FLO Vitamins Review: Natural PMS Relief?

FLO Vitamins Review: Natural PMS Relief?


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Flo Vitamins, also called Flo Gummies, is a supplement brand that makes products for women. Their most popular supplement, called FLO, is used to treat PMS, and the brand claims it's made with ingredients that "have been shown to alleviate cramps, acne and mood swings."

But can a gummy vitamin really relieve PMS? Does it contain research-backed ingredients, and does it contain questionable additive ingredients? How do real users describe and rate the effects of FLO? And are FLO's other supplements good options?

In this article we'll answer all of these questions and more as we review the ingredients in FLO (the PMS gummy) based on medical research to give our take on whether or not the supplement is likely to be effective for reducing PMS symptoms.

We'll also share real, unsponsored user reviews of FLO, and review the brand's other supplements including RETRO (anti-aging), GOGO (fiber) and DISCO (multivitamin).

FLO Gummies Ingredient Analysis

Flo Gummies ingredients list

FLO Gummies contains four active ingredients: vitamin B6, chasteberry extract, lemon balm, and dong quai.

Vitamin B6 does appear to be effective for treating PMS symptoms based on medical research, but it may be underdosed in FLO.

A medical review analyzed nine clinical trials on vitamin B6 for PMS. The vitamin was found to be effective at reducing symptoms like pain and lack of energy, but the lowest dose used in any of the trials was 40 milligrams (mg), or 200% of the dose in FLO.

The remaining three active ingredients are included in a "Proprietary Herbal Blend" with a total dose of 111 mg, which equates to an average ingredient dose of 37 mg.

Chasteberry extract was described in a medical review published in the Complementary Therapies in Medicine journal as “confirmed to be effective in the reduction of PMS symptoms," and the dose used in several of the studies was close to the dose in FLO.

Lemon balm is another effective but potentially underdosed active ingredient.

A clinical trial found that lemon balm was effective at treating PMS symptoms in high-school-aged females, but the dose was 1200 mg, or 32x the amount of the average ingredient dose in FLO's blend.

Another study on women in their 20s found that supplementation of lemon balm decreased the severity of “systemic signs associated with menstruation." The dosage from this study was 330 mg, and it was an extract which is more potent than the raw plant material in FLO.

Dong quai is the final active ingredient in FLO, and we can't find any medical evidence backing its efficacy for the reduction of PMS symptoms.

There are three questionable additive ingredients in this formulation.

Added sugars are included at a dose of 3 grams per serving. While this is a relatively low amount, we typically recommend avoiding supplements with added sugar.

As we documented in our Goli Ashwagandha Gummies reviews article, excess added sugar intake is associated with a range of negative health outcomes like obesity and diabetes, and many Americans already consume too much added sugar from diet so it seems logical to avoid it in supplements. 

Titanium dioxide is an artificial colorant that has been banned in the European Union (E.U.) for use a food additive over toxicity concerns.

Natural flavors is a better option than artificial flavors, but is still a poorly-regulated term in our opinion, as a medical review published in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal found there to be potential toxicity regarding some natural flavoring agents and their metabolites.

We consider FLO to be potentially effective for PMS symptom relief, as it contains one ingredient that's effectively dosed based on clinical research and several other ingredients that are shown in clinical studies to relieve PMS symptoms.

We don't recommend this supplement overall due to the inclusion of questionable additive ingredients like titanium dioxide and added sugars.

For consumers intent on purchasing this supplement, we would recommend the capsule version which is free of added sugars and natural flavors.

An OB/GYN named Dr. Jennifer Lincoln reviewed FLO Gummies on her YouTube page along with other PMS supplements. We've timestamped the video below to begin when she starts discussing FLO:

Real, Unsponsored FLO User Reviews

A YouTube creator named "Wild Simple Joy" explains why she doesn't recommend FLO vitamins, and describes the side effects she experienced:

A TikTok user named Justine Ercira claims the supplement was ineffective after two months of use:

@justinebeans Final #honest #review #update on #flovitamins ♬ Lo-fi hip hop - NAO-K

Are FLO's Other Supplements Better?

