Showing Support: Bob Lemon

June 1, 2014

Bob Lemon grew up in Hebron, Ohio, and graduated in 1965 from the College of Pharmacy. He was working at Bingman’s Drug Store in Circleville, Ohio, when he decided to take advantage of a real estate promotional offer to visit a property in Palm Beach, Fla.

Over the next few years, Lemon developed retail pharmacies in south Florida. He noticed that many of his customers were taking a number of prescription medications and began thinking of the body’s connection to minerals. From that, he believed there would be a need for nutritional supplements; and he redirected his career. Natural products and therapies inspired him to consider the role of complementary medicine in health care.

Lemon eventually helped to create Lifeplus International, which makes and distributes nutritional supplements and natural-oriented health care and personal care products. Now president emeritus of the Arkansas-based company, he continues to explore discoveries and new technologies. He spends time in Arkansas, Florida and Uruguay.

Bob Lemon

What role do natural products play in your health?

They play a large role because I have seen so many people benefit from incorporating the products and other concepts relative to natural health into their lives. Even more important, at 71, I feel great and decades younger than I am. Of course, I’d like to be 30 again to use the concepts sooner in my life.

A big mistake many people make is waiting until their later years to start paying attention to the value of nutrition and related concepts for good health. Our culture would benefit from emphasizing the value of health and wellness beginning at a young age. On a positive note, I find this is changing.

Is there a product that would help most people stay healthy longer?

There’s an antioxidant that combines an extract of grape seeds and a special type of pine bark. It has numerous positive effects at the cellular level and on the circulatory system and the body overall. In addition, a powder with 31 concentrates of fruits and vegetables has a full day’s worth of vitamins and minerals and 50 percent of fiber.

How have attitudes changed toward natural products?

There have been many changes based on research and further understanding of the body. Our understanding of most minerals, vitamins and other nutritional factors has greatly increased as well.

When I was in college, we learned selenium was a toxic substance. These days, it’s regarded as an important nutrient that should be taken at doses we would have considered poisonous. In addition, Vitamin D was once recommended at 400 international units per day; that has now increased to 2,000 units daily. Antioxidants and other micronutrients have evolved as well, making the expanding field an interesting one.

How has Ohio State contributed to your success?

The consistency, commitment, zeal and caring of our professors was something I have always remembered. I especially recall Lloyd Parks, who was the dean; Jules LaPidis in organic chemistry; Hal Wolf in pharmacology; and Jack Beal in pharmacognosy. Our dispensing professor, Earl Guth, was a pillar of the college who retired after my final year.

Many pharmacists don’t realize what they really know. My education gave me a broad perspective on many areas, such as chemistry, physics, medicine and health. By having that background, I could communicate effectively with researchers, patients and physicians.