Zeal Protein Shake – Shake it for me!

This is it, the grand finale, the one we have all been waiting for. The thing in all of this that actually does what it says it does. It is the protein shake. It is the time tested meal replacement shake. For this one, we are going to evaluate the vanilla, because I am in a pretty vanilla mood right now.  If you look at the ingredients, this one isn’t particularly all natural. At this point with Zeal, I am fine with that and that means it is probably safe. I am only speculating, because I honestly haven’t gone through the protein with a fine toothed comb yet. It doesn’t appear to contain those wonky naturals that can cause problems, so they already have points.  Anyways, the mass market equivalent to this stuff is Slim Fast et.al. So basically, by having a meal replacement shake and some fruits/vegetables you are going to keep you full due to the fiber, and give you 300 calories roundabout per meal. So if you eat 300 calories per meal, have a couple of 100 calorie snacks guess what? Even if you eat a 1000 calorie dinner you are going to lose weight. Plus, it is low in sodium and refined carbs. You know what that does? Control blood sugar and reduce blood pressure (this comes through lower triglycerides and sodium reduction). Plus the “diabetes” cure people were probably eating like garbage before it, and since there are no actual studies on this stuff, I can make that assertion. People get type 2 for a reason, right? So let us get right to it. Nutritive analysis of ingredients…… GO!

Whey protein concentrate- We are all familiar with whey protein, we hear the muscle bros talk about it all of the time, right? Gotta get my protein bro. Whey is a byproduct of cheese manufacturing, contains some calcium, sodium, potassium, and other good stuff. Studies also show it to increase lean body mass when consumed after a workout for 6-10 weeks. Who would have thought? You want a 4:1 carb/protein ration after working out. Whey protein is safe and effective, like I wish all things in Zeal were.


Pea protein- Protein which comes from peas. Roughly the same as whey. It is pretty bioavailable as well, with a 90-97% absorption rate. Basically good ole fashioned vegetable protein.  


Fibersol 2 (maltodextrin) – I love when they include “proprietary ingredients” and then make outlandish claims about them. Basically this is the same way the Advantra Z is done. They buy it from someone else and stick it in their supplement. The difference is, this stuff won’t give you heart trouble like the Advantra Z can. Good old soluble fiber helps regulate cholesterol and keep you full. This is not secret. This is what fibersol’s site says. I am not including it in the references, just google it if you are interested.


Fibersol®-2 digestion-resistant maltodextrin is a soluble corn fiber that acts as a low-calorie bulking agent containing 90 percent dietary fiber. It can be used with minimal formulation adjustments in a variety of food applications to maintain or improve a product’s desired attributes.



Crystalline fructose- Fairly Safe up to 12 weeks. It hasn’t been evaluated for longer. It is possibly effective for osteoarthritis. It can modesty reduce the symptoms such as swelling and pain. It may not reduce stiffness or aggregate of the total symptoms. Some patients did not consider the symptom reduction enough to be clinically significant. It is a sweetener.


2-deoxyribose- It is likely safe when used orally or intravenously short term. Hasn’t been evaluated for pregnant or lactating mothers (haven’t you figured out by now if you are pregnant or lactating you should talk to your doctor before putting stuff in your body?) It seems effective for coronary artery disease and myoadenylate deaminase deficiency. There is nothing shockingly wrong with this but long term safety has not been studied.


White Kidney Bean extract- This is already listed and referenced with the burn pill, fibrous and assists with breaking down starches.



Glucommanan- It is an insoluble fiber. It is safe when used orally in food, powdered or capsule form, but not when in tablet form. It seems effective in treating type 2diabetes as it may reduce cholesterol and blood glucose levels. This type of fiber keeps you regular.


Sunflower oil – Oil which comes from sunflower seeds and can combat constipation. This is packed with Omega 6 acids depending on which variation of sunflower oil it is. Excess omega 6 can cause inflamation and CAD.


Maltodextrin- See fibersol, I don’t know why they list different names for the same thing twice. Remember the Cascara?



Polydextrose-  More Fiber, classified as soluble by the FDA.



Magnesium phosphate-  Mg. Atomic number 12. Safe if used orally and appropriately and aslong as you don’t exceed the UL intake of 350mg. It is lower for children under 8. Ever hear of milk of magnesia? That makes you poop. It also works very well for for treating people with low magnesium. It is also likely effective for managing pre eclampsia and eclampsia. Also it is the first therapy used for torasades de pointes. You need magnesium, just not too much.



Cellulose gum-  More Fiber.


Soy lecithin- Is safe and has GRAS status in amounts typically found in foods. It also seems effective to treat hepatic steatosos in medicinal amounts. It is an oily substance used in food and it keeps foods from separating. It is high in omega 6.


Dextrose- Glucose. It is a monosaccharide found in plants. Simple sugar.  



Salt – NaCL, sodium chloride, self-explanatory. Try not to exceed 2000-3000mg per day. Us Americans rarely have a deficiency in this category. It is actually hard to keep it low if you eat out once a day. Too much causes hypertension, too little causes hypernutremia. This is typically used in foods to make them salty. It is also in the ocean.


Sodium caseinate-  Casein Peptide. Casein is a slow burning protein. You find it in milk. It has been used to treat hypertension.



Mono and diglycerides- Used as an emulsifier and commonly made from animal products. They can also be synthetically produced. They are used to make things more shelf stable… a preservative. Contains trans fats.


Vanilla extract- This gives your shake a vanilla flavor. I would assume the chocolate one contains chocolate.



