Last month, we discussed with Dr. Robert Smith how the media distorted a questionable observational study with multivitamins. Just as scientists were setting the record straight about that study, a vitamin E study captured headlines. Fortunately, Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D., quickly distributed accurate information through the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service (OMNS). Dr. Saul was kind enough to further discuss vitamin E and the recent report with us.

Giving seminars around the country, I ask natural products retailers to tell me why they think it is important to tell the story of their store. “Because we care,” says one. “Because we’re knowledgeable,” answers another. “Because we help,” offers yet a third. All true. But the most important reason in my view is, if you don’t tell the story of your store—what you do, and why and how you do it—the world will gladly fill in the vacuum left by your silence.

Were you like the millions of Americans who rang in the New Year by making a resolution for 2012? Funny thing about those resolutions. They rarely make it to the spring. Here’s a resolution I challenge you to keep: Get to know that person staring back at you in the mirror a little better.

The human liver performs about 500 vital functions in the body! So, it is important to understand that some of our everyday practices could seriously interrupt liver functions and cause diseases that can otherwise be avoided. Knowing which foods and supplements can benefit the liver can take you a long way in staying healthy (1).

Let’s clarify what a recent study of multivitamins actually found and put this one study in perspective with the larger body of scientific evidence on multivitamins. The “take home” message is that most people are not getting the recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals solely from their diets and are healthier with supplementation to overcome their multiple deficiencies. Secondly, no, there is no valid scientific evidence that taking multivitamins shortens anyone’s life. Dr. Robert Smith and I will discuss some of the most important details later in this column.

What started out as just an idea has now become reality. When I first heard in early July that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had just released its Draft Guidance for Industry: Dietary Supplements: New Dietary Ingredient Notifications and Related Issues, almost my first thought was that the watershed date of October 15, 1994, set in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA)—which defines as “new” any dietary ingredients introduced into the marketplace after that date and requires their notification to the FDA before sale—had to be changed.

In 1986, Top Gun and Crocodile Dundee were hot on the Silver Screen. Americans bought countless cassettes and records of the hit song, “That’s What Friends Are For.” And for many of the participants in the 2011 WholeFoods Retailer Survey, it was right around the time they got their start in natural products retailing. With an average age of 25 years old, these stores’ legacies now span four decades, all of it beginning at an important time in natural products’ history.

Welcome to the 2011 edition of the WholeFoods Who’s Who of Manufacturers and Suppliers, the only reference tool of its kind in the natural products industry. On our eDirectory, you will find listings of hundreds of companies and thousands of individuals who work for these companies. Using this directory, you’ll be able to track down company names when you know the person you are looking for or vice versa.

If you’ve browsed the vitamin/supplement aisle of your local natural products store, you may have noticed the strange bundle of letters and numbers, “CoQ10,” on some labels. Looking beyond its mysterious title, we discuss its benefits and the two forms in which it comes: ubiquinone and ubiquinol.