These are marketed as a set of dietary supplements using “carefully selected quality ingredients, to provide a powerful support to your daily diet’. Juice Plus proudly claim to be ‘the next best thing to fruits and vegetables”.
Juice Plus Pros
Juice Plus Cons
- Not a weight loss aid
- No benefit over taking multivitamins
- Runs an autoship programme
Juice Plus Review
Juice Plus Facts
- Manufactured in Switzerland for NSA
- A 15 day supply equals 3 bottles of 60 capsules
- £225 for a 2 month supply
As a whole foods supplement, the three different juice plus premium capsules use various blends of 17 different fruits and vegetables. The ‘nutritional essence’ of the ingredients are extracted using a proprietary process, and reduced, supposedly at low temperatures to avoid destroying the important nutrients. During this process, calories, sugars, fibre and bulk are removed, to create a capsule form which still contains all of the benefits of this huge variety of fruits and vegetables.
The recommended daily dose of Juice plus Premium Capsules is sizeable: The manufacturers recommends taking 2 selected fruit capsules, 2 selected vegetable capsules and 2 selected berry capsules, twice a day, preferably taken with plenty of water and with a meal. This makes a grand total of 12 tablets a day, which is definitely excessive. The need to take 12 tablets a day makes us severely question the actual potency of Juice plus Premium Capsules, as well as the value for money of the product. When buying the product, 180 capsules spread over 3 products seems like a huge supply, but in reality, this would last just 15 days if used at the recommended dose.
Compared with the low cost of a multivitamin (which actually provides a more balanced set of vitamins and minerals), this is an extortionate amount to pay for a diet supplement that does not aid weight loss, and simply ‘may’ improve general health and wellbeing.
Juice plus has been associated in the past with running a pyramid scheme, encouraging its independent distributers to sign up other distributers below them, in return for a small commission on their sales. Indeed, on the website, the ‘Be Independent’ bar is listed above the product information, and the shop, as well as the tab dedicated to the scientific evidence behind Juice Plus products.
Juice Plus also runs an auto-ship program, with products being sent out in some cases every 4 months. Some products are specifically described as a ‘one-time shipment’ whilst the auto-ship products appear to be part of an automatic sign up. Consumers following the recommended doses from the website would need to buy their products every 2 months for the Premium capsules, and every 6 weeks for the recommended weight loss shakes, making the companies auto ship program an opportunity to take more money from the customer, rather than to represent a practical and easy option for regular customers to get their desired products regularly and without hassle.
Other juice plus products, which we feel are worth briefly mentioning, are the Juice Plus Complete range, which is a selection of weight loss shakes, and Juice Plus Shape, which is described as ‘not a diet, but rather an intelligent plan that incorporates diet, exercise, and behavior through specific recommendations and made to measure packages’. The Shape range offers more choice of meal replacement products than the Complete range, as it includes Soups and chocolate bars in addition to the range of shakes. It also offers a product called Booster G2, which is little more than 30 doses of glucomannan, priced at a whopping £74.50.
The two programs are little more than low calorie meal replacement programs. In general, these are difficult to follow, with many people being unable to keep to the set diet plan for a prolonged period of time. Weight loss is often quick, especially at first, but this type of low calorie diet can lead to a lowered metabolic rate, causing a high proportion of dieters to regain weight quickly after the diet is discontinued.
Both plans are again, expensive to follow, especially if customers want more variety than one flavour of shake, twice a day for the foreseeable future. Also remember that many prospective customers are encouraged to use products from the Juice Plus Premium Capsule Range, alongside the shakes from the Juice Plus complete range. One box of Complete shakes provides 90 portions, enough for 45 days of use, and costs £123.75.
Juice Plus Concerns:
- Incredibly expensive
- Nothing more than a multivitamin – much cheaper options elsewhere
- Be wary of the auto-ship programme and understand fully how this works and how much it costs!
What Does Juice Plus Claim To Do?
Juice Plus premium capsules do not make any claims about weight loss, although they are intended to support your daily diet, and some distributers claim that,
the weight control comes as a byproduct of getting healthier. If you do the right things, you won’t have to worry about your weight.
Juice Plus is instead a dietary supplement designed to improve general health and quality of life. Juice plus is thought to contribute to the normal functioning of the immune system, especially during and after intense exercise, aid in the process of cell division, have anti-oxidant properties, and aid in the normal functioning of blood vessels, skin, teeth and gums.
So What Is Juice Plus and What Are The Ingredients For Juice Plus?
The fruits and vegetables used in Juice Plus premium capsules are:
- Apples, oranges, pineapple, cranberries, Acerola cherries, peaches, papaya, dates, prunes
- Carrots, parsley, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, kale, tomatoes, spinach and garlic
- Concord grapes, blueberries, bilberries, blackberries, elderberries, raspberries, cranberries, redcurrants and blackcurrants
According to the manufacturers, this means that each capsule naturally contains a variety of beneficial compounds, including carotenoids, monoterpene, flavonoids, glucosinolate, sulphide, anthocyane, flavanols, and resveratrol.
Looking at the ingredients, it is possible that juice plus premium capsules contain active ingredients that could influence weight loss, even though this is not their main purpose. However, these results are unlikely considering the ingredient quantities, and the indirect way in which they may influence the body’s functioning.
- Resveratrol: This ingredient is a type of polyphenol, an antioxidant, which is found naturally in the skin of red grapes, as well as some other plant sources. Resveratrol has been found to help prevent insulin resistance, and so indirectly could have implications for weight loss in some patients. However, as yet this has not been confirmed conclusively through clinical trials. It is thought that antioxidants in general promote general health and wellness.
