Goji, Noni, Mangosteen and Acai: Don’t Believe the Hype

By Jim F

A few weeks ago my significant other came home clutching a bottle of Açai (ah-sigh-ee) Juice.

An involuntary groan escaped my lips. A well-meaning marketer had foisted the ‘superjuice’ bottle upon her – claiming it would help with a multitude of health ailments.

I was deeply suspicious (as most people are when someone who recommends a product also happens to sell it).

However – I now have some facts to go with my suspicions – thanks to Australia’s largest consumer organization Choice.Choice compared a number of these so-called super-juices and found that:

  • their health claims are exaggerated.
  • the products are overpriced.
  • most of the drinks are sold via a Network Marketing (or MLM) process.

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Certainly the drinks contain a range of nutrients, but you may be surprised at the (often touted) antioxidant content.

For example (Note: TAC means Total Antioxidant Capacity)

  • You’d need to drink almost five 30mL serves of Tahitian Noni Juice to match the TAC of a navel orange (2540).
  • Three 30mL serves of Xanberry Mangosteen Juice Plus would still fall short of matching the TAC of a cup of strawberries (5938), raspberries (6058) or cultivated blueberries (9019).
  • The TAC of the humble Red Delicious apple (5900) is roughly equivalent to ten 30mL serves of Himalayan Goji Juice.

What about the scientific evidence? Choice provides some examples of potential health benefits. However real clinical trials on humans are scarce.

The Bottom Line

Fruit contains a vast array of nutrients – and most of us are not consuming enough fruits or vegetables. However, no single fruit or food will ever be the solution for all of our ailments, and – if anything – a diverse diet is best.

These super-juices are pricey and come with a number of spurious and anecdotal health claims.

Be sensible and wise. It’s both sad and astonishing to see people with a diet consisting of pie and chips believing that a bottle of super-juice will make them well (via)

71 Comments

  1. gema

    anything you buy you buy it to a seller..so, the fact that the seller is also a networker must be irrelevant to you…. unless you want to see the check the networker receives for do that… you may change ypur mind about selling on mlm … wish you all success!

    Reply
  2. Tommy Wrong

    Honestly just make smoothies, coming from someone who does enjoy cosuming a large amount of fruit a day I have managed to make a descent amount of of great drinks without recipes. Combine fruit you think would go well, natural juices, strawberry yogurt (all I have access too) and ice. Ex today I made a raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, blueberry, cherry, strawberry yogurt, and all natural dragon fruit, goji, acai juice. Just a thought.

    Reply
  3. Neil C. Reinhardt

    I THINK THOSE LIKE JIM FOSTER WHO DO NOT KNOW WHAT THE HELL THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT SHOULD GET OFF THEIR LAZY
    ASSES AND GET THE FACTS!

    I HAVE BEEN DRIKING NONI JUICE AND WHEN NEEDED, USING IT TOPICALLY FOR IN ABOUT 20 DAYS FOR 16 YEARS!

    Reply
  4. mila

    Me myself I just star to drink the xango juice end I will see
    If is going to work on not but on my point of view I think there just lieng to lott of poor end mizerable end dispratly people

    Reply
  5. Jenny

    It is like any product or service. unless you have tried it yourself then you are in no predicament to say what works and what doesn’t.

    Reply
  6. Alia

    I personally have tried both Monavie (a well known acai juice) and Xango (a well known mangosteen juice) because my mom asked me to. The acia wasn’t helpful in the slightest, but it stasted pretty good. The mangosteen on the other hand was very good. It isn’t just mangosteen in the Xango there’s a multitude of other fruits in there as well. I was at one point about 180 pounds and I’ve lost almost 20 pounds on the Xango. I also recently decided to try Eliviv, a chlorophyll product by Xango that’s said to do a lot of great things like increase your energy levels and stabalize your horomones. I’ve been over sleeping a lot less since I started taking it, I’ve stopped craving caffine and taking 5hour energy I drink less coffee and I tend to be in a better mood so I’m told. So Monavie is crap, and I can’t tell you if mangosteen and chlorophyll are good or whether it’s just Xango, but it works. When my mom told me she was going to do it, I rolled my eyes and thought “Not another stupid scam.” but it works so far.

