Tuesday, January 30, 2007


National Safety Associates Ignores University Research Chemist

National Safety Associates (NSA), the company behind the Juice Plus line of nutritional supplements, has been unwilling to respond to critical questions raised by Dr. Mike Jezercak, a University of Central Oklahoma research chemist. According to Jezercak, a nutritional supplement expert who operates the website “Ask Dr. Jez”, NSA failed to answer questions about Juice Plus he had prepared after attending a Juice Plus seminar, which he described as a “sales pitch” and “pyramid scheme”.[1]

“I asked several questions in the talk, none of which were answered, as the person selling was only part of the pyramid scheme to sell it”, Jezercak recalls. He then went directly to NSA with his concerns about the marketing of Juice Plus and the company’s scientific claims, which were outlined in a letter he sent in mid-2004. NSA did not respond to the letter, which detailed issues regarding the product’s undisclosed quantities of ingredients, misleading nutrient analyses, inflated cost, poorly designed and unreliable research, and the hidden financial interests of product spokespersons.[2]

Jezercak persisted in trying to contact NSA with his concerns but as of January 2007, almost 3 years after his initial letter was sent, he had still not received a reply from NSA or answers to any of his questions. “After letters, emails and a phone call, I ultimately received no response" says Jezercak.

To aid consumers in choosing a reliable and effective supplement, Jezercak offered this general guidance:

1. Good supplements give specific quantities instead of a "proprietary" mix, a pseudonym for "trust us, the people who want to sell it to you."
2. Many have their products tested independently and provide assay results.
3. Products containing extracts are standardized for a given amount of a desired product.

He also provided the following advice on how to avoid dishonest supplement companies:

1. Look for testimonial evidence by users. Ignore these.
2. Look for ravings about the health/vitality/longevity or whatever benefits of a substance that is NOT their product, only purported to be IN their product.
3. Watch for "Doctors" that back a product. These are often people in a group that are interested in profits, not your health.

So how does Juice Plus stack up? Poorly, according to Jezercak’s criteria, since NSA uses the “trust us” proprietary mix and has not released reliable independent nutrient assay data, nor do they provide information about standardization of ingredient amounts in the plant extracts. NSA’s Juice Plus marketing also relies heavily on testimonial evidence by users, raves about the health benefits of substances that are NOT their product but rather are only purported to be IN their product, and features endorsements from various health professionals who are Juice Plus distributors.

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