Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Is Juice Plus Worth the Money?

So many great potential blog topics this week. It was difficult to choose one. First, you have financial "guru" Suze Orman claiming that she has a net worth of around $25 million and that she has $1 million of that invested in the stock market. She says, "I don't care if I lose that." Is this the type of person America wants to be taking financial advice from? Can someone so cavalier about losing $1 million be giving sound financial advice to the average American?

Second, you have some interesting findings coming out of the Tennessee Center for Policy Research about Oscar-winner Al Gore. Al Gore's consumption of electricity and natural gas at his Tennessee mansion according to this report is $1,500/month or 20 times more than the national average. I will likely revisit this on a future blog.

But the blog idea that won out for me this week was whether Juice Plus is a worthwhile supplement. I hesitate to write this because almost everyone I know takes Juice Plus. Hopefully, I don't lose any friends over these opinions of mine. If you haven't heard about Juice Plus, it is a capsule that you can take daily that is supposed to give you many of the same benefits that you receive from eating lots of fruits and vegetables.

I listened to a cd that was put out on the product about a year ago and it seemed convincing. A quick web search turned up some testimonials from medical professionals swearing to the benefits of this product. Friends who used the product regularly claimed that they were avoiding colds and had noticed some health benefits. So, my family started taking the product.

I was a little surprised that it costs so much. A four-month supply of the fruits & vegetable pills and gummies for children (loaded with corn syrup) costs $244. My skepticism was raised due to the expense initially. I started researching the product online. I spoke to a vitamin consultant at a health foods store. The consultant's exact quote to me was, "I have been in the vitamin business for 25 years. First of all, there is no substitute for fruits and vegetables. Period. Second, there are supplements that make similar claims and have similar ingredients to Juice Plus that you can purchase at 1/3 of the price."

That comment made sense to me. That same week my wife- Amy- attended an educational lunch where the guest speaker was a registered dietician. The woman sells Juice Plus and gave a presentation on why proper nutrition is important and how Juice Plus can help. In an email conversation with my wife a comment was made that really got me thinking. The comment was that Juice Plus is legitimate because Ron Blue endorses the product.

Ron Blue is president of the Christian Financial Professionals Network- an organization that I am a member of. Ron Blue has been a well respected voice in the financial planning community from a biblical perspective. A search on Yahoo showed that you can obtain a cd from Juice Plus with a talk given by Ron Blue on the opportunities of a virtual franchise. I think virtual franchise is one of the new code words for network marketing; home-based business opportunity; multi-level marketing; etc...

You can read and study on Juice Plus and whether it is a good product to take. My family is going to a less expensive alternative personally. You can find some interesting research about the product at a wikipedia page on Juice Plus: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juice_Plus

But a bigger issue to me is should a person of considerable influence in the church be endorsing products that are sold through network marketing? This is not meant to be a criticism of Ron Blue and I intend to ask him this question face-to-face next time I have the chance.

I am a cynic in many ways. I admit it. Sometimes, I wish I wasn't. Life would probably be more enjoyable. One of my thoughts that swirls through my head is that many of these large churches that exist in America are primarily in business to make leaders of the church filthy rich. Either through ministry related activities- Ed Young Jr, TD Jakes, Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen- come to mind. Or through the peddling of multi-level marketing products. I know some charismatic people who are in positions of leadership in the church who have amassed great wealth through a network marketing opportunity.

But this is not the norm. And here lies the problem. According to R. Hawkins research on network marketing:
  1. 95% of people drop out of network marketing within 6 months.
  2. 99% of people lose money or make absolutely nothing.
  3. The 1% that stay in average around $2,000 a year in profit

You can read about it at http://www.falseprofits.com

With those stats in mind, wouldn't Christians be better off if people of influence endorsed gambling as a better financial strategy than network marketing? Aren't the odds better at the blackjack table?

I don't endorse gambling. It is investing for people who are very bad at math. But the point is: why are so many people sucked into network marketing? And why was I sucked into buying a product that is overpriced and sold through this method? Perhaps we want to believe in the magic solution.

But there are no shortcuts to wealth or health. There are many great people who are involved in network marketing believing something about the product or opportunity that will likely not be found true in the end. Proverbs 13:11, "Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles. But the one who gathers by labor increases it."

For His Glory,

Ashley Hodge


Jose said...

Hi Ashley
I have a friend who says this product helped her after gastro cancer i have not tried it myself. I suppose it is for the individual to determine the results. I too think it expensive. I also agree with your comments about network marketing. I have found a business where I can help my church, and my friends, it is a personal development home study course, and the rewards ar fantastic, both personally, spiritually, and financially.God wants us to have his gifts he has prepared for us. God Bless

Ashleyhodge said...


Thanks for your comment- always enjoy hearing about people who are using their talents towards productive means and getting fulfillment from doing so.

