: Let's talk about supplements for a minute. You have a line of supplements. What is unique and interesting about these supplements?
Newman: First of all, we have the most concentrated supplement line on the market. Concentration is very important. A dog or a cat doesn't want a tablespoon of powder thrown into their food and mixed in. It is going to turn them off from their food. So, for instance, our herbal extracts are our standardized extracts. They are very concentrated and highly reliable in terms of what therapeutic actions you're going to get from them.
For our herbal concentrate, you use one drop per five pounds of body weight. With most other herbal companies, you have to use a quarter to one-half teaspoon per 10 or 20 pounds of body weight. That is a lot more product to try and get into the body. Now, when you're putting a lot more product into the body, the body has to digest and utilize that in order to extract the therapeutic ingredient. A lot of energy goes into the digestion and assimilation, and there is not much more energy left over for applying the therapeutic agent to healing.
That is what is different about our products. Because they are concentrated, they work very quickly. They work very well with reliable results. What sometimes happens is people will buy one supplement on the market, they give it a try and it doesn't really work. Then they'll jump to another product, another product and another product. They are doing what I call chasing the symptom. What they should do is take a look at the product, because chances are it is the product that is failing the pet, not the pet failing to get better.
Mike: One of the most common pet supplements on the market today seems to be MSM.
Newman: Yes, we have those.
Mike: Do you have a formulation that helps with joint pain?
Newman: Yes, absolutely. We have several types that help with joint pain. We have a yucca extract on the market. We are the only company to do this. The powdered formula of the yucca is actually the by-product of the extraction process that we use. We have 87 percent more bio available saponins -- the actual steroidal saponin that does the job in a dose, compared to 3 to 7 percent in a powdered dose. So, imagine how much more powdered dose you would have to feed to try and get that level. When you're feeding that much powder, it upsets the digestive tract. When you're doing a concentration of yucca, which is one drop per 10 pounds of body weight, that one drop in your cat's food is not going to make the cat turn away from it. If you tried to put three or four capfuls into their food, they wouldn't eat it. That is why we are so successful as a supplement company; we actually have supplements that are easy to feed. Not only are they easy to feed, they work quickly.
Mike: Is there one supplement that you offer as a combination for concentrated nutrition?
Newman: Yes, we have our mega pet daily, which is our vitamin/mineral supplement. This is great for all animals. You can break it up and mix it into birdseed. You can break it up and mix it into pellets for horses. You can easily feed it to dogs and cats as capsules or by breaking it into their food. This has higher levels of minerals in therapeutic levels of all the nutrients needed in a good combination. A lot of people will go out and buy a supplement with just vitamin A in it, for instance. Vitamin A needs zinc in order to work well. What happens is people start buying three, four or five supplement bottles trying to put together a good profile of nutrients for their pet. We have all that in the mega pet daily. So, all we recommend adding to the mega pet daily is vitamin C. There is only 250 milligrams in the mega daily, which is enough to make the other minerals work, but you need 1,000 to 4,000 milligrams a day, depending on the size of the animal. It would be a very large capsule if we tried to put that much vitamin C in. Again, not every animal needs the same level of vitamin C. They need the same basic levels of nutrients, the whole profile of the nutrients, but some ingredients, like vitamin E and vitamin C, need to be adjusted according to the animal's needs. We have those, too, to augment the mega pet daily. We have 150 different supplements. This takes care of a whole host of different things, from cancer to viral and bacterial diseases and even things as easy as arthritis and allergies.
Mike: Isn't it true that more popular brand name supplements are loaded with fillers?
Newman: Absolutely. Anytime you get anything in a tablet form, just the process of tableting deteriorates the supplement, so you are not getting as much of the supplement that is listed on the label. The show 60 Minutes did an exposť on human supplement companies about four or five years ago, and they took the top four or five brand name companies and found out that only two out of the five had the supplements that were on their label. It is even worse than the pet industry.
Mike: Oh, I'm sure.
Newman: You get these tablet things that are filled with yeast and liver. The liver is the most detoxifying thing in the body, and when you fill the body with other liver, you're giving the body concentrated toxins that came out of this other animal. Liver and yeast are so overused in our industry. They are so toxic to the animal. Liver and yeast are the two fillers and binders that are often used.
Mike: A lot of liver is cow liver. So, if you take a cow that has been eating pesticides, herbicides and chicken litter -- which is fed to cows along with all kinds of other strange things -- this is all being filtered into the cow's liver.
Newman: Right, and then we are feeding this to our pets. A lot of diets recommend liver as a protein source. It is high in iron, and it's good with flavor and the pets love it. I mean, I use a little bit of liver as flavoring in our canned food. A little bit each day isn't going to hurt. If you're feeding treat after treat during the day, or when you're feeding food with liver as its basis, then you're really getting into these concentrated levels.
