Vital Reds Review

Gundry MD Vital Reds Review

Vital Reds SupplementAs we all know, some of the reasons customers might reach for a particular product on the shelf include price, sales-pitch (unique selling point) and familiarity with the brand.

With my Vital Reds review, I am looking into a brand that we have already examined: Gundry MD. You may have already read my reviews of Primal Plants and Prebio Thrive.

Gundry MD Vital Reds is another product that claims to harness the power of plants and deliver it directly to us. Similar to other superfoods powders, the claim is that through providing you with all the fruits and veggies you need in a day, in one handy dose, you can improve your overall health.

So what exactly does Vital Reds do and why should we be taking it every day? Read on to find out more.

First Impressions

Looking at the Gundry.MD website, Vital Reds is highlighted under ‘Best Seller’. The site claims that Vital Red’s “revolutionary formula combines the power of 34 polyphenol-rich superfruits with natural fat-burning ingredients and probiotics.” So far so informative. But what do all these fabulous ingredients do? The blurb further claims that;

Vital Reds helps your body maintain higher energy levels, better digestion, and healthier-looking skin.

I’m interested in finding out exactly what these ingredients do, after all, we could just choose to buy any different superfood product which promises to have polyphenols as ingredients.

So what sets Gundry MD Vital Reds apart from the pack?

Background on Gundy MD

Gundy MD Profile PictureAs I mentioned above I have previously reviewed other products by Gundry MD, so I already know a little bit about the business and the man behind the brand.

Steven Gundry (MD) is a former Cardiac surgeon who moved into the market of wellness products when he developed a theory that diet is the bedrock of all human health issues. Establishing the Center for Restorative Medicine, he went on to look at how some common beliefs about ‘health foods’ are perhaps not as they seem.

His most recent theory is that Lectins within legumes and other plant foods are harmful to the gut. This has been widely debunked as ‘pseudoscience’. Nevertheless, Gundry is as popular as ever, and he has written several books including the best-selling ‘Plant Paradox: the hidden dangers in ‘healthy’ foods that cause weight gain’.

Due to the longstanding nature of the business, Gundry MD products have a solid reputation amongst the superfood customer base. Many of Gundry’s products seem similar to others in the wellness sphere. The range includes superfoods blends, probiotics and slimming aids.

What seems to be more unique is that some of their products – which center around the ‘leaky gut’ theory – look at preventing damage to health by protecting the body from toxins in foods. For example, their ‘lectin shield’, and Total Restore blend, of which they claim to have sold over 2 million jars.

I happen to believe that doctors have a responsibility to check their evidence when supporting the health claims of any products, and I’m also interested in how they can forge impressive careers in the wellness sphere selling products which become bestsellers. So, taking Vital Reds as an example, I’ll look for more detail on the basis for these claims.

Vital Reds Ingredients

Gundy MD Vital reds supplement labelVital Reds is a blend of fruits and vegetables, containing vitamins, minerals, other herbal extracts and probiotics.

The listed ingredients are as follows:

  • Reds Blend (1,760 mcg)
    • Carrot, organic apple peel, grape skin extract, Aronia berry extract, organic flaxseed, grape seed extract, acai fruit extract, acerola fruit extract, apple, apple pectin, organic beetroot, blackberry, European black currant fruit extract, blueberry fruit concentrate, cranberry fruit extract, mango, mulberry fruit, papaya, pomegranate, red raspberry, strawberry, cantaloupe, cherry, grape, grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange, peach, pear, pineapple, plum, watermelon, berberine hydrochloride
  • Metabolic Enhancing Blend (365 mg)
    • Cinnamon bark 5:1 extract, green tea leaf extract, white tea leaf extract, ginger root, turmeric root extract, bitter melon fruit extract, black pepper fruit
  • Digestive Support Blend:
    • Probiotic Blend 3 billion CFU – Bacillus coagulans, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus reuteri. Fructooligosaccharides 250 mg

Disappointingly I can see from this listing that they are using a proprietary blend, meaning the manufacturers have not stated the dose of each individual ingredient.

This is always frustrating, as I find it difficult to find the supporting evidence for the efficacy of a product (or an individual ingredient) if you don’t know how much of such ingredients you are getting.

How Does Vital Reds Taste?

Due to the fruits within Vital Reds’ ingredients it would presumably have a mild fruity flavour. Reviewers on Gundry’s own website claim that the taste is pleasant.

Side Effects

It would not be unusual to experience a small amount of digestive discomfort the first few times you take a product like this as it contains probiotics and fructooligosaccharides which have an effect on the digestive system.

Does Vital Reds Actually Work?

As we’ve already established Vital Reds is made up of proprietary blends. This means that despite giving the amount of each individual blend in the ingredients listing, we can’t be certain of the amount of each specific ingredient we are getting. This is important because (certainly for the most scientifically-studied ingredients) there are recommended doses. Those ingredients that have been widely researched for their efficacy are more likely to have a recommended dosage.

aronia berriesTake for example Aronia berry (Aronia melanocarpa), the third item on the ingredients list. Looking at we can see that the recommended dose for this fruit is about 300mg of fruit extract.

It’s impossible for us to tell how much of the fruit is included in the proprietary blend in Vital Reds so how do we know that we would be getting any of its benefits?

Similarly, if we look at green tea (from the Metabolic blend), we know that green tea is often used in weight-loss products and the research is still ongoing on how tea affects the metabolic processes in the body. Nevertheless, research shows that a daily dose of around 200-400mg may have antioxidative effects and beneficial effects on blood vessels (therefore giving some protection against cardiovascular disease).

But, again, we do not know how much is included in the metabolic blend of Vital Reds.

