An October 3, 1994 headline in The Wall Street Journal spoke volumes: “Industry Hopeful for Deregulation of Vitamin Goods” (1). Just days before the passing of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), critics of the proposed legislation—which represented everything but deregulation—were as outspoken as ever. Negotiations between the House and Senate were in full swing, making both sides feel lawmakers would come to an agreement on this monumental bill very soon.

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Spirulina was originally envisioned as an incredibly nutritious, sustainable food source that could be grown locally to feed malnourished villages in developing countries. The superfood has all the right qualities: it grows in sunlight and water, flourishes in warm climates, provides a high-quality source of digestible protein (with all the essential amino acids) and is packed with vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, carotenoids, antioxidants and other phytonutrients that help support an amazing array of health benefits.

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Five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, the most prevalent form of dementia (1). Millions of others are dealing with other types of dementia and countless others do not yet know their “forgetfulness” is something much worse.

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Diseases of the heart are still the leading cause of death in the United States, according to the latest preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (cancer in all its forms remains a close second) (1). Due to this ongoing reality, cardiovascular health is of special concern to health-conscious individuals, especially those battling known risk factors.

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Mitochondria are amazing cellular compartments that create energy from the food we eat and the air we breathe. They convert fats and sugars from foods into cellular energy. This energy generated by the mitochondria runs every process the body needs to stay youthful and healthy.

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The moon has risen, the stars are twinkling and you are settling down for a good night’s sleep. The moment you shut your eyes however, your mind runs wild. Did I pay the bills? Did I turn off the stove? Will I get that promotion? Your heart races. You toss and turn. Finally, after several hours of restless sleep, it is time to wake up again. What should be a pleasant morning turns into a slog.

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Mushrooms are really important. If this fact seems foreign to you, don’t blame yourself. Blame geography and the slow-growing understanding of their many uses. Though we eat plenty of mushrooms here in the West, other cultures have long valued them for their medicinal uses. Today, the knowledge of how they can be grown, prepared and used to improve our health is finally spreading, while innovation drives the category to new places.

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Demand for natural products is as strong as ever, according to data collected in the 36th Annual WholeFoods Retailer Survey. Independent stores that participated in this year’s survey had a strong showing in 2013, selling a combined $741 million throughout their more than 1.24 million ft2 of total retail space. Most stores reported gains this year, and businesses are optimistic about the outlook for 2014, all excellent news for those who value the expertise and unique flavor that independent stores contribute to the natural and organic supplements, grocery, HABA and home products industries.

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Inflammation is the way your body responds to a problem. Whether battling an infection or cancer, or healing from a bone fracture, the body needs to deliver powerful immune and repair cells to the impaired location through the bloodstream to fight and fix the problem.

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Vitamin C. Echinacea. Zinc. These supplements are some of the hottest tickets on the Immune Health Express. What was once perhaps rightfully regarded as a seasonal buy has recently shot into the fast lane of year-round hot sellers for several reasons that we’ll discuss down the road.

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