“A higher way of life.” This is how Zurvita describes itself and its goal. The founders are a Houston, Texas, couple who had “tremendous success within the direct sales industry, creating a seven-figure income for themselves.” 
Multi-level marketing (MLM) dietary supplements, and so-called health and wellness products, are the fuel for this industry. Millionaire husband-and-wife team Mark and Tracey Jarvis came up with supplement product lines to:
- give users energy
- improve mood and focus
- provide protein supplementation for athletic performance, and
- aid in weight management.
And we’re here to see if in fact the last of those is a reliable, safe, and effective weight loss aid—so I’ll try to ignore, for now, the business model that sells the Kool-Aid and gets others to sell it, and those others recruit others, and those others sell to more folks, and Mark and Tracy get even richer.
Zurvita Zeal for Life Claims
Zurvita offers two different Zeal for Life product lines: protein and weight management. We’re interested in losing weight. Zurvita’s Weight Management Program combines nutritional products and healthy lifestyle training; in other words, products and support—or as the company says, “ lifestyle and nutritional guidance.”  
The products include Zurvita Protein, Zurvita Cleanse (a detox), and Zurvita Burn (a fat burner). You buy these in a kit for about $180 on Amazon. If you want to buy direct, you need to log in to the Zurvita site, find a distributor and go from there. I was not prepared to do that.
Anyway, Zurvita—a company the Jarvises say was built to “honor and glorify God”—has, as its “inspiration engine” for the core of their weight management program, motivational, inspirational and educational elements to keep participants excited, energized, and engaged in their healthy pursuit of better fitness and improved lifestyle, including:
- personal growth and development
- recognition and encouragement
- exercise for a healthy lifestyle and
- weight management balanced nutrition 
I’m good with the latter two; the first two I don’t buy. But that’s just me. Ignore me if you’re inclined to seek out inspirational support.
Anyway, the products, they say, boost your energy, optimize health, enrich, restore and protect your body and help maintain a healthy weight.
Ah-ha! Help maintain a healthy weight. There it is. You don’t lose weight on this supplement, you maintain a healthy weight.
I could just stop here. This is not a diet. This is not a weight loss plan. This is a supplement that Zurvita claims will make you more energetic, focused, healthier and “enrich, restore and protect” your body. I picture a writer (not unlike myself) sitting with the Jarvises and creating jargon like this to pitch their Zeal for Life line.
Zeal for Life claims to provide balanced nutrition with its “unique formulas” that combine core vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants with phytonutrients from fruits and vegetables, along with other exotic botanical ingredients from all over the world. 
The drinks come in four flavors. But what’s in it?
Zeal for Life Ingredients
There’s plenty of good stuff, including vitamins and minerals, but there’s no information on quality, quantity, or potency of many of the herbal compounds and chemicals in Zeal products. But, there’s no shortage of stimulants, including guarana seed—which has twice the caffeine of coffee beans.  
And it turns out there are some consumer concerns, especially about heart-related side effects and dangers from the stimulant ingredients, as evidenced by this thread on Topix.com. You may need to click to “last” to see the most recent user concerns and complaints about side effects. The thread began in 2013 and is still up and running today. 
The Science (or Lack Thereof) Behind Zeal for Life
Zurvita has its own clinical study, which is focused more on mental and emotional health results from its products and makes no mention of weight loss. And I am suspect of the claims about helping people with depression and anxiety and anger and other mood issues. 
And no record of this trial at ClinicalTrials.gov, the official database of the U. S. National Library of Medicine. Doubtful it’s independent or financed by anyone other than Zurvita. So shady.
Distributors, and the company itself, make a lot of claims, some shocking in their dishonesty. Like a Facebook page for Zeal for Life that claims doctors recommend it for heart disease, cancer and stroke. Or that it may be effective for Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.  
Truth in Advertising has called out Zurvita, sending letters to both it and the Direct Selling Association, cautioning them about allowing these types of illegal claims. But it’s hard to keep up with direct sellers, and MLMs that encourage their distributors to sell—and distributors anxious to make some kind of money—well, they might claim anything. This is an ongoing problem in the dietary supplement direct-selling and MLM industry. 
If you’re looking for more debunking of so-called medical and scientific claims made by Zeal, there’s an entire blog devoted to telling the “truth” about Zeal product science. 
Word on the Street about Zeal for Life
The last six months of reviews for Zeal for Life Wild Berry 30-Day Wellness supplement drink all read essentially the same: “Five Stars,” “Great Product,” and “Try Zeal.” 
Hmmm. I’m doubtful. But scroll through the Amazon page of Zeal for Life product listings and you’ll quickly note that most are positively rated. 
The Zeal for Life Tropic Dream Wellness canister of drink powder—which runs nearly $70 for a 30-day supply—had off-the-charts high reviews. 
This review from “Christine” was compelling:
This product is amazing! After going through chemo and radiation, months later I started getting hot flashes at 46 years old. My doctor told me that after testing me, I was 100 percent into menopause! A friend told me about this and how it gets rid of the sweats so I tried it and after only a few days I barely got them. Now after almost a month, I feel great and a lot more energy as well. Well worth the money! 
Wow. What am I missing?
“Becky Navarez” says, “meh:”
I drank this every morning. It tastes very natural and good; however, I did not feel an energy boost and it’s very expensive. I like it and wish it was cheaper so I could order again. It’s not worth over $50 though. This is very over-priced. 
But “Angela Jane” is in love:
I’ve used Zeal for years! I love, love, love this stuff! Initially, I did lose quite a bit of weight but I don’t attribute it totally to this one lifestyle change – it was a mixture of many. I began running, eating healthier and most of all having a more positive frame of mind. I love that I can get so many minerals and vitamins in one fell swoop! I especially love the tropical flavor, it is just the right amount of sweetness to me. I will say that my boyfriend isn’t a huge fan of the taste, but he isn’t as much of a health nut as me. He does enjoy the Zurvita chocolate protein powder (which I also highly recommend). 
Again, this sounds like a distributor; trying to balance the positive with the mildly negative so as to appear real and objective. I could be wrong (but probably not.)
I found it curious to note the Zeal for Life $180 kit on Amazon has no reviews at all. 
Oh, and I wanted to include this comment from “Bob” of San Antonio, Texas, who just a couple of weeks ago lashed out at people who complained about side effects with Zeal products.
I’m sorry Zeal didn’t work for you. Zeal works for the strong, not the weak. You weak people who are in the process of being culled by Mother Nature need to go back to your socialist coffee shops and Whole Foods Markets. The rest of us will outlive/outperform you in every way. 
Whoa. I’m thinking a distributor.
So I’m confused. A few ingredients are suspect at best, and it’s not cheap, but if these users are to be believed (who am I to question) it’s popular and folks say it works. Then again…
The Bottom Line: Is Zeal for Life Worth a Try?
For me it’s a definite no—I’m a skeptic—but it may be a yes for you. These are products you can certainly do without, and some ingredients are questionable in both efficacy and safety. Plus, I prefer to get energy, nutrition and a boosted metabolism by eating whole foods. But that’s me.
Also, Zurvita is an MLM and people who sell Zeal for Life products, called Consultants, are told up front that any earnings are based on performance. So if you bust your butt hawking Zeal supplements, maybe—just maybe—it won’t be Death of a Salesman but rather We’re in the Money. Probably not, though.
And lastly, I am put off by Zurvita’s “higher way of life” slogan. Come on, folks. This is nonsense. And meanwhile, the Jarvises are getting filthy rich(er).
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