200 – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly – My Opinion – Steve Lankford

Finding the GOOD in a confusing nutritional marketplace.

Steve LankfordHere we are with 200 episodes of HealthQuestPodcast.com. That feels significant. I would say that the vision for HealthQuestPodcast.com has now been well established. That feels good. The goal has always been to create a library of content that can continue to grow and serve the community of interested consumers. There is so much good information on the science of nutrition that I feel this is a golden age for consumers, if they can find the good products, created by good companies, articulated by good science.

The nutritional products industry is rapidly changing. In some ways it is a victim of its own success. Those who have been in the industry a long time, like me with over 40 years, have wanted good nutrition to become widely accepted. Now that better nutrition is being embraced by a much larger community, we have many new participants in the marketplace, from more consumers, to more mass market and internet access, more product manufacturers, more raw material suppliers and so on. The business of nutrition is changing in ways that are not obvious to the average consumer. In this podcast, I will discuss some of the important issues that I think you should know about. They are issues that affect us now and will shape the future. There is much good to discuss and celebrate in the world of nutrition. There is also the bad to be concerned about and avoided. And the ugly is that which is evil and dishonest.

As we celebrate our 200th show, you should know that we take what we do very seriously. Our content is reliable, accurate and credible. We bring you some of the best experts in the nutritional products industry. We help you learn what good science is and what constitutes a good product. We help you understand the distinctions that exist so you can make knowledgeable choices. Distinctions is a key concept. Seek to make distinctions between all things. When you can understand differences between products, you can then make a more informed decision.

There is a lot to be excited about in the world of nutrition. Become educated and make wise choices. This will enable you to appropriate the benefits of good nutrition. Be careful and watch out. There are numerous ways to make mistakes that can interfere with your success. We’ll cover those as well.


  • MegaFood CertificationsMore good food and nutritional supplements are available to more consumers. Organic, NonGMO, natural etc. all reflect growing interest in safe food and good nutrition. We have watchdog organizations to certify the quality of the food and supplements we consume.
  • There is a movement towards transparency. Good companies are eager to convey to the consumer how their products are sourced and manufactured. Good companies need to articulate how their products are different and why you should trust them. Vette the companies you do business with.
  • The convergence of nutritional science, with high quality trademarked, branded and clinically studied ingredients is great for consumers. We have products that we know can work. There are tens of thousands of nutritional and clinical studies that give us confidence in the benefits of the products we use.
  • We now have global access to nutritional products from around the world. We can now have foods and herbs and natural medicines from other cultures that have been used for ages at our fingertips. We can now choose from the best products from around the world. Again, just vette the companies and products that you use.
  • We have many companies that are committed to bringing wonderful foods and quality, safe and effective nutritional supplements to the marketplace. These companies are often the result of a passionate owner and focused company that creates the great products that we all enjoy. There is no shortage of good companies who can be depended on to adhere to the highest standards. These are the companies you want to look for.
  • We have the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, which provides a regulatory framework for the supplement industry. If the FDA and FTC will enforce the laws we now have, bad players will be removed. We have been waiting for the FDA to act. We are finally seeing the regulatory agencies moving against bad companies.
  • GMP CertifiedGood Manufacturing Practices are now in place that can assure consumers that supplements they purchase are safe.  There are quality and safety checkpoints in the entire manufacturing and distribution chain that are now mandatory. Good companies follow these requirements, bad companies don’t.
  • All is not rosy. There are significant risks and challenges throughout the industry that affect you. It is the evolution of these challenges that will affect our nutrition environment in the future for better or worse.


