Ray Sahelian, M.D. biography, education, author, formulator of herbal dietary supplements, books and products
November 21 2016

Dr. Ray Sahelian, M.D., is a world-famous medical doctor, bestselling author, natural medicine expert, and supplement product formulator.

Expert developer of nutritional products
Dr. Sahelian is in private practice in Los Angeles, CA. He writes articles for several health magazines. He also offers his consulting and formulating services to medical and nutritional companies. His formulations are Eyesight Rx for vision improvement within hours or days, Passion Rx with Yohimbe, a popular herbal sexual product that works within 2 to 3 days. Passion Rx enhances sexual pleasure in men and women, increases libido, and improves erectile function. Mind Power Rx for better focus and mental alertness, Joint Power Rx, MultiVit Rx, a multivitamin product, Prostate Power Rx, and Diet Rx are additional popular formulations.

Education, colleges, medical school
He obtained a Bachelors of Science degree in nutrition from Drexel University and completed his doctoral training at Thomas Jefferson Medical School, both in Philadelphia.

His reputation and popularity keep increasing and many people see him as one of the top stars in the natural health industry poised to become (if not already) the top expert in the world on the topic of natural supplements. His email newsletter, called Natural Healing Secrets, reaches more than 200,000 individuals and is one of the most respected health newsletters in the nutritional industry. His website is the most visited in the world on the topic of natural supplements maintained by a medical doctor.
In addition to formulating new herbal and nutritional products, he writes a popular biweekly newsletter summarizing the latest research on natural supplements and natural healing. He bases his writings on the latest published studies and interpreting these studies in a practical manner that is understood by the general public.   

Media interviews, press
Dr. Ray Sahelian has been seen on television programs including NBC Today, NBC Nightly News, CBS This Morning, Dateline NBC, and CNN, quoted by countless major magazines such as Newsweek, Modern Maturity, Health, and newspapers including USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and Le Monde (France). Millions of radio listeners nationwide hear him discuss the latest research on health. Many of his books, including Mind Boosters have been translated into several languages, including Japanese, Korean, Italian, German, Russian, French, and Chinese.

Benefits and risks of supplements, the truth
He is internationally recognized as a moderate voice in the evaluation of natural supplements. In his books, articles, and website, he discusses both the benefits and risks of these supplements. He thoroughly evaluates both the published research and has hands on experience with patients.

Doctor takes his own medicine, self-experimentation
What makes him stand out even more than other experts in the nutrition field is that he constantly tests on himself various herbs and nutrients in varying dosages to determine what kind of effect they have. Almost all other doctors who write about supplements do so based mostly on published research.  It is through this experimental and experiential method that has provided him with significant insights into herbs and supplements that few other medical doctors have discovered. In addition, over his many years of medical and nutritional practice, he has had personal feedback from thousands of his patients who take supplements, along with tens of thousands of supplement users who have emailed him writing about their experiences, both positive and negative. There’s hardly anyone else on this planet who has gathered this type of nutraceutical information from so many varied sources.

Interview for Vitamin Retailer magazine, by James Gormley
1) You came out with a number of popular health books on natural hormones, including Melatonin (1995) and DHEA (1996). Natural hormone supplements have become another group of regulatory scapegoats, it seems, with even the regulatory status of DHEA being threatened on Capitol Hill. Are you still a fan of hormone supplementation and what do you think of these threats?

When it comes to the availability of natural supplements, I am a libertarian in the sense that I believe government should be only minimally involved and only ban substances from the public that are immediately, and extremely, dangerous. I also believe that the government should be consistent in its approach. For instance, acetaminophen and aspirin kill thousands of Americans each year and cause serious side effects in tens of thousands of users. Why are they available over the counter and why was ephedra pulled off the market for causing just a few deaths? If strict governmental guidelines or bans are placed on supplements, why not then follow the same logic and limit or ban the sale of aspirin, acetaminophen, and even alcohol or tobacco? Alcohol certainly kills and harms more people than ephedra. What about limiting sales of sugar-laden sodas that cause obesity and diabetes in our children? Drinking more than one soda a day is associated with an increased incidence of metabolic syndrome, What about making it illegal for people to ski downhill since each weekend there are many people who get hurt on the slopes, some with permanent injuries? I have a friend who had a severe back injury at age 18 from a skiing accident and since then, for decades, has had chronic pain which has led to a codeine and pain pill addiction. One skiing outing weekend ruined his life.
We live in a society that should accept that there are risks to some of the actions we take or some of the products and foods we ingest. If we were to tightly regulate every little detail of a citizen’s life, we would no longer have the freedoms we currently enjoy. Citizens are responsible for their own health and it is the responsibility of each person to learn as much about a food, drink, supplement, hormone or medicine before ingesting it, and to learn as much about the risks of a physical activity or sport before engaging in that activity. Along with these freedoms come the potential for a citizen to harm himself or herself with a bad decision. But, that is the price we pay for our freedoms.
Having said this, I do believe that the misuse of certain over the counter hormones can be harmful, and I hope that companies voluntarily limit dosages of these hormones and consumers recognize that more is not better. Hormones are very potent, and even 1 or 2 mg of DHEA can have a strong influence on the body. I personally do not like DHEA being sold in a dosage greater than 5 or 10 mg, but, as I mentioned above, the freedom to have these available is of greater importance to me than governmental micromanagement of our choices. There is a grave slippery slope when governments begin to micromanage every aspect of our lives. Plus, there is no guarantee that those in official positions know better than wise scientists and doctors, or are any more honest,.

