In 1994, when I was Health Editor of Vogue magazine. I read a report that
Juice Plus contains many of the important nutritional constituents of the fresh
fruits and vegetables from which it is made. I hadn't heard of anything like it
before (frankly, I never really looked!). In any event, I decided to try it
since I was not consuming enough of the natural products in my daily diet. Since
then, most of my family and I have been taking these capsules regularly.
Subsequently, I learned that several randomized, double blinded, and
placebo-controlled studies had been done on this product and the findings were,
for the most part, consistent with the current scientific thinking that fruits
and vegetables are good for you.
Just for the record, I have never had any financial interest in the company
other than having been being paid for two unrelated talks at their company
meetings some 10 and 14 years ago.
Let me emphasize that these capsules are not a substitute for eating fruits and
vegetables. They are not meant to be taken instead of food, but only to
complement a diet that does not contain them in optimum amounts. The innumerable
anecdotal stories of how well people feel are not a substitute for scientific
studies, of which there are several valid ones.
Juice Plus is very effectively marketed, and its sales personnel are inspired
and enthusiastic. From time to time, I hear some questions raised about whether
Juice Plus is all it's cracked up to be usually from a competitor - (whether they
identify themselves as such or not). That's part of the game in a free society.
One of the criticisms is that much of the clinical research conducted on this
product has been funded by NSA, its manufacturer. That's essentially true.
However, it's reasonable for manufacturers to sponsor research on their products
as long as the conclusions are subject to the checks and balances of internal
review boards and their conclusions are reviewed by a peer review panel of
scientists prior to publication. Although some of the clinical research
conducted on this product has been funded by NSA, I understand that there is at
least one ongoing clinical trial currently being done by the National Cancer
Institute of the National Institutes of Health.
I have heard complaints that Juice Plus has little or no fiber. That's true
because water and some of the fiber in the fruits and vegetables is removed in
order to convert the juice into a concentrated powder. While some fiber is
restored to the capsule, it is not marketed either as a fiber supplement or as a
substitute for eating more fiber-rich fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Given the high cost of prescription drugs, the growing awareness of the
connection between diet and disease, and the growing number of nutritional
products on the market today, Americans should take a look at supplements such
as Juice Plus - but it's important to do it correctly. And pay no attention to
information written by anyone who chooses to remain anonymous.