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Health Guide Review: 3,0/5

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Vega One Nutritional shake Review: Does it work?

Intro: What is it?

Vega One Nutritional shake is a meal replacement featuring just plant based protein. It has 6 different servings of greens, and there’s 50% of some of the daily needed vitamins and minerals.

It’s currently offered in 7 different flavors from Natural, Chocolate, Mocha, Berry, Vanilla Chai, French Vanilla, and Coconut Almond. There’s claims that this shake offers “everything you need”. So how effective is it? Does it provide enough nutrition to satisfy? This review will help you understand the truth about Vega One Nutritional shake.

Vega One Nutritional Shake Ingredients

Listed below are their Natural flavor ingredients:

Pea Protein Whole Flaxseed Organic Acacia Gum Hemp Protein SaviSeed
Organic Gelatinized Maca Root Organic Broccoli Inulin Organic Spirulina Organic Kale
Organic Marine Algae Calcium Spinach Broccoli Carrot Beet
Tomato Apple Cranberry Orange Blueberry
Bilberry Strawberry Shiitake Mushroom Chlorella Vulgaris Papaya Extract
Bacillus Coagulans Grape Seed Extract Organic Pomegranate Acai Mangosteen
Organic Goji Organic Maqui Natural Vanilla Flavor Citric Acid Stevia Extract

 

Things to consider about the ingredients:

Organic Acacia Gum: This thickener is the hardened sap of the acacia tree. It’s often found in chewing gum, fillings, and ceramics.  It’s a dietary fiber which can cause nausea, bloating, gas, and loose stools.

Gelatinized Maca Powder: A plant found in the Andes which is claimed to provide energy and vitality. It’s gelatinized through high pressure and heat. This process ends up killing many enzymes needed for proper digestion. This process concentrates the vitamins and minerals, however without the natural enzymes it makes it harder to metabolize.

Marine Algae Calcium: A calcium carbonate shell that is taken from dead algae. According to the institute of better bone health:

 often includes lead or other contaminants”

Therefore it’s important to watch out for the intake of this ingredient, since lead can be toxic in high amounts.

Macronutrients and Calories

Calories 150 Calories From Fat 50 Fat 6g, 9% Polyunsaturated Fat 3g Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Sodium 20mg, 1% Potassium 220 mg, 6% Total Carbohydrate 8g, 3% Fiber 6g, 26% Sugars <1g
Protein 20g, 39% Vitamin A 90% Vitamin C 80% Calcium 20% Iron 25%
Vitamin D 50% Vitamin E 50% Vitamin K 60% Thiamine 60% Riboflavin 50%
Niacin 50% Vitamin B6 50% Folate 50% Vitamin B12 15% Biotin 50%
Pantothenate 50% Phosphorus 25% Iodine 4% Magnesium 10% Selenium 2%

Calories

There’s 150 calories per serving, and 50 calories come from fat. To identify the percentage of fat per serving we can use a simple formula:

50/150=3 times 100= 30% fat per serving.

According to the FDA, anything about 20% is a high fat food. So the majority of the calories from this shake are fat based. At 2 shakes a day you’re getting 300 calories.

Sugar

Less than 1 gram of sugar is added per serving due to the Stevia extract.  It’s a sweetener substitute that was long used in South America. It’s not digested in the body and instead used by bacteria in the colon.

Studies show this extract is good for regulating blood sugar, and it doesn’t have any of the ill effects seen in regular or even artificial sweeteners. Limiting sugar is important in order to prevent weight loss and to curb increases in blood sugar.

The Quality of Vega One Nutritional Shake’s protein

20 grams of protein are added from the following:

Pea Protein: Easy to digest yellow split pea extract. Certain people have a serious allergic reaction to peas. Its low in certain amino acids and it can contribute to gout.  This is due to the purines, which according to Live Strong, may cause:

an increase the amount of uric acid in your blood”

It’s recommended for people with kidney problems to avoid pea protein.

Hemp Protein: Processed hemp seed which has a high fiber and protein amount per weight. It’s known not to blend well or taste good according to some customers. It’s also low in the amino acid Lysine and Leucine. Leucine is considered a muscle building branch chain amino acids, required for preventing lean muscle breakdown.

SaviSeed (sacha inchi): High protein seed which has omega 3 fatty acids. It’s low in the amino acid Lysine, which is an essential amino acid. No studies are available which list the exact amino acid profile of this seed. I couldn’t find one report online which mentioned exactly how beneficial this ingredient is supposed to be.

Chlorella Vulgaris: Rich in protein and nutrients, these single celled algae is considered a super food. It was widely held that this could help cure cancer, though the American Cancer Society has said no studies show this possibility. 3 separate studies including one from Pub Med have said it may cause the following:

“Chronic Neuroinflammation and Progressive Neurodegeneration”

This means it can harm the immune system and cause harmful inflammation. Chlorella is also difficult to make, making it cost more than other protein sources,

All these protein sources have less overall amino acids than what’s found in whey protein. The reason why there are 4 different blends is to help provide more amino acids, since by themselves it wouldn’t be enough to make up a proper meal replacement.

The Price and Quality of Vega One Nutritional Shake

A 20 serving jug costs $69.99, so at 2 shakes a day it’s:

$69.99/10=$6.99 a day for 2 shakes.