Potassium phosphate- Potassium. K. Atomic number 19. Works fantastic for treating hypokalemia. Potassium helps regulate blood pressure and alleviate cramps while working out. There are far more uses in the body that I don’t feel like going into. The UL is 80-90 mEq per day. You need potassium.



Calcium phosphate- Calcium, Ca, Atomic number 20. Don’t exceed 2500 mg/day. Works well as an antacid, reversing low calcium and low potassium. Calcium is important for bone health, you need calcium.


Stevia- Used as a sweetener in foods and has GRAS status in the US.


Ascorbic acid- Vitamin C has a myriad of functions in your body. See the wellness drink where I talk more about Vitamin C.  



Citrus pectin- Pectin in this case is used as a thickener. It can be mixed with kaolin for an antidiarrheal. (Kaopectate) or used to protect and soothe raw mouth and throat ulcers. Has GRAS status in amounts generally included in food.


Xanthan gum- Used as a thickening and suspending agent. Effective also for constipation.


Potassium citrate- Another form of potassium.


Sodium chloride –Salt, they listed it twice.


Acesulfame potassium- Artifical sweetener. Should leave a nice aftertaste. 😉


Alpha tocopherols- Vitamin E. See the wellness drink for more expounding on Vitamin E.




Whey protein concentrate











crystalline fructose




















magnesium phosphate






soy lecithin




Getting Burned by Zeal Burn


Zeal Burn. One of my favorites. It is unlike any other diet pill on the market most certainly! First, let us look at their as always comical claim.

Zeal Burn is the powerhouse of the Zeal Weight Management Program. Zeal Burn is an effective blend of thermogenic fat burners, a natural carb blocker and appetite suppressant. Taken before each meal these powerful ingredients will accelerate your metabolism to burn more calories, reduce your hunger and block the absorption of the carbohydrates that you do eat; all without making you jittery as many weight loss products do. Slowing down the assimilation of carbohydrates can help avoid the cycle of hunger and act as an appetite suppressant. Many people eat a lot of simple sugars and simple carbohydrates which go into your system quickly and go out quickly, leaving you quickly hungry. Zeal Burn can help.

I almost fell out of my chair laughing. “Powerhouse.” Ah ha ha ha ha ha. I probably knocked about 5 powerhouses off the shelf when I accidentally wondered in to GNC while looking for the flea circus. I figured out where I was when I heard a GNC bro ask me if I was looking to beef up. I turned tail and booked it, leaving the stacker 2 bottles and the “clinical strength nutrition supplements” in my supersonic wake of destruction.

Back on topic. My opinion is that this is probably the most dangerous out of all of the supplements for anyone in general. It is the same as the crap on the shelf when you walk into the dietary section at Wal-Mart. Remember when I said someone quit taking their blood pressure pills after 3 days on this challenge? Scary. It should effectively raise your blood pressure and make you poop. Put you at risk for some cardiovascular conditions, and help give you a boner. All and all, I am going to have a little fun on this one, because if anything deserves to get made fun of, it is this and the cleanse.


Advantra-Z™ (Citrus Aurantium / Zhi Shi powder)- Advantra-Z™ is a proprietary thermogenic fat burner, right? If you google this supplement, you will find that it is sold to multiple supplement companies. It appears to be concentrated bitter orange. That makes it not proprietary to Zurvita, maybe the Advantra Z folks? Luckily, I found a site with the sponsored zeal ingredient list which tells me what it really is, bitter orange. Plus, the Advantra Z site says it is. Let us first laugh at their claim about it. Hilarious!


Advantra-Z™ – The ONLY PATENTED THERMOGENIC INGREDIENT for weight loss and sports nutrition. This ingredient is proprietary to Zeal Burn to:


  • ·         Stimulate thermogenesis
  • ·         Reduce Weight
  • ·         Increase lean muscle mass to total body mass
  • ·         Improve athletic performance
  • ·         Suppress appetite


Bitter orange is not such great stuff. For a little background on it, it was used as a replacement for ephedra when that stuff got banned. In theory, this makes since due to the fact that synephrine contained in bitter orange extract is similar in chemical makeup as ephedra. The good part is that it is possibly effective….. for topical application in treating tinea corporis (ringworm), cruris (jock itch), or pedis (athlete’s foot). Furthermore, the ancient “all natural” medicinal use for this was as an appetite stimulant, not suppressant. The bad part is that it can have the same negative effects as ephedra, especially if combined with other stimulants such as caffeine. These negative effects include ischemic stroke, and cardiotoxicity including tachyarrhythmia, cardiac arrest, syncope, angina, myocardial infarction, ventricular arrhythmia, and death in patients who have taken this. It has also not been proven to work terribly well. Quick pop quiz (or open another browser window), how many caffeine containing substances did the wellness drink have? Oh yeah, makes you want to faint doesn’t it. First off, if you want to go check out this cool site, it has a super handy matrix to help you choose performance enhancing supplements which are legal and safe.




If you will notice, it is actually a class 12, which is the worst. Sometimes I wonder if they did their research at all before they put this stuff together, or just grabbed something off the GNC shelf and stuck a Zeal label on it. Most of these products seem to mimic the stuff you can get at GNC anyways. Kind of scary. Seriously, don’t take this stuff, you are rolling the dice. Zurvita claims they carefully formulated this so it won’t affect your blood pressure. My foot! I seriously don’t see how this would increase lean muscle mass. Exercise and a good diet do that, not bitter orange. That is a false claim for sure. It does not require a rocket scientist to figure out that a zero calorie supplement will not increase lean body mass. The references included scratch the surface, but documentation on the negative effects of this stuff is everywhere.



