ZuPOO Review: Overpriced Laxative or Gut Support?

ZuPOO Review: Overpriced Laxative or Gut Support?


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ZuPOO is a colon cleansing and gut support supplement sold by a brand called Umzu. The brand claims that this supplement can help "cleanse" the body, improve digestion and support weight loss.

But does ZuPOO contain ingredients shown in medical studies to have these effects, or are these just marketing claims? Do the pills contain any potentially dangerous ingredients? Are colon cleansing supplements safe? And how do real users rate and describe the effects of ZuPOO?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we review every ingredient in ZuPOO based on medical research to give our take on whether the supplement is likely to be effective for improving gut health and if it includes any ingredients shown to have harmful health effects.

We'll document our concerns with some of the strange health claims made by ZuPOO's manufacturer along with some of their marketing practices that we disagree with. We'll also discuss whether colon cleansing is a sensible way to improve gut health, and share real, unsponsored ZuPOO user reviews.

Ingredient Analysis

ZuPOO ingredients

The ingredients in ZuPOO are shown above.

This supplement uses a proprietary (prop) blend, which lists the total dose of all active ingredients (1,270 milligrams), but not the dose of each individual ingredient.

Cascara sagrada bark extract is the first-listed active ingredient, and is a laxative.

A medical review published in the LiverTox journal found that Cascara can cause liver injury when used at high doses, which is why it's an issue for ZuPOO's manufacturer to not list the dose of this ingredient. The linked review states the following: "The time to onset of liver injury [from Cascara use] has varied from a few days to 2 months of use."

Senna leaf powder is also a laxative. As we documented in our review of K3 Spark Mineral (another supplement including this ingredient), clinical studies show that senna can cause liver injury.

Milk thistle, which is typically used for liver health, has been shown in a medical review to cause diarrhea as a side effect. We do not understand why this ingredient would be included in a gut health supplement.

Burdock root powder was found in an animal study published in the Microorganisms journal to promote intestinal health, but the dose used (2.5% of overall diet) was far higher than the equivalent dose in ZuPOO.

We are unable to identify any ingredients in this formulation that we consider effectively dosed and likely to improve gut health based on a review of medical research.

We consider this supplement to be potentially harmful due to the inclusion of two active ingredients associated with increased risk of liver injury.

This is one of the worst-formulated dietary supplements we have ever reviewed on Illuminate Health, and we recommend that consumers avoid both this supplement and all supplements sold by its parent brand Umzu.

In the next section we'll review some strange and unscientific claims on the brand website related to this supplement.

Strange and Unscientific Health Claims on ZuPoo Website

ZuPOO questionable health claim 1

As shown above, Umzu claims in a blog post about ZuPoo that "toxic waste" builds up in the body and the body becomes a "walking vessel of fecal toxicity." These claims are uncited, illogical and unscientific.

Fecal toxicity is an incredibly rare complication of severe colon disease or infection, and we haven't come across any evidence that it's treated with dietary supplements.

This blog post previously had the title: “Scientists Confirm: The Average Person is Carrying Around 5-20 Pounds of Poop in Their Body At Any Time.” Umzu has changed the title since our review was initially published.

ZuPOO questionable health claim 2

The claim is also made in the same promotional article that if you are not producing well-formed stools after each meal then there is "toxic build-up" inside your digestive system. This is unscientific and again zero proof is provided for this claim.

A 2010 medical review found that normal bowel frequency is between three times weekly and three times daily. There's nothing wrong with passing stool after each meal, but passing stool at longer intervals does not necessarily indicate a health problem.

ZuPOO questionable health claim 3

Umzu's article describes “all that poop, just sitting there, rotting away inside their intestines and colon,” which is another statement that suggests a lack of basic understanding of human biology. Stool doesn’t “just sit” in the intestines and it certainly doesn’t “rot” -- it passes through the digestive tract before being expelled.

We find this type of fearmongering marketing to be unfair to consumers, and we urge both the FDA and FTC to investigate these health claims being made by Umzu. We strongly recommend that consumers entirely disregard health claims made by supplement companies that provide no proof of those claims.

Umzu Spam Email Issue

Umzu marketing spam

We visited the ZuPOO product page on Umzu's website while researching this article. We never consented to any marketing emails or input our email anywhere on their website.

Since visiting the Umzu site, we have received three spam emails from Umzu within 24 hours. We don't believe that companies should be allowed to send spam to people who don't even share their email address with the company.

We recommend avoiding the Umzu website so that you don't receive unsolicited marketing spam emails from a business that somehow accessed your personal email address without your consent.

Real, Unsponsored ZuPOO User Review

A YouTube creator named Jeramie Lu had a negative experience using ZuPOO:

A TikTok creator named Nedi reviewed ZuPOO after 15 days of use, sharing how the supplement made them feel and the weight changes it caused:

@nedibailon This might be TMI. Day 1-15 #review @UMZU #zupoo #umzu #gutsupport #cleansegut #gutcleansing ♬ original sound - Nedi | Content Creator

Does Colon Cleansing Even Make Sense?

