Because I do a lot of honest product reviews, I’ve received a ton of requests to review Plexus. I’ve had several people tell me it’s “all natural” and offer to send me some. This proves just how uneducated people are regarding these products. And that’s why I do these reviews. Inevitably, people question my motive behind doing products reviews. And the answer is simple: people should know what they’re spending their hard earned money on. Most people can’t read these labels and decipher what is and what isn’t harmful. Most people don’t know that folic acid is synthetic and has been linked to cancer. Most people don’t know that higenamine is a stimulant that’s been linked to serious side effects. Most people don’t even know what grass-fed whey is.

I do these reviews because the truth is important to me, and if a company isn’t willing to provide it – I will. I’ve decided to start grading the products and companies I review, and Plexus gets and F. Here’s why.

Plexus Slim

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Accelertor +

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Plexus Boost

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Higenamine

Higenamine is essentially a stimulant.

 In some parts of the body it causes tissues to relax. In other parts of the body, such as the heart, it causes tissue to contract. It seems to increase heart contractions and speed up the heart rate…Higenamine is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth. The purified or extracted chemical higenamine has not been studied in people. Therefore, its safety is not clear. However, higenamine is one of the main chemicals in a plant called aconite. Aconite has been shown to cause serious heart-related side effects including arrhythmias and even death. These side effects from aconite ingestions may, in part, be caused by the higenamine chemical. Source

Higenamine causes increaded blood pressure and heart rate – making it especially dangerous for anyone suffering from hypertension, heart issues and nervous system problems (including issues like anxiety).

Hordenine

Hordenine is yet another stimulant. This particular stimulant effects the central nervous system (which is horrible for those with anxiety issues) and has shown to cause increased blood pressure and negatively effects the cardiovascular, respiratory and nervous systems.

Stimulants are simply not safe. When one is banned, others pop up – often until the FDA bans the new ones and the cycle continues. Just because something is naturally or plant derived does not make it safe. Stimulants can cause rapid heartbeat, arrhythmia, disrupt the central nervous system, cause cardiovascular issues and so much more. What happened to just eating real food to lose weight?

Caralluma + Garcinia Cambogia

Caralluma and garcinia cambogia are both appetite suppressants. Let me explain something about hunger: it is the body’s way of sending signals to the brain saying “Give me nutrients!” Yes, hunger is not some evil plan your body has to make you gain weight. Our bodies are incredibly intelligent – everything we feel and experience has a meaning. And hunger means your body needs nutrients. What happens when you take appetite suppressants? Hunger may be reduced, but so are the nutrients you’re consuming. This sets you up for nutrient deficiencies, hormonal imbalance, mood disorders and a ton of other dangerous side effects.

Stimulants – which already reduce hunger – combined with appetite suppressants are only unhealthy, they’re unsafe.

Polydextrose

Polydextrose is a synthetic form of glucose and a food additive. It is often made from corn, which is largely a GMO crop.

Natural Flavors

I take issue with anything listed as “natural flavors.” Because chances are, it’s not all that natural. Hell, even monosodium glutamate (MSG) can be masquerading as a natural flavor. The labeling is loosely regulated. In Food Rules: A Doctor’s Guide To Healthy Eating, Dr. Shanahan discusses a study in which 95% of ingredients listed as “natural flavor” contained MSG.

As for “natural” flavor, it could even be secretions from a beaver’s butt. Beavers secrete castoreum, which smells and tastes remarkably similar to vanilla.

Castoreum is a chemical compound that mostly comes from a beaver’s castor sacs, which are located between the pelvis and the base of the tail. Because of its close proximity to the anal glands, castoreum is often a combination of castor gland secretions, anal gland secretions, and urine…Still concerned you’re chowing down on beaver-bum goop? Because of its FDA label, in some cases, manufacturers don’t have to list castoreum on the ingredient list and may instead refer to it as “natural flavoring.” Yum. Source

I’m not saying Plexus definitely uses beaver butt, but without transparency in labeling…there’s really no way to know.

Folic Acid

Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate, which has proven to be particularly problematic. Folate is a naturally occurring water soluble B vitamin. Folic acid, however, is a synthesized form of folate that the body is unable to properly absorb or utilize.

In fact, folic acid supplementation has even been linked to cancer.

