The MonaVie Acai Berry Super Fruit Juice - Mona Vie Scam?

Published 12/30/08 (Modified 3/8/11)
By MoneyBlueBook

Review of MonaVie and The Acai Berry Fruit Juice Company's Health and Marketing Claims

MonaVie. Mona Vie. The word actually sounds like a spin off of some french phrase (mon ami), but when I hear the name, two things immediately come to mind - acai berry juice and multi level marketing pyramid scheme. The MLM business scheme or pyramid marketing concept usually elicits a series of red alert alarm bells in my brain's BS scam detector, however, I'm willing to take a closer look at MonaVie before rendering my personal critique and verdict. After having tried out and actually tasted the MonaVie acai berry fruit drink, I have to admit, it's a rather sweet and tasty beverage - sort of a crisp combination of grape juice, blue berries, black berries, and a hint of dark chocolate. There's not much negative commentary I can sling at the MonaVie product in terms of taste alone, but the outrageously expensive price tag and the rather suspicious marketing approach of the company leave much to be desired.

As an ordinary American consumer and a casual observer, I'm not sure what to make of this whole MonaVie acai berry fruit juice craze that seems to be sweeping the health and fitness world. The product's been featured on the Food Network and on daytime talk shows for women like the Rachel Ray show, and eagerly touted by popular television hosts like Oprah Winfrey as the ultimate nectar of the gods. At least several medical commentators have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show recently to promote the acai berry as an invaluable source of super food nutrients and as a magical method to promote youth and bodily rejuvenation. While most of the on-air health commentators were on the Oprah show to promote their individual books, even Oprah herself seemed to jump on the acai berry bandwagon, endorsing the nutritional claims of the tiny purple berry in her own boisterous way.

And it's not just celebrity women either (who in my sexist opinion tend to be very ultra health conscious). Even celebrity guys seem to be getting in on the acai super fruit craze as well. There are numerous photos floating around on the internet of well known celebrities (both male and female) photographed with���� their MonaVie acai juice bottles. I've seen hip hop stars and motor sport athletes on MTV's Cribs show opening up their refrigerator doors for the camera to proudly display their prized rows of ultra-expensive MonaVie branded acai juice bottles. To top it off, when the Boston Red Sox won the Major League Baseball World Series in 2007, you even had several pitchers and players publicly thanking the Mona Vie company and attributing their athletic success to the seemingly magical healing powers of the MonaVie acai berry drink. When professional athletes who have just won the most competitive pinnacle award of their profession celebrate their triumph by giving a ringing endorsement of a particular enhancement product, citing the competitive advantages it allegedly provided their bodies through the grueling eight month long baseball season, I definitely take notice. However at the same time, my curiosity is greatly tempered with a strong dose of skepticism and suspicion at the celebrity's personal motivations for such a resounding product recommendation - and I find myself wondering if the celebrity was partly motivated by financial considerations.

Without a doubt, MonaVie is a popular and highly promoted superfruit juice product, frequently mentioned in popular entertainment and athletic circles among the rich and trendy. It also has a strong growing presence online and on TV, but then again, so do many of the numerous get rich quick schemes and snake oil scams out there, featuring all types of facial cleaning products and useless weight loss shakes and pills. All such popular products have their own legion of compensated celebrities ready to help make the sales pitch and enthusiastically promote the product to the audience. Just because a product is heavily marketed and seems popular does not make it legit. Thus I wanted to take a more objective look into the MonaVie product itself, its health claims, and its marketing approach to decipher for myself the legitimacy of the brand. My primary goal is to answer these series of questions - Is MonaVie a scam? Does MonaVie acai juice berry drinks actually provide the health benefits re-soundly touted by its army of rabid distributors? And finally, is MonaVie a product I would actually purchase and consume for myself as an average, everyday mildly health conscious consumer?

The MonaVie Acai Berry Juice Product

MonaVie is a fruit juice drink made up of a blend of 19 different fruits. In a nut shell, it's like Odwalla or Naked branded smoothie drinks - except the drink is marketed as an acai berry product and it comes in a fancy looking wine bottle to give it allure. While the company refuses to disclose the actual numbers detailing individual juice makeup, it eagerly markets the fruit juice cocktail as some type of specially formulated super fruit juice, citing its composition of acai berries for its supposed magical ability to cure all sorts of physical and mental ailments. While the company does not expressly state that the MonaVie acai berry juice drink is capable of amazing healing properties, that is the marketing direction the company seems to strongly hint at. Obviously due to legality reasons, MonaVie can't officially claim its juice drink to be a health elixir, but it sure seems like it unofficially wants to based on the promotional dance it's constantly engaging in.

Inside of its fruit juice drinks, MonaVie lists as one of its primary ingredients - the acai berry (pronounced ah-sai-ee) - a small purple black fruit about an inch in size and produced from the acai palm tree in the Amazon of Brazil. Through its network of distributors, the MonaVie company promotes the message that its unique acai berry juice blend contains many of the antioxidant related health benefits associated with the acai berry and other special fruits. Supposedly, these super fruits are packed with powerful nutrients and antioxidant compounds that uniquely protect the body's cells from damage and disease, boost the immune system, and slow down the otherwise inevitable process of aging. However, much of the alleged health benefits of MonaVie and the extent of the nutritional value of acai have been called into constant debate and frequently questioned by naysayers that cast suspicion at what exactly is contained in MonaVie and the extent of its alleged nutritional value if any. Certainly, the company's reluctance to share detailed information about the specific acai berry concentration found in its bottles and its mysterious refusal to reveal detailed proportional make up of how the���� fruit juices in the MonaVie blend are made up continue to fuel discussions abut the health claims made by the product's distributors.

