How legitimate are the studies done on Juice Plus?
Juice Plus+ is a whole food nutritional supplement that contains phytonutrients (plant nutrients) from 30 fruits, vegetables, berries and grains in the form of very concentrated extract powders that are taken in the form of a capsule. Juice Plus+ is made by a company located in Memphis, TN called The Juice Plus Company.
The Juice Plus Company is a company that has operated with the same CEO (Jay Martin) since its inception in the early 1980s. The company market Juice Plus+ through the direct sales method, so you won’t see any of their ads on the TV anytime soon. What is interesting about this product and company is the amount of university-level research that has been performed using the Juice Plus+ product. There have been more than 20 studies performed using name brand Juice Plus+ that have been published in prestigious medical and scientific journals.
No other nutritional supplement has had this number of name-brand research studies published before. What is even more remarkable is that all of these studies showed positive health benefits. Some people reading this might be thinking that any company can just buy research studies like this, so it is not very impressive. So what makes this body of research different is that these studies were performed using the “Gold Standard” of research. Gold standard research puts measures in place that make it impossible to “buy” or otherwise influence.
To be considered gold standard research, a study must be double-blinded, placebo-controlled, randomised, and cross-over. Let’s clarify what each of these terms mean in a research setting.
- Placebo Controlled: A placebo is usually a sugar or otherwise inert pill that looks exactly like the pill being studied. A placebo is used to measure the effects a person experiences by “thinking” they are taking the pill, when in fact they are just taking the sugar placebo.
- Double-Blinded: When a research study is double-blinded, neither the research project’s observers nor the participants know whether they are taking the real thing or just the sugar pill. This serves to ensure that personal bias does not affect both the observer’s observations and conclusions or the study participant’s perception of the pill’s effects.
- Randomised: Randomisation is important to a study to ensure that the changes seen during the study are not the result of how the study participants were chosen. It ensures there is no bias in how the participants are selected.
- Cross-Over: A study that has a crossover has the placebo and the Juice Plus+ groups switch groups so that both groups have a chance to take both the placebo and the real thing. Usually there is a washout period in between so that the group taking the real thing has a chance to flush it out of their body before switching to the other group. This is used to ensure that the Juice Plus+
When a study is performed using these measures in place, you can be ensured that the results are honest and believable. Most companies do not structure studies of their own products like this. They want to be sure they get the results they are looking for so their product looks good. The fact that The Juice Plus Company has performed so much research on Juice Plus+ and the results have all been positive tells me that Juice Plus+ is a supplement worth looking into.