- Bilberries: It is thought that bilberry leaf may help to lower blood sugar levels, which could have positive implications for diabetics and dieters alike. For dieters it is possible that regulated blood sugar levels could help to reduce sugar cravings, helping to maintain a calorie restricted diet. Bilberries are included in some diet pills as an active ingredient.
So What Does All This Mean?
Essentially the claims made about Juice Plus Premium Capsules are based upon the various properties of Beta-Caroten, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Folate, which are present in high levels in the capsules. In general, the ingredients may boost vitamin levels in the body, which are required for adequate functioning of numerous bodily functions. However, these are easily obtained through following a nutritionally balanced diet plan.
Does Juice Plus Have Any Side Effects?
Unlike many other dietary supplements, juice plus premium capsules can supposedly be used whilst pregnant or breastfeeding.
There are few reviews that mention any side effects of Juice Plus premium capsules, and certainly the official marketing makes no mention of any side effects.
However, it is possible that users may experience stomach upsets and bloating when first using the product. Some studies found that ‘gastrointestinal distress’ and a ‘hive-like rash’ were reported by some participants. One study found changes in liver function. In one case, a 51 year old woman who had endometrial cancer experienced hepatotoxicity, linked with the use of Juice Plus products. After discontinuing use of the product, her liver function normalised over the following 4 weeks.
Any Juice Plus Reviews From Customers?
It is difficult to find a review of Juice Plus Premium capsules that is not written by someone who is now selling the product as an independent distributor. Many of these reviews start with some kind of claim that ‘they were sceptical too about the claims made’ but that they were proven wrong once actually using the product. Testimonials include numerous claims about health improvements- a 1994 book of testimonials about Juice Plus products summarised the positive claims made by customers as:
These are some of the benefits found by people taking Juice Plus+. Some noticed these signs after a few days, others after weeks or months. These benefits may not apply to you, but you may want to look out for them: general sense of well-being; more alert; more energy; more regular; better digestion; better appetite; sleep better; need less sleep; wake up easier; wake up earlier, less urge to snack; less craving for sweets; crave fruit, vegetables & salad; weight loss; weight gain (if desired); loss of inches from waist & hips; better skin tone; nails grow stronger and faster; hair grows stronger and faster; look better; clearer eyes; easier to quit smoking; easier to start exercise program; handle stress more easily; better recovery after workout; able to work harder; higher athletic performance; faster recovery from injury; reduced allergies & sinusitis; reduced arthritis pain; fewer headaches; less pain; lower blood pressure; improved blood sugar.
Even this overview contains a disclaimer, and is clearly phrased to make the potential customer more inclined to purchase the product, just in case any of these benefits were to occur for them. You may also notice that the majority of these claims are all about a perceived improvement, rather than a measureable change.
So Does Juice Plus Work?
This is open to interpretation, as the marketing for the product claims that Juice Plus Premium Capsules will improve general health and well-being, whilst simultaneously not explicitly stating how the product should affect the consumer. Yes, using these capsules will boost levels of various vitamins within the body, but this is the same effect that a well-balanced multivitamin or, ideally, a well-balanced diet would have upon the body.
Customer reviews are heavily biased thanks to the huge number of independent distributers who are desperate to sell their own stock and to make money from this product’s dubious ‘network marketing’ method of selling, marketing and distribution.
More important than the testimonials from customers and distributors is the opinions of medical professionals who have commented upon Juice plus. Various nutritionists have spoken out against Juice Plus, calling it overpriced and over-rated. One registered dietician stated:
While there have been some clinical research studies about the effectiveness of Juice Plus, the evidence overall is inconclusive, the research flawed, and the funding provided by the manufacturer of the supplements themselves!
Where Can I Buy Juice Plus?
The primary way of purchasing Juice Plus Premium Capsules, and other Juice Plus products, is via Juice Plus independent distributers. Even the official website for Juice Plus does not mention a price list for any of its products without visiting the designated shop section of the website.
The minimum purchase for Juice Plus Premium Capsules is a box of 12, with the order containing Fruits blend + 4 Vegetables blend + 4 Berries and Grapes blend. This is enough for 2 months when used at the rate recommended by the company, and carries a huge price tag of £225.00 including tax and shipping. We find this to be excessively expensive for what is offered. Other product combinations are possible, including a chewable option for children.
What About A Guarantee
According to the Juice Plus site, Juice Plus offer an unconditional 120-day, 100% money-back guarantee.
However, there is no mention of this on the UK website, leading us to believe that the guarantee is only available within the US.
Looking at the entire range of Juice Plus products, we are horrified by the over-pricing of these products. This especially applies to the Premium capsules range, as these are not even weight loss products. Considering that customers are forced to order 2-4 months’ worth of products as an absolute minimum, and that for the majority of products customers are entered into an auto-ship program, we urge caution if thinking of buying this product.
Many customers may not realise, or may forget that they are a part of this auto-ship program, and may be very surprised when, 4 months down the line, £225 is removed from their account.
With little information on the returns policy for customers in the UK, we believe it is unlikely that many people will be able to obtain a refund. This is even more unlikely if dissatisfied customers had purchased through an independent distributer.
The product itself is likely very overrated, more than likely in order to justify its huge price tag. The scientific studies that are associated with the products were often funded by Juice Plus themselves, and were not always double blind trials comparing the product with a placebo.
The fact that the company operates an independent distributer network in place of a permanent sales force or using a retail outlet also causes us to question this product further. Many people have suggested that Juice Plus are operating a type of pyramid scheme, as prospective customers are “encouraged” to not only buy the product, but to also become an independent distributor themselves.
Juice Plus premium capsules, and indeed the whole range of Juice Plus products, are not viable, safe weight loss aids, and so we cannot approve Juice Plus supplements.