The health industry is booming when it comes to the business aspect of it. Many companies big or small are taking advantage of the rapid and ever growing desire of people to live healthier lives or at least try to. Although this sentiment is not as new as most people think, the advent of technology has made it more possible for people to market new health products or even promote older ones in a new way. One company that has existed for a few decades and has found resurgence in recent years due to social media efforts is Herbalife.
Herbalife is a company that functions through multi-level marketing and distribution. The company’s foremost products are health-related and deal mostly with weight management, supplementation, sports nutrition, and personal care. Herbalife works much like other multi-level marketing companies in that it follows a type of pyramid scheme. Success in Herbalife comes in two ways: through financial gain and/or health gain.
While many people are attracted to Herbalife’s premise of health or wealth, there are many underlying problems in the company’s production and operation that makes it ultimately questionable whether Herbalife is legitimately positive for your overall health. Whether you are thinking of joining Herbalife or have been a part of it for some time, it is imperative to consider a few factors that may point out why Herbalife might actually not be a good thing to meddle into.
Are Herbalife products actually healthy?It might be a good idea to start with the products themselves, as they are the bread and butter of the entire Herbalife operation. Herbalife claims to be a health-promoting company. They sell products that promote weight loss and weight control such as shakes, snacks, and other supplements. They also have options for soy-based, vegetarian, kosher, and even allergen free products among many other alternatives. It is important for current and future customers to know that third party companies manufacture many of Herbalife’s products, not the Herbalife Corporation itself. Being a multibillion-dollar company, it comes as a surprise as to why Herbalife doesn’t self-manufacture all of their products, and it also adds to the questionable reputation of their products.
The original Herbalife products contained ephedrine, a compound that is known to act as diet pills. This compound is also commonly used as a decongestive medication. Herbalife removed ephedrine from its products in 2002, while the FDA banned all supplements containing ephedrine in 2004. It remains to question as to why Herbalife included ephedrine in their products in the first place, when even common sense will urge the layperson to not take any type of diet pills in the first place because of adverse side effects.
In addition, Herbalife also uses ingredients in their products that have questionable health benefits. For one, they use tons of GMOs in their products. GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are organic materials whose DNA have been genetically engineered. These are generally considered harmful for your health, and any company that claims to help you be healthy should not have any GMOs in their ingredient list. Also, Herbalife’s products contain artificial sweeteners and toxic emulsifiers that are also harmful for your body.
For those people who do not pay attention to ingredient lists, Herbalife is taking advantage of you. For a company that claims to be helpful for your health, Herbalife sure puts in too many things into their products that are absolutely toxic for your body. Investigations and scientific studies into Herbalife have been conducted throughout the world because of the hepatoxicity that has been linked to consumption of Herbalife products. Enough accounts of liver problems that have been linked to Herbalife use have warranted this global investigation into actual causality. Although many of the studies were inconclusive, again, it begs to question why there would be any peer-reviewed studies to begin with regarding a health-promoting company.
Herbalife is a financial drain
Many in the Herbalife community will defend the company’s products and the supposed results in positive weight loss. However, they will not disclose the amount of money it takes to see such results. In addition, studies have shown that weight loss doesn’t happen with exclusive use of Herbalife products alone. It still all boils down to the amount of dieting and exercise an individual puts in with the program. This is not considering the fact that Herbalife products are some of the most expensive in the market. Why it costs so much to buy genetically modified products and toxic ingredients is baffling.
Also, those who claim to have found success in working for Herbalife mainly push for product distribution more than anything else. The company also claims that the products sell themselves. However, Herbalife fails to address other important aspects of health besides weight management, supplementation, and exercise. Losing weight does not in any way signify a healthy body nor does regular supplementation and exercise, and a healthy body sure doesn’t have to cost as much as Herbalife puts it out to be.
The products and operations of Herbalife have way too many questionable bits to them for anyone to blindly consider buying into or being a part of. People need to remember that Herbalife is a business first before it is anything else, and whether they ultimately care for your health should be reflected in the products they manufacture for you to consume. You should not, under any circumstances, consume anything that has detrimental effects for your body. There are much better and more natural alternatives to using Herbalife. They can save you tons of money as well. There truly is no replacement for fresh, organic, and clean foods. Supplementation should also be directed by a health care provider and not your upper manager. There’s also no replacing hard work and dedication when it comes to exercising and living a healthier life in general. Consider Herbalife to be just a shortcut, because it is. And when it comes to your health and life, no shortcuts are worth taking.
Deborah Crowe (June 10, 2008). “Herbalife Sued Over Product Safety”. Los Angeles Business Journal.
Elinav, E; Pinsker, G; Safadi, R; Pappo, O; Bromberg, M; Anis, E; Keinan-Boker, L; Broide, E; et al. (2007). “Association between consumption of Herbalife nutritional supplements and acute hepatotoxicity”. Journal of hepatology. 47 (4): 514–20.
Heller, Matthew (February 18, 2001). “Death and Denial at Herbalife”. Los Angeles Times. p. 2.
Schoepfer, AM; Engel, A; Fattinger, K; Marbet, UA; Criblez, D; Reichen, J; Zimmermann, A; Oneta, CM (2007). “Herbal does not mean innocuous: Ten cases of severe hepatotoxicity associated with dietary supplements from Herbalife products”. Journal of hepatology. 47 (4): 521–6.