FLO sells other supplements beyond FLO (it's somewhat confusing that both the brand name and their most-popular supplement bear the same name).

Here's our quick takes on their other supplements:

RETRO – Anti-Aging

FLO RETRO product image

This contains a patented form of astaxanthin, which is a natural antioxidant compound derived from astaxanthin among other sources. The only clinical trial we could identify on this compound found it to be effective for reducing degradation of skin over time, but the doses used were 200% and 400% of that in RETRO.

Vitamin C may be effective for improving skin quality, but this is easily obtainable from whole foods. We're not impressed by this formulation.

GOGO – Fiber

FLO GOGO product image

The powder version contains 6 g of dietary fiber which can improve gastrointestinal health and help promote a healthy weight (higher fiber intake is associated with weight loss in overweight individuals).

We don't recommend this supplement overall because we don't consider it a cost-effective way to obtain dietary fiber, and because it contains two questionable additive ingredients (citric acid and natural flavors).

DISCO – Women's Multivitamin

FLO DISCO product image

This supplement does contain a large number of vitamins and minerals. It contains an incredibly low dose of some of the "adaptogens" the brand advertises. Example: ashwagandha at 5 mg. Most medical trials on ashwagandha use many hundreds of mg, and use an extract form which is even more potent than the raw plant material included in this supplement.

It seems illogical in our opinion to take a preventative health supplement like a multivitamin that contains added sugar. For those planning on taking multivitamins, we would recommend choosing a capsule brand without added sugar rather than a gummy.

We consider FLO to be better-formulated than the other supplements sold by the brand.

Real Customer Reviews of FLO Vitamins

GOGO is the most-reviewed FLO supplement on Amazon, which is a more objective resource for customer reviews than a brand's website in our opinion.

The product has over 2,000 reviews and an average review rating of 3.9 out of 5 stars.

The top positive review from a verified purchaser comes from a user named "Tee" who claims the gummies improve digestion:

"They work really well! I don’t take 2 at once (that’s was a mistake I won’t repeat again) but now I take one in the morning on my drive to work and one one the drive home and that seems to work well for my digestion"

The top negative review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named "Gwenn M Ralph" who claims they cause side effects for those who have a sensitive stomach:

"I would like to return the gummies because they have not worked for me. The only thing they do for me is make me very nauseous. I suppose that is because I have a sensitive stomach, but I didn't see anything relating to that in the other reviews, so I decided to give them a try."

Can Natural Supplements Relieve PMS?

There are several natural supplements shown in clinical studies to provide relief from PMS symptoms.

Ginkgo biloba was tested in a clinical trial published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine over the course of one menstrual cycle. 24% of the participants taking ginkgo supplements experienced a decrease in physical and psychologic PMS symptoms compared to only 9% of those taking placebo pills.

A 2011 medical review on herbal treatments for PMS analyzed data from 17 clinical trials spanning a vast number of botanical compounds, and ginkgo biloba was one of the few herbs shown to be effective.

Illuminate Labs sells a Ginkgo Biloba Extract Supplement which is third-party tested to ensure label accuracy, potency and purity, and which contains no questionable additive ingredients. The subscription price for our ginkgo supplement is only $15.

The combination of magnesium and vitamin B6 may also be effective for relieving PMS.

clinical trial found that this combination decreased PMS scores by over 55%.

Our top pick for a magnesium supplement is Vegan Chelated Magnesium from Future Kind because it's effectively dosed and free of questionable additive ingredients. Our top pick for a vitamin B6 supplement is Nutricost Vitamin B6 because it's effectively dosed, free of additive ingredients and extremely affordable.

We're not suggesting that these supplements should be used to treat any medical condition; rather, just sharing research that may be valuable for consumers who opt for research-backed natural options.

Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

FLO Vitamins is a company with beautiful branding, but we aren't overly impressed with their formulations. We consider FLO to be potentially effective for reducing PMS symptoms because it contains an effective dose of chasteberry extract, which has been clinically shown to reduce PMS symptoms.

We don't recommend any of the brand's supplements due to the inclusion of additive ingredients like titanium dioxide and added sugars.

The customer reviews that we came across for this brand were relatively mediocre.




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