Q&A: Doctor finds herbal medicine, launches supplement start-up

By Asia Sherman

- Last updated on GMT

© Image courtesy of Recomnd
© Image courtesy of Recomnd

Related tags doctor Dietary supplement start-up

After over 30 years practicing medicine in Orange County, Dr. Robert Beltran had his light switch moment after turning to herbal medicine to help him overcome his own personal health issues.

In early 2014, he faced profound depression and cognitive impairment following significant trauma and multiple surgeries. A colleague experienced in traditional Chinese medicine recommended an herbal blend of Korean red ginseng, ginkgo biloba, damiana, muira puama, Tribulis terrestris​ and Epimedium saggitatum​, which Dr. Beltan found at an Asian market in Irvine, CA.

Within three weeks, he reported remarkable improvements in mental clarity, mood and energy levels, a transformative experience he said that led him to research and develop his own herbal formulations. 

Dr. Beltran comes from a traditional medical background with dual doctorate degrees in pharmacy and medicine from the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center and is certified by both the American boards of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery and of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Based on his research as chief formulator, the Recomnd start-up launched its first three supplements last week on Instagram and Facebook targeting sexual wellness and cognitive health. Sold through Shopify on the company website, the brand is also prepping to list on Amazon and plans to expand into retail as the business grows.

NIU: What has gone into building the brand and bringing it to market?

RB: To date, all funding has been provided by myself. While we acknowledge the potential for collaboration with affluent investors, we have consciously chosen to retain autonomy and strategic advantage until our plan reaches a mature and self-sustaining stage. I’ve have spearheaded all research endeavors in collaboration with colleagues, formulators and manufacturers, ensuring a comprehensive and meticulously executed approach.

NIU: Could you tell us about how you decided on the Lady+Formula, Clear Focus and Man+ Formula products as launch products and why you chose to target sexual and brain health?

Dr. Robert Beltran, Recomnd
Dr. Robert Beltran, CEO and Chief Formulator, Recomnd

RB: It's really interesting how chance encounters, curiosity and knowledge can lead to something truly remarkable. So, when I first started taking these herbal ingredients, it was like a light switch turning on.

Suddenly, I had more energy, better focus, improved memory—basically, I felt like a whole new person. And then, after about 3 to 4 weeks, I started noticing some surprising improvements in my intimate experiences, too. That's when things got really exciting! I dove headfirst into researching and experimenting with different ingredients and doses, and let me tell you, the results were pretty amazing.

At first, I thought I had a one-size-fits-all solution that I could take to market. But then, our CFO raised a valid concern about potential confusion. So, I took a step back and thought about it. With a deeper understanding of each ingredient's unique benefits, I was able to create two separate formulations—one specifically for boosting brainpower and cognition, and another for enhancing intimate experiences.

Now, we're able to offer targeted solutions that cater to different needs, all thanks to a little curiosity and a whole lot of learning.

NIU: What ingredients are in your three flagship formulations​ and how were these ingredients selected? How​ were the Dr. Beltran Cognitive Matrix, Dr. Beltran Lady​ Libido Matrix and the Dr. Beltran’s MAN Blend formulated?

RB: Each formulation has received meticulous attention, with careful consideration given to the selection and synergy of over 20 ingredients, spanning vitamins, amino acids and specific herbal entities.

Our Clear Focus and Lady+ formulations stand out with the inclusion of prebiotics and probiotics, strategically chosen to enhance digestion and support gut health. This not only cultivates an optimal gut-brain axis but also facilitates neurotransmitter replenishment, thereby bolstering immunity. The journey to identifying these key ingredients was marked by rigorous study, research and iterative adjustments to formulations and dosages until the desired effects and benefits were achieved.

Allow me to highlight the key ingredients of each formulation:

Clear Focus: Reactivate CE, ashwagandha, lion's mane, ginkgo biloba, Alpha Deum, Acto-Pro 10, along with folic acid and a suite of B vitamins.

Lady+: Featuring black cohosh for lubrication, turmeric for inflammation and pain management, maca root, Korean red ginseng, Epimedium sagittatum​ (horny goat weed), Tribulis terrestris​, damiana, Butea superba​, ashwagandha, L-arginine, L-citrulline, Reactivate CE and tongkat ali.

