Setting the (Gold) Standard

Way too much of the natural products industry remains ignorant of historical and traditional uses of herbs and nutrients. Just like the mainstream. And while organizations like the American Botanical Council are doing excellent work to raise those standards, so far no one seems to really put it all together. To offer the public the very best “gold standard” possible in dietary supplements.

It’s a project I’ve been working on for years.

I started out on that mission in 1995, working with former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop. When he decided to offer supplements to the public through his website ( through DrKoop LifeCare), he came to me to help him apply these principles. He and I went together to the FDA to propose working with them. Instead of trying to work around them.

FDA officials welcomed us with open arms. They all remembered and respected Dr. Koop for the professionalism (vs. politics) he brought to the US Department of Health and Human Services in the Reagan Administration. And many remembered me as having worked with him under President Reagan. And that I subsequently had been nominated to serve as FDA Commissioner under President Clinton by Senator Harkin (although I had finally just left government at that time, and decided not to take the job). Even without having to spend hundreds of millions of dollars doing new studies on safety and efficacy, FDA officials guided us on how we could gather existing research to meet various levels of review by FDA. And they even volunteered to prioritize certain reviews (as they’d done previously when they re-classifed the acupuncture needle from an “experimental” to “therapeutic” device, partially based on research I compiled for them in 1995).

They even explained a process by which they could grant permission for an “exclusive” right to make a health claim for an initial period of years (the equivalent of “patent protection” in the drug industry) about our products if our ingredients passed muster. They had done their homework and put the lie to two big myths of the dietary supplements industry: that you can never make a health claim, and that you can never get “patent”-like protection for marketing a safe and effective dietary supplement. I got the impression that these guys were true professionals and human beings. They did not want to engage in big fights with a half-cocked natural products industry. And they breathed a sigh of relief that we represented a model for the best science and historical evidence, respecting the requirements of the laws that FDA has to uphold.

Then, a decade ago, the dot-com bubble burst and the effects of 9/11/01 hit the investment markets. And like most online businesses, quickly went under. So the “grand old man” of American medicine and public health, C. Everett Koop, retired.

Another foray into the supplement industry was with the media personality John Tesh. He asked me to help him formulate his HealingMD line of products. Although he did find some credible professionals to work with, including a former medical editor, he remained surrounded by Hollywood types who just wanted the next “big hit” and “quick buck.” And on the verge of success, they convinced him to go back to making CDs and hosting radio shows.

So, once again, the project I believed so passionately about got put on the shelf. But now, after decades of research—and a false start or two—I’ve finally gotten the opportunity to take it back down again. I’ve brushed it off and burnished it brighter with a great and dedicated partner. And am proud and excited to say that I’m in the final stages of making the true Gold Standard in Dietary Supplements available to the public.

It’s called Smart Science Nutritionals. And it’s the first supplement line to deliver the best data and understanding. From both the world of high-powered mainstream medicine and the “alternative” world of natural and nutritional medicine. This means knowing not only the right ingredients but the right doses, chemical forms, and combinations. And staying true to the rich healing history of the ingredients harvested from Nature.

I’m also proud to be able to say that we’re working with what I have found to be the highest-quality, science-based dietary supplement formulators and manufacturers in the world (which I found after two decades of searching and due diligence on site).

How many “johnny-come-lately” physicians or “natural know-it-alls” inspect and study all aspects of the manufacturing facilities on site for their supplements? And, for that matter, how many even know what to look for?

My training in chemistry and my work as a full-time clinical chemist and toxicologist (for the NASA Sky Lab and Space Shuttle programs) in addition to my medical certification in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine have given me invaluable knowledge in this area. I know precisely what to look for in all the technical analyses and instruments that are used to confirm the identity, purity, and quality of all the ingredients we use. In fact, I helped develop some of these analytical instruments as a young chemist during the late 1970’s. Things like Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy and High-Performance Liquid Chromatography—which were originally used in honest-to-goodness “space age” science.

Accordingly, what “Smart Science” Nutritionals does not do is simply jump on the latest marketing fad in the natural products industry. We will never claim something is “new” unless it offers a truly innovative approach. One backed by science, as well as being supported by historic usage.

Right now, we’re putting the final touches on some truly unique and exciting formulations. All of them combining the very best science and nature have to offer. I will keep you posted on our progress. And you’ll be the very first to know when these gold-standard formulas are in stock.

In the meantime, you can rest assured that I am not just a “natural know-it-all” or TV guru who was never trained to understand and advance human biology or medicine. And I’m certainly not just another “johnny-come-lately” physician who suddenly discovered that “natural medicine” could be added to my medical practice as a profit center.

But I do have a strong belief that Natural approaches make the most sense—both biologically and medically. And I have dedicated my entire life—from my earliest education and training, throughout my professional career—to gathering all the history, information, and science necessary to prove the true healing potential of Nature.

And there’s simply no doubt in my mind that that the Natural approach is the smartest approach.