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Frequently Asked Questions

Where do we ship and what are our shipping charges?
Some on-line retailers break even on the products they sell and make their profit with exorbitant shipping charges.  We try to keep the shipping charges equal to or lower than our shipping costs.  Our shipping charges show up in the shopping cart when you are checking out.  No matter how much you order (with a few exceptions for very heavy items being shipped overseas), our shipping charges are: 

  • $5 anywhere in the USA
  • $5 APO and FPO military addresses anywhere in the world
  • $5 Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, American Samoa
  • $16 Canada
  • $25 England, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Monaco, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Singapore, Switzerland, Wales
  • $30 Australia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa
  • $35 South Korea

Please click here for International sales information.  

Can I pay by check or money order?

We will be glad to accept payment by check or money order.  Please remember to include $5 shipping (if you are in the U.S. - see above chart if outside the U.S.) and sales tax if you are located in California.  We generally ship orders the same day we receive your check.  Please send us a list of what you want with your check or money order payable to Discount Vitamins. No fancy order forms are necessary, just be sure that your note is legible.  If you include your email address, we will send you a shipment confirmation when the order is shipped. 

Discount Vitamins
811 N. Catalina Ave. Suite 3208
Redondo Beach, CA 90277

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How do we have prices so low?
Probably the most frequently asked question is "How does have prices so low, in fact lower than anyone else? And still remain in business?" can provide such great value to you because . . .

We buy in large quantity and also purchase great deals when they become available.  Then pass the savings on to you. 

Some of our products are nearing their "sell-by date." We fully disclose this information, rather than just making general assertions that the vitamins and herbs are fresh, full potency, or direct from the "distributor." The products we sell are fresh, full potency, and direct from the manufacturer. Some are also approaching the date printed on their labels. These deeply discounted vitamins, herbs and minerals that we sell range from 3 months to 1 year from the label date. Look for hot deals on items very close to the label date. These are all top quality products from some of the largest nutritional supplement manufacturers in the United States. They are guaranteed to have at least 100% of their potency at the date listed on the bottle.

"These products are guaranteed by the manufacturer to maintain potency and contain 100% of nutrient label claims at expiry date."

Because these special products are approaching the label date, they can no longer be sent through normal slow retail channels to sit on some retailer's shelf for an average of six months. They are brought directly to you, customers, who want to pay less and understand the meaning of the label dates. Most of our customers use what they buy within a few months, so they appreciate the cost savings without any concern for the label dates.

Occasionally, retailers change the look of their labels. We also carry items with old style labels and manufacturer's overruns. For example, if the minimum run a manufacturer does is 1,000,000 bottles, but they only have orders for 900,000 bottles, they will do the run to keep their production line in operation, satisfy their primary customers, and sell the excess inventory to us. That explains some of the bottle dates that are 4 years out and are available at great prices.

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What do label dates mean?
The label date is sometimes known as the restock date, sell-by date, use-by date, or expiration date. Vitamin and herbal manufacturers are allowed to choose their own standards. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and various state laws require:

  • that the dates (of the manufacturers' choosing) appear on the bottle
  • that the contents meet or exceed the label potency on the label date
  • that the product is not sold after the label date.

We know that the potency of various herb and vitamin supplements gradually decreases over time. Generally manufacturers place a higher potency than stated on the label in the product at the time of manufacture. Allowing for shelf life, this assures that when the label date is reached, the potency will still be greater than or equal to the stated potency on the package label.

Some products age better than others. (Know anyone like that?) As a general rule, physicians and pharmacists that we have asked, fall into either of two camps when asked about vitamin, mineral, and herb potency and safety. The more conservative ones tell us that nutritional supplements should be fine for 6 to 12 months or longer after the date on the bottle. About half of the physicians and pharmacists we asked say that vitamins, minerals, and herbs will be good for 2 to 5 years after the label date. Note that some prescription medications should not be used beyond the bottle date. Check with your doctor or pharmacist the next time you see him or her.

A few supplements will begin to smell as they age. This is especially true for the B complex vitamins and garlic. Herbs often have a natural smell no matter what their age. Herbs such as Valerian probably can't smell worse - they already smell pretty bad.