  • Misinformation. There is plenty of information, the internet sees to that. What is missing is context that allows consumers to find what is important and credible out of all of that information. There is a huge amount of misinformation that also exists, side by side with reliable information. Consumers are easily confused. Consumers often buy on the hype and never look deeper into the company, product or claims.
  • The mass media usually does a poor job of giving a balanced view of good nutritional studies. Consumers are most likely to be exposed to sensational headlines about some negative study. Rarely does one get exposed to the thousands of good studies. You are well served if you have identified several resources that you trust to give a good interpretation of the science. If you are a regular listener of HealthQuestPodcast.com you have many of the best nutritional experts right here, explaining these complex topics.
  • The desire for good nutrition is being co-opted in many ways. Big multi-national companies are buying natural companies. They buy the brand and they buy the profits but they don’t buy the philosophy. So products get cheapened and unsuspecting consumers are the victims. We have numerous examples of this from Pepsi buying Naked Foods and Kellogg buying Kashi and Proctor & Gamble buying New Chapter Vitamins. There are many more. The new owners have little or no interest in being a healthy producer. Their interest is to tap into a growing a growing and profitable market.
  • There are many companies making supplements that are sub-par. Not illegal, just not very good. This is another case where buyers need to beware. When you purchase a cheap product you are not so likely to get the results found in higher quality products. You cannot buy the best products at the cheapest price. So consumers lose money and benefit and possibly confidence in the value of nutrition when they depend on cheap products to do the job.
  • As the mass market gets into the business of good nutrition we will all have wider access to products. The downside is that small independent health food stores are no longer the main resource for products. It is in these small stores that you could learn about products and strategies for becoming healthy. These smaller stores are gradually closing as the owners retire or business becomes less profitable. Whichever is the case, the consumer is losing a valuable asset. You will never get this kind of personal attention in the mass market. You also won’t get it in the big natural chain stores. You can’t get it through the internet. Where is the best place for consumers to learn? One answer is here on HealthQuestPodcast.com.
  • Our medical/pharmaceutical industry has morphed into something that does not always serve us well. While it is fair and important not to besmirch all medicine and to recognize the powerful benefit, it is not difficult to see where modern medicine has taken a turn for the worse. Drug companies cannot be trusted to provide safe and effective drugs. Researchers, medical schools and medical journals are all complicit in allowing bad medicine to flourish. There seems little to stem this tide.
  • There is a desire among some in the above named medical industry limit your access to nutritional supplements. There are forces that would like to see the nutrition industry either eliminated or much more highly regulated than it currently is. Various States Attorneys General are starting to focus on some of these issues. Federal, state and even global regulation can negatively impact you in ways we can’t even imagine. You must stay aware and act when needed.
  • One of the challenges of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 is the prohibition of speaking about nutrition for the cure, treatment, prevention or mitigation of disease. So everyone who sells supplements CANNOT discuss how nutrition may help your disease. We can only legally speak of the benefits of nutrition for structure and function, not disease. In reality, that is fine with me because nutrients nourish the body, drugs treat disease. The real root of the problem is that consumers usually think in terms of disease and not how to nourish the body’s systems. They certainly don’t understand how it is that nutrition exerts its influence on human health. A focus of HealthQuestPodcast.com is to help consumers think about using nutrition to nourish the systems of the body instead of treating disease symptoms.


  • The ugly is found where there is a deliberate attempt to defraud consumers. This occurs with adulterated products which have illegal pharmaceutical, or other unlisted and/or harmful ingredients. It happens when products are not properly labeled. It happens when raw materials are not properly tested or certified.
  • The ugly occurs when false information is put on the internet that confuses consumers and leads to false conclusions. Many consumers seem to believe that if it looks and sounds good it must be true. They assume the FDA and FTC keep the marketplace clean and fair. I wish it were so.
  • The ugly occurs when the medical system discourages the use of nutrition for healing. It is worse when they resort to lies, misinformation, deception and ignorance and present it to us as established science. We could do so much better if our medical system was geared to real health care instead of disease management.

Last Words
These are just some of the issues that have become important to me. We have so much good to celebrate in the natural products arena and I am happy to champion what I consider to be some of the best companies and products. I believe good companies, good products, good science, credible experts should all be recognized for their contributions. That is my goal, to bring knowledge of these resources to you. HealthQuestPodcast.com is a library of content that always available and shareable.

There will come a time where these pioneering people are no longer with us. We preserve that legacy here on HealthQuestPodcast.com. It is here for you to explore.  When you listen to the many experts explain the science and benefits of nutrition, you will begin to understand topics in a new and expanded way. Learning from a variety of experts is the best way to gain a consensus of opinion and this will give you confidence in the choices you make. Better choices leads to better results.

We are grateful to everyone who has a part in the success of HealthQuestPodcast.com.

  • It is for our listeners that we do this. We help you become a knowledgeable consumer.
  • It is the passionate people who are curious and driven to explore the world of nutrition and bring it to you.
  • It is the scientists that explore the how and why of nutrition.
  • It is our guests who explain these complex issues and help us understand.
  • It is our sponsors that make this possible. Good companies want educated customers.

Thank you all. Please share us with your social networks. Your recommendation is our highest honor. Together we can improve health one listener at a time. There is much more to come.






{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 MR PALEO May 1, 2016 at 7:58 pm

Drugs do not “treat” disease… they rarely treat anything but SYMPTOMS, and not the root cause….


2 Steve Lankford May 13, 2016 at 11:12 am

Drugs by definition do treat disease by treating symptoms. Disease is a system of defining health conditions by their symptoms and not the cause. Nutrition provides vital nutrients and natural molecules to the body. When healing takes place it is always the body that does the healing. The body does what it can with the tools it has. It is our choices that determine what our bodies have to work with, both nutritional and medical.


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