…in the Journal of the American Medical Association — suggesting that all the extra folic acid might increase your odds of developing cancer. “The more we learn about folic acid, the more it’s clear that giving it to everyone has very real risks,” says folic acid researcher David Smith, PhD, a professor of pharmacology at the University of Oxford in England.

Another study out of Chile linked folic acid supplementation with an increased risk of colon cancer.

And yet another study out of Norway linked folic acid supplementation with a 21% increase in lung caner.

Folic acid and B12 supplementation was associated with a 21% increased risk for cancer, a 38% increased risk for dying from the disease, and an 18% increase in deaths from all causes.

While folate is a necessary part of a balanced diet, folic acid has actually been linked to increased rates of cancer (another source for ya).

Plexus 96

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I called Plexus directly to inquire about they source of whey and how it’s processed. I was instructed to email their products department, which I did. I also reached out to an independent distributor and asked – he had no idea. I left two comments on the Plexus Facebook page and sent them a direct message as well. The comments went entirely unanswered, and Plexus responded to my direct message instructing me to email the products department. As of now, I have not received a response and I’m likely not going to. I also directly tweeted at Plexus asking if their whey is grass-fed, no response.

Because Plexus is literally refusing to answer my questions surrounding the whey they use, I’m forced to assume that they whey they use is inorganic. I also couldn’t find any information on their website about their whey. If their products were organic, non-GMO and grass-fed, they’d advertise that because it’s a huge selling point. Consumers want transparency and honesty. I know wouldn’t want to purchase from a company that refuses to answer questions and who doesn’t educate its distributors.

So what’s the problem with whey that isn’t organic or grass-fed?

For starters – it’s not healthy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of whey protein. You can check out the protein shake I make using it here. Majority of whey protein, and I’m assuming what Plexus uses in their products, comes from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).  These animals are not on pasture, eating grass as they were meant to. Cows are meant to eat grass, the bovine consumption of corn and soy – which are two of the highest genetically modified crops – causes infections in the cow and raises the omega-6 content while lowering the omega-3 content (making the whey much more inflammatory). In fact, this study demonstrated how organic dairy contains 62% more omega-3s and 25% less omega-6 fatty acids than inorganic dairy. Vitamins, particularly A, E, D and K are also higher in grass-fed dairy.

Maltodextrin

Maltodextrin is a processed food additive, usually derived from GMO corn or wheat. If derived from wheat, this would not be a gluten-free product.

Soy Lecithin

Likely derived from GMO soy.

Plexus MegaX

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I wanted to touch on the Plexus omega-3 supplement because I’ve done a lot of research on omega-3s and I would never waste my money on this product for one big reason: plant based omega-3s are not nearly as healthy, effective or useful as animal based omega-3s. This is because plant based omega-3s are in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), not docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) or eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).

ALA is very poorly converted to EPA and DHA; you can read more about that here and here. ALA does not provide the anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular or brain benefits that EPA and DHA do. You’re better off using the fish oil I recommend. Using an ALA based omega-3 is basically a huge waste of money.

In conclusion.

What ever happened to eating real food? Have we become so lackadaisical and disconnected as a society that we constantly search for quick fixes – even at the cost of health? I understand the need and desire to lose weight, but it is not worth the cost of your health. It is not worth filling your body with dangerous stimulants and appetite suppressants. It’s not worth drinking mystery whey. Know what you’re eating and where it comes from.

There’s a simpler and cheaper way to lose weight: eat real food. Eat unprocessed, whole, organic foods. Wouldn’t it be nice to not just eat healthy food, but enjoy it? It’s possible and it’s the healthiest thing you can do for your body. But this, these products, this is not health.

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43 Comments

  1. Kurt Smith Reply

    Thank you for your observations and insight. My ex-wife is a Plexus ambassador and driving me nuts. Claiming Plexus products can fix; brain injury, my blood sugars related to my accident destroyed pancreas, MS for God’s sake. I wish you would review all Plexus products and expose them for the incredibly overpriced scam that they are. Thanks again.

  2. I think it seems that people who cannot spell or pronounce many of the ingredients, this should be a red flag from the “All Natural” ingredients that it claims. Shame on the FDA to allow such a product on the market. But I do suppose that they allow fruity candies and gummy candies on the market and say they are healthy also. Thank you for your post. I appreciate your honesty and candor.

