Juice Plus Review: Can Fruit Powder Improve Health?

Juice Plus Review: Can Fruit Powder Improve Health?


| |
| |

Juice Plus is a fruit and vegetable powder brand that claims to make it easier and more convenient for consumers to get their produce. The brand's 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 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 effects and taste?

In this article we'll answer all of these questions and more, as we review clinical studies on Juice Plus and analyze the ingredients in Juice Plus products to give our take on whether or not this brand is a healthy choice.

We'll feature unsponsored customer reviews, share a video discussing some Juice Plus controversies, and compare Juice Plus to Balance of Nature to give our pick on which is a healthier option.

We'll also document why Juice Plus was sued and faced regulatory actions.

Does Juice Plus Improve Health?

Juice Plus has funded an impressive number of clinical trials published in peer-reviewed journals, which is the gold standard for product research.

There are 41 clinical trials on Juice Plus products at the time of updating this article.

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).

In the above-linked study, participants taking placebo pills gained 11.2% abdominal fat mass over the course of the 6-month trial, while participants 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 consider Juice Plus likely to support optimal health, especially in individuals who don't consume enough fruits and vegetables from diet.

This brand has more legitimate research backing than the vast majority of nutrition brands that we've reviewed to date on Illuminate Health.

Juice Plus Controversy

The most popular YouTube video 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 features some questionable health claims and relatively low earnings from the brand's MLM partners:

Juice Plus Capsules Ingredient Analysis

Juice Plus Capsules ingredients

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

Most of the ingredients in Juice Plus capsules are whole food 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 who already have normal blood levels of those 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 do not currently recommend Juice Plus capsules due to the inclusion of added vitamins which we consider unnecessary.

If the product was simply a blend of powdered fruits and vegetables we would recommend it from a nutritional perspective.

Real People Try Juice Plus

A YouTube channel called "Laura and Ollie's Adventures" has a Juice Plus trial that spans two days:

A TikTok creator named Courtney Skvarla claims that Juice Plus products improved her health:

@fresh_farmacist Juice Plus is such a great supplement to help you get more fruits and veggies in your daily diet. I recommend it to anyone who needs a little more real food nutrients in your body. You can snag it from a friend of mine who is a rep. DM me for more info! #supplements #vitamins #healthyliving #healthylivingrevolution #lifestylehabits #dietingproblems #fitover40 #fitover50 #sleepmatters #menopausalweightloss #weightlossjourney #menopause #hormones #digestion ♬ original sound - Courtney Skvarla

Juice Plus vs. Balance of Nature

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

Balance of Nature is arguably the most popular fruit and vegetable supplement in the US, so consumers are often curious about how it stacks up to 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 better clinical backing

As outlined in the first section of this article, Juice Plus has been shown to have a variety of health benefits in clinical trials published in peer-reviewed journals; many more than Balance of Nature.

The only clinical trials we could find on Balance of Nature were highly questionable in our opinion (we cover this more thoroughly in the Balance of Nature review article linked above), and none were published in peer-reviewed journals.

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 products are guaranteed to contain what the labels claims, 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 Ingredient Analysis

Juice Plus Chewables ingredients

The ingredients in Juice Plus Chewables are shown above.

Added sugar (in the form of tapioca syrup and evaporated cane juice) is included in this supplement, and added sugar is clinically shown to be associated with increased obesity risk when consumed in excess.

Since many Americans already consume too much added sugar in their diet, we don't currently recommend dietary supplements containing refined, added sugar.

Citric acid is a preservative and flavoring additive that may cause whole-body inflammatory reactions in some individuals, as documented in a series of medical case reports published in the Toxicology Reports journal.

Natural flavor is a broad, categorical descriptor that encompasses some questionable compounds such as preservatives, as we discussed in our Kiala Greens reviews article.

We do not currently recommend Juice Plus Gummies due to these inactive ingredients, and we consider the Juice Plus Capsules formulation to be significantly healthier.

Why Was Juice Plus Sued?

Juice Plus has dealt with some legal and regulatory issues recently.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning letter to the company in 2020, claiming that some of the brand's 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 (who may not have 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.

Christine 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 allegedly 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 are concerned by these legal and regulatory actions against Juice Plus.

Our Clean Green Powder Picks

Complement Daily Greens is our top overall green powder pick.

This greens powder is extremely nutrient-dense without any added vitamins, providing 50% of the iron Daily Value (DV), 46% of the chromium DV and 35% of the vitamin A DV in one serving.

Pique Japanese Sencha Green Tea is our top superfood green powder pick. 

Green tea was documented in a medical review to support "anti-hypertensive effect, body weight control, antibacterial and antivirasic activity, solar ultraviolet protection, bone mineral density increase."

Both of the products recommended in this section are entirely free of ingredients we consider to be unhealthy.

Pros and Cons of Juice Plus

Here are the pros and cons of Juice Plus in our opinion:

Pros:

  • Very impressive clinical research backing
  • Mostly whole food ingredients
  • Clinically shown to enhance immunity
  • Clinically shown to reduce inflammation
  • NSF Certified

Cons:

  • Capsules contain added vitamins
  • Gummies contain citric acid
  • Gummies contain added sugar
  • Gummies contain flavoring additives
  • MLM business
  • Various lawsuits against company
Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

Juice Plus has the most impressive clinical backing of any nutrition supplement we've reviewed to date 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 vegetables.

We don't currently recommend Juice Plus capsules due to the inclusion of added vitamins.

We don't currently recommend Juice Plus Gummies due to the inclusion of added sugar, citric acid and natural flavors.

For consumers intent on purchasing from Juice Plus, we consider the capsules to be a healthier choice than the gummies.

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

Juice Plus is a better option than Balance of Nature in our opinion, given its substantial clinical backing and NSF certification.