Saturday, December 31, 2005

Antibiotics - Promoting Killer Microbes?

This article in the San Francisco Chronicle today paints a scary picture.

From the article:
"It's a new phenomenon. It's just emerging," said Clifford McDonald, of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. "We're very concerned. We know it's happening, but we're really not sure why it's happening or where this is going."

It may, however, be the latest example of a common, relatively benign bug that has mutated because of the overuse of antibiotics.

In addition, new evidence released last week suggests that the enormous popularity of powerful new heartburn drugs may also be playing a role."

To me, this is indicative of two problems - 1. People demanding that physicians prescribe antibiotics when they are not indicated and 2. Big pharma pushing pills for conditions better treated with lifestyle changes and intelligent supplementation.

Look folks, please get it through your head that antibiotics are not effective on virus infections! Antibiotics do not fight the common cold! Of course if you read my blog, you probably knew this long ago.

Now, I haven't talked about this, but I am a firm believer in pro-biotics. I wasn't always. In fact, not too long ago I considered probiotics to be just hype. Oh was I wrong! For years I suffered with various intestinal discomforts. But that changed a few years ago. I removed nearly all of the sugars from my diet and I started using pro-biotics. The change for the better was astounding.

Intestinal discomforts no longer! My energy and stamina improved markedly. "Head-fog" cleared up.

I have used several different high quality probiotics, some are certainly better than others. I am about to settle in with one product to offer to my Customers on RelentlessImprovement.com, but will wait until finalized before I mention it. There are so many offerings out there and the decison making process has taken some time.

(LATE UPDATE - I FOUND THE BEST ONE! READ ABOUT IT HERE)

It is my opinion that probiotics should always be used concurrently with antibiotics to prevent exactly what is going on here - overgrowth and mutation of bad bacteria. Talk to your friends and loved ones about antibiotic abuse and the need for a probiotic therapy. It will make the world a better place.

Pete

Friday, December 30, 2005

Users Guide to Brain Boosting Supplements




Just finished a great book/pamphlet titled Brain-Boosting Supplements written by Shari Lieberman and James Gormley. I found it to be quick, concise and to the point.

They recommend the basics: remain mentally and physically active, reduce your sugar intake(!) and take advantage of supplements, especially antioxidants.

Recommended:
B Complex
Vitamin C
Vitamin E
(or just take Ortho-Core or Essential Mix and get all the above plus more)

Alpha-Lipoic Acid (now we know that time-release R-Lipoic is far superior)
Acetyl-L-Carnitine
Ginkgo(it is important to get the correct extract!)
Huperzine-A
Vinpocetine
DMAE
Or simply use Ortho-Mind which is perfectly formulated to offer you all of these in one money saving product.

Of course healthy Omega-3's are also critical.

I suggest you grab a copy of this book to use as an excellent primer on Cognitive Enhancment.

Pete

Thursday, December 29, 2005

How To Fail Or Succeed, As A Business And As A Customer

This piggybacks on a couple of my previous posts.

How to fail:
1. Don't bother determining your unique value proposition to the marketplace.
2. Plan to be the lowest price (woo-hoo!)
3. Put up an amateurish website.
4. Sell the same old, tired crap. (just cheaper! woo-hoo!)
5. Your reason for being in business is to get rich! (woo-hoo!)
6. Believe all suppliers can't wait to sell you product.
7. Have no previous sales experience. (seriously, your business is already dead)
8. Take days and days to ship your orders.
9. Don't bother supplying customers with tracking numbers.
10. Not knowing your products.

How to succeed:
1. Have a successful sales background.
2. Be willing to work 12-14 hours days - every day, every week, every month.
3. Pick a niche (!!) Know it better than any other company.
4. Ally with a few key suppliers.
5. Treat your Customers better than their mothers do.
6. Do some friggin homework and discover some unique products (!)
7. Always be available to your customers.
8. Fire customers that waste your time or haggle on pricing.
9. Turn a profit. Without it, you cannot afford to add value.
10. Add value. The bitterness of poor value lingers long after the sweetness of low price has been forgotten.

There is one reason to be in business, that is to provide value to your Customers. If you provide value, your business will grow.

Too many business wannabees are in it for themselves. Or they have this sense of entitlement, that the world owes them something. They have already failed, they just don't know it yet.

What you seek is a virtuous circle. You provide value to your customer, you provide value to your suppliers. Your success is the natural result.

So as a customer of a failed (or about to fail) business you might ask - "Who cares? I bought cheap, and the dumbass business went broke. That is their tough luck."

The past year saw several supplement and nootropic websites go down in flames. If I were a customer of one of these failed business, I would now be wondering what became of the personal and financial information I provided to them. You can bet there was no investment in encrypted servers or harddrives.

As a customer, were you dumb enough to email personal financial information to a failed business? Wonder who is now reading that old email? Wonder who is in possession of all that customer database information?

If the closed shop lacked business acumen, did they also lack integrity? What was really in those products you bought? How do you know? If they couldn't run a business, could they intelligently make quality control decisions?

Did they test raw materials? Did they trust supplier Certificates of Analysis? How would they know for example of the Chinese Alpha-Lipoic Acid being passed off as European R-Lipoic Acid by a leading metric ton bulk supplier?

Did they use an analytical lab that frequently offers test results conveniently similar to the manufacturers COA? (Testing labs vary in quality too!) Did they have enough profit built into the sales price to afford testing? Quality testing is very expensive, and even more so if they have to develop a method and/or buy standards.

I am not picking on any business (failed or existing) in particular in this post. The problems are universal to the industry.

Gotta hop, for the past 5 minutes I hope I made you think outside the box. Together we can make the world a better place.

Cheers!
Pete

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Vitamin D - Cancer Fighter, Go Get Some Sun!

I posted a few months ago about the new research showing beneficial effects of Vitamin D. News out today reinforcing that:

"Prof Cedric Garland, from the University of California in San Diego, and colleagues looked for published research papers since 1966 and 2004 about cancer and vitamin D.

They included 30 investigations of colon cancer, 13 of breast cancer, 26 of prostate cancer and seven of ovarian cancer. Prof Garland said: "A preponderance of evidence, from the best observational studies the medical world has to offer, gathered over 25 years, has led to the conclusion that public health action is needed."

The research suggest 1000 I.U. as considered optimal. If you are using AOR's Essential Mix or its big-brother Ortho-Core (currently sold out), you are are in good shape as they contain 1000 I.U. of Vitamin D.

Get some sun too, and make your own!

Pete

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Polymerized R-Lipoic Acid

If you are still using an unstabilized r-lipoic acid, this is what you can expect to happen in your stomach after you ingest it:

Central Serous Retinopathy - An Update

Back in June I posted about my challenge with central serous retinopathy.

At the time the vision in my left eye was severely affected, to look at horizontal blinds for instance was to see "ocean waves". Pretty trippy. Plus, it also affected my close-up (reading) vision to the point that I bought a pair of reading glasses. Distance vision suffered as well, about 20/300 or worse.

My follow-up testing 3 months later revealed what is called a watermark on my retina. This is the common result of the water blister and my eye doc advised to expect permanent vision loss.

As of today, 95% of the "waves" are gone, and my visual acuity is very close to normal. 20/40 distance vision. Close up reading still has a fuzzy spot in the center, but I no longer need the reading glasses.

The bottom line is that I have effectively cheated the odds and regained the majority of my vision back. It is not supposed to happen with CSR.

Now the question is: how? The answer: I cannot tell you for sure.

BUT - there are some supplements in my daily regimen that certainly affect the eye and retina. Here is my opinion of which ones are the most likely to be effective:

Ortho-Core
Mito-Gold
PBN
NtBHA

The longer I use potent antioxidants, the more convinced I become of their wide-ranging beneficial effects.

Less likely but, possible-
Piracetam
Aniracetam

Because the 'racetam's mechanism of action still remains a mystery, I don't discount their contribution.

So little is known about Central Serous Retinopathy and there is no known treatment, therefore I believe it is both wise and prudent to explore an anti-oxidant therapy.

Cheers!
Pete

Friday, December 23, 2005

A Left-Handed Chiral Bias Across The Universe?

This article is so freaky! I love it.

Did you know that amino acids occur throughout the universe? Furthermore, just like on Earth, they are chiral. Even more surprising (to me at least), they favor left-handedness in their chirality. Just like us humans do!

It is indeed a chiral world, and to ignore that impact on your supplements is to shortchange yourself of potential benefits.

From the article:

"He says the research adds to previous measurements of an excess of left-handed amino acids in two meteorites. "If it is thanks to meteorites that our amino acids are left handed, then the same bias should exist at least across our solar system", he told New Scientist."

"If we identify left-handed amino acids on [a] cometary surface, this would underline the hypothesis that the building blocks of proteins were created in interstellar space and were delivered via comets or micrometeorites to early Earth," he says."

From this Ames Research Center article:

"It turns out that although we think of amino acids as being bio-molecules, they are also found in meteorites."

Is that thought provoking or what?

Cheers,
Pete

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Sulbutiamine - A Nootropic and Energy Miracle? Or?

Sulbutiamine has been used to treat asthenia, a condition of low energy and lethargy usually reported by convelescing patients. There is some evidence that it does work and numerous patents regarding this material.

