True Natural Health: How We Got Here, Where We’re Going
“This is the irony of professional, therapeutic medicine: the medicine with the studies and substantial financial backing does not truly qualify as medicine at all.”
In the 1980’s, the natural health industry was still an anomaly. The best-selling loaf of bread was Wonder Bread (though the “wonder” was more wondering how those ingredients could make bread). Lean Cuisine dinners and Sugar Free Jell-O were considered healthy options.
In the 1800’s, the idea of using chemicals in farming was proposed by Justus von Liebig, who noticed that certain chemical imbalances in soil affected soil fertility and lowered crop yields. However, farmers did not embrace “book farming,” and it fell out of favour until 1939. That year, Paul Müller discovered dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, or DDT, which was the most effective insecticide known to date. DDT was heavily used in World War II to control typhus; after the war, its use spread to farms and around the house, along with other war-manufactured products.
Following the chemical influence over food was supplementation of food. Food had become deficient in nutrition. In the 1970’s, mainstream supplements like Centrum came out. Owned by Pfizer, Centrum has a huge advantage in the medical field, as they have the same access to doctors as Pfizer does. Ironically, though, despite this professional access, Centrum’s ingredient list contains more non-active ingredients than vitamins and minerals. Still, this trend of large corporations owning natural products has continued to dominate, and in 2013, the natural health industry was worth over $109 billion. The features distinguishing truly natural products from “natural products” in name only have become more blurred, though. As of 2017, the US was considering the prospect of defining what is natural. Their definition consisted of 3 core ideas: origin, ingredients, and processing. The origin of the raw materials would encompass organic and non-GMO aspects. Ingredients would be free of artificial colours and flavours, preservatives, additives, pesticides, and hormones. Under the final aspect, processing, the level of processing would be minimal.
In Canada, Health Canada has set a standard of requirements for an item to be advertised as “natural.” The item should be in its original form, with no additives; the only thing that could be removed would be water. There should be no significant processing. Even if a products claims to contain “natural ingredients,” every ingredient must meet the “natural” requirement. However, it should be noted that “natural” does not mean free of pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, or GMO’s. Plants and animals raised by conventional means will still contain those things, but can call themselves “natural” because they have not been altered. To truly be in the clear from those things, one would need to buy something that is certified organic.
Even natural flavours can be tricky. Though they can contain elements from natural sources, they can also contain many other things, too. A single flavour can contain up to 100 ingredients, including synthetic solvents, preservatives, and emulsifiers that allow ingredients to mix while maintaining the same flavour. One positive change that is forthcoming is the new requirement for manufacturers to list each individual colour used in their products by name—not simply “colour” or “natural colour,” as is the case now.
High concentrations of synthetic vitamins can be dangerous because they can build up in your tissues and cause toxicity. The reason that the synthetic form is more dangerous is because you need a highly concentrated serving of the vitamin because only 25% is absorbed to the cells rather than the amount that you would get from a food-based form which absorbs up to 95%. While shopping for true natural medicine is more expensive than synthetic supplements, you do get what you pay for, but how do you discern the differences? Most major supplement lines are owned by pharmaceutical companies and because shelf space is traded like real-estate, price point nearly always wins. For example, listing a new sku/product in Shoppers Drug Mart, the listing fees cost between $25,000 to $30,000, just for the space plus an annual marketing budget. Considering that Sweet Dreams liquid melatonin from Life Choice uses patented, USP grade raw materials selling two to three times higher than the Chinese synthetic source, how can it compete in this environment? It is true that brands must compete, especially when all things are created equally, but when your label is your only means it is almost impossible. When you become awakened to the facts you begin to see health directed advertising for what it is: nothing more than a fantasy and a great diversion from reality. It happens all the time. This includes your food and supplement choices—among others. In reality, it is nature that makes the magic happen. Everything else is only an illusion.
With natural food standards constantly changing with the times, it is difficult to keep up with what is truly natural and what is just parading as natural. The best way to stay on top of ever-changing regulations is to make inquires and then only place your trust companies that have made their processes and intentions crystal clear from the beginning. Life Choice is one of those companies.
Once people truly believe in the healing power of natural medicine as much as they do prescriptions, they would never leave home without them. Instead of being caught in a cycle of filling prescriptions, those suffering would be experiencing even more complete healing. They would no longer have to live with the side effects of prescriptions and would, therefore, have a better quality of life.
We have seen what the industry standard was in the beginning, and it is apparent that the standards have devolved into something else entirely. We are proud to be one of the few still standing for the highest quality natural medicine.
This is the irony of professional, therapeutic medicine: the medicine with the studies and substantial financial backing does not truly qualify as medicine at all; yet, the underdog, natural medicine, is the medicine truly deserving of the title. If public perception of the underdog is ever to change, the natural health industry cannot bring anything less than our best to the table. At Life Choice, this has been our mission all along. Our products have strong health claims because we can back those claims. We have done the research to produce a professional product; we have carefully formulated our products to have genuine therapeutic value; and, we have designed Life Choice products to be real medicine in every sense of the word.