As mentioned previously, Herbalife International was well known for its "pyramid scheme" style distribution. There seems to be masses of pages on the Internet about the scheme itself, and the people who it annoyed (just google for "herbalife" and start trolling through it all). I thought I'd concentrate less on the company and more on its products.

"Herbalife is a scientifically formulated, herbal-based, calorie-reduced nutrition program. It is centered around our unique high-energy, protein-rich, nutritional "shake" or meal replacement drink, Formula #1, to which has been added food supplements containing important vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and nutritional herbs."

Their statement translates into the following products:
  • Weight management

    • Formulas 1, 2, 3 and 4

    • Powdered protein drink mixed with vitamins ("A meal in a glass")

    • ThermojeticsTM Herbal Tablets

    • Range of tablets designed to prevent over-eating and snacking

    • N-R-G Nature's Raw Guarana

    • Raw Guarana tablets for extra energy

    • ThermojeticsTM Instant Herbal Beverage

    • Range of flavored powdered beverages containing herbs and green tea extract. Replacement for tea or coffee

    • ThermojeticsTM Weight-Management Programme

    • Several "programmes" which contain different quantities of Herbalife products

    • ThermojeticsTM HPLC Food Products

    • An attempt at making more appealing food substitutes - such as shakes, soups and protein bars

  • Targeted Nutrition (mainly for people who work out)

    • Protein Supplement Powder
    • Cell Activator
    • Protein Bars
    • Herbal Aloe Concentrate
    • RoseOx
    • Florafibre
    • Xtra-Cal
    • Schizandra Plus
    • Herbalifeline
    • Tang Kuei
    • Male Factor 1000
    • NRG Gum
    • Thermojetics Roasted Soybeans
Herbalife also produce a number of personal care products such as cleansers, toners and moisturisers as well as sunscreen and fragrances (perfumes).

So do the products work? All the corporate speil seems to indicate that they do work - however, like all weight control plans, you're encouraged to get plenty of excercise. Herbalife products are basically a replacement for meals with added ingredients to boost energy levels. Their "targeted nutrition" range are designed to be used as supplements.

You should know that as I researched these products, I found it increasingly difficult to find any real scientific results. I did however come across a number of articles which had been removed from various health websites due to pressure from the Herbalife company against the authors. I'll continue to search for scientific results online and offline and will update this node when I have more information. If you've got any information, please /msg me.

Herbalife: Panacea or poison