    • The FDA doesn’t review this stuff…..supplements AND vitamins alike are NOT subject to the rigorous and drawn out phases of research that medications/devices are.
      (From someone in clinical research for 10 years)

  3. Just wanted to add that citric acid as an added ingredient is never from citrus (that I’ve ever found). It’s made from corn or beets which are GMO unless otherwise stated.

  4. Andrea Ratkovic Reply

    I love the “all-natural” argument and those idiots who compare companies who AREN’T multi-level marketing companies to those who are by saying, effectively, that the CEO and upper management are “recruiting” you to make money. LMAO! I feel sorry for those who use this spiel b/c they clearly don’t understand what sets an MLM apart from a corporation or any other form of business; they are all different which is why they are called different names. Duh!
    Anyway, oleander leaves are all-natural too…you’re not going to catch me making a tea out of them.

  5. Are you saying Folate will provide the B vitamin and B12 is not needed?

  6. Kerry Trumble Reply

    thank you, thank you! for this review…..i have bounced back and forth between “should i or shouldn’t i”……i am 57 and really seeking and desiring more products that are organic and non-gmo……i was leary of plexus from the get-go but more and more of my own friends are claiming the goodness of plexus and i was perPLEXed……thank you for clearing it up in my mind to NOT pursue this product……

  7. I know several folks who are taking this and others who sell it. One person had his cholesterol cut in half, others have given up allergy meds. Lots have lost weight. It is very confusing when you hear these results from people who are using it and then hear this bad report on the ingredients! I am afraid if I share this, people will just say that person doesn’t know what they are talking about or they are from another company similar to Plexus and just want to cut them down. What a dilemma!

    • dani Reply

      The people who say those things benefit financially if you buy the product…so I’m wary of their actual results when taking these products.

      • Anyone who sells anything benefits financially when you buy it. But no one should sell something they don’t believe in.

    • Also, just because something gives you good results for a short time does not mean it’s good for you long term. Loosing weight period can change all those other things.

  8. Most of the people saying they are losing weight are not only taking the pills but also starting dieting, drinking more water, and exercising. Even without the pills, if you make all the other changes, you will lose weight. I have done weight watchers and lose about 2 pounds a week or so. I tried plexus and started weight watchers and exercising and lost the same amount of weight but also an aditional $164 a month. I didn’t get any extra benifit from doing the plexus vs just weight watchers.

  9. Great information. The claims that these ambassadors are now making seems to be ‘gut health’ not weightless. I am not sure what , if anything, changed in the products but I believe it was just a strategic shift in marketing. They are staying weight loss is just a side effect of the gut health. It’s not called Pleaus Gut Health. The claims some of the ambassadors make are dangerous but anuthing for a buck!

    They also just released a new product or two….edge, which looks like simply a stimulant.

    Thank you for all your efforts to educate.

    • That proves one more time how Plexus is LEGIT. Plexus is constantly improving, switching from weight loss to gut health was not a strategic shift in marketing. Who would let go the market of weight loss?? Educate people on Gut health is waaay harder. They did that because that’s what some of their product do, and because gut health is key to true health and in consequence weight loss. Everyone wants the magic pill, Plexus DO NOT promise that. In fact Plexus LOST a lot of ambassadors and business because of this shift. They want to focus in Health first, not weight loss, again because they know you can’t make people lose weight with pill, health is the way. Unfortunately there are some Ambassador they will say anything to make a buck, and Plexus kick them out when they insist in doing, did you know that? They are in total alignment with the FDA and constantly checking false claims. Is Plexus harmful? NO WAY, take any Plexus product to your Doctor and see what he will say. Will Plexus work for everyone? No, but is definitely safe for anyone to try, and if someone is sick or in not “normal” conditions they should ALWAYS consult their Doctor first.
      By the way the product Edge is FANTASTIC for any coffee drinker that wants to ditch that nasty black liquid that surely irritates any intestines, yes is caffeine plus two other ingredients that give you alertness but no jitteriness. FYI All the coffee that people drink is stale and horrible for your health. Coffee has to be organic, fresh, roasted, grinded and consumed immediately so one can get the promised benefits of coffee.

  10. I wish I had seen this review last year. Unfortunately, I was sucked into taking Plexus and still have lingering effects of the product. I took it for several months, before I started having problems and various pains. I did go to the doctor and after many tests determined the problem. I have no proof that Plexus brought on my symptoms, but I firmly believe it did. My doctor said to quit taking Plexus immediately.

