Visalus has been making nutritional supplements for around 20 years. Visalus makes a lot of bold claims on the effectiveness of their products. They even offer a weight loss challenge, complete with prizes. Diet products either work, or they don’t. Period. Let’s find out which one Visalus is.
After reading some unsavory customer reviews on poor service, we chose to dig deep into the product line’s ingredients, side effects, and clinical research. We examined hundreds of testimonials and statements from users to see if anyone had anything positive to say. We took a hard look at the 90-Day Challenge to see if users are getting results and winning those prizes. We then condensed and refined the info to give you what you need.
Visalus is an American-based multi-level marketing company that offers weight-loss products, dietary supplements, shakes, kits, energy drinks, and even recipes.
Some of their more popular products include:
Vi-Shape Nutritional Shake Mix
Neon Energy Drink
There’s a lot of hype surrounding these products and this company, but we want to push past the glitz and glamor of becoming a millionaire by selling these products and focus on whether they deliver results – or just money in someone else’s pocket.
This is how much it costs to start on the respective program. We always recommend trying a product before making a large investment.
= Initial product cost is less than $5
= Initial product cost is between $6 and $50
= Initial product cost is between $51 and $150
= Initial product cost is $151 or more
Visalus 90-Day Challenge
All of these products are available for the Visalus 90-Day Challenge, where users set a weight-loss goal for themselves, choose a kit, and enter for a chance to win cash and a variety of prizes.
Some of the prizes include:
500 Vi Points
Tropical Dream Vacation
1,000 product points towards Body by Vi products
Exclusive promotional features in brand marketing materials
We like that the company encourages weight loss by offering prizes, but our concern here is with the effectiveness of their products and whether we can find some evidence that they live up to the claims.
Scroll below for one of the best products we’ve seen over the last year.
How Did Visalus Start?
Visalus Science started in 1997 by Nick Sarnicola and Blake Mallen. In 2005, Ryan Blair, a wireless internet developer, bought the company.
The recession in 2008 almost brought the company to its knees. Because of this, a multi-level marketing company called Blyth, Inc. bought Visalus.
From then it has been a series of ups and downs, with a 2016 report showing the company laying off 87 workers at its Troy facility “following years of decline and legal problems.”
Currently, the company headquarters is in Los Angeles, California.
About Visalus MLM
Visalus is a company that offers nutritional products to help people lose weight. This nutritional company educates the public about nutrition and healthy living through a vast social network. It uses MLM marketing to sell its products.
What is MLM?
MLM, or multi-level marketing, is a type of network marketing designed for salespeople to make commissions from the sales of other people they have recruited.
Visalus commission rates start at 10% on personal sales above $200. Commission rates increase at different tiers all the way up to 30% on sales of $2,501 and above. While it’s possible to earn a good income on product sales, the way most people make a lot of money is through commissions on recruits. This company offers 5% commission rates on downline recruits all the way to eight levels. Additionally, Visalus offers bonuses including a fast start bonus up to $185 and car bonus for high achievers.
This was a bit harder than our research team initially anticipated. On the one hand, you have some base claims of their products:
Increased energy products
An organic energy drink that “tastes good”
Products satisfy hunger
On the other hand, there seem to be a lot more claims surrounding Body by Vi rewards and distributor compensation.
When we checked out the official Visalus website, there seemed to be an issue, because most of the pages were broken – except for the “Promote” page. On the Body by Vi 90-Day Challenge website, we had more luck.
Visalus products range from weight-loss shakes to energy drinks. We managed to hunt down a few ingredients from their most popular products to catch a glimpse of what goes into their formulas.
This ingredient, also known as Malabar Tamarind, has been used in food for a while. According to Examine.com, due to its hydroxycitric acid content, Garcinia cambogia is popping up more and more in weight-loss supplements.
Unfortunately, no solid studies are showing that this ingredient can work for weight loss.
Carnitine is a quaternary ammonium compound allegedly linked to metabolism control in most mammals. According to Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism, it’s used in dietary supplements due to its role in fatty acid metabolism, but current studies are calling for more research before stamping this ingredient as effective in weight-loss products.
This plant-based protein is said to be rich in nutrients.
Green tea is Camellia sinensis leaves that haven’t yet been withered or oxidized to produce oolong or black tea. Green tea has a variety of benefits, but the superstar here is its catechin content.