Unsurprisingly the citations on the Vital Reds evidence page are those of specific studies into individual ingredients looking at distinct outcomes. For example, the study ‘The effect of grape-seed extract on 24 h energy intake in humans’ would be looking at that single ingredient with a measurable outcome.

This is not proving any kind of efficacy of the product as a whole, so I’m not convinced about the claims Gundry MD are making about Vital Reds and energy.

Next on the list of claims are those around polyphenols. How do these powerful plant-derivatives work?

I’m not convinced about all the claims Gundry MD are making about Vital Reds and energy.

The current evidence shows that people who eat diets high in polyphenols may have some protection against cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. The next piece of research I read claims that polyphenol intake is highest in alcohol drinkers (possibly because of the polyphenol content of grapes?).

So, fruits (especially red berries) contain higher amounts of polyphenols and flavonoids.

But is taking them in a form such as Vital Reds going to give a significant boost in health? It’s difficult to tell when we don’t have all the facts.

Vital Reds Customer Reviews

I will give a cross-section of the reviews from Amazon sellers:

Product did not work as promisedone star

Not great for me2 stars

Excellent5 stars

Money Back Guarantee / Returns Policy

There is a money back guarantee on products purchased from Gundry MD’s site, valid for 90 days from purchase.

Where to Buy Vital Reds?

You can buy Vital Reds online or Amazon.

Is It Worth the Price?

Vital Reds retails at $69.95 (USD) for one jar, $199.36 (saving $10) for 3 jars and $377.73 (saving $41) for 6 jars. This is the current price on the GundryMD website.

In my personal opinion, I don’t think this product represents particularly good value for money, and many reviewers state that they also think the product is on the expensive end of the market.

quantities just aren’t transparent enough for me to work out what benefits I would get from taking this product.

Presumably, the company assume that pricing their product more at the premium end of the market gives consumers the idea that there are premium ingredients and therefore big benefits to be experienced. I’m not sure that this thinking really works for this product. The main reason being that the quantities just aren’t transparent enough for me to work out what benefits I would get from taking this product.

The Bottom Line

Dr Gundry has a long and established career both in the medical field and in the Wellness sphere. He has followers and acolytes who will buy and praise his products.

When we are looking for a specific health product to ‘cure’ or solve a problem I believe we should be looking more closely at evidence and not just the sales pitch. Of course, medics and other professionals have a duty of care to ensure that any products they are backing (or selling!) are appropriately researched.

I’m just not convinced that the Gundry products are thoroughly researched enough, nor do they tick the box of being transparent about their ingredients and amounts used.

So for me, Gundry MD products can stay firmly on the shelf (with their expensive price tag) whilst I continue looking for the right products for me.

Lyma copper jarSo, clearly I don’t fall into the supermodel category, but I was taken a back when I first came across this supplement. When you first set you eyes upon Lyma Life its easy to be impressed.

This new luxury pill looks more like a fashion accessory than a supplement.

Packaged in a expensive looking hand-crafted copper pot, inside copper coloured pills with stencilled crown logo on the side, Lyma Life exudes luxury and claim you can improve beauty and boost health for the mere price of £199 ($250 USD) per month.

It’s hard to ignore this self-proclaimed “super supplement”.

With very strong claims of 80 per cent smoother skin, strengthen hair by 47 per cent and nails by 88 per cent, improved sleep and brain energy, maximised immunity and a reduction in stress and anxiety.

Can this beautiful looking copper pill give you the strength and beauty in body and mind at a price? Or is this simply great marketing of a so-so supplement? Check out my honest Lyma Life review.

First Impressions

The marketing sees a striking copper pot containing copper coloured pills, often in the hands of beautiful people. Whilst the imagery is really good and I can see this maybe effective for some people, my immediate thought was are they overcompensating for a poor product with great marketing?

The hand-crafted copper pot that comes with the “starter kit” looks great although it’s unlikely to be too expensive itself (my opinion only as I haven’t held one in my hands!).

I talk more about the ingredients below, but briefly there do look to be some good stuff inside the Lyma formula, so I was excited to take a look.

Lyma Life copper jar and pills

Background on LYMA Life Limited

Lyma Life is based in the UK and has been trading for a couple of years.

Reported to be the brain child of British personal trainer Russell Bateman, Lyma was developed over two years to be the go to supplement for his A-list clientele. This certainly explains the price as this gives a new meaning to the term “premium priced” supplements.

If your client list includes the likes actress Liv Tyler, singer Ellie Goulding and several Victoria’s Secret models, it’s easy to see why the UK media have dubbed Lyma the “supermodel supplement”.

The company claim that their copper-coloured capsules promise to improve beauty and boost health. Here is the kicker though, results can be seen within 3-months.

That’s right, you have to take this expensive “super supplement” for three months MINIMUM.

Lyma Life Ingredients

There are just eight ingredients in the Lyma Life formula, which includes two vitamins (K and D3), all using from patented forms of ingredients.

Let’s delve into each one, some of which will be familiar to you if you have looked into supplement labels before.

KSM-66 Ashwagandha Extract (600mg)

This adaptogenic herb has a number of health benefits and the reason why I include this amazing ingredient in my supplement. Lyma use a patented version called KSM-66 made by Lxoreal Biomed and claims to be most clinically studied Ashwagandha on the market.

The list of benefits include; helping to reduce stress and anxiety, enhance memory and cognition, support a healthy weight, and maintain healthy testosterone in men.

Cynatine HNS (250mg)

This patented ingredient from Roxlor LLC supplies active keratin, which plays an important role in the body. It is a major structural component of hair, skin and nails, but it is not naturally soluble, bioavailable or digestible. Studies ran have shown improvements in hair, skin and nails over a 90-day period.