Here are a few excerpts from a variety of sources that discuss expiration dates:

From: Good Housekeeping:

"Although not required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), most vitamins do carry expiration dates, which, experts say, represent the latest date the manufacturer is willing to guarantee the product contains the amount of nutrients listed on the label. Thus John Hathcock, Ph.D., the director of Nutritional and Regulatory Science for the Council for Responsible Nutrition, reveals manufacturers often put extra vitamin power into each dose when manufactured: If the label says each tablet contains 100 units of vitamin E, odds are the tablet was originally manufactured with a 150-unit bang. By expiration time, it's down to [maybe 110, still safely over their minimum labeled target of] 100. One month past the expiration date, [a range of maybe 108 to] 98 or so. However, vitamin C, folic acid, and riboflavin (B2) tend to lose their potency faster than other vitamins [so manufacturer's put more into these supplements at time of manufacture]. "

How to store: in a dry, cool, dark place, like your kitchen cabinets, or even in the fridge. Keep bottles closed. "

From: The Dietary Supplement Quality Initiative,

"An expiration date indicates the date after which a product may no longer contain the labeled potency levels. This date reflects the disintegration rate of its ingredients as well as any overage built into the product.

While expiration dates are desirable, they are not always necessary. Certain substances such as calcium carbonate have an extremely long shelf life. Lack of an expiration date in this case is inconsequential.

Because of these uncertainties, it is always best to ask your manufacturer or dealer to explain how expiration dates were determined as well as to justify why they are missing when this is the case." is the only e-commerce site (that we know of) that posts the label date of the nutritional supplements that are sold. It is important to us that we provide full disclosure to our customers, rather than vague or general claims of freshness and potency. Most of our customers use the products within a few months after purchase anyway, so the label date is not of consequence, except the great prices save them lots of money.

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How is the scientific information on our web site prepared?
The information on vitamins, herbs and other nutritional supplements from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is prepared by registered dietitians at the clinical research hospital at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. It then undergoes extensive scientific review by recognized experts from the academic and research communities. The information is also reviewed for scientific accuracy and for consistency with dietary guidelines for Americans by the Nutrition Education Subcommittee of the NIH Nutrition Coordinating Committee, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Dietary Guidance Working Group, and the Department of Health and Human Nutrition Policy Board Committee on Dietary Guidance.

Information from other sources is likewise prepared according to the Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) guidelines, undergoing rigorous preparation and peer review. These guidelines are the reason that you see the disclosure "This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease." through out the web site.

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When will your package arrive?
Most orders are shipped the same day or the next day after the order is received.  We do recommend that our customers allow 7 to 10 days for receipt of their order, even though about half of the orders arrive in 2 to 3 days. This allows for time in transit, and weekend time for some orders. Heavy orders going from our warehouse in California to the East Coast do take a week in transit using standard, best price shipping.  We hope that you recognize that we pass these cost savings to you in low product prices. But we encourage you to order early (and often).

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How are products shipped?
Normal orders are shipped by USPS priority mail. Together with the post office, we provide tracking service on your shipments. The e-mail confirmation you will receive will have a tracking number that may be entered into the tracker on our contact us page and you will be able to see the status of your shipment. This is a new service offered by the post office. We would appreciate your comments.  Often the post office only enters information after the order has been delivered.  

Orders weighing over 2 pounds are shipped UPS ground. These orders generally take between 1 day and 1 week for delivery, depending on the distance. Orders are shipped from beautiful Redondo Beach, CA. Customers closer will receive orders sooner than those who are farther away. Please plan accordingly. We also provide a shipment tracking service for UPS orders. See our contact us page.

Note that on 7/1/02, the Post Office raised mail prices from $.34 to $.37, about a 10% increase.  But they raised priority mail prices by almost 60%: a 2 pound package which used to cost $4.35, now costs up to $6.20; a 3 pound package which used to cost us $5.60 now costs up to $9.00, a 60% increase; a 4 pound package which used to cost $6.80, now costs up to $10.80.  We are using UPS more frequently now, since they are reliable, moderate cost, provide tracking, and insurance on the first $100 of value.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.  

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Are prices subject to change?
Yes, we reserve the right to lower prices on your order if our published prices decrease. We will never raise prices once you have placed an order. If we make a mistake, we pay for it, not you. Over time, prices may change up and down depending on our supply of product.

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What do we do if we run out of a product?
We will take several actions in the following order if we run out of a product.

  • First we will check the manufacturers warehouse for any additional product. This will take a couple of days.
  • Next we will attempt to substitute the identical product with a different size bottle.  For example, we might substitute 2 bottles of 100 tablets for 1 bottle of 180 tablets, if we run out of the 180 size.  Also we may substitute a longer bottle date. They are always in your favor, and we never charge extra for these substitutions.  Usually we will be able to fill any orders in this manner. We will not notify you if we are able to make this type of substitution.
  • Occasionally, we will place part of an order on back-order if we are expecting a new shipment shortly.  
  • Lastly, we will ship your partial order (including everything that was available) and provide a refund for the unshipped product to your credit card. You will receive an e-mail notification of the actions taken.

