Real Plexus Slim Concerns

Read The FDA’s Warning Letter To The Owner Of Plexus Slim

A number of people who have seen advertisements and anecdotal reports for Plexus Slim®, a weight loss supplement, have been smartly asking, “Is Plexus safe?” To answer this question, this article briefly reviews the known information about Plexus Slim®, including the ingredients, their amounts, and what research has been done on either Plexus itself or on its individual ingredients.

Is Plexus safe based on testing and research?

When evaluating the safety of a dietary supplement like Plexus, it is important to know whether the supplement itself has undergone any testing and if so, what kind(s). Ideally, for evaluating safety, it would be best to see that Plexus itself has not only undergone testing in humans, but that the testing was done in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in which both safety and efficacy were evaluated and the results were published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

While this level of research certainly exists for many supplements and natural ingredients, it was not done for Plexus. On the web page for Plexus Slim® ingredients, Plexus Worldwide states, “Its effectiveness has been clinically proven.” However, they do not reference this claim and they do not provide any additional information on their website to support it. A search of all the general databases for published medical research, including PubMed and Google Scholar, does not turn up any citations for studies on Plexus Slim® or on any product containing its proprietary blend of ingredients.

Since no published, human clinical studies evaluating the safety and efficacy of Plexus Slim® seem to have been conducted, there are some additional important questions that must be asked when evaluating its safety. First, are the ingredients in Plexus Slim® product safe to consume at the recommended dosage level based on human studies? In other words, has each individual ingredient in Plexus been tested in human studies for safety? Second, if no human studies on the individual ingredients have been done, have there been any animal or laboratory toxicity studies done on Plexus Slim’s® individual ingredients? And third, does Plexus contain what it says it does and nothing more/nothing less? In other words, Plexus could be unsafe if what is listed on the label does not reflect what is actually in the product because of contamination or adulteration.

As you might expect, none of these questions about the safety of a supplement like Plexus Slim® are easily answered, nor are the answers black and white. Nevertheless, let’s take a look at the ingredients listed on the Plexus label and try to answer these important questions about the supplement’s safety.

What is Plexus?

“Plexus Slim®” is a weight loss supplement manufactured by the network marketing company Plexus Worldwide, Inc. According to Plexus Worldwide’s website (accessed on February 19, 2014), each 5.0 gram serving (1 stick pack) of Plexus Slim® contains the following ingredients. (Note: Plexus Worldwide, Inc. provides no actual image of the Plexus Slim® product label on their website, so the manner in which the ingredients and their amounts may be listed on the current Plexus Slim® label are not available for the public to review.)

One 5.0 gram serving (1 stick pack) of Plexus Slim® contains:

1. Chromium……………..(amount and form of chromium not listed on website)

2. Proprietary blend….(amount not listed on website)

  • Chlorogenic Acid (from Green Coffee Caffea arabica Bean) Extract (contains less than 2% natural caffeine)
  • Garcinia cambogia fruit extract
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid
  • Hoodia gordonii whole plant extract

3. Other Ingredients: Polydextrose, Citric acid, Natural flavors, Beet (Beta vulgaris root) extract (for color), Stevia (Stevia Rebaudiana Leaf) extract, Luo han guo (Siratia grosvenorii fruit) extract.

Is Plexus safe based on the ingredients and their amounts as listed on the Plexus Slim® label?

While Plexus Worldwide, Inc. provides a list of ingredients in Plexus Slim® on their website, they do not provide the amounts of the individual ingredients. From the information provided, it is known that each serving contains 5 grams of total ingredients, including chromium; a proprietary blend of plant extracts and alpha lipoic acid; and the “other ingredients” which consist of plant extract-based sweeteners, natural flavors, citric acid and polydextrose. Without knowing the dose of each of the ingredients in the proprietary blend it is difficult to comprehensively evaluate them for safety. Nevertheless, it is still useful to review the scientific literature for safety information on each of the individual ingredients.

Is Plexus safe based on the chlorogenic acid it contains?

Plexus claims that chlorogenic acid from green coffee extract is one of Plexus Slim’s® primary active ingredients. In 2011, researchers from the University of Exeter in the UK published a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials examining the efficacy of green coffee extract supplements for weight loss.[1] According to the study authors, all of the trials conducted up to that point had been of very short duration, making it difficult to assess the safety of green coffee extract for medium to long-term. “Although none of the randomized controlled trials identified reported any adverse events, this does not indicate that green coffee extract intake is ‘risk-free’… the safety of this weight loss aid is not established,” they concluded.