    Reply
  7. Dracos

    I agree with what you’re saying but in my opinion, it’s kind of difficult to maintain a truly healthy/balanced diet and am always concerned about getting proper nutrition from my diet. Unless you sit there and calculate exactly what you’re getting from every meal; try and create every meal from a nutritional perspective or go into the doctor for blood work, most people would never know if they’re getting proper nutrition or not. I do try to cook with a nice variety of vegetables in every meal where my wok is literally filled to the brim with different vegetables and the veggie to protein/ carb ratio is like 4:1. So I’m thinking that maybe some so-called “super” fruits such as goji, acai etc. in the dried powder encapsulated form taken more as a nutritional supplement might be a good idea. It’s WAY less expensive in that form and then you can cover a lot of bases that way. Am I wrong in thinking this way? If you pull up nutritional info on goji, it is pretty impressive. Must say though that, I’m with you on the using food as your medicine mentality. You have any good recommendations?

    Reply
  8. alice

    Recent cancer research has uncovered angiogenesis properties in certain foods – they appear to keep cancer cells from developing blood vessels or something like that – (you should be able to tell I’m not a doctor or medical practitioner).
    Anyway, this “property” is different from anti-oxidents and has a lot of attention. Noni which has produced immediate improvements in my aging German Shepherd dog (i.e. no placebo effect there), is reputed to have angiogenetic properties, though maybe not as much as blueberries.
    Time will tell. A new study of 1 million people is in the process of being undertaken to determine exactly which foods and to what extent they have cancer fighting properties, specifically angiogenetic properties – that seems to be well documented at this point in some foods such as bok choy and blueberries.
    So wanted to add this for those skeptics who haven’t considered there may be some new science that proves some foods are a whole lot better than other foods, maybe noni and goji are two of them.
    Didn’t see a date on these comments so I’ll put one here – Sept 11, 2010. See Dr. Oz show as of a couple of days ago or his web site for more info or just do a google search – lots of reports from reputable orgs are coming out on this subject.

    Reply
  9. ALBERT

    Hey Pete you sound like a Xango fan. So in one year you have comsumed any where from 12 to 48 bottles or $480.00 to $1920.00 approx. Which means you will have to spend appox. another $10260.00 to get the same benifits as contained in a $25.00 bottle of Mangosteen containing 120 capsules,a 1.5 to 3 month supply. Xango a litte over priced, I don’t know, you do the math. If Xango was serious about helping you they would concentrate the same formula in to a 12oz bottle and sell it at soft drink pricing. But then those MLM’s wouldn’t hsve to stuggle so hard at making Xango rich while giving you the minimum at a premium price.

    Reply
  10. Ash

    To be fair to the product, I would suggest that the more natural you eat the food. The more you can get the natural nutrients of the food. Which means that it will be effective. So don’t just buy a product because it contains the ingredients you need. Much better if you eat the acai berry fruit or there’s a freeze acai dried powder that you can use in baking your cake or you can mix it in your food.

    there’s a plenty of stores who sell acai berry and freeze acai dried powder. I saw hidalgofoods selling acai powder.

    Reply
  11. Acai

    These super juice supplements are known to rejuvenate the body, increase vitality, help maintain health and improve the quality of life. Gogi, Acai, Mangosteen and Noni are the super juices for maintaining ultimate health.

    Reply
  12. nik

    “Acai Burn” brand and product – complete fraud…it is not associated with Dr. Memet Oz and the freetrail is not free – they falsely promote their product and charge your credit card absurd amount……they should be put out of business for mjisleading customers

    Reply
  13. miriam

    friend of mine was diagnosted w/hepatitis c
    somebody tell her to drink noni juice, after drank several bottles she was clear of the disese.

    Reply
  14. michael d

    If you believe in the benefits of juices then I strongly recommend investing in a powerful juice extracting machine, go to the market every two days
    and make fresh juice on a moment by moment basis(combination of vegetables and fruits).
    You will be absorbing living vitamins and minerals.
    Your body will love it. There’s a whole world of juicing recipes free on the internet. And bottom line it will cost you alot less than buying anything which is bottled-pasteurized-dead and expensive.

    Reply
  15. Mitch

    I would have to agree completely with this article. When taken as a direct supplement, Acai is a very potent antioxident, but you have to know why you are taking it, not just that some trace amount is in a mixed drink. You need to get this from reliable sources-do your research.

    You can check out this blog for my info in regards to Acai berries and the rediculous claims about weightloss they are now making, and also the real benefits of Acai berry. http://blogs.wellnesspartners.com/?p=44

    Reply
  16. Katie

    There are many studies done it that show it is beneficial. However, some of the products might stretch the truth to try and turn a higher profit.

