Balance of Nature Review: Revolutionary or Waste of Money?

Balance of Nature Review: Revolutionary or Waste of Money?


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Balance of Nature is a popular supplement company that sells fruit, vegetable and spice supplements, and suggests on their website that the supplements can replace the intake of fruits and vegetables from diet: “You need more fruits and vegetables. Balance of Nature can help.”

In this article we'll highlight some strange health claims made by Balance of Nature that we disagree with. We'll also review the ingredients in Balance of Nature Fruits & Veggies and Balance of Nature Fiber & Spice based on medical research to give our take on whether the supplements are actually healthy.

We'll share a warning letter that Balance of Nature received from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and explain why it's concerning, and finally explain the cost of Balance of Nature and what website has the cheapest prices.

Strange and Unscientific Health Claims

What Balance of Nature sells is not complicated: it’s freeze-dried powder from fruits and vegetables in capsules. This isn’t revolutionary technology; it’s been around for decades.

However the page on their website titled "Our Process" makes very strange claims about the benefits of powdered food: “The scientific blend, or recipe, developed by Dr. Howard does not use a full serving of each fruit and vegetable. Through trial and error, research, and experimentation, a precise and balanced combination was discovered. This balance is what gives us the wonderful results we enjoy today.”

The above quote seems to suggest that the proprietary formula is more effective than the equivalent doses of whole foods, but that claim is not cited nor does it make any logical sense.

The third claim on this page is even stranger: With some of the fruits and vegetables you eat, as little as 5 percent of the available nutrition will be absorbed because it has not been properly masticated, or chewed. For example, when we eat an apple we chew it; but it’s still swallowed in chunks. To some degree this inhibits the absorption of the nutrients within the apple.”

There is no citation for that 5% figure and it doesn't make any sense. Balance of Nature seems to be suggesting that there’s barely any point in eating whole foods because they can't be absorbed. We consider this claim to be highly unscientific and illogical given that humans have been getting nutrition exclusively from whole foods for millennia.

Is Balance of Nature Healthy?

Consumers are often curious about whether fruit and vegetable supplements are actually healthy or if they're a waste of money because the per-serving quantity seems low.

Medical studies have shown that fruit and vegetable powder blends can improve health outcomes.

A clinical trial from 2009 found that a fruit and vegetable powder supplement improved blood pressure in patients with high blood pressure, but the study participants were consuming 24 grams (g) of powder daily, or 12x the dose in Balance of Nature Veggies.

A recent medical review published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine concluded that fruit and vegetable concentrate supplementation “would result in the reduction of the burden of [cardiovascular diseases]”. Some of the studies referenced in this meta-study used doses lower than that in Balance of Nature.

A clinical trial published in the Microorganisms journal found that a fruit and vegetable supplement combined with a fiber supplement improved gut health and blood sugar metabolism in healthy adults.

Overall we do consider Balance of Nature to be healthy and believe that its use is likely to improve health outcomes in those who consume a diet that doesn't contain many fruits and vegetables.

Highly Questionable Research Backing Balance of Nature

Balance of Nature questionable research example

The research page on Balance of Nature’s website links to three “studies. We put studies in quotes because none of these documents appear to be published in legitimate medical journals, and are instead just PDF documents uploaded to the Balance of Nature website.

The first “study” is published by a Russian doctor and claims that Balance of Nature supplements inhibit cancer in rats.

The second “study” is published by two people at a Russian medical academy, and claims that Balance of Nature supplements can increase lactation in rats.

The third “study” claims to be the results of a clinical trial, but is just a four page word document with no author or medical journal associated, which claims that Balance of Nature supplements can help patients with severe liver damage.

We recommend that consumers disregard health claims based on "clinical research" that isn't published in any actual medical or scientific journals. This set of "clinical research" is some of the strangest that we've reviewed, and we fail to understand how a study on lactation in rats has anything to do with human general health maintenance, or why Balance of Nature shares this information.

