A few months ago the delightful company that is Juice Plus launched a new “must have” supplement to run alongside their other extortionate and pointless products. Now, I haven’t tried them because I have more sense than money but it doesn’t take a scientist to do a bit of Google research so, Juice Plus Omega Blend: do you need it?
What Is The Juice Plus Omega Blend?
The Juice Plus Omega Blend is a capsule filled with plant oils, extracts and flavourings. You take two capsules a day with water, preferably at mealtimes and you get a dose of the omega fatty acids 3, 5, 6, 7 and 9. They are vegan and the capsule holding the oil is made from tapioca starch.
DHA- and EPA-rich oil from the micro-algae Schizochytrium sp. (with high oleic-sunflower oil, antioxidants: extract of rosemary, mixed tocopherols, ascorbyl palmitate), pomegranate seed oil 17 %, glazing agent: pullulan; raspberry seed oil 11.5 %, sea-buckthorn berry oil 9 %, anti-caking agent: silicon dioxide; high oleic-safflower oil, tomato seed oil, orange oil, vanilla flavour, antioxidant: extract of rosemary.
These little oil pills will set you back a WHOPPING £139 for a four-month supply or you have the option to split that into four monthly payments of £36.25 (£145 total).
Now, The Science Part
If you don’t know much about nutrition then seeing all the different types of nutrients can be a little confusing. Most people aren’t sure what each one does, they just know that we need them in our diet. So when someone comes along advertising a “miracle product” you’re more likely to buy it because you trust a company who’s all about health, right?
The simple fact is that most of the time, someone following a healthy diet doesn’t need to take supplements. By healthy diet I mean one rich in plant-based foods, full of leafy green veg, nuts, legumes, beans and berries. There are a few vitamins/minerals that are recommended to be supplemented as the change in our lifestyles now means we struggle to get these. These include vitamins B12, D and Omega 3.
Many people also find taking magnesium of benefit but I would always consult your doctor before taking anything more than a multi-vitamin.
Back To Omega Oils, What Are They?
There are five different omega fatty acids, two of them are essential fatty acids and the other three are non-essential fatty acids. Essential means that we MUST have them in our diet because our bodies just can’t make them (no mammal can) whereas non-essential means they’re made by our bodies and most of the time we have plenty of them available. No need to supplement non-essential fatty acids unless recommended by a doctor due to a particular disease or condition.
Omega 3 is an ESSENTIAL fatty acid and is also known as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). It is important for proper brain function and maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. Great sources of omega 3 include flaxseed oil, walnuts, soybeans and green leafy vegetables (oily fishes such as salmon, herring, sardines and tuna if you eat fish). These foods should be taken in at least twice a week.
Omega 5 is a NON-ESSENTIAL fatty acid. It is believed (not proven) to have a positive effect on weight, cardiovascular health and blood sugar balance, it also has the potential to ease the symptoms of menopause. Sources of omega 5 include tropical oils (coconut, palm), macadamia nuts and pomegranate seeds (wild-caught salmon and full-fat/grass-fed dairy if you eat those).
Omega 6 is an ESSENTIAL fatty acid also known as Linoleic acid. This fatty acid contributes to weight loss and building a lean body mass. Having a deficiency in omega 6 can lead to poor wound healing, brittle hair and hair falling out. On the other hand, excess linoleic acid is associated with depression, attention deficiency disorder, obesity, sleeplessness, cancers and arthritis. Most of us have TOO MUCH omega 6 in our diets so it’s not recommended to supplement it but instead, increase your intake of omega 3 to balance it out.
Sources of omega 6 include nuts, sesame seeds, cereals, whole grains and most vegetable oils (poultry and eggs if you eat them) so it’s easy to see why we already get plenty of omega 6.
Omega 7 is a NON-ESSENTIAL fatty acid. It has shown to have a positive effect on weight loss and bowel regularity, also due to it’s antioxidant and anti-aging properties it plays a role in nourishing healthy cells (especially in the digestive tract). A great source of omega 7 is sea buckthorn berries and macadamia nuts (also grass-fed meat and dairy, if you eat them – this doesn’t include your regular meat, it must be labelled grass fed and is much more expensive).
Omega 9 is a NON-ESSENTIAL fatty acid. It is linked to healthy cardiovascular systems, healthy cholesterol levels, improved immune function and healthy blood sugar levels. Great sources include olives, pressed olive oil, avocado and sprouted nuts (grass-fed meat if you eat it).
Is The Juice Plus Omega Blend Worth It?
Short answer, no!
I personally don’t think they are worth it for several reasons.
- Three of the fatty acids (omega 5, 7 and 9) do not need to be supplemented in our diets. We can easily make these and get plenty from our diets already.
- Our diets are already rich in omega 6 and by supplementing it we risk having excess in our systems, leading to lots of problems.
- Small additions to our regular eating can ensure we get enough omega 3.
- Juice Plus is a horrific company to buy from. Many people are duped into contracts they didn’t sign up for, reps are pushy and often use fake testimonials/images to con their clients. Just look at my past posts or join the Juice Plus / MLM Lies Exposed Facebook group for examples.
But Chammy, Where Are Your Nutrition Facts?
It wouldn’t be a Chammy JP post without a nutrition label or two so here you are, this image shows what two capsules get you. Remember if you pay the full £139 upfront these two capsules cost you £1.16 a day.Obviously I need to compare with a normal diet so take my regular bowl of porridge as an example. Here you will see a very simple meal made up of porridge oats, oat milk, chia seeds, walnuts and blueberries.
As you can see, from this one meal I get my daily recommended omega 3, I’ve also hit 50% of the recommended omega 6 target that Cromometer has given me (based on age, weight, height etc). You also have to remember that I get a hell of a lot more nutrients through this meal such as fibre, protein and minerals. It’s more than just a capsule filled with oil.
Also, a pack of chia seeds will set you back around £6 for 1kg – that’s 100 day’s worth and 6p a day.
What About The Omega 5/7/9 Which Juice Plus Gives You?
As I’ve said, you DON’T need to supplement these as you get enough from your diet. They’re important but not so important you have to monitor them or increase them, again another reason I wouldn’t recommend taking these supplements.
Juice Plus Omega Blend capsules are just an expensive way to overdose on omega fatty acids. They have the potential to cause more harm than good and are a gateway to you being flogged the other Juice Plus rubbish they sell, like the boosters were before them.
If you really want to take an omega supplement then there are plenty of them in Holland and Barrett which are cheaper but contain fish oil. If you’re looking for a vegan alternative then you’re better off on Amazon, slightly more expensive than fish based ones but a lot cheaper than Juice Plus. Better still, look at the plant-based sources I’ve listed and just eat them – they taste better. Use Cromometer to monitor what you’re having and you can’t go wrong.
As a side note: I’m not a nutritionist but I am currently studying a degree in Nutrition and Public Health, so my advice shouldn’t be taken over that of a doctor. It SHOULD be taken over that of someone with a vested interest in these kinds of products such as a representative who is earning from you selling it. Be especially cautious around MLM reps as many are desperate to make sales and will say anything to convince you to buy.
At the end of the day I’m not trying to sell you anything, yes I have some affiliate links within my post where I make a few pence if you buy but I’m not telling you that it will change your life should you do so. Earnings made through these such links simply keep the site running, they don’t go towards bonus targets or a “new car”.
If you have any questions then please pop them in the comments. I’ll try to answer them or direct you elsewhere if I can’t.