Could Visalus, Herbalife, Shaklee, Reliv, & Other Soy Shakes Actually Be Harming Your Health?


Another quick-fix dietary supplement comes on the scene. Before you know it, it’s popping up everywhere, even in the Church. While my nutrition counseling has always maintained the principle that health cannot come from diets or dietary supplements, I was not aware of the health problems that the new Visalus products were causing until a nutritional counseling friend of mine alerted me to them just recently. He said:


This past week, I had an issue brought to me by a friend that in the past I have helped to clear up some significant health problems. Unbeknownst to me, this individual decided to go on a diet without telling me what they were doing. I get this panicked message stating that they went to the doctor and that the doctor was recommending they go on thyroid medication as it had nearly shut down. This person said they had been on this diet for several months and that they lost weight to start with and all of a sudden the weight loss stopped. I finally asked what the diet was and it was the evermore popular, MLM driven (I have nothing against MLM’s, however they are usually overenthusiastically sold) VISALUS soy-based protein shake.

 

Of course, this information does not just apply to this brand of shakes. Most of the other nutrition shakes out there contain similar ingredients and pose similar risks. Shaklee, Herbalife, Reliv, and Ensure are some additional shakes that contain soy protein. (Other shakes may not contain soy protein but often contain soybean oil.)

In the past, I have discussed the dangers of unfermented soy on my health page. Contrary to popular belief, soy is NOT a health food. How it ever got promoted as such is beyond me. But I’ll be honest with you; I believed this lie for a while too.

Ten years ago, I gave my second son soy formula from 6 months until his first birthday. Of course, I did so by the doctor’s recommendations. Fast forward about 7 or 8 years and we decide to incorporate a little soy into our diets via tofu and textured vegetable protein (aka TVP, a dehydrated soy product that rehydrates with the texture of ground meat). Shortly thereafter, we had to take the first visit in a long time to the pediatrician’s office. Our son was experiencing heart palpitations and night sweats. When we realized all of the symptoms were related to thyroid problems, I discovered that thyroid problems were often related to soy consumption.

We immediately eliminated those products from our diet and have not seen any recurrence in our son’s hyperthyroid symptoms. I am thankful that God lead me to this information so early on in the problem! If this wisdom had not been revealed to us, here is a brief list of some of the additional symptoms and health problems related to soy consumption that are common:

Breast cancer

Danger during pregnancy and nursing

There are some very good reasons why men shouldn’t be consuming these products, or other soy protein products like protein bars and powders. Did you know that celibate monks living in monasteries and leading a vegetarian lifestyle find soy foods quite helpful for dampening libido?

According to Dr. Mercola:

Soy has also been linked to erectile dysfunction. The two natural drugs found in soy, genistein and daidzein, mimic estrogen so well that they have been known to cause a variety of alarming side effects in men:

  • Breast enlargement (gynecomastia)
  • Decreased facial and body hair growth
  • Decreased libido
  • Mood swings and frequent crying jags
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Lowered sperm count

For example, one recent study documented a case of gynecomastia in a 60-year-old man as a result of his soy consumption.

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/12/08/the-dirty-little-secret-hidden-in-much-of-your-health-food.aspx?e_cid=20111218_SNL_MV_1

Studies have directly assessed the impact of soy, including soy protein powders, on men and infertility rates:

“A study of 99 men attending a fertility clinic found that those subjects who had the highest soy intake also had the lowest sperm counts compared to men who ate no soy foods.”

“In another study, researchers compared the effect of two scoops of pure soy protein powder (56g/day) on the testosterone levels of 12 healthy young men. After 4 weeks of using the soy protein powder, the average testosterone levels of the subjects had decreased by 19%. Once the men stopped taking the soy supplement, their testosterone levels returned to normal after about two weeks (Arbor, 2009).”

If these soy protein trends don’t slow down, rates of infertility are going to continue to skyrocket, and the amount of couples having to deal with not being able to conceive will plague each subsequent generation.

Some personal reports of problems with soy. Maybe you can relate?!

“I have used soy milk for 12 years with no problems. About 9 months ago, I started to have heart palpitations. I thought maybe that I was in menopause, but I wasn’t. I added more potassium to my diet and magnesium and vitamin E. No change. I am already decaffeinated but I also took all sugar out of my diet. I lost 25 pounds and felt great except for the palpitations. I tried hawthorn and garlic but nothing was helping. Recently I came down with acute bronchitis and could only drink water because even the soy milk made me have horrendous bouts of coughing. I realized that after a few days my heart palpitations had stopped. I didn’t think anything of it because it never occurred to me that soy was the culprit. As soon as I started drinking it again, my heart went crazy. I went off it for a week and then changed brands. Within 30 minutes of drinking only 4 ounces [of soy milk], my heart was all over the place. I’ve noticed that it takes about 24 to 36 hours for my heart to settle down. I wondered if your research turned up anything like this in regard to soy. I know it is not within the definition of an allergy, but something is definitely going on. I called the manufacturer of the soy milk, but they were of no help. I am very upset because I only drink soy milk and water. I also use the soy milk to make protein shakes (with what else…but soy protein).” (http://chetday.com/soy.html)

