Anyone would be tempted by the idea of getting their daily value of micro-nutrients easily and quickly. Getting our daily nutrition from a simple pill is quite appealing, but is it really worth it? One such product that promises these benefits is the Juice Plus supplements made from juice powder concentrates and oils from different vegetables, fruits and grains. But does this supplement really work? Here is the Juice Plus Truth.
What Is Juice Plus+?
Juice Plus+ is a brand of dietary supplements made from the juices of at 48 different fruits and vegetables. The supplements come in chewable or capsule form in either Orchard blend (fruits), Garden blend (vegetables) or Vineyard blend (berries). The adult daily dose consists of two capsules of each blend while children under the age of 13 are required to take one capsule of each blend daily. These supplements are prepared by juicing whole fruits and vegetables after which the juice is dried and mixed to form supplement blends. However, the exact amount of ingredients in each supplement is not listed and often the health tips given by people selling these products can be bogus just to try and edge towards a sale.
The Juice Plus+ Complete is typically a whole-foods based shake containing phytonutrients in whole foods form. It contains 13 grams of protein per serving and is considered a highly-suitable whole foods-based vegan powder blend. Besides providing plenty of minerals and vitamins it is also an effective phytonutrient booster. Some other ingredients of Juice Plus Compete include:
- – Fiber blend
- – Rice bran
- – Oat fiber
- – Sugar
- – Gum arabic
- – Citrus pectin
Juice Plus Health Claims & Research Studies
The manufacturers of Juice Plus claims that the product provides numerous health benefits although their is limited scientific evidence to support these claims. Juice Plus supplement is claimed to help improve ones nutritional status by increasing nutrient intake. It is still not clear whether Juice Plus is more effective than other cheaper supplements claiming to supply these nutrients. The product is further said to promote better heart health. While some studies seem to suggest that Juice Plus could significantly decrease blood levels of homocysteine which is associated with heart disease, most tests have not observed this effect.
Chronic inflammation or long-term inflammation is known to contribute to a number of health problems like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. Juice Plus is claimed to be rich in antioxidants that may protect patients against chronic inflammation but studies on its antioxidant effects have produced mixed results. Furthermore, the antioxidant effects of health supplements tend to lower after digestion. Some studies also indicate that Juice Plus supplements may help reduce oxidative stress and DNA damage but others show absolutely no effects. Juice Plus is also said to support immune health by increasing the activity of some immune cells. However, this effect is not always linked to less illness or better immunity.
Some studies also observed that people taking these supplements had an improved skin health that included better circulation, skin hydration and thickness. Currently, there is no study with evidence that Juice Plus is a better supplement for skin health than the regular vitamin supplements. One study observed that Juice Plus supplements can improve dental health in patients with periodontitis or gum disease. Other studies seem to suggest that vitamin B complex, vitamin E, vitamin C and zinc supplements may also improve gum health. This means that there is still no evidence that Juice Plus supplements are more effective than the cheap over-the-counter multivitamins.
Juice Plus+ Side Effects & Interactions
For most people, the use of Juice Plus supplements may seem like an easy way to fill in gaps in their daily diets. While the reported side effects of these supplements are relatively few and mild, the Juice Plus supplements contains some nutrients that may potentially interact with prescribed medications. Some studies have shown that some people taking these supplements experienced gastrointestinal stress while others experienced a hive-like rash. In another report published in 2010, a woman undergoing chemotherapy for treatment of endometrial cancer indicated potential liver damage after testing high for bilirubin blood levels. Researchers concluded that this side effect was as a result of the Juice Plus supplement the 51-year-old woman was taking before starting her treatment.
The potential risk of interactions with Juice Plus is low but doctors advise against the use of these supplements for patients taking quinolones or those undergoing Enteral nutrition a method of feeding that is prescribed by a doctor. Quinolones are antibiotics that are used in the treatment of urinary tract infections, skin infections and lower respiratory track infections. Patients undergoing these treatments should check with their doctor before taking Juice Plus+ supplements. Some cancer treatment centres advise patients undergoing radiation or chemotherapy to avoid Juice Plus as the antioxidants in these supplements may negatively affect the overall effectiveness of these treatments.