ZuPOO is a supplement from Umzu that claims to function as a colon cleanse and provide gut support. We already reviewed Umzu as a brand, but wanted to analyze the formulation of this product since it wasn’t in our original review and it’s gaining in popularity.
In this article we’ll review the ingredients in ZuPOO based on medical research to determine if it’s likely to be effective. We'll also review some health claims made by Umzu and explain why we find them to be misleading.
Strange and Unscientific Health Claims
The entire premise behind this product is strange. There isn’t much of any medical research suggesting that the colon needs to be “cleansed” of “waste”. That’s taken care of by our digestive system and by defecating.
A medical review published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology concluded that there was no proof that colon cleansing had any medical benefit, and that it carried risks of harm.
A more recent clinical study found that colon cleansing (which was recommended prior to a colonoscopy) had negative effects on microbiota: it significantly reduced the levels of healthy bacteria in the short-term.
Umzu wrote an absolutely absurd and dangerous blog post pushing this product, titled “Scientists Confirm: The Average Person is Carrying Around 5-20 Pounds of Poop in Their Body At Any Time”.
This article makes several explicitly false claims. One claim is that “if you are not producing well-formed stools after each meal, then you are most likely suffering from a toxic buildup inside your digestive system.”
This is false, not cited, and dangerous medical advice. It’s written by Umzu’s co-founder Christopher Walker who has no medical credentials, and claims in a blog post on his personal website to be “disgusted by the medical system.”
A thorough medical review proved that normal bowel frequency is between three times weekly and three times daily. That’s a wide range, and much different from the unsourced claim in Umzu’s blog post.
The article also claims that “all that poop, just sitting there, rotting away inside their intestines and colon” which is another misleading claim that shows 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.
Umzu claims that “As this toxic waste builds up, your body becomes a walking vessel of fecal toxicity”. They seem to be claiming that regular bowel function poses a life-threatening risk. That is false and makes no sense. Fecal toxicity is an incredibly rare complication of severe colon disease or infection. It’s not something you just get because you weren’t taking supplements sold by a heretic online who has no understanding of basic human anatomy.
These uncited health claims made by Umzu should be enough of a red flag to avoid the company entirely, but we’ll proceed to the ingredient review for those curious.
ZuPOO is formulated with a proprietary (prop) blend totalling 1,270 milligrams (mg).
If you’ve read our previous reviews like the Balance of Nature one, you’ll know that we find prop blends to be deceptive because they only list the dosage of the total blend instead of each ingredient. This allows manufacturers to evade analysis of whether each ingredient is effectively dosed, and to include tiny amounts of exotic ingredients at the bottom of the blend to make it look more impressive.
The highest-dose ingredient in ZuPOO is Cascara Sagrada Bark Extract, which is a laxative.
Medical research shows that cascara is likely safe short-term, but has been associated with several case reports of acute liver injury when taken long-term. We do not believe the risk is worth it in this case, because there is no medical benefit for healthy people to take laxatives regularly.
ZuPOO’s Supplement Facts label indicates that cascara supports “healthy bowel movements”, which is misleading. Regular, healthy people do not attain any additional benefit from taking laxatives. These compounds simply make you defecate faster, not “healthier”.
The second ingredient, senna leaf powder, is also laxative in nature. Consumers likely are misled into believing their digestive system is being “cleansed” when they feel the effects of these two powerful laxatives at once.
We can’t find any medical research for any of the included ingredients supporting Umzu’s claim of “Gut Support” for this product.
In fact, one of the ingredients actually has side effects of gut distress. Milk thistle, which is typically used for liver protection, has published side effects of gut dysfunction. These side effects are rare, but it just goes to show how poorly formulated a product is when an ingredient is included with no apparent benefit for the stated health claim, and has a side effect profile that’s directly in opposition to the stated health claim.
Umzu cites zero of their health claims on ZuPOO’s product page, so we have no reason to believe any of them are accurate.
This is one of the worst-formulated products we’ve ever reviewed, and we can’t recommend avoiding this brand enough.