 

“A pregnant lady who looked very ill and was terribly deficient! She also described her son, age five, who had many allergies and infections – both were using a good deal of soy in their diet. I recommended that they discontinue the use of all soy products. At the time, I had only just run across this situation. However, a year later, I was in the same area for a lecture, and the lady invited me to dinner. She had cut out all soy products: her skin was now rosy, her face filled out, her sunken eyes normal, her black circles gone and her little boy, now six, was in greatly improved health.” (http://chetday.com/soy.html)

 

 

Unless soy is traditionally fermented to remove the anti-nutrients (such as in miso, tempeh, and tamari), there are many different problems with it, no matter how “special” it is. Dr. Mercola reviews the main problems:

“Here is a summary of soy’s most glaring problems.

91 percent of soy grown in the US is genetically modified (GM). The genetic modification is done to impart resistance to the toxic herbicide Roundup. While this is meant to increase farming efficiency and provide you with less expensive soy, the downside is that your soy is loaded with this toxic pesticide. The plants also contain genes from bacteria that produce a protein that has never been part of the human food supply.

GM soy has been linked to an increase in allergies. Disturbingly, the only published human feeding study on GM foods ever conducted verified that the gene inserted into GM soy transfers into the DNA of our gut bacteria and continues to function. This means that years after you stop eating GM soy, you may still have a potentially allergenic protein continuously being produced in your intestines.

Even more frightening is the potential for GM soy to cause infertility in future generations, which has been evidenced by recent Russian research.

Soy contains natural toxins known as “anti-nutrients.”
Soy foods contain anti-nutritional factors such as saponins, soyatoxin, phytates, protease inhibitors, oxalates, goitrogens and estrogens. Some of these factors interfere with the enzymes you need to digest protein. While a small amount of anti-nutrients would not likely cause a problem, the amount of soy that many Americans are now eating is extremely high.

Soy contains hemagglutinin.
Hemagglutinin is a clot-promoting substance that causes your red blood cells to clump together. These clumped cells are unable to properly absorb and distribute oxygen to your tissues.

Soy contains goitrogens
Goitrogens are substances that block the synthesis of thyroid hormones and interfere with iodine metabolism, thereby interfering with your thyroid function.

Soy contains phytates.
Phytates (phytic acid) bind to metal ions, preventing the absorption of certain minerals, including calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc — all of which are co-factors for optimal biochemistry in your body. This is particularly problematic for vegetarians, because eating meat reduces the mineral-blocking effects of these phytates (so it is helpful—if you do eat soy—to also eat meat).

Soy is loaded with the isoflavones genistein and daidzein
Isoflavones are a type of phytoestrogen, which is a plant compound resembling human estrogen. These compounds mimic and sometimes block the hormone estrogen, and have been found to have adverse effects on various human tissues. Soy phytoestrogens are known to disrupt endocrine function, may cause infertility, and may promote breast cancer in women.

Drinking even two glasses of soymilk daily for one month provides enough of these compounds to alter your menstrual cycle. Although the FDA regulates estrogen-containing products, no warnings exist on soy.

Soy has toxic levels of aluminum and manganese
Soybeans are processed (by acid washing) in aluminum tanks, which can leach high levels of aluminum into the final soy product.Soy formula has up to 80 times higher manganese than is found in human breast milk.
Soy infant formula puts your baby’s health at risk.
Nearly 20 percent of U.S. infants are now fed soy formula, but the estrogens in soy can irreversibly harm your baby’s sexual development and reproductive health. Infants fed soy formula take in an estimated five birth control pills’ worth of estrogen every day.

Infants fed soy formula have up to 20,000 times the amount of estrogen in circulation as those fed other formulas!

These phytoestrogens are affecting women in other ways as well: Case studies of women who were taking high levels of soy supplements or foods showed that some women develop abnormal bleeding of the uterus, endometriosis and polyps. Removing soy products from their diets improved their symptoms (Chandrareddy et al, 2008).

There is also the issue of pesticides and genetic modification.
Soy foods are both heavily sprayed with pesticides and genetically modified (GM). More than 80 percent of the soy grown in the United States is GM. And more than 90 percent of American soy crops are GM.

Since the introduction of GM foods in 1996, we’ve had an upsurge in low birth weight babies, infertility, and other problems in the U.S. population, and animal studies thus far have shown devastating effects from consuming GM soy.”
(http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/09/18/soy-can-damage-your-health.aspx)

 

Even if Visalus and other soy-based products are not from genetically-modified soybeans (Reliv & Visalus repeatedly ensure that their soy is not GMO, but since it is not certified organic, there’s no way to know for sure), they still qualify as dangerous foods based on criteria numbers 2-6 above. Even organic soymilk, for instance, can cause permanent thyroid problems. As my nutritional counseling friend adds:

 

Most of the shakes benefits seem to be from the vitamins and minerals found in the shake and little to do with the shake itself, other than the high protein content which is also a factor. If any product description or marketing starts talking about how many apples, pears, broccoli, etc. you have to eat to compare to what it offers and it is a supposed food replacement-type product, most likely you are being scammed. What sounds so wonderful and a no-brainer is bad for your pocketbook and bad for your health.