Monavie Acai Is Sold Exclusively Via A Questionable Multi Level Direct Sales Approach (AKA Pyramid Scheme)

Mona Vie acai juice drinks are not available in traditional supermarket chains or grocery stores like Safeway, Kroger, or Wegmans, and they're not even available via specialty health minded retailers like Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. You definitely won't find the company's products at discounters like Walmart or Costco - no, the MonaVie company shuns the traditional sales outlets in favor of a more personalized and almost cult like marketing approach.

MonaVie was launched in January 2005 by a long time direct sales marketing veteran and since then, the company has relied exclusively on a multi level marketing strategy to promote and sell its expensive juice drinks. For all intents and purposes, the company's more of a powerful marketing machine than a health food provider. Certainly there may be substantially better fruit juice products out there at much cheaper prices, but frankly, and somewhat commendably, MonaVie does a pretty powerful job of hyping and cleverly convincing health fanatics that they absolutely must drink this product everyday to live their lives to the fullest.

By tapping into a sales stream that takes advantage of trusted personal relationships to generate sales, the company has become wildly successful - at least on the sales side. Those unfamiliar with multi level marketing (MLM) may be more familiar with its common nickname - the pyramid scheme. A MLM or pyramid scheme relies on a direct sales technique based on a relationship referral business model whereby trusted people are the engine components that drive the commission based sales. Whenever a sale is made, a lofty commission is paid out, not only to you (the person who made the sale), but also to the person who referred you into the marketing program as well as to the person who referred your direct referrer - hence the pyramid nature of the arrangement. Because these multi level marketing programs are so potentially lucrative for those at the top of the pyramid (the upline), the system strongly encourages and incentivizes participants to zealously promote the product and heavily recruit new entrants into the program (the downline) to further earn sales and commissions for those on the up line.

Now, the one thing that must be made clear is that not all multi level marketing programs or pyramid schemes are inherently evil or illegal. Not all pyramid schemes are blatant scams or disreputable shell games the same way that Ponzi Schemes are. In fact, there are many otherwise thinly legitimate multi level marketing programs out there such as Amway, Avon, Mary Kay, Herbalife, Tupperware, and all sorts of online affiliate programs. However, many of these MLM based companies suffer from the same stigma and questionable scrutiny that MonaVie faces as well. While not outright frauds or scams like the way Nigerian 419 scams are for example, the same scammy concerns arise because many of these MLM programs really only benefit those at the top of the marketing pyramid and often encourage overzealous sales techniques that frequently lead to almost predatory recruiting tactics and pitches. Oftentimes as well, many of these MLM programs demand contractually obligated sales quotas that members must satisfy every month or face having to purchase the products themselves to meet the sales quota requirement. In the case of MonaVie's contractually obligated arrangement for wannabe new distributors into the program, new entrants are obligated to buy at least 4 bottles a month of the pricey acai berry juice. They don't come cheap and failure to sell enough bottles every month will require that the distributor contractually purchase the required quota for personal use.

As noted by an investigative news article from Newsweek, according to income disclosures, most of the million strong sales team of MonaVie appear to be really just drinking the juice themselves rather than selling them as originally intended. More than 90% of supposed distributors of MonaVie are actually considered wholesale customers, whose earnings were mostly discounts on sales to themselves. Remarkably according to the article, fewer than 1% of the MonaVie marketing pyramid's sales people qualified for commissions and of those, only 10% made more than $100 a week. The Newsweek article even goes on to state that according to a top MonaVie recruiter, while obviously not disclosed by the company, the MonaVie multi level marketing program's drop out rate's around 70%. It's certainly a fascinating tidbit to keep in mind as you ponder the question of whether MonaVie's a scam. While I personally don't think MonaVie is a scam as they do offer an otherwise legitimate fruit juice product, the acai juice company sure has rather unsavory fringe elements to it.

In regards to the secret world of direct sales and pyramid marketing, I had my first negative exposure to MLM programs when I was recruited by a company called Vector Marketing to sell Cutco branded knives back when I was just an 18 year old high school student. For some odd reason, many fellow high school students such as myself were targeted with elaborate marketing sales pitches by Vector Marketing recruiters to become trained in the art of tapping personal relationships to sell ridiculously and insanely overpriced Cutco steak knives to our friends and family members. Obviously, our recruiters were eager to train us into becoming their commission earning downline so that they could profit from our sales as our upline referrals. While the Cutco knives we lugged around and sold were of obvious high quality, they were no where even close to being worth the exorbitant price demanded of each individual cutlery. Quality is one thing, but they were and to this very day, are still vastly overpriced. While I was able to tap into my personal relationships and beg a few neighbors to shell out hundreds of dollars for a few knives out of pity, I remember always feeling extremely scammy and sleazy during my rehearsed sales pitches to supposed loved ones. As a mere 18 year old at the time, I wasn't too fond of���� having to take advantage of my close relationships for financial gain. There was nothing illegal or deliberately evil about the whole sales system, but the whole multi level marketing approach simply felt shady and rather manipulative to me.

Mova Vie Is Extremely Expensive and Overpriced Despite Its Alleged Acai Berry Health Properties

The MonaVie acai berry juice product is not cheap. In fact it's downright expensive - ridiculously overpriced at astronomically rip off levels if you ask me. A single MonaVie juice bottle will cost you $30-$40 per bottle, for a little more than 25 fluid ounces of the fruit berry mixture. According to the promotional material, to fully appreciate the nutritional benefits of acai berry juicing, you're supposed to drink at least 2 fluid ounces of the purple stuff in the morning, and another 1 ounce at night. At the rate suggested by the MonaVie company, a single bottle will last you about a week. At $30-40 a bottle, that comes out to $120-$160 a month, and $1,440-$1,920 a year. Unless you are swimming in money and flush with dollars like the professional athletes or financially well off���� like celebrities Oprah Winfrey or Rachel Ray, chances are, you're going to find regular consumption of this product to be well beyond your financial means. The lucrative price of each expensive bottle of Mona Vie can probably be traced back to the high cost of commission maintenance that must be paid out to the entire pyramid marketing chain upon each sale.