Sulbutiamine is described as a centrally acting cholinergic agent like donepezil which is used for Parkinson's and Alzheimer symptoms. These drugs inhibit the destruction of acetylcholine (a stimulating neurotransmittor) in the brain. Increased concentrations of acetylcholine are believed to be responsible for greater alertness, memory and acuity.

Sulbutiamine is an ACE inhibitor, which results in greater brain acetylcholine concentrations which would increase concentration, memory, alertness, etc.

From Drugs Today:

"Sulbutiamine, a highly lipophilic thiamine derivative, is the only antiasthenic compound known to cross the blood-brain barrier and to be selectively active on specific brain structures directly involved in asthenia."

Because I believe a good night sleep is so important, I like the idea of supporting the diurnal, or circadian rhythms. "This study demonstrated the clear action of Sulbutiamine upon the mechanisms regulating waking and light sleep."

Pete

AOR - New product Availability

Looks like late Feb for US availability of the new goodies. AGE-Amadori and Ortho-Methyl availability will depend on the FDA.

AOR will have a brand new 3-A-Day multi.

No firm word on Ortho-Core availabiltiy :-(

Pete

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Persistance of Neuroplasticity. Nefiracetam, Tacrine (galantamine), Deprenyl.

I am going to be pointing some of my blog posts to the RelentlessImprovement.com "Learn" page.

The info below comes from an article on my Learn page from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology.

This is some very heavy reading and offers additional interesting findings about racetams, in this case nefiracetam. I have found nefiracetam to be similar in effect to pramiracetam in many aspects.

Nutshell excerpt:
"Our observations are consistent with the idea that a chronic drug regimen or a complex environment induces a more robust memory pathway that can acquire and consolidate new information more efficiently. "

And they found persistance of benefits:
"moreover, that this benefit remains after drug withdrawal. "

Pete

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Opportunities Abound

This is oriented to businesses, but is just as applicable to consumers :-)

There is so much opportunity to improve your life by improving the lives of others. I am convinced the one results from the other.

There is so much opportunity to make something better. Why not take a chance and fix one little thing that bugs you and share it with others?

There is so much opportunity to invent, innovate, design and specialize. Are you making any effort to contribute? Or do you just sit on your ass and share your sense of entitlement to anybody willing to listen?

I think it is a huge problem in business today. Big, bloated, out of touch companies run by people who would run from a Customer if they ever saw one. Ivory Tower Insulation. Or. Plain laziness and a total lack of vision.

It frustrates me because I can see how smoothly things can work, and how well they can be designed. So many opportunities just waiting for someone with the balls and vision to act on them.

Clue: Nobody gives a crap what you did for them yesterday, or what you were the first with or whatever. Yawn. What your Customer cares about is what can you do for them today? How do you add value today? How do you make things faster, better, more intuitive, easier for your fellow man today?

Businesses: Why don't you innovate and improve some part of your Customer purchase experience? Why don't you invest some money in providing more value? Why don't you go dig up incredible products from undiscovered suppliers?

Another company can always undercut you in price, but they would have to invest some creative capitol to offer greater value. Most are too lazy to compete on those terms.

And specialize! Don't try to be everything to everybody. Find a niche and know it better than any other company in the world. Why not specialize in Vitamin C? Or Calcium?

Does the Northern California/Bay Area climate of innovation drive me? I see so many opportunities to do well by doing good. It fuels me every hour of every day, I can't stop thinking of how to give my Customer a better purchase experience. Why does a day have to be only 24 hours?

Does the thought of having your own business intrigue you? Have a business and crave ideas? Simply want to view an incredibly inspiring entrepreneurial perspective? Check this out. Let me know if you enjoy it.

Pete

Google - Powered by ... Flaxseed?

Would I lie?

"Page and Brin experimented with numerous avian motivators before settling on a combination of linseed and flax (lin/ax) that not only offered superior performance, but could be gathered at no cost from nearby open space preserves. This open space lin/ax powers Google's operations to this day"

It is all in this informative article on the Google site.

New Product Addition

Did the smart-drugs make you too smart? Want to bring yourself back down a bit? We have just the thing ...



Yes, it is a real product, no we are not really adding it.

Cheers and a Wink-
Pete

Two Different Customers. 10 Ways to Improve Your Life.

After my post below, I had a thought hanging around the back of my mind but couldn't quite get it to gel. Until last night. You know how it is - you go to bed and ruminate for a few minutes on the day?

Shane made an comment that struck me. Our Customers tend to fall into two groups:

1. Regular customers.
2. One-offs.

I think the main commonality of the regulars is that supplements are a "Lifestyle" for them. They chose to accept that intelligently crafting a regimen and then sticking with it will benefit them.

The one-offs are looking for a quick fix.

We are happy to help the one-offs, but my orientation is helping people achieve long-term results. That doesn't happen with a haphazard approach.

Do yourself a favor. Sit down, grab pencil and paper. Be honest with yourself and examine the life you are living.

Is your foundation in place?

1. Exercise (daily if possible).
2. Sleep (keep a pattern, asleep/awake at the same time).
3. Healthy diet (no sugars, low starches/flours, lots of healthy fats, nuts, fish, fresh veggies or sprouts).

How is your emotional health?

1. Stop obsessing over things you cannot control.
2. Grow by accepting more risks and trying new things. Your fears will melt away.
3. Give yourself options. You always have them, you don't always look for them.
4. Change is inevitable. Embrace and seek it. A weight will come off your shoulders when you do.

Supplements?

1. Do your homework! Reason out a smart plan. If you need help, find someone you can trust. Beware of anonymous internet posters! If you do not know for a fact who is behind that screen name, why would you listen to them?
2. Stick with your plan. Don't flop around with the latest fad. Make changes when the science/research prompts you to. Not your Aunt Mamie.
3. Keep your plan as simple as possible.


Being a careful supplement shopper:

1. Avoid MLM (multi level marketers) like the plague. Their reason for existing is to enrich themselves by inventing fads. I consider them to be parasites.
2. Never, ever, do business with a web site that makes you fill out a form to contact them!
3. Price is not the bottom line. Efficacy, quality and value are.

Hey! You got three freebies. Now that's value added.

Cheers,
Pete

Monday, December 19, 2005

Customer Feedback and ... A Plan For The Future

"First off, let me say how truly excited I am to have happened upon your website. Not only do you offer high-quality products, but I really appreciate the thorough descriptions (including dosages, ingredients, etc.) of each product. And I have to tell you, the blog is a super idea: knowing that the owner is a true user of the products -- and being very knowledgeable certainly lends much credibility to the site.

It's just nice to actually deal with people who have a true passion for this lifestyle and who don't pride themselves in screwing people over by offering crap products that are masked as the greatest thing on Earth."

Thanks Shane! (though way late in posting this)

We will never try to be everything to everybody. Plenty of businesses doing that already. We also plan to sit out the "race to the bottom", a going out of business strategy that certain customers are happy to accelerate.

You have given us wonderful feedback this year and we have listened to you. 2006 holds good suprises as we continue to grow the business. Do you care about quality, innovation, value? If so, stick around :-) The next 6 weeks will be very interesting!

Cheers!
Pete

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Customer Feedback.

"Hello Pete,

I just wanted to thank you for your help in discussing the different
forms of R-ALA, as well as clearing up my own error in confusing the
tocopherols with the tocotrienols. Once you politely pointed it out, my
error became more obvious on further reading--but I would have continued
to be unaware of it for months yet had you not mentioned it!

As you'll have seen, I went ahead and placed an order for, (in addition
to more Piracetam and my first Aniracetam), the Mito-Gold product--I
figure that that product makes the most sense of the three for a
pre-workout R-ALA top-off supplement, (along with one of the LEF's
mitochondrial energy optimizer's), since conveniently I wouldn't be
taking any tocopherols at the same time which would interfere with the absorption of the delta tocotrienols.

In other words, since the timing would naturally be just perfect anyway,
I opted to go with the product that included the delta-tocotrienols.

Thanks again for taking the time to discuss the different choices!

Mark S."


That's what we are here for! Thanks for your trust and your business.

Cheers,
Pete

Friday, December 16, 2005

A4M - Sugar - Xylitol

I just remembered- the sugar "problem" had near unanimous agreement from the physicians at A4M last weekend. It's a killer. In so many ways. But you and me have a sweet tooth right? What do we put in our beverage of choice?

Xylitol.

Nearly every anti-aging doctor we talked to used xylitol. Do a Google. The American Dental Association actually endorses xyitol as a cavity fighter. Xylitol is great great for those prone to yeast or candida overgrowth. It makes a great nasal wash!

I have used xylitol personally for years, and swear by it. Your local store carries it, so give it a try and change your life.

Cheers!
Pete

Penn State U. - DNA Mutation Accounts for White Skin.

I found this article fascinating from the standpoint of how the tinest of mutations can result in amazing downstream results.

A couple quotes from the research:

"The work raises a raft of new questions -- not least of which is why white skin caught on so thoroughly in northern climes once it arose. Some scientists suggest that lighter skin offered a strong survival advantage for people who migrated out of Africa by boosting their levels of bone-strengthening vitamin D ... "

"Unlike most mutations, this one quickly overwhelmed its ancestral version, at least in Europe, suggesting it had a real benefit. Many scientists suspect that benefit has to do with vitamin D, made in the body with the help of sunlight and critical to proper bone development."