 

But the soy in some of these drinks, especially Visalus, is different, right?! I mean, they go through extra processing to ensure the soy protein does not contain these anti-nutrients. Why, then, are we hearing so many reports of people experiencing the same health problems from these problems that are associated with other soy products?!

For example, one person reported the following from Visalus shakes:

“I signed up with Visalus in Sept. 11, as I’ve been out of work, and loved the taste of the shake. Yet when I received the product, I was sent along with the big distributor kit, huge horse pills to swallow too, which in the little picture of ordering I didn’t see. Called the company, talked to a young gentleman, and complained, since I don’t like swallowing pills. Of which he said he couldn’t do anything about.

I introduced this to one girlfriend, who was on thyroid medication, and after taking a couple bags of product, she started to feel like her medication wasn’t working. So she called me to inquire if I knew if this Visalus was ok to take with her medication. So I Googled about it, and was so alarmed about all the sites I found, which spoke of the the dangers of soy, especially with thyroid problems. I then called the company back and wanted my money back. (Which is about $900 on plastic) As I knew in my heart I couldn’t honestly sell it anymore, was refused credit, because it had been over 60 days.

Without a job, I am stuck with this burden now. Wish I had realized the dangers of soy.”

Don’t wait until you begin to have these problems yourself or hear of others who do.  People like myself and my friend who constantly get emails from people describing health problems and symptoms see this more than the average person would. As he also said:

 

I did receive many reports from others on Facebook who experienced very similar symptoms when they tried using it and from some who had just used soy as a major part of their vegetarian diet. This is the message I want to send is that unfermented soy and especially in the amounts recommended to be consumed by it promoters, Monsanto, vegan gurus, and protein shake MLM’s, is not only not good for you, but potentially harmful and dangerous.

 

Update: Since this article has been published on my website, I get hundreds of people finding this article as a result of googling phrases such as:

Low sex drive from Visalus
Body rash from Visalus
Visalus causing headaches
Kidney stones from Visalus
Feeling pregnant and bloated from drinking Body By Vi
Headache from Visalus

The list goes on. There are people out there right now experiencing these health problems from these “health” drinks. But can health really come through a highly-processed substance not fit to be called “food?” Are Christians to believe that man can do one up on God’s own creation and create something better and healthier than the foods He created?!

*Update: 11/2/2012: Urgent Health Warning

It appears that soy-based shakes are increasing the risks of another dangerous, life-threatening condition called pulmonary embolism. Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a blockage of the main artery of the lung or one of its branches by a substance that has traveled from elsewhere in the body through the bloodstream (embolism) and is often associated with Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).

How is this linked to soy-based shakes? PE is listed as a risk of any hormone treatment, including hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) and use of estrogen-containing oral contraceptives.

I got a message yesterday that tipped me off to the sad danger and the urgency of this problem:

There were two people I knew that were doing this [Body By Vi] program. The man (about 42 yrs old) suffered from multiple pulmonary embolisms. He had done 3 maybe more rounds of the program. I think they call them “challenges”. This afternoon he died. This program is dangerous and I am so grieved that this family is now suffering. He left a 10 yr old and an 8 yr old behind.

Pulmonary Embolisms as a result of drinking these shakes proves that,despite claims made by the company, the estrogen-mimicking isoflavones have NOT been removed.

Even if the soy was different, just the sheer amount of soy protein being consumed by those using soy protein shakes is unnaturally high and exposes dieters to problems. Anything when consumed in excess is dangerous, even water!

And if you believe the myth that Asian diets, which have excellent health benefits, are high in soy, think again:

“The total caloric intake from soy in the Chinese diet is only 1.5%. The amount of soy consumed in Asia averages only 2 teaspoons a day and up to 1/4 cup in some parts of Japan. This is certainly not the large amount that we were led to believe.” (http://www.drlam.com/opinion/soyandestrogen.asp)

Finally, I especially beg all pregnant women to avoid these shakes like the plague. There are many reasons why. Medical research proves that a woman’s risk of breast cancer largely increases with her mother’s prenatal consumption of soy. Specifically:

A high estrogenic environment in utero may increase subsequent breast cancer risk. It was therefore determined whether a maternal exposure during pregnancy to the phytoestrogen genistein, which exhibit estrogenic activities in vitro and in vivo, alters breast cancer risk among female offspring. The results indicate that in utero exposure to genistein, dose-dependently increased the incidence of breast tumors, when compared with the controls. The number of estrogen receptor binding sites was significantly elevated in the mammary glands of genistein offspring.

Oncol Rep 1999 Sep-Oct;6(5):1089-95

Low-fat, high-protein shakes such as soy-based ones also cause a vitamin A deficiency, a nutrient that is essential for proper formation of all organs.

And even if you are not pregnant but are selling these shakes to pregnant women, please consider the moral implications of this.

