Sunday, September 03, 2006



There are many sites on the internet with information about the vitamin supplement Juice Plus, but here you will find something the other sites don't offer...the truth!

This blog is for all those who may have heard about Juice Plus and wondered whether they should try it (incidentally, the answer is no, but keep reading anyway). It is also for anyone who is interested in the pathology of consumer fraud; Juice Plus is a truly fascinating case study. We also hope that some of those who are currently pushing the product on others will take this information to heart and consider finding a more honest way to earn a living. And to anyone who may have never heard of Juice Plus, read on and inoculate yourself just in case a cult-like Juice Plus distributor ever tries to push the product on you.


Golden Apple Awards

Golden Apples are awarded in recognition of individuals and organizations for outstanding contributions to raising public awareness about Juice Plus.

Stephen Barrett, MD (Founder of
Does Using Juice Plus+ Products Make Sense?
Juice Plus: A Critical Look
Questionable Research by the Juice Plus Children's Research Foundation
Kudos and a Golden Apple to Dr. Barrett for being the first to raise critical awareness of Juice Plus and for putting up with all the mudslinging from angry Juice Plus distributors.

Dr. Bernhard Watzl and Dr. Achim Bub (Federal Research Centre for Nutrition, Karlsruhe, Germany)
Fruit and vegetable concentrate or vitamin supplement? J Nutr. 2003;133:3725
Watzl and Bub were the first reveal to the scientific community that Juice Plus contains added isolated vitamins. This fact was acknowledged in an editorial letter published by Juice Pus researcher Samir Samman, who stated “the manufacturer acknowledges that some micronutrients are added to restore the levels of micronutrients lost during processing” (see Research Library).

"Our major criticism relates to the fact that the fruit and vegetable capsules used in this study, according to the manufacturer, were enriched with pure beta-carotene, ascorbic acid, vitamin E and folic acid, which was not stated in the article...the native carotenoids from the vegetable capsules were either not contained in the capsules or were not bioavailable. The reported physiological effects can be explained solely by the added micronutrients. Overall, the conclusions of this article mislead the reader by suggesting that the mixed fruit and vegetable concentrates increase plasma antioxidants and reduce plasma homocysteine, and subsequently cardiovascular disease risk."

Dr. Rosemary Stanton (Nutritionist/Order of Australia Medalist)
Nutrition: Who Can You Believe?
"To catch parents, JuicePlus also offers gummy bears, also called phyto bears - sweets that contains fruit and vegetable extracts. Their main ingredient is glucose syrup. The second ingredient is sugar. They are, as you might guess, expensive. But the sellers line is “Isn’t your child’s health worth it?” It can sound convincing to a parent whose child will undoubtedly prefer a phyto bear to a Brussels sprout."

R.J. Stewart, MS, RD (Clinical Dietician)
Antioxidant status of young children: response to an antioxidant supplement. J Am Diet Assoc. 2002;102:1652-7.
A pat on the back and a Golden Apple to Stewart and colleagues at St Luke's Wood River Medical Center in Ketchum, ID, whose research showed that Juice Plus gummies consist of 85% corn syrup and 10% beef gelatin and do not offer any antioxidant benefits. Sadly, NSA has not acknowledged this research and distributors continue to promote gummies as being nutritionally benefical for children.

Stephen J. Chambers (Institute of Food Research, Norfolk, UK)
Evaluation of the antioxidant properties of a methanolic extract from ‘Juice Plus fruit’ and ‘Juice Plus vegetable’ (dietary supplements). Food Chem. 1996;57;271-274.
These long overdue Golden Apples go out to Chambers and colleagues, who showed that, despite the addition of high doses of isolated antioxidant vitamins, the daily 4-capsule Juice Plus regimen has the equivalent antioxidant capacity of less than a half serving of real produce. This study was published in 1996 and has conveniently never been mentioned by NSA.

Dr. Jane Freedman (Boston University School of Medicine)
High-fat diets and cardiovascular disease. Are nutritional supplements useful? J Am Coll Cardiol. 2003;41:1750-2.
In her critique of the Juice Plus study conducted by Plotnick and colleagues (2003), Freedman had this to say:

"The current findings should not lead to the general recommendation of phytonutrients for the modification of cardiovascular disease; nor should these findings suggest that the clearly established diseases associated with high-fat or high-calorie diets can be offset by the use of nutritional supplements…If validated in subjects with cardiovascular disease, would such studies lead to the use of nutritional supplementation with the occasional high-fat meal or should we just be recommending a salad with the steak dinner?...This study does not suggest that a phytonutrient or vitamin supplement is the solution for high-fat, low-fiber, low-nutrient diets but instead reinforces the positive effects of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables."