Because of the multi level marketing nature and aggressive direct sales promotional tactics of MonaVie distributors, a wide array of ridiculous health and nutritional claims seem to have blanketed the internet. Sometimes it's a little difficult figuring out which writer is trustworthy and which one is blatantly a sales guy. I have personal gut-feeling suspicions that sizable portions of these favorable web-based health comments and supposed online testimonials were made by MonaVie distributors and financially interested sales promoters trying to hype up the appeal of their pricey cash cow via fake product reviews. A quick browse of the internet quickly reveals all sorts of outlandish testimonies and anecdotal stories by random people - claims of how MonaVie acai juice drinking cured their heart disease, healed their arthritis, alleviated stress and depression, cured their acne, reversed their aging, repaired joint damage, got rid of joint and back pain, cured their cancer, treated their diabetes, made them more energetic, and even improved their sex life. The craziest claim I've seen was some gentlemen who claimed that his steady diet of Mona Vie acai berry juice made his special male anatomy organ larger and more virile. I've even read a few ridiculous claims by anonymous female commentators on various Mona Vie related blog posts touting how acai berry juicing grew their chests and helped make their breasts larger. The myriad of outlandish and totally unsubstantiated claims are quite abundantly available online - an unfortunate side effect that distorts the truth, whenever there is a lot of sales money to be had.

Now it's one thing for a product to be expensive and it's a whole different matter altogether if the product doesn't actually do what it says it is supposed to do. The literature and research on the amazing health benefits of drinking MonaVie and the supposed God-like healing properties of acai berry juice are still not entirely definitive. While there is little doubt that berries and fruits such as acai, blue berries, blackberries, and pomegranates common loads of nutritional vitamins and powerful compounds such as cell repairing antioxidants, the research is not yet entirely supportive that these are indeed super fruits that can cure all and heal all. There is scientific evidence that the acai fruit and other dark berries are uniquely high in Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity (ORAC), a rating system that evaluates a food product's ability to fight harmful free radicals in the body, but that doesn't mean that a single fruit can potentially replace all other alternative sources of vital nutrients.

To be fair, the MonaVie company doesn't actually go out of its way to blatantly promote the MonaVie product as a magical berry elixir anymore. MonaVie does not actually make the health and nutritional claims itself. Due to stricter federal scrutiny of Mona Vie's official claims, the company has drastically cut back on its previous assertions of health benefits and healing properties. The company is now content with marketing the MonaVie drink as merely a high end fruit juice product, letting its legion of cult like Mona Vie acai berry drinkers and promoters hype the unbelievable health benefit innuendos on their own. After all, the motto of the MonaVie company is - "Drink It, Feel It, Share It" - which sounds more like a sales focused marketing directive of sorts to me.

Acai Berries Do Contain Lots Of Nutrients - They Just Don't Have Super Healing Powers As Suggested By Some Independent MonaVie Distributors

As a mild defense for the key heralded component of MonaVie's juice product - the acai berry does indeed contain abundant nutritional value. There is quite a bit of research touting the health benefits of acai berry as a good source of fiber, minerals, vitamins, polyphenols, and antioxidants for healthy bodily performance. The expensive acai fruit does indeed contain a wealth of nutritional benefits compressed into each little purple berry, but then again, much of the same health benefits can easily be found in large concentrations in other more common and cheaper fruits such as bananas, blue berries, and apples as well.

Despite my admitted fondness for the taste of acai, I'm extremely wary of buying into the whole MonaVie acai juice product because I simply do not know how much of acai can be found in each bottle. Because MonaVie refuses to disclose the actual composition of its juice drinks, we do not know for certain the exact breakdown of its juice cocktail and the exact amount of expensive acai berry concentrate in the blend. It's very important to keep in mind that the MonaVie juice mixture doesn't contain acai berries exclusively. It's comprised of an admitted blend of 19 fruits - including many common and cheap fruits like bananas and apples, easily found in your neighborhood grocery store. If you really buy into the claimed health benefits of juicing and nutritional potency of acai berries, there are much easier and cheaper ways to get your purple berry fix. Most grocery stores sell acai berry juice variations and even certain online stores sell similar acai berry laden juice drinks, acai powders, and acai capsules for much, much less.

The fact of the matter is that people are always looking for the easy way out and frequently are all too eager for a magic potion that will make take away the need to put in effort. There is plenty of research touting the overwhelming health benefits of a low fat, low sugar diet comprised of lots of fish and whole grain foods. There is also overwhelming evidence that smoking and excessive alcohol drinking wrecks havoc on physical and mental health, and that daily consistent exercise is absolutely essential to healthy living. Yet, we as humans seem to ignore those simple practices and remain perpetually enamored with the possibility that there are super fruits out there that can serve as magic silver bullets to our health problems and ailments. The reality is that there is no such thing as a one size fits all super fruit. Proper health and nutrition requires a good moderated balance of fruits, vegetables, and proper exercise - not the services of a single food product - especially not one that is so expensively priced.