Cognizin (250mg)

Lyma uses the patented version of citicoline called Cognizin, developed by Kyowa Hakko USA.

Cognizin citicoline provides vital nutrients that help the brain. Cognizin helps maintain normal levels of acetylcholine, a nootropic nutrient that regulates cognitive function.

Cognizin is also inside the formula of my recommended nootropic supplement Mind Lab Pro in the same dosage.

Lycored Lycopene (30mg)

Lycored Lycopene is the patented version of Lycopene is a form of carotenoid that’s been shown to support skin, prostate, cardiovascular, vision and bone health. This is used in Lyma to promote healthy skin and cardiovascular system.

Hydrocurc (250mg)

Hydrocurc is a patented form of Curcuma longa extract, a new type of curcumin, which you may be more familiar with as it’s the main ingredient in turmeric. The compounds in this are called curcuminoids and have been shown to have numerous health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This patented version is said to deliver 2.5 times more active curcuminoids than generic curcuminoids versions.

The Wellmune (250mg)

The Wellmune patented ingredient is very interesting as I looked into the benefits of this patented ingredient, especially the claims it may alleviate exercise-induced immune suppression.

Since suffering from chronic fatigue from overtraining many years ago, exercise often triggers upper respiratory infections and its thought this is due to having a suppressed immune system.

K2Vital (75ug)

This is a patented form of Vitamin K from Kappa Bioscience that Lyma claim is one of the most underrated and important vitamins, which is deficient in most of our diets. It’s crucial for many health functions throughout the body.

Vitamin D3 (2,000iu)

This Vitamin D3 is taken from sheep’s wool, there is “scientific” dosage that is 3 times that seen in many supplements.

How to Take Lyma Life Pills?

The recommended dose of LYMA is two capsules in the morning with breakfast and two capsules in the evening with dinner.

Each order includes 120-pills for a daily serving size of 4 pills per day.

Side Effects

It’s unlikely you will experience any significant side effects taking in the dosages seen in this supplement.

The biggest ingredient, Ashwagandha root, is generally well-tolerated when taken short-term (weeks to a few months), with mild to moderate side effects such as headache, sleepiness, and stomach upset reported in clinical studies.

Of course, it should go without saying that if you’re taking prescription medication and/or have a pre-existing medical condition then you should seek medical advice before taking ANY supplement.

Does Lyma Life Actually Work?

The company behind Lyma Pill have gone for the patented forms of the ingredients as there are more studies done on these by the companies who produce these versions. Having more studies to support the advertised claims is what I look for, as otherwise it’s just marketing BS.

The thing is I like the fact that Lyma have focused on fewer ingredients, just 8 in total. Furthermore, the ingredients look pretty solid too!

What you tend to see is the “premium” supplement market throwing in lots of ingredients in what seems to be to justify the higher price point.

I like the fact that Lyma have focused on fewer ingredients, just 8 in total. Furthermore, the ingredients look pretty solid too!

Lyma aren’t trying to market a be like a greens supplement to plug the nutritional gaps in your diet. Instead they are promoting what they call “ultimate wellness”, but it does come at a huge price though, one that I am not sure I could justify.

What sounds a little fishy to me, is the fact the company says you need to be taking the supplement for at least 90-days for the results to “kick in”.

Okay so I appreciate you’re not going to see overnight results but really, 90-days. At the cost of this supplement that’s like £497 ($600 USD) just to see if it works or not. This is a little too rich for my liking considering too-end supplements cost a lot less and are likely to have the same, if not better results.

Lyma Box set

Lyma Life Customer Reviews

There are a number of reviews of Lyma supplement on the official website. It seems a popular choice amongst magazine publications like Vogue, Evening Standard, Daily Mail, Grazia, Harpers Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, along and with some UK celebrities.

Apart from the magazines that are known to endorse/sponsor products, I couldn’t find a third party website that shows testimonials from customers.

Nevertheless, the common trend from the feedback is this is a “celebrity super supplement” and “supermodel go-to supplement”.

Money Back Guarantee / Returns Policy

I struggled to find if any money-back guarantee existed and the returns/refund policy.

I eventually gave up as it’s not clear if any money-back guarantee is on offer. If it’s not shown, then it’s fair to say one doesn’t exist!

In terms of the refund policy, then standard distance selling regulations will be in force that gives customers 14 days with which to return a product if not open and used.

Where to Buy Lyma Life?

You can order or should I say becoming a member of Lyma Life via the official website. They ship to over 100 countries and so you should be able to get these in most places on the globe.

Ordering a starter kit from the official website will give you a member card along with the hand-crafted copper pot for holding your Lyma pills.

Is Lyma Life Worth the Price?

Lyma super supplement refill pouchAbsolutely NOT!

This is definitely a case of paying for the marketing over substance.

Now I know that patented versions of readily available ingredients are more expensive, but I really can’t see how you can justify spending £199 ($240 USD) at first and then £166-£200 per month depending on whether you get the 30 or 90-day supply.

This puts the cost of Lyma Life pills at £5.67 ($7 USD) per day for a supplement!

For this price you can get a LOT OF supplements – I thought ONNIT Total Human was expensive at £100 ($140 USD) per month but you get a lot more for your money there.

The Bottom Line

I am a fan of supplements and believe you can boost health and productivity with the right ones. And I truly believe you get what you pay for, mostly. However, I could never justify paying so much for a supplement like Lyma Life.

If you take a look at their marketing you can clearly see where the costs lay, yep in producing the glossy images of models taking their fancy copper pills.

Clearly the guys behind Lyma Life have seen the gap in the market producing an aspirational pill that appear to be the Gucci of supplements. But the fact is you can get effective supplements at a much cheaper price, but no less effective.

