Juice Plus Review: Is Fruit Powder Actually Healthy?

Juice Plus Review: Is Fruit Powder Actually Healthy?


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Juice Plus is a fruit and vegetable powder brand that claims to make it easier and more convenient for consumers to get their produce. Their website claims that Juice Plus "helps you bridge the gap between what you should eat and what you do eat."

But are fruit and vegetable powders actually as healthy as eating whole fruits and vegetables? Has Juice Plus been studied in clinical trials? How does it compare to other popular fruit and veggie powders like Balance of Nature? And how do real users rate its benefits and taste?

In this article we'll answer all of these questions and more as we review the clinical trials on Juice Plus, review its ingredients, share a real, unsponsored user's review and also share a popular YouTube video that aims to expose some questionable business practices by Juice Plus. 

Does Juice Plus Work?

Juice Plus has funded an impressive amount of clinical research in legitimate medical journals. There are 41 clinical trials on Juice Plus products, which is more than any brand we’ve reviewed to date on Illuminate Health.

A clinical trial published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that Juice Plus capsules improved pulmonary function and cardiovascular health in smokers.

A 2003 clinical trial found that Juice Plus supplementation decreased homocysteine levels in healthy adults. Homocysteine is an inflammatory marker that's associated with increased risk of death, and especially of cardiovascular death, so this suggests that Juice Plus may be able to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Juice Plus may even be beneficial for weight loss, as a study found that it decreased fat levels in young boys (the majority of whom were clinically overweight). The group taking placebo pills gained 11.2% abdominal fat mass over the course of the 6-month trial, while the group taking Juice Plus capsules lost 1.47% abdominal fat mass.

Improvement of immune system function may be another benefit of Juice Plus supplementation. A clinical trial published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that the supplement could reduce symptoms and duration of the common cold.

Overall we will conclude that Juice Plus is likely to improve health overall, especially for individuals who don't consume enough fruits and vegetables from diet. We are impressed with the clinical research funded by Juice Plus as it's published in legitimate scientific and medical journals, while many nutrition brands simply self-publish research (which makes the results worthless in our opinion).

Juice Plus Controversy

The most popular YouTube video by far related to Juice Plus is published by a creator named "iiluminaughtiii" who reviews multi-level-marketing (MLM) companies like Juice Plus. This video has over 900,000 views at the time of updating this article, and shares some shocking research including that 57% of Juice Plus representatives earn less than $350. 

The video also reviews some questionable health claims made by Juice Plus:

Juice Plus Capsules Ingredient Review

Juice Plus Capsules ingredients

Juice Plus sells three blends of capsules: Fruit Blend, Berry Blend and Vegetable Blend. The ingredients of the Fruit Blend are shown above.

Most of the ingredients in Juice Plus capsules are whole foods ingredients like acerola cherry and beet that are rich in nutrients and that we approve of. All of the blends also contain plant-based vitamins which seems unnecessary in our opinion because fruits and vegetables are already naturally rich in vitamins. 

As we documented in our Athletic Greens review (of another popular fruit and veggie powder), added vitamins may cause toxicity in some consumers that already have normal blood levels of these vitamins to begin with.

We do not consider this risk to be high with Juice Plus given that it's been studied in so many legitimate clinical trials, but we cannot recommend this product overall due to the added vitamins which we deem unnecessary. If the product was simply a blend of powdered fruits and vegetables we would recommend it.

Juice Plus Real User Review

A YouTube creator called "Laura and Ollie's Adventures" published a Juice Plus review that is unsponsored. Laura tries various Juice Plus products over the course of two days and does a taste test and explains whether or not she recommends the products:

Juice Plus Vs. Balance of Nature

The most popular product review we ever published on our site answers the popular consumer question: is Balance of Nature a hoax?

Balance of Nature is arguably the most popular fruit and vegetable supplement in the U.S., so consumers are often curious about whether it's better than Juice Plus.

Although we don't recommend either product, we consider Juice Plus to be a better option for two reasons:

1. Juice Plus has legitimate research backing

As outlined in the first section of this article, Juice Plus has been proven to have a variety of health benefits in legitimate clinical trials. The only medical trials we could find on Balance of Nature were not legitimate in our opinion, and were conducted by questionable Russian medical institutions and not published in legitimate scientific journals (we cover this more thoroughly in the Balance of Nature review article linked above).