How To Buy MonaVie Online And Test Out Acai Berry Juices For Yourself (Remember, It's Not Cheap and Its Health Claims Are Not Fully Substantiated Yet)

Recently, I purchased a few bottles of MonaVie online simply to test out and review the juice product for myself since I didn't know how else to try it out for free. While I have no intention of actually signing up as a distributor or getting myself locked into some multi level marketing contract, I think it's perfectly understandable if there are people out there who remain curious about the fruit juice blend. It's admittedly rather tasty, albeit extremely expensive and somewhat overrated. Personally, I don't buy the magical juice berry claims of the MonaVie supporters and chose to consume the drink on a one time limited basis as I would any new drink. If you really want to start juicing, buy a fruit juicer for yourself or buy pre-made fruit smoothies from the grocery store. Many of these pre-made blends contain acai berry and they're a much cheaper way to get exposed to the nutritional value of acai should you so choose to partake. If you really insist on joining the MonaVie acai berry craze, there are plenty of equally good generic acai berry brands out there as well - in various just-add-water powder products and pills.

In the event you are determined to test out MonaVie acai berry drinks or similar acai berry products based on curiosity, here are a few ways to buy them online. Remember, it's not an endorsement, and I'm just pointing the way for you if you insist:

  1. MonaVie Active Health Juice With Acai (Amazon) - 1 Bottle of the dark purple stuff.
  2. MonaVie Active Juice Bottles With Acai (Amazon) - 4 bottles - A way to buy MonaVie online without having to agree to some recurring sales contract.
  3. MonaVie Juice Bottles With Acai (eBay) - Cheapest method to buy MonaVie online without commiting to a distributorship agreement, but requires eBay auction bidding.
  4. Natrol - Acai Berries 1000mg Per Serving 60 Capsules (Amazon) - 60 capsules
  5. Organic Acai Fruit Capsules with Camu Camu (Amazon) - 60 capsules - The Brazilian acai berry in pill form.
  6. 100% Pure Acai Fruit Powder with Camu Camu (Amazon) - 90 grams - Just add water to make an acai powder juice drink.

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329 Responses to “The MonaVie Acai Berry Super Fruit Juice - Mona Vie Scam?” 

  1. Food Tech in CA says:

    Roseanne, I'm comparing the liquid of MonaVie, because, quite frankly, they sell it as a liquid. A juice, by nature, is mostly water. The ingredients added to MonaVie are concentrated fruits, and must be reconstituted with water.

    I've seen the presentation by Dr. Schauss regarding the freeze-dried concentrated acai. Orac 1027 umoles. He somehow forgot to mention (at this presentation) that this is only an ingredient in MonaVie. After reconstituting, the 1027 number becomes meaningless if the amount added to the batch is small.

    As Dr. Schauss ponted out, the acai concentrate has a greater ORAC when unfairly compared to other fruits. Unfortunately, this includes the fruits added to MonaVie.

    Using the 1027 of the freeze-dried acai as a starting point, the other fruits will actually lower the total ORAC score of the finished blend.

    I'm not sure why you have a disdain for solid foods. The reason I mentioned them, was because they are inexpensive, easy to obtain, and all contain a lot more phenolics than MonaVie. However, if you want to compare only juices, we can do that too. Here is a list of some common juices that can be purchased at the grocery store and their total phenolic content:

    POMEGRANATE JUICE: 3.8 mg/ml
    RED WINE: 3.5 mg/ml
    CONCORD GRAPE JUICE: 2.6 mg/ml
    BLUEBERRY Juice: 2.3 mg/ml
    BLACK CHERRY Juice: 2.1 mg/ml
    ACAI Juice: 2.1 mg/ml
    CRANBERRY JUICE: 1.7 mg/ml
    Here's where MONAVIE would rank - 1.48 mg/ml
    ORANGE JUICE: 0.7 mg/ml
    APPLE JUICE: 0.4 mg/ml

    The MonaVie data was taken from Dr. Schauss (AIBMR Study) The data from the other juices was found in a study conducted by UCLA (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2008, Vol 56, pgs. 1415-1422) reference this study at: http://www.pomwonderful.com/pdf/Antioxidant_Beverage_Study.pdf

    You wanted to compare apples to apples. How about apples to MonaVie? A Fuji apple contains 2.10 mg/gm of total phenolics. An average apple (150 gms) would have 315 mg of phenolics. At 1.48 mg/ml, an entire bottle of MonaVie (25.5 oz) would total 1116 mg of phenolics. This equates to about 3.5 Fuji apples for the ENTIRE bottle.
    (data from USDA ORAC Table of Selected Foods 2007)

    If there's something that you really like about MonaVie, then please, drink away. But, you won't be able to use science to support your claims.

  2. Jason says:

    LOL

    Shauss who achieved "PHD" status from a non-accredited university (California Coast University) and has faked his credentials. Monavie sure hooks up with reputable people. http://www.accessmylibrary.com

    Ralph Carson - http://www.quackwatch.org

    Food Tech is well known with the Monavie and Anti-Monavie crowd online. He put up his own money to have an independent test run on Monavie. The sample was shipped to a lab by a Monavie distributor and the results have been well documented. He's shared the results via email with many people both for and against. The results, while poor, were actually better than Monavie's own study yet Monavie distributors still accused him of being biased or somehow rigging the results. It's comical that people can't take a step back and realize that if Food Tech somehow rigged the results he was doing Monavie a favor. Truly sad how so many people can't see the forest through the trees.

  3. Jason says:

    WOW! Bravo Food Tech!

    It's amusing how Anti-Monavie people bring sources to the discussion while the Monavie folks expect everyone to buy into the "I know it works" philosophy. The Anti-Monavie people have nothing to gain and back up their claims. The Monavie folks have a financial motivation yet still can't back up their product with documented facts that help their case.

  4. Nala says:

    Jason~

    What's your beef with Monavie anyway? Are you a lawyer, blogger, or journalist? Trying to get a news scoop or take down the company or something.