I know this information may not be well-received, but I pray that it is.  I am not denying that it has helped many people lose weight.  But as Christians, we are not to idolize our physical appearance.  My goal as a nutritional counselor is to help people get healthy.  Sometimes that means losing weight and sometimes it doesn’t.  But when getting thin becomes our ultimate goal, we begin to see things superficially. We miss the underlying spiritual issues that caused us to get overweight and unhealthy int he first place. 


But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7


(Check out my post on diets here: 


No matter how much conclusive evidence comes out discussing the amazing benefits of natural foods like leafy greens with all their vitamin K, fresh fruits with all their flavanoids, and raw vegetables with all their antioxidants, it seems most people still want a quick fix. They want to be able to open a premade meal and have it be healthy.

 

Unfortunately, this has never worked, nor will it ever. God has designed food exactly the way it needs to be in order for it to sustain health. It takes time, effort, and major lifestyle changes in order to incorporate these foods into our lives and get rid of the foods that make up the Standard American Diet. There is no quick fix, nor will there ever be. If there was, God would already have revealed it to us. Man cannot improve on God’s creation. We would be wise to remember the story of the Tower of Babel and how God is God and we are not!

 

As Andrew Saul, PhD and author of Doctor Yourself says,

 

Change your life. If you want to get better, that is what you have to do. There is no such thing as a free lunch, a quick fix, or a magic wand to cure illness. I wish there were easy answers to people’s health questions. There aren’t. There are answers, all right, but they are not easy.

 




For more information on the dangers of soy, why unfermented soy (like miso, tempeh, etc.) are safe, and more, here are some pages to check out:


Soy: Too Good To Be True by Charlotte Gerson


This “Miracle Food” Has Been Linked to Brain Damage and Breast Cancer


Fermented Soy Is Only Soy Food Fit For Human Consumption


**Update–Further investigation revealed even more problems with Visalus shakes.  Read the update here: http://healthyfamiliesforgod.com/2011/12/more-ingredients-reveal-more-dangers-with-visalus-products/

If you’ve had adverse reactions as a result of using any of these products, please take a minute to comment and share your experiences. It just may help prevent others from experiencing the same problems, or receiving an incorrect diagnosis. And if you want to become healthy, you can do it without the side effects of products like these! Email me and/or check out my Nutrition Counseling page!

Blessings of good health,
~Sara

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Comments & Responses

42 Responses so far.

  1. [...] (Interestingly, that is why soy (a phytoestrogen) protein shakes can cause clots and stroke. See my article on soy protein shakes here.) Oral contraceptives, even at low doses, significantly increase the risk of cerebral venous [...]

  2. C.Heg says:

    Herbalife also has a product that is NOT soy-based. Here is their Question and Answer section of their website. Please, help me research to see if these claims are true. And if whey is healthy as an alternative to Soy, or if it is just as bad for you. Thank you for your help.

    Q5: Do any of the Herbalife24 products contain artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners?
    A5: No. We have formulated the entire U.S. Herbalife24 line without artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. All the
    products are naturally sweetened for a mild, palatable taste.
    Q6: Do any products in the Herbalife24 line contain soy or gluten protein?
    A6: No. All protein ingredients in the Herbalife24 line are combinations of purified milk, casein and whey protein.

    Q11: Why does the Herbalife24 product line contain dairy protein and not soy?
    A11: For years, many of the professional teams and athletes we sponsor have requested Herbalife® products
    formulated with dairy proteins. We are also responding to the requests of Distributors, who cite the growing
    number of customers looking for alternatives to soy, hence we recently released the Formula 1 Allergen-Free
    shake mix, which is dairy-, soy- and gluten-free.
    Formula 1 Sport is not only a line extension of the classic Formula 1 series, it’s also designed to be a healthy
    meal for athletes. Although soy protein isolate is a high-quality ingredient, the products in the Herblife24 line
    use a combination of whey and casein proteins for rapid and sustained amino acid release, which is perfect for
    athletes looking to build lean muscle.
    Q12: Is dairy protein better for athletes?
    A12: Dairy proteins, consisting of whey and casein, are digested and absorbed at different rates. Whey protein is
    quickly digested, while casein is more slowly digested. Athletes benefit by consuming rapid- and sustainedprotein sources immediately after exercise to help replenish muscle protein, which is why dairy protein is a
    perfect protein for this application. The combination of whey and casein provides an immediate and sustained
    release of amino acids, which is great for active people looking to support lean muscle mass.

  3. [...] In fact, monks incorporate soy into their diets specifically to reduce libido. For more information on what soy protein shakes are doing to our health, check out my post Could Visalus, Herbalife, Shaklee, Reliv, & Other Soy Shakes Actually Be Harming Your Health? [...]

  4. Kendra Batdorf says:

    Did you know that ViSalus soy is NON-GMO? Did you know that it has had the Isoflavones removed? Apparenlty you are mistaken about this amazing product. I am a 6 year breast cancer survivor, having been diagnosed at age 25 and I researched this product beyond belief before I tried it as I had always been told to avoid soy at all costs after having this type of hormone driven cancer. Please be informed that what you are saying about ViSalus is completely false and it has done so much good for the war on obesity, that it saddens me that you would post such misinformation. Signed, Kendra and Jason Batdorf 96# lighter and MORE HEALTHY!

