Sunday, November 18, 2007


European Juice Plus Brochure Reveals Product’s Contents

A document posted online at the site of a European Juice Plus distributor discloses key details, previously unavailable to American consumers, about the contents of Juice Plus capsules. The JPRB was forwarded an Internet link to a Juice Plus promotional brochure published by National Safety Associates Limited (based in Ireland, Belgium, Netherlands, and the UK). The company's official PDF document[1] reveals that Juice Plus capsules contain a variety of synthetic vitamin additives and non-nutritive fillers and only about 25% juice powders by weight. For the purpose of scientific discussion and in keeping with fair use policies, we have reproduced the labels as shown in the brochure.

Figure 1 (Click on images for full size versions. Ingredients are listed in descending order by amount)--Ingredients in Juice Plus Orchard Blend (upper panel) and Garden Blend (lower panel) capsules marketed in Europe by National Safety Associates Ltd. The labels identify various synthetic vitamin additives including vitamin C (as ascorbic acid), vitamin E (as d-alpha tocopherol succinate), niacin (as nicotinamide), beta-carotene, vitamin B6 (as pyridoxine hydrochloride), coenzyme Q, riboflavin, thiamin (as hydrochloride), and folacin (as folic acid). Mineral additives include zinc, manganese, selenium, and chromium. Other constituents include gelatine, anticaking agents such as calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate, guar gum as a thickening agent, algae (Dunaliella salina), and orange peel (the third listed ingredient by amount). The products contain only 26.3% to 26.8% fruit juice powder by weight.

1. Juice Plus contains synthetic vitamin additives and very low amounts of juice powders
The European labels indicate that that many exogenous vitamins are added to the products. Notably, these additives are not natural source vitamins but rather purified chemical forms, such as d-alpha tocopherol succinate, nicotinamide, beta-carotene, pyridoxine hydrochloride, coenzyme Q, thiamin hydrochloride, and folic acid.

2. Is European Juice Plus the same product as Juice Plus in the U.S.?
The nutrient information listed for Juice Plus Orchard and Garden Blend in Europe differs substantially from the label information in the U.S -- the U.S ingredient list does not mention vitamin and mineral additives, anticaking agents, thickening agents, or the amount of juice powder (see Wikipedia[2]). The discrepancy indicates that either (a) the product marketed in Europe is substantially different from the version marketed in the U.S. or (b) the product composition is the same in both regional markets, and the U.S. labels simply include less information about the ingredients. The inconsistencies between the European and U.S. labels raise a variety of critical questions about the product.

3. Research invalidated?
The possibility that the U.S. and European versions of Juice Plus do in fact have different compositions raises serious issues about the product's expected effects and the validity of past research. If these are different products, then consumers in the U.S. and Europe cannot expect the same results with their respective versions of Juice Plus. It also would greatly complicate the interpretation of research. Was the U.S. version used for some studies and the European version in others? If so, then the results are not comparable. Several published studies were conducted by investigators outside of the U.S. (e.g. two studies in Italy, one in the UK, one in Australia). Several more company-sponsored studies now in progress are being performed by investigators overseas. None of the published studies provided complete descriptions of the product's contents, making it impossible to determine which versions of Juice Plus were studied.

3. Are U.S. consumers being deceived?

It is possible that the product composition is identical in the U.S. and Europe and that the differences in labeling are attributable to the more stringent standards of European regulations. If they are the same products, then U.S. consumers are being misled. They are told that Juice Plus capsules are an all-natural, whole-food product, containing only fruit and vegetables, when in fact it contains only one-quarter juice powder and a variety of synthetic vitamin additives.

4. A poor supplement with poor value?

The nutrient composition listed in European Juice Plus labels indicates that, compared with a multivitamin, the product contains a relatively narrow range of nutrients, most of which appear to be synthetic, and the juice powder content is insignificantly low. Given the obvious similarities and possible inferiority of Juice Plus relative to conventional multivitamins, there is no apparent justification for their vast difference in price (Juice Plus has a daily cost of $1.37 in the U.S. vs. 5-10 cents for a good quality generic multivitamin).

  1. Science & Juice Plus: The Scientific Research. National Safety Associates Ltd (IR, BE, NL, UK). July 25, 2005.
  2. Juice Plus. Wkipedia.

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