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How often do we run out of product?
In our business this happens, especially for the really great deals. So if you see something that you think is a great deal or you use a lot, buy some. We may run out of stock, but will probably carry it again soon.

We fill orders in the sequence they are received.

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Do we carry thousands of products from hundreds of manufacturers?
We carry hundreds products with a variety of brands. We don't try to be all things to all customers. We're just the lowest price source of quality vitamins, herbs, and minerals.

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Can you change your order?
We strive to keep our costs low so that we can bring you these bargain prices. The less time we take to handle an order, the lower our costs. But if we have not shipped your order, we will be glad to make any changes that you desire.  You can contact us via phone or e-mail with your special request. 

If we see two orders from the same person with the same shipping address come through, we will combine them and refund the duplicate shipping charge. 

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Why do we charge for shipping?
Our flat $5 U.S. shipping charge accomplishes several things for us.

  • It covers our cost of shipping, boxing, and the extra cost of tracking service that we find our customers like. It covers these costs on small to moderate size orders.
  • It encourages customers to order several items at a time, which helps keep our costs down. Our typical customer will place an order every couple of months. They will order 9 items and spend an average of $75 every other month. The more you order, the more you save. For our typical customer ordering 9 items, the cost of shipping is about 56 cents per item. Including shipping cost, our prices are still lower than anywhere else.

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What should I do if my package arrives damaged?
Your shipment is professionally packaged to undergo the normal rigors of shipment. However, on occasion packages are damaged in shipment. If this should occur, carefully open the package and check if the contents are damaged. If they are damaged, save the damaged packaging material. Then go to the shipment tracking button on our website. There, you will find additional instructions to file a damage claim when you click on the shipment-tracking button. If you need help, please send us an e-mail.

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Is your credit card information safe with us?
Credit card information is received on a specially encrypted link on our secure server. It is as safe as we can make it. For details, see our full Privacy Policy.

  • Look for the url to read: when you enter your personal information.  The s in https indicates that the page is on a secure server.  Also, the lock icon should appear in the bottom right corner of your page indicating that the page is secure.  
  • We don't make an impression of your credit card, so no employee can slip your information into their pocket.
  • Our computer system is designed to confirm your billing address and only ship to your billing (or other registered) address. So no one else can misuse your credit card to ship to anywhere other than your address.
  • Our computer system is designed to limit orders to one order per day per credit card to prevent abuse of your credit card should it fall into the wrong hands (and some health fanatic criminal gets hold of it).
  • Your credit card company generally guarantees to protect you against misuse of your credit card for amounts over $50. See your credit card statement for further details. Discount Vitamins & Herbs will guarantee against misuse of your credit card related to any transaction with us for the amount up to $50. Please tell us if there is anything else we can do to assure you that use of your credit card is safe with us.

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What methods of payment are accepted?
We accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express and Discover cards. There are a number of protections built into the use of credit cards. They are listed above. Should you desire to use an alternative payment method, mailing a check or money order with your order to our land-mail address is just fine.

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Where do we ship outside the United States?
We now ship to APO/FPO addresses, to Canada, to the U.K, Switzerland, Monaco, Japan, and Hong Kong, and to resellers in select other countries. Click here for International sales information.   We would love to do business in all kinds of exotic locations through out the world. But as a small business, the rules and regulations for export outside the United States and for import into your country are huge, complex, constantly changing, often printed in a language we do not speak fluently, and beyond our expertise. These regulations are especially complex for nutritional supplements, for which every herb may be treated differently in different countries -- as a food, drug, pharmaceutical, or additive. If your country is not listed on our standard list of countries supported, please send us an email with your request.  If you give us a general idea of what you intend to order, we can respond best.   

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Why do we charge sales tax to customers in California?
That's the law. We are required to charge sales tax on transactions shipped to locations within our home state. Companies who provide us with a valid resale certificate are exempt.

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Is your information confidential?
We hold our customer information in the highest regard. We never sell, exchange, give away, or rent information about our customers. We believe that the products you use are a personal matter, and we would not breach the confidence you have demonstrated in us by ordering from us. For our Privacy Policy statement click here.