African Mango: It is used to lower cholesterol and for weight loss. It seems relatively safe when taken up to 10 weeks at 150mg 2x/day. It has become popular in modern weight loss supplements. There are three studies done on this, all by a university in Cameroon Africa, and all sponsored by a supplement company. They look suspect to me. They took overweight patients, and stuck them all on a 1800 calorie diet. The people on the supplement lost 16 pounds in a month, and the people not on it lost none.


Personal problems with this:

  1. A.      If you put someone overweight on an 1800 calorie diet, they are going to lose weight, unless they have a thyroid issue.
  2. B.      1-2 pounds of weight lost is considered a safe, realistic goal. You should not try to lose more than that. If you are, it is probably muscle. It seems inflated and biased, something just doesn’t look right about it, and it throws up a red flag.


Is anyone ready for Zeal’s claim?


African Mango extract has become one of the world’s most popular weight loss ingredients. The African mango comes from the Irvingia Gabonesis tree native to Africa. It was originally studied for its effect on cholesterol. After several controlled studies, it was discovered that not only did it help lower cholesterol levels, but in every study group given, the supplement had significant weight loss results – an average weight loss of 12.3 pounds in just 8 weeks!

They apparently took the limited African studies as gospel. Of course, they support what they want to tell you. I guess they didn’t completely lie on this one. It just goes to show they will read one study (or 3 bad ones) and toss any old thing in here.



Green Tea (50% EGCG) – Back to the old caffeine containing great tea extract, huh? That is in the wellness drink. If you want the details of it, look at the wellness drink. The only thing I am going to add to that is how this stuff is evaluated for weight loss. It is split, one study shows it works, and one doesn’t. Caffeine can act as an appetite suppressant. That is probably why so many people can skate through breakfast on just coffee, well that and skipping breakfast crashes your metabolism.



Cha de Bugre- There are really no scientific studies on this stuff. It seems to definitely have a diuretic effect. Historically, they have used it for weight loss and treatment of everything from herpes to cancer. It was probably one of the only medicines the tribe had down there in Brazil. You know my feelings on non-scientifically proven ancient remedies already. No need to expound.


White Kidney Bean[pod] extract (from the pod, presumably)– Since all the studies I found are on the pod extract, that is what I am going to go with.  It seems safe when used for 2-3 months. If you eat the pods raw, it can cause your stomach to get upset. If you ate them all the time, your stomach would be upset all the time, and you probably would not want to eat. I found a single study that says it can prevent lung cancer. For weight loss one that said the bean pod group lost 0.8 more pounds over a month and two that said it didn’t work it all. Given the three, I would guess the first one was just an anomaly. Of course, these studies were small, and if you add them up lean toward it not working, but objectively, I still see it to be inconclusive at best. They were actually correct on the fact that it acts as a starch blocker to a certain extent. Zurvita, you get a gold star for honesty on this one!


L-arginine– Does nothing for weight loss. Remember from my previous post this is a vasodilator. It is used for angina, CHF, and ED. It is also proven likely ineffective in athletic performance. Say hi to Smilin’ Bob for me.


Zeal probably found this one liner of bodybuilding.com:


                L-arginine is a protein amino acid that is a natural precursor to growth hormone.


Truth: Your body synthesizes enough of this itself in most situations to where a therapeutic dose isn’t going to stimulate growth hormone release.


Trymethylglycine – Remember that song by Edwin Starr? Trymethylglycine! huh! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing! Ok, so that song was written in 1969, and times have changed. It appears possibly effective for Homocystinuria. It appears to be ineffective for weight loss. Eddie just about had it right. Other than sounding sciencey, there is no reason for it to be in a weight loss supplement.



Aloe Vera powder (200:1) – Not the ole orally ingested aloe again. Seriously? I hope it isn’t the latex, which we deemed to be unsafe for ingestion in the wellness post. I am halfway thinking it is the latex now, since it has been traditionally used as a laxative. Aloe still works fantastic topically.


Zeal Says:


Proper nutrients absorption from our body is paramount to maintaining a healthy body, a youthful appearance and high energy levels.


I didn’t know that laxatives helped nutrient absorption. I had always heard and read the opposite in the medical world. You learn something every day I guess.






Bitter Orange:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11583473?dopt=Abstract (this was just with the juice, not extract)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17201647?dopt=Abstract (shows ineffective; small study group)

Keogh AM, Baron DW. Sympathomimetic abuse and coronary artery spasm. Br Med J 1985;291:940.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15026566?dopt=Abstract (scary)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15301335?dopt=Abstract (A healthy 22 year old)



http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16317106?dopt=Abstract (It raises BP)


African Mango:





Green Tea:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11924761?dopt=Abstract (appears to work)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15005829?dopt=Abstract (appears it doesn’t work)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19906797?dopt=Abstract (More effective with additional caffeine)


White kidney bean pod extract:













Newall CA, Anderson LA, Philpson JD. Herbal Medicine: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals. London, UK: The Pharmaceutical Press, 1996 (When used as a laxative)

Wichtl MW. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals. Ed. N.M. Bisset. Stuttgart: Medpharm GmbH Scientific Publishers, 1994. (Covers laxative and renal failure)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11877593?dopt=Abstract (renal failure by Aloe)



Zeal sites used for reference:

http://zealforlifeproducts.com/ (I get the nutrition info on it from here since they did a good job documenting it)


http://support.zurvita.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/346 (Burn doesn’t increase blood pressure LOL)




Zeal Wellness Drink/Supplement

First up on the docket, for my never ending scrutiny, is the original “wellness” drink that propelled them into church pyramid marketing stardom. People sure to make rash claims about this stuff, lets get started with poking at a fellow wordpresser. (He actually seems like a really nice guy, nothing personal). You should read the “about” page of my blog to figure out some of the concerns I am stating here.


