Everything really started with an advertisement in an American muscle magazine with the name MM2K (Muscle Media 2000) for a product called DHEA
MM2K was a magazin based in Denver, Colorado that was founded and led by Bill Philips, who would later on become famous as a co-author of the book 'Body for Life'.
At the time, MM2K was a revolutionary magazine because they didn't tell you lies about doping use in sports and bodybuilding and strength sports in particular, unlike other magazines that were solely focused on inspirational stories and faking how bodyubuilding was a doping-free sports.
By contrast, MM2K wrote openly about doping, supplements, nutrition, training, and other gossip stories about health, sports and politics.
MM2K had great contributing authors, such as Bill Philips himself, Dan Duchaine who was seen as the 'mad scientist' and Charles Poliquin, a well-respected personal trainer.
Dan Duchaine wrote extensively about diet drugs, which he wrote down in his booklet 'Dirty Dieting', which would become the starting point for more diet books written by Lyle McDonald.
But let's go back in time to when I was a scrawny teenager. As a kid I was passionate about swimming, soccer, baseball, and finally judo.
To be honest, I came to judo due to the fact that my mom encouraged me to take up martial arts, which would allow me to defend myself when I would get into a brawl with other boys, who bullied me because I wore such thick glasses.
Most of these boys were stronger than me, or at least more savvy in fighting than I was.
This was why I wanted to take up judo at age 15. This wasn't a great start, since typically speaking, you start at a much younger age.
This meant most others at my level, were typically only 6-13 years old.
For lack of others at my age, I was placed in the adult group of 21 years and older, which meant everyone else was both stronger, heavier and faster than me.
Over time I realized this wasn't going to work, so I abandoned the idea of pursueing martial arts and decided to focus solely on getting stronger and more muscular.
Instead of going to the dojo, I'd cycle to a nearby playground and do push-ups and pull-ups at the monkey bars, which I really enjoyed to do.
At the time, like many others who just start out, I still had no idea how you can't get much more muscular, without eating more food!
However, as with everything else once I'm interested in it, I soon devoured everything I could lay my hands on to further my knowledge.
I read everything from bodybuiling magazines to peer-reviewed medical journals and learnt to train and eat like a true body-builder.
Which at the time meant eating a lot of tuna, broccoli and rice with a 'topping' of flax seed oil and, for lack of inexpensive protein powders, drink milk with raw eggs mixed in.
My mom's fragile health
At the same time, my mom's health deteriorated. Her health had never been great, and got worse after I was born, which led to a lot of hospitalisations, mostly due to extremely low hemoglobulin levels, without a clear diagnosis.
We did know it must have been related to an experimental treatment of Graves' disease (a too fast thyroid), that resulted in acute leukemia and hemorrhages. This even affected me, since I was born with hepatitis.
I also inherited her overactive thyroid, which explained why I was such a scrawny kid.
In 1994 my mom developed an aneurysm (brain stroke) in her hind brain, which resulted in poor balancing skills and led to impaired brain function in other parts of her brain due to reduced blood flow and oxygen uptake.
All this made my mom feel extremely insecure when she tried to walk or perform tasks she used to be able to do easily. She would get outright panic attacks from seeing her own body (and brain) fall apart.
Instead of focusing on her aneurysm, her doctors focused on her mental well-being and said she simply suffered from severe depression and gave her anti-depressants, which filled me with disgust as I saw her suffer and not getting properly treated.
A few years later, we finally discovered what was the root cause of her multiple hospitalisations: they diagnosed her with Sjögren's disease.
Sjögren's disease is an auto-immune disorder that lowers the red blood cell count, which in its most extreme case can cause organ failure for lack of oxygen supply due to the lack of oxygen-rich red blood cells. This may also have been the root cause of her aneurysm, because her brain needed more blood to make up for the lack of oxygen.
If she had been diagnosed at a younger age, she would have received better treatment. It most certainly didn't help how her specialist was too vain and incompetent to consult other doctors with more experience and knowledge.
DHEA to the rescue
At the time, I was regularly buying and reading the aforementioned MM2K. In that same magazine, there was this advertorial about DHEA, the so-called fountain of youth, in which they also briefly touched the subject of red blood-cell count.
This piqued my interest as this seemed precisely what my anemic mom needed most.