Since then, another small, controlled clinical trial was conducted to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a green coffee bean extract in overweight subjects using higher daily dosages than previous studies (700 to 1050 mg vs. 180 to 400 mg).[2] As with previous studies, there were no side effects or adverse effects based on measurements of heart rate and blood pressure.

In these human studies, green coffee extract used for short periods of time (less than 16 weeks) appears to be safe. However, the studies did not look comprehensively at the subjects’ blood and urine for signs of adverse effects such as kidney or liver damage or elevated biomarkers for cardiovascular disease. An earlier study found that a daily dose of 2000 mg chlorogenic acid caused significant increases in subjects’ homocysteine levels.[3] Elevated homocysteine levels increase the risk of heart disease.  While it is highly unlikely that 1 or 2 daily servings of Plexus contains more than 2 grams of chlorogenic acid, it is possible that even- lower levels of chlorogenic acid could have negative effects on homocysteine levels and thus potentially raise the risk of heart disease in some individuals.

Is Plexus safe based on the Hoodia it contains?

Another ingredient Plexus Slim’s® proprietary blend is Hoodia gornonii extract. Hoodia is a plant native to parts of Africa that was traditionally eaten as a food to suppress appetite. Today, extracts of the plant are sold as weight loss supplements, despite only one small human study using Hoodia extract having been published.[4]The results showed that a total of 2220-mg perday caused episodes of nausea, vomiting, and disturbances of skin sensation. More concerning, however, was that it significantly increased blood pressure, pulse, heart rate, and markers of liver dysfunction. It is unlikely that Plexus Slim® contains Hoodia extract in this dose range (2220 mg), but there is no way to know for sure based on the information provided on their website.  And whether lower dosages also cause adverse effects in humans is simply not known. Therefore, the presence of Hoodia extract in Plexus Slim® in any amount could potentially be unsafe.

Is Plexus safe based on studies for contamination and adulteration?

Adulteration of weight loss supplements with pharmaceuticals and other banned and dangerous ingredients is, unfortunately, rampant. The FDA keeps a growing tally of weight loss products contaminated with undeclared drugs and/or chemical ingredients. The FDA’s laboratory tests have revealed the presence, for example, of sibutramine and phenolphthalein in a number of tainted weight loss products being sold over-the-counter. Phenolphthalein is laxative drug banned by the FDA in 1999 for potential cancer risks. Sibutramine is a controlled substance and the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Meridia, an approved prescription drug to treat obesity. Some of the –tainted products tested by the FDA recommend taking more than 3 times the recommended daily dosage of sibutramine, putting consumers at risk of serious adverse effects such as increased blood pressure, tachycardia, palpitations, and seizure. While Plexus Slim® has not been identified on the FDA’s list, the FDA’s tally contains only a tiny fraction of products on the market. Can the company prove with independent lab testing that Plexus Slim® does not contain these adulterants or others?

Finding safe, effective supplements for weight loss

Ideally, individuals interested in supplements for weight loss should work with a practitioner trained in nutritional and botanical medicine who stays up-to-date with the scientific literature and has experience and knowledge with choosing and prescribing only the highest quality supplements. Supplement companies who take quality assurance and manufacturing practices very seriously will test all raw materials and finished products for purity and potency using scientifically-valid test methods, and their supplements will be manufactured in FDA-inspected facilities and/or in facilities that exceed the FDA’s good manufacturing practices. They will also disclose the amounts of each ingredient or the total amount of a propriety blend.

On their website, Plexus Worldwide provides very little information about their quality assurance protocols or manufacturing practices, – leaving questions about whether Plexus Slim® is tainted or contaminated, and they do not disclose the amount or form of the chromium or the propriety blend. Because of these issues and more, it is not easy to definitively know whether Plexus Slim® is safe or not. Supplements can be incredibly effective tools for health and wellness, but it is best not to guess or take chances on supplements that do not disclose even basic information about ingredient sources, their amounts, quality control, and manufacturing practices. Do your research and stay safe and healthy!

[1] Gastroenterol Res Pract. 2011; 2011: 382852.

[2] Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2012; 5: 21–27.

[3] Am J Clin Nutr. 2001 Mar;73(3):532-8.

[4] Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Nov;94(5):1171-81.

