You have probably already heard of HERBALIFE?
Herbalife is a slimming program that comes to us from the United States, and has been on the market for over 20 years now.
We have investigated this slimming cure which is regularly talked about, to shed light on its qualities and its faults.
Herbalife presentation and promises
Herbalife offers herbal and protein-based slimming products and cures.
We will focus today on the 2 flagship programs of the brand: the Quick Start program, and the Quick Start + program.
The Quick Start program
This program is intended for people wishing to stabilize and maintain their ideal weight. It is also perfect for those who have little time to cook but still pay attention to their figure.
It consists of 4 products:
1. Herbalife Formula 1:
A meal replacement in the form of a shake, rich in protein, to be taken in place of one of the three main meals of the day, with a fruit or associated with a cereal.
2. Formula 2:
A multivitamin complex that contains more than 15 vitamins and minerals, to complete the recommended daily allowances.
To be taken at the rate of 1 capsule per day during a meal.
3. Fiber-based dietary supplement:
For people who find it difficult to consume enough fiber, this supplement helps to reach the RDA of 25g.
To be taken at the rate of 2 capsules, 3 times a day with a large glass of water, at mealtimes.
4. Formula 3:
A protein powder that allows you to personalize your diet by adding protein.
1 CS provides 5g of protein. Take 1 to 4 servings a day, mixing the powder into a shake, or into a sauce or soup.
The Quick Start + program
This program is an extended version of the Quick Start program, offering weight control over 1 full month.
The program consists of:
- 2 Formula 1 Herbalife (1 vanilla flavor + another of your choice);
- 1 Formula 2;
- 1 fiber-based supplement;
- 1 Formula 3.
These components will be covered in detail below in the section reserved for ingredients.
The Herbalife Company
Herbalife was born in 1980 in the United States, in other words, the company has been able to dig its furrow in the weight loss sector.
Today Herbalife is present in more than 90 countries, through an extensive network of independent distributors.
Herbalife is one of the world’s leading direct selling companies.
On the official website, several information suggests that Herbalife is a reliable and serious company, in which the consumer can trust:
- A serious scientific committee, with many scientists from all over the world;
- Herbalife is a member of the FVD (Fédération de la Vente Directe), and therefore respects a charter and sales ethics;
- Herbalife is a member of SYNADIET (National Union of Manufacturers of Dietary Products and Food Supplements).
Herbalife Customer Service can be contacted by mail or telephone.
Herbalife also offers, like other weight loss programs, to become an independent distributor and distribute their product line. This opportunity would be, according to the official website, a very good source of additional income.
We investigated further and discovered that Professor Louis J. Ignacio, a member of Herbalife’s Scientific Council, actually received a large sum of money to promote the merits of the product.
(Source : Wikipedia)
From there, we are entitled to question the reliability of the other members of this scientific committee…
Ingredients found in Herbalife products
Let’s review the ingredients of the different products that make up Herbalife’s 2 main programs.
1. Formula 1:
This shake is made from a soy protein base, and provides 18g of protein per serving.
Soy protein is now recognized as a high quality protein, just as effective as whey protein.
Soy protein contains all essential amino acids, as well as potassium, zinc, iron, vitamin E, phosphorus and B vitamins.
The increased protein intake aims to increase muscle mass, which, therefore, will activate the basal metabolism and facilitate energy expenditure and the burning of calories.
We will notice all the same, by taking a look at the label of Herbalife’s Formula 1, a very long and unnatural list of ingredients.
The label can be downloaded from the official website.
2. Formula 2:
It is a complex of 15 vitamins and minerals.
We can cite the presence of vitamin A, B6, B9, zinc, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin C and vitamin E.
This set contributes to the proper overall functioning of the body, and in particular to several essential functions:
- Good immune system health;
- Metabolism of fatty acids and sugars;
- Energy production ;
- Better resistance to effort;
- Bone health;
- Fight against fatigue;
3. Fiber Complex:
These capsules contain oat fiber, inulin, and parsley.
