An Interview with
Dr. Richard J. Laub
Laub BioChemicals Corporation
By Sheldon Baker
Reprinted from Nutraceuticals World
Dr. Richard Laub, MS, PhD, CChem, FRSC was born in San Francisco in 1945. He received a BS In Chemistry degree from Regis College (Denver) in 1967. Following service in the Marine Corps including a tour of duty in Vietnam, he was awarded an MS by UCLA in 1971, and his PhD in analytical and experimental physical chemistry by the University of Hawaii in 1974. He was a post-Doctoral Fellow at the University College of Swansea (Wales) from 1974-1978, following which he received appointment as an assistant professor at The Ohio State University and then professor at San Diego State University. He incorporated Laub BioChemicals Corporation in 1995. Dr. Laub currently resides in Newport Beach, CA.
Health E-Insights: It's been said you're the father of humic acid. How did you discover it?
Dr. Laub: The use of humic acid for medicinal purposes has been well documented over the centuries. One of the oldest written references dates to 16th Century Chinese medicine, but the history of humic acid likely goes back thousands of years to Ayurvedic medicine. My involvement with humic acid began in 1994, when several MDs sought my services as a chemist to isolate the active ingredient(s) in naturally occurring material, identify them and then synthesize them. That's the path usually followed in turning natural products into pharmaceuticals. Unfortunately, our consortium ran into difficulties early in 1995. However, since I had carried out a good deal of the science as the scientist of the group, and since we had verified even at that early stage that the natural product humic acid was an effective anti-viral, I decided to pursue the matter on my own. Thus, Laub BioChemicals Corporation was founded and the rest, as they say, is history.
Health E-Insights: What are the health benefits of humic acid?
Dr. Laub: All mammalian viruses reproduce the same way. They must bind to a host cell and then inject their RNA or DNA into the cell. The cell is thereby tricked into producing more viral RNA or DNA, which then forms up as a new viral particle that buds out through the cell wall to repeat the process. That's really all that viruses do. They bind to host cells causing the host cells to make more viruses. Binding sites on viral surfaces, which are chemically very sticky, enable viruses to adhere to cell surfaces. Humic acid is equally very sticky chemically and highly functionalized, and attaches strongly to the virus binding sites. This in turn blocks viruses from attaching to host cells, thus preventing the virus from reproducing. Humic acid is effective as a prophylactic. That is, it helps prevent viral infection. Taken daily, it helps greatly reduce or prevent entirely seasonal colds, flu, and other commonly encountered infectious diseases. It also helps diminish outbreaks of such diseases as herpes simplex 1 and 2-not only limiting the number of outbreaks, but reducing their intensity and duration as well. Even more remarkable, humic acid is also an effective therapeutic. That is, it helps cure infectious diseases once contracted. Direct evidence has shown, for example, that humic acid will displace viruses from cell surfaces even after they have attached. This mechanism portends a real cure for viral disease. A very important aspect of the viral fusion inhibition mechanism of humic acid is that humic acid itself is a large polymeric molecule, as produced by Laub BioChemicals Corp. on average about 50,000 Daltons. The molecule is therefore quite flexible and can conform to, hence attach to and block, virtually any viral binding site geometry. As a result, the virus cannot become immune to humic acid no matter how it mutates. In addition, the molecular flexibility of humic acid means that it will be effective against many virus types. Humic acid is broad-spectrum, much as penicillin was a broad-spectrum antibiotic for many years. In contrast, fulvic acid, the small-molecule version of humic acid is only about 1500 Daltons molecular weight. As a result it is stiff and relatively inflexible and cannot conform to viral binding-site geometries. And so, while a good mineral supplement, fulvic acid is in fact relatively ineffective as an antiviral agent. Humic acid has several additional health benefits in addition to its anti-viral properties. It has been shown to be an effective anti-inflammatory. Also, humic acid is a product of composted organic matter that is thousands of years old. And, although the plant material has largely been transformed, the original minerals that were present in the living plants are still there, making humic acid a great mineral supplement.
Health E-Insights: What has been your greatest accomplishment since forming Laub BioChem?
Dr. Laub: I believe that Laub BioChem's most outstanding achievement over the course of its lifetime has been educating the public about the health benefits, particularly the anti-viral properties of humic acid. This material is truly the world's answer to viral afflictions that increasingly plague the earth's population and it is fitting that we have developed a solution that is derived from Mother Earth. Humic acid is completely non-toxic, has no side effects and does not interact with other drugs or nutraceuticals. The only thing humic acid does is prevent viral replication. And that's sufficient to combat, and even cure, viral infection.
Health E-Insights: Anything about the supplement industry you would change if you were in a position of power?
Dr. Laub: The current adversarial nature of the relationship between the nutraceuticals industry and government regulatory agencies is in very serious need of change. At the present time, agencies such as FDA and FTC, while continuing to preach altruistic sentiments concerning their self-presumed role of guardianship of public safety, in fact would like nothing better than to repeal DSHEA entirely and completely close down the nutraceuticals industry. On the nutraceuticals side, it is equally fair to say that many, but by no means all companies, if left unchecked would engage in voicing outlandish unproven healthcare claims in promoting their products. Moreover, some products are not only of no value for human health but in fact have proven to be downright dangerous. Other companies hide behind DSHEA in claiming that because their products are natural they must, by definition, be safe as well as beneficial. I believe the answer to this adversarial situation can be found in the industry undertaking self-regulation. The Natural Products Association, American Herbal Products Association, and others within and outside the natural products healthcare realm have already begun certification programs. I would urge that such programs be rigorous and demanding and be defined, as well as reviewed, by credible independent experts in the field. Moreover, the certification process certainly should be scientifically rigorous, should be well documented and should be or have been carried out by reputable independent laboratories or agencies whose credibility is beyond reproach. The approval process currently in place for self-affirmed GRAS status is a good example of how such an industry ingredient- or product-certification could work. It's not perfect but if the industry fails to act to implement such self-regulation, the opportunity to do so could well be lost to ever more stringent government regulation in the future, and potentially the outright destruction of our industry.
Sheldon Baker wants to interview you! For more information contact Sheldon at [email protected] and visit his website at www.bakerdillon.com.
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