Nutrilite Review

Nutrilite says they’re the “world’s best selling brand of vitamins and dietary supplements” according to market researcher Euromonitor. We’re not arguing. Nutrilite’s company, Amway, is a behemoth, a global giant—North and South America, Europe, and nearly all of Asia—a multi-billion-dollar business born with a Nutrilite® multivitamin. So the story of Nutrilite is also the story of Amway (an amalgam for the American Way). [1] [2] [3]

supplementsThe Nutrilite blend was developed by the pioneer of multi-vitamins and food supplements, Dr. Carl F. Rehnborg, while he was living in China in the early part of the 20th century. The vitamin brand became an international success, in part through the Amway global distribution process begun by salesmen and Amway founders Rich DeVos and Jay Van Andel in 1959.

Nutrilite Claims

“Nutrilite is the only global vitamin and dietary supplement brand to grow, harvest, and process plants on their own certified organic farms. … We also certify growers around the world to meet the exacting quality standards of our sustainable organic farms. … Nutrilite is committed to the highest quality, from seed to supplement. … The best of nature…the best of science.” [4] [5] [6]

Nutrilite supplements combine vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients from over 170 plants. Their stated policies and practices reflect a commitment to their product and to those who will consume them. So, if nothing else, the concentration and purity of phytonutrients in Nutrilite—as well as safety and quality—is pretty much assured.

Cool fact: They use falcons as natural pest control at one of their farms.

Nutrilite Ingredients

Vitamin, mineral and plant-based supplements—phytonutrients—make up the Nutrilite product line. Devoted mostly to nutritional vitamin supplements, its weight loss and weight management product line includes its trademarked Fiber Powder, Carb Blocker, Slimmetry and Lean Muscle supplements.

  • Nutrilite’s Fiber Powder makes you feel full.

Honestly, that’s the gist of it. And as with all fiber powders, it’s also formulated to help support gastrointestinal health and keep you regular with natural soluble fiber sources. Its main ingredient, chicory root, is used for tummy issues. But beyond helping to keep you regular and full for a period of time, it doesn’t seem a very effective tool in the war against fat.

  • Nutrilite says the Carb Blocker “blocks up to 500 carbs per meal.”

The blend, it says, is designed to inhibit the digestion of both simple sugars and complex carbohydrates.

Nutrilite® Carb Blocker lets you eat the foods you want. … [it’s] unique as the first supplement to contain fermented soy and white kidney bean extracts that block the absorption of both sugars and starches. You’ll still get the benefits of vitamins, minerals, and fiber found in carbohydrate-rich foods. … It provides naturally sourced, non-stimulating carbohydrate control. [18]

This supplement sounds like a boon for those looking to cut even more carbs from their diets á la Atkins or similar. But is it?

  • The Lean Muscle supplement ($90 for a month’s supply) reportedly “helps reduce body fat” with its one active ingredient: Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA).

Let’s talk about CLA for a minute. A fatty acid from vegetable sources like safflower oil, CLA is said to support lean muscle retention and even “increase lean muscle tissue if taken in conjunction with a regular strength-training routine.” [7]

That’s what Lean Muscle says it does, and while it's commonly agreed this claim is true, CLA isn’t without its potential problems.

stomach upsetRelatively mild side effects include stomach upset, diarrhea, nausea, and fatigue. But, CLA can worsen diabetes; in fact, it can accelerate the onset of diabetes in people with metabolic syndrome. CLA acts as a blood thinner—or at least slows blood clotting—so people with bleeding disorders need to steer clear, and CLA use must be stopped weeks in advance of a surgery.

To be fair, Nutrilite does caution that people with diabetes should not take CLA, adding, “anyone with a medical condition, including diabetes and hypoglycemia, should consult a physician before using this product.”

  • Slimmetry is another Nutrilite weight loss supplement.

It contains phosphatidylcholine—a “lipid (fat) of cell membranes and blood proteins”—and green tea extract. So, the presumed fat-fighting ingredient is the green tea extract; in this case, 50 mg worth.