    Monavie is a legitimate company with many distributors and highly interested staff wanting to spread the good news of a product that actually works. Such products are frequently bad mouthed by people like you with little faith who believe everything in this world is a scam. If it works for so many people and leads to real tangible health benefits and positive changes in people's lives...why shatter their views with negativity. Does it make you feel all proud and good when you attack the supporters and tear down their dreams? Do you think well known celebrities like MLB baseball players, martial art practitioners, Rachel Ray, and Oprah Winfrey are all completely ignorant when they tout the health benefits of the acai berry? It works!

  5. Food Tech in CA says:

    Jason,

    Good point about Alexender Schauss. CCU is now accredited, but remains an off-campus college. This means the majority of the coursework is presented on-line. I wonder how he received a PhD without having a lab available to him? What is his PhD in, exactly?

    As Jason pointed out, I paid for an independent lab to perform an antioxidant analysis on two bottles of MonaVie Active. The product was shipped directly from a distributor to the lab. Both, he and I, received copies of the report directly from the lab.

    This infuriated many MonaVie distributors, who made every accusation in the book.

    As Jason mentioned, the total phenolics from my report was actually higher than in the AIBMR report (2.91 mg/ml vs. 1.48 mg/ml) Even so, as a scientist, I was obligated to release this data.

    The second part of the test was for anthocyanins, the "pigment" antioxidants. Acai is known to contain high levels of anthocyanins. Therefore, we would expect a product that claimed to have a large amount of acai, to also have a high anthocyanin level.

    We found the opposite. The anthocyanin level was an anemic 0.095 mg/ml.

    I speculated that the cause may be that the product may actually contain far less acai, and far more white grape juice. Why? Because acai is expensive, white grape juice is inexpensive.

    White grapes do not contain anthocyanins (no pigments). They do have phenolics, though. So, increasing the white grape juice and lowering the acai would give us the results that were found on the test.

    There are other tests that can be performed to verify this, but I am not willing to put any more money into this.

    Since, the accusations continue, I now refer only to the MonaVie sponsored AIBMR study.

    Using the 2.91 mg/ml from my sponsored tests, MonaVie would move up in the juice rankings to number two. Pomegranate juice remaining number one, with a 3.8 mg/ml phenolic content.

    Having said this, the next step in an antioxidant level evaluation would be: how many total phenolics does one get per day based on the serving size recommendations?

    MonaVie recommends 4 oz. per day. So, 1.48 mg (AIBMR data) times 29.57 (number of ml in a fluid ounce) times 4 equals: 175 mg of phenolics per day. Using the independent lab results (2.91 mg/ml) would give us: 344 mg of phenolics.

    For pomegranate juice, the label indicates an 8 oz. per day serving. Therefore, the daily total phenolics would be 899 mg.

    So, pomegranate juice easily beats MonaVie Active in total daily plant-based antioxidants (phenolics or polyphenols) The deciding factor would be cost.

    Pomegranate juice can be purchased at the local grocery store for $4 for a 64 oz. bottle. Divide this by 8 oz (recommended daily serving) equals $0.50 per day. Times 30 (average days per month) gives us a total of $15 per month for a grand total of 26,970 mg of phenolics.

    MonaVie, depending on your source, costs a minimum of $30 per bottle (if less expensive, please re-calculate). 25.5 oz. per bottle. 4 oz. recommended daily serving.

    25.5 divided by 4 equals 6.375 daily servings per bottle, or 4.71 bottles per month. This equals $141 per month for MonaVie (per individual) Total monthly phenolics for 4.71 bottles of MonaVie is 10,335 mg. of phenolics (using the 2.91 mg of phenolics from my independent tests). Using the AIBMR data (1.48 mg), the total monthly phenolics would be 5256 mg.

    Bottom line: Per individual per month:

    POMEGRANATE JUICE: $15 Phenolics: 26,970
    MONAVIE (using AIBMR data): $141 Phenolics: 5,256
    MONAVIE (Using FT's independent lab results:
    $141 Phenolics: 10,335

  6. Jason says:

    Nala my beef is with people getting ripped off and misled. You don't have to read anything about Monavie beyond this page to know that has happened and continues to happen daily. I have no problem with Acai at all. I have a problem with false health claims which are typical in supplement MLM. Even Oprah had to put a disclaimer on her site that she doesn't endorse Monavie. Seems she's a little tired of the false claims too. As far as athletes endorsing it; that means absolutely nothing to me. Jonathan Papelbon is one of their higher profile athletes. He also advertises for Dunkin Donuts on TV here in Boston daily but that doesn't mean it's good for me or that I'll be eating that crap any time soon. He's making a buck while he can. And honestly I've seen hundreds of interviews with him and I wouldn't base a life choice on anything the guy said.

    My question for you Nala... What dreams am I tearing down???? Do you mean the dreams of the huge majority of distributors earning less than minimum wage for their work? Or maybe the dreams of people who have been misled into believing that they are somehow getting their daily servings of fruit by drinking this vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant deficient juice? If by stating facts I'm somehow tearing down dreams then those dreams deserve to be torn down.

  7. Food Tech in CA says:

    Roseanne,

    Thank you for the bio on Dr. Schauss. I've already read it. However, my opinion is not changed.

    You are discussing acai, and I am discussing MonaVie. Acai is but one ingredient in MonaVie.

    If I may, I'd like to give an analogy. Let's say I had a 5,000 gallon swimming pool. I took a glass of orange juice and tossed it in. Now, on my ingredient statement, I include "with 100% orange juice added". This would be legal. It also would be deceptive.

    If you want to argue about eating acai berries, I might be inclined to agree with you.