Mike: Do you think there is an awakening in pet care about the links between nutrition and disease?
Newman: It's starting, and thank God it is. I have been in this industry for 20 years. I have been in this before there was a natural pet care industry. It has been very frustrating to me. We haven't even reached the peak of awareness. Thank God they are starting to wake up a little bit. They are starting to say, "Well, maybe there is something to this." What we have heard for years is that it can't hurt, so go ahead and try. Then, when it works, it was probably a fluke. We still get a little bit of that.
The vets here in Tucson, who have seen hundreds and thousands of our cases in their offices, get reversals on all kinds of symptoms they had given up on. I have been trying to put together a vet seminar, and it is very difficult to get them to sit down and listen. You would think it would be easy when they see so many side effects with steroids, and they do, then they see how helpful yucca is and how it has no side effects.
Mike: We see the Westernization of pet care, in terms of prescribing more drugs to pets and pharmaceutical companies more aggressively marketing to veterinarians.
Newman: Pets are on Prozac, Mike.
Mike: That is unbelievable. I was talking to a neighbor who has a beautiful dog that is unfortunately dying from multiple myeloma. I asked her about the history of her dog, and she named off four or five drugs this dog has been on for years. The toxic load of these drugs has to be huge.
Newman: I guarantee you that every drug that dog was on could have been taken care of by an herbal supplement and some nutritional augmentation.
Mike: So, is there some place our readers can go to find out what herbs you have? Does your website have a list?
Newman: The website (www.Azmira.com) has a list of our products, and they can educate themselves about our products and what our products do. They can call the product support help line. That's 520-886-1727. There, they can get educated about their pet's specific needs. For example, if your dog has allergies, you call and describe the symptoms. We are not going to diagnose. Hopefully that has already been done by a vet, but we will educate you as to what the different symptoms are, how they are being created in the body and what proper supplementation and remedy will help to reverse them. It's a free service.
Mike: That is a wonderful benefit to offer.
Newman: We are the only ones in the country that do this, or in the world, as far as we know.
Mike: I would like to talk about cases of recovery from chronic disease.
Newman: We deal with a lot of cancers, and we deal with a lot of lymphomas. Let me briefly talk about the monthly flea, tick and heartworm medications that people are using and are being pushed like crazy. We did a survey last year, and we found that 100 percent of the animals with lymphoma had been on a monthly flea, tick or heartworm medication for at least six months prior to developing the lymphoma. We believe this is a huge problem in this industry. The vets have been pushing flea, tick and heartworm medications, and we have seen cancer shoot through the roof again. I believe, like you said, the four medications this dog was on are the ones clients often don't think about. They are doing everything holistic for their pet, but they are giving them heartworm medication. What you are doing is poisoning your pet every day in hopes that a flea, tick or mosquito will bite your pet and get poisoned and die.
Mike: That's ingesting insecticides.
Newman: I know; it is ridiculous, especially when we have diatomaceous earth, ground up fossils that help kill off the fleas and ticks. You have Neem spray or Neem dip, which help protect against mosquitoes. There are a lot of natural things you can do to protect from mosquitoes without having to kill your pet.
Mike: What kind of transformations have you seen?
Newman: I have seen animals literally at death's door. They are going to be put to sleep by the vet. Then, they come to me, and within six weeks or so they become normal again. What we do is detoxify them; get them off of all the chemicals that are producing all of the problems. We encourage the owner to talk to the vet about taking the pet off the medication and putting him on alternatives. It is amazing -- sometimes the animal is so sick that he can't do a medication anymore, so the vet says, "He can't tolerate this, so let's put him to sleep." That is the perfect animal for us.
We take them in, they're not on any medications, and we can quickly detoxify them of the poisons that were in their body. We put them on the Mega Daily and the Super C. We also put them on a garlic product called Garlic Daily Aid. These are what we call the foundation products of the lifestyle process. These three products are all the body needs to grow really strong and really healthy. Just by detoxifying and putting them on the supplements, we see 80 percent of the animals reverse their symptoms, even in diseases like cancer, within the first six to eight weeks.
Mike: Eighty percent?
Newman: Yes, 80 percent. We have done clinical studies to show this process. Then you're going to have another 15 percent that are going to need more support. They are either more weakened or more genetically compromised. They are old and have other issues at hand or they're too sick. They start to get better within those six to eight weeks, then you see additional symptoms that become more clear to you because the other, more benign symptoms have been taken care of. You can see what the clear symptoms are, and you can approach this with the herbal remedies or with additional nutritional supplementation. We get a 95 percent success rate in all the animals that try that. You're going to have 5 percent of animals that are going to need medication for the lifetime, either insulin for diabetes or a steroid for an autoimmune problem.
