What is the Juice Plus+?
Juice Plus+ is a dietary supplement that is made from approximately 30 fruits and vegetables. This supplement claims to be the best thing next to fruits and vegetables, but not intended for the replacement of these natural foods.
The company that makes Juice Plus+ says that the supplement serves as a bridge to the gap between what people should eat to have a healthy diet and what types of food they eat on a daily basis. This dietary supplement contains plant compounds from fruits and vegetables, including vitamins and minerals.
Products Offered by Juice Plus+
Juice Plus+ mainly offers supplements that come from different fruits and vegetables. These supplements are available in the form of capsules and chewables in three different blends:
- Garden Blend: blended juice powders from vegetables
- Orchard Blend: blended juice powders from fruits
- Vineyard Blend: blended juice powders from grapes and berries
- Adult: Two capsules of each blend daily at mealtimes
- Children 13 years old and below: One capsule daily at mealtimes
These supplements are usually available from a Juice Plus+ distributor or the company's website. These supplements usually come in packages that last for four months. Other products offered by Juice Plus+ include nutrition bars, shakes, and soups.
What do Juice Plus supplements contain?
These supplements undergo proprietary juicing and drying of whole fruits and vegetables, which include:
- Orchard Blend: Acerola cherry, apple, beet, cranberry, date, orange, papaya, peach, pineapple, and prune.
- Garden Blend: Beet, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, garlic, kale, oat bran, parsley, rice bran, spinach, and tomato.
- Vineyard Blend: Artichoke, blackberry, blackcurrant, bilberry, blueberry, cranberry, cocoa, concord grape, elderberry, pomegranate, and raspberry.
Other added ingredients of these supplements include:
- Dried probiotics (Lactobacillus acidophilus)
- Folic acid
- Glucomannan (soluble fiber)
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
Although the exact composition or quantities of ingredients contained in Juice Plus+ supplements are not listed, they are considered high in vitamins A (beta-carotene), C and E, folate, and other plant compounds and antioxidants.
What are the health benefits of Juice Plus?
The company that produces Juice Plus+ claims that these supplements provide a lot of health benefits. Let's take a look at the following health claims and see if they are indeed backed by science:
1. Keeps the heart healthy
According to some studies, Juice Plus+ may help lower the levels of homocysteine in the blood. In fact, in one study, the intake of these supplements helped decreased homocysteine levels by 37 percent when compared to the placebo. However, some other studies have not found this beneficial effect. Most studies conducted on the effects of Juice Plus in people with increased levels of cholesterol and high blood pressure have mixed results.
One important thing to note here is that taking multivitamins can also help lower homocysteine levels, and since Juice Plus+ contains vitamins and minerals, it remains unclear if its effects are from its juice extract or from the added nutrients.
Evidence of a significant reduction in the levels of homocysteine in the blood by taking multivitamins or any vitamin supplements also remains unclear.
2. Better nutritional status
Juice Plus+ supplements also claim to help increase the intake of nutrients. However, this claim has mixed results from studies, which investigated how levels of nutrients can affect the blood. In a study conducted in 2007, Juice Plus+ helped increase the levels of the following nutrients in people's blood:
- Vitamin E: 30 percent
- Lycopene: 80 percent
- Folate: 174 percent
- Beta-Carotene: 528 percent
However, there are also other studies that have found no significant increases in these nutrients in the blood. Although Juice Plus+ has the potential to help increase the levels of some nutrients in the body, the nutrients contained in it are fortified, which means that the nutrients are added to the supplements aside from the vegetable and fruit powders. For this reason, it remains unclear if Juice Plus+ is more effective than other affordable supplements that also have these nutrients, such as standard multivitamins.
3. Reduces chronic inflammation and stress
Chronic or long-term inflammation can lead to different health issues, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. Antioxidants from fruits and vegetables may help protect people against inflammation and its long-term effects.
However, there are mixed results when it comes to the antioxidant effects of Juice Plus+. In one study, it explains that equal amounts of Garden and Orchard blends have the same antioxidant effects as 10 grams of fresh vegetables and fruits. Although there are some studies that say these supplements can help prevent DNA damage and reduce oxidative stress, other studies did not find any significant effects.
4. Boosts the immune system
A few studies have found that Juice Plus+ supplements can help increase immune cell activity. In one study that involved workers in the healthcare field, those who took these supplements had 20 percent lower incidences of sick days compared with those who took a placebo.
However, some studies that also investigated Juice Plus effects on people's immunity did not see a significant reduction in the frequency of people getting sick. There are also no studies that confirmed whether Juice Plus+ supplements are really better than multivitamins and vitamin C supplements when it comes to boosting immune function.
5. Better and healthy skin
There are also studies that investigated Juice Plus+ effects on the skin. It was found out that participants developed better circulation, skin hydration, and thickness by taking Juice Plus+ supplements. However, improvements in skin health are also seen in people taking standard vitamin C and E supplements.
6. Helps individuals to lose weight
Having whole fruits and vegetables are known to contain lots of fiber and water, which makes individuals feel fuller and low in energy density.
It is the reason why Juice Plus+ supplements are beneficial to those who are looking for ways to lose their weight. Juice Plus+ is basically a supplement of vitamins, minerals, and certain food enzymes, including having little or no fiber at all. Chances of having destroyed enzymes can also occur during the digestive process.
Juice Plus+ Complete
Apart from the core supplements provided by Juice Plus+, there is also a special diet that contains a range of Juice Plus+ products. It is called Juice Plus+ Complete. It is basically a selection of different meal replacements, nutrition bars, shakes, and soups.
This diet plan is said to replace up to two daily meals along with a replacement meal from the line of Juice Plus+ Complete. This diet plan is mostly intended for individuals who need to lose extra weight as well as maintain a healthy weight.
It can be taken at one calorie controlled meal of the individual’s choice and two healthy snacks daily. Individuals are also encouraged to take Juice Plus supplements to help boost their daily intake of fruits and vegetables.
Juice Plus+ has been regarded as a relatively safe dietary supplement to take since the product is mostly made from concentrated grains, vegetables, and fruits. These supplements may also increase a person's vitamin and mineral consumption. However, there is still no evidence that these supplements are better than most regular multivitamins.
People who are undergoing cancer treatments or any other kind of treatment should first consult with their doctor before taking these supplements. One of the main reasons for not taking it during chemotherapy is that the antioxidant content present in these supplements can cause interference with few chemotherapy medications.
It is also important to remember that dietary supplements like Juice Plus+ should not be substituted for whole fruits and vegetables.