  5. Brenden says:

    Interesting post! Even more interested as to why Visalus would have even let the product out the door knowing it had the “harmful” soy in it. If a company is offering a great product, shouldn’t it be safer and better than the every day run of the mill products? Why would people buy it if it wasn’t? So glad we shop with a company who is more concerned with the consumer than just making a quick buck.

  6. twitter post says:

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  7. Vegan says:

    You need to write to info@visalus.com so you can get your facts straight about their soy that is non-GMO and a patent pending process which has removed the isoflavones and negatives associated with soys. And it’s amazing that you quote Dr Mercola so much but did you realize that the developer of this product, Dr Michael Seidman, sits on the board for Dr Mercola’s LEF? Not too mention Dr Seidman was appointed to the US government as a nutrition expert? We both know that most of the symptoms you are toughting are due to detox which is happening when these people lose weight. However there is another interesting video you should watch if your are having symptoms. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32Vu1fGsZWQ

  8. Ed says:

    You need a little more study before you bash. ” Study to show yourself approved . . . . . . (I hope that phrase is familiar with ya)

    THE ISOFLAVONS HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THE VISALUS SOY!

  9. Pam Jordan says:

    I have noticed sinse I have been taking the shakes by VI, a terriable itching mostly moist areas of my body. I was using almond milk with my shakes so thought it was that now I have stopped the almond milk and it is back again..

  10. Janet bowser says:

    After nearly three months of drinking two to thee shakes a day, I have just today realized that it may be the hakes that are causing my daily headaches.

    The dr did a full blood panel, so maybe I’ll get some answers. I guess I will skip the hakes for now.

    I have been so terribly I’ll with headaches for a couple of months. I have to stay in a quiet dark room to blunt the pain. It’s terrible. And I am so very tired!

  11. Gini says:

    Thank you for this article! I was on my 5th day of Visalus and feeling like crap. Headaches and tired, now I know why. Sending my stuff back today!

  12. Susie says:

    I suggest you get your facts straight before printing a title and article like this…Shaklee’s soy products are NOT genetically-modified (GMO). Plus your information on isoflavones is NOT accurate for soy products that are water processes (not alchoholl processed). I am forwarding this article to Shaklee legal. Since 1956, Shaklee has been providing SAFE and effective natural nutrition that are ALL clinically-proven and has had the highest integrity in the nutritonal field.

  13. SOY ALERT says:

    [...] fatal food allergies Impaired fertility Danger during pregnancy and nursing SEE FULL REVIEW http://healthyfamiliesforgod.com/2011/12/could-visalus-other-soy-products-actually-be-harming-your-h… reference Healthy Families [...]

  14. [...] food allergies  Impaired fertility  Danger during pregnancy and nursing  SEE FULL REVIEW  http://healthyfamiliesforgod.com/2011/12/could-visalus-other-soy-products-actually-be-harming-your-h…       reference  Healthy Families [...]

  15. [...] then I ran across an article by Sara of Healthy Families For God that trashes all soy shakes!!  Although Sara mentioned products by Shaklee, Herbalife, and Ensure [...]

  16. [...] found a great new Christian-based health blog! After reading this post it reminded me that when I had asked for feedback on what you would like to see more of on my sight [...]

  17. Amy says:

    Put diwn the shakes! You’d have to be crazy to choose a shake with who knows what in it over a bowl of steel cut oats or an organic spinach salad. Round and round in your stupid little circles you go, arguing over inconsequential details and ingredients. Why on earth anyone would think that learning to substitute meals (ideally of whole, fresh natural foods) for processed shakes would be a healthy coice is beyond me…

  18. Tom Husby says:

    Really I like the vi shakes just fine. Seams healthy to me.

  19. Shakeology says:

    Would love to here your take on Shakeology!!!!

    • sjpoff says:

      I think Shakeology shakes are an exception to the rule when it comes to diet shakes! Their shakes have an impressive list of healthy ingredients and would make a good supplement. I say supplement instead of meal replacement as I do not believe there is any substitute for fresh, whole foods. Anything that is processed and not fresh cannot be a sole source of nutrients. That said, the ingredients in Shakeology supplements are very similar to the ingredients in our family’s green superfood powder that we add to our smoothies!

  20. Lisa Leslie says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this information. As a mom whose babies were lactose intolerant, I am enraged that infant formula would contain such unsafe products. I can vouch for the GM foods. I never had recurrent sinus/respiratory infections and asthma related problems as I have since 1995 on. I recently learned that the early 90′s is when the GM foods were introduced to the market. I too am in the health and fitness industry and thank you for your research on the topic. Interestingly enough, the first time I lost 25 pounds, I cut out all trans fats, which are not natural in nature, and I easily lost the weight. Since that time 8 years ago, the market is flooded with foods that actually contain trace amounts of trans fats, but claim 0% on the label. We have to do something about our labels to get the food manufacturers to pony up the honesty in what is in the item we are going to eat…. Thanks again for your information! Very helpful.

