by Steve Bruner
The Beginning: From computers to supplements…
One of my best friends, Bob Rutledge, an engineer, invented Metabolite back in the mid 90s. His diet product was an overnight success, propelling him into the big leagues. He reinvested his profits into a chain of vitamin stores, and began to run into walls. It’s one thing to be an inventor and entirely another to run a business. Bob who is one of my best friends came to me and asked me to help him figure out what to do. As a friend, and not for money, I agreed to help Bob. I was doing well in the computer industry working as an executive for a Fortune 100 company. Bob is a certifiable genius and whatever he was up to always intrigues me. To this day, we have remained good friends and still collaborate on projects. He says Natural Biology is doing what few companies in the vitamin industry have dared to do, actually put health first.
What’s that odd shelf all about…
Bob kept his personal office in the back of one of his stores near his house. In this store there was a shelf out front behind the counter none of the other stores had. Bob is also an engineer and everything is ordered and in place. One day that shelf caught my eye because it seemed so out-of-place, so I asked Bob why it was there. He said his top customer for that store was a nutritionist who sent all her clients to his store to pick up the same 6-8 products each week, so he put this shelf up to accommodate them. It quickly occurred to me, he had over a thousand different products in the store, so why was she only recommending only 8 products.
Then Bob said something that changed my life. He said, if everyone knew what the nutritionist knew he could probably carry less than a handful of products, probably less than 2 dozen. "WHAT" I said, "TELL ME MORE." Instinctively, I knew there was a hidden truth in what he was saying and I wanted to know more. The more Bob talked it seemed to me the entire vitamin industry was built upon myths. It is not that vitamins themselves are the myth. It’s just that the industry packages and presents it in a way that keeps people confused. We are all aware we are probably not getting all the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, and amino acids from our diets, but what’s the best approach to supplement. Then we all have our aches and issues, and experience periods of low energy. Whatever the buzz of the industry is, whatever is hot, is what the industry tells us we need.
Each buzz eventually runs out of energy and the new buzz brings us the next greatest thing. As I write this article, the buzz is CBD oil, which has merit, but is equally complicated – and we are a long way from affordable CBD we can trust. The buzz in recent years has been acai, B-12, ionic minerals, rain forest products, super foods, green powders, turmeric, and so on. Most of these trends actually have valid science behind them. The problem is how the industry packages the products, often putting the lowest quality ingredients without the required active ingredient profile to match the science. If the major study says you need 300mg of 95% Green Tea Extract with 45% ECGC why do companies sell 50mg at 80% without ECGCs but make the claims of the good stuff.
Most vitamin companies just ride the wave of profits of a particular ingredient until the next hot products gets some press and the entire industry shifts to exploit it. In subsequent articles I’ll talk about how supplement companies corrupt the science to fit their products rather than making products that fit the science. Natural Biology goes with the science first and always. We never sacrifice the quality of our products to cheat the science.
Bottom-line, in the supplement industry as a whole, it’s about profits first and health second – when it should be the other way around. In 2001, I was a VP of an 8-billion-dollar computer distribution business that existed off less than 10% margins. Supplement manufacturers make 20-40 times what a product cost to manufacture, and often the contents (the ingredients you take) cost less than the packaging. Multi-level marketing companies represent about 30% of supplements and they have to make these type of margins to sustain the layers of people who get a slice. A typical vitamin store makes 50% margins. The distributor selling to them makes another 10-25% - and the manufacture is making usually at a minimum a 200-300% mark-up. So you take a typical $50 product in a vitamin store, it cost the manufacture less than $5 to make. With this type of model, it encourages companies to make the cheapest products possible. Natural Biology changed the supply chain so we could put the difference into science and quality, putting health first. We are one of the few that do. We put what other companies give to all the middlemen into high quality ingredients without having to cut corners.
I left Bob’s store with all 8 products, and started taking them religiously everyday. I wanted to see if this was indeed the code to crack the mystery of supplements. I’ve always been athletic and conscious of health, but vitamin stores intimidated me. When I went into a GNC I always felt like I was taking health advice from a part-time clerk who may or may not know what they are talking about. They’d say I need to take this and that, and before you knew it the bill over the top. (Did you know the average Walmart shopper who takes their supplements spends more than $100 per month – and that is for stuff I wouldn’t even consider putting in my body)
I began to realize early on, vitamin companies were not doing any of us any favors. The bottom-line is they are making supplements as cheap as they can and selling them for as much as they can.
We all want to lose weight, gain weight, have more energy, improve our hair, skin, nails, pains and aches, brain, eyes, digestion, etc. The vitamin industry puts thousands of promises on the shelves asking us to take a chance. Most vitamin people end up with a shelf or two of products with mixed results, but still go to the doctor, get sick, sleep poorly, and do not have enough energy everyday. If the science is there and the products represent the science, everyone should have great results. So early on I realized there was a real problem and I wanted to be part of the solution.
Example: A lot of people take condrotin and glucosamine supplements for arthritis or for joint issues. The science says you need to take 1500mg of each ingredient for a considerable time period, no less than 3 months and most likely 6 months to properly evaluate. Assuming this is the best solution for your problem, and it may not be, you need to be committed for six months just to see if it works. This is so true of many ingredients in the supplement industry. We are increasingly treating natural ingredients like medicines, and while they have medicinal powers, they are not drugs. Good supplements work on the principles Hippocrates developed over 2,500 years ago, give your body what it needs to heal itself. Hippocrates is famous for saying “heal yourself.” For example, you can take medical HGH shots with a prescription from your physician. It has tremendous benefits, is expensive, and also has side-effects and perhaps dependency; or, you can stimulate your pituitary gland to produce more of your own HGH naturally with our OxyHGH supplement; however, OxyHGH works exponentially better if you take it at bedtime on an empty stomach. If you want to insure it works as well as it can, follow the directions, and take a product like 4GRAMS to insure your body and all its systems have the support of micro-nutrients: antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, and omega 3s. With a solid foundation we call CORE all condition specific supplements we call LAYES work so much more effectively. Understanding natural ingredients, how they work, having realistic expectations, knowing what you need to do, is what a good supplement program is all about.