Oh, the cranberry zinger? Well, I have seen claims by people on zeal about how they have not touched caffeine (coffee, tea, energy drinks… ect) since they started zeal. I love how he was magically energized at the mere thought of drinking this. Ironically, the skepdic dictionary seems to define this anomaly quite well. http://skepdic.com/placebo.html Some have even claimed that it didn’t contain caffeine, others didn’t know. On their main website, they will not disclose the amount of ingredients in Zeal Wellness. Furthermore, it contains not one, not two, but three naturally occuring sources of caffiene. Guarana, green tea, and yerba mate. Lack of research indeed. A quick look at the zeal label and a little bit of wikipedia could reveal this, scientific studies not required. This ties into the claim that it lowers blood pressure. Caffeine does the exact opposite, actually. Since we don’t know how much of each ingredient is in there, since their blend is so “proprietary,” we would be unable to assess the amount of caffeine and the safety of consuming this if you are hypertensive. Furthermore, I have seen posts of people self diagnosing themselves into not needing their blood pressure medication after 3 days. I would consider that scary. Of course, they wouldn’t follow up with anything saying that their blood pressure went up, because after all, they want to sell the stuff. It takes an average of 3 weeks to 3 months for herbal supplements to build up to therapeutic levels in your body. I highly doubt it did anything.

Bioavailabilty: I have been told that the vitamins and minerals in zeal are far more bioavailable than those regularly available in supplements. However, yet again, if you were to read the label, you would find a plethora of ingredients which are available in an OTC multivitamin. On a side note, you should always choose a USP supplement if possible. Plenty of multivitamins fit that bill. If you want to know more about that visit: http://www.usp.org

List of multivitamins in Zeal Wellness which are shared with the naturemade on my shelf:

Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), D-Alpha Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Retinol Palmitate (Vitamin A), Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate (Vitamin B6), Thiamin (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D), Methylcobalamin (Vitamin B12).

Obviously, if they can’t even be absorbed by me from the multivitamin, why would the same supplements be absorbed better from Zeal? Quick answer, they aren’t. Basically Zeal is a multivitamin with potentially dangerous herbals added. The level of risk varies with whatever life situation you are in. Certain herbs in this can cause abortifacient, hepatoxic, and tetragenic effects in humans. Which really burned me when I saw this suggested as a prenatal vitamin.

Now, I am going to list the ingredients, with a bunch of references added to it. I am going to give my summary of the studies I have read. I do not have the time to document all of the studies, but these should give you a quick, general idea of how these things work and whether they are safe, which most of them have not been proven safe for therapeutic medicinal doses. Scary, huh? Yall ready for this? It is going to be a ton of reading. There are going to be tons of links for the references, so bare with me, I don’t know how to make them look pretty.

”Proprietary ENRICH blend”:

Rice Bran – Is possibly effective at helping with Atopic dermatitis (eczema), Hypercalciuria, and Hypercholesterolemia. There are little to no safety concerns for rice bran. What really makes me laugh about stabilized rice bran, is how it is made. I mean this is an all-natural supplement, right? Funny thing is, this stuff started out as livestock feed. Waste humans wouldn’t want to consume, but with some clever chemistry you can. First off, you have to stabilize rice bran because a naturally occurring lipase enzyme with cause it to oxidize rather quick. There are many ways of doing this. Some processes include extremely high heat, pressure, chemical (read sodium hydroxide) and enzymatically. Seems pretty dang processed to me. Then after the oil has been discarded or taken out for rice bran oil, it is shipped all over the world. I love how turning garbage into food has become an American tradition.

Fructooligosaccharides – Orally, fructo-oligosaccharides are used for constipation, traveler’s diarrhea, increasing fecal mass, and reducing serum cholesterol. Fructo-oligosaccharides are also used as prebiotics. It seems ineffective at preventing travellers diarrhea. It also appears to be relatively safe to take, however, this has not been tested in pregnant women and therefore should avoid using of tor supplemental purposes.

Moringa – Orally, Moringa is used for anemia and many GI complications, and topically as a treatment for atheletes foot. Moringa is also rich in vitamins and minerals. The roots should be avoided due to an alkaloid isolated in the root which can cause fatal paralysis. There is insufficient data as to the effectiveness of moringa for the above conditions. This can be used safely by consumption of the seeds, fruit, and leaves by most. Moringa has also proven to be an herbal abortifacient.

Guarana –
Orally, guarana is used for weight loss, to enhance athletic performance, to reduce mental and physical fatigue, hypotension, and as a diuretic. This is mostly safe if guarana is eaten as it is in food or drink. Guarana contains about double the amount of caffeine as coffee. Use of more than 300 mg/day of caffeine can lead to dependency, tachyarrhythmias, and sleep disturbances. Pregnant women should avoid ingesting more than 200 mg/day. Guarana has the highest natural concentration of caffeine of any naturally occurring source. BTW zeal reps, guaranine IS caffeine. Same chemical make up and everything.

