By CANDICE GREY
Update: Dec 27, 2022
Transform your body in just ten days? The Purium 10-Day Transformation sounds life-changing. In fact, Purium Health Products founder David Sandoval, now in his fifties, claims that since his epiphany twenty years ago and commitment to using the products he sells, he’s going to live until he’s 120.
Purium is based on naturopathy, “the premise that our bodies are self-healing if given the right tools and environment.” Purium says its supplements are composed of superfoods and herbs naturally, and organic “whenever possible,” with no artificial anything.
The Purium 10-Day Transformation Get Started Pack, which Purium claims is the “fastest, healthiest, simplest, least expensive weight loss program on the planet,” will run around $200.
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Purium is headquartered in Long Beach, California; the contact number is 888-747-6733. Founded in 1993, they once went by the name Organic by Nature.
Their Better Business Bureau profile was only opened last year (2016), they are not accredited, and they currently have a D-plus rating based on two customer reviews (50-50) and one filed complaint they haven’t responded to.
They are a multi-level marketing company (also known as a “pyramid scheme” when they aren’t above-board about the process), though they do seem to have a less sales-pressure system than most.back to menu ↑
According to its website,
- 100,000 people have proved that the Purium 10-Day Transformation is the fastest, easiest, least expensive, and healthiest way to lose weight. Most people lose 5 pounds, 10 pounds, or even 20 pounds in just 10 days
- healthy detox, more energy, better sleep, and breaking addictions to processed foods
- saturates your cells with organic superfood nutrients that trigger the release of fat and toxins. You get protein, fruits, and vegetables in super-concentrated forms. Maximum nutrient density and minimal calories.
And if that wasn’t enough to make you jump on the website now, Purium has “group cleanses that begin every Monday and Thursday, provides a support guide and group support calls “throughout the 10 days to keep you on track.” Purium says the “best part” is you’re losing fat, not muscle.
This is really just ‘transfer spending’ because your food budget goes down to almost zero during the 10 days. For about the same price as one restaurant meal, you can get all of the superfood nutrition your body needs for an entire day.
In a word, wow. Sold? What’s next?
Purium health products and programs include the Athlete System and Daily Core, but it is the 10-Day Transformation—an “anabolic program that floods your body with nutrients while purging harmful toxins from your system”—that’s most popular.
Purium says this diet will detox the body, burn fat and build muscle, break your body’s addiction to bad food, and help to reset your metabolism using “nutrient-dense superfoods,” slow-burning carbs, and very digestible proteins.
You have to dig deep to find the .pdf FAQ file, but that fine print is crucial; you’ll learn, for example, that you not only will be too weak to exercise, Purium says don’t do any more than 15 minutes a day tops, if at all. Hmmm. OK, so you’re going to take it easy during this cleanse, folks.
They also say you should consult your doctor before starting this cleanse. In fact, if you’re taking any medications at all or have any medical condition at all they say you must talk to your physician. (Who will probably tell you no.) There are a number of other important concerns addressed so make sure to read it thoroughly before you start this cleanse if you’re thinking about it.back to menu ↑
People who follow the 10-day plan will drink three shakes a day, take supplements every few hours, and finish the day with a tart-cherry drink. The plan also lets you eat “flex foods” in small amounts. You can drink up to 72 ounces of water and other drinks that are okay every day. The 30-day plan is the same, except that only two out of every three meals are based on Purium.
What’s important to know
The Purium 10-day cleanse for weight loss is supposed to turn on the hormone adiponectin, which helps the body burn fat, build muscle, and clean out the digestive tract.
Purium says that its shakes and supplements fill the body with superfoods that are high in nutrients but low in calories. This helps people break their addictions to foods high in sugar, salt, carbs, and chemicals. On the 10-day cleanse, you’ll eat about 600 calories a day.
Shakes and supplements that replace meals are taken every two hours. Here’s an example of a typical day on the 10-day plan if you get up at 7 a.m. Flex foods or drinks can be eaten or drunk at any of these three times.
- 7 a.m.: Two Super Amino 23 tablets and a glass of water
- 9 a.m.: Power Shake (with 20 oz. of water); 2 capsules Biome Medic; 1–2 capsules CleansR
- 11 a.m.: 5 Super Amino 23 pills and a glass of water
- 1 p.m.: Power Shake (with 20 oz. of water); 2 capsules Biome Medic; 1–2 capsules CleansR
- 3 p.m.: 5 Super Amino 23 tablets and a glass of water
- Power Shake at 5 p.m. (with 20 oz. water)
- 30 minutes to an hour before bed: Apothe-Cherry (with 8–10 oz. water) (with 8–10 oz. water)
This plan doesn’t encourage people to get fit. In fact, the instructions say that the only exercises you should do are light walking and yoga. The instructions also say that while on the plan, you should get a good night’s sleep every night. Followers can also choose to have an extra serving of flex food or a meal if they feel like leaving the program.