2) In 1998 you wrote a book on 5-HTP. Last year we ran an article in VR entitled, “The Return of L-Tryptophan” to herald the parting the clouds of regulatory vagueness regarding its status. Are you glad that L-tryptohan is back—what do you feel its best uses are?

Yes, I am glad tryptophan is back. This amino acid can be best used for sleep and mood elevation. There is absolutely no reason, as explained above, that this amino acid should not be available to the consumer. I am not aware of any serious side effects with tryptophan since it returned to the market a few years ago.

3) After 1998, you branched out into other, more broadly oriented health books, such as The Common Cold Cure (1999), Mind Boosters (2000) and Natural Sex Boosters (2004). Do you now prefer writing books that encompass many supplements and/or focus on a health area as opposed to supplement-specific books, and either way, why?

The mid 90s were the golden years for single supplement books since, after to the passage of the 1994 DSHEA law, melatonin, DHEA, and several previously banned supplements suddenly became available. The public was hungry for information on these single supplements, enough that they would buy a whole book about them. However, there has not been much of a blockbuster single nutrient that has become available in the past few years and it is therefore preferable to write on broader topics. Plus, with the availability of information on the internet, it is more difficult to sell books on single supplements.

4) Retailers — and their customers — appreciate your books. Are there any words of advice you could offer to retailers as to what educational vehicles work best for them and their customers, such as books, magazines, hand-outs, etc?

It’s not necessarily where the information is printed or available, but rather the quality of the information or the source. It is very difficult in our industry to have unbiased information. Most people who know a lot about supplements are somehow also involved in the manufacture or sale of nutritional products. Academics and scientists who don’t sell products and are likely to be unbiased are also the very ones who seem to know very little about the clinical and practical uses of these supplements since they often just get their info from lab or rodent studies as opposed to hands on clinical experience in the office with patients or taking the supplements themselves. Some academics may also be on the payroll of drug companies and write articles in medical journals that have a bias against supplements. We can’t rely on the mainstream media since most of the articles on natural supplements are penned by health writers who cover a wide variety of medical topics and know very little about natural supplements or how to interpret results of studies. Unfortunately, it is very difficult for the consumer to know which sources to rely on. I can suggest one thing. If the article a person is reading highly touts a particular supplement in glowing terms and does not mention side effects, and these glowing terms are used even though there’s a lack of human studies, then one should be skeptical. On the flip side, if an article lambasts a particular nutrient, and hardly mentions the potential benefits when used safely, then it should be read with skepticism.

5) So what’s next for Dr. Ray Sahelian, M.D.?

I am currently adding more research information to my website which has become one of the largest databases for natural supplement and natural healing research in the world, and perhaps the most visited website in the world on the topic of natural supplements maintained by a medical doctor. Over the last few years I also began formulating herbal products. I realized that I had such an extensive personal, clinical, and research understanding of how many herbs worked that it was time to share this knowledge with the public by putting together nutritional formulas. As such I have created several popular products. Passion Rx is for sexual enhancement; Eyesight Rx is for visual improvement; Mind Power Rx is for brain boosting; and I also have created Prostate Power Rx, Joint Power Rx, and MultiVit Rx. I also offer my consulting services to several vitamin companies and write a popular and free email newsletter for Physician Formulas, a highly respected supplement company that was founded in 2004. The name of the newsletter was Supplement Research Update (now it is called Natural Healing Secrets) and it has become one of the most read natural health newsletters in the country.