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Here is our guarantee again
We are so confident in the quality of our products that provides an unconditional 100% money back guarantee on all of our nutritional supplement products to our retail customers. guarantees:

  • If you are unhappy with the products for any reason, simply return the product in new condition within 30 days of your receipt of the product. We will provide a refund for any number of unopened bottles and 1 opened bottle (even if it is completely empty!) that you purchased from us.  Return procedures are listed below.
  • The vitamin, mineral, herb manufacturer states: "Our products are guaranteed to maintain potency and contain 100% of nutrient label claims at expiry date."

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What are our return procedures?
In trying to keep our business simple, we have established the following procedures for customers who have purchased products from us. You don't need a return authorization. You don't need tracking numbers. You don't need permission. You don't need to call us and explain anything.

Just include your name, address, credit card number and expiration date on a slip of paper. Please write clearly so we can get your money back to you quickly. We also would appreciate your noting the reason for your return, but it is not necessary.

Mail products to be returned, postage paid, within 30 days of your receipt, with the above information included in the package to:

Discount Vitamins & Herbs, Inc.
811 N. Catalina Ave. Suite 3208
Redondo Beach, CA 90277

We will promptly issue a refund of the price you paid to us to your credit card upon receipt of your package.  We require products to be returned for a refund to be issued. This keeps those few customers who are so inclined from taking advantage of our return policy.

Sorry, no returns accepted on Avemar because it is so fragile - heat sensitive.

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Are these quality products?
The manufacturer of the brands Your Life, Nature's Origin, Council Labs, Nutra Choice and Pharmacist Formula makes the following statement about product quality:

  • Our products are guaranteed to maintain potency and contain 100% of nutrient label claims at expiry date.
  • Our product labels are accurate and informative so consumers understand why they need the product and how to use it for best results.
  • Our facilities, equipment and manufacturing systems undergo continual validation to ensure that every product meets strict specifications and quality standards." 
Natrol, Source Naturals and other manufacturers make similar quality statements.

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Many of our products meet United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) certification:
A "USP" insignia indicates that the manufacturer is claiming that certain vitamin and mineral ingredients contained in the product have an FDA-approved or USP-accepted use, have been used extensively without a significant safety risk, and meet the compendial quality standards published in the United States Pharmacopoeia. These standards specify allowable rates of disintegration and dissolution, strength (range of dosage variance), range of acceptable impurities, and existence of an expiration date.

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How does our shopping cart work?
An e-commerce shopping cart is designed to simulate your experience in a regular store. A button titled "Add to Cart" is located next to the various product descriptions. Click on this button and one item will be added to your shopping cart. You can also specify a quantity if you want more than one package. The shopping cart will collect a list of the products that you click on. The shopping cart will keep a running total of the items and the prices. It will automatically add the $5 shipping charge for U.S. customers. At any time up until the final step, you can quit and your credit card will not be charged. If you follow a link to another site to check some information, the information in your shopping cart will be stored for you for your return.

When you are done shopping, you proceed to the check out area. In this window, you will be able to review the items that you clicked on earlier in the session. You will be able to delete them or change the quantities. After you have approved the items that you want to purchase, you will be asked to enter your name and shipping address. The page where you enter your personal information is on a secure server.  Then the shopping cart will be able to automatically compute sales tax (if you are located in California).

Finally, you will be asked for credit card information, and final confirmation. Then your credit card will be verified, and the address you entered will be compared to your credit card address. If there is a discrepancy in the credit card information or the address you entered, the system will ask you to review the items and click on the confirmation button again. If everything checks out OK, your credit card will be billed and your order will be on its way to you soon. It's that simple. Your credit card is not charged until that final step. If you quit anywhere along the way, the items stay in your shopping cart, but no charge is placed on your credit card.

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What are our hours?
Our e-commerce store is open 24/7 (24 hours per day, 7 days per week). Back home in California, we work 6 days per week, updating product information and searching for more products to bring to you. We process inquiries by e-mail and via out toll-free phone number listed in the top right corner of every web site page. Since we use USPS, products are delivered Monday to Saturday, except holidays.

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How can you contact us?
We are exclusively an e-commerce business. We have a highly efficient business model when we operate in this mode. We respond to inquiries by e-mail or toll free phone. We will be glad to accept your order over the phone if you want to talk to a real person.  We will do our best to accommodate any special requests that you might have.

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What professional affiliations does have? is a member in good standing of the Herb Research Foundation and The Herb Growing and Marketing Network. We are a member of the Better Business Bureau.  We are also honored to be an important contributor to the American Red Cross and the Sequoia Fund.

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What discounts are available for resellers and charitable organizations?
Most products have discounts for quantity purchases.  Discounts are automatically computed by the shopping cart. Anyone is eligible for these discounts, including retail customers and charitable organizations. Discounts are simple to compute to minimize complexity and keep our costs of doing business low.  Please call or e-mail us for further discounting should you wish to purchase in large quantity.  

