July 2017 - Vitanova

Vitanova Pays It Forward: Building a School by Hand

This July, Vitanova co-founder and Creative Director Timothy Rose and his son Luca traveled to Rio Blanco, Ecuador, to help build a community school, plant trees and learn firsthand about sustainability in the world’s most biodiverse region.

Ser is a hand-constructed, green school deep in the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest. It is a small, community-owned space nestled in the jungle that promotes intercultural, nature-based free learning for children five and up with a heavy focus on environmental, botanical and healthy living. This artistic learning community was founded in 2010 by a group of families seeking to create a harmonious living space and a respectful learning environment for their children.

Vitanova became aware of the school recently during the founders’ trip to Ecuador to visit the Shuar community. Since Vitanova has been paying forward 10 percent of all its proceeds to help indigenous peoples maintain their languages, cultures and botanical wisdom, Vitanova cofounders Kamal El-Wattar and Timothy Rose thought this would be a great project for the brand to support.

“We were looking for something that would really make a difference in the lives of this community and something physical we could do to help that happen this summer.”

Rose brought his teenage son, Luca, with him and got to work.

“We literally grabbed plants, shovels and heavy gloves and got to building. Many companies throw money at things, but it is something really special to be there on the ground making a difference.” Rose pointed out.

Ser teaches the community not only techniques of sustainability learned from the local Shuar tribes but also how to create an edible forest from a permaculture perspective. They believe that education should include a deep love and appreciation for the environment and a healthy, harmonious balance with nature.

“We have designed and adapted four hectares of Amazonian forest to permaculture. An environmentally friendly place where it is produced onsite and the reuse of organic waste and biomass in general is implemented.” says Ser family investor Julián Larrea Arias.

With the participation of the Shuar, Achuar and Quichua families (indigenous Amazonian peoples), the school has planted an Amazon vegetable garden where yuccas, bananas, tomatoes, lettuce, citrus, ginger, guava and other plants grow organically.

The Ser school also participates in the National Reforestation Program of the Ministry of the Environment and are developing actions for the protection and conservation of more than 30 hectares of native forest, home to one of the greatest diversity of plants and animals found in the world.

In addition to the 100 trees planted since the project began, more than ten one hundred-year-old pituca trees 35 meters high bear fruit and self-fertilize.

“We strengthened the forest by planting native trees at risk of extinction, such as mahogany, cedars and cannelloni,” adds Arias.

Apart from the botanical commitment and positive educational opportunities for the community, the school also employs bio-construction using bamboo canes (native bamboo) harvested on their land. The cane is ecological because it is a giant grass that is renewed with the cut. Ser also builds composting centers, organic orchards and dry ecological baths, without sewage treatment. Everything is off the grid and 100 percent recycled.

Ser also boasts a multipurpose green space, soccer field, an art space, hammocks and play areas. The school is built on the concepts of respect for nature, self-sustainability and creativity.

“The connection between health and nature is core to Vitanova’s values. What this school is doing mirrors the company’s own beliefs. Having the opportunity to help the school and bring my own son along to learn about the Shuar people, sustainable farming and botanical knowledge was one of the best moments of my life.” Rose concludes.

“The natural state of living beings is to be healthy. Getting away from nature and its cycles is what makes us sick,” says Arias.

Vitanova is committed to helping preserve botanical wisdom, language and the indigenous knowledge keepers. They pay forward 10 percent of their earnings to help build schools, preserve cultures and promote a healthy, sustainable environment.

To learn more about supporting the Ser community school, write to julianlarreaarias@yahoo.es. To learn more about Vitanova’s Paying Forward language preservation programs, go to www.vitanova.com.

New multivitamins bring “new life” to women and men

Age-old tradition meets modern, nutritional science in the newly released Vitanova multivitamins. Always on the brink of scientific advancements, Vitanova has reformulated their multis––one for men and one for women––with a different, more absorbable form of vitamin B12, methylcobalamin.

Vitamin B12 is required for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function and DNA synthesis. It’s widely known to boost energy, mood and concentration, and can be found naturally in foods such as meat, fish and dairy products.1,2,3,4,5,6

Current research has found that methylcobalamin, the activated form of vitamin B12, is the most effective form for being taken up by subcellular organelles of neurons, thereby increasing its bioavailability in the human body. Methylcobalamin has been proven to regenerate injured nerves, increase the myelination of neurons and relieve neuropathic pain––among other things.7,8

As always, Vitanova imparts this new science with the wisdom of ancient tradition––specifically, fermentation. Vitanova makes their vitamins with organic fruits, vegetables and herbs, then infuses this whole-food complex with probiotic cultures for the ultimate in nutrient absorption.

“Vita nova” means “new life” in Latin. And Vitanova’s new Women and Men formulations are created for today’s modern lifestyle, containing a balanced array of nutrients most needed to protect and support the body’s natural function. The complex of nutritional ingredients include elements to support cell defense and cell repair and to boost vitality within the whole body system.*

Improving health by helping to preserve botanical wisdom.

Vitanova understands that a biodiverse environment will inspire nutritional and pharmacological discoveries, now and in the future. In fact, right now, hundreds of natural-product-derived compounds are currently undergoing clinical trials or are in preclinical development.9

For this reason, Vitanova has chosen to support botanical knowledge preservation and revival projects around the globe. Vitanova currently gives 10% of all profits to its “botanical pay-it-forward” communities––in the Amazon, Micronesia, North Africa and Eastern Europe, to name a few.

Vitanova closes the loop between the consumers of nutritional supplements and the indigenous people responsible for guarding the knowledge of our future health “medicine cabinet.”9

The company is engaging with the world’s leading linguists, anthropologists and indigenous communities. Video links to some of the projects and leaders can be found at vitanova.com.

Vitanova features real people with real stories.

“Vitanova Valiants,” people who boldly challenge themselves to live their lives to the fullest, are featured on the new Vitanova box.

With current psychology, neurology and sociology research in mind, Vitanova as a brand supports its customers to achieve their true potential.10 Leading researchers show us that positivity and a fulfilling life are not only good for the individual but also for the planet as a whole.11

Links to the real people on the box and their bold-life video stories can be found on the Vitanova website.


1 Herbert V. Vitamin B12 in Present Knowledge in Nutrition. 17th ed. Washington, DC: International Life Sciences Institute Press, 1996.

2 Herbert V, Das K. Vitamin B12 in Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease. 8th ed. Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins, 1994.

3 Combs G. Vitamin B12 in The Vitamins. New York: Academic Press, Inc., 1992.

4 Zittoun J, Zittoun R. Modern clinical testing strategies in cobalamin and folate deficiency. Sem Hematol 1999;36:35-46. [PubMed abstract]

5 Institute of Medicine. Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes: Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1998.

6 Clarke R. B-vitamins and prevention of dementia. Proc Nutr Soc 2008;67:75-81. [PubMed abstract]

7 https://oxfordbiosciences.com/methylcobalamin-research

8 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3888748/

9  Ethnopharmacology and integrative medicine – Let the history tell the future. Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, 10 Apr-Jun; 1(2): 100–109. Pulok K. Mukherjee, P. Venkatesh, and S. Ponnusankar

10 https://my.happify.com/public/experts

11 https://www.livehappy.com/practice/can-happiness-save-planet

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