Gotu Kola – Orally, gotu kola is used for reducing fatigue, anxiety, depression, improving memory and intelligence, Alzheimer’s disease, venous insufficiency including varicose veins, wound healing, and increasing longevity. It can also be used topically for healing scars. Gotu Kola is likely safe used topically. Used as a supplement, it is still likely safe, however there concerns of hepatoxicity in some patients. Gotu Kola is most likely effective for veinous insufficiencies.

Alfalfa – Medicinally, Alfalfa is traditionally used as a diuretic for the kidneys and bladder. It is rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K4. High usage of the seeds over a long term has been associated with pancytopenia and drug-induced lupus effects.
In supplemental form, it is potentially unsafe to pregnant women because it may contain constituents for estrogenic activity.

Chlorella – Orally, chlorella is used as a food supplement and source of nutrients, including protein, nucleic acids, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. There have been studies for its effectiveness in fibromyalgia and glioma. Results are inconclusive. It appears to be relatively safe to take, but has not been evaluated in pregnant and lactating mothers.

Broccoli – Medicinally, broccoli is used for preventing cancer and boosting immune function. It is considered safe to consume in food form, however, little research has been done on the safety of therapeutic medicinal amounts. It probably doesn’t matter. Broccoli is loaded with antioxidants. It is a freaking powerhouse. Eat it with wanton reckless abandon every day if you so choose. It is high in vitamin c, fiber, and deliciousness. The real question is, with something so good, especially smothered in grass fed butter, why oh why would you supplement it?

Cranberry – Therapeutically , cranberry is used for prevention and treatment of urinary tract infections, neurogenic bladder, as a urinary deodorizer for people with incontinence, prevention of urinary catheter blockage, and to heal skin around urostomy stomas. It is safe when consumed as food or in juice, and in non-pregnant adults, it has been proven safe in many trials. It has also been proven to possibly be effective in preventing UTIs. The dried version is also wonderful on salads alongside goat cheese.

”Proprietary Restore blend:”

Milk thistle – Milk thistle seems to be effective for some diabetes treatements, Allergic rhinitis, and Dyspepsia . Milk thistle seems to be tolerated well in adults up to 41 months in clinical studies.

Bacopa – Traditionally, brahmi (bacopa) is used for Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, cognitive impairment and memory loss, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), allergies, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It seems possibly effective in cognitive functions. It seems possibly ineffective at treating Irritable bowel syndrome. It seems relatively safe in clinical trials lasting up to 12 weeks, and has not been evaluated in pregnant and lactating mothers. I think the mental stimulus for Alzheimer’s is the most captivating aspect of it. I think this one is worth further investigation.

Ashwagandha – Orally, ashwagandha is used for arthritis, anxiety, insomnia, tumors, tuberculosis, abortifacient, and chronic liver disease. There is insufficient evidence regarding the effectiveness of this. Pregnant mothers should avoid taking this due to it’s traditional use as an Abortifacient. In short, there is no proven point of this stuff other than to try and induce an abortion.
Green tea extract – Green tea is used to improve cognitive performance and mental alertness. It is also used to treat stomach disorders, vomiting, diarrhea, and headaches. It is also used as a weight loss supplement and for it’s anti-oxidant properties. It appears safe when used in concentrations normally used and foods, and short terms medicinally. It is possibly unsafe when the extract is used long term medicinally due to it’s large caffeine content. Use of more than 300 mg/day of caffeine can lead to dependency, tachyarrhythmias, and sleep disturbances. Pregnant women should avoid ingesting more than 200 mg/day. It seems likely effective when used for genital warts and for mental alertness, due to the caffeine. It may also be effective in treating hypotension, hyperlipidemia, ovarian cancer risks and parkinsons disease. This is mainly due to the EGCG, a potent antioxidant found in green tea. Green tea also works well steeped in water and paired with a touch of honey. That is where I would get mine.

Wild blueberry – Historically, blueberry is used for preventing cataracts and glaucoma, ulcers, urinary tract infections (UTIs), multiple sclerosis (MS), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fever, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, improving circulation, and as a laxative. It is safe when used in the amounts which occur in foods. However, the safety of supplemental blueberry has not been evaluated. There is insufficient research to evaluate wild blueberry for its medicinal properties. That being said, blueberries are packed with flavonoids called anthocyanins. Blueberry juice did seem to improve cognitive function in those who are aging. Yet again, these delicious, nutritious, bite sized gems go great in salads, real yogurt (not corn syrup/chemical laden yogurt with blue dye in them) or just popped into your mouth. Again, I would just eat these because they are wonderful and not take the powder.

Tumeric – Turmeric has been used for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, dyspepsia, abdominal pain, hemorrhage, diarrhea, flatulence, abdominal bloating, loss of appetite, jaundice, hepatitis, and liver and gallbladder conditions. Tumeric has been safely used in clinical trials lasting up to 8 months in clinical trials. Therapeutic amounts of tumeric should not be used by pregnant women due to the fact that it can stimulate menstrual flow in the uterus. (How much is in zeal? Oh yeah, proprietary blend, no one knows) It seems effective at treating dyspepsia and osteoarthritis. I am sure not hating on turmeric, it is packed with the antioxidant curicumin. It is also packed with deliciousness, as it’s slightly sweet and smoky flavor make it a good base for curry, or just sprinkled liberally on anything really. Be careful though! It will turn your hands yellow.

