NEC Background
History

History

Dr. Edward Howell “Enzymes are substances that make life possible, the key to unlocking good health and vitality. Without enzymes our bodies would not be able to harvest the nutrients from the foods we eat. They are the manual workers that build the body from proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.” -Edward Howell, M.D., founder of National Enzyme Company.

Dr. Edward Howell, a medical doctor and 100% German scientist, started NEC in 1932 with a vision of informing the world about the health necessity of replacing the enzymes lost in cooking. He created enzyme supplements to be used when we consume our enzyme-deficient cooked meals. Dr. Howell’s enzyme supplements were created to mimic the activity and digestive function of the enzymes contained in raw foods.

Dr. Edward Howell’s interest in enzymes and human nutrition began in the 1920’s at the Lindlahr Sanitarium in Chicago. Dr. Howell theorized that if he could replace the enzymes lost in the cooking or processing of food, he could enhance nutrient assimilation and in turn, promote general good health. He learned that an enzyme-based product was needed to replace the food digestive enzymes lost in the cooking process.

Dr. Howell established a private practice for the treatment of advanced illnesses utilizing nutrition and physical therapy. Through extensive clinical and laboratory research, Dr. Howell developed a way to cultivate and extract certain plant enzymes. He then added the enzyme-based supplements he created to the diets of his patients. These supplements had the unique ability to provide activity during all phases of the digestive process. Other physicians saw the results of improved health in his patients, and as a result, in 1932, Dr. Howell created the National Enzyme Company to produce a general digestive enzyme-based formula, Genuine N•Zimes™ #1.

1979: Dr. Howell and Mr. Collier in the backyard of Howell’s home located in North Fort Myers, Florida. NEC was incorporated in May of 1945 in the state of Illinois and was founded to meet the growing demands for Dr. Howell’s unique enzyme products. At that time, NEC was primarily a mail order business. In 1977, former owner, Anthony Collier, began working for National Enzyme Company as the Office Manager.

Mr. Collier had the benefit of knowing Dr. Howell. Howell retired from NEC and spent much of his time doing enzyme research from his home in Fort Myers, Florida.

After graduating from DePaul University in 1979, Mr. Collier purchased the company and accepted the mission of informing the world about the necessity of digestive enzymes that Dr. Howell started in 1932. In 1979, Mr. Collier relocated National Enzyme Company to Forsyth, Missouri. He decided to change the marketing plan from mail order to B2B (business to business). July  19, 1980  was the first manufacturing date in Missouri.  NEC  began experiencing growth in the private label sector. Mr. Collier has been able to grow the company  through marketing, innovation, and technically-trained  sales staff. NEC has strengthened its position as a manufacturer and enzyme leader. Today, NEC currently  employs over 130 hard working individuals.