Here are some highlights from the last 34 years. Vitamin Express
introduced many remarkable products. Back in 1982 spirulina, the single cell spiral algae high in protein was very popular. It's sources were mainly Mexico and Africa. Then it was developed in Japan and Hawaii and remains to this day an effective aid for energy and nutrition high in phenylalanine a precursor to tyrosine as a mood elevator and brain nutrient. It became necessary to add calcium to balance out the high phosphorus content.
One of the first foreign nutrient formula requests was for Gerovital or GH3 by Dr. Ana Aslan of Romania. It was not available in the US because of its anti-aging claims, so it was our first introduction to restrictions and what was available for sale. Now it is available in the original formula and we are selling it. The research was remarkable and to this day represents one of the most accurate and thorough double blind studies ever produced with remarkable published results.
Next was the elusive "B-15" from the famous Krebbs Laboratory in San
Francisco. After being banned in the US it traveled to Canada and
ultimately the USSR, just in time for the World Olympics. In Russia it
was called Aangamik, and later after returning to the US as a remarkable enhancer of stamina was changed
from pangamic acid to the active ingredient, pure DMG (di-methylglycine). Now it is one of the most impressive nutrients available for runners, cyclists and endurance athletes.
At the same time from Japan arrived chlorella with its extraordinary benefits. It came at a time of dire need with the advent of the AIDS epidemic proving itself beneficial in many ways, especially with CGF - Chlorella Growth Factor.
Also from Japan came Dr. Asahai's Cancer Clinic trace mineral nutrient germanium sesquioxide--a most amazing trace element that gave a new perspective and adjunct to aid the treatment of cancer and help reduce aging through the oxygenation of cells.
From Hawaii there emerged a whole new methodology for cellular health
developed by Dr. James Fahey with the use of wheat sprouts grown in a fashion
that significantly aided the body's production of anti-oxidant enzymes.
Once high levels anti-oxidant enzymes such as super oxide dismutase, and glutathione reductase
to name two are attained, a whole new level of health developed.
Customer responses were astounding with reports of toxic therapies bad
effects reduced, degenerative issues greatly reversed and energy
improvements. Radiant health was obtainable as even the skin radiated
the benefits of anti-oxidant enzyme activity. Athletes especially found benefits from the added methionine reductase present in the Runner's Formula.
Nature contains the miracle of life and as nutritional science progressed from its roots of discovering vitamins such as E, C and B vitamins back in the 1930's and 1940's, more and more knowledge of the benefits they provided increased. With the role of epigenetics a whole new world of health was possible to envision.
Vitamin A was lauded as the most important nutrient to help protect against cancer. Shortly afterwards it was vilified and as genetic research emerged Vitamin A appeared more important to health than ever. Vitamin D finally got its recognized place in the sun as well. This continuing recognition is insured by the Vitamin D Council's wealth of thousands of published research studies extolling its benefits from bone to mental health.
Meanwhile research found some vitamins weren't doing anything. Something was wrong. There was a barrier to their effectiveness. So scientists dug deeper and found aging had a great impact on health because often, almost universally, the body's ability to convert basic nutrients,such as Pantothenic Acid into its co-factor, didn't work. To correct this problem, manufacturers with scientists developed co-factor products. The co-factor pantethine went on to provide what pantothenic acid B-5 had failed to do in the aging population.
Soon other nutrients were offered as co-factors. Aging health was enhanced dramatically when B-6 became P-5-P pyridoxal-5-phosphate and one by one other nutrient enhancements took place from co-factors of nutrients.
Other nutrients followed the course - special forms of Vitamin E created a whole new scientific understanding of benefits- the tocotrienols were high anti-oxidant performers, the d-gamma tocopherols benefit prostate cancer and the list grew and grew as more universities throughout the world studied these nutrients.
Vitamin C became available in a multitude of forms such as ascorbates with various minerals attached to retain its health giving properties longer in the body. Then along came the big change for Vitamin C--ascorbyl palmitate, an oil soluble form of C the body could store in the organs, skin, and brain to be used to help maintain cellular health.