Quinoa is an ancient grain that is thought to deliver some seriously powerful benefits. First cultivated over 5,000 years ago, this ingredient is supposedly comes packed with protein, antioxidants, and fiber.
Vi-Shape Proprietary Super 6 Plant-Based Protein Blend
The Vi-Shape Superfood Shake contains a proprietary super six plant-based protein blend, along with amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. The ingredients in Visalus super six plant-based protein blend include:
Does Visalus Work?
This is a great question, and the reviews are mixed here. With any MLM company, it’s hard to weed out the truthful comments from the distributors trying to pump the tires and snag some more sales.
There is a bit of science behind some of the ingredients we located, but we couldn’t find any scientific research linking to Visalus formulas.
We certainly couldn’t find any on the official website.
A little poking around also found numerous other reviews tearing down the shake drink because of the added “junk” in the product.
Some reviews provided side-by-side comparisons of the V Shape shake drinks micronutrient content vs. similar shakes – and the results were eye-opening.
Benefits & Results
Visalus Benefits and Results
Visalus makes a lot of claims, so we included some of the claimed benefits of their products:
Increase in lean muscle
Low in sugar
Low in fat
Low in sodium
Gluten-free and GMO-free
As far as results go, it’s hard to get our hands on any “real” customer reviews to determine efficacy.
Details on Visalus and Weight Loss
They have an entire challenge dedicated to their products helping others lose weight, so naturally, we want to see some proof that any of their weight-loss supplements will work.
Since being called a “miracle ingredient” on Dr. Oz, Garcinia cambogia has popped up in countless weight-loss supplements – but does it work?
GC is said to help weight loss because of its hydroxycitric acid content. HCA allegedly triggers weight loss, but according to a meta-analysis by the Journal of Obesity, there was “a small, statistically significant difference in weight loss” in favor of HCA over placebo (MD: −0.88 kg; 95% CI: −1.75, −0.00).
Current Therapeutic Research wrote that Garcinia cambogia “reduced abdominal fat accumulation in subjects, regardless of sex, who had the visceral fat accumulation type of obesity.” They went on to say that no rebound effects were noticed and that GC could be useful for reducing the accumulation of visceral fat.
The International Journal of Obesity tested the effects of green tea on weight loss and management. They concluded that the catechins (or epigallocatechin gallate) in the tea were responsible for a small impact on weight loss and weight management.
Are Weight Loss Shakes Worth It?
Is the juice worth the squeeze? You’ve been chomping at the bit to shed some unwanted pounds, and you discover a new weight management shake. Do you buy it?
Some experts would prefer you stick to good old-fashioned fruits and vegetables to lose weight. This ensures that you get a better balance of nutrition and don’t need to worry about artificial ingredients or additives.
Shifting gears now to scientific research, there was a study by Nutrition Journal that pitted a meal replacement against a healthy food diet. The results were interesting.
The 40-week randomized, controlled clinical trial wrote that “Weight loss at 16 weeks was significantly better” with the meal replacement group, but those participants regained “significantly more weight” during weight maintenance.
According to Nutrition Journal, results showed that meal replacements could be an effective way to lose some initial weight, but subjects in the study gained more of it back.
How to Take Visalus
For this section, we’ll focus only on the Visalus Transformation Kit and what directions the company any provides for use.
Use a Shape-Up Health Flavor Mix-In at any time for a “nutritional boost” as well as the ability to add different flavors to your Vi-Shape Shake.
Eat Vi-Snack every day to curb hunger cravings between meals.
Take Vi-Slim Metab-Awake every day to get your metabolism going.
Take Vi-Trim for added “appetite control.”
As with a lot of MLM companies, the details on price are typically blocked out by a wall of membership fees or some sign-up form. We did find an Independent Distributor website with price information.
The Transformation Kit – $403.92
Core Kit – $373.92
Shape Kit – $139.97
Vi-Shape Superfood – $114.99
Vi-Shape – $63.99
Nutra-Cookie – $45.99
Vi-Trim – $55.99
Where to Buy Visalus
Too bad the official website didn’t work for us. We didn’t have access to any of the products, information or testimonials.
The Body by Vi website lists the products but requires a “form” to fill out before seeing any of the prices – which bummed us out.
Our research team did find Visalus products on sites like Amazon, eBay and “Independent Promoter” websites.
Potential Visalus Side Effects
Even if a product claims that it doesn’t cause unwanted side effects, there’s always that possibility. Since everyone is different and reacts differently to specific ingredients, we felt the need to look at what makes up some of their products and what kind of adverse reactions they might cause.