All orders require payment at the time the order is placed. California state sales tax will be added to all orders shipped within California unless a current approved resale certificate is on file with us. A copy of the resale certificate may be faxed to us at (310) 374-9839.

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How do we prevent fraud?
First, the reason that this is important to you is so that we can maintain the lowest possible prices.

We take several steps to prevent fraud:

  • We ship only to the credit card billing address or other registered addresses on file at the credit card provider.
  • We track shipments so that they can be located if not received by the proper person.
  • We use a service which rejects orders from credit cards that have habitual returns.
  • The credit card companies verify unusually large orders.

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And finally, why does our name end in .net, rather than .com?
Someone else got there first and reserved the other name, but they haven't used it. Our name: is so descriptive of our business that we wanted to use it even if it ended in .net. So remember, is the place for the best prices on brand-name vitamins, herbs and other nutritional supplements on the net.

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Benfotiamine - Calcium - Coral Calcium - Ester-C - Folic Acid - Silicon - Strontium - Vitamin A - Vitamin B6 - Vitamin B12 - Vitamin C - Vitamin D - Vitamin E - Vitamin K

5-HTP - 7-Keto DHEA - Acai - Acetyl L-Carnitine  - Ageless Face, Ageless Mind - AHCC - Albizzia - Alpha-Lipoic Acid and R-Lipoic Acid - Aronia from Chokeberry - Astaxanthin - Avemar - Bacopa - Beta Glucan - Bilberry - Bioperine - Butterbur - Cetyl Myristoleate (CMO) - Chlorella: Sun, Yaeyama - Cinnamon - CLA - Coconut Oil - CoEnzymeQ10 - Curcumin from Turmeric - DHA Neuromins - Digestive Enzymes - Echinacea - Epicor -FenugreekFrench Maritime Pine Tree Bark - Garlic - Ginkgo Biloba -Glucosamine & Chondroitin - Goji Berry - Goldenseal - Grape Seed Extract - Green Tea - Guggulow - Hoodia - Horse Chestnut - Human Growth Hormone (HGH) - Hyaluronic Acid - Hydrogen (H-): The Fuel of Life - IP-6 - Krill Oil - Kudzu - L-Arginine - L-CarnitineL-Carnosine - L-Methylfolate - L-Tyrosine - Lutein - Lycopene - Mangosteen - Milk Thistle - Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP) - MSM - Mushrooms - N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) - Nattokinase - Neptune Krill Oil - Oil of Oregano - Oligonol - Omega-3 - DHA, EPA - Pepsin GI - Phosphatidyl Serine (PS) - Pinolenic Acid - Policosanol - Pomegranate - Prevagen - Probiotics - Probiotic Bacillus Coagulans - Psyllium Fiber - PycnogenolQuercetin - Red Yeast Rice - ReloraResveratrol - Rhodiola Rosea - Ribose - SAM-e - Saw Palmetto - Shower Water Filter - St. John's Wort - Stevia - Sytrinol - Thymic Protein AUbiquinol - Valerian - Vinpocetine

Age-Related Macular Degeneration - Air Pollution - Albizzia Helps Reduce Anxiety and Stress - Alzheimer Studies - Anxiety & Stress - Attentive Child - ADD, ADHD - Calorie Restriction Diet - Candida - Colon Cancer, Colitis, IBD - COX-2, Ibuprofen Side Effects, and Pain Management - Energy - Enzymes Support Digestion - Erectile Dysfunction - Gray Hair and Balding - Hair Growth and Male Pattern Baldness - Hearing - Homocysteine - Inflammation and Weight Loss - Immune - Life Force Multiple - Liver - Menopause - Men's Fertility - Mercury Cleansing - Milk Thistle and Liver Disease - Minor Pain and Inflammation - Omega-3 - Ultra Purity CO2 vs. Molecular Distillation - ORAC - Osteoporosis - Pain Relief - Parkinson's Disease CoenzymeQ10? - The Perricone Weight-Loss Diet - Relora Cortisol and Stress-Induced Eating - Senior's Health - Side Effects of Lipitor®, Zocor® and Statin Drugs  - The Sinatra Solution: for Heart Disease - Sinus and Allergy - St. John's Wort - Prozac® - Syndrome X - Tinnitus - Transitions for Menopause - Varicose Veins and Spider Veins  - The Wrinkle Cure for Youthful Skin

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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Please consult a qualified medical practitioner for medical advice.