The Garden of Life is a supplement company that provides many different products in the nutritional sector and has been around since 2000. There are Garden of Life probiotics, Garden of Life protein, Garden of life vitamins, Garden of Life code for men, and Garden of Life prenatals, just to name a few of their products. The website is very organized and informational regarding each of the products, and I am thankful for that because you are given a lot of different supplements to look through at first glance. None of the products are intended to treat, cure, prevent, diagnose, or heal any diseases and they have been tested in a certified factory. You can find these different products online or in retail stores like Whole Foods, Vitamin Shoppe, and local co-ops around your city.
The company’s founder, Jordan Rubin, has a powerful story that will catch the attention of almost anyone. He grew up in a family where eating healthy was a priority, but he contracted a very rare and mysterious digestive disease that left him taking many different anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics. Those drugs really took a toll on his system, and overtime he felt his body was simply deteriorating. Throughout the process of his diagnosis, he lost a total of 81 pounds and was dangerously thin. After 500 different treatments and many question marks from doctors and traditional medication treatments, he decided to opt for a whole foods diet which included different enzymes and probiotics for gut healing, which thus prompted him to start Garden of Life.
Company Contact Information:
4200 NorthCorp Parkway
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33410
Garden of Life Claims
This company is large, and they offer a variety of products depending on your needs. Some of their larger claims entail details about their probiotics being the number one brand to purchase, and there are over 23 different types to choose from, whether it be for men, women, or children.
They have a variety of certifications, and they quote,
“Just look at our formulas. Our mykind Organics line is made with Organic fruit and herbs—every single product in this line is Certified USDA Organic and NON GMO VERIFIED by the NON GMO PROJECT.”
The other certifications some of their products hold are: Certified Vegan, Gluten Free, NSF Gluten Free, Star-K-Kosher, U Kosher, Informed Choice, B-Corp, Leed Gold, and Green-e Energy.
They make other claims like,
“We start with what goes IN our products—true, whole food ingredients. But we don’t stop there. We also pay very close attention to what we keep OUT of them. And once again, we look at food—real nutrition food. When is the last time you picked up an apple, turned to read the ingredients, and saw a list of chemicals? If it’s not in your food, then we don’t want it in our supplements. We use the following third-party (never self-affirmed) certifications to prove we are clean!”
Other claims made regarding their return policies are:
“If you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase, you can return an item within 30 days of purchase. All refunds are applied to the original method of payment. To return an item, contact Customer Service. In order to assist you, we will need your name, order number and the item number of the product you’d like to return.”
Other than the claims made from the company there are just claims made about each individual product, and I wanted to highlight the men’s and women’s probiotic as well as the protein powder. Just as one example regarding the Once Daily Men’s probiotic,
“Supports digestive and immune system health, 50 billion CFU¹; 15 raw probiotic strains, Has a diverse probiotic blend of Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria strains, Requires no refrigeration, Has Shelf-stable Potency Promise, 50 billion live probiotic cultures, and shipped in a desiccant-lined bottle to ensure your probiotics Arrive Alive and Stay Alive.”
Garden Of Life Ingredients
All of the ingredient lists were found on the main website of Garden of Life, where the company displayed them under product information.
Once Daily Men’s Probiotic
Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus gasseri, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus paracasei, Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus salivarius, Lactobacillus fermentum, Bifidobacterium lactis, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium breve, Bifidobacterium infantis, and Bifidobacterium longum.
Once Daily Women’s Probiotic
Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus paracasei, Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus fermentum, Lactobacillus gasseri, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus salivarius, Lactobacillus reuteri, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium breve, Bifidobacterium infantis, and Bifidobacterium longum.
Organic Plant Protein
Organic pea seed, Organic tapioca fiber, organic chia seed, organic flaxseed, organic cranberry seed, organic baobab fruit, organic pumpkin seed, organic vanilla flavors, organic erythritol, organic stevia extract leaf, organic cinnamon, sea salt. RAW enzyme blend: Lipase, protease, aspergillopepsin, beta-glucanase, cellulase, bromelain, phytase, lactase, papain, peptidase, pectinase, hemicellulase, xylanase. RAW probiotic blend: Lactobacillus plantarum, and Lactobacillus bulgaricus.
Garden of Life Raw Fit Protein Powder
Organic Pea Protein, Organic sprouted brown rice protein, Organic Tapioca flour, Organic chia seeds and sprout, organic flax seed and sprout, organic cracked wall chlorella, organic amaranth sprout, organic quinoa sprout, organic millet sprout, organic buckwheat sprout, organic garbanzo bean sprout, organic lentil sprout, Organic adzuki bean sprout, organic sunflower seed sprout, organic pumpkin seed sprout, organic sesame seed sprout, organic svetol (decaffeinated green coffee bean extract) organic ashwagandha, organic baobab fruit, organic cinnamon, organic daikon radish sprout, organic alfalfa sprout, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Lactobacillus plantarum.