The advantage of soluble fibers is that they form a gel when they come into contact with liquids. Thus in the stomach they facilitate the sliding of residues and waste from the intestine, which will be eliminated by natural means.
These fibers also allow less absorption of fats, bad cholesterol and triglycerides, slow down the absorption of carbohydrates and slow down the increase in blood sugar.
They stimulate transit, and also prolong the feeling of satiety.
4. Formula 3:
Herbalife Formula 3 is a protein powder made from soy protein and whey protein.
These 2 types of protein combine very well and will strengthen the action on muscle mass and metabolism, conducive to weight loss and maintaining body tone.
The label (downloadable from the official website) shows a fairly simple product design, which is rather reassuring.
Scientific studies on Herbalife
The official website does not mention any clinical studies.
However, we found on the web 2 references to clinical studies, carried out on Herbalife’s Formula 1.
The first study involved 100 overweight people, subjected to 2 different levels of protein in their diet, for 1 year.
The results showed that people who consumed Formula 1 + the protein powder, and people who consumed Formula 1 + a placebo, had nearly identical weight control.
However, the group that consumed Formula 1 + protein powder lost more body fat than the other.
The second study compared 2 groups having consumed, one 1 shake over 2 meals + protein powder, the other no product, but a correct protein intake via food.
The results showed, here too, that the consumption of the shake + protein promotes weight control.
These 2 studies go in the direction of a serious validation of Herbalife products and their effectiveness. However, we found no trace of the official sources of these 2 studies.
For example, the first experiment was reportedly published in the August 2008 issue of the magazine Journal of Nutrition. Our searches of the journal’s archives turned up nothing, and the issue listed does not contain any studies relating to an Herbalife product…
The second study was reportedly presented in 2009 at the European Congress on Obesity, held in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Obesity Association World Conference held in Phoenix, UNITED STATES. Again, we found no trace of this presentation.
We are again questioning…what about the veracity of these clinical studies? Do they really exist? Where are the official results?
Side effects and contraindications of Herbalife products
The official website does not mention any contraindications or side effects.
On the other hand, we discovered a complete file from the poison control center, referring to a toxicology study carried out on Herbalife products following several cases of liver disease between 2000 and 2008, in France and in various countries.
This document refers to several studies showing that Herbalife products are indeed the cause of certain liver dysfunctions.
(Source : Toxicovigilance Coordination Committee. Census of poisoning observations concerning products in the range. February 2009.)
Herbalife User Testimonials
The testimonies collected on the web are almost all unanimous. Herbalife offers products dangerous to health.
Many people report having kidney problems since taking Herbalife.
On top of that, the taste of the shakes is generally not appreciated, and the program seems to promote the yoyo effect.
Other people testify to the methods of sale and enrollment of independent distributors of the brand, and mention a very high price, and, according to their words, a real “brainwashing”.
Price and warranty
Herbalife products are not available on the internet or in pharmacies or parapharmacies.
If you want to get them, you will have to go through an independent distributor. To do this, it is possible to leave your details on the site to be contacted.
No price information is available on the official website.
Following our research, we know all the same that a complete cure costs around 500€/month.
A 30-day money-back guarantee is offered.
Our opinion on the Herbalife slimming program
Despite a rather attractive showcase, our investigation revealed too many suspicious points regarding Herbalife.
Doubtful scientific committee, untraceable scientific studies, proven cases of poisoning… there is too much vagueness about these products.
We recommend that you go your own way and go for slimming products whose reliability has not been questioned.
Alternative to Herbalife
If you want to consult another test about an effective and serious slimming solution, I advise you to review the article below:
“PhenQ” is a slimming tablet that combines the positive slimming effects of several dietary supplements to achieve optimal weight loss!
See the analysis and testimonials on PhenQ!
Last update: September 14, 2022.