    The facts are clear: According to AIBMR (Dr. Schauss) MonaVie has an ORAC score of 22.81 umoles. The freeze-dried acai is a concentrated powder, with an ORAC of 1027 umoles. The concentrate is diluted with the other ingredients, including water, to a factor 0f 1:45 to bring the ORAC down to 22.81

    I worked in a fruit juice lab for five years when I was younger. I have a good idea how they work. And yes, MonaVie most certainly adds water to the blend. If they didn't, there would be no way to correct a batch, and you'd have a wide variance in taste between batches.

    Now, back to Dr. Schauss. The only technical paper that I've read of his was the AIBMR study, which, by the way, he only tagged his name on, since the real contributors were three outside labs.

    Part of the study was to verify that MonaVie had enough of the type of antioxidants that would show levels of bioavailability. Ones that would actually be used by the human body.

    So, the study had 12 subjects drink 4 oz. each of MonaVie. Then, they tested the blood serum levels for antioxidants for the next two hours. After two hours, the test was ended. They found high serum levels of antioxidants throughout the two hour blood serum tests.

    Sounds good? Maybe not so good. Do you see what's wrong with this picture?

    A single 4 oz. dose of MonaVie!? MonaVie's label clearly states: "2 to 4 oz. twice a day"
    So, now they've started out with an inflated blood serum level. At this point, the data becomes invalid.

    Second point. They terminated the test after two hours??? What about the other 22 hours in the day? Aren't the free radicals still bouncing around, seeking to become stable? What would the blood serum levels be after 4 hours? How about 12 hours?

    You don't need to be a scientist to see deceptive science. The proper methodology would be: two- 2 oz. doses of MonaVie given 12 hours apart. Blood serum levels every two hours for 24 hours.

    After thirty years as a food technologist, I've seen lots of weasels in the food and beverage industry (mostly marketing people). I've become quite good at spotting them from a distance.

  8. Novel Writer says:

    What it really boils down to is this:

    Pro Mona-Vie and Con mona-vie

    Pro - Mona-Vie also utilizes Blue-Berry's which is the 2nd highest anti-oxidant
    Con - while this juice has lots of fruits and anti-oxidants do you need to pay so much for it? (especially in this economy?)

    Pro - it makes no difference on one hand the exact nutrition level, it does work for some people, but then again, so do placebo's, it's all a matter of faith and belief, which is what is caused by the hype in some cases. what you believe in always works whether it's real or not (this can be traced back to quantum physics - see Quantum Evolution by JohnJoe McFadden) So it does work regardless of nutritional value in many cases.

    Con - it's a Multi-level scheme as if this hasn't been said hundreds of times already.
    the cost to make this product is obviously about $2 or $3 per bottle, the inflated cost beyond that is to line the uplines pockets (believe me, I know, my father owned health food stores all my life, the cost to buy the seperate products and make your own drink is far less, and the health benefits are the same, and you feel just as good, you just have to be less lazy and gather and prepare the ingredients yourself)

    Pro - Mona-Vie ACTIVE has Liquid Glucosimine, which really does help to reduce joint problems and pain.

    Con - the cost of Fruit-a-vie at costco, sams club, and walmart is about half the price, and while it has a little less of the anti-oxidants and no glucosimine, you can still buy Fruit-a-vie and a Glucosimine supplement for a lot less money and get close to the same results. Mona-vie distributors themselves admit this:
    http://monaviehawaii.wordpress.com/2008/09/13/fruitavie-vs-monavie

    and Mona-vie hates it, but who really hates it is the distibutors, because in this economy, who is going to pay almost $50/bottle w/shipping, when you can buy Fruit-a-vie for $16/bottle w/ no shipping and spend the shipping costs on the glucosimine supplement and get almost the same benefit? the ditributors know this, and of course, they're are going to fight hard to make you believe otherwise because this is their bread and butter (I know, I'm a Mona-Vie Dist)

    Bottom line, In this Economy the price is just retarded, when you can barely pay rent and put food on the table who is insane enough to pay that outrageous price, risk failure because you're at the bottom of the MLM, and end up eating the product??? not many, look at the Documented 70% distributor drop out rate. I myself know many Distributors who were in Mona-Vie from the beginning, and they have long tales of going broke, eating product, and having to charge $60/bottle just to break even. Therefore most of them dropped out rather than fight the scenario.

    I'm all for what works, and Mona-Vie does work but like I said, so will anything you believe wholeheartedly in. If I had bundles of money, I would sip Mona-Vie all day under a shade tree and not flinch at paying the price, but I don't have bundles, as is the same for many people these days, especially the older generations whom these nutritional benefits are needed by the most.

    Pro - If you're rich and don't mind tossing money away, go with Mona-Vie, be a distributor and give it all you got.

    Con - If you don't like being a slimy MLM sales person who is knowingly overcharging people, and don't want to sell, but drink, and don't have the money to throw away; do yourself a favor, Get some Fruit-A-Vie and supplement it with Glucosimine Powder or Liquid.

  9. Food Tech in CA says:

    "Superjuices" don't come close when comparing costs for antioxidants. Example: A day's serving of MonaVie (4 oz.) is $7.20 ($45/bottle) or as low as $3.20 a day (at $20 - distributor's cost) A single Delicious Red Apple costs about $0.75

    For MonaVie,that gives you a ORAC of 2,698 umoles (29.57 ml per oz times 4 oz.times 22.81 according to AIBMR). That also gives you a total phenolics (all antioxidants) for the day, of 175 mg. for 4 oz.

    The 22.81 ORAC and 1.48 mg phenolics are from the MonaVie-sponsored study by AIBMR Life Sciences.

