From a young age, I knew that I wanted to pursue a path in health and nutrition to use the power of science to help people live their best lives. After receiving a degree in Clinical Nutrition, I went on to earn a medical degree in Naturopathic Medicine, with a particular focus on Botanical Medicine.

In 2008, I joined Herbalife Nutrition’s Global Consumer Safety (GCS) department. It was an exciting challenge that motivated me to obtain a Master’s Degree in Science in Regulatory Affairs. Here, I have been able to combine my passion for consumer health with a relentless pursuit of science-backed product excellence, and it has been a rewarding journey full of learnings.

Today I lead an incredible team of health, science, and consumer relations professionals who support our markets by properly managing, assessing, and addressing all product-related inquiries. I want to share the work we are doing to ensure that our product innovations are guided by science and a commitment to quality.

Global Consumer Safety and Quality

At Herbalife Nutrition, our commitment to quality is more than cutting-edge technology, infrastructure, and processes; it is at the core of everything we do. One might think that GCS is mainly focused on addressing product inquiries, but we are involved in the entire product life cycle from ideation to labeling, trainings, and education.

For example, we follow a rigorous approach to testing all ingredients that include steps such as:

We also work closely with our Research and Development and Global Regulatory Affairs teams to:

Once we make sure these guardrails are in place, we can launch a new product into the market. And once it’s out there, we have a robust, global system in place to quickly address any product inquiries. Our experts not only monitor for adverse events, but if somebody has a product-related question, we also collect and respond to those as a team because it also helps inform our safety picture.

We also carry out non-mandatory research to raise awareness around the safety and efficacy of our products. And then, of course, post-market, we might find opportunities to dive deeper into research and then publish those findings to help build brand confidence. That kind of research is peer-reviewed, and we have third-party validation that continues to tell our story of trust, safety, and quality.

What I want to show is that our Global Consumer Safety approach builds upon a prevailing, extensive focus on quality: from our Seed to Feed process, to manufacturing, to quality certifications, to independent research. And, of course, education and training play a big part in all of it.

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Product Safety Training and Consumer Advocacy

We are committed to creating and improving resources for distributors based on market needs and consumer demand and partnering with them on safe product use and customer retention strategies. Because our distributors want to show just how much they care. Helping them navigate these situations properly might result in them retaining that customer and getting a few more because they build confidence in the Community, showing they are in it for their customers’ safety and health and well-being.

The GCS team also provides training to Herbalife Nutrition Member Services personnel and other team members who may receive incoming Adverse Event Reports (AERs). Training of our team helps to ensure global comprehension and compliance with all consumer safety vigilance policies and procedures.

What’s Next in GCS for Herbalife Nutrition

Maintaining and assuring product quality is a never-ending job. The GCS team continues to stay on top of the latest scientific research and data on ingredients and their impact on consumers. We are committed to leading our field by speaking at industry conferences and sharing data with our peers to be role models of excellence. We believe in continuous innovation and seek to challenge ourselves to continue delivering incredible tasting, science-backed products.

Our visibility and access to information are growing, along with our efforts to find opportunities to engage with distributors and get their perspectives on what resonates with them and their customers. We want to provide them with helpful information and let them know that support is available internally to reach out to and make sure information is consistent. Being able to have transparency on a global scale and ensuring we are communicating best practices for safety and positive consumer experiences are our main drivers.

Our mission to nourish people and the planet is a journey that I am proud to be on, knowing that our rigorous approach to product and consumer safety serves as a model approach and differentiator in our industry.

Learn more about our rigorous quality standards in our first-ever Global Responsibility Report.

Kristy Appelhans

Kristy AppelhansNMD, MSRA – Vice President, Global Consumer Safety

Dr. Kristy Appelhans serves as vice president of Global Consumer Safety at Herbalife. She holds a degree in Clinical Nutrition, a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine, and a master’s in regulatory affairs. As the head of Safety at Herbalife, Dr. Appelhans oversees a comprehensive global post-market safety vigilance and compliance program as well as nutrition safety education for employees and consumers.

To further channel her love for fitness, health, and science, Dr. Appelhans is a regular judge and competitor in professional level natural bodybuilding and fitness contests. Some of her favorite Herbalife products include Simply Probiotic, Formula 1 Banana Caramel flavored shake, and Herbalife24® Rebuild Strength protein shakes.