2. Juice Plus is NSF Certified

Juice Plus supplements are NSF Certified, which ensures that a third-party organization has tested them for contaminants and label accuracy. Put simply, this means that Juice Plus is guaranteed to have what the label says it has, and to have low or negligible contaminant levels. The same cannot be said of Balance of Nature which does not appear to have any third-party certifications.

Juice Plus Gummies Review

Juice Plus Chewables ingredients

Juice Plus sells a gummy product called Chewables. The ingredients label is shown above. We do not recommend these products due to several questionable additive ingredients.

Juice Plus Gummies contain added sugar, and we know from medical research that consuming added sugar in excess is associated with a wide range of negative health outcomes such as increased risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease. It seems illogical in our opinion to buy an expensive health supplement with added sugar.

The gummies also contain citric acid, a preservative and flavoring additive that may cause whole-body inflammatory reactions in some patients because it’s often manufactured from a fungus called Aspergillus niger, as shown in a series of medical case reports published in the Toxicology Reports journal.

Another ingredient in Juice Plus Chewables we recommend avoiding is natural flavor. This is a broad descriptor that fails to identify the specific chemical compounds used, and we cannot verify the safety of an ingredient without knowing what specific ingredient is used.

The healthy gummies product we recommend is Llama Naturals Elderberry Immunity Bites. They're free of citric acid, natural flavor and added sugar and contain whole foods ingredients like organic peaches and organic baobab fruit. Interested consumers can check out Llama Naturals Elderberry Immunity Bites at this link to the product page on their website.

Juice Plus Lawsuits

Juice Plus has dealt with some legal and regulatory issues recently. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. issued a warning letter to the company in 2020, claiming that some of their affiliate partners were making health claims related to COVID-19.

It’s important to note that Juice Plus itself was not making these claims, but this highlights the risk and liability of health brands allowing business partners with zero medical credentials to help sell their products.

Juice Plus is also currently the target of a class-action lawsuit led by plaintiff Christine Lundsford of California. She claims the company signed her up for automatic subscription payments without clearly detailing such. She believed she was signing up for a one-time order.

In 2019, Juice Plus was fined by Italy’s Competition and Market Authority regulatory agency, because the brand's European affiliates were pretending to be regular consumers and touting the health benefits of the brand, without disclosing that they were actually sales partners. The brand has faced fines for similar advertising breaches in Australia.

Overall we find these legal and regulatory actions against Juice Plus to be a red flag concerning the ethics of the brand, and we would recommend that the brand shuts down their affiliate program.

Our Recommended Fruit & Veggie Supplement

The green powder supplement we recommend is Naked Greens sold by Naked Nutrition. Like Juice Plus, the core of this product is a blend of fruits and vegetables, featuring ingredients like organic broccoli, organic alfalfa grass and organic wheat grass.

Naked Greens is entirely free of questionable additive ingredients like natural flavor and added vitamins and minerals, which makes it a healthier option in our opinion than many fruit and vegetable supplements on the market.

Another key differentiator is price. Juice Plus Fruit & Vegetable blend currently costs $215 (for four bottles), while Naked Greens costs only $31.99 and provides 35 servings.

Interested consumers can check out Naked Greens at this link to its product page on Naked Nutrition's website.

Juice Plus Pros and Cons

Here's our take on the pros and cons of Juice Plus as a brand:

Pros:

  • Very impressive clinical research backing
  • Mostly whole food ingredients
  • Proven effective
  • NSF Certified

Cons:

  • Questionable additive ingredients
  • Questionable business practices
  • Various lawsuits against company
  • Gummies contain added sugar
Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

Juice Plus has the most impressive clinical backing of any nutrition supplement we've reviewed on Illuminate Health. We believe that Juice Plus supplementation would improve the health of individuals who don't consume five servings per day of fruits and vegtables.

We don't recommend Juice Plus supplements overall due to the inclusion of additive ingredients like citric acid and vitamins, but we do consider them healthier than Balance of Nature supplements (another popular fruit and veggie supplement).

We disagree with some of the business practices of Juice Plus, including the MLM model and the advertising breaches that led to fines in Italy and Australia.

If Juice Plus would remove all of the additive ingredients from their formulations we would recommend their supplements as our top fruit and veggie supplement, given the impressive clinical research backing and NSF certification.




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