Umzu Review: Effective or Overpriced Supplements?

Umzu Review: Effective or Overpriced Supplements?


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Umzu is a popular supplement brand that sells a wide variety of supplements. The brand sells everything from immunity supplements to testosterone boosters to probiotics and more.

But are Umzu's most popular supplements well-formulated? Do they contain ingredients shown in clinical studies to benefit health? Do they contain any potentially risky ingredients? And which retailer sells Umzu products for the best prices?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more, as we analyze the ingredients in three of the Umzu's most popular products: Umzu Redwood (used to support circulation), Umzu Testro X (used to support testosterone), and Umzu Collagen (used to support skin).

We'll give our take on whether or not these products are likely to be effective, and share our concerns about one of them.

We'll also review Umzu's diet protocol called "Thermo Diet," feature unsponsored customer reviews of the brand, and provide a cost comparison to show which retailer sells Umzu products for the best prices. 

Umzu Redwood Review

Umzu Redwood updated ingredients

Umzu Redwood is used for "nitric oxide & circulatory support" according to the brand, and its active ingredients are shown above.

Nitric oxide widens and relaxes blood vessels, and so it's thought to support optimal cardiovascular health. This compound is produced by the body, but certain foods and ingredients can increase its production.

Garlic is included in Redwood at a dose of 300 milligrams (mg).

A medical review published in the Frontiers in Nutrition journal reported that garlic powder supplementation at the same dose as in this supplement delayed heart disease.

Horse chestnut is clinically shown to have antioxidant effects, however we can't find any studies showing it to directly support cardiovascular health in humans, nor does Umzu currently cite any on their product page.

Vitamin C was shown in one clinical trial to improve circulation in smokers, as we documented in our Nitro Wood reviews article on another cardiovascular supplement.

Lactotripeptide was shown to significantly decrease blood pressure in patients with high blood pressure in a 2009 medical review.

However, the researchers in the above-linked study described the effective daily dosing range to be between 3.07 mg and 52.05 mg, while the dose in Umzu Redwood is more than twice that amount, at 125 mg.

Maritime pine bark extract can reduce cholesterol and support the cardiovascular system according to a medical review published in the Research in Pharmaceutical Sciences journal.

The inactive ingredients in this formulation, shown below, should be safe and non-toxic:

Umzu Redwood inactive ingredients

Overall, we consider Umzu Redwood likely to support cardiovascular health, and from an efficacy perspective, this is one of the most impressive cardiovascular supplements that we've reviewed to date on Illuminate Health.

It's also notable that Umzu updated and improved the formulation of this product since we initially published this article, removing an ingredient that we called out with unimpressive safety and efficacy data.

A YouTube creator named Jeramie Lu shared his experience taking Redwood, and while his experience was negative, many commenters shared positive experiences using the supplement:

Umzu Testro X Review

Umzu Testro X active ingredients

Umzu Testro X is used as a testosterone support supplement, and its active ingredients are shown above.

Zinc and magnesium are both clinically shown to support optimal testosterone levels (source on zinc, source on magnesium), but it's worth noting that the zinc dose in this supplement is relatively high.

Testro X provides 136% of the Daily Value (DV) of zinc per serving, so consumers should speak to their doctor about whether or not this is a safe dose to be taking for extended periods of time, especially if they're also obtaining zinc from food and other supplements.

Ashwagandha extract was shown to increase testosterone levels by 15% in one clinical trial, as we documented in our T Hero review article on another T-boosting supplement.

Coleus forskohlii extract was studied in a clinical trial published in the Obesity Research journal, and was shown to increase free testosterone levels in overweight men by 17%.

We're unable to identify clinical studies showing the direct T-boosting effect of the other active ingredients in this formulation.

The inactive ingredient in this supplement should be safe and non-toxic:

Umzu Testro X inactive ingredient

Overall, we consider Umzu Testro X likely to increase T levels, given its multiple research-backed active ingredients.

A YouTube creator named Ben Richardson shared his experience taking Umzu Testro X on and off for six months:

zuCollagen Review

zuCollagen ingredients

The ingredients in the unflavored version of zuCollagen, which is Umzu's collagen supplement, are shown above.