Both the 10-day and 30-day packs have a Power Shake powder, Apothe-Cherry concentrated tart cherry juice, Super Amino 23 amino acid supplements, Biome Medic supplements for gut support, and SuperCleansR supplements to help “clean” the digestive tract.
Fruits and Vegetables
A “flex food” or “flex beverage” can be eaten or drunk three times a day. Avocado, apple, watermelon, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, kimchi, and summer squash are all foods that can be eaten as flex foods. Most of these are one cup per serving.
Flavor your flex foods with fresh herbs and spices, Himalayan sea salt, raw honey, or organic tropical oil.
You can drink these on their own or mix them with Power Shake powder, but they still count as one of your three daily servings of food or drink: hemp, almond, coconut, or oat milk; kombucha; organic vegetable broth; decaffeinated herbal tea; coconut water; and Purium green drinks.
Meat, eggs, and dairy items
The Purium programs are vegan and don’t allow any animal products. Before you start the cleanse, the instructions say to stay away from meat, dairy, and processed foods for two to three days.
Caffeine and Alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol are not allowed on the program, and Purium suggests you stop drinking and drinking coffee a few days before your cleanse (or three to five days prior for coffee).back to menu ↑
The daily cleanse is three shakes, three cups of fruits and veggies, a cherry juice drink, and the other supplements. That’s basically it. There’s a nutritionist available for questions via email, so that’s cool.
Okay, so you’re a relatively healthy adult and you’re going for it. I mean, it’s not called the “celebrity” cleanse for nothing. Lots of people have done it. (I’m not saying do it, by the way; you’ll see in The Bottom Line.)
The $200 10-day pack includes
- Purium Power Shake—this is like an extra daily dose of super veggies
- Super Amino 23—your protein
- Apothe-Cherry, which consists of antioxidants, melatonin, and tart cherry—your fruit
- Caramel Apple Daily Fiber Blend is supposed to cleanse the body
- Super Lytes supplements are meant to hydrate and provide electrolyte replacement
You also get a shaker bottle, tape measure, and gym bag. The promise is if you follow the program, “you can expect to lose anywhere from 5 to 20 pounds in 10 days … these five products are all you need.” Purium says in a 2013 study, participants lost an average of 11.3 pounds in 10 days.
Founder Sandoval says that “if you care about your body, you will use Purium Products.”back to menu ↑
Pros and Cons
Purium diet plans might seem appealing because they help you lose weight quickly and come with everything you need. But keep in mind that this program has some problems.
Structured plan: This eating plan tells you what to eat and how to do it. There aren’t many choices to make besides what kind of shake or flex food to eat (and even in those cases, your options are quite limited).
Short-term weight loss: You will almost certainly lose weight if you severely limit your calories to only 600 per day.
If you’re thinking about this plan, you should know that it comes with a lot of risks.
The 10-day plan costs about $279, and the 30-day plan costs $439. But if you join a rewards program and earn points, you can get a discount. According to Purium’s website, even though everything is organized and planned, it still costs about $11 a day.
A lot of rules: “Yasmine Ali, MD, MSCI, FACC, FACP, a preventive cardiologist, says that diets with less than 1,200 calories per day don’t give adults enough energy or nutrition to do the most basic things their bodies need to do. “Also, cutting calories too much puts the body into starvation mode, which makes people hold on to their weight instead of losing it. This is one reason why these diets usually don’t work, and another is that they can’t be kept up.”
Doesn’t teach how to be healthy: When you drink meal-replacement shakes and take supplements for most of your daily food, you don’t get the chance to learn healthy eating habits, how to cook smart, or how to control how much you eat. All of these things are important if you want to keep the weight off.
Even though Purium’s cleanse and transformation programs claim to help you lose weight, get rid of toxins, and do other good things, there isn’t enough good evidence to back up these claims.back to menu ↑
Potential Side Effects
The Purium diet says its products help the body “detox.” But this claim has nothing to do with science. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) says that, even though there isn’t enough research, there isn’t enough proof to show that these programs actually “detox” people. And they may only help you lose weight in the short term in small ways.
Also, severely cutting calories can make you tired and dizzy, and it can even slow down your metabolism.
Diets with less than 1,200 calories per day should only be done under the supervision of a doctor. People who follow the Purium plan for a long time could run the risk of not getting enough nutrients.back to menu ↑
So what about the Purium cleanse? Is there good science?
Here’s the thing: according to the Mayo Clinic, among the most reliable sources for medical information, while detoxes and cleanses are popular, there’s no scientific evidence that they’re any good for you and likely don’t even remove toxins from the body—the liver and kidneys are pretty amazing at doing this job.
So why do people swear they just feel better after a cleanse? Mayo Clinic registered and licensed dietitian Katherine Zeratsky says it’s because as part of the cleanse you quit eating processed foods, junk, and fast foods—all packed with fats and sugar—and “simply avoiding these high-calorie low-nutrition foods for a few days may be part of why people feel better.”