Man+: Incorporating saw palmetto for prostate health, muira puama, Korean red ginseng, Epimedium sagittatum​, ginkgo biloba, Tribulis terrestris​, Butea superba​, maca root, L-arginine, L-citrulline, L-lysine and tongkat ali. 

Through this formulation process, we aim to deliver targeted solutions that not only address specific health concerns but also promote overall well-being.

NIU:​ Where are your ingredients sourced and products manufactured? 

RB: The majority of our ingredients are sourced from the U.S., with additional 8:1 extracts from a trusted lab in China and pre/probiotics from India. Before production, rigorous testing ensures purity. Our formulations include branded ingredients and unique combinations, with all products undergoing patenting.

Products are manufactured by Aviva Natural Supplements in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

NIU:​ What science backs the formulations? 

RB: Our formulations stand out for their uniqueness, incorporating a blend of vitamins, amino acids and a diverse array of herbal ingredients that complement and synergize with each other. As the scientist behind these formulations, I have meticulously documented our findings on an ongoing basis. Drawing from my background in laboratory research and extensive involvement in clinical trials throughout my educational and professional journey, I ensure that our products meet the highest standards of efficacy and safety.

NIU: Could you tell us a bit more about how the research was carried out?

RB: We selected 7 to 10 individuals per formulation, gave them specific instructions on how to take the product and performed an exhaustive review of symptoms.  We told each and every one of them that if they had any trepidation, to either not participate or consult with their physician. We put together a questionnaire that was well thought out, thorough and clinical in nature. The questionnaires were returned anonymously. This study was conducted over a 4-month period of time.  There is a small subset of men who have been taking various formulations of the Man+ product for 3 1/2 years.  

NIU:​ What sets Recomnd supplements apart from others on the market?

RB: The safety and demonstrable scope of benefits provided by our formulations present a comprehensive and impactful solution. The discernible, remarkable and profound benefits they offer are evident. Based on extensive feedback and conclusive results, there is no doubt in my assessment that our Man+ product outshines all others in the realm of male enhancement. 

NIU:​ Who is Recomnd’s target consumer? 

RB: Our target demographic encompasses individuals aged 18 to 80, both men and women. Engineered to function as a daily supplement, our products guarantee sustained benefits over time, sans alterations in ingredients or dosages. It's noteworthy that the more robust the individual's health, the more pronounced and tangible the benefits become. Our aspiration is to inspire individuals to embrace healthy lifestyles, incorporating daily exercise and meditation practices. In our clinical trials, all participants expressed immense satisfaction and excitement regarding both the tolerability and the observed benefits of our products.

NIU:​ As a doctor, what opportunities do you see for supplements in the health practitioners channel?

RB: Enhancing and optimizing various aspects of physical and mental well-being, including energy levels, cognitive function, digestion, the gut-brain axis, immunity and sleep patterns, as well as elevating sexual intimacy to unprecedented heights. These herbal products possess the remarkable capability to restore and replenish brain neurotransmitters in a manner that is both healthy and physiologically optimal, promoting safety above all. Unlike prescribed antidepressants, sedatives and sleep aids, which unfortunately contribute to a pervasive culture of addiction plaguing our nation, these supplements offer a refreshing alternative. It's time for a paradigm shift in our approach to wellness.

NIU:​ What is next for the brand? 

RB: We've developed formulations for a weight loss supplement and pain/inflammation management and are also currently in a deep dive to find the perfect ingredients for a safe and effective sleep aid.

Lastly, we've just completed clinical trials on the three products we are launching this month. The results are in, and they confirm that each product is not only safe but also incredibly effective, providing definitive and predictable results.

NIU:​ What advice would you have to other start-ups in this​ space?

RB: Isn't it fascinating how the nutraceutical industry keeps evolving with new scientific discoveries? Gone are the days of "mom and pop" businesses starting in garages. Now, success in this field requires a solid grasp of science, pharmacology and clinical medicine to develop products that truly make a difference and stand the test of time. Oh, and it's essential to be financially prepared too!

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