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NUTRILITE

One Man, Carl F. Rehnborg

Prior to 1934, there were no known multivitamin/multimineral supplements. People found it difficult to know if they were getting enough nutrients in their daily diets.

Then, Carl Rehnborg, founder of the NUTRILITE brand, created his first nutrition product and became a pioneer in the history of nutrition.

His Dream

While living in China in the early 1920s, Carl Rehnborg noticed, amid unforgettable malnutrition and disease, an important connection between the foods people ate and their overall health.

Fruits and vegetables for Nutrilite vitamin mineral supplements

  • In farming communities, where fresh fruits and vegetables were plentiful, people were much healthier overall.
  • In the cities, where diets included far more sugar, salt, and fat, Carl noted that there were many more instances of critical diseases, such as scurvy and beriberi.

During political unrest in Shanghai, Carl was isolated in a protected enclave. There, he conceived the idea of using nutritional elements missing from the typical diet as a way to improve overall health.

  • Carl supplemented his meager diet with soups from what was available: local herbs, grasses, and vegetables, along with rusty nails (for iron), and lime stone and ground-up animal bones (for calcium).
  • He shared his broth with a few friends, although the flavor was far from palatable.
  • Months later, Carl and his friends who ate the nutrient-rich broth emerged from their enclave much healthier than those who had eaten only army rations.

Returning to the United States, Carl set up a small laboratory on California's Balboa Island, where, over the next six years, he conducted experiments using different plant varieties.

  • He developed a way to dry these plants while still preserving their important nutrients.
  • He created a formulation of alfalfa, watercress, and parsley, which became the basis of his first product.