    Reply
  17. exfuze07

    But perhaps Mangosteen’s most remarkable quality, the characteristic that set it apart from every other medicinal fruit, was its remarkable flavor. The soft, snow-white flesh of the inner fruit was sweet and delicious, unlike other local fruits that called for an “acquired taste.” The people of these tropical lands valued the Mangosteen for its healing properties,

    Reply
  18. Melody

    I tried acai berry after I saw the feature on Oprah and I have to say I’m impressed with the results. I ordered a free trial (well, I had to pay shipping but, it was a few dollars) after a few weeks I started noticing an improvement in my immune system.

    Normally, I feel and get sick very often , I have diabetes and my immune system is really weak. I get sick all the time.

    I tried acai since it is a powerful anti-oxidant. For those who don’t know anti-oxiants help to slow down or prevent your body getting damaged from free radicals which can lead to cell dysfunction, heart disease and diabetes. Some say anti-oxidants are goodfor the immune system so that was my main reason to try it out and I believe I’m already starting to see benefits.

    If anybody is interested in trying it out, I got it from here: Acai Body Treats – Acai Berry Free Trials

    Reply
  19. Monavie

    Great stuff.

    Reply
  20. Charlie

    Hey Mike, ever tried it? Hypocrite

    Reply
  21. Mel

    Wow! I’ve tried Acai now, its Fantastic! I lost 15 pounds in my first month but best of all i feel great 🙂 i purchased some a year ago but they did not have any effect. Now i’ve found a company that sells the real deal, and they work for me great. I got mine at http://www.trimaslim.com/ good luck with yours, Mel x

    Reply
  22. Christine

    I completely agree with Darrell that you shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss all of these supplements and ‘superfoods’ as scams. Seeing as how they’re all (for the most part) natural and are usually grown organically, they’ll probably be less toxic than say an apple or peach, which can contain residues of pesticides and other chemicals even after they’re washed. I speak for myself when I say that the majority of these health products are not miracles for the majority of us looking for a quick fix, and I am generally skeptical when it comes to buying into expensive trends with doubtful benefits. But I HAVE eventually (and grudgingly) been persuaded by friends and family to buy some products, such as the Noni juices and Goji fruit and the “Miracle Fruit”, which was the coolest and funnest thing I have ever tried (makes even the most sour things, i.e. lemons and limes, taste as sweet as Skittles. MMM). I think there wss some improvement to my health, though not in huge obvious ways; there was a little less digestive strain and a little more bounce in my step, though that could’ve just been due to everything tasting awesomely sweeter with the Miracle Fruit tablets. Didn’t cure my knee pain or completely stop the frequent headaches, but I haven’t gotten nosebleeds in a long while (that’s a first) and I haven’t gotten a cold or the flu in a while either. Hmmm….
    Well either way there’s nothing wrong with trying these supplements out, and certainly they can’t be worse for you than, say, a month’s supply of some pharmaceutical concoction with a frighteningly long list of potential side effects (I tend to buy a lot of those as well). And for the people who scoff that nothing good comes out of buying into something that may not cure cancer or lupus or whatever I have this to say: You believe in the power and effectiveness of good ol’-fashioned FDA-approved drugs, but do you know where some of those proven medicines came from? The rainforest. Yeah, that’s right, same place those supplements are coming from (aspirin originally was culled from the bark of a specific willow tree, forgot which one).

    The worst that can happen is maybe you get an allergic reaction, or it tastes like old cheese & athlete’s foot (the noni juice), or nothing at all. Either way better you spend your money on a hyped-up health juice than a fridge full of Ego waffles, huh?
    Cheers.

    Reply
  23. Darrell

    We must be cautious, but we mustn’t allow our skepticism from seeing the facts:

    – Not all juice is created equal but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t facts and testimonies to back up the claims of some juices

    – the acai berry is the most potent form of anti-oxidant rich fruit overall (even 4 times more on the ORAC scale than goji) It is 15 times more powerful than the anti-oxidant power of blueberries. It has been proven to lower cholesterol, boost the immunite system, help with inflammation and pain, increase metabolism and many, many more benefits. It is the #1 superfood bar none.

