(MonaVie, MonaVie Active, MonaVie Pulse)
What is it?
It's a drink that's a blend of fruit juices including acai berry, pomegranate, white grape, nashi pear, acerola, pear, aronia, purple grape, cranberry, passion fruit, banana, apricot, prune, kiwi, blueberry, bilberry, camu camu, wolfberry, and lychee. MonaVie ACTIVE also includes the supplements Celadrin and Glucosamine. MonaVie is sold in various formulations through a Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) company.
Does it occur naturally in the body?
What are the claims?
That depends on who you're getting your information from. If you strictly rely on the MonaVie website (MonaVie.com), there are three formulations and three sets of claims.
CLAIM ONE: MonaVie "support(s) your body's antioxidant and nutritional needs" and it "help(s) fight free radicals and maintain(s) your body's overall health."
CLAIM TWO: MonaVie Active is marketed with the phrase "Enhance your body's joint health" and "Designed to support joint performance and recovery..."
CLAIM THREE: MonaVie Pulse claims to "support your cardiovascular system." The literature also says, "With added heart health benefits derived from plant sterols (which studies suggest play a key factor in lowering cholesterol), resveratrol, and omega 3 fatty acids, maintaining existing cholesterol levels has never been easier."
The wording of those claims is very clever. Most people will read them and believe that MonaVie can help slow down the aging process, cure or prevent joint pain, improve your cardiovascular health and reduce cholesterol. In fact, it doesn't say any of those things.
When a supplement company makes a claim, there are three things the government regulates. Health claims, structure function claims and nutrient content claims. Here's how MonaVie deals with each one.
Health Claims - Describe a relationship between a food substance and a disease or health-related condition.
MonaVie and MonaVie Active make NO health claims; they only want you to THINK they do. In CLAIM ONE, MonaVie doesn't say they it can slow down or reverse the aging process. You, the reader, are meant to INFER that because there have been so many articles published about antioxidants and aging.
The phrase MonaVie "support(s) your body's antioxidant and nutritional needs" actually applies to ANY fruit juice sold today. All fruit juices have calories (giving your body nutrition), and they all provide some level of antioxidants. In fact, many domestic fruits like apples and blueberries have between 2 and 3.5 times the antioxidants of exotic fruits like the acai found in MonaVie. If you are buying MonaVie for its antioxidants, you would do much better eating a cup of blueberries.
The marketing people at MonaVie also claim MonaVie Active will "Enhance your body's joint health" and "Designed to support joint performance and recovery..." It does NOT say MonaVie Active will stop joint damage, reverse joint damage or ease the pain of aching joints.
The words "enhance" and "support" are used because they are medically worthless terms and, according to the government, mean nothing. The makers of MonaVie don't claim they can "treat, prevent or cure" anything. You're just mislead to believe they can.
MonaVie Pulse DOES make a health claim. They start with the medically worthless phrase, "support your cardiovascular system." But then they say, "With added heart health benefits derived from plant sterols (which studies suggest play a key factor in lowering cholesterol)..."
Aha! So the plant sterols found in MonaVie Pulse may help with lowering cholesterol. Unfortunately, there are no studies showing how much of a reduction you can expect by drinking MonaVie compared to any other fruit juice blend, or even how much MonaVie would help if it were the only thing you drank. The rest of the sentence is simply a list of more ingredients, without specific amounts or claims they can do you any good.
Structure Function Claims - Supplements can claim a benefit related to a nutrient deficiency disease (like vitamin C and scurvy), as long as the statement also tells how widespread such a disease is in the United States.
MonaVie makes NO structure or function claims.
Nutrient Content Claims - These claims describe the level of a nutrient or dietary substance in the product, using terms such as "good source," "high," or "free."
MonaVie does not claim to be a "good source" of anything. They would have to tell you how much of a particular ingredient they used to make that claim. Unfortunately, that information is not available. Here's why MonaVie keeps it a secret, in their own words.
"The exact amount of açai, or of the other fruits, contained in our blend is not disclosed. This is considered one of the company's greatest intellectual assets. However, the ingredients appear on the label in order, by amount, from most to least. This means that because açai is the first ingredient listed on the label, it is the most abundant."
If I were selling a simple bottle of blended fruit juices for $30 to $45, I wouldn't disclose the exact amount of each ingredient either. By keeping it a mystery, the people who sell MonaVie can tell you whatever they think will convince you to buy. That's where the real problems begin.
To sell MonaVie, you have to sign up as an independent distributor. Each month you are required to purchase a minimum level of product. With so little concrete information available about what's actually in MonaVie, and the misleading claims that are made by MonaVie, many distributors start making stuff up.
The statements we heard are outrageous. This is an actual list of claims made on just ONE of the websites promoting MonaVie.
Prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's, better sleep, prevent arteriosclerosis, prevent blot clots (what is a BLOT clot?), improved vision, normalizing of blood pressure and blood sugar, more firm and youthful skin, relief from itching, faster healing of wounds and help with arthritis, diabetes and cancer!
None of those things are true, but because it's being said by someone who should know (those independent distributors), people BELIEVE those claims are being made by or endorsed by MonaVie.
It's a clever deception that keeps MonaVie from being sued by the federal government for false advertising and millions of victims believing a fruit juice is a miracle cure-all.
Does it work?
Not as a cure-all. The various formulations of MonaVie are nothing more than bottles of extremely expensive blended fruit juices being marketed with misleading tactics.
What are the dangers?
The dangers are significant for people who believe the lies. If you have a medical condition and rely on a fruit juice to cure it, you could be putting your health in serious jeopardy.
The Bottom Line
If you think MonaVie is a tasty fruit juice and don't mind spending $30 to $45 per bottle, go ahead and buy some. You should NOT buy MonaVie thinking it will prevent, treat or cure any disease. The MonaVie company clearly states that it does NOT do that. MonaVie is a juice, not a medicine.
Because the MonaVie company uses ambiguous and misleading language to promote their product, and because they do not aggressively go after independent distributors who circulate fraudulent information about their product, we would suggest you avoid MonaVie entirely.
Links for More Info
|Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
|United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
|Herbs, Botanicals & Other Products - Extensive Information from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
|National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health - Overviews on Herbal Treatments and Supplements
|National Institutes of Health
|National Institutes of Health - Office of Dietary Supplements
|Operation Supplement Safety
|United States Department of Agriculture
|WebMD - Helping you make better decisions for life.
We at WeBeFit DO NOT recommend ANY supplements to ANY of our clients. ONLY a licensed Nutritionist or Medical Doctor can make those recommendations based on your individual needs.
This is being provided for INFORMATIONAL and EDUCATIONAL purposes only.
CAUTION: These supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for safety, effectiveness or purity. There may be unknown risks associated with taking any supplements. There are no regulated manufacturing standards for companies that make supplements. There have been instances where herbal or health supplements have been sold that were contaminated with toxic substances. If you should choose to purchase herbal or health supplements, please only purchase them from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.
If you should decide to use ANY supplement, ALWAYS consult your doctor or Nutritionist first.