To be fair, these supermodel “super pills” aren’t aimed at me, and most likely not at you either (to be blunt but honest here). They are for celebrities who have bought into this hype and are unconcerned with price, and ultimately value for money.

If you want a supplement that promotes and health and productivity, I would suggest taking a look at SuperGreen TONIK – a greens superfood powder. Alternatively, you can opt for a nootropic pill like Mind Lab Pro, for a fraction of the price of Lyma Pill.

The benefits of Apple cider vinegar are well known, mostly for their reported weight loss properties. The thing is, if you have ever tried drinking Apple Cider Vinegar you know it’s not a pleasant experience.

This is why Goli Gummies Apple Cider Vinegar has been gaining widespread popularity (and from their Facebook marketing budget!), in fact in the US there is gummy mania at the moment.

Their visibility exploded when Goli was featured recently on the hugely popular Ellen Degeneres Show, where Ellen shares the “truth” of how delicious the gummies are.

The concept of taking a gummy instead of a capsule/pill or powder is novel one – but can you really consume enough ACV in just a gummy to actually work? It feels like I am snacking on sweets to me, but I will take them for a few days and report back on my experience with Goli Gummies in my honest review.

My Goli Gummy purchase

First Impressions

Claiming to be the World’s first Apple Cider Vinegar Gummy, I am keen to see if the claims match the product and so I ordered a bottle of Goli gummies to be shipped over to Malaysia where I live.

It took a few weeks to arrive and I was excited to see how this looked and importantly how it tasted.

Unboxing the Goli gummies was a good experience as the branding and packaging are really nice. You can see in the picture below what you get inside; your bottle of Goli, introduction to Goli pamphlet, and why Goli is better than your traditional apple cider vinegar (ACV) supplement.

Unboxing goli gummies Apple Cidar Vinegar

Upon opening the bottle you can immediately smell an apple candy aroma that is actually pretty nice.

This was my first time taking a gummy supplement and I expected it to taste sweet. And was I right – Goli Gummy is very tasting, a bit too nice – but more on this a bit later.

Their marketing slogan of tasting the apple and not the vinegar is spot on!

Background on Goli Nutrition Inc.

The about us page gives a little background on the team behind Goli Gummies other than they are a “people-focused nutrition company”. The rest of the information goes off on the importance they place on their customer’s happiness whilst on their healthy journey.

Of course, using their Goli gummies gives you a little helping hand as they are an easy way to take and integrate into your daily life – sounds perfect eh?

Okay so cynicism aside, Goli Nutrition Inc is based in California and although we do not know the team behind it, they do have an advisory board of “top nutritional advisors”. These include Mia Syn (MS, RD), Dr. Nichol Korner-Bitensky (Ph.D.), and Dr. Heidi Regenass (MD).

The company takes social responsibility seriously too as each order support Vitamin Angels, a global organization that reduces malnutrition in children by giving them access to lifesaving vitamins and minerals.

Vitamin Angels is a superb organisation that I also support them through purchases of my SuperGreen TONIK greens superfood supplement.

Goli Gummy Ingredients

Goli Gummy supplement labelEach bottle of Goli Gummy contains 60 gummies, which depending on your daily consumption could last one-month.

There are five main ingredients in each gummy, two of which are Vitamins B9 and B12.

The gummies are vegan, vegetarian, kosher and 100% gluten-free. So, pretty much anyone can take these include children (but the recommendation is only one-per day).

Let’s check the Goli formula:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar (5% acetic acid) (500mg) – The main reason for the popularity of apple cider vinegar is because of the health properties of the main active compound in vinegar, acetic acid. These include reducing inflammation, lowering blood pressure, and keeping blood sugar spikes at bay (see more about the benefits of ACV in the box below).
  • Organic Beetroot (40mcg) – Popular superfood that contains fiber, vitamins and minerals. There is a tiny amount in these gummies and so not really too sure of the benefits here.
  • Organic Pomegranate (40mcg) – Although they contain a generous amount of nutrients and bioactive plant compounds, the amounts are small and so unclear much, if any, benefit from having this inside.
  • Vitamin B9 (200mcg DFE / 120mcg Folic Acid) 50% daily value – This vitamin is also called folate or folic acid and plays an important role in human growth and development.
  • Vitamin B12 (1.2mcg) 50% Daily value – An essential vitamin that helps with energy and this in turn makes it easier to stick with your exercise and weight loss goals.

As to be expected, the main ingredient is the Apple Cider Vinegar at 500mg per gummy. Taking two gummies would provide 1,000 mg (1 gram) of ACV, which equates to 50mg of acetic acid – the amount considered to be 1 shot of ACV.

What’s so special about Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

Apple Cider Vinegar is a popular superfood that comes with a great series of health benefits. Although mostly known for its weight loss properties, ACV has been shown to aid digestion, contain detoxifying properties, and improve the skin. In fact, the probiotic features of ACV have turned it into a cult necessity for the wellness community.

The acetic acid in the apple cider vinegar is thought to have a direct role in controlling appetite and helps increase fat burning by helping to break down fat and increase the enzyme responsible for fat burning.

If you’re looking for more detailed information on the benefits of ACV then I suggest taking a look at this article on Healthline.

How to Take Goli Gummies

The Goli team recommended taking 2-4 gummies each day for optimal results. You can take more though, up to a maximum of 12 gummies per day.

There is not necessarily any best time to take your Goli Gummy, with the suggestion being to take between 2 and 6 per day whenever suits you best.

How Do Goli Gummies Taste?

Goli gummie CandyVery yummy. The gummies really are delicious. They were a hit with my sweet tooth!

In fact, I found that it was super easy to eat 5-6 within a short amount of time.

