Update on Juice Plus+®

Update on Juice Plus+®
3.71 (74.29%) 21 votes

More evidence linking Juice Plus+® supplements with liver inflammation.


What about Juice Plus+ supplements (dubbed in the American Journal of Medicine as “toxicity plus”)?

Here are indicators of liver inflammation before Juice Plus+, the huge spike, and then, coming down after stopping it.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to bongo vongo via Flickr

What about Juice Plus+ supplements (dubbed in the American Journal of Medicine as “toxicity plus”)?

Here are indicators of liver inflammation before Juice Plus+, the huge spike, and then, coming down after stopping it.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to bongo vongo via Flickr

Doctor's Note

Check out these videos on other nutrition myths:
Meat Mythcrushers
The Problem With the Paleo Diet Argument
Debunking Egg Industry Myths
Eliminating 90% of Heart Disease Risk

Also check out Juice Plus+® Supplements.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

63 responses to “Update on Juice Plus+®

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    1. M D anderson dis 2 studies on Juice Plus. Both gold standard, randomized, placebo controlled, peer reviewed studies. The first was funded by Juice Plus. The results were so amazing that MD Anderson did another study at their expense and reproduced the results. Are you familiar with these studies or any of the bother 36 studies?

    1. Curious why Dr. Greger would put such a short little blip here without commentary or context. WebMD says, “Over-the-counter pain relievers, like Nonprescription pain relievers such asacetaminophen (Tylenol, others), aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) andnaproxen (Aleve, others) can damage your liver, especially if taken frequently or combined with alcohol.” Something like this could cause a spike in liver enzymes as an adverse reaction.

      1. Frank, first of all, why did you choose to be deceptive and fail to reveal that you are a National Marketing Director for Juice Plus? That’s an FTC violation. Secondly, why are you offering medical opinions when you have no medical training whatsoever? Lastly, how would you know if there are no other reported cases cases of hepatotoxicity? Your company is a conniving snakeoil pyramid scheme and would most likely throw adverse event reports straight into the trash bin. Their reputation for deception has already been firmly established.

        1. Oh. Dogzilla, seems like you have come looking for me from another site! Okay, so who are you, hiding behind that screen name and what’s your agenda that compels you to obsessively attack JP+ on different internet sites?. I am perfectly free to offer health advice. I am not a doctor and I do not pretend to be one. Juice Plus+ is one of the most ethical, giving companies in the world. Thankfully, your constant attacks against JP+ hasn’t dented its steady growth. (2015 was the best in company history). We are inspiring healthier living worldwide while you live in a world of negativity and attacks.

  1. It was a case report.  Here is a link.  Why take juice when real fruit and vegetables are available? Here is the link to the article — plushttp://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343(09)00712-8/fulltext

    1. Juice Plus, or TouchStone Essentials are not juices. The answer to your question is cost. People use these products because they can’t afford to buy vegetables and fruits at the exhorbitant prices. Do a cost analysis and the answer is quite obvious.

      1. I haven’t looked at the nutritional information yet, but unfortunately you could be right about the cost issue. Not that I promote this type of supplement at all, I believe in whole foods that you recognise when you buy or grow them. Although, it is difficult to say that cost is of no significance to those desperate to become healthy.

      2. Most vegetables are quite reasonable in price per pound compared to some small capsules prices. For the price of Juice Plus products one could buy a whole cart full of fruits and veggies. The fresh produce is 1000 times more healthy.

  2. Interesting you should choose to highlight a case report of hepatotoxicity of a cancer patient while avoiding comment on the 24 published studies, many randomized and placebo controlled, which show benefits. I love your site, but you appear to be suffering a bias here. In particular I’d like to see you review the reduction in oxidative stress in athletes (three studies) and the apparent induction of superoxide dismutase (one study) found by the researchers in the Carolinas and Austria. As well, the inhibition of brachial artery constriction after a high fat meal and the arrested coronary artery calcification in hypertensives is intriguing and warrants comment.

