Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Is Herbal Life Healthy?

Is Herbal Life Healthy?

I’ve been biting my tongue on this subject for quite some time now but I feel it’s the right time to educate the general public on this area and give you a few facts on Herbal Life that you may not knew about.

For those of you that aren’t sure what Herbal Life is then it’s a supplement company that pride themselves on being completely healthy and great for weight loss.

It seems that more and more people are using Herbal Life for their nutrition now. Only the other day I got an email from a Herbal Life representative trying to sell me a range of their “healthy weight loss supplements”. And only yesterday, I got a phone call from another one trying to sell me the benefits of their supplement range.

Not only that but it appears that many personal trainers and fitness experts of late are now endorsing herbal life as a healthy weight loss system for their clients without maybe completely understanding what ingredients go into these supplements and what impact they will have on liver health and hormone health.

First of all, let me just clarify by saying that I’m not questioning whether any of their weight loss systems get RESULTS. They clearly do and they will certainly have hundreds of testimonials to back their claims up, which is great!

But I guess, we as individuals have to decide and understand what is TRUELY health and what is not?

I wanted to quickly show you some of the ingredients that Herbal Life use in their main  shakes and bars:


So let’s give you a few facts about some of the ingredients in some of their products:

Soy Protein – Soya is one of the most heavily sprayed crops out there meaning it will add to your toxic load and over burden the liver. Most modern soy foods are not fermented which means the toxins aren’t neutralised. It is also processed in a way that can increase levels of carcinogens. Carcinogens are the substances capable of causing cancer in living tissue.

And if that wasn’t enough then I’ve highlighted some other points as to why Soya is not as healthy as we’d like to think it is:

Ø  Free Glutamic Acid or MSG is a highly potent neuro-toxin that is formed during soy processing. A neuro toxin means that the liver cannot break it down so it sends it straight to your brain.

Ø  Soy foods contain high amounts of aluminium which is toxic to the nervous system and kidneys.

Ø  Soy foods increase the body’s requirement for vitamin D

Ø  Trypsin inhibitors in soy interfere with protein digestion and can cause problems with the pancreas.

Ø  Soy phyto estrogens found in soy beans and soy products can play havoc with your hormones, screw up your thyroid gland and have the ability to cause infertility and promote breast cancer in woman.

Ø  Another point to note that has nothing to do with the affects soy has on the body but I thought was unbelievable is that soybean farming has caused more loss of the Amazon rain forest than cattle ranching has. What a waste!

I could go on forever about the health implications of soy but if you want more clarification on why Soy is bad for you and then a great book to read is “The Whole Soy Story” by Kaayla T. Daniel from the Weston Price Foundation.

Anyway, let’s carry on with the other ingredients J

Sucrose, dextrose, sucralose,– All of these ingredients are artificial sweeteners and are MUCH stronger than normal sugar so will have a huge impact on the hormone insulin. If insulin is constantly being spiked throughout the day with food that is high in glycaemic load then you won’t be losing fat any time soon. Too much sugar makes you fat (especially around the love handle area) and gives you diabetes but if you want 146 more reasons WHY you should give up the white stuff then read this staggering article I wrote a while back:

Herbal Life also use a sweetener called Acesulfame K in their products. I have written about the health implications of this controversial sweetener before.

Acesulfame Potassium (non-nutrive sweetener) - otherwise known as Acesulfame K is another popular sweetener that many manufacturers use. It’s also found in food and beverages aswell.

The problem with Acesulfame is that there have been no long term studies done on it. Acesulfame K contains the carcinogen methylene chloride.
Long-term exposure to methylene chloride can cause headaches, depression, nausea, mental confusion, liver effects, kidney effects, visual disturbances and cancer in humans.

There has been a great deal of controversy to the use of acesulfame K but at this time, the Foods Standards Agency has not asked for any tests to be done on this sweetener.

Emulsifiers – Soya Lechtin is an emulsifier used to stop water and fats from separating which basically helps improve a products shelf life. We’ve just spoken about why soy is detrimental to our health.

Anti-caking agents – An anti-caking agent is an additive put into powder based products to stop lumps forming. Any kind of additive used in a food product (in particular protein powders) isn’t really designed to be in us and so the body will recognise it as toxic.


Let me ask the question again…

Is Herbal Life “Healthy”?