Whilst this sounds great, the problem is if you’re consuming the maximum of up to 12 per day you will soon run out!

The other issue is the sugar content.

With each gummy having 1 gram of sugar, you can soon find you’re consuming 12 grams really easily. So, this isn’t going to suit some nutritional plans like the Keto diet.

Side Effects

There is unlikely to be any side effects from taking Goli gummies at the recommended dosage. Looking at the research it seems that side effects such as unpleasant digestive complaints, only seem to occur when consuming large amounts (see Healhline).

Common issues like tooth enamel and throat burns are not going to be the case when eating a gummy compared to drinking apple cider vinegar.

This is on the of main benefits of a gummy over apple cider vinegar drinks.

Do Goli Gummies Actually Work?

I only took Goli gummies for a few days and so I cannot tell myself if these worked or not.

Mention the science behind the weight loss benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar and you are taken to one of most referenced study in 2009 that used 144 Japanese subjects.

This famous study took place over 12-weeks with 144 obese Japanese adults who were split into three groups. One group drank 15ml of vinegar, another 30ml of vinegar, whilst the remaining group consumed a placebo each day.

The study concluded that consuming 1 or 2 (15-30ml) tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to your diet can help weight loss. In addition, it can also reduce your body fat percentage, make you lose belly fat and decrease your blood triglycerides.

When I look into a particular supplement I am always keen to compare actual studies proving actual benefits to the amounts seen in the supplement. On most occasions, there are insufficient ingredients in the supplement to match those seen in the studies.

I was keen to see if this is the case with Goli Gummies.

How Much Acetic Acid inside each Goli Gummy?

I wanted to know if enough acetic acid is inside Goli Gummies to match the amounts used in this study. Here are my calculations for this using the formula I found here.

250ml of vinegar12 grams of acetic acid
1ml of vinegar48mg of acetic acid
15 – 30 ml720mg – 1440mg of acetic acid

Each goli gummy: 500mg of vinegar = 25mg of acetic acid (5% of acetic acid)

The amount of acetic acid used in the study amounted to between 750 and 1,500mg, which is equivalent to 30-60 Goli gummies. So, if you’re looking for weight loss then to consume sufficient acetic acid as the study you would need to consume 1/2 bottle of ACV gummies.

Yes you are reading this right. 30 Goli gummies per day, crazy eh?

Doing some simple maths, I discovered that you would need to consume at least 30 Goli Gummies to match the amount of acetic acid used in the studies they quote on their website.

You would need to consume AT LEAST 30 Goli Gummies to have the amount of acetic acid found in the research they quoted – to get the benefits listed on their website!
[UPDATE FEBRUARY 2020] I have been contacted by Goli nutritional advisory board member, Dr. Nicol KORNER-BITENSKY, who pointed out an error with my maths. I am currently waiting for feedback on this so I can update my review.

Goli Customer Reviews

Social media is awash with Goli gummy testimonials. I can’t seem to escape from seeing Goli Ads on Facebook and Instagram.

The official website has a few testimonials, for example:

These Goli Gummies really are the whole package. Vegan, gluten-free, and taste like apples. Best way to take apple cider vinegar. Henry.

I checked out Amazon reviews too (728 current reviews), here is a selection from customers:

The Goli Gummy is so good! I could not stand the apple cider vinegar shots I was taking. The taste was horrible! With Goli, I look forward every day to my gummies. Five stars

Every since the day I started using this product my appetite has increased, especially for sweets. Stopped using and back to normal. Might just be me but….no thanks. Three stars

I was hoping it would help with digestion. I have almost finished the whole bottle and haven’t noticed any difference yet in any way. I was really hoping these would work as well as drinking ACV, but nothing yet. One star

Money Back Guarantee / Returns Policy

There is a 30-day refund policy that applies to both unopened and opened bottles of Goli. You would need to contact them directly and ship the bottle back to them.

This only applies to orders placed directly from the official website.

Where to Buy Goli Gummies?

You can buy Goli gummies online from the official website and also from Amazon.

Are Goli Gummies Worth the Price?

Each bottle of Goli Gummies costs $19 for 60 gummies and although there are 1, 3, or 5 bottle bundles available there is no discount for multi-tub purchases.

The big plus is the free worldwide shipping, which was very impressive considering they shipped my bottle all the way to Malaysia!

With each gummy costing 32 cents ($19/60) then taking up to 12 per day will cost you $3.84 per day, which then adds up to over $100 USD per month – making this a costly supplement.

taking up to 12 per day will cost you $3.84 per day, which then adds up to over $100 USD per month – making this a costly supplement.

So judging if Goli Gummies are worth the price really depends on your consumption habit. Take 2-4 per day as per the recommended optimal dosage and it’s a good value supplement costing $19-38 per month. Taking more each day, which is very easy to do, and you could be spending a small fortune on these yummy gummies!

Furthermore, if you want to consume enough acetic acid to have significant benefits you would need to swallow at least 1/2 tub of Goli each day – making this a VERY EXPENSIVE supplement indeed!

The Bottom Line

My Goli GummiesThe branding is great, tastes even better and will certainly be a hit for many people looking for a sweet healthy treat.

If you regularly take Apple Cider Vinegar and struggle with the taste then I can really see the appeal of these gummies. Personally I have never been too interested in taking apple cider vinegar so these aren’t for me. I prefer taking healthy greens to drink that I know has a good quantity of ingredients in a quick 30-seconds each day.

Goli gummies are super easy to take, a little too easy actually, and before long you’ll find your bottle empty and reaching for a new one. Remember, that if you want to consume enough acetic acid too, you’re going to need a LOT of bottles of Goli to hand!