Original Post Source:

  1. My daughter is type 1 diabetic and has Hashimoto GravesDdisease and she takes a synthetic hormone. In March 2019 her thyroid level was normal. She started taking plexus”slim” in May 2019 and by July 2019 she ended up in the ER with undetected thyroid in her body. She had Bilateral leg pain in both legs, Left foot pain, renal manifestations, Urinary tract infection with hematuria, Hyponatremia, Allergic rhinitis, Myxedema coma, Nontraumatic compartment syndrome of left and right lower extremity, Bilateral foot-drop, Non-traumatic rhabdomyolysis , Acute renal failure with tubular necrosis, Type 1 diabetes mellitus with diabetic polyneuropathy, Localized edema, Varicose veins of right lower extremity with ulcer of calf with necrosis of muscle, Deep postoperative wound infection from 4 surgeries to remove the dead tissue and massive muscle loss in both legs and was facing amputation. The damage was so severe she will wear braces the rest of her life. It has been 8 months and she is still recovering.

  2. My daughter-in-law has been taking and selling Plexus for several months. Yesterday she had to go to hospital with life threatening high blood pressure. They told her they couldn’t find a cause, but it could be caused by supplements she’s taking. She could have had a stroke or worse. Why can’t anyone stop companies from selling things like this if it can cause harm?

  3. I have more energy and less hunger. I am diabetic and feel that my sugar levels are going down. I am having some diarrhea on day 4 and worried about comments that my kidneys may be effected. Overall I am pleased so far and am losing weight which should improve my health. Are the risks high?

  4. I been on plexus for 13 th day now and I’m not liking I start having anxiety and insomnia and bad headache

  5. My concern is the level of Chromium. An excessive amount of this mineral can be dangerous. And those side effects listed above are the symptoms off too much. People should be having blood drawn amd consutling their doctor before taking any supplement to know what their deficiency is.

  6. I started taking the triplex. On day 5, I have experienced explosive diarrhea for 10 days now. Anal leakage at night that I can’t feel. My kidneys hurt, I’m going to my primary Care tomorrow because I have literally felt like death. I am at my breaking point! No more!!!

    1. My sister is selling plexus. I have worked in the medical field for 25 yrs. I’ve always had an open mind. I have some serious concerns about Plexus. Increasing blood pressure, causing kidney and liver damage, this product unfortunately is going to end up in court if they don’t get it off the market. It has ingredients that has had past diet supplements in it that are now off the market. Now how do I explain this to my sister with out hurting her feelings. It’s like she is brainwashed but she is smarter then that.

      1. Francine, what ingredients are you referring to? I’m curious as well as concerned. I do not use or promote these products. What I read about poly dextrose was not good, and I know moms who lived on pkexus while pregnant, and are using while nursing. The stuff has several herbs that contain caffeine, although caffeine isn’t listed. It’s hard on the adrenals.

      2. Francine Flower…I too have great concerns about Plexus products. I worked in healthcare 40 yrs and have RN training. A lifelong friend of mine and her husband are taking Plexus products because two of their daughters sell them. The medical claims they post on Facebook put the old west peddlers of “miracle elixirs” to shame! There’s nothing Plexus can’t do. From controlling blood sugars and hormones to treating inflammation and autoimmune diseases. They were told by the FDA they couldn’t make these medical claims because they aren’t an FDA approved medicine. Doesn’t anyone think if there was a single elixir that treated every medical disease known to man the big pharmaceutical companies would be on this like a dog on a bone??!! The more they pay their ambassadors, give them free high-end autos, send them on exotic “business trips” the more willing the sales people are to spew the lies…without any skepticism whatsoever. There WILL be a tragedy that will bring this company down, and with it thousands of ambassadors living high on the hog on 6-digit incomes, and at the high cost of a lives lost and/or seriously injured. I know the medical community in this country is trying to get the FDA to oversee supplements, as does Australia and Canada, for example. I hope this can come to pass. Just remember this…Plexus isn’t about making lives better…It’s all about the money.

        1. Not really… big pharmaceutical companies are in the “sick” business not the get well businesses. I have a friend that was told on several occasions to get her family affairs in order. She suffers with sle lupus.
          She was in the hospital with life threatening attacks more than several times a year.
          She began plexus in March of 2018. By July she was feeling amazing and losing weight. Now it’s December and she’s more than 60 lbs thinner and hasn’t been to the hospital! Her lupus is currently in remission.

      3. Francine Flower…I too have great concerns about Plexus products. I worked in healthcare 40 yrs and have RN training. A lifelong friend and husband are taking these products because two of their daughters sell it. The medical claims they post on Facebook put the old west

  7. I’m a certified health coach.
    My brother and his wife are promoting plexus.
    I’m very concern about it’s ingredients and effectiveness.
    However, I will see what they have to say about the product in a meeting that they are about to do.

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