  21. Thank you for this amazing article. As someone in the health and fitness field, I feel it is my mission to let people know that not all supplements, shakes, and nutritional products are of equal quality. During my 100 pound weight loss, the use of Whole Unprocessed Foods, and Whole Food Supplements was definitely the key. It is great to see other championing the same cause! Keep it up! – Coach Jimmy

  22. Jennifer says:

    Wow if you all look at the research you will find a lot about Soy do not know. People should not be torn apart because of the opinion. It is not about who is right or wrong. You can not say the the consumption of any product could not harm someone we are what we consume. We feed our cells w itch what we put in our body.

    God Bless and have a great day

  23. Ann says:

    So the “so-called” CHRISTIAN who publicly bashes other companies removed my factual post.

  24. Ann says:

    Another amateur, unprofessional MLMER using negative marketing and bashing other companies products.
    This is negative marketing and will not gain you any respect or new business partners.
    You are trying to build your Tower up by tearing other towers down.
    All you are doing is burning bridges. Nobody will want to join you.
    Herbalife for example has been around for a very long time, has excellent products and is a billion dollar company.
    For you to PUBLICLY say that they have been harming people is just plain stupid. You could set yourself up for a lawsuit.
    As for soy, get EDUCATED!
    Not all soy is the same.
    Ever hear of Reliv International?
    ALL soy based products that have changed peoples lives for decades. Their soy products does NOT raise estrogen levels.
    I am neither with Visalus or Herbalife OR Reliv.
    Just tired of the bashing.
    You could have made your point about soy (as ignorant as it is) WITHOUT naming company names.
    You have lots to learn amateur marketer.

  25. Debbie Scott says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this information and I agree with you 100%. Soy Isolate is a bad product, and it is the first ingredient listed on the Visalus shakes. I have had several friends try this product and it left them with severe headaches and extremely tired. I have researched the harmful effects of soy for the last year and I find nothing good comes from soy. And as you said it is the number one genetically modified crop we have. We need to know what we are putting in our bodies and the long term damage it is causing. Kuddos to you and your research!!

  26. [...] Diet and protein shakes aren’t healthy either! They may work for a time, but these are all still processed, dead foods that are man-made, not God-made. (See my post on protein shakes here: http://healthyfamiliesforgod.com/2011/12/could-visalus-other-soy-products-actually-be-harming-your-…/) [...]

  27. Carolynn Hunsucker says:

    I appologize, I see that my post has returned. Thank you.

  28. Carolynn Hunsucker says:

    I am really saddened that you have removed my post, which explained to you in detail, and very peacefully, how though what you say is 100% accurate, it has absolutely Nothing to do with ViSalus (each point that you make against a normal protein shake, I have argued was not true for ViSalus). ViSalus is a very high-quality protein shake WITHOUT Isoflavones or Hormones. And is Non-GMO, and every other point that I made on my post to explain how it was inaccurate that you are mentioning ViSalus in your article. This article is Slanderous and therefore not Christian-like, and so I am disappointed that you are misrepresenting on 2 fronts.

    I promote ViSalus because I have hyperisuinemia and before ViSalus was very estrogen-dominant. All of the reasons that you argue above are the reasons Why I specifically use and promote ViSalus and why I have felt and been healthier the last 5 months than I’ve felt for 20-some years. I’m sorry, but please remove the name and picture of ViSalus from this article. I’m asking you because it is the right thing to do.

    • Sara says:

      Sadly, ViSalus uses artificial sweeteners if I am correct. And if you have to strip and process soy to DEATH to get it to the consistency and “nutritional” level you are talking about than good grief! throw it out!! NATURAL WHOLE UNPROCESSED FOODS!!!! Countries in the Orient, who live SURROUNDED by soy fields, DO NOT use soy in it’s natural state. at all. they only eat soy fermented. Kinda tells you something.

      • Randy says:

        I agree with you 100% Sara! I have done extensive research on artificial sweeteners and they are dangerous toxins! There is no coincidence that since the introduction of artificial sweeteners that cancers and other maladies are on the rise.

        I was recently at a Health Exhibit and talked to 3 Visalus reps about the use of sucralose in their products. Not even one of the 3 reps knew what sucralose was. It terrified me people that are reps have no clue. I explained to all of them what it is, how it is made (with Chlorine) and they responded back to me that it is only a little amount in the shakes. I said so it is it ok to have a little amount of gasoline? It made no sense, as a chemical toxin is harmful even in the very smallest of amounts! I know this as a friend used Visalus, (even against my concern) and after only one shake feel very ill for multiple days, and had all the symptoms of artificial sweetener poisoning.

        I get it that when you chat to a Visalus user/rep that had amazing results are loyal and passionate about the product. You may just have a higher tolerance to surcalose, but you will be harming your body in the long run as it is a chemical and over time be causing a toxic overload that could contribute to a severe malady down the road. Chemicals in the body are one of the biggest contributors to cancers and other maladies. The human body can not process a chemical as it is foreign to our bodies and the body doesn’t know what to properly do to these chemicals.