    Now compare it to a SINGLE Red Delicious Apple. Average weight 150 gms.
    Total ORAC per apple: 6,413 umoles. (42.75 umoles times 150 gms)
    Total phenolics (total antioxidants): 520 mg per apple. Apple data from USDA ORAC Table of Selected Foods - 2007

    SUMMARY: ORAC: MonaVie 2,698 Apple 6,413
    PHENOLICS: MonaVie 175 mg Apple 520 mg
    COST: MonaVie $3.20 to $7.20 per day Apple $0.75/day

  10. Roseann says:

    You can type all the numbers you want to to try to confuse people, but it's pretty ridiculous that you're trying to compare a delicious red apple (as if they're delicious anymore) to the nutrition in MonaVie. When's the last time that someone told you that they had incredible health results from eating a store-bought apple? Come on. Make some sense. I admit MonaVie isn't inexpensive. At least I don't try to twist things around to discourage people from trying something that can help them.

  11. Scott says:

    Boy you guys sure got under Roseann's skin. But I agree with both of you. I have also noticed a drop off of the distributor's in my area. It seems that the hype is begining to wear off, and the guys who planned on getting rich off this scheme are finding out that they may actually have to keep their day job.

    There is a product out there if you want to spend the money and don't want to make your own drinks with fresh fruits and vegies. This product actually works, and is not a MLM scam lik monavie. It's called "Shakeology" by Beachbody. It cost a little less then monavie, but does work. I've tried monavie, and noticed no difference, but tried this for a week and have noticed a significant change in energy level and have even lost some weight. What's nice about this product is that you can just purchase it on line without being pressured by a salesperson.

  12. Roseann says:

    Well Scott, I was wondering when you'd show up again. EVERYBODY gets under my skin when they start slinging names around like Slimy MLM Salespeople. But we've been through this before. Agreeing with them makes you no better than they are. And agreeing with things like one apple is comparable to MonaVie discredits anything that you or he might have said that remotely makes sense. And for your information, I've never thought of quitting my day job for this, nor have I noticed ANY drop off in distributors in my area, so throwing out some vague idea to make people think it's "wearing off", when the numbers of new distributors definitely shows you're wrong, doesn't add to your credibility either.

    And another point that you're wrong on (gosh, there are so many of them it's hard to keep track!) is that you can't order MonaVie w/o being pressured by a salesperson. You certainly can. It's called being a preferred customer. They've recently changed things and now anyone can get the product at wholesale ONLINE w/o becoming a distributor.

    But now that I know what you're doing here on this Blog, let me tell everyone else. Apparently, Scott's gotten involved with this company he told you about above. This Beachbody has the option of becoming a "Coach" and EARNING through a COMPENSATION PLAN. Hmmm. Just like MonaVie. Funny how it's ok to spend this much on HIS product, but not MonaVie. Thanks for finally clearing up why you've been so vocal against MonaVie. So obviously, since you have something to gain here, we have no reason to believe ANYTHING you say about your product or MonaVie.

    In your words: "This product actually works, and is not a MLM scam lik monavie. It's called "Shakeology" by Beachbody. It cost a little less then monavie, but does work. I've tried monavie, and noticed no difference, but tried this for a week and have noticed a significant change in energy level and have even lost some weight."

    NOT an MLM SCAM LIKE MONAVIE? PLEASE. It's an MLM and you know it. You don't HAVE to participate in it just like you don't HAVE to in MonaVie. Their compensation plans are VERY similar from what I could see in the 5 minutes or so I just spent looking at it. And OF COURSE THIS product worked for you but MonaVie didn't - because you're trying to SELL YOUR PRODUCT and want to bad-mouth your competition. Too bad you weren't up front about that in the first place.

    If anyone out there doubts me on this, please google the product he mentioned above and you can easily find it. There are TONS of these companies coming out now, trying to cash in on the popularity that MonaVie has. Notice they're all comparing themselves to MonaVie. What's that commercial? The one where they are comparing cars to the Toyota Camry? And the guy finally realizes he should just buy the Camry? Think about it. They know MonaVie is better - they're just desperately trying to convince you that it isn't. Good luck with that.

  13. Food Tech in CA says:

    A Red Delicious Apple is a name given to a certain type of apple, not my opinion.

    MonaVie should only be used to supplement a diet, not replace any fruits or vegetables.

    It will give you 175 mg. of total phenolics (AIBMR Data - Dr. Schauss) That is a fact.
    The apple will give you 520 mg. of total phenolics. That is also a fact.

    Therefore, you get three times the antioxidants in a single apple than you would in a days serving (4 oz.) of MonaVie.

    No one has told me that they have incredible health benefits by eating an apple. If they were gullible enough to purchase one for $30, then they probably would out of embarrassment.

  14. Scott says:

    First of all, I'm not promoting "Shakeology" all I'm saying is that if you want to spend the money to use a product for health benefits. It appears to be a lot better for the money. I'm definaitely not going to be a coach like you were saying. I still earn my money the old fashioned way I work for it. I just thought I would try it, like I did Monavie, and it seems to give results. That's just my take on it. When it's gone I don't plan on buying anymore, it was just given to my by a friend, who is a coach. And he knows how I stand on salespeople. But he thought he would try persuading me anyway, but it won't work. All I can say is that out of the two, Shakeology seems to actualy work. But I'm not going to waste $100.00 a month on it. I can buy a whole lot of fruits and vegies for that, and make my own. So I kind of agree with you on "Shakeology", but the difference is that it works. It is still highly over priced for what you get and not worth the money.

    I still believe that a person should just eat right and not spend a lot of money on a so called super juice for their health.

    I also stand corrected, I did not know that you could just go on line to purchase monovie wholesale. I thougth you needed to go through a distributor. So if you can by it wholesale like that, why would you go to a distributor? It doesn't make sense.