Let me talk briefly about the diabetes. Sixty percent of the animals that go on our lifestyle process and do the three steps are off insulin and only on our pancreas and glucose balance, which helps to maintain the blood sugar and provide a more natural balance of insulin in the body.
Mike: That is phenomenal.
Newman: We are very pleased. For the 5 percent that have to stay on medication, the lifestyle process helps makes sure that medication doesn't become toxic and helps to protect against toxicity. It helps the body stay strong regardless of that medication.
Mike: And, of course, if the pet's owner had changed the animal's lifestyle sooner, what would its longevity be?
Newman: I have been doing the holistic lifestyle care for more than 20 years now. I have really been keeping track of it for 15 years. We know prevention is the best cure. For those people who get their puppies and kittens started on the holistic animal care lifestyle -- and are very careful about vaccinating, because we very much over-vaccinate in this country -- we find they live a very long and stress-free life. They are emotionally more secure and physically, more sound. For older dogs, we've had 14- to 15-year-old dogs on their last legs -- sick for more than five or six years -- and we've reversed them, and they become healthier than they were five or six years ago. They become healthier than they have ever been in their lifetime.
I had a client with an old dog come in for a consultation. She also had a one-year-old German shepherd, and she said, "Oh, he's so gentle and calm. The breeder said it is due to genetic line." I said, "He's not calm and laid back. He's not feeling well." She changed his food, and he tore up her carpet, knocked the plants off the shelf and starting running around. He was acting like a puppy. This starts very early in life. We feed bitches very poor diets, and they have puppies that are compromised. We wean the puppies at four to six weeks, and we try to put them on dog food and their digestive tracts aren't fully developed yet. This can lead to premature aging.
Mike: May I ask you to share a little more information about your background? You have a lot of passion for this subject, and people would like to know why.
Newman: I have a lot of passion for it from a personal experience. I had a 9-month-old Rottweiler, the first Rottweiler I ever bought. This was when I was a student, and she cost $850. When you're a student and you've saved up all year, you put everything you have into that puppy. You want that puppy to be healthy. I went on the scientific puppy diet that my vet recommended. I did all the vaccinations exactly on time, right to the day that she was to be vaccinated. I gave her some vitamin C because there had been reports out of Germany that it helps prevent dysplasia.
It's true we have used vitamin C for the same reasons. So, I thought I was doing everything I could possibly do for this dog. I had her dipped several times, so she wouldn't get fleas or ticks. Well, at 9 months old, she developed Parvo and died. I was floored. First of all, she had all her Parvo shots, so why should she get Parvo? Second, why did the Parvo ravage her digestive tract? Well, I was in a nutrition class and she would come with me to that class. When I came in without her, everyone wanted to know were she was. I told everyone I lost her to Parvo. So, my nutrition professor said to me, "Why was her digestive tract so ravaged at 9 months old? I mean, she should have been strong enough to handle an intestinal disease."
Well, in those days, the vet said, "This is what happens with Parvo. Don't worry about it; we keep them comfortable." She said, "Bring in the food you were feeding it, and let's take a look at it." That is when I learned about ethoxaquin, the rubber stabilizer and lethal herbicide. When we thought about how ethoxaquin works, we started to think about how it acts in the digestive tract. Was it any wonder that her digestive tract was so compromised? No, it wasn't. So, I became very angry and disillusioned with my vet. I was very grief-stricken to have lost her, because in nine months she had become my family. I said to myself, "Here I am, becoming a naturopathic doctor. I'm getting my PhD. What am I doing feeding my dog a bag of food when I don't know what I'm feeding her?"
So, I started to research more about foods to discover a food for my next dog that would be appropriate. I started reading about holistic care for pets. I found out that there were some vets and companies starting to feel this way. They were beginning to make foods that are a little bit healthier. I thought this was great. Then I started doing consultations for humans. I got into my profession and started to work. I realized a lot of the people coming in had pets that had similar symptoms to them.
I discovered our pets tend to develop the same diseases we do. It is a very interesting irony. They would come in and say, "You helped me so much with my allergies. My dog has just been diagnosed with allergies; can you help? My cat has cancer; is there anything you can do?" So, I said to myself, "There is really no one concentrating on animal care, especially in Arizona." I was the first person in Arizona to focus on it. There weren't a lot of consultants around the country doing it. I took everything I knew from my naturopathic experience and human experience, and I started to apply it to animals. I started to research how it affected the animals.
Mike: What year was this?