Red ginseng(Korean Ginseng)- Red ginseng seems to be effective at treating COPD, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, and cognitive function. It is possibly ineffective for quality of life improvements and athletic performance. Red ginseng seems possibly safe when used orally up to 6 months, however long term use may be unsafe due to its potential hormone like effects. It is unsafe for pregnant mothers due to the fact it may present a teratogen effect to the fetus during pregnancy. It is also unsafe for use in children due to its hormonal effects.

Grape seed extract – Grape is medicinally used for preventing cardiovascular disease, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, atherosclerosis, hypertension, peripheral vascular disease, edema associated with injury or surgery, and myocardial or cerebral infarction. Grapes are safe as food and have GRAS status in the US. Use of the supplement form is possibly safe, and have been used in clinical trials up to 12 weeks. It appears to be effective in chronic venous deficiency and ocular stress from glare. There is not enough evidence to support grapeseed extract for other uses. Grapes are also loaded with an antioxidant caused resveratrol. This has been shown to reduce multiple cancer risks. Is there enough in here to do anything? Doubtful. The best source of grape antioxidants is red wine. So if you needed an excuse to drink red wine, now you have one. (BTW the wine pill didn’t work in studies). You could even come up with a new drink, the zeal mixer!

L-arginine – L-arganine is a vasodialator and has been safely used in lab trials up to 3 months. It seems most effective at treating erectile dysfunction, angina, congestive heart failure, AIDS related wasting, and other vascular diseases. It is unlikely to be effective for athletic performance and myocardial infraction. Nothing wrong with it, you just probably don’t need a supplemental form of it.

Glycine – Orally, glycine is used for schizophrenia, strokes, memory enhancement, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), protection of the liver and kidneys, and cancer prevention. It is also used in the treatment of G6PD deficiencies. It may be effective in the treatment of schizophrenia and stroke. It seems to be relatively safe when used orally/topically, however it has not been evaluated in pregnant or lactating women.

Lysine – Clinically lysine is used for preventing and treating clinical symptoms of recurrent herpes simplex labialis. It is also used as an aid to improving athletic performance. It is potentially effective for the treatment of herpese simplex labailis. It has not been proven to be effective for athletic performance. Lysine seems generally well tolerated up to 12 months and has not been evaluated for use on pregnant and lactating mothers.

Tyrosine – Tyrosine is effective for the medicinal treatment of Phenylketonuria (PKU). (They do this by making a formula and substitute tyrosine for phenylalanine). It may also work well for treating sleep disorders. It is considered safe and granted GRAS status for the amounts occurring in foods, and seems well tolerated in clinical trials lasting up to 3 months.

Orthanine – What is with all of the EAAs in this? Can’t you just eat some meat? Oh well, this is used for the enhancement of athletic performance, reduction of glutamine toxicity, and wound healing. No clinical safety studies have been performed, and it appears to be ineffective for athletic performance.

Yerba mate – Yerba mate is used as a beverage in South America and is used as a stimulant to relieve mental fatigue. The caffeine content is roughly equal or slightly less than that of coffee. It is safe when consumed as a drink, and possibly unsafe when consumed in large quantities or supplemented. Use of more than 300 mg/day of caffeine can lead to dependency, tachyarrhythmias, and sleep disturbances. Pregnant women should avoid ingesting more than 200 mg/day. Furthermore, mate has been linked to oral cancer in the fetus, children, even in adults with long term use. Wait, coffee is better and it doesn’t give you cancer, what gives?

Kudzu – Typically, this has been used for the natural treatment of alcoholism, hangovers, angina, upset stomach, dizziness, and vomiting. Its use has been relatively safe in clinical trials lasting up to 4 months. It has been clinically evaluated for angina, stroke, menopause, and alcoholism with inconclusive results. It does grow like a weed and everywhere, so if they find a use for this, more power to them.

Fennel – Historically fennel’s therapeutic use is increasing lactation, promoting menstruation, facilitating birth, an abortifacient, and increasing libido. Fennel is likely safe and has obtained GRAS status in amounts generally used in food. In medicinal doses, its safety has not been evaluated. It should be avoided while pregnant and breast feeding in therapeutic doses due to the fact that it can lead to neurotoxicity in the child. This seems relatively effective for colic when combined with other ingredients, but, the side effects for children… Play this one like turmeric. Packed with antioxidants, use it in your food, just not medicinally.

“Proprietary PROTECT Blend”

Aloe – Orally, aloe is used for osteoarthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases including ulcerative colitis, fever, itching and inflammation, and as a general tonic. Topically, aloe is used for burns, wound healing, hemorrhoids, posthemorrhoidectomy pain, psoriasis, sunburn, frostbite, inflammation, osteoarthritis, and cold sores. It is also applied topically as an antiseptic and as a moisturizer. Aloe gel is safe when used orally, topically, and appropriately. Aloe Latex may be unsafe if consumed orally can lead to renal failure and death. People claim that the juice helps regulate your stomach. I’d roll with the probiotics instead.

Goji (Lycuim)- Herbal remedies for goji are used for diabetes, hypertension, fever, malaria, and cancer. It’s also used for improving circulation, erectile dysfunction, abortifacient, dizziness, tinnitus; and as an eye tonic for blurred vision, macular degeneration, and other ophthalmic disorders. It is likely safe in quantities naturally occuring and food and medicinally for healthy individuals up to 3 months in clinical trials. It should be avoided by pregnant mothers due to it’s traditional use as an abortifacient. Studies indicate that it could potentially be used to increase quality of life, but are inconclusive with a small n of participants.

