The History of the Natural Health Research Institute
The starting point of the NHRI was a talk by Bruce Holub, PhD, at the May 2002 American Oil Chemists Society (AOCS) Symposium in Montreal. Dr. Holub presented his work on omega-3 for heart health. He stated emphatically that enough research had already been done. He took Health Canada to task for not endorsing the use of omega-3 products for heart health, as the American Heart Assoc. had already done, and that this failure was costing 100,000 lives per year.
After the talk, Elwood Richard of Now Foods met with Dr. Holub to see if an organization could be formed to publicize the life saving potential of this type of research. Dr. Holub was initially willing to become the Technical Director of this organization. He met with James Turner of Citizens for Health (CFH), a health freedom advocacy group, and the NOW Foods Advocacy Team to develop this organization. Soon after, Jim Turner and Ana Micka, also of CFH, were contacted to see if CFH could help begin this new organization.
The new organization was formed as a non-profit division of Citizens for Health, called the Citizens for Health Education Foundation. The initial goal was to reduce the ten leading causes of death by cost effective natural means. Several years later this was changed to reducing healthcare costs by natural means. James Turner, the first Chairman of the Board, obtained tax exempt status on Dec. 18, 2002.
The role of technical director involved considerable administrative duties, so Bruce Holub decided to continue his work as a researcher rather than be an administrator. He continued his research and later made presentations at three of the Natural Health Research Institute seminars. Later he founded the DHA/EPA Omega-3 Institute (read more) and is currently active in that organization.
Ronald Ross Watson, Ph.D., of the University of Arizona became the Technical Director and Board Member in 2003 and has been active to the present. Dr. Watson reviews the articles for posting on the Natural Health Research Institute website and has edited a series of books (read more) with chapters written by leading experts on various aspects of natural health. He is also head of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Natural Health Research Institute. Which was begun in the fall of 2009.
The Natural Health Research Institute began technical conferences in conjunction with the American Oil Chemists Society (AOCS), assisted in this by Richard Cantril, Ph.D., technical director of the AOCS, and has held technical conferences since 2004. A program for providing research grants to students in natural health thru the AOCS was begun in 2003.
The original Managing Board consisted of Jim Turner, Ana Micka, and Jim Roza of NOW Foods. Jim Roza resigned in 2005 and was replaced by Elwood Richard of NOW Foods. In July 2008, Elwood resigned and was replaced by Michael Lelah, Ph.D., of NOW Foods. Michael was instrumental in establishing the Natural Health Research Institute as a separate 501 c 3 non-profit on Dec. 3, 2008, with the name of Natural Health Research Institute. Michael became President of the Managing Board in January of 2009. He resigned in July 2014 and was replaced by Rick Sharpee, Ph.D. of NOW Foods.
Our Information Process
As a non-profit organization, we are not subject to government restrictions, as are commercial sites. Commercial sites are not legally allowed to present information showing that any supplement is useful to prevent or treat any ailment or condition, even from a government agency. The NHRI website shows the percent disease reduction and cost benefits when available.
Information for the NHRI is taken from peer-reviewed published research of good quality. This information is sent to one of our writers, who have advanced degrees in science and nutrition. They are well-qualified to present the research with technical accuracy. Read more about our writers. After the article is completed, it is sent to our editor to review and then to our technical editor. Then it is sent to the Technical Director of NHRI. Those he approves are posted on the NHRI website. A small number of the articles that Dr. Watson finds to be especially well-written are given a grade of “Director’s Choice”. Over 1,800 articles on topics from ADHD to Women’s Health are available to help in making informed health decisions. More topics can be covered on request. We do not permit commercial messages to assure freedom from bias.
A series of books on various topics in natural health have been published with assistance of the NHRI. These are written by leading experts and edited by Ron Watson, sometimes with the help of co-editors. The reading level is for the practitioner or scientist and these contain extensive current information.