I have many friends who have also claimed that Juice Plus helped them. I think that is great. It's probably a decent product. But there are similar products at a health food store that are 1/3 to 1/2 the cost.

I think the best move is to spend $300 and buy a good juicer and then juice fruits and vegetables. It is not as easy as taking a pill, but we know the nutritional value passes through the juicing process. There is a great debate about whether taking a pill retains nutritional benefits.

Jeff said...

Hi Ashley,

Any of your readers can click here and try it for themselves. The benefits really far outweigh the cost.


mccartydaniel12 said...

Hi Ashley,
I read your postings on Ed Young, tithing, Juice Plus. I totally agree on all accounts.

I tried Juice Plus too. I have a child with severe disabilities, so I am a mom who has tried many different products from vitamins to supplements, diet restrictions, therapies, and the list goes on. As I look back with hopefully older/wiser eyes, I see clearly that people who are desperate, vulnerable, in poor health, or other difficult situations are likely to "throw" money at just about anything. (Remember the fad good sugars that sold for $125 a bottle?) And, who is more desperate than a loving mom trying to "fix" their child? Funny thing is, I have NEVER had anyone GIVE me any thing (not that I have ever looked for charity) out of the goodness of their heart. The point is, people will take your money all day long in exchange for that little but powerful word: HOPE.

Ashley, you are very wise to expose this product and so many more of its kind. Buyers beware. I urge people to try to make less emotional and more common-sense/researched-based decisions. It is SO easy to get caught up in the everyone-else-is-doing it mentality, especially when these people are your neighbors, go to your church, etc. My sis and her husband have a rule that I adopted from them, "We don't do business with friends." Amen.

Keep up the great work.

Jennifer Brockett

Ashleyhodge said...

thanks for the comments Jennifer. I appreciate the words of encouragement.

JENNIFER said...

I'm confused . . . a four-month supply of children's Juice Plus product costs under $100 - not sure where you got that number - and Juice Plus is very research based, with 15 published studies in peer reviewed medical journals with 9 of those studies meeting the gold standard for research. Also, the cheaper products you are referring two have a supplement label with no published research. Juice Plus has a nutrition label, meaning the FDA considers it a whole food product. So you cannot say that you are taking the same thing, just cheaper - not by a long shot. Products with supplement labels are not strictly regulated, and many have been shown to not even contain what the label says they do. Don't usually respond to blogs like this, but so many untruths in this one that I couldn't help myself!

Kelly said...

I buy juice plus for myself and my daughter gets the gummies for free! Anyone can do this - it is called a study and all you have to do is ask your rep to sign you up. It has helped with constipation - no more mirilax. Also, the number of colds and flu's are way down over the last year.

Cravana said...

Juice Plus is a scam. Why wouldn't they sell their product in normal stores where they could help millions of people get healthy and have soaring profits beyond imagination? Because it doesn't do anything great. The idea behind it sounds good and maybe it is what they say, but if it is this good, why do they have to distribute it in a pyramid scam system like Amway, Monavie, etc.

They can claim all their research and medical bullcrap all they want. Any large corporation can pay to have studdies show their product is great. That is exactly what they do.

I think instead of ever trying Juice Plus and other supplements, I will first try just continuously eating fresh and cheap fruits and veggies from my local produce department. And none of those will be the organic type grown on fantasy farms with purified water and shipped by oxcart away from roads, and combustion engines, yet don't have a single bug bite on them.

judy b well said...

I started using juice plus in June 2011. I have immune deficiency and many respiratory infections as well as gastric problems.

I have to be honest and say, I changed nothing else in my routine and I was six months without a cold or infection even after being on a plane and around others who were sick.

Don't knock someone out of a blessing by being judgmental...this product worked for me...

Nolensville Feed Mill said...

I don;t sell Juice Plus, however I've taken it for 9 months now. I felt an amazing amount of Energy the very first day I took it. So I continued to take it ever since that day. Energy is important for me since I've been a poor eater and am extremely over weight.
Now of course, you might ask, why not loose the weight and see if you get more energy? Losing weight was not easy for me and if it was, I would;t be over weight.

I will say this, by taking juice plus, it gave me the energy to get motivated to start moving my body and losing weight. I wash;t tired after taking juice plus. So with being overly tired, comes fear, stress and bad eating habits.

Once I started taking juice plus, the fear went away for me and the stress lever was still high, but I could handle it much better with energy.

Some people say the never feel anything. Well, you don;t feel anything after eating an apple either. But you know its good for you and has lots of vitamins and minerals your body needs. Does your car run better when you change the oil? Not really form your point of view, however in the long run its better to do preventative maintenance on the car.

if you've never tried juice plus and have a negative answer to how good or not good it is, it means nothing. Listen to the testimonials from people who have taken it. This way, you don;t need to get all caught up in studies and other stuff. Listen to the people that its worked for . That even better than the studies.