All the while three new fronts of scientific work were simultaneously generating new exciting worlds of their own, still deeply connected to the rest of the world of nutrition. These three categories were amino acids, hormones, and new nutrient discoveries.
Amino acids seemed to break all boundaries of nutrient expectations. They are the very essence of our being and basis for nature's genome. Probably the most important one for us is L-Glutamine. Genetically it is our base. There are hundreds of amino acids. Presently science recognizes the number will grow with time and has some understanding of around 26 for the human body.
L-Arginine, L-Lysine, L-Ornithine were the first to hit the market in a big way. It all stemmed from books such as Thomas Mann's "Anti-aging" on longevity and Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw's book "Life Extension". Especially the body building community sought these nutrients for physical fitness and enhanced release of growth hormone.
L-Lysine of course was sought as the country went through what seemed an epidemic of herpes virus. Especially with the AIDS epidemic many nutrients became recognized for their immune benefits, especially propolis and zinc. Minerals got their biggest push in the 1980's when for the first time medical doctors were extolling a nutrient and it was calcium. Unfortunately they were not extolling magnesium at the same time.
By the 1990's many of the amino acids were available with more to come--L-Glycine, L-Phenylalanine, DLPA, L-Tyrosine, L-Taurine, L-Carnitine, L-inosine, and the BIG seller that out shone them all L-Tryptophan.
L-Tryptophan was the new kid on the block and so effective and remarkable that all competition fell in its wake. It aided restful sleep, it help make menstrual cycles comfortable, it helped reduce stress, it helped to stop binge eating, thereby reducing weight. In a short time it took over the market. It was the biggest success story in nutritional history and it saturated the marketplace- health stores, drug stores, grocery stores. It was found everywhere. .
Then the dark moment came. The major Japanese supplier changed
filtering system and somehow e-coli bacteria got through the filters and
into the product. Only food grade L-tryptophan had the problem but it
was enough to shut everything down and vilify L-tryptophan, eradicating
it from the market. The next moment the pharmaceutical industry
introduced Prozac and in the end it became America's answer to stress,
not L-tryptophan. Hospitals, of course, were still using it. It is so
important that there really is no alternative. We do get it in our food
as well. Interestingly enough, pharmaceutical grade L-tryptophan was
used to cure people who suffered from the e-coli attack. So for about 20
years it was absent from the market and now is back and again growing in popularity.
One of the clear successes for the industry was the passage by Congress of DSHEA, Dietary Supplement Health & Education Act.
However, one of the losses was the compromise made for passage by the
pharmaceutical ensconced Senators who saw to it that on every bottle,
every sheet of information about a product is stated "This product is
not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease." As we all
know- intention is everything and so is prevention! To state that Vitamin C does not prevent scurvy is an absurdity and many other deficiency diseases exist that are easily reversed through vitamin therapy. However, these nutrients cannot be patented and therefore enormous profits are reduced to moderate ones.
In fact DSHEA become a noose as the government's FDA severely tried
to increase the term disease to include pregnancy, menstruation, and
other natural health conditions, such as menopause. Where there is no
relevant discussion in the public about nutritional supplements and the
benefits, there is not education and where there's no education- there's
Worse the FDA has had a requirement agreed to at signing to provide rules and regulations for introducing new products and nutrients to the market place. That's all well and fine until it comes to doing it. Thirty years later they finally came forward and the rules were presented to the horror of the industry, the same format as a pharmaceutical drug- and still not completed. Meanwhile the mere mention that a nutrient may help protect against influenza can result in jail time.
Now you must understand the difference between the two terms- pharmaceutical and nutraceutical. Pharmaceutical drugs do harm and any benefit needs to be closely monitored with any number of bad effects warranting immediate cessation. They are pharmaceuticals. The word "pharma" comes from the Greek meaning "poison". "Ceutical" is Greek for "medicine"..
Vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, minerals are nutraceuticals. "Nutra" stands for "nutritional" medicines. These provide benefits and rarely and only under special conditions could cause harm, such as getting too much iron, too much of a single nutrient that is not properly balanced or following its proper use.
