In Memoriam: Dr. Bela Balogh, 1933-2018

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our father, mentor, founder and friend, Dr. Béla Balogh. 

Dr. Balogh was born on June 25, 1933, in Budapest, Hungary at the brink of the Second World War. Despite a harrowing childhood, Dr. Balogh prevailed. He excelled in his studies and obtained a Masters in Organic Chemistry from the University of Budapest, Institute for Polymer Chemistry, in June of 1956. Later that year, Dr. Balogh would be involved in another event that would change his fate – the unsuccessful October 23rdHungarian Revolution against the Soviet Union. Dr. Balogh was one of hundreds of hopeful protestors at the University who, when met with the brutality and unrelenting violence of his Soviet comrades, was forced to flee the city in the middle of the chaos. Absconding with a stolen ambulance and unloaded machine gun, Dr. Balogh crossed the Hungarian border safely into Austria.  

Dr. Balogh continued his studies at the Technical University of Vienna in organic chemistry as a recipient of a Rockefeller Fellowship. He completed his doctorate just three years later. Now a postdoc, Dr. Balogh had several opportunities before him but it was a small advertisement in a trade magazine that caught his eye: an open position for an Assistant Specialist at the UC Berkeley Forest Products Laboratory. Dr. Balogh applied and in February of 1961, began working with project leader Dr. A. B. Anderson in identifying and isolating redwood extractives as postdoctoral fellow (funding was provided by the California Redwood Association). Dr. Balogh’s research would prove to be extremely valuable. Forest Products Laboratory director Fred Dickinson relayed the following in correspondence “…(Dr. Balogh) has isolated some new and very important organic compounds from redwood. This work of his is all the more remarkable when one considers that the chemistry of redwood extractives has been the subject of many years of investigations by a number of highly qualified chemists, yet, Dr. Balogh is the first man to isolate a compound from the extractives to identify structure, and successfully reproduce his experiments. Actually, he has been successful in finding three compounds.” Essentially, Dr. Balogh was able to do what no other scientist had done before: identify what made Redwood trees “red.”

After Dr. Balogh completed his work with the Forest Products Laboratory, he served as a research chemist at the Denver Research Institute, University of Colorado. With the assistance of NASA funding, Dr. Balogh studied the origin of Colorado Oil Shale, identifying and isolating important compounds found in the Green River formation. Afterward, Dr. Balogh returned to the Bay Area, earning a position with A.L. Burlingame’s laboratory at the UC Berkeley Space Sciences laboratory. As head research biochemist, Dr. Balogh assisted in the analysis of the Apollo 12 and 14 lunar samples as well as served as an undergraduate Adjunct Professor of Analytical Chemistry at the Berkeley campus.

When funding for the Apollo mission ended, Dr. Balogh left UC Berkeley and began an entirely new career in the private sector. It was at this time that Linus Pauling’s research and promotion of orthomolecular medicine and dietary supplementation was gaining notice. Dr. Balogh, initially a skeptic, slowly became convinced at the potential for dietary supplementation to assist in the promotion of health and recuperation. He established Scientific Consulting Service in 1968, primarily to assist oncologists in establishing patient nutritional regimens.  As a trained biochemist, Dr. Balogh simultaneously began developing his own formulations and it was then that the Intensive Nutrition dietary supplement line for professionals was born. As was consistent with the beginning of his career, Dr. Balogh proved to be a creative, intelligent and thoughtful innovator, and contributed greatly to the growth and success of the dietary supplement industry. His focus was to develop not only science-based formulas but ones that were biochemically sound, meaning, formulas that the body could actually assimilate and use. His key contributions included:

 

  • Development of a kelp-based, hypoallergenic selenium supplement, SeaSEL™ (1975+)
  • Development of Target Release dietary supplement tablets (1980+)
  • Development and support of Coenzyme Q10 antioxidant therapies (1980s)
  • Development of Nutritional Program for surgical patients (1980s)
  • Introduction of Plant Tannin chemistry to complementary and alternative medicine practitioners in the form of our gastrointestinal products, Tanalbit, Viracin, Tabit and lifestyle support products Tanafem and Tanoral (1985+)
  • Development of highly bioavailable vitamin and mineral supplements, ascorbates, picolinates and orotates (1980s)

What started as a small concern blossomed into an established family business, and 2018 marked the 50thyear of Intensive Nutrition.

Dr. Balogh leaves behind a devoted wife and two daughters, all three of whom joined him at the business and have been proud to continue his work. He was admired and loved by his five granddaughters who were a constant source of happiness and pride to him and he was very proud of his sons in law. Dr. Balogh was grateful and devoted to his friends and colleagues. They challenged him, renewed his spirit, and were as important to him as any family member could be.  Dr. Balogh will be remembered as an intelligent and forceful soul, curious, eager, compassionate and dedicated. He will be missed.

With gratitude,

Olivia Balogh Melaugh
October 3rd, 2018

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In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the following organizations: 

  1. Save the Redwoods 
  2. Disabled Veterans Association 
  3. American Hungarian Federation 

 

 

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