the USA. At Natural Biology after heavy metal testing, purity of product testing, and toxic testing, we reject 9 out of 10 Bee ingredients from China. We ultimately find the good ones but it takes time. Remember, China is the most polluted country in the world. If you’ve been there you know what I mean.
Another fundamental problem exist with the supplement business model. You cannot trademark or patent a natural ingredient. You can invent a process and trademark it but that doesn’t necessarily make it any better. For example, today most physicians prescribe what they call a Prescription Omega 3 fish oil. Essentially it is a high quality concentrate. The cost is about 5-10 times the cost of what it should cost but the drug companies get a drug patent for it by the process they use and run the cost up. One area of concern is as drug companies get into supplements they will increase profit margins, thus cost, and most ingredients may become artificial. As long as it’s legal, don’t fear, Natural Biology will continue to source and offer the purest and natural ingredients available.
For example, Natural Biology uses a Grape Seed Extract that cost $185 per kilo whereas most companies use Grape Seed extract from China that cost approx. $25 per kilo; however, I would suggest our Grape Seed Extract is twenty to thirty times better than what our competitors use and yet it cost only 7-8 times more. Guess what. Drug companies are making a synthetic grape seed that cost $1800 and it’s taking off. It’s a rip off. Here again, are you a survivor or a victim?
Let me give you an example of how the business of supplements is difficult. Back in 2002 Natural Biology formulated a great arthritis and pain cream called Super Blue RX. There were competitive products on the market but not nearly as good. The competition was selling their products for approx. $50 in 2 oz containers. We made a much better product in a 16 oz container and sold it for $30. The problem was the 16 oz container lasted our customers forever and we did not get enough repeat business because it lasted too long. As a result a year or two later when our customers came back to buy the product, we were out and they were upset because they knew how good they had it.
By the way, we make supplements the same way and the difference is people use them everyday - so while we do not enjoy the huge profits of other supplements companies, we make it work because we get repeat business; our customers are our best form of advertising; we cut out the fluff. This has allowed us to put more into the product and fulfill a dream of making what I believe are some of the best supplements in history.
The purpose of the TRANSCEND articles is to try to convey in layman terms, easy-to-understand concepts that can transform your understanding so you can change your Natural Biology for the better and realize a better you. With all of my soul I believe this is possible. It’s a journey and not a magic pill.
Natural Biology formulates supplements based on the ortho-molecular research model of medicine developed by two time Nobel-Prize winner Dr. Linus Pauling. He believed that if you changed the environment of your body’s chemistry at the cellular level (using natural micro-nutrients provided by nature) you could find balance and the key to health excellence. He set forth a plethora of paradigms for doing this. To put it in layman’s terms, the philosophy was to saturate with your cells with micro-nutrients (antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, Omega 3, etc) that improved cellular function.
Your Systems & Organs Are Cells
Every organ makes up your body systems and everything starts with a cell. Your brain, digestive system, skin, hair, cardiovascular system, immune system, hormones, etc. – all are made from cells. Healthy cells make healthy people. Healthy cells provide plenty of energy for physical and mental function. For example, brain fog is a result of low brain energy!
Mitochondria is the Powerhouse of Every Cell
A large part, if not the most important part, of a healthy cell is the how healthy is the mitochondria. The mitochondria is the powerhouse of every cell. If it is functioning at peak capacity then your cells operate much more efficiently in providing energy and fighting off foreign invaders. Feeling tired lately, guess what – for some reason, your cells are tired. Take away what is making your cells tired and also give them what they need, and you will suddenly find you have energy. Sometimes this is a relatively quick fix. Other times it takes some time – from weeks to months to years depending how bad down the cellular spiral you have fallen. The promise however is you can change your natural biology and transcend. Just like you can damage your DNA from bad habits like smoking, there is a growing body of evidence that says you can improve your DNA .
What People Say Who are Transcending
To Transcend you need to understand why it might not be possible for you unless you come to an honest appraisal of yourself, your habits, your tendencies, your addictions, etc. Still it is possible and supplements often help give you the push to overcome and get your will power working toward living a more fulfilled life.
Transcending is a process and either you are or you aren’t. People when taking a high quality supplement program describe the experience as being in the “zone” an almost euphoric experience. Several times each day I personally feel this rush – usually hours after I take my supplements. Just this morning I busy early and forgot to take my supplements first thing. About 10:00 I noticed I felt scattered brain and stressed. I stopped and took my morning supplements, and within minutes I was functioning at a higher level and was motivated to finish this article - and even took out the trash.
Of course I can kill my improved state of being (mind, body, and soul) by consuming large amounts of sugar, failing to get some daily sunshine, failing to exercise, or something happening that stresses me out. Sugar and carbohydrates are my worst enemy. In fact, I am guilty of being a sugar addict. I love sweets. They don’t love me. I find when I lay off sweets not only do my supplements work better but I can handle stress even better. Better yet, if I do sweets exercise can offset some of the negative effects.
You will notice I include my soul as part of my “state of being.” As a Christian my soul is my spirit and my will. If I choose bad, then I am willing myself to have poor results. This does affect my will power because if I have low energy, lack of focus, etc. - then I find it harder to will myself to do good for myself. I believe God wants the best for me and have given me good information and good resources to do good for myself. Sugar is my drug, my alcohol, my addiction. If I can control it, then I function at a higher level - and I get the full impact of my supplements which give me a “WHOW” effect - so much better than a sugar high or comfort food.
When I feel more “WHOW” then I am prone to exercise more consistently and get outside and enjoy life to its fullest. Life is like a puzzle we keep trying to get all the pieces working together. The key is to keep trying no matter how often you misplace a piece of the puzzle. Don’t be optimistic. Be a realist and realize this is not easy for most of us. If you develop a good ethic of implementing what you know, chances are if you know it and reinforce that belief then you will succeed. We are changed by the “transforming of our minds” so we can choose better and will ourselves to live life to the fullest.