Finally the nail in the coffin is that the government wants every
formula, every nutrient of every company to follow their costly
drug-like procedure resulting in the destruction of the industry with
elimination of most companies to only a few large rich companies. That
will greatly diminish creative enterprise and adding new successful
This would be a great loss to the health of the
country where it is well established that hundreds of millions of
dollars each year are saved by nutritional supplementation. However, slowly the industry is being bought by large corporate interests and effective products once offered slashed from availability.
Another remarkable advance was in the increasing number of digestive and proteolytic enzymes available by manufacturers with great benefits in digestion and reducing inflammation.
Moving onward hormonal health represents a great category breakthrough. When hormones are out of balance much harm and suffering occurs. One by one the health industry provided melatonin, DHEA, pregnenolone and again the biggest popular product natural progesterone, not to be confused in any way with synthetic progesterone, with the introduction by Ray Peat and popularization by Dr. John Lee and follow-ups by Clara Felix proved to be the answer to many women's hormonal health issues in a safe and effective way, especially menopausal issues.
Third is the category of remarkable achievements by science with the introduction of alpha-lipoic acid, CoQ10 (ubiquinone and unbiquinol), AHCC (Active Hexose Correlated Compound), and the newest vitamin since the discovery of B12- PQQ (Pyrroloquinoline quinone) discovered by J.G. Hauge. At the same time more nutrients emerged such as L-Theanine and a renewed interest in GABA, phosphatidyl serine, and inositol-IP6.
Throughout this narrative I have left one of the biggest categories out, mostly because of its complexity. It is singularly established with a major health and medicinal role in human history. Herbs are the medicine of the world and an unending source of pharmaceutical medicine as well. It's interesting how an herb can be of great benefit then the active ingredient isolated, combined with a few additives, and suddenly becomes a pharmaceutical- poison medicine offering great promise and high risks.
Herbs are nature's complexity multiplied over and over. Plants have the ability to mutate and adapt beyond comprehension. Herbs can live in dire conditions, even to the point of being within a highly radioactive environment.
Medicine in this country up until the early 1900's based most of their remedies upon herbal medicine. It was the age of the Eclectics and the bible of medicinal use was the King's American Dispensatory- almost 2200 pages, two volumes of individual plants names, botanical sources, history, description and chemical composition, action, medicinal usage, dosage, specific indications and uses and related species.
Herbs remain a unique and special category unto themselves with a complexity of composition and use that through time and now research proves their worth beyond measure.
The most popular herbs are ones for restful sleep, immunity, stress. Tea companies like Seelect, and Celestial Seasonings pioneered the market place. Later, tea drinks became popular with the first company to start it all called Sunhillow by Bill Karneges. Later Knudsen, Heinke and others got on board.
In the health industry herbs were approached cautiously because they did things. Things you weren't supposed to say or talk about, like: "It cured my cancer" absolutely forbidden. So many formulas remain that make no claims to their uses, such as the Essiac Formula or Scudder's Alterative, yet they have a long and full amazing history.
We watched as Ginseng, Green Tea, and Echinacea became more popular followed by Saint John's Wort, Rhodiola, Holy Basil, Turmeric (Curcumin), and within it all the melding and mixing of Chinese Medicinal Herbs, Ayurvedic Herbalogy, American Indian, South American and African Herbs entering the marketplace and now even a horrific conflict over the production and distribution of Peruvian Maca.
Finally, no list can leave out mushrooms, a unique category that even contains the largest living organism known on earth. Mushrooms variety and use for immunity, longevity and brain function are extraordinary! From Reishi, shitake, Lion's Mane and Chaga to Corriolus and AHCC.Vitamin Express is often on the cutting edge of nutrients that support health, health issues, such as food irradiation, and the downside of fluoride. Along this avenue we have encountered a new overly obtrusive barrier to health of such magnitude that we have put much effort into researching it and ultimately providing an aid to help protect the body from its harmful influences.
EMF (electro-magnetic fields) and dirty electricity has engulfed our own electrical system pushing us nearer and nearer to a health catastrophe. This must be dealt with at the national level as well as community level. For now RayGuard appears to be our best available means to help reduce its harmful effects on an individual basis.As time goes forward we will preent information that science has found regarding these and other issues.
Thank you for patiently reading through this long narrative.
Best of health, Michael