I’ll leave you to make your own mind up…

As a fitness professional that promotes
health and eating the way mother nature intended us to eat, I'm afraid I simply cannot endorse a weight loss system that allows you to eat toxic food that will stress out the liver.

I really hate to be a party pooper on this but the ingredients used in herbal life’s supplements (stated above) will unfortunately compromise the liver and if the liver is ALWAYS dealing with chemicals and toxins coming in then people will find it harder to lose those last few extra pounds. Not only that but overall health will eventually be compromised aswell.

Surely a few toxins are OK in moderation though right?

Well, Yes…But the problem with “moderation” is that NO ONE CAN DO IT which is why we have an obesity epidemic on at the moment, which is why we are SICKER than ever before in our history and is why NO ONE is getting awesome fat loss results from their training programmes.

So these days, most people can’t do a few toxins and haven’t been for quite some time now

Here’s how toxins affect your liver and your ability to drop body fat.

When you put food in your body that’s either allergenic or stresses out the liver, your body cannot deal with all these toxins coming in. It also DOESN’T want them in your blood stream for very long so it sends them to the adipose tissue (your fat cells) to be stored out of the way.

This is why you gain fat so quickly if you’re eating toxic food all the time.

So basically when you STOP putting toxins into your body, your liver can go back to doing its job. It can then start dealing with the excess toxins that are stored in the body fat, so it will get rid of the toxins AND the body fat that it’s stored in.

The liver also produces sex hormone binding globulins which are responsible for cleaning up androgens like testosterone and estrogen. But if your liver is stressed and its working over time trying to deal with chemicals and toxins coming in, then it either sends out dysfunctional sex hormone binding globulins or doesn’t send any out at all, which means that this excess estrogen has to be stored somewhere and unfortunately for woman it will be the leg and bum area and for guys it will be the man boob area.

So your liver health is the key to fat loss.

Ok so now that we understand a bit more about how toxic food affects the liver, let’s talk about how we can go about restoring TRUE health and losing fat…for good:

1) Stay away from toxic food and anything that stresses out the liver. Focus on eating organic lean proteins like beef, chicken, turkey, sea food and eat plenty of organic fruit and vegetables.

2) Drink plenty of fresh clean water. Steer clear of tap water because it’s VERY dirty and not as clean as we think it is! If you want to know why I don’t drink tap water then check this article I wrote a while back:

3) Manage your insulin levels better. Avoid spiking your insulin with too much sugar and artificial sweeteners. Focus on foods that have little effect on insulin and foods that are low in glycaemic load if you want to lose fat and stay healthy.

4) Get READY for the ONSLAUGHT! Herbal Life are REALLY starting to target fit pros and personal trainers to sell on their supplements to their clients so expect to see a lot more “professionals” fronting their products. To be honest with you, I really don’t have a problem with what fit pro’s choose to endorse however I do feel that it’s my duty as a fat loss coach to educate people more on the truth behind these “healthy” supplement companies.

5) Be WARY of supplement companies that claim that they are 100% healthy because quite often they are not. Check the ingredients out for yourself before you take the supplement company’s word for it. Be aware of additives, preservatives and sweeteners, especially in protein bars & shakes. Food that is toxic will stress out the liver and sweeteners will spike your insulin.

And that’s it!

I hope that’s given you a bit more of an insight into Herbal Life and has given you more of an understanding into the ingredients they use in their supplements.
Peace out J

Sam Winkworth
Body Transformation Specialist

PS - If you would like to transform your body and regain your health in just 28 days without the use of supplements then I'll be holding a free taster week at any one of my 3 fat loss Bootcamp venues in the Sevenoaks & Tonbridge area. It starts on Monday 7th October, you can come along to as many fat loss workouts as you like and you will also receive a FREE 7 day meal plan aswell.

Text or call me on 07817 403398 to reserve your place or you can go to www.evolutionbootamp.com to see some awesome body transformation photos from current members.There's only 5 places up fro grabs so if you want to take advantage of this free week then dont hang about.


Anonymous said...

Spelling error...it's Herbalife. Can't say I trust your judgement when you can't spell the company name.

Charliept said...

Herbalife has a whole board of top Doctors ensuring the products are healthy and scientifically sound. One of them is a Nobel Prize Winner! Plus top atheletes use them.

Lee Sam said...