  11. Have you had a chance to review any of their other products? I’m considering Nerve and Ease to help with post-herpetic neuralgia (in my 4th year), but haven’t purchased it yet. Still researching myself but can’t find anything but corporate sponsored info. I took myself off all other drugs (the list is extremely long) my doc tried to control this, but I’m staying with Norco (hydrocodone) for pain until I can find something that works. Anyway, a friend selling this talked to me about it and she’s calling contacts at the company for info specifically for this neuralgia. I’m also allergic to some ingredients she has to check on. If you reviewed it or looked into it, I’d love to know. Thanks!

    • dani Reply

      I haven’t looked into that product – unfortunately there are just too many products in the Plexus line for me to review them all.

    • Hi Mer Haugh — I just wanted to say one thing that works AMAZING for nerve pain is Hypericum 30C. You can buy it for like $6 on Amazon, I use the Boiron brand, it is homeopathic. I have had a gazillion shingles outbreaks and still suffer from post herpetic neuralgia, and this has been a life saver for me.

      Good luck!

  12. Wonderful, unbiased review. Thank you!
    If you could review some of their other products, that would be awesome. I know there are quite a few different products, however, Plexus is really starting to integrate into Canada and it’s driving me insane.
    Two of my SIL’s are ambassadors and it’s really starting to drive a wedge through my husbands side of the family. Between the ridiculous claims and their total dishonesty about how their sales pitches are based on profit, not actual concern for people’s health (it IS an MLM company), I am actually concerned for their clients (mostly family members) who are duped into buying this expensive junk. Claiming to balance blood sugars, solve issues with diabetes, MS, autism, thyroids, ADHD and many other ailments; all the while pushing the unproven conditions of leaky gut and candida….my eyes couldn’t roll further back into my head.
    Having good, unbiased reviews of the ingredients would certainly help counter their glowing, cult-driven reviews and promotions of their products.
    I totally support healthy living and eating. I also understand that some bodies need extra boosts via supplements or probiotics. However, with all this unregulated hype, I refuse to consume any product distributed under the Plexus name.

  13. I have a friend who started taking a couple Plexus products, and she says she feels better. She says she trusts her friend and has seen that it “works” for her. When asked about scientific evidence or testing, she hadn’t seen anything. She says she is gluten intolerant, allergic to dairy, and something else. I saw all the information you provided and am concerned. Not sure how to approach her further.

  14. OMG! That was the most intellectual review of the “MLM SCAM PLEXUS” I have ever read. It is like the crowned “Ambassadors” in the Plexus cult, look so ignorant, it is truly embarrassing. How can supposed educated people lie to their friends and families regarding serious medical conditions the Plexus is a cure all. It makes me sick. Thank you for all your information. I believe even if 1 person will stand up for what is honest, that is he beginning of change!

  15. I personally have Gastroparesis brought on by a flu vaccination. I have been suffering for 13 years until I tried Plexus. Everyone has their own opinion about everything. That doesn’t mean it is right. By the way, Plexus doesn’t claim to be all natural. They say they are plant based. People hear what they want to hear I guess

  16. Thank you! I have kidney stones and gout and three people have come to me on trying plexus. I was having some issues figuring out how this product would help my issues so I was researching ingredients. And I found you!!!

    • dani Reply

      I would definitely not take these products to improve gout. Best of luck Jamie!!

  17. It’s funny because you talk about the Plexus 96 being possibly GMO because of the soy but you failed to post the rest of the labels on these products which specifically say NON GMO

    • dani Reply

      Actually that was my point. Majority of soy is GMO so if the other labels say “non-GMO” and the one with soy doesn’t, you can almost guarantee it’s genetically modified soy.

  18. I started Plexus on Sunday (Vital Biome & X Factor Plus) I had a severe anxiety attack Tuesday, my breasts are so swollen and tender (extreme PMS symptoms when mid cycle), constipated for 3 days which is not normal. Insane mood swings. I have written 2 ambassadors in regards to my symptoms wondering if I’m detoxing or what is going on. I have yet to receive a response. And when I posted on a post in the Gut, Health & Happiness group on FB my comment was immediately deleted. I said nothing bad about the product. I was merely stating what I was experiencing and asking for some insight. If they stood by their products they should not be scared of a question and delete anything that isn’t fluff! I will not support this company now seeing how they treat people who aren’t all on the Placebo effect!