Unknown said...

I am a holistic health physician in Mexico City. I was glad that this article was written because I prefer that my clients suffering with cancer understand and trust the goodness of nature´s medicines/foods.I recommend fresh juices daily coupled with the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. It there life is so hectic that they must take a pill, they have very little chance of healing.

b. moreno

lisa mclellan said...

This Juice Plus Products are the best Nutrition for Health.

Tamitrux said...

You say the gummies have corn syrup? What is another name for corn syrup? Because what i'm reading from the gummies says nothing about corn syrup. And a 4-month supply for a child AND adult for 244? that comes to 31.50 per month per person. Buying fresh veggies and fruits would cost you 31.50 for 2 days if you're lucky. Well, good luck with that.

claire hughes said...

I have being using juice plus for two months now and my chronic migraines are gone! I have suffered for 30 years with migraines at least 14 a month so say what you want this product WORKS!!!!! Try it you will like it... The proof is in the pudding. People all around me are sick with the flu and colds and I'm just feeling wonderful.

Shadow77 said...

Reading your Bio I see you are a person of faith..
There are some that don't believe and can offer you proof as to why..as that relates to your posts about Juice Plus..the fact is they have the facts to support their claim..some accept them others don't..40 years in business and millions of customers and lots of 3rd party research is pretty good to know…one can accept or not..sort of like Easter..as for getting rich..another story…take a survey of all the people that invested thousands of dollars in a Franchise and went broke or lots and lots of churches that have gone bankrupt…does that make what they tried bad or a waste of money..in the end here is what's important..its your body and your health and your responsibility..we can help with the right nutrition and we can help push the message to companies that sell health related products..they better get it right..
God Bless

Kelly Davis said...

I was on fence about juice plus but your testimony convinced me to try it. Thanks and wish me as much luck with it as u have had.I suffer from miagraines, lupus ,eptilepsy , cancer , narcalepsy, cataplexy, ashma and more and I hate peeling myself out of bed every morning but I have to push myself cause I am a mother of six first and for most. So getting healthy and having energy is important to me. Thanks once again

Constantine Bitsaktsis said...

Who told you that just because a product is distributed through network marketing, makes it worthless?? MLM is the smarter and cheaper way for a company to sell their product, avoiding advertising costs and multi inventory hassle. Juice plus is a quality product but people like yourself focus in it's marketing approach and miss out on what it really is about. It's no magic pill: it won't cure your cancer or your arthritis. The same way eating your grapes and strawberries won't. But it will help you lead a healthier lifestyle! And remember: you can't feel prevention...the emotional bias is for people that turn down juice plus, not the ones who can see past marketing schemes and profits and love the product for what it is and what it does to their bodies.

Richard Wiebe said...

It's great when someone pretends to be an expert and then shows with their own words that they aren't really familiar with the subject matter. It's understandable because we often assume things based on common sense. I too was skeptical about the research claims and like you I assumed companies just pay someone to say their product is good. I was wrong.

If you do a little unbiased research on the subject of medical research and peer reviewed journal publications you will find that all studies are paid for by manufacturers (Who else would pay for it?). Also, regardless of who pays for the study, to be included in a peer reviewed medical journal, the studies are given a rigorous examination by the peer board to ensure that the study is legitimate, was performed correctly, that the conclusion matches what the data shows, etc. The journals are the ones with a reputation to protect. They accept no money so they only thing they have to keep them in existence IS their reputation. Because of this, they can't afford to print flawed studies or weak studies in their journals, some of which have been around for almost 100 years.

IF you do a little unbiased research on the studies published on Juice Plus you will find that their early studies were small and done on small participant groups and were done as "proof of concept" studies. The studies done after that and especially over the past ten years have all been the highest quality study possible. The description for that level is:

Double Blind, Placebo Controlled, Cross-over Studies

Once you reach that level of study quality, published in peer reviewed medical journals, the legitimacy of the product, the study, and who paid for the study is no longer debatable.

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Kim B said...

Yes, I bought Juice Plus out of pressure from a neighbor. There are other alternatives. I asked questions that JuicePlus would not answer - like how many phytonutrients were there in each capsule? For example, did it contain the nutrients of 1 strawberry, 2 apples, etc?? The Children's Study is really not a scientific study as the name implies. It is simply an anecdotal questionnaire with no control or placebo group. I find that misleading.

There are other alternatives that actually have a ORAC ( Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) This should be a simple for JuicePlus unless they don't want you to know. Trader Joes's Super Red Drink Powder and Super Green Drink Powder have and ORAC of 8000 ORAC units per serving!! At 19.99/30 servings it's much cheaper than Juice Plus and better for you!

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