Lisa Lent, CEO of Oxylent, on the cover of the Feb-Mar issue of Westside People. Photo by Glen McCurtayne of Coleman-Rayner.
How a personal experience led to the creation of a worldwide vitamin company
By David Rosenfeld
Lisa Lent was a young flight attendant for United Airlines on an international leg from London to Washington DC when she suddenly began to feel a crushing pain in her chest. The discomfort subsided but left her concerned. Urged by her family to visit the hospital four days later, Lent was surprised to learn she had suffered a pulmonary embolism caused by several clots in her lungs. Even more surprising was what may have contributed to her condition.
She learned that low oxygen cabin pressure, dehydration and radiation can lead to many different types of health issues. It was then she began a personal journey to create a nutritional supplement that could optimize the health of anyone from the average adult to the most vulnerable like pregnant women and children.
“My experience opened my eyes to the importance of essential nutrients and natural health and set me on a journey of healing and learning,” said Lent. “It was a big wake-up call in my life that made me realize I was going in the wrong direction. I had an epiphany at that moment that I wanted to change my life.”
About six years ago her dream became reality when she created Oxylent multivitamin supplement drink that comes in a powder and is sold at Whole Foods among other health food retailers across the country. Together with an angel investor, Lent was the driving force behind a team of developers who designed the 5-in-1 formula of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids and electrolytes – including minerals from Albion Laboratories in Utah.
Today the original Oxylent multivitamin drink has won multiple awards and their product line has expanded to include Children’s Oylent and Prenatal Oxylent, which remains the only prenatal vitamin recommended by the American Pregnancy Association. And while competitor brands contain artificial sweeteners or sugar, Oxylent uses only all-natural Stevia for great taste. By dissolving right into a glass of water, the vitamins and minerals absorb much faster into the body than in a pill form. This year the company is launching a new Sport Oxylent supplement drink for athletes to rival other sports drinks that are high in sugar and artificial ingredients.
Lisa Lent of Oxylent. Photo by Glen McCurtayne of Coleman-Rayner.
“This was developed because there wasn’t anything like it on the market,” said Lent from an office in Santa Monica where she splits her time between Santa Cruz near the company headquarters. Following our interview she was heading to Dubai on a 16-hour flight where she spent a week training pharmacists and establishing distribution networks. It was her fourth trip to the exciting city that is the center of the Middle Eastern market.
“In Dubai they are seeking out products like Oxylent,” she said. “They love it because they know about the critical need for electrolytes, and that high quality nutrients are essential for overall well-being. And it’s wonderful to go there because they are such great hosts.”
In addition to the United States and Dubai, Oxylent is sold in Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, Hong Kong and Great Britain later this year, each requiring trips by Lent and her team. Growing up in Northern California to a Norwegian mother and an American father afforded her a well-cultured upbringing.
Back home it was her mother’s commitment to fresh, local ingredients far ahead of her time that fueled Lent’s own passion for nutrition and wellness. At home the family kept a vegetable garden and raised their own chickens and other animals. But it was spending summers in Norway that fueled her passion for travel and living overseas.
“Those experiences growing up really opened my eyes to their beautiful culture and country,” Lent said. “I feel like it defined me as a person and also inspired me to travel, which is one of my biggest passions.”
In the years that followed Lent has become extremely passionate about nutrition and wellness. While most of our essential vitamins and nutrients can be obtained by eating organic whole foods and vegetables, a large number of Americans are deficient in essential nutrients. She points to a 2011 study published in the The Journal of Nutrition that found that less than half of all Americans met the average requirements for several nutrients from food alone.
“A lot of people don’t realize we are critically deficient in minerals because a lot of the foods we are eating come from land that is being over-farmed,” Lent said. “Having your micronutrient levels tested with a simple blood test is a great way to ensure you are not deficient in anything, which can be very important because deficiencies can lead to serious illness and health issues.”
Reports in recent years shedding light on the source of popular multi-vitamins may have cast a shadow on the entire industry, which is likely one of the reasons Oxylent is so successful. Los Angeles resident Stefan Pinto, who created the C Diet, serves as a brand ambassador for Oxylent by offering it to all his diet participants. The C Diet centers around the practice of taking a picture of every meal as a fun way to chronicle eating habits. He said it’s difficult to find top quality vitamins and minerals that meet the standards for him personally and his clients.
“When I make my choices the first thing I do is turn the product around and read the back,” Pinto said. “Everything Lisa uses is the finest ingredients and she doesn’t add any sugar which is what I was looking for.”
Furthering its mission of doing good, Oxylent contributes to several charities such as The Red Cross, Vitamin Angels, Whole Planet Foundation and Hollyrod Foundation. The company continues to maintain ties in the Westside community, sponsoring local professional beach volleyball players Russ Marchewka and Ty Tramblie and professional rollerblader Coco Sanchez.
“There’s a lot of heart in this project and loyalty in the company to see that this is a success,” she said.
Find Oxylent on the shelves of your local Whole Foods, Erewhon, Lassen’s, The Vitamin Shoppe, Mother’s Market and Kitchen, Sprouts, Rainbow Acres and other fine health food stores.