FDA Warns of "Adulterated" Balance of Nature Supplements

In August of 2019, the FDA sent (and made public) a warning letter to Balance of Nature indicating, among other things, that they had “adulterated” dietary supplements. The products were not manufactured to meet Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP), and more specifically Balance of Nature failed to implement a system of processes to ensure the quality of their dietary supplements, according to the FDA.

The FDA letter also states that Balance of Nature failed to properly investigate product complaints, which is a consumer safety issue: "You failed to establish and follow written procedures to fulfill the requirements related to product complaints"

The FDA also described Balance of Nature supplements as "misbranded" due to label information not complying with regulations. Balance of Nature apparently mislabeled certain ingredients such as "wild yam" being labeled "yam" although these are entirely different plants.

We consider this to be a red flag in regard to Balance of Nature as a brand, because this is an extensive number of violations.

Balance of Nature Ingredient Review

Balance of Nature Fiber and Spice ingredients

The above ingredient list from Balance of Nature Fiber & Spice shows why we consider Balance of Nature supplements to be well-formulated.

The supplements contain entirely whole foods ingredients, and there are no questionable additives like added sugar, artificial sweeteners or flavoring agents. The Fruits & Veggies supplement has a similar formulation of dried fruits and vegetables without questionable additives.

From purely a formulation perspective, we have no issue with Balance of Nature supplements and consider them to be superior to some other fruit and vegetable supplements that contain additive ingredients.

The fruit and vegetable supplement we recommend is Green Superfood Powder sold by Naked Nutrition. Like Balance of Nature, this supplement is free of any questionable additives. The cost per serving of Balance of Nature Fruits & Veggies is $1.50 and only provides 2.013 grams of fruit and vegetable powder, while the cost per serving of Naked Nutrition's green powder is only $1.28 and provides 7 grams of green powder.

Interested consumers can check out Green Superfood Powder at this link.

Balance of Nature Cost

Balance of Nature cost

Balance of Nature is quite expensive for a supplement of its category. For consumers who are set on purchasing Balance of Nature, we recommend purchasing through the brand's website instead of their Amazon page, because the cost is lower on their website and there are discounts available.

The cost of Balance of Nature Fruits & Veggies is $89.95 for a one-time purchase on their website, and $99.95 for a one-time purchase on Amazon at the time of writing this article.

Balance of Nature's website offers a subscription option that costs $69.95 per month, which is a significant cost savings.

Balance of Nature fails to complete basic math and misrepresents their subscription savings as 33%, while the subscription price is actually a 22.2% discount from their one-time price.

It's worth noting that there is currently no subscription discount available on Amazon: both the one-time purchase price and the "Subscribe & Save" price are the same.

Claims of Third Party Testing Without Proof

Balance of Nature third-party testing claim

The Balance of Nature website homepage claims that the supplements are third-party tested. This is a great measure in theory, because third-party testing of dietary supplements has less bias than manufacturer testing (which is why we contract a third-party laboratory to test all of our supplements and publish the test results right on each product page), and because the testing process can ensure label accuracy and purity.

However, we cannot locate test results of any Balance of Nature product anywhere on their website. 

We urge Balance of Nature to publish the third-party test results they claim to have or to remove this claim that their products are tested, because it's unfair to consumers to make such a claim without proof in our opinion.

Balance of Nature Real User Review

One of the most popular reviews of Balance of Nature from a real user on YouTube is published by a channel called "Antoinette Nora" and has achieved over 50,000 views at the time of updating this article. The creator shares her experience taking Balance of Nature supplements and explains whether they've benefited her health:

    Balance of Nature Customer Reviews

    We consider Amazon to be a more objective resource for customer reviews than a brand's website. Balance of Nature Fruits & Veggies has been reviewed over 8,000 times on Amazon and has an average review rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars.

    A software tool called Fakespot that detects potentially fraudulent Amazon reviews gives this product a "C" rating and provides a "Fakespot Adjusted Rating" of 2.5 out of 5 stars. 