This is considerably high when you factor in the low amount of amino acids and the potential for side effects.  For example, many of the proteins are low in the essential amino Lysine. There are also problems such as the possibility for a weakened immune system and gout.

Low Serving Of Nutrients

When you compare the overall nutritional quality of whole foods added to this brand, you realize that lot of the vitamins are lost.

For example, there’s broccoli added to this shake, and per serving there’s 20% Vitamin C. One serving of whole broccoli that you would get at the store provides 220% vitamin C.

This means that somewhere in the processing of this shake there’s a reduced rate of vitamins and minerals. Since there’s several other super fruits added such as pomegranate and goji, this means overall the nutritional value of every added fruit and vegetable is significantly lost.

It might be due to the heat and natural processing, however it’s unknown what’s causing it to degrade so much. Unfortunately for customers, this means you have to pay a lot for something that has a limited amount of nutrients.

Use of Digestive Enzymes

There’s bacillus coagulans which is used to treat diarrhea, and it’s considered by some to be useful for supporting the immune system. However according to WebMD:

product has not been studied in people”

They also mention it’s unknown if it’s safe for use.

According to the same article, these types of enzymes are only used:

when the pancreas cannot make or does not release enough digestive enzyme”

Therefore for the average person, supplementing is not only unnecessary, but it only makes this shake pricier than it needs to be.

Another thing about these probiotics is that companies don’t have to provide proof that:

“their products are safe or that they work.”

Commonly seen side effects which may occur include bloating, gas, nausea, and diarrhea.

Business

Vega is a Canadian company that offers different types of shakes from high protein, essential greens, and bars. They list their contact information which is upheld by customer service representatives:

Phone Number: (866) 839-8863

Email: askvega@myvega.com

Address: 101-3001 Wayburne Drive Burnaby

BC, Canada, V5G 4W3

The company only offers their money back return if returning unused, undamaged products within 30 days, without paying for shipping and handling. They’ve also had a few issues with the FDA:

  • The company recalled their nutritional bars after finding a potential allergen in milk.
  • They withdrew the Vega One Nutritional shake after it was contaminated with the antibiotic Chloramphenicol. The company claimed this was due to an ingredient provided by a 3rd They had to recall several batches of Vega One Nutritional shake.

Customer Opinions

Many different reviews are available on Amazon.com, here’s a detailed listing of the most common opinions:

poor formula, very gritty, extremely overpriced”

“sick to my stomach and on the verge of throwing up”

“great but really sweet”

“remarkably bad taste”

The consensus overall is that the product is incredibly pricy for what’s being offered. There are also many complaints about the change the company made, which reduced the nutrient content by half.

Another common concern is the lack of taste and the difficult to drink consistency. This is common in plant protein sources.

Conclusion

Though widely available in many stores, there are some things to consider about this shake:

  • There’s over 300 negative reviews on Amazon.com: Many people have been very critical of this meal replacement. There are complaints about the taste, the high price, the change in formula, and the lack of quality protein.  Several people have also reported extreme side effects such as painful vomiting, and food poisoning. It’s unknown if this is because of the recalled batches which contained antibiotics. It’s unlikely however since these types of drugs aren’t supposed to cause painful reactions.
  • Most of the plant protein is low in essential amino acids: Hemp, pea, and sancha inchi are all low in Lysine. Chlorella is the final protein source which has been shown to cause serious side effects in clinical studies. It’s been shown to lead to inflammation and even damage to the immune system. When replacing a meal it’s important to get a high amount of amino acids to provide the nutrition of a full meal, without any of the high calories. This is a common problem with plant based protein however, it’s often added into a blend to make up for the lack of aminos. Problems can occur when you don’t get enough of these “building blocks of life”, it can cause fatigue, loss of lean muscle mass, and it can break down the body’s immune system.
  • The company never lists weight loss as a possibility: The intended benefit of this brand is to supply many nutrients, but weight loss is never offered as a possibility. Since it’s considered a high fat product, it’s important to watch your intake of this brand. Too much of it can lead to possible weight gain. The company does say you can use this as a meal replacement or as an occasional snack. However, relying too much on this shake can potentially make weight loss harder.
  • Digestive enzymes added aren’t required: Digestive enzymes can be costly and if they’re not treated correctly, they can die off. Also, some enzymes aren’t well digested, since they are killed by stomach acids. Furthermore, enzymes are only required when a person cannot produce their own. This is unlikely for most people whose pancreas can make their own enzymes. This ends up being a costly addition that ramps up the overall price.
  • The price is much higher than other meal replacements: At $69.99 per canister, you have to pay a lot for what’s a limited amount of protein. The quality of protein is lacking due to the low amino acids in comparison to whey protein. Many customers have also complained about the incredibly high price. Out of all the plant based protein sources, this shake is the most expensive per serving. Also, considering that there’s several fruits and vegetables added, one would assume there to be far more vitamins and minerals per serving. Many of these nutrients are lost, and it’s unknown if it’s because of the manufacturing process.

 There’s many things to consider about this product. Though it does have a high amount of nutrients, some of the protein sources are low in certain essential amino acids. These same protein sources can also lead to gout and a weakend immune system. Many customers have reported problems with the taste and price, and there have been company recalls, including a major FDA listed recall on Vega One Nutritional shake.

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