  15. Roseann says:

    The only reason to go to a Distributor would be to become one yourself and try to at least get your juice for free. That's why I did it - that, and I actually do believe in it since it worked for me and my husband and quite a few others since, so I WANT to tell others about it if I think it could help them, even if I didn't get anything for it.

    To be a preferred customer you do have to have a distributor's id, but you don't have to ever talk to them or have anything to do with them if you don't want to. It's a very simple process. But SOME distributors don't bother telling people about that because they can make more money by either selling it retail or by getting them to sign up to be a distributor. It's too bad because it gives others of us a bad name (as if there aren't enough of you guys out there trying to do that already.)

    It's nice that Shakeology worked for you. I don't doubt that it did - I'm not doubting your word. So please stop doubting mine. MonaVie worked for me. I can even show you my blood test results to prove it. Not everything will work for everyone. And if people would and could get the good quality of fruits and vegetables and eat right and exercise, we wouldn't need any of this. But we don't - I don't - and you can call me lazy or whatever else, but MonaVie helps me, and since they pay me enough to pay for my juice and a little more, just to tell people about it, that's what I'm going to do.

    And Food Tech - I really don't care about your phenolics if you want to know the truth. The TRUTH is that MonaVie helps a lot of people and those same ones, eating a red apple, would NEVER have the same results and you know that. But since you're out here, I read somewhere that adding Vitamin E to something greatly and artificially increases its ORAC rating. Do you know if that is true? Where I read it they were talking about that being the case in some other product but I can't remember which one....

  16. Scott says:

    I'm not doubting that it worked for you either. And I'm not saying all distributors are sleezy or disthonest. I have friends who are distributors and are very ethical people. My issue is with the cost. If something is so beneficial, why take advantage of people. I'm also not saying you or other distributors are doing this. It's at the coperate level where they are sitting back and letting all you do the work, and they rake in the profits.

    Unfortunately there are poeple who will spend their life savings on a miracle drug/drink or fountain of youth. And it seems that monavie tries to sell itself this way.

    I would just like to know why they don't sell it on the open market at a reduced price. If it's all about helping people I would think this would be very good for the company. If they lowered the price and sold it in stores, I believe they would sell a lot more and make more money. It would also save the consumer money. And in these financial times that would be the right thing to do.

  17. Scott says:

    I'm actualy a nice guy. But I like to stir the pot a little just see the reactions.

    I just don't agree with MLM or jacked up prices on items that aren't worth it. If we all agreed on everything, this would be a pretty boring world.

  18. Food Tech in CA says:

    Roseann,

    If you believe MonaVie somehow is doing something special for you, then I believe you should always have the option to choose whatever you want to consume.

    Do I personally believe it has any properties that help any health-related condition? No, not really. I believe mostly people want to think it has helped them. It has fruits with exotic sounding names and comes in a shiny wine bottle. Plus, it's expensive. So, how could it not work?

    If I took my apples and blended them up, and called it Foo Foo berry from the Jungles of Brazil, and had it tested for antioxidants, it would blow MonaVie out of the water.

    Next, I took the FooFoo juice and put it in a classy bottle and charged $40 for it. Then had my MLM distributors spread rumors about it, while saying "you shouldn't do that" (wink-wink), then yes, people would start to believe FooFoo juice has curative powers.

    Because they want to believe.

    But, yes, people should be able to choose for themselves. My crusade is to give consumers the facts, though it often is contrary to what the company wants you to believe.

    I have little use for "superjuices." I've read about many of them, and most of it is typical MLM hype, with little scientific evidence to support their claims.

  19. Roseann says:

    So Food Tech, even blood test results - which can't be brainwashed - mean nothing to you? I think anyone WITH a brain would have to disagree.

    It's not like MonaVie is the only thing I've ever tried. In fact, I've fallen for MANY things to try before - mainly diet products - but ONLY if they came with a money back guarantee (Which, by the way, MonaVie does too), and have EVERY TIME gotten my money back because, thought I wanted very badly for them to work, they didn't. So while there may be people out there that behave as you say, I'm not one of them. So saying "I believe it worked because you wanted to believe it worked" doesn't work here. You're being stubborn. What's the sense of having a blog to post comments on if nobody believed anybody on it? Until you can prove that it didn't work for me and others I know, nothing else you say will matter one bit.

  20. Food Tech in CA says:

    Roseann,

    I'm not sure what blood tests you are referring to. I'd be glad to look at them. Scan a copy (black out unnecessary info) and email to me at: Foodtech101@Yahoo.com.

    I'm not a medical professional, but I do know, from personal experience, that certain blood tests will fluctuate on their own, with or without treatment.

    The bottom line is this: If you and others are currently drinking a substance that you believe is healing or affecting your body in a positive way, you need to share that with the world. In a legal way.

    Anecdotal evidence can be used as a starting point, but not as a final conclusion.

    If MonaVie, somehow, has put together a cure-all, then they are obligated to pay for double-blind studies to prove their case. If they are making the "billions" that distributors claim, then the financing of these studies shouldn't be an issue.

    Why aren't they doing this, Roseann? Obviously, their files must be overflowing with anecdotal claims. That alone should light a fire under their rears to get the ball rolling.

    They don't have to have FDA approval to conduct a study. They only need to supply a grant to any of many, willing research scientists and institutions that have the technical knowledge to do this.

    Most double-blind studies are easily funded for under a million dollars.

    Think of the sales and profits this company could look forward to, if even one, of the many claims could be proven. I'd jump on your bandwagon and retract all of my negative commentaries on MonaVie.

    Yet, they do nothing. Not one study initiated. Why do you think this is, Roseann?

    Congratulations on your positive blood tests, whatever the reason.

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