Garden of Life Raw Meal
Organic Pea Protein, Organic sprouted brown rice, organic amaranth, organic buckwheat, organic millet, organic quinoa, organic chia seed, organic adzuki bean, organic flax seed sprout, organic garbanzo bean, organic lentil, organic pumpkin seed, organic sesame seed, organic sunflower seed sprout, raw organic cacao, organic chocolate flavors, organic erythritol, sea salt, organic stevia extract, organic vanilla flavor, organic tapioca fiber, organic chia seed, organic flax meal, organic spinach, organic baobab fruit, organic apple, organic beet root, organic broccoli stalk, organic carrot, organic tomato, organic green bell pepper, organic Brussels sprout, organic ginger root, organic garlic, organic onion, organic strawberry, organic cherry, organic parsley, organic cauliflower, organic blackberry, organic cabbage, organic blueberry, organic raspberry, organic kale, organic cucumber, organic celery, organic asparagus, organic alfalfa grass, organic Spirulina, organic barley grass juice, organic oat grass juice, and organic wheat grass juice.
The Science (or Lack Thereof) Behind The Garden Of Life
As you can see from the ingredients above, the products are made with natural ingredients and they try to keep them as clean as possible. When you look at the company claims and then try and find studies that correlate with those claims it is not relevant, so I wanted to revert attention elsewhere. There was a Garden of Life recall on the Raw meal, and this recall was just back in 2016, which is rather recent.
The FDA released a claim saying,
“Garden of Life LLC is expanding its January 29th voluntary recall to include additional lots of its Raw Meal Organic Shake & Meal Chocolate, Original, Vanilla and Vanilla Chai products because an ingredient used in certain lots of the product has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella Virchow.”
The ingredient later linked to causing the salmonella was from the organic moringa leaf powder which was only found in the raw meal at the time, so no other products were recalled which didn’t damage production terribly.
One ingredient I wanted to take a deeper look into was the alcohol erythritol which can sound rather intimidating if you are not familiar with what it is. It is simply a natural sugar substitute that is naturally found in pears, watermelons, and grapes.
According to Body Ecology,
“After much toxicology and clinical studies, erythritol has been found to be safe for consumption as a sugar substitute, even when consumed on a daily basis and in high amounts. While Body Ecology does not recommend eating any sweetener in high amounts, we do believe that the sweet taste is a natural part of our diets.”
Word On The Street About Garden Of Life
The products range anywhere from $20-$50 dollars, depending on what product you purchase. For example, the Raw meal costs $40.00 with shipping, the probiotics range from $30-$40 dollars as well. These are some genuine reviews from folks who have tried out the products.
Trent said regarding purchasing the RAW meal from Amazon (2017, 4 star),
“I’m diabetic and I wanted to try something that allowed me to get the nutrition I needed without the extra carbs. I tried it this morning mixed with milk and was surprised. The reviews said it tastes awful. It doesn’t. It has a nice vanilla flavor that actually tastes better than most “health shakes” I’ve tried before. However, the texture is very gritty. After stirring and stirring, the powder whipped up nicely but was still gritty. It’s not terrible, I drank it without issue. The decent flavor makes up for the texture. Mixing it in a thick smoothie would solve the problem but I don’t mind the texture enough to bother.”
Another Amazon customer tried out the Fit protein powder (2017, 1 star),
“Taste absolutely terrible. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I opened the container and saw just how little was I inside for the money I spent. I don’t recommend this to anyone. Garden of Life is a bit too proud of their products and for no reason. Awful!
When looking into the reviews on probiotics, there were a lot of positive voices out there, and very rarely were there negative tones. The folks who purchased these supplements felt like they were a good use of money and they likely returned for more when they ran out. Overall, this company received rather positive reviews as a group for all of their products, and have a brand that people are likely to trust.
The Bottom Line: Is Garden Of Life Worth A Try?
Yes. If you are in the market for a supplement or probiotic, this company has a good track record overall with happy customers. The ingredients they use in their products are natural, and the overall vibe of how the company got started seems to be honest and intentional. There is a reason why these supplements are being sold in major grocery store chains like Natural Grocers and Whole Foods. Overall, this is a safe and reputable company to invest in if you are looking for a good probiotic, protein, meal replacement drink, or vitamins in general.