Cheers-
Pete

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Mera Pharmaceuticals Asta Factor Astaxanthin Article

I dug up an awesome review on our Salmon Essentials Asta Factor astaxanthin supplement but I can't give the author attribution becasue he didn't sign the review! With that aside, it is a very informative write-up and worthy of your time.

If you like what you read, we stock this product for immediate shipping at this link. I use it myself as I believe fish oils are the foundation of a smart supplement program. I add the 10mg Asta Factor capsules for additional astaxanthin.

Here are a couple quotes:
"Salmon Essentials nutritional supplement is actually good medicine. If it could be patented and sold as a prescription drug, it would probably be one of the most popular and exciting prescription drugs released on the market in years. The essential fatty acids in this product can lower total triglycerides, lower high cholesterol, reduce the buildup of plaque or atherosclerosis, and dramatically reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke. The innate effects of its naturally-occurring oil essentially give you healthier blood and a healthier cardiovascular system. This is the kind of oil that we, as humans, are supposed to eat, so it's no surprise that it has positive medicinal effects on the human body. "

"Astaxanthin does everything that antioxidants do in the human body, boosting immune system function and protecting against cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases, infectious diseases, and so on. Moreover, this particular potent antioxidant can cross the blood-brain barrier, so astaxanthin also protects against eye damage due to solar radiation. If you spend a lot of time outdoors and are not protecting your eyes with UV-filtering glasses, this supplement can greatly enhance your internal protection against sunlight damage to the eyes. As a result, it can protect your vision and even help prevent macular degeneration. "

Cheers!
Pete

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

R-PLUS and Carnitine Plus are in Stock. Quality Issues.

I may have confusingly worded a previous post. I still have R-PLUS and Carnitine Plus in stock and available for immediate shipping.

We sold out of what we brought to the show.

Did I mention? Carnitine Plus hits me like an espresso when used at 4 caps per day. I actually backed off because I was getting too stimulated. The orotate transport must be doing what it is supposed to do: get a lot more into the cell.

If you look at the pricing, Carnitine Plus, both 60 count and 120 count is priced embarassingly low for what you get. Every physician at the show said "wow" after reading the label and hearing the price.

After talking with a Customer this morning, I am reminded to tell you that acetyl-l-carnitine supplements run a hugh range of purity and contamination! The pharmaceutical grade from Italy is quite expensive, the Chinese product is very reasonably priced. BUT- quality is a big problem.

China right now has pharmaceutical grade manufacturing, and at the other end of the spectrum, absolute crap of terrible purity and with heavy metal contamination.

GeroNova Research provided us great value by subjecting Chinese sourced raw materials to testing before bottling. I will get COA's posted to all their products later this week.

{UPDATE}
Here are the 3rd party testing results:
Carnitine
ALCAR
Doesn't it give you peace of mind to know that the ingredients have been tested for purity and heavy metals?

Grab it and growl!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Ortho Core is Sold Out For a While

As I posted previously, we have sold out of Advanced Orthomolecular Research's Ortho-Core and do not have a firm date of when it will be back in stock.

I will let you know here in the blog when a new shipment is coming.

Ortho-Core is an advanced combination of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and transformational conjugates formulated to support long, healthy lives. There is nothing on the market that comes close to its superior combination of ingredients. The retail price is embarassingly low.

:-(
Pete

Buck Institute Chooses GeroNova Research Lipoic Acids for Anti-Aging Research

The renowned Buck Institute for Age Research has sourced each version of lipoic (R, R-DiHydro, S, Alpha) from GeroNova Research to use in studies they are about to conduct in animals. This is further testament to the pharmaceutical grade products that GeroNova Research manufactures.

The Buck Institute is associated with the National Institute of Medicine and governed by a non-compensated board of trustees.

How good does it make you feel to know you too are taking GeroNova Research products?

Pete

American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine - Report from the show.


I will update this post later with details. A last minute opportunity arose to attend A4M courtesy of GeroNova Research this past Sat/Sun/Mon. It was a real blast and quite an educational opportunity. A huge thank-you to the GeroNova folks for the invite.

I will share lots of good stuff, so be sure to check back. Oh yeah - stabilized, time-release r-lipoic was a huge hit with the physicians, we sold out of nearly all the product we brought with us and wrote a lot of orders every day.

{UPDATE}

The show was well attended and quite busy, we were kept hopping pretty much the whole time. Lots of gadgets being offered for sale, as well as supplements, cosmeceuticals (many fortified with spin traps such as PBN and NtBHA), foods, drinks, massage chairs and other fun stuff.

While I didn't have time to attend the presentations, I was able to chat with a number of physicians, most of whom specialized in anti-aging medicine. It was interesting to bounce ideas off them regarding supplementation programs, and I was pleased to see my present list of supplements usually matched what they themselves were using.

It was generally agreed that you cannot take too much high-quality fish oil. Seemed to be reinforced as the foundation for any intelligently crafted supplementation program.

Dr. Ron Rothenberg is a pioneer and highly respected anti-aging specialist and spent nearly an hour chatting with us at the booth. I was able to pepper him with questions, and he cheerfully offered his thoughts.

HgH therapy was a huge topic, and let me say there is also a great deal of controversy on it's use. Personally, I wouldn't touch the injectable stuff until more is known.

Cheers,
Pete

Customer Feedback

This is the fuel thats keeps us pushing to do even better. Thanks.

"I just wanted to let you know that USPS delivered my order today.

Thanks again for your great customer service. I've been a longtime customer of Nutrition Express, 1fast400, VitaCost, etc... and the quality products and service you offer tops them all!"

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Spice is Nice, Coffee is a Nootropic.

A Customer shared a couple of great links, perhaps you will enjoy these too. Thanks Rick!

Penzeys Spices - A great selection of spices.

Sweet Maria's - Home coffee roasting supplies. Ummmmm. I love coffee but never considered roasting my own. This site is chock full of information and quality products.

Sweet Maria's is only a 30 minute drive from Relentless Improvement, I may have to pay them a personal visit and give you a personal report :-)

Seems research is showing that spices and coffee have health benefits, so why not please your palate and help your health at the same time?

Cheers!
Pete

Monday, December 05, 2005

Nifty-Cool Techie Stuff. A Blog in a Page.

I love to push the envelope. As of last Friday we have seamlessly integrated blog software into our "Learn" page on the RelentlessImprovement.com website.

So who cares, and what is the big deal? Well the learn page will now be more frequently updated, but the really cool thing is that our Customers can post comments to it. If something is not clear, or we missed something, you can let us know!

And - there is a "Search" feature, that as the learn page grows, enables you to easily find articles and posts of interest to you.

Many if not most sites hide behind their web pages. Their contact info is hard to find (or not there at all!). What really gets me are the sites that give you a "contact form" to fill out! Wha? Who reads it? When? How do I know? Why, as a customer would they treat me like some moron off the street and make me fill out a form?

Give 'em the middle finger I say!

Relentless Improvement has always been easy to contact, by phone, email or mail. We want to hear your feedback! How can we meet your needs if we don't listen to you?

Hope you like the changes as we continue to push the value added bar higher and higher. Let me know what you think.

Cheers!
Pete

R-PLUS R-Lipoic Shortage. R-Dihydrolipoic Acid Comment

Heads-up. Higher than expected sales volume compounded by a raw materials shortage is going to result in R-PLUS being sold out shortly.

A large batch of R-Dihydrolipoic acid that is a component of the R-PLUS was destroyed during synthesis and it may be two months before more is available. This substance is very difficult and time-consuming to make.

I was able to act quickly and secure the last cases of R-PLUS that GeroNova had available.

Speaking of R-Dihydrolipoic Acid, or DHLA as it is abbreviated, beware of non-GeroNova products containing or claiming to contain it. It you are using a 100% DHLA product, many smart people now think when used by itself it can actually tip you into a pro-oxidative state. Not good at all.

To make matters worse, because it is so hard to synthesize DHLA in the lab, some bulk suppliers are selling a sub-standard product. How will you know? It smells awful. I mean like cat urine. Tom-Cat urine. You will burp a disgusting taste.

Top quality GeroNova capsules if opened will have a distinctive chemical taste and odor, that while not yummy and delicious, is not disgusting.

Pete

Consumer Lab Testing - What is NOT in your Supplement?

I subscribe to Consumer Lab, a source for independent testing results of many companies products. They publish a great newsetter that you should subscribe to.

This month they revealed some interesting results:

Jarrow Gingko Biloba 60mg lacked the active compounds and received a Not Approved.
Life Enhancement' s Huperzine-A contained NO Huperzine-A and (obviously) received a Not Approved.

They reconfirmed our view that the latest research on soy derived phosphatidylserine (PS) shows no efficacy in humans. Previous postive results came from bovine derived PS.

In the coming weeks we will be introducing several new products under the Relentless Improvement brand name, and again, before bottling the raw materials will be tested by an independant 3rd party lab for purity.

It is hard to be a careful consumer. We will do our best to help you navigate. Thanks for your trust!

Pete

Smart Drugs, Nootropics

One of RelentlessImprovement.com's Customers, Kristen, was kind enough to share an awesome article from Scientific American with me this morning. Thanks Kristen!

