(Okay, we just started this company so we haven't received many FAQs yet. So we came up with our own questions to which we thought you might want to know the answers).
1. Why did you create this supplement?
We are all scientists and clinicians. We believe that optimal functioning of any living organism is directly related to our lifestyle and our diet. We do know that nutritional supplementation can benefit even those following a healthy diet and can be of real help to those that may not be getting some essential vitamins and minerals in the doses and formulations that modern scientific research has shown to be so beneficial.
Initially, at our fertility center, Pacific Fertility Center in San Francisco, Dr. Eldon Schriock became interested in the issue of Vitamin D deficiency in pregnant women and in women attempting to conceive. We started to measure serum samples for Vit D3 on all our patients. After over 500 samples were drawn, we realized that the vast majority of our patients had levels below the lower limit of optimum Vit D3 circulating levels (below 30 IU/mL). There has been an explosion of research in the last 3-5 years about the role that vitamin D deficiency may play in many areas of medicine, including an association between low levels and an increased risk for pre-term labor and pre-term rupture of membranes, leading to a higher risk of premature births. We found that supplementation of our patients with 2000 IU/day of Vit d3 reversed this deficiency in over 90% of the patients.
This led to our curiosity about what other nutrients may be deficient in our patients. At the same time, we began to work with a nutritionist with extensive experience in counseling cancer patients (Natalie Ledesma) and we also began to discuss micro-nutrient needs for optimal sperm health with Dr. Paul Turek, a world-renowned andrologist-urologist. We realized there was a need to develop a line of supplements, optimized by the latest research, for dietary supplementation for couples undergoing attempts at starting a family, and continuing into pregnancy and breast-feeding.
2. How did you go about creation and development of the Essential Beginnings product line?
We knew we couldn't do all the primary research ourselves, but we knew we had the medical and scientific background to research the literature, learning about current data on proper dosages and when necessary, contacting the primary researchers directly to access the best knowlege regarding outcomes and avoidance of toxicities with our products. We took this approach to every product in the line and we have developed safe, effective, and appropriate supplements for optimal health for families just getting started.
3. Why did you choose to produce the supplements in California?
Well, we live here! But we knew we wanted to work with a laboratory that had extensive experience in producing safe nutraceutical products. We knew we must have an FDA-approved facility with safety of the products as the top priority. In California, products for consumption must follow Prop 65 regulations for purity and safety and this is what we wanted to provide to our customers, many of whom are also our fertility patients.
4. What is the goal in producing this product?
Initially, the goal was to be able to recommend a dietary supplement for our fertility patients, both male and female. Because the female pre-conception supplement, which we called XX (following the XX chromosome designation for women, and we naturally then called our male pre-conception formula XY for male chromosomes), was a supplement that could replace standard over-the-counter pre-natal vitamins, we decided to carry on the line into pre-natal vitamins for pregnant women. With our background as obstetricians, we knew that pre-natal vitamins contain valuable and essential ingredients for pregnancy but could be even better than the bewildering array of commercially-produced vitamins. They could be made without artificial coloring and could use organic sources for the ingredients as well as be optimally formulated for many aspects of optimum fetal health. We then worked to create the unique formula for breast-feeding, optimizing maternal micro-nutrient ingestion for maternal birth recovery and for continued infant growth.
In other words, our goal was to create the right stuff for Moms, Dads and babies through the cycle of conception, gestation, and lactation.