frank lampe unpa

The two recent actions by Eric Schneiderman, New York’s attorney general, against eight (and counting?) companies selling botanical products in retail outlets in New York serves as a reminder of a couple of harsh truths for industry:

You spend your days helping others achieve optimal health, but what about your store? As the old adage goes, it is always the cobbler’s children that have no shoes. So, with March in full swing, and your vitamin and supplement sales at their annual peak, now is a good time to plan how you will optimize your slower summer months. Here are a few things you can think about to help get your store in good shape—optimal health, if you will.

Last month, we began our discussion about magnesium being one of the most important nutrients with Andrea Rosanoff, Ph.D. We examined how magnesium is involved in nearly every chemical reaction in the body that requires energy to proceed. Paramount is magnesium’s role in activating adenosine 5’-triphosphate (ATP)—a biochemical that Dr. Rosanoff called the “Battery of Life.”

I was driving to the office one Tuesday morning when I heard a news report that ended up occupying my attention for the week to come. Results from DNA testing of herbal supplements—requested by New York’s attorney general Eric Schneiderman—painted a dark picture of the supplement industry. Several store brand products had reportedly failed identity tests by including ingredients in the formulas that weren’t supposed to be there and by leaving out important active herbal ingredients. The commentator implied in a mocking tone that companies had tried to circumvent those “pesky DNA tests.”

Jonny Bowden

What can you do to protect your heart?

You have probably heard of the newly popular diet trend known as the Paleo Diet, which involves eating how your ancestors did over 2.5 million years ago. Although this diet doesn’t match caveman eating habits exactly, consuming nutrient-rich foods in whole form has always been a healthy choice for our bodies, even in the 21st century. As the Paleo Diet may not be for everybody, learn the pros and cons before you try it out.

One of the most important nutrients is the mineral magnesium. It is so basic that its importance can easily be overlooked. Yet, nearly every nutritional researcher I chat with makes a point to include magnesium in our discussions. As examples, I devoted much emphasis to magnesium in my Supernutrition Books. Stephen Sinatra, M.D., made magnesium one of his “Four Pillars.” Fred Kummerow, Ph.D., discussed magnesium in our recent interview (October and November issues). Lendon Smith, M.D., stressed magnesium for nerves.

Angelika Tritscher, the World Health Organization representative to Codex Alimentarius meetings, aptly posed a question to the Codex delegates assembled at a Food Contaminants meeting in Moscow last year, “How can we keep Codex relevant?” In posing this question, Dr. Tritscher quickly cut to the heart of the potential downfall of Codex. My response to Dr. Tritscher’s question was, “If Codex wants to remain relevant to consumers, then it must create food standards that are truly healthy and make sense.”

I recently heard that only 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions keep them. If you’re looking for a goal you can actually accomplish, consider one that’s within your reach and beneficial to those far and wide: lobbying on behalf of your company and this industry.