    -freeze drying the fruit preserves the nutrients that can be lost in the harvesting process

    As was previously mentioned, Mona-Vie through this process has created an 18 fruit synergistic blend with acai as it’s crown jewel that is helping lives all over

    Sure some of these juices might be expensive but I bet you spend more in a month on junkfood and Starbucks then you would for a case of Mona-Vie.

    Can we really put a price tag on our health when something works?

    Reply
  24. Zane

    fruits and veg’s from a supermarket are loaded with chemical fertilizers, growth hormones, pesticides etc.so, unless you are eating homegrown veg’s from your garden, you aren’t getting anywhere close to a healthy meal either, pal. This is the biggest reason people seek out anti- oxidant products like these, and they work as described, Ive tried them. I don’t buckle over and get horrible gas pains from eating spicy foods anymore. Zands body flush is also an excellent way to get rid of the toxins from grocery store food. The object is to keep your blood clean and a healthy body will follow.

    Reply
  25. Vanessa

    Yes everyone should try stuff before they dis it. Mangosteen juice is not just an antioxidant, the mangosteen peel is full of xanthones so they use the whole fruit to make the juice.

    http://www.myxango.com/vanessahoward

    Reply
  26. Kim

    Yes, this is a scam! First off, I received the “free trial” bottle. Being in a hurry, I didn’t pay close attention to the fine print on that free trial website. I then received another bottle in the mail, this time it was a full bottle of the acai pills. I thought “Hmmm…I didn’t order this.” Then checked my bank account and this company charged my credit card for $89.31. When I called them to dispute it, I apoke with an extremely rude individual who told me that the fine print says unless you call within 14 days of receiving your “free trial” to cancel, your credit card will be charged monthly for the low price of $89.31. She was very uncooperative and down right ugly to me. To the point where she was raising her voice at me because I was upset about being charged for this product, which by the way, doesn’t do anything special! I told her I was going to speak with my bank about it and she became even more irate with me. I am still in the works with them to stop any further transactions for this product. What a mess! What a HUGE scam! Don’t fall for the hype! Oh, also, I found the same exact product on another website for $12. How can they get away with charging people $89 for this? It’s crazy!

    Reply
  27. Dawn

    Well, you have to do some background research on your juices. The juices that claim that they are 100% Acai Juice, for example, are manufactured differently from MonaVie. MonaVie has a patented way of freeze drying it’s Acai right off of the tree so that it can give it’s the consumers the best benefit. Other companies simply try to match the product by saying that it’s “100% Acai Juice” but is not freeze dried right after coming off of the tree to give the customers the best benefit, not to say that there’s no nutritional value in such juices, but by the time the fruit is transported to the US to be manufactured, the majority of it’s nutritional value is gone. But this is just one example of what can happen and why people get upset with the lack of postive effects from a nutritional supplement.

    Reply
  28. Jen

    people feeling good about taking these juices are simply experiencing the halo effect. if you are told (or convinced) that you will feel better, then you will. you get the exact same physical benefits by eating fruits and vegetables from the store, and it’s much less costly. i don’t understand how people can think that a juice is going to cure everything for them?

    no, i haven’t tried the juice. the reason for this, is that my mother has cancer, and was sold noni juice at a very hefty price. i watched her choke it down every day, and see no benefits. i then watched her purchase six months of acai, up front, for another huge payment. this didn’t do anything for her either. once she started eating better, she felt better.

    diet and exercise are going to give you the good feeling, not some mass-produced wonder juice.

    Reply
  29. Acai

    egardless of whether the properties of these juices and fruits will make me healthier,As for the guy who posted this, you need to learn something other than how to be a skeptic. If you doubt something, do some research, you will be suprised.

    Reply
  30. caroline

    maybe your diet is different than your friends’ and therefore the chlorophyll is affecting you (or not) in a different way…for instance my sister and I have taken chlorophyll over the years during stressful times when we are drinking coffee and it really helps to eliminate the acidity from coffee drinking… beyond that we did not find any other great advantages but we both eat a lot of green and leafy vegetables…

    Reply
  31. Reeta

    Some people on this forum talking about drinking a lot of juices should also consider:

    Juices (even 100% pure juices) carry a high natural sugar content and consuming too much of it rapidly raises the blood sugar. The body compensates to the sugar high with a surge of insulin from the pancreas – and the insulin, in turn, stimulates the liver to manufacture more cholesterol.

    No.2, it may also elevate triglycerides levels.

    Reply