Not unlike the possible side effects from similar detoxes, the Purium Cleanse side effects can be mild or severe and may include gastrointestinal discomforts. And though the Mayo Clinic sees little evidence that cleanses do what they claim, Zeratsky says if you’re going to do one, a cleanse could be “a way to jump-start making healthier food choices going forward every day.”back to menu ↑
Word on the Street
Purium reviews are really all over the map. Citing reviews not featured on Purium’s website—for obvious reasons—we went to Amazon.com, where the Purium 10-day Transformation cleanse is available. Reviews where users took issue with delivery, refunds, and the like we do not include since they’re dealing with sellers, not Purium directly.
So, of 113 reviews, 67 users gave it four stars or above. To be honest, that’s a respectable amount, though a full quarter of those 113 reviews were 1-star. Essentially a love-it/hate-it deal.
Let’s start with the fans. Anonymous user “Amazon Customer” gave it 5 stars (2017): “Awesome! This product really works! Follow the directions and eat your flex foods! I lost 17 pounds”
My favorite is from user “Kevin Cook” (2016, 5 stars): “Tastes like an old sailor’s boot, but holy crap this stuff works! Suck it up for 10 days and you’ll see. Lost 12 pounds!”
I mean if this review isn’t an endorsement, I don’t know what is.
One of the issues for some with Purium is that it’s a multi-level marketing business and it’s hard to know if people reviewing are distributors or not, so this one from “m16shooter” is pretty convincing (2015, 5 stars):
First off, I am not a distributor or a promoter. I’m just a normal Joe that was looking to lose a few pounds and cleanse my body. And on that note, this does work. I lost 9lbs and have managed to keep off 7lbs since. If I ever feel the need to detox/cleanse again, I will definitely buy this again.
Now to the “no way,” customers.
“GigiM” was not a fan (2017, 1 star): “The product was way too strong and made me ill. The company was very understanding and refunded my money”
One “Amazon customer” fared no better (2016, 1 star): “Super disappointed …Would give zero stars if I could. This product made me SICK—nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea! I could not even finish the first day & could NEVER drink that green drink again! I cleanse frequently—at least 2 to 3x/year for the past 15 years, so it was NOT a detox reaction! This product did not agree with my body!”
Amazon user “Lesblant” has this headline: “There is No Free Lunch. Count Calories Instead.” They then continue (2017, 2 stars):
They send you 2X the amount you need to do one 10-day cleanse. I thought the price was way too high. … This was not as difficult to do as I had imagined it might be. The only discomfort I felt was coffee withdrawal on day one, then around day 8-9, it all started to taste horrible to me and I began to crave food.
The fast weight loss makes you deliriously happy for a week or so, but then when it comes roaring back again it is a real drag. As soon as I started eating again, I gained all the weight back immediately. I was not very disciplined but I didn’t start eating cases of doughnuts, either. I ate the way I usually do, mostly sensibly. But it felt like I might gain ten pounds by eating one carrot or something.
I learned (for the millionth time… you’d think I’d know by now) that things that seem too good to be true, usually are. I think it would probably be more sensible to just count calories and add in a little exercise. But this gets you jump-started.back to menu ↑
Is The Purium Diet For You?
The Purium diet doesn’t meet the federal guidelines for a healthy, well-balanced diet. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends eating a balanced mix of fruits, vegetables, protein, grains, low-fat dairy products, and healthy fats every day.
Health experts also say that getting nutrients from food is better than taking supplements. On the Purium diet, you get most of your protein from powdered shake mix, and the only solid foods you can eat are fruits and vegetables.
The Purium plan also has too few calories (around 600 per day) compared to what the USDA recommends, which is between 1,600 and 2,200 for women and between 2,200 and 3,200 for men.
The USDA says that you should cut 500 calories per day to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week in a healthy way. But your daily calorie needs depend on your age, gender, and how much you move around. Use this calculator to figure out how many calories you should aim for.back to menu ↑
The Bottom Line
Most health experts agree that “detox” diets that cut out whole food groups or severely limit your calorie intake are not good for your health or weight loss in the long run.
Many of these programs are not based on science and can be harmful to your health. Most of the time, it’s best to do these programs with the help of a medical professional.
If you want to lose weight, you might want to talk to a registered dietitian and a personal trainer to make a plan for healthy, long-term weight loss that includes regular exercise.
Remember that you may not need to go on a long-term or short-term diet, and that many diets, especially long-term ones, just don’t work.
We don’t recommend fad diets or other ways to lose weight that won’t work in the long run. Instead, we give you the facts so you can make the best choice for your nutritional needs, genetic make-up, budget, and goals.
If your goal is to lose weight, keep in mind that just because you lose weight doesn’t mean you’re at your healthiest. There are many other ways to be healthy. Your overall health is also affected by how much you move, sleep, and do other things. The best diet is always the one that fits your lifestyle and is well-balanced.