The science behind green tea extract isn’t of the rocket variety. At more than $45 for a month’s supply, one might have a cheaper option. Then again, it’s coming from the reputed “world’s best selling brand of vitamins and dietary supplements,” so maybe it’s worth it? [8]

  • Nutrilite® Double X® Vitamin/Mineral/Phytonutrient Supplement

On the straight-up multivitamin front, this is a good start which delivers a blend of 12 vitamins, 10 minerals and 20 plant concentrates, providing broad antioxidant protection.

Our ultimate multivitamin, whether your focus is sports nutrition, weight management, or general health and wellness. Power-packed with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients to help support a healthy heart, brain, eyes, skin, bones, and immune system. [19]

A note about price. On the official Amway Nutrilite site, the 31-day supply of Double X multi-vitamin runs almost $95. But it can be found on Amazon and other sites for far cheaper. A number of reviewers on Amazon question the authenticity of the multivitamin being sold by some for as low as $40. So if you’re considering a purchase, might be a good idea to buy direct and be sure it’s the real deal.

The Science (or Lack Thereof) Behind Nutrilite

Nutrilite has plenty of in-house science, but outside researchers and medical associations are dubious. Nutrilite claims to have “leading global scientists in the fields of nutrition, health and genetics” and it is “committed to the highest quality, from seed to supplement and prides itself on its research and development. [9] [10]

The heart of Nutrilite research is headquartered at the Nutrilite Health Institute in Buena Park, California, where groundbreaking discoveries become practical, personalized health solutions. … Nutrilite Health Institute clinical investigations and trials are focused on intervention studies to evaluate the effects of plant concentrates, botanicals, and nutrient products on markers of human health. [11]

Here’s the rub: numerous research and evidence-based studies claim to show that vitamin and mineral supplements are at best, ineffective, and at worst, harmful. A study published in the December 2013 Annals of Internal Medicine states an assertive conclusion:[12]

Beta-carotene(Beta)-carotene, vitamin E, and possibly high doses of vitamin A supplements are harmful. Other antioxidants, folic acid and B vitamins, and multivitamin and mineral supplements are ineffective for preventing mortality or morbidity due to major chronic diseases. Although available evidence does not rule out small benefits or harms or large benefits or harms in a small subgroup of the population, we believe that the case is closed—supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with (most) mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful. These vitamins should not be used for chronic disease prevention. Enough is enough. [12]

Word on the Street About Nutrilite

The Carb Blocker received a 3.6 star average on Amazon in 58 reviews—which isn't a ton. One reviewer claimed it just “Didn’t work.” Another didn’t know, and didn’t seem to care, if Carb Blocker worked because they like Amway in general. And finally, a five-star reviewer—whose comment was rated among the most helpful—said that while the Carb Blocker works, the product must be used as directed and for at least three months. [12] [13] [14]

Slimmetry—albeit with very few reviews—is a dud, according to users. At least the handful on Amazon: “Does nothing.” “No.” “One Star.” “Shaky.” [15]

While CLA is a hit with bodybuilders, Nutrilite Lean Muscle-specific reviews are hard to come by. That said, the ingredient is identical—6000 milligrams of CLA. [16]

The Double X multivitamins are more heavily—and positively—reviewed. It earned a 4.6 star average from almost 200 reviews. For me, the review that best sums it up is this: “Popeye has his spinach and i have my double x.” (sic) [17]

The Bottom Line

On the multi-vitamins: Worth A Try.

Go for it if you can afford it and you aren’t eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet (though really, the spinach is cheaper than the vitamins).

The weight loss/ management products: Torn between Insufficient Data and Problematic.

They may be or may not be as effective as promised, so we’re ‘meh’ on this one.  The fiber powder is similar to others in stores that cost a lot less. The CLA in Lean Muscle is a no-go. Slimmetry relies on green tea extract for the most part and again, there are many less expensive ways to get your green tea dose for the day. And there’s simply not enough solid evidence for a recommendation on the carb blockers.

Review Sources

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Information on this website is not to replace the advise of the doctor, but rather for general education purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease and should not be considered as medical advice. Aways consult your doctor before starting any diet or taking any dietary supplements.

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