As I began to take the supplements off that shelf in Bob’s store, 20-30 pills every day, something began to happen. I felt calmer, more energetic, and was sleeping better. It didn’t happen the first week, but by the end of the first month, I was noticing a difference. The retail price of all these supplements was over $400, and then even with my best friend discount, it was costing me over $250 per month. I remember telling someone I felt like a teenager. I hit the floor in the morning, still drinking coffee, but not really needing it, just enjoying it; whereas before, I consumed a pot of coffee to get me going Furthermore, I drank coffee, diet cokes, Red Bull (really bad stuff) – all day. Now I drink 1-2 cups of coffee or green tea, and mostly water the rest of the day. I no longer need a caffeine fix.
Making the trip to the Tampa lab opened my eyes particular after reading Dr. Linus Paulilng….
When I founded Natural Biology in 2002, that shelf and those 8 products became my life's mission. It's the first thing I think of everyday. I’ve wanted to perfect the daily protocol of the average supplement user, insuring they are receiving a balanced and comprehensive approach. At heart, I am a researcher. I have a desire to get to the bottom of anything I study, too see how things work. Studying Dr. Linus Pauling, winner of 2 Nobel Prizes, and the founding father of Orthomolecular Medicine, Dr. Pauling discovered if we get the proper micro-nutrients to our cells, our cells are protected, repaired, and rejuvenated. We get sick less often and have more energy to live out our lives – in state of well-being, putting our best foot forward.
While helping Bob, we made trip to a Tampa Florida lab where Metabolite was made. The owner had a PhD in chemistry and I noticed a lot of products I recognized. It was an impressive factory. I went there to support Bob but also with one other intention. Bob was a true believer in the health of supplements but as a business he was more interested in the profits of weight loss products, and ephedra drove that industry at the time. (Ephedra has since been banned by the FDA because many people abused it taking hundreds of times the required dosage)
I showed the owner of the lab the 8 products I was taking and asked “can you reduce these 8 products to a couple of products so people who want to take this protocol can take less products, less pills, and get the same results.” He immediately laughed and replied “of course I can, but why would you want to.” He went on to explain in the supplement industry you make more money by keeping people confused, taking more products, and even the thought of making a few products horrified him. I was stunned. I came from the computer industry where the technology made major leaps forward every six months, and we were constantly looking for a better way. This genius was telling me there was a better way but he’d rather make more profits and laugh all the way to bank. He even told me he never took supplements. I had always represented products I believed in and used, and this guy was making a living making millions of vitamin capsules everyday and didn’t even indulge his own handy work.
I left the Tampa lab realizing there is a real crisis in the supplement world, and maybe, just maybe someone should look into this. My first attempt was a company called Green Mountain Research with a good friend, but we were both too naïve and in some ways to good for the supplement industry. We tried our best but the company never got it legs. I tried to walk away from the supplement world at that moment, but I just couldn’t let go the notion that a quality solution was out there.
For the past 16 years, I wake up each morning with one goal in mind, to find the perfect supplement. We are getting a lot closer everyday and the beauty of Natural Biology is we just keep putting everything we discover into the supplements we sell. Our formulations are progressive, improving all the time. Along this journey, I’ve discovered the best science from major university studies, and I’ve searched the world over , land and sea, for the best ingredients. That’s the beauty of our goal, in trying to find the perfect supplement, we’ve had to study and analyze every ingredient worldwide, and we have selected a few and eliminated thousands. Cost has never been a determining factor, only the science. . Finding the right ingredients is one thing, but then finding a place to properly process them to preserve the natural active ingredients is another challenge. Natural Biology has formulated over 30 unique products and we have steadily reduced our product line to focus on the products we call the CORE (4GRAMS, VITA-TRATES, EVEREST Earth & Sea, VINTAGE RESVERATROL 100%, OKINAWA CORAL CALCIUM, ARCTIC OCEAN KRILL OIL, & NORWEGIAN OMEGA 3) – those daily supplements every adult needs to insure their cells are fully nourished, protected, repaired, and rejuvenated. We believe most of us only need 2-3 products if they are the right products, and the right products eliminate the need for a lot of other unnecessary products.
Today Natural Biology has reduced that shelf of 8 products, 30 pills per day plus powders, to 2-3 products, taking 8-9 pills. Our solution is more effective, balanced, and comprehensive than those 8 products I started off with. For example, today you can take 5 capsules of 4GRAMS, 2 softgels of either Norwegian Omega 3 or Artic Ocean Krill Oil, and 1-2 capsules of Vintage Resveratrol for one of the best supplement protocols ever in our search for the ideal supplement. This protocol is superior to the protocol I first took which was a combination of 8 products, 30 pills per day, plus powdered drinks. The irony is some people are still taking too many products that are not delivering micro-nutrients to your cells - and that is the key to a great supplement.
Natural Biology's Goal is to Find the Perfect Daily Supplement
Coming Soon. Stay tune for Part 2 where we show you the progress we've made.