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Health Guide Review: 3,1/5

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Macro Greens Review: Does it work?

Intro: What is it?

Macro Greens is a meal replacement superfood drink with 38 ingredients intended to produce positive health results at the “cellular level”. It has added vitamins, amino acids, minerals, and enzymes to improve overall health.

It claims to have no common allergens, and it’s also meant to cleanse the body. It also provides more than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables.  The product is available as a gluten free, vegan, and completely raw formula. So how does this product taste like? Is it really as beneficial as the manufacturers claim? The answer to these questions is explained in this full review of Macro Greens.

Macro Greens Ingredients

The full ingredient list is provided by the company:

Organic Barley Brass Juice Powder Organic Spirulina Powder Chlorella Cracked Cell Spinach Leaf Powder Policosinol
Lactobacillus Acidophilus Lactobacillus Rhamnosus Lactobacillus Bulgaricus Bifidobacterium Breve Bifidobacterium Longum
Acerola Fruit Extract Acerola Berry Powder Citrus Bioflavonoids Milk Thistle Seed Extract Green Tea Leaf Extract
Grape Seed Extract Rutin Gingko Biloba Leaf Extract Lecithin Red Raspberry Fruit Powder
Horsetail Stem Powder Licorice Root Powder Ginger Root Powder Parsley Leaf Powder Eleuthero Root Powder
Suma Root Powder Astralagus Root Powder Echinacea Augustifolia Root Extract Damiana Leaf Powder Apple Pectin Cellulose Powder
Apple Fruit Powder Organic Flax Seed Meal Aloe Vera Leaf Powder Watercress Leaf Powder Carrot Powder
Yucca Root Powder Organic Beet Root Powder Stevia Dulse Prickly Pear Leaf Powder
Protease Cellulase Amylase Lipase

The company gives a brief one sentence description by lumping ingredients together, but they fail to provide many details on what the ingredients can really do. Here are some ingredients to look out for:

Policosinol: Extract taken from cane sugar that is used to treat high cholesterol. It’s been studied in Cuba where it’s made and shown to have positive results, however, outside the country it has done poorly.  According to Examine.com, the reason for this is because of a:

scientific literature is suffering from publication bias”

Milk Thistle: Plant that is said to have numerous health benefits including protection against liver disease and cancer.  It’s considered one of the most toxic out of all plant based supplements according to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.  Not enough studies have been performed to show whether or not it has any benefits.

Gingko Biloba: Herb used to promote brain health. Clinical studies have shown unreliable results.

Damiana Leaf: Used as both an aphrodisiac and to promote physical health. According to studies by Examine.com:

“not much quality evidence to support usage”

Eleuthero Root Powder: Also known as Siberian Ginseng, this extract is taken from a shrub. It’s claimed health benefits have not been proven. The American Cancer Society has declared that not enough evidence is available to prove it’s effective. It can produce potential side effects as well such as headaches and irritability.

Organic Spirulina Powder: Blue green algae that is used as an addition to animal feed.  According to Medline Plus, there:

isn’t enough scientific evidence”

So it’s unknown if there’s any benefit to this ingredient.  Due to it being found in open waters, there’s also a potential possibility with contaminations with things like lead.

Macronutrients and Calories

Calories 40 Calories From Fat 15 Total Fat 1.5g, 2% Total Carbohydrate 6g, 2% Dietary Fiber 1g, 5%
Sugars 2g Protein 1g, 2% Vitamin E 330% Vitamin C 790% Vitamin B-12 50%
Calcium 2% Magnesium 1% Sodium 2% Iron 8% Vitamin A 8%

 Calories

Only 40 calories are added, of which 15 come from fat. This means it provides this much fat:

15/40= 0.375 times 100= 37.5% fat.

This is a high amount of fat, since the FDA lists any food with 20% or above as a high fat food.

Fiber

One sole gram of fiber is provided. Therefore, the promotion of digestive health and satiety has to rely on the added digestive enzymes and protein.

Without much fiber, this reduces its ability as a proper meal replacement.  Some of the fiber comes from the added Nopal, which is a cactus used for appetite suppression.

Sugar

2 grams per serving which is low. This comes from 1 source:

Stevia: Plant based sweetener that has a minimal to no effect on blood sugar.

Vitamins and Minerals

The company claims this is a meal replacement, however it fails to provide man vitamins and minerals.  There’s only a minimal amount of vitamin A and no vitamin D.  There’s also an incredibly small amount of minerals, of which many are missing such as iodine, copper, and selenium.

The Quality of Macro Greens protein

There’s just one gram of protein provided:

Chlorella Cracked Cell: Single cell green algae used due to its high protein and vitamins and minerals.  3 different studies have expressed health concerns over its potential for causing inflammation due to endotoxins.  One of the studies revealed it to lead to:

“Chronic Neuroinflammation and Progressive Neurodegeneration”

The Protein content of this ingredient has yet to be fully analyzed. I couldn’t find any available information about how many amino acids Macro Greens provides. This is essential in determining whether or not you’re getting a quality protein source.

Also, at one gram you’re failing to get a full meal replacement. It’s recommended to get at least:

Men: 56 grams a day.

Women: 46 grams a day.

At 2 servings of Macro Greens a day you’re only getting 2 grams, this is incredibly low for a meal replacement.  Web MD mentions that a proper meal replacement should offer:

10-15 grams of protein per serving”

So this product is incredibly low and doesn’t qualify as a proper meal replacement, though it’s marketed as if it were.

