When the body is running smoothly, you may not give magnesium a second thought. But those who have a magnesium deficiency definitely notice that it’s gone!

I just finished reading the February editorial (“Celebrating #30,” p. 4) and wanted to tell you how moved I am. You have captured the essence of WholeFoods Magazine, and told us what that is, for most including me, probably for the first time. Thank you for your eloquent words.

Jay Jacobowitz, president/founder
Retail Insights
Brattleboro, VT


Longtime readers may remember that my early longevity research centered on antioxidant synergism and selenium. In 1959, I was researching the possible role of selenium as “Factor 3” proposed by Drs. Klaus Swartz and Calvin Foltz in 1958, when I discovered a synergistic role of selenium and vitamin C. At that time, selenium was not known to be an essential nutrient for humans or other animals. In 1973, Rotruck and colleagues discovered that selenium was a component of an essential enzyme (1) and, in 1989, it was discovered that selenium forms the active site in the amino acid selenocysteine (2), which is now known to be the 21st amino acid specified by our genetic code. In fact, unraveling the mysteries of selenium biochemistry has altered our understanding of the genetic code. We now know that there are at least 20 active biochemicals made in humans that contain selenocysteine as their active site, but we still don’t know many of their functions.

Transparency is big these days, especially in our industry. Millions of U.S. shoppers are drawn to natural and organic products in the first place because they want to know exactly what’s in their food, how companies are treating the environment and how growers are compensated.

In a glitzy roll-out last February that featured both First Lady Michelle Obama and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, M.D., the FDA proudly announced its first major changes to nutrition and supplement labeling in more than 20 years. In effect, the Agency proposed “to update the Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods to reflect the latest scientific information, including the link between diet and chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease. The proposed label also would replace out-of-date serving sizes to better align with how much people really eat, and it would feature a fresh design to highlight key parts of the label such as calories and serving sizes” (1).

Over the last number of years, the issue of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has undergone a transformation in the United States. Today, genetically modified (GM) food is a high-profile, politically charged issue with a bearing on public health, environmentalism and the future of the food we all consume.

Recently, an article published in the British Medical Journal attracted a lot of interest because it busts the myth about a decades old dogma (1). Aseem Malhotra, M.D., explained why saturated fat consumption is not a major risk for heart disease, but the common fractured foods and sugar used to replace saturated fats are indeed.

Every business owner does it; thinks about selling from time to time. If you are an independent natural products retail store owner, chances are you’ve owned your store for a decade or more. Could it be time to pass the torch?

On October 7, 1994, in the late evening hours, the Senate passed the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) by unanimous consent.