Acai berry- Historically, acai has been taken for osteoarthritis, hypercholesterolemia, erectile dysfunction, weight loss and obesity, detoxification, aging skin, metabolic syndrome, and for improving general health. Acai is relatively safe consumed as a berry or juice. Supplemental use has not been evaluated. Preliminary research shows acai supplements can be safely taken up to a month, and have lowered fasting glucose and total cholesterol levels on obese patients. No effect was seen on LDLs. Acai berries contain an abundance of Monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids. (omega fats). This over touted “superfood” gets put to shame by blueberries and pomegranates in the antioxidant department. You can also actually go to the store and buy blueberries and poms.

Noni – Noni is used for colic, convulsions, cough, diabetes, dysuria, stimulating menstrual flow, fever, hepatosis, constipation, leukorrhea, malarial fever, and nausea. It is also used for smallpox, splenomegaly, swelling, asthma, arthritis and other bone and joint problems, cancer, cataracts, colds, depression, digestive problems, and gastric ulcers. Also it has been used in a preparation to aid childbirth and as an abortifacient. It is possibly safe to eat the fruit, however, noni juice, tea, and supplements have show to be hepatoxic. It is unknown if noni was the cause of hepatoxicity. Noni has been used as a natural abortifacient, and should be avoided by pregnant mothers. Noni may be mildy effective at eliminating post operative vomiting. Insufficient reliable evidence exists to assess for other purposes. Noni fruit is high in potassium, vitamin a, and vitamin c.

Ionic minerals – Trace amounts of minerals including copper, gold, silver, boron, silicone, and zinc in extremely small amounts are required for bodily operation, and are regularly found in foods. Boron, magnesium, and silicone are required for bone health.

Fulvic minerals (humic acid) – Increase absorption and bioavailability of metallic ions in our system.

Stevia – Orally, stevia is used as a weight loss aid, for treating diabetes, contraception, hypertension, heartburn, lowering uric acid levels, and as a cardiotonic and diuretic.
In foods, stevia is used as a non-caloric sweetener and flavor enhancer. Stevia has GRAS status in the US as a sweetener in foods. I have to say, they got it right on this one. The results keep coming in about hypertension and blood sugar control for diabetes folks. I use this stuff myself. If you are using an artificial sweetener, use this one.

Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)- This form of vitamin C is found in foods, and over the counter supplements. It is a water soluble vitamin. Vitamin C is an extremely important nutrient. It increases the bioavailability of iron and can reverse the effects of scurvy between 2 days and 3 weeks. Vitamin C is safe as long as the UL (Upper level) intake is not exceeded on a regular basis.

Vitamin E (d-alpha tocopherol – This form of vitamin E is found in foods, and over the counter supplements. It is a fat soluble vitamin. Vitamin E is used for replacement therapy in vitamin E deficiency, treating and preventing cardiovascular disease, including slowing atherogenesis and preventing heart attacks. It is used orally for angina, thrombophlebitis, intermittent claudication, hypertension, and preventing ischemia-reperfusion injury after coronary artery bypass surgery. Vitamin E is safe as long as the UL (Upper level) intake is not exceeded on a regular basis.

Retinol palmitate (Vitamin A) – This form of vitamin A is found in foods, and over the counter supplements. It is a fat soluble vitamin. Orally, vitamin A is used for vitamin A deficiency, improving vision, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, cataracts, infection, and improving immune function. Vitamin A is safe as long as the UL (Upper level) intake is not exceeded on a regular basis. It is likely ineffective for anemia, cancer, and pneumonia. Beta carotene is what really works for AMD, but who’s counting?

Pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (Vitamin B6)- This form of vitamin B is found in foods, and over the counter supplements. It is a water soluble vitamin. Orally, pyridoxine is used most commonly for treating premenstrual syndrome (PMS), vitamin B6 deficiency, “morning sickness” in pregnancy, depression associated with pregnancy or oral contraceptive use, primary homocystinuria, hyperhomocysteinemia, Alzheimer’s disease, and preventing neuritis associated with isoniazid or penicillamine. Vitamin B6 is safe as long as the UL (Upper level) intake is not exceeded on a regular basis.

niacinamide (Vitamin B3)- This form of vitamin B is found in foods, and over the counter supplements. It is a water soluble vitamin. Orally, niacin is used for hyperlipidemia. It is also used in conjunction with other therapies for peripheral vascular disease, vascular spasm, migraine headache, Meniere’s syndrome, vertigo, and to reduce the diarrhea associated with cholera. Orally, niacin or niacinamide is also used for preventing vitamin B3 deficiency, treating pellagra, schizophrenia, drug-induced hallucinations, Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline, chronic brain syndrome, hyperkinesis, depression, motion sickness, alcohol dependence, vasculitis associated with skin lesions, and edema. Vitamin B3 is safe as long as the UL (Upper level) intake is not exceeded on a regular basis.

thiamin (Vitamin B1) – This form of vitamin B is found in foods, and over the counter supplements. It is a water soluble vitamin. Orally, thiamine is used for thiamine deficiency syndromes, including beriberi, peripheral neuritis associated with pellagra, and neuritis of pregnancy. Vitamin B1 is safe as long as the UL (Upper level) intake is not exceeded on a regular basis.