If you would enjoy a fairly deep exploration of the future of intelligence enhancement, and some of the philosophical and ethical issues surrounding it, you should click the link above.

My favorite is the very last paragraph:

"Whatever happens, we can be sure that cognitive enhancement drugs will be developed and that they will be used and misused. But just as most people do not choose to alter their mood with Prozac and just as we all reorient our lives in the face of unending opportunities to change our sense of normal, our society will absorb new memory drugs according to each individual's underlying philosophy and sense of self. Self-regulation will occur. The few people who desire altered states will find the means, and those who do not want to alter their sense of who they are will ignore the drug potions. The government should stay out of it, letting our own ethical and moral sense guide us through the new enhancement landscape."

Cheers!
Pete

Friday, December 02, 2005

AOR Ortho-Core Availability

There is no more in Canada. There is no more in the USA. We have some stock left. Demand for Ortho-Core has far outstripped supply, and I have confirmed with AOR that we cannot get more until late January at best.

We will note the product on the Relentless Improvement website as "Sold-out" after we exhaust our limited supplies.

Ortho Core is the most advanced, balanced, and comprehensive core nutritional supplement available. Ortho Core is formulated with a broad spectrum of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients whose role in supporting optimal health is backed by scientific research.

Pete

Thursday, December 01, 2005

R-Lipoic Acid Customer Comments, Rejuv Sale.

"My husband told me this AM that he can really notice an increase in his energy in the last week or so. The only thing he is doing differently is taking the Mito- Gold & RALA gel. YAHOO !!

PS- It is such a pleasure doing business with you!

-Jennifer"

Another happy, time-release, r-lipoic Customer. Are you using a lipoic that is not GeroNova time-release? Or, worse, Alpha-lipoic acid? (shudder). Come on Luddite, get with the program. All it takes is one try and you will never go back to the dark ages.

Mito-Gold
R-Plus
RALA-Gel 60 count
RALA-Gel 120 count

RALA-Gel (100mg) for tight budgets and/or boosting total r-lipoic acid intake.

R-PLUS (150mg) for a higher ratio of r-dihydrolipoic acid, and a higher overall dose.

Mito-GOLD is exactly the same as R-PLUS but adds DeltaGOLD D-Tocotrienol for triglyceride lowering and beneficial cholesterol effects, boosts endogenous CoQ10 production (help your cells produce their own CoQ10)

Holiday Special! REJUV Alpha-lipoic Acid skin cream is ON SALE for Dec only. Regular $46.95, special $41.95. Relentless Improvement has offered a variety of creams, but Rejuv is hands down the best so we discontinued all the others.

The sale pricing creates a great opportunity to give Rejuv as a gift. The (very)light chamomille fragrance is nice on men and women. Soothing after shaving. Works really well to smooth the skin and lessen fine lines. Your weapon against Old Man Winter.

Cheers
Pete

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Pyridoxamine- The Saga Continues!

The FDA is allowing a period of public comment, until Dec 19, regarding BioStratum's petition to have pyridoxamine declared "an adulterated substance' and by extension, illegal to be sold by retailers.

Here is the FDA link.

At the present moment, the FDA has stated pyridoxamine as illegal to be sold as a supplement:

"Based on the facts set forth in the petition, the agency
tentatively concludes that pyridoxamine, the active moiety\1\ of
pyridoxamine dihydrochloride, is excluded from the dietary supplement
definition under the exclusion clause in 21 U.S.C. 321(ff)(3)(B)(ii)
and therefore may not be marketed as or in a dietary supplement. "

My interpretation is that if you can prove that you sold pyridoxamine, as a supplement previous to BioStratums patent application, the FDA might be inclined to reverse their position. But I am certainly not a lawyer.

The is a link to make your comment included at the link above.

Cheers,
Pete

Hey! It's a New Name

Given that I like to write about things other than anti-aging supplements, I have decided to retire the original name of this blog-"The Anti-Aging Supplement News" and rename it "Pete's Place".

Now I won't be riddled with guilt when I choose to stray wildly off "topic", because there is no topic!

Monday, November 28, 2005

EGCG and Alzheimers. Reduction of Beta-Amyloid Plaques

"This finding suggests that green tea extract selectively concentrating EGCG would be needed to override the counteractive effect of other flavinoids found in green tea," said study co-author Doug Shytle, PhD. "A new generation of dietary supplements containing pure EGCG may lead to the greatest benefit for treating Alzheimer's disease." (emphasis mine)

I wanted to reiterate this information from the University of South Florida study on pure EGCG extract and Alzheimers because of its impact on so many people. If you are involved with someone suffering from Alzheimers, you owe it to them and you to be well informed about this breakthrough.

Another quote from the researchers:

"Green tea contains many antioxidants, including those known as flavonoids that can protect against free radical damage to the brain. However, Dr. Tan and colleagues demonstrated that other flavinoids in green tea actually oppose naturally-occurring EGCG's ability to prevent the harmful build-up of beta-amyloid. Thus, Dr. Tan said, drinking green tea alone would not likely have a beneficial effect through the same mechanism that EGCG works." (emphasis mine)

Once again, the healthful benefits of a pure and specific substance are documented. Pure EGcG extract from Advanced Orthomolecular Research is a potent multi-catechin extract for greatest beneficial effects.

Why would you want to compromise on quality with any other product?

Cheers,
Pete

Saturday, November 26, 2005

EGCG and CLL (Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia)

I love to get these emails:

"I spoke with you in the past regarding my interest in EGCG because my Mother has CLL. My Mother has been taking four capsules of EGCG Max for approximately three months and today she saw the hematologist and her WBC count decreased approximately 24%.

Prior to this my Mother's WBC had doubled in approximately ten months (her WBC went from approximately 32,000 to 65,000). I am so grateful for the great news! The hematologist told us that with this disease WBC will fluctuate BUT my Mother's WBC were on the rise for ten months prior to beginning the EGCG Max. The hematologist encouraged my Mother to continue taking EGCG and she most definitely will do so.

Lisa,
NY, NY."

Use what the research studies use, a pure EGCG extract. Only EGCG MAX offers a multi-catechin complex for additional synergistic action. You get exactly what you pay for with this product.

Cheers!
Pete

Strontium Ranelate and Strontium Citrate. The Same Bone Builder.

He is an article that illustrates how big pharma tries to control what products are available to you.

Strontium Is Strontium

We offer the Strontium supplement to our Customers who seek a bone-builder.

It is a constant battle to keep potent, effective products freely available. Pyridoxamine is another great example of a pharma company trying to keep a naturally occuring vitamin from the public.

Relentless Improvement will keep you on the cutting edge of effective products.

Pete

K-RALA and R-Lipoic. You Say Potato, I Say Whaaa?

The internet- a wonderful medium to exchange information, and a wonderful medium for people who have no clue as to what they are talking about.

If for some bizarre reason you are under the impression that R-Lipoic Acid comes from potatoes- it does not. Like many urban legends, there was a seed from which this probably started:

Lipoic acid was found to be part of a potato growth medium before it was ever isolated, when it was discovered that is was the "X" (unknown) factor essential for metabolic function. It was never isolated or synthesized from potatoes, the first isolation in the 1950's was actually from liver, but that extraction was never done again, due the amount of liver that was necessary to extract a only tiny amount.

All lipoic acid is made synthetically in a laboratory and has nothing whatsoever to do with potatoes.

Ok? Ok!

Cheers!
Pete

Friday, November 25, 2005

Aniracetam for Pain and Neuropathic Pain

Fascinating discoveries continue with the 'racetams. Nikeem Research in Italy offers some glimpses:

"The validation of nootropic pyrrolidones in neuropathic pain is significant."

"Among other pyrrolidinone nootropics, aniracetam produced significant analgesic effects."

"Together, these findings suggest that nefiracetam, and other cognition enhancers of the same pyrrolidinone nootropic class (Piracetam, Aniracetam, Oxiracetam), could be a good therapeutic tool against neuropathic pain, with no liabilities due to a possible involvement of the opioid system."

Nefiracetam and Leveracetam are not commonly available in the USA. Racetams in general have a long history of use, and are one of the few substances with essentially no known toxicity in humans.

Here is a second referenced and cited article by Clark Renwick Herniman and some relevant quotes:

"Aniracetam and nefiracetam are analogues of the drug piracetam (Gualtieri, et. al., 2002.). These drugs were originally developed to treat Alzheimer's disease although their action on N-type calcium channels may make them effective as analgesics as well (McGivern and McDonough, 2005). Aniracetam, 1-(p-anisoyl)-2-pyrrolidinone, is the older of the two drugs."

"Aniracetam has been shown to be a relatively non-toxic compound. Its LD50 is 4.5 g/kg orally in rats and 5.0 g/kg orally in mice while its ED50 in rodents is 10-100 mg/kg (Gouliaev and Senning, op. cit.). No toxic or teratogenic effects were found in the animal studies done with aniracetam (Ibid.)."

I will post some info on Pramiracetam in the next week or two.