    1. If an unnecessary product has both potential benefits and risks (such as JuicePlus, or kombucha, or spirulina, or green tea supplements) I tend to err on the side of caution and encourage folks to stick to things that only boast benefits.. Why accept any unnecessary risk as all?

      1. You’re comparing a product to others and using faulty logic to draw conclusions. You honestly believe that everyone is going to buy the “guilt by association” argument? I am not. Green tea supplements are useless and possibly risky according to recent studies. So what? Green tea is beneficial and anyone can afford it. You are NOT telling us what is risky about any ingredient in Juice Plus. Please do that in future videos or articles.

        Furthermore, how can you say it is an “unnecessary product” while a recent huge study in Europe was just released PROVING that people NEED SEVEN or more servings of vegetables and fruits to avoid the big diseases that are epidemics all around us. Please, Dr Greger. I believe as you do that food is medicine. What ingredient in Juice Plus or TouchStone Essentials (a “similar” product but with more transparent advertising, I believe) is risky?

        The answer to your last question is obvious. Personal budgets.

        1. I agree with your budget argument. The study you mentioned regarding 7 or more servings was quite popular, I’m from the UK, but only a few days ago in July 2014, a reversal on the same study was published. It suggested that increasing to 7 or more from 5 made little measurable positive difference.

          Articles were posted on the BBC and Guardian websites, I haven’t checked anywhere else. It seems that recommendations change frequently :)

      2. There are no real risks in taking Juice Plus+. If one is allergic to pineapple, etc. then they might want to stay away.

      3. I am a three-time breast cancer survivor who has been taking juice plus for 17 years. It has never affected my liver counts.
        Yes, I am a Juice Plus rep for the very reason that it is such a wonderful product and has gold standard research behind it. I am unable to get 7-13 raw, vine-ripened fruits and vegetables every day, so taking by JP+ has helped me fill in the gap.
        I know first-hand what it has done for my health and the people I care about.
        I’ve never heard of anyone having a liver problem in all my 17 years of being associated with this caring company.

      4. I’m curious Dr., have you ever prescribed a drug, a statin, maybe, to help your patient rein in an adverse health issue that could alternatively be more beneficially treated with adjustments to diet and exercise? But because of the patient’s resistance to do this, you offer them an alternative that they will do? I’m sure you do, it’s not your fault, not everyone is willing to do what they need to do to protect their health. So, the pill is the next best thing.

        I have been taking JP+ for over 15 years as a bridge in the gap of my – admitted – diet deficiencies. While my diet does contain many fruits and vegetables on a regular basis, I acknowledge that I fail to get a consistent wide variety and the recommended 5 -13 servings daily, not to mention that the produce we have widely available today lacks the nutrient density we need due to, among other factors, harvesting them well before peak ripeness in an effort to deliver them to the store with the appearance of quality. So, while I will agree, JP+ is probably not necessary for the person disciplined in eating a sufficient diet of fruits and vegetables, I have yet to meet that person. And, while the product is very good, equally beneficial is the side effect of the education and encouragement they receive about the benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables that I’ve seen turn peoples health in a positive direction. JP+ is the next best thing to whole fruits and vegetables when we know and acknowledge that we don’t get enough, regularly.

  3. For such reasons we forget to look outside the good ole USA. for objective non biased information and knowledge. It would be interesting to compare Australian, European, etc with US research. Personally I still will consume aloe juice, Noni, Kava, and juice vegetables in addition to eating plant based and grass fed foods. It is the over-consumption of KlooAid that I am most concerned about here.

  4. what if you dont have access to a variety of fruits and vegetables, would juice plus then be a good option when traveling to places with limited produce options?

    1. Absolutely! It is only concentrated fruits and vegetables. It bridges the gap as most people can’t east the variety of 9-13 servings per day. I have been taking for 5 years and love it. Dr. Katz at Yale is a big advocate as well as Dr. William Sears. Read the research and decide for yourself. There are 2 studies showing that it reduces systemic inflammation so not sure what happened with this one case of liver inflammation.