The Price and Quality of Macro Greens

It’s available online and in many retail stores. Currently on Amazon.com the largest container of 30 ounces or 90 servings costs $64.95, these amounts to a cost at 2 shakes day of:

$64.95/45= $1.44 for 2 servings a day.

Considering it’s not a full meal replacement, this shake is low on the amount of macro and micronutrients it contains.

Added Enzymes

4 different added enzymes are added which includes Protease, Cellulase, Amylase, and Lipase. These enzymes are created in the body in order to properly digest and metabolize foods.

Web MD mentions that the use of this ingredient is only needed when:

the pancreas cannot make or does not release enough digestive enzymes”

So the use of this is dependent on whether or not one has serious health issues. Not only does this increase the price, but it can contain:

“harmful impurities/additives”

Therefore, it’s important to avoid this ingredient in order to avoid potential side effects. Also, when prescribed these enzymes it’s usually given in exact amounts by a certified health professional, not randomly when mixed inside a meal replacement. It’s unknown what kind of effect this may have on individual people.

Possible side effects include indigestion, bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

The Addition of Lead

Due to California’s Proposition 65, any potential contaminants must be listed as a warning on foods.

Macro Greens has every container with the warning that it contains levels of lead. The reason they don’t get rid of the lead is because:
removing (sic) the lead would destroy the protein.”

They also mention a warning that certain people shouldn’t take this product due to the lead. This includes those who have:

  • Hugh blood pressure.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions
  • Iron deficiencies, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and many other issues.
  • Are on or will be on medications.

 

By not knowing the exact levels of lead found inside, it’s impossible to judge what kind of an effect it may have on the body.  Lead can produce toxic effects to the internal organs, nervous system, reproductive system, and it can lead to death.

Business

The business goes by the name of MacroLife Naturals, Inc.; they also produce another red superfood drink. They are found below:

Phone Number: (800) 521-5867

Email: info@macrolifenaturals.com

Address: 8477 Stellar Drive

Culver City, California 90232

Each container of this product comes with a warning that:

This product contains lead”

It’s unknown how much lead is inside, but this potentially harmful ingredient can cause toxic buildup in the blood and reproductive damage.

Customer Opinions

There’s currently over 300 reviews available on Amazon.com:

“Excess sweetener and filler”

“Yes it tasted “nasty””

“Started noticing mood swings, exhaustion, increased aggression”

“DANGER PRODUCT CONTAINS LEAD”

Those people who tried supplementing due to the claimed health benefits, they then realized that it was difficult to drink. Some mention it’s much too sweet, and that they didn’t appreciate that there’s lead included.

Conclusion

Here are some of the most important things to look out for:

  • There’s added lead: The Company tried taking a group to court to combat having to mention that there’s lead found inside. Due to California’s Proposition 65, the company lost and was forced to add a warning label to potential customers. They mention that their lead isn’t enough to cause damage. However, even small amounts of lead can produce unwanted side effects. The fact they tried to hide this fact from being known shows that the company felt it would damage their sales. However, it’s important to know exactly how much lead is added, there’s no mention provided by the company.
  • It’s not a full meal replacement, though it claims to be: The product describes itself as being a full nutritional source that can replace meals. According to many groups such as Web MD, there’s not enough protein, micronutrients, and it’s not filling enough to be a meal replacement. When looking to replace a meal you have to ensure what you’re taking is a well-rounded nutritional source. Micro Greens is incredibly limited, and there’s not enough added to it to suggest it will help provide the body what it needs. A good meal replacement has what the body needs to thrive; this brand fails to add necessary nutrients. This can lead to many issues such as malnutrition and increased hunger.
  • Several ingredients have not been proven to be effective: 6 of the ingredients added can be pricy, and they have not been proven to work in clinical studies. Some of the additives can also cause unwanted side effects such as increased heart rate, insomnia, and loss of vitamins and minerals. These unnecessary ingredients increase the overall price, and its unknown what kind of effect they may have when combined together. One prime example is seen from the protein added. Only one gram is provided, which makes it fail as a meal replacement. This same ingredient in chlorella has been shown to be potentially damaging.
  • Customers have complained about the taste and quality: People who purchased this brand were surprised to find that there’s added lead. Also, there’s been major concern over the overly sweet taste. There are many people who say they drink it regardless because they want the benefits from the added superfoods. However, as mentioned before some of these ingredients have not been proven to work. Also, there’s no proof to suggest that taking these ingredients are actually beneficial. Another example of potentially wasted ingredients is the addition of digestive enzymes. They’re no necessary in otherwise healthy people, and they can be incredibly pricy.
  • Some of the additives can cause side effects: Due to the added green tea leaf extract, there’s added caffeine which may cause side effects. Especially when you’re taking 2 servings a day, you’re flooding your body with caffeine. Chlorella is another ingredient which clinical studies show may produce inflammation. Other ingredients have also been shown to potentially lead to side effects. Unfortunately many of the ingredients have also not been tested in long term studies, so it’s unknown what kind of impact it may have when taking it on a daily basis.

There have been major concerns over the lead added to this blend, and the fact that it doesn’t qualify as a meal replacement. It’s lacking key nutrients and it’s incredibly low on protein. People have also expressed concern over the taste, I couldn’t find people who actually though it had a pleasant taste.

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