Whether it’s work, family or another worry that goes through our brains in the wee hours of the morning, sometimes we need a little dust from the Sandman. Some may shy away from the groggy, drone-like side effects that major sleep medicines cause, hoping to find a more natural option. Luckily, there are many marketable supplements out there that can give your customers a good night’s sleep with very little complications.

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December 2, 2011 has come and gone. Now, the natural products industry holds its collective breath to see how the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will respond to the comments filed in reaction to its proposed guidance for industry on new dietary ingredients (NDIs). This document has the potential to affect nearly everyone with a stake in the dietary supplements industry.

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Researchers have struck gold with curcumin, a component of turmeric that possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. While the distinction is not often made, curcumin is a single phytochemical, and “commercially available curcumin preparations contain a mixture of related polyphenols, collectively referred to as curcuminoids” (1). These plant polyphenol compounds take their job seriously, and have been found effective in maintaining health across a wide spectrum of issues.

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2011 has been another ride on the financial roller coaster. Anyone who has not felt the tremors, bumps and absolute death drops of the economy is extremely lucky. The same is true of small and large businesses alike, even though there are some rays of hope breaking through the cloudy economic storms. It’s arguable that the natural and organic industry is among the bright spots.

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You’re in for some schooling in the urology department, a branch of medicine that encompasses the health of the urinary tract, the adrenal glands and the prostate. The list of natural substances with a claim to benefit urological health is quite expansive.

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A healthy sex life is a part of any loving relationship. So, it can only benefit couples to know which natural aphrodisiacs may optimize sexual experiences.

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Aside from achieving a general sense of well-being, immune health support is a process without obvious markers of success, at least for the average person. Remaining healthy is, of course, the goal, but the vigilance of the body’s defenses tends to go unappreciated until an illness actually strikes. And yet, consumers seem to flock to the often intangible comforts that immunity-promoting products can provide.

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When I lost my short-term memory six weeks after starting Lipitor, I immediately suspected my new medicine and discontinued the drug. At my next NASA physical, I was urged to resume taking it and reluctantly agreed, only to suffer a much worse memory loss a few weeks later. For 12 hours, I suddenly became a teenager with total recall for my high school days, but absolutely no awareness that I was a doctor, married with children and a former NASA astronaut. This began my decade of research on the subject.

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Enzymes. These proteins are a crucial part of one’s health. Though they are made naturally in the body and are also in raw foods, retailers should stress to shoppers that supplemental enzymes are important, too. The rationale for why is similar to that of taking a multivitamin: sometimes the enzymes that occur naturally in foods or in the body just aren’t enough.

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It’s hard to stay ambivalent about technology. Either you love it and can’t get enough of it, or you dislike the change it brings, and the way its newness encroaches on our lifestyles. Many are at least fearful of jumping fully on board, because technology, even with all of its potential, can be intimidating to learn and grow with. The prospect of turning central aspects of your natural products store over to these machines? It makes for a daunting decision to be sure, but ask those who have done it, and they’ll likely tell you it was fun, profitable and brought them closer to the needs of their store and its customers.

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