        1. You have NO EVIDENCE for your claim: “juice plus is not a health promoting supplement.” Have you not read any of the 34 clinical studies published in peer-reviewed journals??

      1. Hey Lisa, It’s quite misleading to say that JP+ is only concentrated fruits and vegetables. Go back to your JP+ Orchard and Garden blend labels and read them. Vitamin C, beta carotene, d-tocopherol, folic acid, enzymes, and acidophilus are all added back in after manufacturing. JP+ says that it is because the FDA requires that every label says the same thing, and they can’t guarantee that every bottle will contain exactly the same amount of nutrients (as you would not to be able to compare apple to apple, or cucumber to cucumber). Therefore, to standardize, they add nutrients they can ID by amount. Go to the Vineyard Blend label and see: L-arginine, L-carnitine, d-alpha tocopherol, calcium ascorbate, magnesium stearate, “natural enzyme blend,” coenzyme Q10, and folic acid. This may be just fine and all super healthy, but it is NOT “only concentrated fruits and vegetables.” Also, though I have not read the studies myself, every independent review of the JP+ reports I’ve seen indicate that virtually all of them are inconclusive. I have been taking JP+ for over 5 years and honestly believe that it has helped keep me healthy. However, I am under no illusions that their marketing provides full disclosure.

      2. What happened with that one case, may very well be overuse of Ibuprofen the woman was taking for cancer pain, which was probably withheld right after admission, and the liver enzymes were reduced. I don’t buy that one case study as evidence of anything, except the foolishness of people that draw conclusions from it. As scientists, we learned NOT to be.

        1. But the ingredients in JP absolutely couldn’t have caused it? Aren’t you being as presumptuous as the point you are criticizing? I am finding the most common way of defending JP is by being confrontational and rude and by inferring those that oppose are stupid.

      1. Rami, if you had taken time to read all the published clinical research on JP+ you could not say “juice plus is not a health promoting supplement” It is health promoting with proven benefits.

  5. I saw a video here recently about sniffing rosemary helping with memory. I’d like to see it again, but I can’t find it.

  6. Dr. Greger really should know better. The so-called study was on ONE PERSON! There are over 1.2 million current customers taking Juice Plus+ and there is no other recorded instance of liver inflammation, so this is an anomaly so it is STATISTICALLY INVALID to project this onto the general population.

    1. It’s a perfectly valid case report. No one is projecting it “onto the general population”. Why are you so callous as to dismiss it. You have a financial interest in the product as a National Marketing Director for Juice Plus, and it’s abhorrent that you did not admit this from the get-go. There is no surveillance system in place that would be able to detect adverse events in people who take Juice Plus. That’s why case reports like this are so important; they alert clinicians to the possible causal relationship between liver injury and taking your overpriced placebo.

  7. I have been disillusioned! However, not about Juice Plus but about NutritionFacts. As a PhD trained neuroscientist, I was excited to see your website and science based updates on nutrition thinking they were well researched and unbiased, until I saw this. This is something I happen to know a good deal about since for the last 20 years I have been taking Juice Plus and am familiar with (in other words, I have read) nearly 30 double blind, placebo controlled studies that have been published in peer reviewed journals on the Juice Plus fruit and vegetable concentrates. These clinical studies show tremendous benefits to human health. So you can see why I am now disillusioned about your reports given that you have reported on one poorly documented case study and have ignored the multiple well documented, well controlled experimental studies that have been done showing positive benefits of Juice Plus.

    Maybe you missed these studies because they are not marketing studies and they don’t have “Juice Plus” in the title (you will not find them on a pubmed search of Juice Plus). You CAN find them on Pubmed by searching “mixed fruit and vegetable concentrates”, or “encapsulated fruit and vegetable concentrates”, or “fruit and vegetable juice powders “. You will find out, as you read the methods and materials section of these studies, that most if not all of these studies the juice powders used in the studies are the Juice Plus Capsules.

