HAYWARD — Elie Goldstein is not a chemist, nor is he a doctor.But the man knows vitamins.
Goldstein, who has spent much of his life working at his mom-and-pop nutrition shop on Foothill Boulevard, said he saw a need to develop a supplement to help lower glucose levels after a number of his diabetic clients asked if there was anything they could take to help control the disease.
“Being still involved in weightlifting and athletics, you actually see trends starting to happen in health,” Goldstein said. “What I noticed over the years was more and more people coming in who are diabetic. They were looking for natural ways to address their ailment. None of the big companies are addressing diabetes in an affordable way.”
Like any business person with solid instincts, Goldstein figured he had a niche to fill.
For a year and a half, he spent hours on the Internet searching for the right combination of vitamins, minerals and nutrients that could help combat diabetic symptoms.
“I read research pretty much daily on what can help the ailments,” said Goldstein, whose family has owned Kraski’s Nutrition, located at 22491 Foothill Blvd., since 1972. “I looked at research all over the world. That’s the wonderful thing about the Internet.”
During his research, Goldstein said, he learned that the right combination of chromium, gymnema sylvestre, alpha lipoic acid, vanadyl sulfate, cinnamon extract and a high-potency multivitamin could help lower and control glucose levels in diabetics.
This from a man who graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in marketing and advertising.
“I took the most popular ingredients that benefit diabetics,” Goldstein said. “The ingredients I wanted to include in this have the solid research behind them for aiding diabetics.
“This product, taken once a day, provides all the basic nutrients and gives diabetics the ability to stabilize their blood-sugar levels.”
Roberta Anding, a certified educator for the American Diabetes Association, said chromium and the antioxidant alpha lipoic acid have some benefits when it comes to controlling glucose levels.
Of greater concern, she said, is the level of vitamins B6 and A in the multivitamin portion of the supplement because high doses of both can be toxic.
The other components of Goldstein’s supplement are “more herbal” in base and fall “into the category that it probably isn’t going to hurt you,” added Anding, who also is a registered dietitian with the American Dietetic Association.
“If I had diabetes,” she said, “I’d look for anything I could do to get it under control.”
After completing his research, Goldstein contracted with a company based in Campbell to handle production. Thus, the product — called Stable — and his company, Stabilized Nutraceuticals, were born.
Goldstein, who has various herbal certificates, said his supplement is being offered at some 30 nutrition-themed stores throughout the Bay Area.
But what gives Goldstein his greatest sense of reward, he says, are the dozens of customers who swear by his mineral- and herb-based supplement.
“I have people coming in here calling me ‘doctor,'” Goldstein said. “I’m really excited about it. We’re just getting this thing moving.”
A Belmont resident, Goldstein said that because he created a supplement — not a drug — it did not have to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
“The one thing you cannot do with a natural supplement, you can’t state that it’s a cure for diabetes,” he said. “This is just a vitamin to help control some of the symptoms.”
Goldstein said he advises people who have considered taking his supplement to seek the advice of their doctor before trying it.
He added that the ingredients used to develop his supplement are not found in medication doctors prescribe to control diabetes, and thus pose no health risk.
“Every one of these properties do not cross over,” he said. “There is no contra-indication. People can take this along with their medication as long as they have the approval of their doctor.”
Anding concurred, but she said it is equally important that diabetics eat properly and exercise routinely.
“There might be some potential benefit,” she said. “But if you think it replaces losing weight and exercising, you’d be foolish. There is absolutely no substitute for eating well and exercising.”