This super-hyped weight-loss ingredient comes along with plenty of claims, but side effects may be an issue, according to MedicalNewsToday.
Digestive tract issues
They also mention that this ingredient is “possibly unsafe” when taken orally.
First of all, the FDA warns against MLM companies and possible pyramid schemes, warning to beware of high prices, “miracle products,” “quick cures,” and lack of evidence.
“If you decide to buy into the program and promote the products, you must be sure your marketing materials are truthful and that there’s solid evidence to back up the claims you make about the products.”
Possible Ingredient Interactions
We couldn’t find any product warnings posted by the company, but looking at a few of the ingredients, it would be wise to list a few precautions before taking any of these supplements.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) interact with chromium. NSAIDs have the possibility of raising chromium levels in your body – increasing the risk of unwanted side effects, according, in part, to information from the Office of Dietary Supplements.
Examples of NSAIDs are:
Soy products contain tyramine, an amino acid that regulates blood sugar.
Any Visalus Lawsuits?
As it turns out, there is a fair amount of talk of Visalus lawsuits floating around. A quick search uncovered a class action lawsuit against the company by former distributors.
According to Detroit Free Press, they allege that the entire program is a “pyramid scheme,” stating that most distributors lost money and that the business model was more focused on recruiting than it was selling the products.
According to BehindMLM, other claims were that the company recruited its distributors by flaunting $500,000 or even $1-million-dollar checks at “pep rallies” to suck them in.
One distributor sued Visalus for “operating an illegal pyramid scheme.” He also claims that the company allowed him to operate his own Amazon store – charging wholesale prices for their products.
According to Ethan Vanderbuilt, “In early January 2017, ViSalus decided to take over the Amazon business for themselves, that Michael Gehart had carefully built, and cut out Michael Gehart and the other distributors who had established Amazon stores.”
The list goes on, unfortunately.
When we were conjuring up some positive things to say about the company, we quickly realized that the negatives were increasingly outweighing the good. From what we found, we like the variety of supplements they offer – but that’s pretty much where the buck stops.
Too many legal issues
Seems more focused on recruiting than helping others lose weight
No scientific research on any of their formulas
One of their websites doesn’t work for us
If you’re looking to shed some pounds, kick your appetite to the curb, or increase your general health, there are plenty of other options to consider here. Some Visalus alternatives include:
Pure Garcinia Cambogia
What Users Are Saying
“I will purchase ViSalus VI-Shape Nutritional Shake Mix again and again. As a supplement, I have not found a product that offers as many vitamins… with such a delicious flavor. I use it in smoothies and sprinkle it on yogurt along with my granola. I highly recommend this product.”
“Easy to drink. Did not feel it was as effective as the pink drink by Plexus.”
“I tried this, the taste is terrible. Don’t buy this, it tastes gross and makes the shake chalky.”
The Bottom Line on Visalus
Just one more second of your time is all we need here. Our review of Visalus ended with one conclusion. We found a favorable BBB rating and a few customer comments that supported products, but we have second thoughts about recommending it because of customer complaints about difficulty canceling subscriptions; lawsuits; and a few other red flags. We’re also concerned with the location of the headquarters next to an Italian restaurant and a deli.
If you’re ready to melt away the pounds, our suggestion is to go with a product that gives you both a formula with clinical support and a strong customer service department willing to give buyers the help they need.
Among the best products we’ve seen this year is one called Noom. The in-depth program was created by medical professionals with your long-term success in mind. We love that you get human coaching – which is not common with weight-loss apps. Plus there are personal touches like custom meal plans.
Also, the creators of Noom are so confident in the product they’re offering a free trial, which is quite confident.
Some of the ingredients found in Visalus products include; Garcinia cambogia, Chromium, Carnitine, Flaxseed, Soy Protein and Green Tea.
Does Visalus work?
It is not easy to tell the fact about how this works. Some reviews give very positive comments about the product while some people are saying that this only works when you take proper diet and do a lot of exercises.
What are the side effects of Visalus?
The product has some ingredients that react differently to some individuals since not all bodies react the same. Some of these effects are Nausea, constipation, headache and some end up having digestive tract issues.
Where can I buy Visalus?
Visalus products are available on Amazon and, eBay and in some independent websites used to promote products.
How should I take Visalus?
You are required to take 2 Vi-shape meal replacement daily for the next 30 days.