“You write a lot of stuff on scams. What do you think about XanGo? (My neighbor sells this stuff.)”
If you’ve read any of our other fruit juice reviews, my opinion of XanGo won’t surprise you. XanGo is a very expensive supplement marketed with a bit of science behind it and not much else. And that’s my biggest problem with XanGo—the marketing. Currently, products like XanGo are marketed exclusively through multi-level-marketing, or MLM, companies. Would you rather buy supplements from a professional specifically trained in medicine or an MLM salesperson under pressure to build a corporate downline?
My second problem with products like XanGo is that, because of the MLM structure of the business, XanGo is sold not by legitimate health care experts but by people with little or (more often) no medical training. It’s not uncommon at all to see absurd (and often illegal) medical claims attached to products like XanGo. Cloaked as “testimonials” these claims often promise near-miracle results that just aren’t supported by science. Again, I would encourage you to ask yourself if you should really take health advice from a person who, despite fancy titles like “wellness consultant”, is really nothing more than a fruit juice salesperson.
XanGo’s Warning Letter from the FDA
In September 2006 XanGo was issued a “warning” letter by the FDA. Citing numerous claims made in several sales brochures, the FDA deemed XanGo “mislabeled” and ordered XanGo to prevent its distributors from marketing XanGo using deceptive language and medical claims.
The Bottom Line on XanGo
Despite claims to the contrary, XanGo has not been studied scientifically—at least as far as we could tell. A search through the leading medical journals turned up no peer-reviewed studies on XanGo at all.
But XanGo does contain a group of very important nutrients known as antioxidants. While XanGo doesn’t yet live up to many of the most dramatic claims, these antioxidants, known as xanthones, are showing promise in scientific studies.
The bottom line on XanGo is that it’s an expensive but convenient supplement. Is it worth it? That’s for you to decide. But in my opinion, there’s nothing in XanGo (or any other fruit juice product) that you can’t get from a balanced diet and a much cheaper multi-vitamin.
XanGo’s warning letter from the FDA.
Update: Since this article was written a study was done on XanGo and while critics will correctly point out that the study was, in fact, funded by XanGo, it found that the juice effectively and safely reduced inflammation and possibly slowed the progression of metabolic syndrome in obese folks. You can read our 2009 coverage of this study here.