Newman: This was 1984. In 1982, I started to study animal care, and then, in 1984, I decided to actually become a consultant and start to put everything together. After doing this for several years, I started to get disillusioned with the products that were on the market. Yucca was one product that I was having trouble with. I was using the yucca powder, and it was working great as far as I was concerned. Then all of a sudden, the animals that were doing well on it stopped doing well on it. I couldn't understand why.
I started to explore the yucca and the yucca process. I found a yucca company, which just happened to be the company that I was buying the yucca from. They knew the product and they knew the company. I said to them, "What is going on with this powder? It seems to be different; it's not working as well." They educated me that there were three steps to the yucca process. The first step is the extraction, which works beautifully, and it was the first product I made. Then they explained after the extraction, there is a powder residue, a byproduct. You can extract from the powder to make a third powder. So, the company had gone to the third powder -- even cheaper processed powder.
Mike: No active ingredients?
Newman: No active ingredients. No wonder it wasn't working. I brought a vitamin C product out and a yucca product out. These were the two supplements I used the most. From there, I just started to develop more and more products. I got very frustrated with the pet food situation. Then we developed pet foods. As hard as it was, I'm very glad that I did it, because we are still the only company that is truly doing it.
Mike: Are you finding a lot of acceptance for your product line?
Newman: Yes I am. It grows through word-of-mouth. The retailers who bring it in become very loyal to us, because their customers are very loyal to them. It would be great if I had $250,000 a year for marketing, but it's not going to happen. We're growing as well as we're growing. We're out of the woods. The company is financially stable. Even though the industry is still growing, we find that everybody is copying everyone else. So, we're way ahead of the curve.
Mike: This is one of the industry's well-kept secrets. It is never going to be front-page news. It is never going to be on the shelf at the regular grocery store.
Newman: I would never do that anyway, because my pet food retailers have been the ones to help me grow. I would never undersell them by selling to PetSmart, PETCO or a grocery store chain. Besides, these companies wouldn't want my food, because I don't have a high enough mark-up. I couldn't cut my food any cheaper for them, and that is what they demand.
Mike: For the last few minutes here, I want to shift gears. There is a lot of debate out there, which I find astounding, about the level of understanding and consciousness animals have and whether animals deserve to be treated like humans. We've covered PETA in the past and what they are doing. What is your experience working with animals?
Newman: Animals are very complex beings; a lot more complex than we give them credit for. They don't have the cognitive ability that we do. That's why, as a society, we see them as lower animals. They have enough cognitive ability to miss you when you leave. They know who is good or bad to them. They would recognize someone they were raised with if they meet them later in life.
Just look at elephants. Elephants never forget. They can meet their trainer 20 to 30 years after they were trained and immediately recognize him or her. They grieve, and they have pain, so I believe they should be afforded the same respect we afford each other. We shouldn't buy a dog and leave it in the backyard all day long. We shouldn't buy a dog if we don't have the time to take care of it. You shouldn't get a cat if you're going to cage it in the bathroom all day because you don't want it scratching on your couch. We wouldn't like to be isolated that way, and I find isolation to be the worst thing animals suffer from.
Mike: If that is the position -- and I agree with that position, by the way -- don't we have an obligation as human beings to be nutritionally responsible?
Newman: Oh, absolutely. They are relying on us. We have the responsibility to keep them as comfortable as possible during their lifetime. The only way to do that is to feed them well. Food and diet have a lot more to do with it than even environment, from tearing down the immune system to overwhelming the nervous system. Animals feel as much stress as we do, probably more stress, because they can't vocalize their stress. They can't cognitively decide that this is going to be over with soon. They don't know that they're going to sit here behind this door for five minutes and not five hours or five days.
Mike: Well said. We have been talking to Dr. Lisa Newman today. I want to thank you so much for taking this time for sharing your thoughts and your recipe with us. It has been very interesting and educational. Any final thoughts?
Newman: Well, my final thought is to go out and hug a dog today and kiss your cat. Love can do a lot for an animal.
Mike: So again, for those who are reading, it's azmira.com. It is the Azmira Holistic Animal Care product line developed by Dr. Lisa Newman -- naturopath, animal lover and just a wonderful person. Thanks for taking this time.
Newman: Thanks for having me, Mike.
Dr. Lisa Newman's pet care product line (Azmira) is available online through these websites:
CarefreePet.com (search for "Azmira")
PurelyPets.com (Azmira supplements and remedies)
A complete list of U.S. and international distributors, including Canada, is found at http://www.azmira.com/Retailers.htm
More information on the Azmira product line, including supplements and remedies for pets, is published at http://www.azmira.com/Products.htm
Dr. Lisa Newman's pet health consultation clinic can be reached at 520-886-1727.