The ZuPOO website describes the product as a "colon cleanse" supplement. Many health brands claim that colon cleansing improves gut health but we can't find any clinical backing for these claims.

There are two types of colon cleanses: one from an injectable device inserted into the rectum that flushes out the colon with liquid (this is typically administered in medical settings like before a colonoscopy), and the other is via an oral supplement like ZuPOO.

A medical review published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology analyzed clinical trials on colon cleanses for detoxification and general health promotion, and concluded that there was no benefit to colon cleanses for general health, and that the practice could cause side effects such as electrolyte imbalances.

A more recent clinical trial found that colon cleansing (which was recommended prior to a colonoscopy) had negative effects on the gut microbiome. The practice significantly reduced the levels of healthy bacteria in the gut.

A YouTube video published by a doctor named Jen Caudle explains why colon cleanses may not provide any benefits outside of specific medical circumstances:

ZuPOO Real Customer Reviews

ZuPOO is sold on Amazon which is a more objective resource for customer reviews than a brand's website in our opinion. The supplement has been reviewed over 11,000 times and has an average rating of 3.8 out of 5 stars.

The top positive review from a verified purchaser comes from a user named "Lyndse McPheeters" who claims that ZuPOO improved gastrointestinal symptoms:

"This product was amazing! It works just like it says it does! You take it at night and the next day you have easy bowl movements. It’s not harsh so you’re not about to poop your self all day. I was having some really bad bloating and constipation, but after taking this I feel cleared out and much “lighter.” My tummy doesn’t feel tight and it’s easier for me to go on a more regular basis."

The top negative review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named "Chef Steven Hodge" who claims the supplement had no effects:

"I understand that everyone's body and digestive systems are quite different. However, the product did not work on me at all, ZERO EFFECT! Even Worse, The Bottle Was Short A Pill!"

Our Clean Gut Health Picks

MBG Organic Fiber Potency+ is our top fiber pick because it's certified organic, provides 7 g of fiber per serving and costs under $1.85 per serving at the time of updating this article.

MBG Organic Fiber Potency+ contains 100% soluble fiber, which was described as "one of the most important nutrients for the gut microbiota" in a clinical review published in the Molecules journal.

Bulletproof Express 3-in-1 Probiotic is our top value probiotic supplement, because it costs only $1.20 per serving at the time of updating this article.

Probiotics "can improve in the immune, gastrointestinal...health systems in healthy adults" according to a 2019 medical review.

VSL#3 is our top premium probiotic pick, because this probiotic supplement has been studied in 25 clinical trials, and a 2020 meta-study on VSL#3 concluded the following:

"...many studies demonstrated that VSL#3 has a beneficial effect on obesity and diabetes, allergic diseases, nervous systemic diseases, AS, bone diseases, and female reproductive systemic diseases."

All of the products recommended in this section are entirely free of ingredients that we consider to be unhealthy or unsafe.

ZuPOO Pros and Cons

Here are the pros and cons of ZuPOO in our opinion:

Pros:

  • Inactive ingredients are safe and non-toxic
  • Contains an active ingredient that may improve liver health

Cons:

  • Contains two ingredients associated with liver injury
  • May have laxative effect
  • Doesn't appear clinically tested
  • Only 15 servings per bottle
  • Brand makes many questionable and uncited health claims
  • Brand website somehow accesses and spams email of users

Where to Buy ZuPOO for the Best Price

We want to be clear that we do not recommend ZuPOO. For consumers intent on purchasing the supplement, here's a price breakdown for a one-time purchase at the time of updating this article:

Brand website: $34.44 (plus $10.54 shipping based on our test address, link)

Walmart: $44.95 (free shipping, link)

Amazon: $44.95 (free shipping  link to official Amazon listing)

At the time of publishing this article, ZuPOO is very slightly cheaper on Amazon and Walmart than on the brand's official website when factoring in shipping costs.

Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

We do not currently recommend ZuPOO. We are unable to identify any effectively-dosed ingredients for supporting gut health in this supplement after reviewing medical studies, and two of the active ingredients have been shown in clinical studies to cause liver damage when taken at high doses.

There are a number of extremely strange and unscientific claims made on the ZuPOO product page, including that "toxic waste" builds up in the body and causes harm. The brand provides no proof of these claims.

We have not come across any medical evidence suggesting that colon cleansing via dietary supplements is beneficial to health.

Some customer reviews of ZuPOO we came across while researching this article mentioned extreme stomach discomfort after using the supplement.

We recommend that consumers avoid ZuPOO and avoid all supplements sold by Umzu. We are concerned about the formulation of this supplement from a public safety perspective.