To be absolutely sure this wasn't just fantasy, I spent countless hours in the university library of Nijmegen to read up as much as possible about her disease , anabolic hormones and whether DHEA could be of any help to her health. Medical journals confirmed how indeed, DHEA could help to raise blood cell count.
This was the time when internet and email had just started to take off, and I took the opportunity to contact several of the most knowledgeable authors in MM2K among which Dan Duchaine and doctor X (pseudonym for Michael Dullnig).
Dan Duchaine was famous as a dieting and steroid guru, while doctor X, who suffered from AIDS himself, wrote extensively about how to beat AIDS by means of strength training and anabolics.
Both of them encouraged me to give this a try and treat my mom with DHEA.
So we did: after consultation with her physician, we obtained DHEA from a Dutch company. At first her physician did not really support the route we were taking, but as he could not offer anything else that would improve my mom's health, he reluctantly decided to monitor her health while we administered DHEA to her. Sure enough, slowly but steadily her her bloodcell count went up.
Starting my own company
This went on until 1998, when I decided to take the plunge and import DHEA for myself with the aim to purchase larger amounts and sell to other patients like her, as well as to bodybuilders for lower prices than we had to fork over to the current supplier.
In June of of that year I registered my own company of under the name of Anabol Power Distributors, as an hommage to Michael Dullnig, who lost the battle against AIDS just one year prior.
From June 1998 onwards, I bought DHEA directly from Jarrow Formulas. Why Jarrow Formulas? From the communications between me and the MM2K editors, I'd learnt JF was a reliable supplier of DHEA, as well as many other health-enhancing supplements, that went far beyond the supplements we were used to see in a regular drugstore.
Soon I also distributed products from Osmo Therapy, among which androsteendione as well as state-of-the-art protein powders.
As I kept expanding my knowledge on dietary supplements and health, I was if I dare to say it, well ahead of the curve: I was bursting with ideas for new or improved supplements.
Unfortunately I lacked the money nor the means to produce them myself, so I shared my ideas with Jarrow Formulas.
The most noticeable result was the development of a weight gainer, called Muscle OptiMeal. A protein powder, you will no longer find in their catalogue, as it was discontinued 12 years later in 2014.
Losing my mother and meeting Yvana
Unfortunately, while my mother's health did improve after taking DHEA and other dietary supplements, a new disaster struck.
My mom developed ovarian cancer, which was completely overlooked by her specialist, until it was too late.
Her specialist was utterly convinced it was impossible to develop a tumour when someone had an auto-immune disease like hers.
Where he had this crazy idea from, we still don't know, but I do know she could have been treated for it and survive.
Just like how Sandra, my own precious Golden Retriever was succesfully treated for ovarian cancer by removing her uterus, because her vet was a lot more observant and competent than my mom's specialist.
In February 2004 she was taken into the emergency room of the local hospital, where they finally diagnosed her as being at a late stage ovarian cancer, upon which she died just 3 days later.
At the same time I was visiting my new girlfriend Yvana every day in hospital, too.
Just like me, Yvana had taken up strength training to get stronger and had taken an interest in bodybuilding too, which made her drop vegetarianism and embrace a higher-protein diet as well as a low-carb ketodiet, not knowing this was a dumb idea when you are as active as she was.
She would usually cycle close to ten thousand kilometers a year and as a randonneur participated in long-distance events such as Paris-Brest-Paris (a 1200km non stop ride), while not properly feeding herself.
Participating in demanding sports events, while dieting as she had been mildly obese despite her activity level, severely weakened her immune system, which made her vulnerable for severe food poisoning. Once that happened the bacteria even entered her spine and groin area, which could have left her paralyzed for life. When she was admitted to hospital she already was no longer able to walk.
However after surgery and six weeks of intensive antibiotic treatment, she was released from hospital upon which she resumed walking and soon even took up lifting weights again: no longer in the more distant gym, but in a local gym where Ralph Moorman happened to be the assistant-manager. Indeed, the very same Ralph Moorman who would continue to become famous as a Hormone Factor trainer, helping people to 'balance their hormones'.
We pride ourselves in having boosted Ralph's career as a model, by sponsoring his and his buddy's photoshoot after a natural bodybuilding contest in 2006. Ralph was so determined to be 100% natural, he even refrained from using the perfectly legal creatine, saying it wouldn't be fully natural if he used it. Needless to say, the other competitors had a totally different idea of what 'natural bodybuilding' was like.