PS- Relentless Improvement is the only supplier in the world to make publically available a full, independant 3rd party lab test result for their racetams. RI tests for microbial/fungal/yeast contamination, heavy metal contamination and purity via melting point and most importantly by HPLC analysis. *(Please read this CAREFULLY- nobody else tests for microbial/fungal/yeast)

If you use this product on a daily basis as I do, why risk contaminants? Better safe than sorry my friends!

Pete

45% of Americans Distrust Supplement Health Claims

Ha! I agree with them! In fact, that is why I started this business in the first place. To make an effort to separate the good stuff from the snake oil. And there are some very effective products out there (My blood tests prove it).

It is hard, very hard to ferret out the top-quality suppliers. I think we have earned a grade of "B" so far and are taking steps to raise that to a "B+" over the next few months. We have more things going on in the background that will further raise the bar in the nutriceutical business, and will be making some changes to our supplier line-up.

For those wondering, yes Relentless Improvement offers Premium-Quality Nutriceuticals, spelled with an "i". That's how we spell it.

A quote from this press release:

"Europe's Young Adults consume 36% more nutraceuticals than an average consumer, and even in the US the figure is as high as 28%. Despite stereotypes about Europeans being particularly distrustful of business, 45% of Americans say that they largely or entirely disbelieve food and drink manufacturers health claims, a similar figure to France and far more than in the Netherlands."

The hypesters and BS artists are rampant, and you are right to employ "buyer beware" approach. Shop for products from the highest quality suppliers, backed up with cited research.

Cheers!
Pete

Free book- The First immortal

Bruce Klein, the fine gentleman that heads up Immortality Institute sent me a care package this week. In it is a copy of "The First Immortal", which is a heck of a good read, and will make you rethink (or just think) about the issue of living longer.

Email me and I will priority mail you a fresh copy at no charge.

Oh- and go poke around ImmInst. You might just find yourself quite captivated. If you like what you see, sign-up and support the cause!

Happy holidays!
Pete

Monday, November 21, 2005

Mito-GOLD R-Lipoic Acid Going Off Sale

Mito-GOLD is going off sale in 9 days. One each $59.95, 3 or more only $54.95 each. If you want to buy some, place your order now.

Don't snooze and loose.

Cheers,
Pete

Friday, November 18, 2005

AstaFactor Astaxanthin. What makes an Algae Get Mad and Turn Red?

This is going out to our subscribed customer base in a few minutes. Did you sign up for our "newletter"? If not, you can do so by clicking here.

(Remember, when you make a purchase from our site we make you "opt-in" rather than making you "opt-out" like 99% of other ecommerce sites. Another way for us to show that we respect you and earn your trust.)

I thought you might enjoy watching one of our products being manufactured. Have you seen the "Dirty Jobs" show on The Discovery Channel? Well, our manufacturer of astaxanthin (Mera Pharmaceuticals) is featured on one of this show's three segments- watch it this Saturday the 19th, or next Friday the 25th.
They grow the algae, stress it so that it produces astaxanthin, then harvest and process it to obtain the AstaFactor that goes into our Salmon Essentials, Sports Formula and the (sold out)Rejuvenation Formula.

Here is a link directly to the products on our site: Astaxanthin

Lots of info on the product pages as you have come to expect from us.

Astaxanthin is a very safe and potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory compound. Furthermore, before years end, we expect to have the results of a double-blind, randomized controlled human study of astaxanthin's ability to reduce C-Reactive Protein (CRP) levels which is an indicator of cardiac risk.

I hope you found this fun and useful, thanks for your trust and business.

Pete

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Healthy Diet- Rest of the Day

Breakfast is the most important meal of your day, see my previous post for some ideas.

These next ideas are good for lunch or dinner.

Lunch can be bad for many of us. Pastas, breads, sugary drinks all lead to the dreaded afternoon "sleepies". You know what I mean- DROWSY! If after lunch all you want is a nap, you need to carefully and honestly consider your diet.

Go for a salad with some meat as a protein source. Or, a meat with no buns or bread. I love BBQ pork, and with coleslaw, it makes a very satisfying meal. You already know how I feel about sprouts. Want to try an experiment? Eat a big fistfull of sprouts with a tomato, or cucumber, or even half an avocado for lunch.

I will bet you never got the sleepies!

And please, avoid the sugared drinks- tea or, yech, a cola drink! Same with fruit juices, sugar is sugar. Orange and apple juice are popular offenders. My dentist used to love her patients that had their kids drink apple juice or eat raisins (dried grapes) because they were her best source of business! (cavities and rotten teeth).

For some reason people fight this concept of fruit juices being bad for you, and all I can say is- tune out the marketers message and quit deluding yourself.

I happen to agree with Dr. Mercola and Dr. Perricone about fish and especially salmon. The oils fish contain and the easily digestible protein add up to a healthy meal. Your challenge is finding wild salmon. Farm raised suffer from all kinds of issues- fed antibiotics, coloring agents, raised in unclean pens, and raised on unnatural food pellets.

Ugh- no thanks.

The problem for many of us is that wild raised and caught salmon can be expensive, so we have to be careful shoppers. Go for the King Salmon when you can, it has the best flesh texture and taste in my opinion. Baked/broiled are fast and easy. A little salt and pepper, with a squeeze of lemon and you are good to go.

You know too, I am a huge fan or raw milk. If you are in California you can buy it in certain stores. If you live in other states you can buy it from Organic Pastures, shipped frozen, or join a local "cow-share" program. If super-market milk causes you to be lactose intolerant or have excess mucus secretion, I urge you to spend the buck$ and try raw milk, raw butter and raw cheese. You will never go back.

More later this week.

Cheers!
Pete

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

A Healthy Diet- Some Ideas for Breakfast

I posted a few months ago about one place I buy food from- Bob's Red Mill.

Healthy diet is certainly critical to having a healthy body. Some things I eat regularly are:

Breakfast- Buckwheat groats (cooked), chopped walnuts, ground flax seed, cinnamon, sugar free acai, blueberries and a bit of Organic Pastures raw milk. All mixed together (!) Yummy and healthy.

or

Celery stalks smeared in the hollow with a nut butter. (NOT peanut butter! Peanuts are legumes, NOT nuts, and tend to be loaded with fertilizers, pesticides and be genetically modified.)

or

Chicken Eggs, Omega-3 fortified from seaweed/flax seed fed free-range chickens. Either hard boiled or scrambled in butter. Raw butter from Organic Patures Dairies in California.

I drink coffee, about 3 cups a day and choose an organic, fair trade blend from Trader Joe's. Some claim coffee is bad for you but I have yet to see a conclusive study. There is some evidence it may actually be good for you.

Posts on lunch and dinner ideas later in the week.

To your health!
Pete

Lab Tests- Check 'em Out. Regimen Change

Somebody suggested I actually post my lab test results. After some though, why not? If you want to see em just click here.

Wonder how many other supplement suppliers use their own products and would be willing to put facts where their hype is :-)

PS- Since the blood work I have made a change to my supplement regimen- removed the LEF EPA/DHA (which is a fine product) and replaced it with our new Salmon Essentials and Asta Factor Sports Formula with Astaxanthin.

This allows me to use wonderfully healthy salmon oil fortified with astaxanthin, and in order to gain more astaxanthin, the addition of the Sports Formula.

Pete

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Sprouts!

Longer post next week on diet, so sorry, covered over with good things here.

Go to the Embarcadero Farmers Market at the Ferry Building on Saturday and see Jim's booth in the back section for the best sprouts on earth. He offers a large variety, all grown without soil (!) and he fills your bag fresh from the growing tray.

Sprouts are oh so healthy for you and have a large variety of flavors, but all are crunchy and tasty. Tell Jim I said I sent you, he is one heck of a nice guy and loves his business.

Ask him for a shot of fresh Barley Grass or Wheat Grass juice for an instant boost.

The bad news- there is no easy way to ship this product. It could be cold-packed but that makes S&H cost as much as the product.

Don't live in the San Francisco area? Find a local farmers market and see if you can find them there.

Cheers!
Pete

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Diet Post and a Quick Rant

Totally covered over today- sorry! :-(

Promise to write the diet post tomorrow!

Today the FDA and FTC acted to protect you from some shysters.

I hope the FDA acts on another new style of even worse crooks- web sites popping up purporting to "review" supplements and then they "pick the best" and provide you a convenient buy button to purchase the product. What a crock of crap, as these filthy thieves are trying to fake you into making an informed buying decision.

Buyer beware my friends. If the site you are dealing with feels slimy or "slick", just back away, and save your hard-earned money.

Cheers
Pete

4 RALA-Gel left at Sale Pricing

Buy now, or cry later.

RALA-Gel softgels 100mg MCT time release r-lipoic acid. UPDATE- they are gone, and so is the sale pricing.

However the good news is that the new formula RALA-Gel is now available for shipping. Still 100mg lipoic per capsule, but now composed of a mix of 66mg R-lipoic acid and 34 mg R-dihydrolipoic acid. Still a 60 capsule bottle and now a new 120 capsule bottle available for $avings.

Grab 'em and growl!

Pete

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Supplements for Lower HS-CRP and Homocysteine.

After yesterdays post, I woke up this morning really looking forward to writing this follow-up. In fact, I've decided to make a series of posts this week as I also want to share my daily diet (what I eat) with you too.

How exciting to have "proof" of a supplement program producing a quantifiable effect on your health.