It’s worth keeping in mind that many of ACV’s health and weight loss claims are not supported by science, and by no means a miracle cure but it certainly has a following in the health community.

It was great to give Goli Gummies a try, there is no doubt this supplement will be even more popular, and most likely kick-start a supplement gummy craze (if not already).

Active PK ReviewNormally I don’t look to review diet products and definitely not diet pills, but the focus of Active PK got me intrigued and decided to take a look. This supplement has so much ‘science’ involved, that I couldn’t resist reviewing the product.

Active PK is a capsule supplement that claims to essentially help with metabolism to keep you slim and / or aid weight loss. I’m always a little uncertain about any product that makes these claims, so I’m going to do a bit of digging around to see whether there can be any basis for these product claims.

There are literally thousands of products, methods, approaches, lifestyle changes, diets that claim to help you shed the pounds. How is this product different from everything else in the market?

First Impressions

First and foremost Active PK wants you to believe it is backed by science. Everything about the website for LCR Health (and, for that matter, the brand itself) is leading you to believe it is founded in science, from the brand logo (which resembles a building block) to the pages dedicated to the ‘research’ undertaken in the formulation of their products.

The formula used in Active PK is supposed to work by using ‘natural compounds to help activate AMPK — your metabolic “master switch” — which tells your body to stop storing fat and start converting it into clean, usable fuel. This can lead to more energy, fewer cravings, and a slimmer waistline’.

AMPK (Adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase) is an enzyme. It has a long name like lots of other enzymes. It has a complicated job like lots of enzymes. It is important because it is involved in energy pathways, helping your body navigate between energy needs and energy production.

I believe you really don’t need to be bamboozled on science with this one, in order to make up your own mind about whether to take Active PK

Without going too far into the biology (I believe you really don’t need to be bamboozled on science with this one, in order to make up your own mind about whether to take Active PK), a few simple google searches tell me that people are already interested in increasing their AMPK. Search suggestions include ‘How can I increase my AMPK naturally’ and ‘AMPK foods’ – oh and ‘Active PK’ itself.

I can tell from this that there are people out there who are on board with the idea that this enzyme is useful in terms of metabolism and therefore the notion that taking more of it or making it more available would somehow improve your chances of either getting fit or losing weight. But is there really any truth to this?

Background on LCR Health

I already gave an overview of LCR Health in my Active Stem review here, but just to recap:

Doctor Rand from LCR HealthThe company has as its Chief Medical Officer Dr Rand McClain, a doctor of ‘Regenerative Medicine’ who has committed his life’s work to the study of optimizing human performance through scientific approaches. The website promotes the scientific basis for their products and quotes research studies to add to their claims.

The modus operandi of LCR Health seems to me to very simply be taking one basic metabolic principle and creating a product which they can then promote as a health-enhancer.

I’m not 100% sold on this idea, as I prefer to look at the quality of ingredients and the evidence behind using or taking them before deciding whether this is something I can put my name behind (hence my reviewing of these products and summarising of their effectiveness).

Another quick look at an article on the website of popular health-product pusher Dr Axe quotes that what actually activates AMPK is energy deficiency. So when you feel tired, stressed, hungry (you get the idea)… it’s a simple supply-and-demand cycle which the human body does so well. This causes the activated protein kinase (AMP) – a protein – to be produced, which is then used alongside AMPK in the pathway.

So if some of the best AMPK activators are things we think of as stressful (fasting or calorie restriction and intense exercise) why do we need to take a supplement that actively gives us more AMPK?

Active-PK Ingredients

Active-PK is a ‘revolutionary formula designed to help fight fatigue and abdominal fat so you can enjoy a stronger, slimmer-feeling body’.

The actual ingredients are:

Gynostemma Pentaphyllum Leaf Extract (ActivAMP) 450 mg: This is also called Jiaogulan, or Southern Ginseng.
Quercetin Dihydrate 100 mg. Berberine 100 mg.

The promotional material says: ‘This formula contains 2 of the most powerful AMPK-boosting compounds ever discovered — Berberine and Gynostemma. These plant extracts are proven to help your body trim abdominal fat, boost your endurance, and “crank up” your metabolism by maintaining healthy AMPK production’.

Active PK ingredients labelFirstly, is this formula ‘revolutionary’ because it’s the first time these two ingredients have been put together?

Is it a revolution in weight loss (if so, where is the evidence or studies to back this up)?

How can we possibly test the truth of these statements if no actual research has been done on the product (or the ingredients in combination) for example in a randomized double blind placebo-controlled trial.

How Does Active-PK Taste?

The product is sold in capsule form so there should be no discernable flavor or taste.

Side Effects

I looked at so much to see what the truth is behind these ingredients that I came across the following side effect of Berberine:

Gastrointestinal upset can occur when high doses are used, and due to its ability to reduce blood sugar, it may increase the risk for hypoglycemia in high doses, though this isn’t a common occurance.

However the dose is not particularly high at only 100mg so this may not result in any side effect.

Does Active-PK Actually Work?

First and foremost, how would we know? How can you actually tell whether you are increasing AMPK by taking this product? Is the outcome – and the measurable result – actual, tangible physical weight loss?

There are so few ingredients in the product.