More like how you stopped using anabolics early enough so they wouldn't be detected in a doping test or by using fully natural hormones, so you wouldn't discern them from your own body-made hormones.
Starting over together with Pasío Ingredients
All these experiences with poor health care made the both of us determined to help other people improve their own health.
Until then, I had mainly focused on selling locally to other people as well as to businesses further away. But now we wanted to focus on selling directly to end-users with our own webshop.
So Yvana and me combined forces and started over again with a new company name that mirrored our mutual passion: Pasio Ingredients.
With our knowledge (Yvana holds a B.Sc. in biochemistry and an M.Sc. in Biology with specialisations in scientific literature research and toxicology) and mutual expertise, customers soon poured in, who were interested in improving their health and fitness level.
In 2006 we were able to launch several products under our own private label - Pasio Ingredients.
The very first product was a special improved type of creatine, called Creatyl.
The second product was Endure, which allowed you to improve endurance capacity as well as recover faster from training or competition.
Endure was our first citrulline-based product, which came as a powder , combined with methyl-B12 and TMG.
Furthermore we introduced Kabicel, one of world's best tasting protein powders, which was made from high quality micellar caseïn, which is completely different from the older gritty tasting casein powders.
Along came IsoSpark, a low-glycemic carbohydate fuel for endurance athletes who didn't like to have fast-acting carbs in their body but whose digestive system could also not tolerate solid foods at high-intensity events.
Soon thereafter Oxygeno followed, which was a NO-booster that could improve your VO2-max capacity. Its' magic ingredients were mainly resveratrol and French pine bark.
At the same time we introduced Fortega, which increases your body's own energy production which has a positive effect on your strength (fortega = very strong) and learning capacity as well as stabilise blood sugar levels.
Fortega's only ingredient was sulbutiamine, a B1-analogue.
Along came NKO which was krill oil from the Neptune Biotech company. This was shortly before the EC placed a ban on selling krill oil as it was deemed to be a 'novel food' as in not previously known or used in the EC. The ban was a disaster as sales were booming at the time and everyone was scrambling to get their hands on this miracle omega-3 product with added astaxanthine.
More privacy in Switzerland
The ban on selling such a totally innocent and health-promoting product as krill oil truly put a big damper on our enthousiasm to introduce new supplements.
This among a few other factors was why we decided in 2013 to move our server to a politically neutral country, Switzerland in order to keep government from meddling with our and our customers' privacy.
At the same time, I entered the political arena by campaigning for the Dutch Libertarian Party and was even electable for Parliament. We also founded a new company, called Mungotedo LLP in order to have a slightly better legal protection than as a sole proprietor.
Yet, the selling ban on krill oil didn't fully slow us down, and a few years later we came back with the introduction of
- another two resveratrol products: Purple STAC was aimed at improving heart health while Svelta aimed for improved fat loss with green tea added into the mix.
- Procarnosine to improve strength endurance which contained beta-alanine as the active ingredient, later simplified to Beta-Alanine
- another citrulline product, first with the name Stamina and later on, simply as 'Citrulline'.
- BCAA tablets the most muscle-building amino acid leucine as a powder
- Energía , which was a singular caffein tablet, for the cleanest and purest energy boost which would later also be renanmed to the simpler 'Caffein'.
Fast forward to 2018. We are still going strong and don't just sell Jarrow Formulas and our own brand Pasío but have expanded by adding more brands such as AOR,Best Body , Mercola , Nature's Way , Power Supplements , Source Naturals , Vitae Sense , Vitals along with Minami Nutrition
In 2019 we plan to add another few labels, about which we can't reveal too much now but are dying to tell you about soon!
In these past 20 years I and my wife Yvana has kept true to a core value : to provide customers with the best possible ingredients for a fair price. We won't ever sell you anything we wouldn't take ourselves and hasn't been scientifically proven or at least backed by substantial evidence.
Our service goes beyond the usual 9-5 service. We don't work 'normal' office hours, so it may happen you aren't able to contact us in the early morning, but might be able to answer your questions on the Tawk chat window on a Sunday evening.
Don't hesitate to send us an email or fill in a form, when you aren't able to contact us immediately: we read and respond to all of the (serious) emails!