2017 Annual letter to Examine.com readers

Written by Kamal Patel
Last Updated:

Why write an annual letter?

Most public companies write an annual letter to their shareholders. For example, Warren Buffet's famous letters of the past thirty years are publically available.

To be clear, we’re not a multi-zillion dollar company with diverse holdings, and you haven’t invested your life savings with us. But you’ve taken ample time out of your life to invest in your health, and the trust our readers have in our objectivity and evidence synthesis … that’s a pretty big deal. So we want to be transparent with you.

Especially since the world is in a perfect storm of absolutely awful nutrition information. The entire information supply chain is riddled with error, with plenty of methodologically unsound studies feeding a healthcare system that focuses on pills and surgery over prevention, as well as media outlets that oversimplify studies, and finally gurus who peddle quick fixes in order to get your money.

And 90% of the health information floating around the Internet, not backed up by randomized trials, let alone the full body of research on either side of an issue? Don’t get us started.

We pride ourselves on critical analyses of evidence, without the layers of ickiness that can come from having to push products or support partnerships. In that vein, here’s quick report on 2016, and what to expect in 2017 (minus any ickiness).

2016 was a record year at Examine.com

The number of people coming to Examine.com went way, way up. The time people spent reading our research analyses reached a record high. The number of times people shared our links with their friends went way up.

Over a million people visit the site each month, and we had roughly 27,500,000 pageviews over the course of the year. Collectively, it added up to approximately 1.5 billion minutes spent on Examine.com.

We also expanded our team in 2016, and hence expanded our research analyses. We now cover approximately 400 supplements and nutrients, and the site contains over 3,500,000 words describing research.

We’re still an entirely independent organization

We proudly remained 100% independent, rebuffing any attempt by any organization to align with us, partner, or provide us with funding. A big reason we've been able to do this is due to the support we've had from people like you. Sometime in 2017, we should cross over 50,000 customers, which is an astounding number considering we only sell digital products (and only have three products, consisting of only research analysis).

We increased the breadth of our team, to ensure the neutrality of our analysis by involving more people from different facets of academic research and healthcare practice. Our internal conversations consist of heated arguments over the most minute of details. Boring to an outsider, but critical to our mission, as it ensures every single angle is properly analyzed and vetted.

A word on our three products

We've now gone over two years without releasing a product. In the online world, this is almost unheard of, as new product launches are the lifeblood of generating revenue. But we tend to focus on our existing products, as they come with lifetime updates to the research analyses they contain.

Our Supplement-Goals Reference continues to be the #1 supplement information product around. Now clocking in at over 1200 pages, it boasts 2,605 human in-vivo studies analyzes.

The biggest update last year was to our Supplement Guides, which we revamped from the ground up, making it far more graphically friendly and in-depth. Subsequent updates will come every six months.

The monthly Nutrition Examination Research Digest now has 2500 subscribers, and we’ve gotten feedback from healthcare practitioners of the Digest providing brand-new data that changed practices (such as recent studies re-analyzing when to introduce peanuts and gluten in infants, research into the biological basis of gluten intolerance as well as when gluten may not be to blame, etc etc).

With that said, we’re also planning on putting out a product or two in 2017, as there are still some glaring holes in the marketplace for objective nutrition and supplement analysis. If you're an Examine.com Insider, we'll be emailing you soon to ask you for your thoughts (and if you're not an Insider, you need to get on that!).

Looking ahead to 2017

There will be new and important information on nutrients, supplements, side effects, biological mechanisms, and much more. In fact, research is expanding at a more than linear rate, so 2017 is probably going to be a doozy.

We will continue to track new trials, along with revising our existing pages to keep them accurate. And since more research is tying together different topics that used to be siloed (like gut health and mood disorders, for example), we’re going to start incorporating more of that on the website and in our products.

From 2011 - 2016, we evolved from an upstart website to a trusted source. In 2017, we’ll focus on continuing to earn your trust, and providing you with unique information you can use to be healthier and happier. And we really, really look forward to diving in.

To wrap up 2016, we’ve highlighted a few important nutrition lessons we’ve learned in the last year. Click here to read 5 key nutrition lessons we learned in 2016.