    • dani Reply

      Those are not detox symptoms. That is an adverse reaction to the products. It infuriates me that you’re being treated this way and that people recommended these products to you and are ignoring you because you’re having a bad reaction. That is NOT okay. This is how this organization operates. I wish I could say I’m surprised that they deleted your comment. These people don’t care about the health or safety of others, it’s all about making money.

      I’m not even saying this as a health professional but as a decent human being – please stop taking those products. It sounds like they could be dangerous for you.

  19. I was sucked into trying Plexus a couple years ago when it seemed new. I wish I would have read this article first. I ended up with severe stomach pains after only taking it a couple weeks. Ended up wasting lots of time at the doctor and even had to have a scope done! He concluded that everything looked normal, but said my natural stomach acids were probably messed up from the Plexus and it would take several months to get back to normal.
    I wish I didn’t listen to the person who sold me the Plexus! She told me the pain was the die off from bad bacteria. She does not have a medical degree! Yikes! Anyway! I feel much better after all of this time off Plexus and I want to warn people so they don’t make the same mistake I did!!! Also, I never received my money back guarantee and they make it almost impossible to cancel your auto ship! I was on hold for at least an hour trying to cancel it! Beware people!!

  20. I have fibromyalgia and am in several online support groups. It seems that there is an Ambassador in every group who claims to no longer have symptoms of Fibromyomyalgia and are off of medical drugs because of Plexis. I am beginning to wonder, after reading your article, if Ambassadors are joining the groups because they know that we are desperate for answers. I feel that I need to put a link to this article every time I see this happen.

    • dani Reply

      Be forewarned – every time someone shares this article in a Plexus group, the “ambassadors” just bash me and ignore the plethora of legitimate information I provide in the article. Plexus, I’ve found, is one of the worst MLMs in terms of cult mentality, making money off of people and playing off of their health issues. Many people have emailed me to tell me their “ambassador” started ignoring them after they had bad reactions to the products. Be aware of anyone saying they cured something while trying to sell to you.

      • Dani, I hope you also make articles talking about the “SCAM” of strawberries, nuts, milk, meat, shrimp, etc. because that are people that literally died eating those foods and many others. Plexus doesn’t claim their products will work for everyone, that’s why they have 60 days money back. 60!!! You can costume the whole bottle and get your money back!! Try to do that at a GNC or you Whole Foods, good luck. No other supplement company does that. By the way their return rate is only at 1%. Plexus is not a scam, far away from it is a LEGIT supplement company and Network Marketing business. By the way, DETOX SYMPTOMS are NO JOKE. From withdrawals to poisoning yourself from your own toxins that you are now releasing, it feels terrible sometimes. If you ever do a REAL detox you will feel like shit for a while trust me.

        • dani Reply

          The difference is that strawberries, nuts, milk, meat, shrimp, etc. are all nature-made foods, not man-made, overly processed, cheap ingredients. Also not sure you want to compare your products to someone dying from eating contaminated food…

          • I’m not talking about contaminated foods, I’m talking clean Natural foods that caused bad reactions in people. Not everything nature-made is good for everyone, and some are not good for anyone, by the way. UNFORTUNATELY, because of farming bad practices and market competition plus greed, our food is ALL messed up and lacking all the nutrients we need. Is nearly impossible to get all the nutrients we should be getting from foods alone, no matter how natural, because the big corporations are ruining everything, even if you get from local farming, our soil is not the same anymore. If you are a meat eater, OMG, good luck, if humans are not getting good food what do you think they are feeding 19 Billions stock animals? :0 I HATE to say this, but nowadays we need supplements to get everything we need to try to thrive. Nothing can beat Natural Foods, but Until we fix this mess you better get some good quality supplements. Plexus is trying to do it’s best to deliver high quality supplements, they are constantly improving and opted to use Network Marking method instead of usual marketing.

          • dani

            There are better supplements than ones that contain folic acid (which has been linked to cancer), stimulants, soy, cheap omegas and GMO whey. For example, I take organic, 100% food-based supplements with nothing synthetic and no fillers.

    • dani Reply

      You can type “GMO” in the search bar of my site, I’ve written numerous articles and linked to countless independent and scientific studies providing that information.

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