        If you have further questions please contact me as I am passionate about teaching people to stop using artificial sweeteners!

        • Hi Randy. I agree; “artificial sweeteners” are the worst, and everyone should stay away from them at all cost! However, Sucralose should never be considered “artificial sweetener” unless you would also consider white sugar “artificial.” The two go through the exact same chlorination Process (not chlorine added, chlorine used in the process)..

          Yes, all white sugar used to be brown.. White sugar is numerous times worse than sucralose, in my opinion, because of its glycemic effect, but even worse, we know that sugar FUELS cancer and yeast (they completely thrive on it). So now you have both the chlorination process (which leaves minimal chlorine residual..would love to see a comparison to one bottle of water or certainly tap water!) AND you have an increase in yeast and a potential dangerous situation if you have cancer in your body.. Sucralose does not fuel cancer or yeast, and is great for those of us with endocrine disorders.

          The main sweetener in Vi-Shape shake mix is non-cramping maltilol, a sugar alcohol, which you will find in every Health Food Store. Audrey Summerfield, the nutritionist of ViSalus Sciences goes into detail about why ViSalus decided to use Sucralose instead of other sweeteners (and it’s a good thing that they didn’t go with the Stevia option..check out all of the negative publicity it has had recently). Too much sugar alcohols=diarrhea or cramping. What else could have been used that would have had such a drastic positive effect on the health of people that struggle with diabetes, hyperinsulinemia, and/or obesity??’

          Just because Aspertame and Nutrasweet were such nasty, scary products does not say ANYthing about brown sugar that goes through a chlorination process.. Should we just tell that obese person that even though they could lose 200 pounds in a healthy manner (Eric Rose) or a diabetic that their A1C can become completely normal or someone with high cholesterol (who has been taking damaging cholesterol medication) who could develop normal cholesterol with the nutrition of ViSalus that they should stay away from ViSalus because of the chlorination process that Sucralose goes through? If so, then PLEASE also warn these people plus everyone else in the world at how even more dangerous Sugar and Water is to their health.. sorry, just saying..

  29. Carolynn Hunsucker says:

    Hello. I have carefully read your article regarding soy products. I have a condition, PCOS, who’s root cause is glucose intollerance and hyperinsulinemia, which leads to hyperestrogenemia, so avoiding soy has been a normal and meticulous practice for me for years. I have also been diagnosed with hypothyroidism and have been treated with Armour Thyroid for a couple years.

    I am really glad that you are warning people about soy, but, though I am a non-confrontational person, I have to say that I am extremely dissappointed that you are referring specifically to ViSalus, and I would like take a peaceful moment to explain why, if I may:

    You write about the dangers of phytoestrogens in soy and their great dangers. True-Spot on. But, please note that ViSalus’ shake mix is completely Isoflavone-Free and therefore Completely Phytoestrogen and hormone-free. No, it is not fermented. To ferment soy enough to remove all isoflavones, one would have to turn it into soy sauce (no protein left at that point). The Soy in ViSalus undergoes Isoflavone removal via a water filtration procedure. I wish that it was stated on the bag that it was estrogen-free; you have to do research to find this. I will be asking the company to consider changing this. I would be happy to provide ducumentation for you (please call or email me so that I can send it as an attachment, etc.).

    Next, you refer to Genetic Modification. Again, I completely agree with you; GM is horrible, and soy is one of the worst GMs ever used (in my opinion). Again, I stay away from soy products, and this reason ties with the first for why. However, ViSalus is Non-GMO. This is plainly stated on the package, yet your article seems to be referring to ViSalus here as well..

    Your comment about Protein Digestion with Soy: Okay, that might be true (I have never heard of that one). But, ViSalus can never be accused of this. The shake mix has a natural plant extract in it called Aminogen. Aminogen does the opposite of what you are referring to; it actually breaks proteins down into amino acids and carries them into the cells. The effectiveness of lean muscle mass building with ViSalus is something that no one needs to really defend.. But I would like to share with you that the last time that I was able to wear these size-10 jeans, I was 15 pounds lighter, and they fit me much more comfortably now than they did then. One of ViSalus co-founders, Blake Mallen, who has been tiny and scrawny his whole life, just took the 90-Day Challenge to put muscle on and was able to put 23 pounds on in 90 Days (exercised twice weekly?). You can watch his video on YouTube if you would like to see exactly what he did to do this. Many athletes and fitness trainers have benefitted the same way. I can share more testimonies with you by email again.

    Hemagluttin- Can’t speak much to this one except to say this: is it possible that the other nutrients in the shake combat this? I hate to specifically refer to ViSalus if we don’t know that.. since July, when I started ViSalus twice daily, I have never felt so oxygenated, clear-minded, and energenic as an adult. I have a lot of other health testimonies that I can share too, like how my once severe asthma is all but gone..think I used a rescue inhaler once-possibly twice since ViSalus. That is a major life-transformation for me, and it speaks toward oxygenation for sure. Truly, it is amazing how our bodies can heal when they are getting the nutrients that God intended.