The research on the actual ingredients says:

  • Gynostemma: may help treat obesity. There have been some recent studies on the effect of this southern-Asian herb on obese individuals, with a dosage in the range of 40-450mg per day. However, and more importantly, this study is not being cited broadly.
  • Quercetin: on Examine they say of this “it is the most well researched of all bioflavonoids. It is not actually that good of a supplement on its own, but is an interesting research topic. Tons of interactions, and synergistic with other bioflavonoids and increases absorption of Resveratrol and Green Tea Catechins.” Some research has shown that Quercetin increases human endurance through improved exercise capacity. The effect is however not very significant with only a 2% improvement. Daily doses are in the range of 1000-2000mg. Notably there is no reported increase in metabolic rate with Quercetin supplementation.
  • Berberine: used in Chinese medicine for many years, it is supposed to have health benefits including helping weight loss and even treating diabetes. I’ve again looked at Examine to see what science is actually behind the claims and it says:
    “Berberine can activate an enzyme called Adenosine Monophosphate-Activated Protein Kinase (AMPK) while inhibiting Protein-Tyrosine Phosphatase 1B (PTP1B), thus increasing insulin sensitivity”. The dose used was 1500mg (three daily doses of 500mg).

I will reiterate that there has been no research on the ingredients in this particular dosage in Active-PK being used together in a clinical trial, with measurable outcomes.

Active-PK Customer Reviews

The only reviews I could find on the LCR Health site were of course good ones.
People say:

This has been my first month on Active-PK. Within the first two weeks I began to feel more energetic, involved in life, leading to a feeling of improved wellbeing. I will continue this course for another month and see where we lie then. Thanks for the boost.

It’s been two months and I noticed less appetite after a few days.

Initially I felt almost immediately lighter, energized and even lost a few pounds, now it is stuck, I suppose I must learn to eat less. I am finishing the first month.

Money Back Guarantee / Returns Policy

All LCR Health products come with a 90-day “Ironclad” Guarantee, which means that if you are unhappy with your product you can call their hotline for a return number and return the goods for your money back.

Where to Buy Active-PK?

You can buy Active-PK at the official website.

Is It Worth the Price?

A 30-day supply of 60 caplets costs $69 (USD) through the LCR Health online shop. You can buy 3 tubs for $186.30 (a saving of $18), or 6 for $330.15 (saving $84).

My short answer to this question is no. There is hardly anything in this product. Capsules only offer a tiny amount of ingredients, even if you do take two per day.

There is hardly anything in this product. Capsules only offer a tiny amount of ingredients, even if you do take two per day.

My long answer, which is a repeat of the above arguments is that I don’t think you should spend this sort of money on a product which has not been studied and the clinical evidence quoted does not add up. They do state that their products are tested in their lab – but this could just be for safety of the ingredients used.

Don’t be bamboozled by science!

The Bottom Line

In summary I will have to use the often quoted phrase ‘hard work pays off’.

If you want to see results in terms of weight loss I don’t believe you are going to experience any change through taking a daily supplement of two capsules of herbal extracts that are yet to be scientifically studied together for the results you want to see.

There are so many problems in using herbal extracts (or even whole herbs) in medicine, that without standardised trials I don’t believe you can see the full picture. We need more than just cherry-picked science results to know whether something (at this price) is really worth taking.

So, I am not a fan of Active-PK and won’t be reaching into my pocket for this supplement anytime soon.

SuperBeetsHave you heard of Nitric Oxide? Did you know it was awarded Molecule of the Year in 1992 and the Nobel prize was awarded for its discovery in 1998?

These are high accolades.

It’s important for your body as it is a signaling molecule, involved in vasodilation – the opening of your blood vessels to allow optimal blood flow. This can be helpful for those with existing high blood pressure, or for performance enhancement and increasing energy levels.

There are scientific studies that have shown that nitrates in vegetables are a particularly important way of getting nitric oxide into your body.

But why is this important in terms of my research around Green juices, super greens powders and optimal nutrition?

Well, as with most products I’ve come across, there has to be a consumer angle, and someone is usually cashing in.

This has led me to research Superbeets, a powdered nutritional supplement produced by the labs at HumanN. I want to look into the company, the product, and its claims to see why and how this special metabolic molecule has been linked to supplements and why we are being told we should buy them.

First Impressions

HumanN LogoTaking a look at the HumaN website I can see that they are taking a Science-based approach to their marketing and using branding that would lead consumers to think they might be shopping at an on-line pharmacy store.

The brand HumanN uses a strong link to the molecule Nitric Oxide and, along with the University of Texas Health Sciences Centre, have used research to create a range of supplements which aim to improve the intake of Nitric Oxide, believing it to be the most useful functional supplement for ‘every human across every phase of life’.

Background on Humann (Human Power of N, Co)

First, as Neogenis Laboratories, rebranded as HumanN, the company was founded in 2009.

In 2011 they brought out Neo40 to both consumer and medical markets. In 2014 a clinical study was undertaken looking at Neo40 and prehypertension. Their claim on the site is that they are recommended by Physicians for this product (by Physicians recommending a Nitric Oxide supplement product).

SuperBeets tub openIn 2013 BeetElite was released to the sports nutrition market and SuperBeets (the ‘concentrated beet crystal circulation functional food’). into the functional foods market.

One of their takes on this molecule is that it becomes particularly hard to compensate for declining levels of NO in the body as you age. This makes their supplement particularly useful if you are not able to access enough vegetables in your diet (foods such as beets, spinach, nuts, and artichokes are highest in dietary Nitrates).

They say of themselves ‘Consulting with the top N-O scientists, doctors, registered dieticians, and healthcare thought-leaders, there is no other company more committed, or qualified, to bringing the best N-O functional foods’ to the market.

There’s even a 2-minute test on their website to tell you if you are Nitric Oxide deficient!

So, HumanN SuperBeets looks like a fairly accessible product for us laypeople, but what is it? What does it claim to do? And most importantly what goes into it?