Denise Austin (Diet and fitness guru)
Can You Get Your Veggies in a Pill?
"Juice Plus bills itself as the "next best thing to fresh, raw fruits and vegetables" and also offers a candy-like supplement for kids that supposedly provides "the nutritional essence of 17 different fruits and vegetables in a tasty 'gummi' form." And the company's Web site is laced with testimonials and research studies. Sound too good to be true? It is — and that's why this multilevel marketing company has drawn criticism from respected organizations such as Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and MLM Watch, a nonprofit watchdog group that evaluates multilevel marketing companies...The reality is that none of the Juice Plus studies have sought to prove that the product is more effective than other supplements, or better than whole fruits and vegetables...Bottom line: Minus the Juice Plus."

Andrew Weil, MD (Alternative medicine advocate)
"The products are sold exclusively through aggressive multi-level marketing - that is, you can buy them only through distributors who make money not only through their own sales but those of the people they recruit. I'm sorry, but I am prejudiced against multi-level marketing schemes... I've seen the research that Juice Plus has sponsored to validate the effectiveness of its products, and I am still not convinced that they are suitable substitutes for eating a healthy diet and taking a good multivitamin. I think there are better, healthier and more affordable ways to get those same effects. "

Kathleen Goodwin (Registered Dietician)
Dietary Supplements: Facts About Juice Plus
“Leave it to the unregulated supplement industry to cash in on our health worries. Anything that claims to be natural and prevent disease is a booming business today, particularly if it comes conveniently encapsulated with marketing claims galore. Well, that’s just what Natural Alternatives International (NAI), the manufacturers of Juice Plus supplements, had in mind… They have also added various phytochemicals to the mix such as bioflavonoids, anthocyanins, lycopene, and indoles. For the most part, all the fiber has been stripped from the fruit and vegetable powders. Only the 6 vitamins and minerals in Juice Plus have disclosed quantities. There is no information about how much pulp or powder one derives from the various fruit and vegetable blends or what amounts of phytochemicals or other ingredients the products contain… Clearly, isolating a few nutrients or phytochemicals and packing them in a powder does not necessarily provide the results that making the time for the real thing each day does…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!”

Rena Bloom, ND (Denver Naturopathic Clinic)
“Typically I have a simple approach to multi-level evangelists, “Don't believe a word they say.”… Struggling to keep an open mind I started looking more closely. Many of the studies I had read at the office turned out had not been published in peer review journals. Instead they had been presented as abstracts (a process that doesn't entail peer review) at various professional conferences. The company selling the product printed the studies up in glossy booklets. I should have known better and missed the small print… The studies come up lacking.”

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
“While it is true that nutritional supplementation is important in maintaining health in many segments of the population, particularly the elderly, none of the scientific studies undertaken have sought to prove that Juice Plus is more effective or more bioavailable than other supplements. In addition, no studies exist to compare the physiologic effects of supplementation with Juice Plus and eating whole fresh fruits and vegetables...The health effects of this pricey supplement have not been squarely worked out yet. To prevent cancer - no scientific evidence supports this use; to prevent and manage heart disease - no scientific evidence supports this use…Juice Plus is distributed through a multi-tiered marketing scheme with exaggerated value and cost…This product may not contain the labeled amount or may be contaminated…Some test subjects developed a hive-like rash during treatment…Do not take if you are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy…Bottom Line: Juice Plus does not prevent cancer. There is no evidence to support the idea that the full benefit of fruits and vegetables can be obtained from a pill.”

University of California Berkeley Wellness Letter
Juice Plus—and minus
Juiced Up and Dried Out
“No matter how compressed these capsules are, or what they contain, it’s impossible to deliver the nutrients of five to ten servings of fruits and vegetables in several capsules weighing 800 to 850 milligrams (about one-thirtieth of an ounce) each. It would take two dozen 800-milligram capsules just to provide all the nutrients in six ounces of carrot juice…You don’t need Juice Plus… If your children or grandchildren won’t eat what’s good for them, you might be tempted to give them pills or a serving of “nutritional” sweets. But is it wise to teach them that nutrition comes from capsules, let alone gummy candy? Most kids love fruit and soon learn to like vegetables, if good foods are consistently on the table and in the fridge.”

Al Borges, MD
EMR Update
Dr. Borges' offered sound advice about Juice Plus on his website EMR Update. He referred to the research as "faulty" and advised consumers "don't waste your money"

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