Is Juice Plus Safe? Any Known Side Effects?

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My family and I have been taking Juice Plus for about a year now, and seems like it’s helping. But it’s hard to know if that’s really the case. Despite all of their published studies, I recently ran into this article which suggests it could not be safe (not enough studies have been done to reach a conclusion), and I came to the thought that maybe there just aren’t shortcuts to good health, that instead we should just be focusing on whole fruits and vegetables. Any thoughts?

-Dianne S

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George S
From my experience, Juice Plus is moderately helpful at best (the psychological effect of thinking you’re doing something good might have a more positive effect than the supplement itself), and cultish at worst. I have some friends that swear by it, and others that think it’s a cult. And then there’s James Fell’s article, which is quite telling (and a bit shocking). He points out that Juice Plus was started by NSA (National Safety Associates) back in 1993 – a multi-billion dollar MLM (multi-level marketing) company (think pyramid scheme) that got started selling fire protection in the 1970’s by going door to door. FYI, prepare yourself for adult language in that article.
Sally M
Hi Dianne, I’ve actually been wondering the same thing lately after taking Juice Plus on and off for a couple years. I’m not on too many other supplements save maybe Vitamin D in the winter and K2 (since I’m vegan). The article you quote is from 2009, so I thought I’d find some more recent data since some Juice Plus properties have changed – the capsules are made from plant material now for example.

As soon as I started my search though, I ran into this article from Live Strong that gave me some concern. Here’s some of my key take-aways:

  • Juice Plus does not have fiber, which is one of the most important health benefits of eating whole fruits and veggies.
  • Research shows that “too much of a good thing” can be problematic as well (ie. too many vitamins and minerals).
  • The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center does not recommend taking supplements with antioxidant properties since they “may decrease the effectiveness” for patients who are undergoing radiation or chemotherapy.
  • As your article states, they repeat that every time something is processed (ie. whole fruit or vegetable to pill) something is lost.