How My Career in Science Helped to Advance Aloe Science
Isabel Garcia TornaduPhD – Sr. Scientist, Research & Scientific Affairs, South and Central America
Some people become scientists because they want to fix things. My interest is a little different: I wanted to learn how the body works not in order to fix it but to keep it healthy and functioning properly. That is why I studied Biology and then specialized in Physiology, with a PhD in Human Health.
I spent 10 years in the Academia sector, where I was happy to do research but also a bit frustrated because most of the time, my research only remained in paper and any discoveries never went to market.
I was ready for a change, so I made the decision to join Herbalife Nutrition.
A Company Where Scientists Can Thrive
I consider myself a professional with a lot of initiative to execute and propose new challenges that generate added value. Herbalife Nutrition is a place where I am not only encouraged to bring that innovative way of thinking to the table but also given the resources to materialize it. And that is incredibly motivating.
At Herbalife Nutrition, I have the opportunity to continue to do rigorous research but with the added benefit that findings are likely to be applied, that my contributions can lead to better quality products that promote people’s wellness.
One of the most exciting things about my job is the opportunity to be part of ground-breaking scientific research.
Scientific Focus on Aloe Vera
For five years, we have been working on increasing current scientific knowledge about the aloe vera plant and its derivatives. We are actively asking which characteristics may not have been explored yet, and also how we can enhance its benefits. And for this, it is necessary to investigate in depth.
As a scientist, questions sprout in me almost innately and I want to look for the answers. I have the privilege of leading several of these aloe-vera related projects in my job, asking the questions, thinking about how to answer them and then sharing results with the scientific community.
The results of our research have been shared in numerous international congresses, where we show and discuss the progress made with colleagues from all over the world, thus increasing scientific knowledge.
Our recently granted aloe patent is the latest achievement, the fruit of the work of an interdisciplinary scientific team of which I am honored to be a part of.
Fresh Eyes on a Successful Product
One of our flagship products is the Herbal Aloe Concentrate. This extract’s main ingredient is aloe, obtained from the aloe vera plant, which soothes the stomach and supports nutrient absorption, and intestinal health.
Driven by curiosity and the purpose of continually improving our products, we decided to try a different method of extraction for aloe. We focused on optimizing the manufacturing process of decolorized aloe vera extract to harness the health benefits of aloe. Pre-clinical evidence suggested this optimized process may have potential benefits for humans.
The results were thrilling! We discovered a method that leads to a unique aloe juice composition that has a potential beneficial effect on humans without causing a laxative effect. These benefits are related to healthier composition of microorganisms in the gut and favorable immune responses.
The Excitement of Discovering New Benefits for Aloe
What we intended to be another ingredient target from aloe vera became a new way to apply and utilize its benefits. A new world for aloe opened to us, along with the most desired outcome for every scientist: the grant of a patent for invention protection.
Why is a patent important? Simply put, it is an exclusive right granted for an invention by a government. Patent application and validation is a highly complex process, as an individual or company must prove that all that is under evaluation is unique.
Achievements like this happen when scientists, with the support of a company committed to improving the health of consumers, take the time to look at an existing product and ingredients from a fresh perspective.
Building It Better: One Woman, One Scientist at a Time
I’m proud to be part of a company that supports and develops women scientists. More than fifty percent of our scientific staff are female, and the company actually encourages the hiring and development of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
And this development is holistic: it involves not only professional but personal life. As a mother of three kids, I feel supported and encouraged by my company to be a present mom and find that work-life balance.
The company not only provides the resources to boost our careers, but they also give us the tools to be extraordinary.