CarnoSyn beta-alanine Mark LeDoux Head Shot

Behind The Brand:  Mark LeDoux, CEO of Natural Alternatives International

Whether he’s flying a plane 2,000 feet above Niagara Falls, eating dinner on a river in Prague, or driving the dietary supplement industry forward—it’s safe to say Mark LeDoux leaves you fascinated. (And maybe even a little hungry—keep reading to get major food FOMO*.) LeDoux has spent the last four decades as not only the leading force behind NAI, but as a key thought-leader of the natural products space. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of things to know about Mark LeDoux.

You founded NAI forty years ago—why did you start the company?

As a college student, I had a job working in surgical operating rooms as a scrub technician. I saw firsthand the ravages of poor choices in diet, exercise and health care, and felt strongly that many surgical interventions could have been avoided with better choices by patients. As such, when I graduated from college and returned to California from the midwest, I felt it was important to start evaluating natural alternatives to pharmaceutical compounds, all of which have contraindications for use and potential and often life-threatening side effects.

And what motivates you to remain so actively involved in the industry today? 

Having participated in this industry for 40 years, it is important to provide leadership and perspective to allow the next generation of leaders to emerge with the bench strength of those of us who have been involved in securing freedom for the industry from unduly burdensome regulations—often created to discourage research and innovation. Being the Chairman of the Board of the Natural Products Association after having been Chairman of the Council for Responsible Nutrition affords me the unique opportunity to help shape legislative and regulatory frameworks of engagement for the next 40 years with key members of our government, and with international regulators through our involvement with Codex functions.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned since starting NAI?

Always do the right thing. Always tell the truth. Always own your mistakes and learn from them.

What do you want people to know about CarnoSyn​®​ Brands? 

These products are truly life-changing in a positive way. I know of no other material that has undergone the level of study in humans, demonstrating positive results and a profile of safety. I strongly feel that as we branch into the era of healthy living and healthy aging—the best is yet to come.

What’s your favorite restaurant and what are you ordering there? 

That depends—in Lugano, Switzerland, my favorite restaurant is Ristorante Mary. Not only for the ambiance but for the freshness of the foods, cooked in their own kitchen on a made to order basis, with the freshest components available anywhere. When in New York, I prefer enjoying a good meal at Keens Steakhouse—a local landmark. In Carlsbad, there is no substitute for the authentic Mexican/Latin cuisine afforded by Miguel’s Cocina. In Berlin, dinner at the Adlon Hotel is a wonderful experience, filled with history. In Prague, dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel overlooking the river is probably one of the finest experiences you could have. In midtown Manhattan, if the mood strikes, one of the finest Indian food establishments is Zaika’s. In Paris, having dinner in the Eiffel Tower at the Jules Verne restaurant is definitely something to plan for. Like I said, it just depends. . . (Editor note: See, FOMO. *Fear of missing out.)

You’re very well-traveled—what’s a favorite travel memory? 

Having a facility in Southern Switzerland has exposed me to so many different cuisines, but it is hard to beat the ambiance of Lugano. Traveling in Zermatt or driving to Rome on the coast near Naples is replete with beautiful scenery and lovely people. The history of the capitals of Europe is hard to beat as well. Likewise, traveling the USA leads one to the inescapable reality that the immensity of America is only overshadowed by the wide variety of truly friendly people of all walks of life, making up the extraordinary fabric of America. One of my favorite travel memories is of being in Japan and enjoying the natural beauty of the country, from Sapporo in the north to the bustling efficiency of Tokyo, and the serenity of Itsukishima (often referred to as Miyajima). One of the most moving events of my travels was experienced paying my respects to the fallen at the American cemetery in Luxembourg which houses the remains of many US servicemen and women, including General George S. Patton. One of my favorite trips of late was a vacation I took with my wife Julie to Prague, Czech Republic in 2019. This place is truly beautiful, sort of like a mini Paris, filled with art, music, history and so much more.

What’s something about you that might surprise people? 

Wow, that’s an interesting question. Well, I enjoy scuba diving, particularly in warm waters found off the Caymans or Hawaii. I would like to visit Truk Lagoon and dive there as well as other areas of Micronesia. I am also a licensed IFR rated private pilot. I truly love flying, particularly in well-traveled corridors which requires great attention to detail. Being above Manhattan or Los Angeles in a private plane is truly a unique experience, particularly when you are the pilot. However, some of my favorite memories of flying take me to 3000 feet above the rocky and spectacular coastline of Maine up to Bar Harbor, or 2000 feet above Niagara Falls when traversing the Great Lakes to our summer home near Eagle River, Wisconsin. I am looking forward to next summer when I plan to overfly Mount Rushmore with FAA approval and photograph a true landmark from a totally unique perspective.

How do you incorporate CarnoSyn®into your day-to-day life?

Knowing how vital Carnosine is to maintaining health as I age, I take 2.4 grams of the ​Sustained Release CarnoSyn​®tablets per day. I feel it helps with my cognitive function, muscle health and
overall health.

What do you look forward to for NAI and CarnoSyn® Brands? 

I see us continuing to grow our business interests internationally. With our attention to detail, our commitment to quality and our desire to enrich the world with the best of nutrition, I am confident that our most successful years lie ahead. I am honored to participate in fulfilling the dream that gave this company its start 40 years ago in my garage!