Furthermore, this documents that not only am I not damaging my liver (as some claim), but indeed, all measurements were ideal! Ha!

From your research, you know having low High-Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (HS-CRP) and Homocysteine levels in your body is a very good thing.

You know too how important a good lipid profile is: low cholesterol, low triglycerides.

However, if you use garbage supplements from suppliers of unknown integrity, you do risk your health, in more ways than one. The key, and let me emphasize this because I am convinced, the key is using a well-thought out supplement combination, from proven suppliers.

If you buy some junk for $2.95, expect that you will get exactly what you pay for. Being in the business, I assure you that quality does not come cheap. Research, testing, pharmaceutical/premium quality raw materials, cGMP handling and maintaining fresh contents is expensive. But it must happen if we are to obtain the benefits we seek.

To those that would argue, my opinion is that Darwin's theories will be the ultimate arbiter :-) See you on the other side later rather than sooner brother!

Your challenge: Stop thinking of supplementation as an expense and instead think of it as an investment that pay dividends forever.

Enough jibber-jabber: Subject to change at any moment, here is what I have been using with hyperlinks to the product pages for more info. Listed in order of my opinion of their beneficial effects, and how I feel after using them. If you are on a budget you can add to your "stack" as funds allow.

Pete's Proven Mix (my daily dose in parenthesis):
  • AOR's Ortho-Core -Foundational Multi. Priced embarrassingly low for what you get. (9 capsules)

  • GeroNova's Mito-GOLD MCT time-release R lipoic acid. A combo of r-lipoic/R-dihydro lipoic acid and delta-tocotrienol. I give this product credit for much of my positive lab results. (2 capsules)

  • Either of GeroNova's other two MCT time-release r-lipoics, RALA-Gel or R-PLUS (2 capsules). Let me be blunt- if you are not currently using a stable, time-release lipoic, you are pissing away your money. Please take a moment to educate yourself. GeroNova Research is currently the only manufacturer in the world to make such a product. I use 600mg r-lipoic daily, split between Mito-GOLD and R-PLUS.

  • Acetyl-l-Carnitine. The ALCAR/lipoic combination is what had Ames'es old rats "Doing the Macarena". If you are not getting ALCAR in a cognitive combo formula (below) then you must add it separately. I am now using GeroNova's ALCAR/Carnitine Orotate (4 capsules) combination which is quite cost effective. The innovative orotate cellular transport for the carnitine should offer superior bioavailability.

  • A pure, Pharmaceutical Quality Fish Oil. I have been using LEF's EPA/DHA but am switching to Mera Pharmaceuticals SalmonEssentials with astaxanthin when our initial inventory arrives next week. (4 softgels)

  • RelentlessImprovement's Tested Pure Piracetam and Resveratrol. Zero toxicity in humans, evidence for neuroprotective action. Subtle and subjective, awesome for "waking up the brain"- cognition, speech, music, creativity. No other USA supplier tests and documents as throughly as we do for total purity and safety.

  • Any cognitive enhancement product that we offer. Ortho-Mind is superb, Mitochondrial Energy Optimizer is great, Cognitex are wonderful. So far, I have used all but the Get Smart. All are good choices.

There you go, quite simple, and you can easily design a package for any budget. Consider giving up the $4.00 daily sugar-laden Starbucks and $3.00 white-flour and sugar dessert and invest that money in something good for you.

I also have an idea that could revolutionize the supplement business, rewarding the Customer (and us) based on proven performance. Stay tuned, it's all good.

Cheers!
Pete

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Homocysteine, C-Reactive Protein, Triglycerides and Supplementation. My Proof

As is evidenced in my posts, I use supplements. With two exceptions (spin traps), I sell what I use. I have a pretty consistent regimen that I stick with on a daily basis. As a 44 year old man, I become more cognizant of my physical and mental health as every year passes.

Regarding supplements, you might have mixed emotions on what works (for what) and what does not. "I feel better" is pretty subjective, but blood work does not lie.

I feel great, but wanted to see quantifiable evidence of what I was doing to my body. Good, or bad.

My physician, Dr. Rowell, expressed a high degree of skepticism as I asked for testing to document any benefits from my diet and supplement use. I didn't blame him a bit as the supplement business is rich with hype and poor with proof.

I went to pick up the test results today which were supposed to be simply handed over to me, but instead I was asked to take a seat and wait for the doctor to talk to me. Yikes! Why the hushed tones and consultation? Had I destroyed my liver? Were my kidneys fried? Was my blood a suitable substitute for coffee creamer?

After a few minutes I was ushered into the examination room and Dr. Rowell began rifling the 4 pages of lab results...

The upshot? He wanted to know what I was taking!

Why?

All parameters were perfect, CBC/Platelets were perfect, Comprehensive Metabolic Panel was perfect, Endocrinology was perfect.

Except Lipids:

Triglycerides at 88 mg/dL (halved from two years ago!)
Cholesterol 160 mg/dL (down from 198 two years ago)
Cholesterol/HDL ratio 3.5 (couldn't ask for better)

HS-CRP (High Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein) 0.27 mg/L (normal range 3-10)
No, that is not a typo: 0.27

Homocysteine 5.8 micromoles (Desirable for males: less than 11.4 micromoles/L)

My doctor had never seen a HS-CRP or homocysteine measurement so low in any of his patients before! These tests are a measure of inflammation response anywhere in your body, and have value in predicting cardiovascular risks. Do a Google on them to learn some very interesting facts about these measures.

Modern anti-aging research has many roads leading to reduction of inflammation as being key to anti-aging therapy (see Dr. Cynthia Kenyons ground breaking work). If you prefer Dr. Perricone and his style, you must remember he considers reducing inflammation as key to a healthy body.

So I left the physicians office quite thrilled- seems I have, through careful and intelligent supplementation, achieved, at least via currently measurable qualities, a highly desirable chemical balance in my body. Suitable, all things considered, for a very long and healthy life.

The best part? My business is focused like a laser on helping other people live longer, healthier lives. Bringing them products they can trust and building relationships based on offering superior value.

My supplement regimin in the next blog post. I can't wait to share with you!

Cheers!
Pete

Monday, November 07, 2005

Mera Pharmaceuticals AstaFactor Astaxanthin

Available early next week: AstaFactor Astaxanthin.

Did you see the profile of this company on "Dirty Jobs" on the Discovery Channel? They offer a Salmon Oil and Astaxanthin product, "SalmonEssentials", a pure AstaFactor "Rejuvenation" product and the mega-dose AstaFactor "Sports Formula" with a huge 10mg of pure Astaxanthin content.

What is the big deal? Super potent antioxidant, and you know how important antioxidants like astaxanthin are for healthy cells and anti-aging at the mitochondrial level. Furthermore, astaxanthin is superb for reducing inflammation and would be an incredible used in combination with a time-release r-lipoic acid like R-PLUS R-Lipoic Acid.

We are only able to obtain a very limited quantity, and I am grabbing 4 of the Salmon Essentials for myself. Expect the SalmonEssentials (3 softgels = 4 mg of astaxanthin) and AstaFactor Sports Formula (2 softgels = 5mg of astaxanthin) to start shipping approx next Tuesday (Nov 15th). If you want some, preorder now to lock in your availability as succeeding shipments are weeks away.

The AstaFactor Rejuvenating Formula is at least 4 weeks away from shipping, so you can preorder if you like, but you have a much longer wait.

Wow, imagine a pure, clean salmon oil combined with astaxanthin. You have heard how good salmon is for you. The latest issue of Life Extension Foundation magazine has an article by renowned Dr. Nicholous Perricone espousing the virtues of astaxanthin and he rates it number one of his top supplement recommendations!

Mera Pharmaceuticals, our supplier partner, provides the only pharmaceutical quality astaxanthin, don't waste your money on the crap selling for $6-$15 a bottle. We are looking out for you- we already offer you easy quantity discounts for those wishing to stock-up and save money.

As usual Relentless Improvement seeks out the unusual but highly effective products that help you to live a better life.

Cheers!
Pete

Ecommerce Customer Service

I posted a week ago about my favorite soap. After placing my order I still don't have it. Nor did I ever receive any updates about when it would be available.

I just called the gift shop at the Ahwahnee hotel, reached the 'internet" customer service and discovered that my order went through their site but somehow was forgotten. The woman I spoke to obviously could care less about helping me, told me the site advised delivery in 3-4 weeks which is incorrect- it doesn't say that. And what kind of business considers 3-4 week delivery as acceptable? What a joke.

Well, they found my "missing" order and told me it will ship today (we shall see). No apology, no "thank you for your patience", no "thank you for your order", just a feeling I was responsible for interrupting her day.

All in all, while the product happens to be excellent, my purchase experience sucked.

My challenge is accepting this atrocious level of customer service, and a less than perfect web purchase experience. Put me in charge of that (likely tiny) operation and heads would roll ASAP.

Many people think they pop up a Yahoo! store, get a PayPal account and bam, they have a fine internet business. Ugh. Look, I have news for you that you can take to the bank:

Customer service rules all. A quick, easy purchase with email follow-up at every stage is critical. Fast delivery is crucial. Automatically providing a tracking number should be expected. Greet phone calls with a smile in your voice.