riboflavin|riboflavin (Vitamin B2) – This form of vitamin B is found in foods, and over the counter supplements. It is a water soluble vitamin. B2 is used for preventing riboflavin deficiency, treating ariboflavinosis, preventing migraine headaches, treating acne, congenital methemoglobinemia, muscle cramps, preventing cervical cancer, burning feet syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, red blood cell aplasia, multiple acylcoenzyme A dehydrogenase deficiency, eye fatigue, cataracts, and glaucoma. Vitamin B2 is safe as long as the UL (Upper level) intake is not exceeded on a regular basis.

cholecalcipherol (Vitamin D) – This form of vitamin D is found in foods such as fortified dairy and mushrooms, sun exposure, and over the counter supplements. It is a fat soluble vitamin. Vitamin D is a key vitamin for bone health, and in the prevention of rickets. Doses in excess of the tolerable UL should be under physician care.

folic acid (Vitamin B complex) – This form of vitamin B is found in foods, and over the counter supplements. It is a water soluble vitamin. Orally, folic acid is used for preventing and treating folate deficiency, megaloblastic anemia resulting from folate or vitamin B12 deficiency, megaloblastic anemia in sickle cell disease, and for folate deficiency in intestinal malabsorption or sprue. It is also used for preventing neural tube defects, reducing the risk of colorectal and cervical cancer, and preventing pregnancy loss. Folic Acid is safe as long as the UL (Upper level) intake is not exceeded on a regular basis.

biotin (Vitamin B7 or Vitamin H) – This form of vitamin B/H is found in foods, and over the counter supplements. It is a water soluble vitamin. Biotin is used for preventing and treating biotin deficiency associated with pregnancy, long-term parenteral nutrition, malnutrition, rapid weight loss, and multiple carboxylase deficiency. It is also used orally for hair loss, brittle nails, seborrheic dermatitis of infancy, diabetes, and mild depression. It seems to be ineffective for brittle nails and diabetes. Biotin is safe as long as the UL (Upper level) intake is not exceeded on a regular basis.

Methylcobalamin – This form of vitamin B is found in foods, and over the counter supplements. It is a water soluble vitamin. Vitamin B12 is used for treating pernicious anemia and preventing and treating vitamin B12 deficiency. It is also used orally for treating primary hyperhomocysteinemia, heart disease, male infertility, diabetes, memory loss, circadian rhythm sleep disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, psychiatric disorders, osteoporosis, tendonitis, immunosuppression, AIDS, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), asthma, allergies, vitiligo, preventing cervical cancer, and seborrheic dermatitis. Vitamin B12 is safe as long as the UL (Upper level) intake is not exceeded on a regular basis.

If you are still with me after accepting that HUGE information download… there is a ton of stuff in there that your body DOESN’T need. At the end of the day, I know why it somewhat works. The placebo effect. It causes you to get off your butt and start working out. Plus, if you follow their “Zeal Challenge” and the low calorie diet which goes with it, you are going to lose weight. That is nothing you couldn’t get from going to http://www.choosemyplate.gov (Ok, maybe it is grain heavy) If you want to pay for it, that is on you.

At the end of the day, we all know why people recommend this and try to sell it, regardless of the safety concerns.

Yep, the dollar signs. Instead of pink like mary kay (which isn’t that terrible for you) they have black. Just remember, if you are considering this stuff, the person selling it to you isn’t thinking about you, they are thinking about that nice black car.

Also, if you would like for me to post my references (which if you ask a zeal rep, you will never get, just some heresay and marketing jargon) after my post, instead of spread out through the whole thing, just let me know. I see how that could have made things confusing. Also, I can answer in depth about individual supplements if you let me know. Obviously, I couldn’t post in depth about every single thing in there, and just kind of highlighted the issues I felt were of concern. There are tons of drug/nutrient interactions I didn’t even scratch the surface of! If I didn’t say it was good/bad for something, it probably wasn’t, but there were still some cool studies which I didn’t post which may answer an individuals question. Furthermore, if you think you have a good study to refute what I have said, please, let me know. I am not talking about some biology or art major that decided to start their own website, I am talking about actual studies.
I am not saying this is going to kill everyone. A healthy male taking it in moderation? Fine. A female? Not used as a multivitamin. You need some calcium and iron rocking too. Why didn’t they add the two most common minerals that people are deficient in? I don’t know. Should children, pregnant and lactating mothers be taking it? Absolutely not. Are you one of those people that feeds it to your dog? You’re an idiot.
Anyways, I am done. I hope you like the new revision of this, and I hope it is more user friendly for you!
Rice Bran-
Gotu Kola-
Newall CA, Anderson LA, Philpson JD. Herbal Medicine: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals. London, UK: The Pharmaceutical Press, 1996.
Dietary Chlorella pyrenoidosa for patients with malignant glioma: effects on immunocompetence, quality of life, and survival. Phytother Res 1990;4:220-31.
Cranberry –
Milk Thistle-
McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, eds. American Herbal Products Association’s Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, LLC 1997.
Green Tea-
Bradley Pharmaceuticals. Veregen Prescribing Information. October 2006
McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, eds. American Herbal Products Association’s Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, LLC 1997
Korean Ginseng-
. McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, eds. American Herbal Products Association’s Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, LLC 1997.
Bombardelli E, Morazzoni P. Vitis vinifera L. Fitoterapia 1995;LXVI:291-317
Yerba mate-
. McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, eds. American Herbal Products Association’s Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, LLC 1997
Agricultural Research Service. Dr. Duke’s phytochemical and ethnobotanical databases. http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/duke/farmacy2.pl?575
Ionic Minerals-