The Carlson family took an interest in minerals and vitamins when they witnessed firsthand the benefits of vitamin E. J. R. Carlson had suffered from severe chest pain which limited what he could do and eventually he had to stop working. His discomfort continued until he ran across some clinical work done by Drs Evan and Wilfrid Shute.
These doctors gave a physical exam to Carlson and recommended that take a certain form of vitamin E. Carlson was able to return to work three weeks later not to mention he looked a lot better. Carlson’s daughter Susan began researching information about vitamin E and decided to establish her own supplement made up of a natural, high-quality vitamin E. So, J. R. Carlson Labs was established in 1965 with just a single supplement known as Key-E 200 IU. Two years later, Carlson Lab marketed their second supplement know as E-Gems 200 IU and later they marketed higher strength vitamin E.
Susan, worked as a pharmacist part-time at a store in Wheeling, Illinois while she managed the company. She managed the company from apartment on North Winchester Avenue in Chicago. Susan was able to hire 2 employees who assisted her in setting up a small neighborhood store in Chicago in 1968. Shortly after that, Susan added a marketing representative to her business. That’s when Carlson supplements became available in well known health food stores around Chicago. As sales began to grow, Susan was able to get more space for the business next door.
Sometime during the 1970s, Susan needed more office space so she moved the business. At that time she left the pharmacy she was working for and spent her time focused on Carlson full time. Susan’s husband John, a chief water engineer for the city of Chicago, became the Carlson president. The business continued to grow and within 6 years they needed more space. John and an architect friend bought some property and built the Carlson headquarters in Chicago. Business continued to grow such that they needed to expand the business to the building next door.
Carlson Labs are located in Chicago at 600 W. University Dr. and their children are now running the business. They continue to make sure that Carlson products are of the best quality. Their two daughters, Carilyn Andersen (President of Carlson) and Kirsten Carlson (Vice President of Marketing) along with a professional, dedicated team now have over 250 supplements including fish oils, minerals, vitamins and other supplements to offer the public.
Carlson makes supplements for kids, women’s health, men’s health, antioxidants, brain and mood supplements, cardiovascular health and digestive enzymes.