    I commend the doctors in the study sited by the video for checking the patients liver function, but I don’t commend them for placing the blame on Juice Plus when the patient was on a regime of several medications which have liver damage as known side effects. Obviously this was not an experimental study, but I wonder what would have happened if the patient had first been on Juice Plus first and then taken the medication? I bet it is the medications, not the fruit and vegetable powders that are the actual culprit causing liver damage. But we will never know since this is just a case study. If I were reviewing the study I would ask several questions the first being “where did the Juice Plus come from that the woman was taking?” If it came from eBay or Amazon or anywhere other than the Juice Plus Company or one of their representatives then it isn’t Juice Plus and could be tainted. There are good reasons to give value to the well designed and highly controlled studies on Juice Plus that I referred to above. Please check them out as a whole before you make such sweeping conclusions.

    Having said all of this I want to be quite clear about who I am. Not only do I have a PhD from one of the top research institutions in the country, UCSF, but I have been willing to put my reputation on the line for the Juice Plus product and have been paying $50 a year to have the right to share about it and get wholesale prices on the products. The company does not pay me to be a spokesperson for them. I do however get a commission on their products I sell. This income is a portion of the income that sustains my family and pays for my own Juice Plus product. Am I biased, yes because I have read the studies and made an active decision to take the results and do something to improve my health and my life. I do not have to sell Juice Plus to make a living, however, I choose to because I have read the multi-subject studies mentioned above and believe that helping tens of thousands of people with Juice Plus (my goal) far out ways the increase risk of reversible liver damage changes in one patient who was on multiple medications with known side effects of liver damage.

    I would love to see truly balanced and unbiased reporting, I wish I could have found it here and I am very disappointed that I have not. Given this shoddy “update” on Juice Plus (and the other one too), I don’t feel I can trust any of your videos. I will be looking elsewhere.

  8. I know this is a considerably old video, but I’m wondering if any of the other ‘greens’ supplements out there are as bad as the Juice Plus+ ones. For example, I’ve seen the following 2 in quite a few health stores recently:

    VegeGreens – https://www.progressivenutritional.com/products/vegegreens/

    Greens+ – http://www.genuinehealth.com/store/greens#.Vl5M21WrS00

    I obviously don’t intend these supplements to be my sole source of nutrition, but when I’m in a rush (or feeling particularly lazy) are these ok to supplement for 1 – 3 meals a week or is there some issue?

    Thanks! Hope someone sees this despite this being an old video.
    – Justin

  9. I have a customer who is recovering from breast cancer from years ago, she is still on immunosuppressants, is Juice Plus safe to take?

  10. I am curious if you have any thoughts or updates on Juice Plus products now. I just started taking the capsules today, and am worried about possible lead contamination and whether they are just more non-bioavailable vitamin pills.

      1. Frank Walton: I’ve been noticing your recent set of posts on NutritionFacts. Can you please clarify whether you are an employee with Juice Plus+ and/or sell the product in one capacity or another? If not now, have you done so in the past? Thank you.

  11. Good read.. i am in middle east and im looking for vitamins/supplements that i can tale until i came upon reading the benefits of juice plus. i will definitely try it. i actually created a facebook fan page https://www.facebook.com/uaejuiceplus/ to support it and share the benefits of having juice plus as part of a healthy diet . At an early age i was diagnosed with hypertension at age 18 until now i know that i am hypertensive because i feel dizzy at times. I am now 32 and i am worried that this type of illness will be a big problem when i get older. this is what they call a silent killer.

    Is juice plus safe for someone who has hypertension? how many capsules do i need to take?

    1. Bryan,

      I want to suggest that the benefits of the products can be had with the intake of a diet high in veggies and some fruits For a similar high impact antioxidant mix, use your blender and make a smoothie our to veggies and some fruit. Want to knock the anti-oxidant level out of the park ? See: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/a-better-breakfast/

      One of the principle problems with the use of the capsules is the lack of space for fiber. (see the labels) And I’d be remiss if I didn’t suggest that the price difference between real food and pills is astounding. The fiber is essential for a host of bodily processes and should not be excluded. I totally understand their marketing, I’m convinced that the intake of real foods will always trump the use of pills for substitution of gross nutrients. That’s not to say that some supplementation is not appropriate. Indeed for many diets supplementation such as the use of B-12 etc., is necessary.