Collagen peptides are included at a dose of 20 grams (g), and a meta-review published in the International Journal of Dermatology reported that collagen peptide supplementation at a dose above 2.5 g daily reduces wrinkles, and increases skin elasticity and hydration.

There is no mention of the collagen peptide sourcing on the product page at the time of updating this article, and we generally prefer recommending animal products derived from pastured animals than those derived from conventionally-raised animals.

Hyaluronic acid is clinically shown to improve skin hydration at a 120 mg dose, as we documented in our cleanest collagen powder article, but the dose in zuCollagen is only 25 mg.

The good news is that there are no additive ingredients at all in the unflavored version of this product.

Overall, we consider zuCollagen likely to reduce wrinkles and have an anti-aging effect, given its research-backed collagen dose.

Momentous Collagen Powder is our top collagen supplement, because it's sourced from grass-fed animals and has no additive ingredients that we consider to be unhealthy.

Umzu "Thermo Diet" Review

Umzu has a diet recommendation page on their site we consider unscien​​tific called the “Thermo Diet.” The brand claims this diet will “increase energy flow through the cells”. 

This diet protocol has seemingly random inclusions and exclusions. You can eat potatoes but not peanuts. You can eat eggs but not nuts (which are clinically shown to be associated with significant reductions in all-cause mortality).

We consider it to be unfortunate that many supplement and pharmaceutical companies still overcomplicate diet recommendations.

Eating foods (ideally whole unprocessed foods) at a caloric deficit is the only way to consistently lose weight. Avoiding nuts and corn, because Umzu said to, isn't likely to help. This is basic thermodynamics.

As we described in our Plenity ingredients review article, one medically proven way to make dieting easier is to increase insoluble fiber intake, because doing so increases the sense of fullness without adding calories.

Eating a large salad will make you feel more full than eating the equivalent calories in fries, because of the fiber difference. We believe this sort of approach would be better than randomly excluding foods based on the “Thermo Diet," and we would recommend that consumers considering this diet model consult with a doctor or dietitian first.

Where to Get the Best Price

Umzu supplements are sold at a variety of online retailers. Here's a price breakdown for a one-time purchase of the three products reviewed in this article, at the time of updating this article:

Umzu Redwood

Amazon: $52.95 (free shipping, third-party seller, link)

Walmart: $52.95 (free shipping, link to official Walmart listing)

Brand website: $45.94 (plus shipping, link)

Umzu Testro X

Walmart: $84.92 (free shipping, third-party seller, link)

Brand website: $63.19 (plus shipping, link)

Amazon: $61.45 (free shipping, link to official Amazon listing)

Umzu Collagen

Brand website: $51.69 (plus shipping, link)

Walmart: $51.69 (free shipping, link to official Walmart listing)

Amazon: $51.69 (free shipping, link to official Amazon listing)

Pros and Cons of Umzu

Here are the pros and cons of Umzu in our opinion:

Pros:

  • Redwood may support cardiovascular health
  • Testro X may enhance testosterone levels
  • zuCollagen should reduce appearance of wrinkles
  • Brand seems to be improving their formulations
  • All products analyzed were free of unhealthy inactive ingredients

Cons:

  • Lactotripeptide may be included at too high of a dose in Redwood
  • Zinc may be included at too high of a dose in Testro X
  • Hyaluronic acid may be included at too low of a dose in zuCollagen
  • We consider the "Thermo Diet" to be unscientific
Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

Umzu has made substantial improvements to both their formulations and their marketing claims in our opinion, since we initially published this article.

We initially suggested that Umzu was one of the worst supplement companies that we had reviewed on Illuminate Health, whereas now we consider all three of these supplements to be above-average in their respective categories.

Umzu Redwood contains a number of research-backed ingredients that we consider to be effectively dosed for cardiovascular support.

Umzu Testro X contains a number of research-backed ingredients that we consider to be effectively dosed for increasing testosterone levels.

zuCollagen provides an effective collagen dose per-serving, which should help reduce the visible apperance of wrinkles over time.

None of these supplements contain inactive ingredients that we consider to be unsafe or unhealthy.

At the time of updating this article, the best price on these three supplements varies by retailer, so we recommend visiting the "Where to Buy" section of this article to see where the best prices can be found for each product.