Arbonne, also called Arbonne International, is a wellness brand that sells a wide variety of products, from supplements to food to skincare. Although the brand has faced legal issues, its products are still highly popular.
In this article we’ll review the ingredients in two of Arbonne’s most popular products: fizz sticks and protein powder. We’ll analyze medical research to give our take on whether these supplements are effectively formulated or if they’re a waste of your money. We'll also review Arbonne's 30 Days to Healthy Living program.
Finally, we'll highlight some of the legal challenges Arbonne has faced, and explain why some refer to the company as a pyramid scheme.
Arbonne Fizz Sticks Review
Arbonne’s Fizz Sticks is an energy supplement. It comes in powder packs that can be mixed into water or any other liquid.
This supplement provides 400 milligrams (mg) of panax ginseng extract, which is an effective ingredient for energy. A 2018 medical review found panax ginseng to be a promising treatment for physical fatigue after analyzing data from 10 clinical trials on the topic.
Caffeine is another effective ingredient for an energy formulation, although the 55 mg dose is relatively low (less than one cup of coffee).
We cannot locate any medical studies proving energy benefit for any other ingredient in this formulation, nor does Arbonne cite any on their product page, so we’ll consider the remaining ingredients ineffective for an energy formulation.
While Arbonne Fizz Sticks contain two ingredients that we consider effective, they also contain a large number of ingredients we recommend avoiding, listed below.
Green tea extract may cause liver injury in a small subset of consumers according to Health Canada.
Cane sugar may contribute to obesity and diabetes when consumed in excess according to a meta-study published in 2019. Many Americans already consume too much added sugar, and we recommend avoiding all supplements containing added sugar.
Citric acid appears to cause whole-body inflammatory reactions in a small subset of consumers according to a series of case reports published in the Toxicology Reports journal. This ingredient can be derived from citrus fruits but over 90% of the citric acid used in manufacturing is derived instead from a fungus called Aspergillus niger according to the above-linked review.
This supplement also contains a blend of added vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B6 and potassium. We recommend avoiding supplements containing added vitamins and minerals unless otherwise instructed by a doctor. In early 2022 a supplement company was forced to recall several products from the market due to the vitamin additives causing toxicity to customers. It seems illogical in our opinion to take supplemental vitamins and minerals without a documented deficiency.
While we do believe Arbonne Fizz Sticks may potentially increase energy due to the panax ginseng extract and caffeine, overall we do not recommend this product due to all of the additive ingredients that we consider questionable from a health perspective.
We already established that panax ginseng has research backing for energy, and Illuminate Labs manufactures a panax ginseng extract supplement that's potent (standardized to minimum 8% ginsenosides) and third-party tested to ensure purity and label accuracy. It contains no questionable additive ingredients like added sugar or citric acid.
Interested consumers can check out Illuminate Labs Panax Ginseng Extract at this link.
Real User Tries Arbonne Fizz Sticks
One of the most popular YouTube reviews of Arbonne Fizz Sticks is published by a channel called “Savannah Marie” and has achieved over 29,000 views at the time of writing this article. The creator tries multiple flavors of Arbonne Fizz Sticks and the review appears unsponsored (she even refers to herself as an “Anti-MLMer”):
Arbonne Protein Powder Review
We cannot access the full ingredients list for Arbonne Protein Powder because the brand fails to publish one on the product page of their website (more on that later).
From other reviews of the product, we can deduce that this protein powder contains a wide range of added vitamins and minerals. The brand also claims on their website that their protein powder contains methylated vitamin B12.
Arbonne states that the vitamin B12 is “particularly chosen because it is similar to the form naturally produced by the body.” This doesn't explain why this ingredient is necessary or beneficial in a protein powder.
We recommend avoiding this protein powder because of the lack of ingredient disclosure, and because we recommend avoiding all supplements containing added vitamins and minerals.
We recommend Bulletproof Collagen Protein as our top protein powder.
Bulletproof's protein powder only contains one single ingredient: collagen protein sourced from grass-fed animals. No questionable additives at all. Bulletproof's product costs $43.95 while Arbonne's protein shake currently costs $89.
Interested consumers can check out Bulletproof Collagen Protein at this link to the product page on Bulletproof's website.
Below is a real user review of Arbonne Protein Powder that appears unsponsored:
Arbonne’s False COVID Claims
In April of 2020, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a warning letter to Arbonne in regard to false claims made by one of the brand’s representatives, who suggested that Arbonne products could cure COVID-19.
While Arbonne itself doesn’t appear to have made the claims, this example illustrates why we consider multi-level-marketing (MLM) businesses to have a questionable business model from an ethical perspective.
MLM businesses like Arbonne incentivize representatives to make health claims about their products, because increased sales leads to increased revenue for the representatives. But many representatives of MLM products have no scientific or medical credentials, so they are not a reliable or accurate source of health advice in our opinion.
We recommend that consumers be extremely wary of health claims made by distributors or representatives of MLM companies.
Arbonne 30 Days to Healthy Living Review
Arbone sells a program called "30 Days to Healthy Living" that recommends a variety of their products. We do not consider the Arbonne supplements we reviewed healthy due to the additive ingredients, so we disagree with the title of this program from the outset.
There are a number of products included in this 30-day program with questionable health claims. One of the "customizable options" is an Arbonne product called Cleantox Gentle Cleanse which the brand claims is "a cleanse that helps promote the elimination of toxins."
As we explained at length in our review of Squeezed Juice Cleanse, we consider all health claims in regard to "cleansing" and "toxin elimination" to be unscientific, because we haven't seen any convincing medical evidence that detoxification support from supplements is beneficial or effective beyond the detoxification that the liver and kidneys already provide.
A YouTube channel called "Jacqueline Lopez" published a review of the 30-day eating program that shows what some of the meals look like:
Failure to Publish Ingredients Lists on Website
On all of the product pages we reviewed, Arbonne failed to publish a full ingredients list. We consider this to be unacceptable and to be a consumer safety issue. Consumers deserve to know the ingredients in a supplement or food product, because they may have allergies or sensitivities to one or more ingredients.
We strongly recommend that consumers avoid all supplements that don't publish an ingredients list on their product page. Without a full ingredient list, consumers are unable to make an informed purchase decision.
Lawsuit Against Arbonne
In 2017, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Arbonne. The plaintiffs alleged that Arbonne is a pyramid scheme and an illegal conspiracy, according to the Top Class Actions lawsuit summary linked above.
We cannot locate any information on whether the lawsuit is ongoing or if Arbonne settled, but this just provides more context for our opinion about why MLMs may not be an ethical business model.