    Aluminum and Metal Toxicity: Again, it’s good that you are talking about these things, but I don’t believe that ViSalus should have been refferred to in this article regarding this topic either.. ViSalus shakes are loaded with PREbiotics, which actually detoxify our systems by fueling our natural flora. Though what happened to me was very strange to me, my Natural Medicine Specialist confirmed: I broke out in stinky persperation under my arms, starting the 3rd day of taking ViSalus. This lasted weeks, and now, if I ever use Aluminum-based Deodorant (the only Aluminum that I used to allow near my body-very careful there otherwise), the same thing happens for days again. How do we remove these metals from our bodies? Perspiration is the only way.. Sounds strange, but true. First time in my life that I really had to be cautious about stinking under my arms. No aluminum deodorant, no problems.

    Goiters and Thyroid Issues: Not the case with ViSalus. If you need specifics as to why, please email me, and I will get clinical reasoning for you. But, I will say that it is very exciting that ViSalus shakes contain 30% of the RDA of Iodine in each shake (that’s 60% RDA in 2 shakes daily). Where else do you get this? Salt, or you could supplement with a lot of Kelp. I believe that most people who have weight issues are hyperinsulinemic. One of the side effects of this: low thyroid. Again, I personally, take Armour Thyroid for hypothyroidism. As confirmed by my lab results, my thyroid levels have improved since ViSalus. My doctor is even considering taking me off the medication alltogether. I have a friend from church who went from taking a very high dosage of Synthroid down to the smallest dosage since ViSalus, about 10 months ago. She too was told that if she continued with ViSalus that her next TSH might indicate that she too may no longer needs medicinal support for her hypothyroidism.

    Hormones: related to Isoflavones and phytoestrogens, which aren’t in ViSalus, but I wanted to specifically share with you (again, as confirmed by both my physician and natural medicine specialist) that because there are no estrogens in the shake and because the shake as a whole combats hyperinsulinemia so well, ViSalus does (and does for me specifically) help reduce the amount of serum estrogen in a hyperinsulinemic person. It also helps to reduce hyperinsulinemic-induced hypertestosteronemia, which again, is very common. Testosterone converts to estrogen in the body, and the excess of both is very dangerous for a woman.. I also have 2 friends in their 50′s who, beginning their first week of taking ViSalus, no longer have hot flashes or any of their previous menopausal symptoms.

    Regarding the comment on companies being a scam if they talk about how many foods you would have to eat to get similar nutrient- amounts. I felt the same way the first time I saw the video. It confused me, because I didn’t see what was written above each food (specific nutrient that you would be getting the equivavent to..and I now see that the comparison is fair and accurate).Granted, we should all be getting all of our nutrients from organic foods, but since the fall of man, I’m not sure that this is happening with anyone. I have tried. Many of us, who are concerned about treating our bodies like the gifts from God that they are, supplement with Vitamins because of this. ViSalus meals cost less than $2.00 per meal, and I’m grateful that there is such a healthy meal available to me others that I can actually afford.

    In summary, please know that none of this is meant to be an attack on you nor on anything that you stand for. I love the Lord dearly, and I would never wish to offend you, sister. I know that ViSalus was and is an answered prayer for me and for so many others, and I couldn’t just Not share with you the information that I have, which is contrary to this article. I completely agree and applaud your article and its information about soy, but I really wish that you would not have referred specifically to ViSalus.. Actually, I wonder if you, after further researching what I have shared with you, might consider ViSalus a healthy alternative to all of the unhealthy Soy in the world and maybe consider it for yourself.

    Thank you for your time, and God Bless. I do hope to further correspond with you,

    Carolynn Hunsucker, RN
    chunsucker@nc.rr.com
    919-252-7767

    • Carolynn- THANK YOU! FOR! CLARIFYING! I had a friend present me with this article to day and everything almost you said- I had told him- SO PLEASED you pleaded our case- I am a Believer- Christian- doing Visalus-it has changed my life and my families life…you were SPOT ON EVERYTHING…I had researched the soy- checking the fermentation aspect and I found this- thought it may have been some interest to you- lmk your thoughts…
      Les Lea
      115:1

      Soy protein isolate is a highly refined or purified form of soy protein with a minimum protein content of 90% on a moisture-free basis. It is made from defatted soy flour which has had most of the non-protein components, fats and carbohydrates removed. Because of this, it has a neutral flavor and will cause less flatulence due to bacterial fermentation.

      It says it goes througha bacterial fermentation process…hmmmmmmm ;) so ANOTHER PLUS!

  30. [...] my post on the dangers of soy found in all kinds of things including Visalus products http://healthyfamiliesforgod.com/2011/12/could-visalus-other-soy-products-actually-be-harming-your-h…), I did some follow-up investigation. What I discovered was even worse. I think it’s very [...]

  31. Renee says:

    Thank you for this! I agree 100% and will try to share this article with people. I’ve had more knowledge of Reliv, specifically, which is very similar to the product you discuss.

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