    The top positive review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named "luscombesfly" who claims that the products are high-quality and fairly priced:

    "This product has twice the variety of ingredients than the competitor that charges half the price. I will take quality over all else when I am preserving my health."

    The top negative review from a verified purchaser comes from a user named "J. Lam" who claims that the supplement caused acid reflux:

    "One thing that has bothered me in the last few years was a serious increase in heart burn, acid reflux. It was taking a toll on my quality of life and required a huge change in diet, which had almost zero effect on the heart burn. After reading the review where the person mentioned their own heart burn, I decided to take a month off of the BN. Within a few days my life was already better. I've been off BN for exactly three months and I don't even think about heart burn."

    Balance of Nature Vs. Texas Superfood

    Texas Superfood is probably the second most popular fruits and vegetables supplement, so many consumers are curious about which product is a better option.

    Both brands contain a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, and contain no harmful filler ingredients. We prefer Balance of Nature's formulation because it consists only of fruits and vegetables, while Texas Superfood contains enzyme and probiotic complexes that we believe to be unnecessary.

    Both Balance of Nature Fruits & Veggies and Texas Superfoods provide nearly the exact same 4 g dose. Texas Superfoods is cheaper by $20 at a one-time purchase price of $69.95. 

    We don't recommend either product overall, but we believe Texas Superfood is the better option for consumers on a budget, and Balance of Nature is the better option for health-conscious consumers.

    Balance of Nature Pros and Cons

    Here's our take on the pros and cons of Balance of Nature overall as a brand.

    Pros:

    • Free of harmful additives
    • Clean supplement formulations
    • Can improve health of consumers with poor diet

    Cons:

    • Received FDA warning letter
    • No proof of third-party test results
    • Relatively expensive
    • Questionable health claims
    • Highly questionable research backing

    Conclusion

    We do not recommend Balance of Nature supplements due to all of the questionable attributes of the brand as a whole. Balance of Nature has received a warning letter from the FDA over adulterated and misbranded products, and the brand also has a highly questionable research section on their website that cites a study on whether their supplements can improve lactation in rats.

    The brand also makes claims about third-party testing but appears to provide no proof of those claims.

    The actual ingredients in Balance of Nature are fine. The supplements contain a wide variety of botanical ingredients and no questionable additives, so we do believe that Balance of Nature supplements would improve the nutritional status of many Americans who don't consume enough fruits and vegetables in their diet.

    In our opinion, Balance of Nature is relatively expensive per serving for the dose provided, and we believe there are better fruit and vegetable powder supplements on the market.

    Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

    Balance of Nature FAQs

    Is Balance of Nature a hoax?

    No. A hoax implies an outright scam, like a company that accepts a customer's money and fails to ship product. By all accounts, Balance of Nature is a legitimate company that manufactures and sells supplements.

    We don't recommend their products, but we wouldn't consider the company a "hoax."

    Does Balance of Nature work?

    Balance of Nature may be effective for improving health and nutritional status for those that don't consume enough fruits and vegetables from diet. There is no proof that the supplement treats any disease or condition, and we don't believe it's likely to be effective for individuals that already consume a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

    Does Walmart sell Balance of Nature?

    Walmart does not appear to sell Balance of Nature supplements at the time of updating this article. There is currently a third-party seller on Walmart that sells Balance of Nature, and we would recommend avoiding that seller and purchasing from the manufacturer directly.

    How long has Balance of Nature been on the market?

    Balance of Nature has been on the market for 25 years. According to a page on the brand's website titled "Our Story," the company launched in 1997.

    What is comparable to Balance of Nature?

    Balance of Nature is a fruit and vegetable supplement, often categorized as a "green supplement" or a "green powder supplement."

    There are many green powder supplements on the market made from fruits and vegetables. Any of these products which contain no filler ingredients like added sugar or artificial flavoring are comparable.

    Is Balance of Nature FDA approved?

    Balance of Nature is not FDA approved. It is a dietary supplement, which is not subject to FDA approval. Only pharmaceutical medications and medical devices are subject to FDA approval.




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