If you are putting up a web store just because somebody told you that you need to have an internet site is a disservice to your Customers, and your business, because if you provide a crappy experience, good Customer comments turn to bad comments.

Back in the late 90's when the web was in its infancy, people didn't know better. Well, they do now, and there are no excuses for anything less than an AWESOME, FUN, INCREDIBLE ecommerce transaction!

Rant over.

I wish I could figure out who makes that soap. I would love to offer it to you on my site.

Pete

Friday, November 04, 2005

Mprize - Million Dollar Donation


Wow- An anonymous donor sent a cashiers check for One Million Dollars. That will perk up your day!

Read about it here at the Mprize site.

Relentless Improvement has donated $1800.00 so far this year, and I am thrilled we could do so. Every company should give back, and Immortality Institute and Mprize are our causes to support.

Pete

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

R-Lipoic Acid Still on Sale

For those of you that did not catch my post from last week, the Mito-Gold and RALA-Gel are still on sale. We have never put them on sale before, and may never again. If you have benn on the fence and wanted to try a bottle, or stock up for your regular use, this is your chance.

Mito-GOLD here ($59.95 for 1-2, $54.95 for 3 or more) and RALA-Gel here ($29.95 regardless of quantity-wow).

Remember Ames's Macarana dancing mice? Pair these premium time release lipoics with GeroNova's new Carnitine Plus™ ALCAR/Carnitine orotate. You save by having Acetyl-L-Carnitine and Carnitine in the same capsule. You get higher bioavailability because this product employs a revolutionary orotate transport.

Pete

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Pay Per Click Your Way to Oblivion

What fascinates me is how some companies throw money out the window. I won't pick on anyone by name, but the reason you should care is because you are the loser. How so? Well, if a business wastes more money, that means less is available to improve quality of ingredients, less to build and deploy a well designed website ($$) for you to purchase from, and less to build value into Customer service and high quality employees.

Here is the deal- when you do a search on, lets say, Google you receive the "organic" search results on the left of the page. On the right are the "Pay per click" ads purchased by businesses targeting whatever keywords or search term you typed in.

Google's ad program is called AdWords, and is quite sophisticated in the functionality it offers to advertisers. At the core, an advertiser picks keywords or key phrases that they want an ad to appear for. Lets make one up- "Funky Extract". If no other advertisers are running ads for Funky Extract, it might only cost the advertiser 5 cents for each time somebody clicks on it.

In most businesses, certain keywords are very competitive because of their popularity- many advertisers want their ads to show when a search is done. The more the advertiser "bids" (called a cost per click) on that keyword, higher the ad places on the search result page.

What is happening is that some companies are bidding as much, or more, than the retail price of the product! For example paying $3 per click and the product sells for $3. Explain that to me (Some may be receiving co-op ad money to reimburse them, but then the manufacturer pays and again you get a lesser quality product). Most examples are for house brands, so the money is simply being pi**ed away.

Unless you have your own ad campaigns running (as we do) you have no way to see the bid prices, and no way to tell when this is happening. Certain supplement product keywords are bid as high as $3-4 per click. Keep in mind only a small percent of clicks actually result in a purchase, so the actual cost per sale can be astronomical.

We figured out the pay per click game a long time ago, our marketing expense as a percent of sales is about one-third industry average. We also use software to recognize and gather evidence for click fraud, which is about 30% of all clicks (if necessary, we can actually identify the specific computer the clicks came from).

Why do I take the time to share this with you? Just another way we add value to your ecommerce experience by keeping our expenses low, so that we can pass the savings along to you in the form of lower prices and higher quality.

Many businesses trying to play in the ecommerce sandbox, few have a commanding grasp of exactly what is involved.

Cheers!
Pete

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Pay Per Click- Insanity or What?

I will give you some "inside-baseball" this week on supplement businesses and their use of Google pay per click ads. Specifically, some crazy stuff I see going on behind the scenes.

Some of you know we have always used pay per click ads- that is how you found RelentlessImprovement to begin with. Come to think of it though, some of you also have no idea what the heck I am talking about. Regardless, I will explain so all can share in the learning fun.

We have become pretty smart in how we deploy our marketing dollars in this area, but some businesses methods leave me agog with incredulity. The biggest businesses are the ones most entertaining.

I will share what I mean later in the week.

Clean Up Your Act

Clean up your act, and enjoy every minute of it.

By now you know I love to publicize companies and products that I have had a great experience with and offer a superior value. The Olive Oil Soap sold in the Ahwahnee Hotel gift shop is awesome! I love this stuff. It comes in several scents and my faves are Almond and Clove, Spearmint and Lemongrass (Vanilla and Oats is great too).

Imagine yourself lathering up with a soap that is good for your skin, leaves you smelling fresh and energizes you with a zesty feeling. I have used it for several years and would not want to use anything else. This would make a great gift for the significant other in your life too.

Try some, and please let me know what you think. I find a bar lasts me about three weeks with twice a day use. It also works very well in lieu of shaving cream, so you can save a buck there.

As usual, I have no connection to the vendor, this one is concessionaire for the National Park Service.

Pete

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Mito-GOLD R-Lipoic/R-Dihydro lipoic Acid. Blog Sale

Once in a blue moon blog special.

Been wanting to try Mito-GOLD but have been on the fence? This is your one-time shot to buy it on sale.

Mito-GOLD is 50% r-lipoic acid / 50% r-dihydro lipoic acid with Delta-Tocotrienol and optically pure Biotin in a MCT base and is presently the only stabilized "time-release" r-lipoic product in the world.

The "father" of r-lipoic research, Bruce Ames, received a patent to use a Delta-Tocotrienol formulation as a triglyceride and fat reducing substance ("...delta-T shows dose-dependent anti-adipogenesis activity...", "...delta-tocotrienol, can be used as a drug to reduce triglyceride accumulation...").

This is our flagship product and generates more positive email than any other item we offer. It is not cheap, and is worth every penny. Mito-GOLD's highly bioavalable ingredients can actually reverse enzyme and DNA oxidative damage.

Why Mito-GOLD?
  • It is a powerful antioxidant.
  • Promotes natural cellular ATP production, you feel energized, a rejuvenation effect.
  • Glycemic control- Improves your glucose intake and utilization.
  • Reverses insulin resistance (consult your Doctor).
  • Can actually reverse enzyme and DNA oxidative damage.
Mito-GOLD's ingredients regulate lipid and carbohydrate metabolism:
  • Reducing your appetite (decreases AMPK in the hypothalamus).
  • Decreasing your fat accumulation.
  • Increasing your lean muscle mass.
  • Lower your triglyceride levels, reduces your cardiovascular risk.
  • Modulates inflammation throughout your body.
Additional benefits:
  • R-Lipoic Acid is neuroprotective (protects your brain).
  • Chelates toxic heavy metals from your body.
Delta Tocotrienol
  • Is a super-potent antioxidant, the best of the Vitamin E family.
  • Increases endogenous (natural) production of CoQ10.
  • Exhibits anti-cancer effects.
According to the latest University of California SF research, antioxidants are critical to long and healthy life.

Read the research, grab a 3+ quantity discount and feel what the buzz is all about.

This is a very limited time sale and will end with no notice. Follow the links above to receive the special pricing.

Want to get your friends in on the savings and be a hero? Give them this link to this blog post:

http://relentlessimprovement.blogspot.com/2005/10/mito-gold-r-lipoicr-dihydro-lipoic.html

Pete

Pyridoxamine- Not Again...Oh Yes.

How did I miss this article(link fixed!) about pyridoxamine? Learn everything you have been wanting to know about legalities, lawsuits, DSHEA and the FDA in regards to pyridoxamine.

Advanced Orthomolecular Research may be about to introduce to the US a new product. We have the info listed here, but do not currently stock it. Do you want it?

Sounds to me like BioStratum made a colossal mistake in trying to stop pyridoxamine from being sold as a nutritional supplement, as it has been for years.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

RALA-Gel (100% R-Lipoic) on Sale. Can you believe it?

It's true, only $29.95. You know we never put GeroNova stabilized lipoics on sale so this is a genuine special opportunity.

RALA-Gel is a third generation, MCT transported r-lipoic acid. Stabilized against heat and stomach acid polymerization. Why use anything else?

Grab it and growl. Limited quantities.

Email Update 3

Our email server came back up last night, so with fingers crossed, I say we should now be good to go to send/receive email again.

While any downtime on any server is unacceptable, our host has handled this whole outage with consummate professionalism. The good news is they have had a trial by fire, discovered the weak spots in their network, and should be more dependable than ever before.

Here is the link to our web host- Verio. Read these status updates to get a feel how a serious business is run. Our previous web host ignored a service outage and made excuses. So we fired them.

You might be entertained to know our email, static website, shopping cart and blog are all on different servers. The shopping cart, on a secure, encrypted server has never went down and should always be available to you.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Life Extension Foundation Products

I want to reiterate we are an authorized, stocking LEF distributor. LEF's site is down again due to the hurricane. I would guess their shipping may also be impacted by the hurricane.

But we up and running and can ship your orders today.

Please see the LEF product page for a listing of what we carry.

Email Update

UPDATE- I have replied to all emails. If you did not receive a reply, please resend your email. As of 11AM PST, email is down again. Website remains up and fully capable of accepting orders.