If 'Herbal Life' is so unhealthy, why are their products used by so many top athletes and sports teams such as LA Galaxy and Barcelona FC? Please explain.

Kay-Leigh Richardson said...

Herbalife are the only company who can call their skin and hair products "outer nutrition".

Anonymous said...

What a load of rubbish the Herbal life meal replacement is very low GI and won't spike the insulin level as you have stated also they have 100% control over the soy that is put into the products therefore won't use a huge array of pesticides etc whilst farming.

Such a typical Personal Trainer not doing your research properly! (and that comes from a PT myself). You can't be very busy if you have time to sit and write rubbish like this all day. Why not get off your ass and help some people


Apologies for any typos guys! I wrote this quite late at night and I tend to write quite fast when I'm passionate about a subject, so "anonymous"', if you'd care to leave your name and details then maybe you'd like to meet up and discuss the article in more detail. I understand if you don't, just seems a bit strange that your not revealing your identity that's all? I have nothing to hide :-)

In reply to CharliePT's and Lee Sam's comments, just because top athletes and football clubs use them, does it make them automatically healthy?

After all, it was only 50 odd years ago that smoking was deemed to be healthy by doctors no?

I understand that we all have our own views on nutrition and we are all very passionate when it comes to our subject but I guess (like the article outlined), we as individuals have to decide what is TRULY health and what isn't?

I personally don't have a problem with PT's endorsing Herbal Life, it's none of my business but I guess what I'm saying is that if we're trying to promote health then we should have a good knowledge base on the ingredients that supplement companies use and the affect that each ingredient will have on liver health and hormonal health.

In reply to "anonymous's" second comment: (sorry, I'm not sure if you're the same person who made the first comment and I guess we'll never know?):

Are you saying that acesulfame K is low GI and healthy?Because here is where I would respectfully disagree. I have plenty of research on the impact of acesulfame k on insulin and health if you'd like to see it?

In reply to your comment "you can't be very busy if you have to sit down and write rubbish like this all day." Well that's a shame that you feel like this, if you think that educating the public on ingredients that go into various supplements is "rubbish" then I'm afraid we are worlds apart my friend.






Anonymous said...

Why do top athletes and sports teams use herbalife... Am sure being paid alot of money to endorse it has nothing to do with it!!!!!!
I have no idea why Doctors that work for herbalife and are paid a lot of money by them would recommend it tho... Must be good stuff ay ;-)

Anonymous said...

Absolute madness....so i take it you have a Phd in nutrition do you or is it opinions of another your using, Herbalife has testing facilities in the biggest universities in America and have the best scientist who create these products and use them one of whom has Nobel peace prize and was voted best Dr in the US this year and sits on the world Nutrition board but ofcourse your extensive research has showed you this...5.4 billion dollar company and growing THAT IS ALL!!!

Anonymous said...

Exactly 5.4 billion dollar company... If drs cured illness instead of prescribing drugs then they would make no money from the drug companies same goes here, THE DRS ARE HIGHLY PAID BY HERBALIFE, They will recommend anything if they are paid enough!!!!
Why not just recommend eating natural organic food and drinking plenty of water.... BECAUSE NOBODY WILL PAY THEM $millions TO RECOMMEND THAT!!!

Claudio Timbers said...

Physical fitness is a good thing to have on your side. It will help you through your entire life and makes tackling the struggles of each day easier. Just as important is your financial fitness. If your finances are not in order your entire life will be thrown off because of it free weights

Anonymous said...

I actually think herbal life is gd everyone had thier own view on it personal I'm on my second week and happy needed help with loosing weight need my confidence back sooo really think as it stops me eating all the crap how can it be bad for u or is it better not to eat all all get my drift!

Thefactualfoodie61 said...

Notwithstanding all the extraneous and unnecessary junk in Herbalife formulations. The writer would be well to learn the difference between artificial sweeteners and genuine sugars. Sucrose, or saccarose IS table sugar. Dextrose is not an artificial sweetener, but another form of sugar in the same way that fructose (found in all fruit) is a sugar. If only proponents of healthy lifestyles, took time to ensure accuracy in their writings, they would not lay themselves open to challenge!

Della said...

this is a great post! I think u should make a logo for your page, because when I was sharing the page on facebook the Lee Sam logo was showing in the preview! lol