      Dr. Alan Kadish Moderator for Dr. Greger

  12. I started taking juice plus 4 months ago. Last month I went to the doctor for a wellness exam with routine blood work. My lab results showed that my liver enzymes, ALT, we’re elevated. I’m not a heavy drinker and do not abuse Tylenol. The doctor told me to discontinue jp for one month and then recheck blood. I stopped taking jp for a month and recently had my bloodtest. The labs came in and my liver enzymes are back within normal limits. A jp representative, who stated to be a pharmacist, said the elevated liver enzymes were indicative of my body trying to detoxify itself. Can you give me more information on this?

    1. Hi Candis, I’m one of the medical moderators here at NF. The juiceplus rep was correct in the sense that the liver’s job is to neutralize toxins and elevated liver enzymes are a sign that the liver is struggling to do it’s job.
      I’ll try to illustrate what was probably going on by explaining the chemical process the liver goes through during the process of neutralizing toxins. This process involves converting a fat soluble substance into a water soluble substance that can be excreted in the stool or urine.
      A toxin is usually a fat soluble non-polar substance (often stored in fat tissue and mobilized during weight loss). This substance is transported to the liver and undergoes one or more reactions that render an intermediate substance. These reactions are called phase I detoxification reactions and utilize several enzymes and nutrients in the process.
      These intermediary metabolites that are rendered during phase I liver detoxification are more polar and water soluble but are very reactive and susceptible to oxidation so are potentially more dangerous than the original toxin due to their instability. It’s at this point where many of the antioxidant vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients found in plants are helpful in stabilizing these intermediary metabolites until they can undergo phase II liver detoxification and ultimately be converted into water soluble substance that can be excreted from the body via the stool or urine. Phase II reactions require several different amino acids. If the proper amino acids are not available then the system gets backed up and excess intermediary metabolites build up. When our liver enzymes become elevated it is an indication that there is a back-up someplace in the system. What we see most commonly is that a person goes on a diet or begins taking a supplement that provides the nutrients needed to take the toxins through phase I but they don’t have the amino acids available to continue taking the toxins through phase II. The overload of intermediary metabolites causes congestion and the liver enzymes become elevated. Another possible scenario is that a person looses weight quickly and they liberate excess toxins. The liver has to struggle to handle the excess toxin load and becomes congested causing liver enzymes to become elevated. What likely happened in your case is that when you stopped the juiceplus you decreased the amount of toxins being liberated and lightened the load your liver had to carry so your enzymes returned to normal. This is a perfect example of why people who are using these types of supplements should be doing it under the supervision of someone who is knowledgeable about the biochemistry involved in the detoxification process and can advise you in terms of what you need to do from a nutritional perspective. Unfortunately what we usually see is someone who was talked into joining an MLM company to make money and knows nothing about what they are selling or how it will impact your body.

  13. Hi Dr. Gregor,

    I’m wondering if you could do a video on Plexus? It’s the MLM currently taking the world by storm, and I am so sick of being sold these stupid supplements!! Reps claim it’s all natural and healthy, but nobody really knows what this stuff is! So sick of it!

  14. I love the fact these (medically unqualified) reps are actually arguing with a doctor over supplements being better than the real thing, fruit and veg.
    Whenever anyone says a negative word about these overpriced vitamins they’re out in force defining it
    As for the studies they like to mention, I suggest they actually read them instead of telling others too
    If they did they would know oncologists advise against cancer patients taking it as it can lessen the effects of chemotherapy
    These studies do not always paint juice plus to be what the reps do.

    Check out Facebook groups and pages
    Juice plus exposing the lie#2
    Juice plus lies exposed
    Juice plus scammers
    Timeless Vie
    Very informative unbiased (reps, medical professionals, nutritionists, PT, as well as other respected professionals) breaking down the lies reps use,, repeatedly

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