Looks like our hosting company brought the email servers back up, as our mail box is full and we can now send again. They are warning there may be intermittent outages as the power situation stabilizes.

Thanks for your understanding and patience!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Hurricane Wilma, LEF Orders, Your Emails

The good news? RelentlessImprovement.com is up, running and serving you pages.

The bad news? Our email has been down for about 8-12 hours.

Why? Hurricane Wilma! But you say, Relentless Improvement is in California?

Our web and email hosting servers are in Boca Raton FL which is hit hard, millions of people are without power. The web servers are currently running on diesel generator back-up power (and may be for days), and the email servers, which are separate from the web servers, were proactively powered down to conserve what energy the server farm does have.

One of our suppliers web sites, Life Extension Foundation is down. LEF is located in Florida. If you want to order LEF product, as an authorised Life-Extension Distributor, we have product in stock, and are ready to ship to you.

Dedicated servers with triple redundant power and 100% uptime are astronomically expensive, but it drives me crazy when things are not running at peak efficiency to serve our Customers. We will make whatever changes are necessary to insure your ability to obtain products and contact us.

I marvel that the internet works at all given the variety of hardware and software that has to work in concert to bring you our ecommerce site. Non-technical people, as most of you are, have no idea of the symphony that I must conduct in order to provide you a fast, easy and well-designed purchase experience.

But that this how it should be. You should never have to see how the sausage is made in order to enjoy the smoky goodness :-)

Aubrey's Balls

Seems the anti-aging cause has reached the big time. If you define big-time as having a link on the Drudge Report. That is what happened today as Drudge linked to this fascinating story about Aubrey de Grey in The Journal of Higher Education.

Who the hell is Dr. de Grey? How do I feel about him?

Look to your right. See the little blinking cream and green bug?

The Methuselah Foundation/ Methuselah Mouse MPrize is the foundation mentioned in this article. Relentless Improvement has been a contributor and staunch supporter of the foundation. We also link to it on the "links" page of RelenlentlessImprovement.com (other good 3rd party links there too).

So, go read that article, get your exercise, eat right, sensibly employ premium-quality supplements and live long enough to live forever.

Oh yeah, the title of this blog post? ...

"There are people who say that if Aubrey says it must be right then it must be wrong." At the same time, despite his criticism, Mr. Finkelstein has some appreciation for Mr. de Grey's role as provocateur. "I like him," he says. "He ruffles feathers. He has the balls to say stuff."

Cheers!
Pete

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Customer Feedback

"Hi,

I have placed & received several orders from Relentless Improvement. I just want to let you know that I am VERY pleased with your fast shipping and your responses to any questions I have emailed to you.

Thanks again and great work!!!"

Thank YOU Kim!

I probably answer emails for 30% of my day, do you think that is about ten times what the average business owner is willing to do? How can you meet your Customers needs if you cloister yourself in your fancy office, behind layers of secretaries and minions?

We offer value and superb service. We will never be the low price leader, and we never want to be. I will always give you effective, high-quality products, fast shipping and a well designed, easy purchase process.

Reading this and never ordered from Relentless Improvement? Haven't experienced how easy and fun it can be? Try us, I dare you:

Relentless Improvement.com

Friday, October 21, 2005

Soggy Rolls

I am a Seth Godin fan. I believe in the philosophy of adding value to every step of our Customers purchase process. This post in his blog pretty much cuts to the chase.

You will never receive soggy rolls from us! (we don't sell rolls anyhow)

We want to offer you an exceptional experience. Your feedback says we are hitting the target. The sales growth says we are doing things very right. Conversion rates say you like the speed, quality and service we provide you.

But how do we raise the bar even higher? Please email and let me know.

Happy Weekend!
Pete

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Carnosine Eye Drops for Cataracts

We previously offered two products for use topically in the eye. Carno-See from VRP and Clear Eye Carnosine from AOR. The only difference is Carno-See contains added Vitamin A&E in the formulation.

We have since discontinued both products and now offer a fully tested, pharmaceutical quality 1% N-Acetyl-L-Carnosine eye drop in the Relentless Improvement brand.

3rd party testing is your ultimate assurance of quality and claimed acetyl-l-carnosine content.

In the US, we are forbidden by law from making health claims about our drops, but they are the same formulation (acetyl carnosine does the work) as that used in the research studies you have read.

Relentless Improvement is your home for the highest-qualtiy vitamins and supplements

Pete

Food For Thought

We are lucky here in the San Francisco area to have a variety of great places to eat. One of my favorites is Cafe Gratitude near the Mission area of downtown SF.

Have a look at this menu and see if perhaps it inspires you to try some new things with your cooking. Of course, if you are in the bay area let them do the cooking for you.

In our bulk processed, mass produced, run-around world, we often give short shrift to the basics of taking care of our bodies. Study after study recognize the benefits of good eating.

Your body was designed by nature to use lean meat, vegetables, nuts (NOT peanuts which are a legume!) as its fuel source. Sugars (any kind except xylitol) and flours in my opinion do far more harm than good.

Let today be a new day, let your mind rest for a few minutes on that menu. Find a place to eat with a vegetarian menu, or better yet a "live foods" menu. Try a week with no sugars or grain flours. See how you feel. Let me know what happens.

I bet you have a clearer head, more energy, fewer naps and a smaller waistline!

Onward Upward,
Pete

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

New Carnitine Plus™ Shipping Tomorrow

Carnitine Plus™ - Yet another revolutionary product from GeroNova Research, Acetyl-L-Carnitine 500mg and L-Carnitine 250mg (from 420 mg L-Carnitine Orotate) in a single capsule.

The 60 count bottle is available tomorrow, the 120 count is still two weeks away. A great combination of energizing and anti-aging substances, with boosted benefit to you from the Orotate transport into your cells.

Very attractive pricing too.

Use in combination with GeroNova's stabilized R-Lipoic Acids for greatest benefit.

Good Design Is Timeless

Hopefully our Customers agree. Take a look and let me know what you think.

While every other supplement site is struggling to provide simple functionality, our goal was simple: leapfrog the entire industry via beautiful design. By definition, a great design will exhibit superior usability and functionality.

Dreaming it, and bringing it to life however are two different challenges. Most businesses today make decisions by meetings and committees. Great ideas get watered down, risk is quashed, the end result is adherence to a so called "industry standard".

Don't have that problem here- our goal was to push the technological envelope to its edge and we did not fear risk.

There are some tweaks to come. The Learn page is up, running, and looks great, but it will soon be home to a technically innovative method of allowing indexing and search. The Learn page will over the coming months and years become a repository of wisdom from some eminently qualified people.

In order to best add value for those that most appreciate it- our repeat, loyal Customers, we are looking at some kind of subscription or member type business model allowing access to this area of the site.

Always let us know how we can serve you better, and expect Relentless Improvement to provide Radical Innovation, Driven By Science And Design™

Cheers!
Pete

Monday, October 17, 2005

Christmas Eve

For the past several weeks I have been like an eight-year old on Christmas eve. Tomorrow is looking like the day.

But, it going to be a special day for You too... I hope you like the changes.

Great design is elusive, but well worth the effort.

:-)

Hey Turkey!


In our parking lot a few minutes ago- Thanksgiving dinner delivering itself early.

Just kidding! We don't harvest our wild visiting friends. We also have feral cats around here, wonder who would win that fight?

This has nothing to do with supplements, but hopefully puts a grin on your face!

Alzheimers and Dementia (pass on the valet parking).

This research from the Aging Research Center, Division of Geriatric Epidemiology in Sweden concludes that exercise is your friend.

"...if an individual adopts an active lifestyle in youth and at midlife, this may increase their probability of enjoying both physically and cognitively vital years later in life."

I hope this comes as no great surprise to anybody. The benefits of exercise are manifold and pay rich dividends throughout your life. Don't feel like you have to join a health club and buy skimpy shorts...
  • Take the stairs.
  • Park at the end of the parking lot.
  • Walk the neighborhood.
  • Use public transportation (which usually requires some walking).
  • Swim at the Y.
  • Play ball or ultimate frisbee.
The Healthy Living Pyramid's base is a good diet, followed by regular exercise, then supplements.

Cheers,
Pete

New Supplier Added- Smart Nutrition

Rounding out our cognitive enhancement line-up are new products from Smart Nutrition. You may have purchased their products from Life Extension Foundation, or from SN themselves. Now you have easy one-stop shopping at Relentless Improvement.

Do you have a favorite product that we don't carry on our site? Please, let me know:

Pete@RelentlessImprovement.com

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

International Shipping Feedback

" I appreciate your reasonable shipping rates. Please keep an effort with these low shipping fees as it really makes a difference. (By comparison I recently made a similar sized order with XXX and it was $24 delivery for the same delivery schedule, and XXX's international shipping is so ludicrous I've never ordered from them!

Robert in the UK"

We are getting very, very good at International shipping and we can offer our international Customers excellent value. If you do not see the product you are looking for in our store, please email and ask, if it is an existing supplier, we can quickly add it to our offering for you!

The new real-time shipping rates for International orders allow you to immediately see how adding and removing products from your cart affect shipping costs. So easy! And we now offer you a choice of United States Postal Service- Global Priority, Airmail Parcel Post or Global Express.

Pete