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Author, Pharmacist Works To End Vitamin Confusion

Earl Mindell, author of the famous Vitamin Bible, now almost 30 years old, and more than 50 other books on health and nutrition, believes people are confused about taking vitamins.

“I think drug companies are trying to make the public believe that vitamins don’t do this or that—or that they just placate the side effects of prescription drugs,” Mindell said.

To answer questions, he is now counseling people one-on-one at his Beverly Hills office.

A registered pharmacist, master herbalist and professor of nutrition at Pacific Western University, Mindell is concerned about the nutrition most people get. “With some cereals today, I often tell people ‘you’re better off eating the box.’

“Everything is processed, we should realize taking vitamins is an insurance policy,” Mindell said.

Mindell sees himself as a supplement to conventional medicine and recommends people have a checkup before seeing him.

“But you usually see a doctor for six to eight minutes. I meet with people and often have them keep a daily log of everything they eat.”

Women usually need more calcium and vitamin D, and men need more zinc, Mindell says, but other factors like smoking, drinking and skipping meals play a part.

While a supplement program may take time, Mindell says, clients typically have more energy and an improved immune system

A benefit of meeting with Mindell is seeing his office. He’s turned his Palm Drive garage into a replica of a turn-of-the-century pharmacy complete with tin ceiling tiles and peg-and-grove wood flooring

The room is a virtual museum to the history of the pharmacist profession, a field he has enjoyed for more than 50 years.

The collection ranges from the basic—he has more than 400  mortar and pestle sets from 60 countries including brass ones from Mongolia that ring a musical tone and some used in World War I—to items from a Rexall store from the 1960s.

• He has a device for shaping pills by hand and a pill-making machine.

• A chest of herbs from 1880-90 has 288 specimens for students to study. And he has the 1916 catalog listing the chest price—$35.

• From the Victorian era he has scales, inhalers, eye baths and early vaporizers.

Sitting at an old partner’s desk Mindell enjoys living in his collection, not just looking at it.

And now that he has just about everything he wants for his “pharmacy,” he’s much more selective about what he buys.

Inquires from film companies are usually turned down. “It’s just to hard to replace things it something happens.”

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