SuperBeets Ingredients

If I am to compare this to other powdered greens or vegetable supplements I would be looking directly at the label to see what the manufacturer has chosen to tell us about their formulation. I’m just going to go ahead and tell you what they say it is and does first:

“SuperBeets is highly concentrated, scientifically formulated to provide optimum levels of essential Nitric Oxide, and clinically researched. Just one teaspoon of SuperBeets, the recommended daily serving, is verified to provide the Nitric Oxide equivalent of three whole beets and helps:

  • Promote Nitric Oxide production
  • Support healthy circulation
  • Support healthy blood pressure levels
  • Promote improved natural energy and stamina

I wonder what’s inside this highly concentrated powder? Looking at the images on their site, the ingredients listed on the tub are as follows:

Non-GMO Beetroot Powder, Non-GMO Beetroot Powder (fermented), Natural Back Cherry flavor, Malic Acid, Magnesium Ascorbate, Stevia Leaf Extract.

SuperBeets Supplements Facts label

There aren’t a huge number of active ingredients in this list, in fact, I can only see that you are getting, basically, beetroot. But they haven’t said how much of each of the two main powders are included. A suggested serving is 5g but I don’t know if that means you are getting even 4g of beets in that teaspoon serving, as they haven’t said what is included in the proprietary blend.

So, even if I am convinced that beetroots are a superfood, is this really enough to say you are getting your Super Beets?

How Does SuperBeets Taste?

SuperBeets comes in Black Cherry flavor and Original flavor. I’m not sure what the Original flavor is as they haven’t shown the ingredients listing for this product, only the ingredients for the Black Cherry flavor.

I found out later that it is a Natural Apple flavor.

Side Effects

If you are not used to having beets in your diet you may experience that your urine and other waste body products are colored red or pink after taking any supplement containing this root, this is quite common when you increase beetroot intake and HumanN include information on this in the FAQ pages of their site.

There are some concerns over whether supplementing with beets can lower calcium levels and exacerbate kidney damage. You are advised to take supplements only after consulting with your medical physician.

Does SuperBeets Actually Work?

Here’s the same issue that I have with most products formulated using a proprietary blend: the manufacturer tells you what they think the product does but then they don’t tell you how much of the active ingredient you’re getting.

I’m going to reiterate that there is A LOT of science quoted on the HumanN SuperBeets pages and general pages (not to mention the other product pages), but to go to an external authority for a moment, tells us:

Beetroot tends to be dosed on the nitrate content, with around 0.1-0.2mmol/kg (6.4-12.8mg/kg) being the target for nitrate. This is about 436mg for a 150lb person, which is comparable to half a kilogram (500g) of the beetroots themselves (wet weight).

I’m pretty sure I’m not getting half a kilo of beets in this 5g serving.

This isn’t of course to say that the whole concept of eating a varied diet and including beets and other nitrous vegetables is not advised, rather than in order to see any marked effects or benefits you might need to take a huge amount into your diet.

SuperBeets Customer Reviews

On Amazon there are 1095 customer reviews giving an average of 3.8 out of 5 stars. 48% of reviewers give 5 stars, 20% give 1 star.

A sample of the reviews is below:

Didn’t give me the energy that it claim to . Did not lower my blood pressure’ – 1 star

This material is a joke……as an older athlete and retired physician , I noticed absolutely no boost in energy or change in my blood pressure…which I monitor daily’ – 1 star

I have been taking this beet powder for 5 months and I have lowered my blood pressure. My blood pressure was running 160 over 90. it is now running 114/74. I am not on blood pressure medicine and my doctor is amazed.’ – 5 stars

Both my husband and I have felt a difference in energy. as a matter of fact, I dare not take it too late in the day or I will be too keyed up to lay down and sleep at night. So I take mine very early in the morning.’ – 5 stars

There is the usual range of people agreeing that it does what it says, and those who are disappointed. Some have an issue with flavor, others like it. Of course, reviews are highly subjective and you are advised to take caution when considering others’ opinions of these products.

Money Back Guarantee / Returns Policy

HumanN has a 90-day money-back guarantee, where you can return your product (used or unused but in good condition in the original boxes, having received a Return to Manufacturer Authorization).

Where to Buy SuperBeets?

You can buy SuperBeets online from the official website or on Amazon.

Is It Worth the Price?

This is not a particularly expensive product in the market of super greens and supplements including vegetables and powdered super greens. You can buy one tub of SuperBeets on the HumanN website at $39.95 (USD), buy 2 get 1 free for $79.90 and buy 4 get 2 free for $149.90.

Despite the relatively low cost of one tub (in comparison to other super green type supplements) I am not convinced you are getting a lot of value for money, nutrition-wise.

The research seems to support the hypothesis around Nitric Oxide and cardiovascular health, and even sports performance, but how do we know how much is being ingested from the SuperBeets ingredients, and how do we know it’s a potent enough dose?

Drink your red juice

The Bottom Line

I wanted to like this product as I do believe there’s some good science backing some of the claims, and I’m personally very interested in the performance-enhancing aspects of Nitric Oxide (there’s a reason it’s become a difficult grey area in terms of banned substances in elite athletics).

But again I’ve been disappointed by the proprietary blend effect and am struggling to see that you are getting enough of the main potent plant ingredients in this product to have any kind of effect.

Perhaps a better way to increase beetroots in the diet would, in this case, be to juice beetroots yourself, or buy pre-made beetroot juice.

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Adam Author

About the LifeHacker Guy

Hi, I'm Adam the founder of the LifeHacker Guy.

I have a First Class Honours degree in Sports Science from Brighton University, specialising in exercise physiology and nutrition. In my youth I was a competitive Triathlete and long-distance runner placing top 10 in most triathlon races I completed.

Since suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I moved into web development, after a couple of years I then moved onto developing a number of online businesses. I've recently taken a sabbatical and I'm now looking to make big changes in my life, hopefully this may resonate with you - join me in my journey!