Update 7/28/20. Balance capsules from Alani Nutrition are said to help support hormonal balance, weight management, complexion, and fertility as well as improve overall sleep and improve energy levels. Sounds great but do they really work? Do they have any side effects? Do Alani Nu Balance supplements cause liver failure? In this review, you'll learn about the ingredients and clinical research on Balance hormonal support capsules. I'll also do a deep dive into the accusations of liver problems. If you know the research, you can better decide if they are right for you. For the record, I have no connection to this or any other supplement company.
Alani Nu Balance Research
No clinical research on the supplement could be located. As such it's necessary to look at the research on the ingredients in Alani Nu Balance. Let's do that next.
Alani Nu Balance Ingredients
There are six ingredients in Alani Nu Balance supplements. A serving is 4 capsules. Four veggie capsules contain the following ingredients listed in order as they appear on the label:
- Folate (as 5 methyltetrahydrofolic acid): 400 mcg (200%DV)
- Chromium 120 mcg (100% DV)
- Myo-Inositol 2 grams (no DV established)
- Glutathione 250 mg (no DV established)
- 3,3 Diidolylméthane (DIM) 150 mg (no DV established)
- Alpha Lipoic Acid 100 mg (no DV established)
As can be seen, even though folic acid (folate) is listed first, the supplement is mostly composed of Myo-inositol (2 grams).
Other ingredients contained in the supplement include:
- Hypromellose (used to make the veggie capsule)
- Vitamin C palmitate
These other ingredients play no role in how effective the supplement is.
Let's look at the relevant research on each of the ingredients next.
Folate is a B vitamin (vitamin B9). Folate is critical for pregnant women because it reduces birth defects (neural tube defects). The vitamin can also reduce homocysteine which some think is related to heart disease. Folate does not appear to reduce miscarriage.
The supplement contains a specific type of folate called 5 methyltetrahydrofolic acid (5-MTHF) which is said to be the most biologically active form. Some people may not be able to make 5-MTHF. Thus, providing the vitamin in the 5-MTHF form can help those who can't activate the vitamin.
The Alani Nu Balance supplement label states 4 capsules provides 400 micrograms of folate. This is 100% of the non-pregnancy daily value for this vitamin. The label incorrectly states the supplement contains 200% DV.
Good food sources of folate include dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale, as well as fruits and vegetables in general. Nuts and grains and seafood also contain folate.
Folate is the natural form of the vitamin. Folic acid is the synthetic form. Supplements usually contain folic acid because it's better absorbed than the natural folate vitamin.
The mineral chromium is known to help reduce blood sugar levels. As such, chromium may benefit women with PCOS – polycystic ovary syndrome. In theory, the blood sugar-lowering effects of chromium may benefit women at risk of gestational diabetes.
Most studies find chromium supplements do not help weight loss. That said, most research involves chromium picolinate. The Balance supplement contains chromium nicotinate. At least one study has noted chromium nicotinate may help weight loss. Overall, more clinical studies find it does not work so it's up to the reader to decide for herself.
Chromium supplements do not build muscle or improve athletic performance, so they are of little value to women who exercise and not deficient in this mineral. Balance capsules contain a specific form of chromium called TRAACS nicotinate glycate chelate. What that? It's chromium which is bonded to the vitamin niacin (nicotinic acid). It's also called chromium nicotinate. This form of the mineral may be better absorbed the chromium alone.
This is the most abundant ingredient in Balance capsules. So, what is myo inositol? Inositol is a compound we get from foods like nuts, beans, and citrus fruits. It looks like sugar but its not sugar. The prefix myo refers to muscle. Inositol is called myo-inositol because it was first isolated from muscle.
There are 9 types of inositol. Myoinistol is the most abundant of those types. It's estimated Americans get about 1 gram a day from food although this may vary from person to person. Fruits, vegetables, and seeds are sources of natural inositol.
Inositol helps cells function by helping make up cell membranes. Inositol also helps cells communicate with each other and the compound also appears to regulate endocrine function.
What are myoinositol benefits? It looks like sugar but ironically, studies find inositol supplements can help lower blood sugar. The supplement seems to benefit women with PCOS and metabolic syndrome (pre-diabetes). Inositol also appears to help pregnancy-related diabetes too (gestational diabetes).
Some called Inositol vitamin B8, but this is not true. Inositol is not a vitamin because we can not make it in the body.
Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant defense substance that we make. Some call glutathione the “master antioxidant” because of its found in all the cells of the body. It's technically a peptide-protein molecule made up of the amino acids, glutamic acid cysteine, and glycine. As an antioxidant, glutathione neutralizes free radicals which can damage cells and DNA.
The Balance supplement uses Setria glutathione. Setria is the trademarked name of the Kyowa supplement company (Kyowa-USA.com). The company has supported research on their supplement to show it has benefits. This is likely why other companies use the Setria brand.
The Alani Nutrition company says glutathione brightens complexion and reduces wrinkles. While some studies have looked into the skin anti-aging effects, more research is needed to know which people it would work best with.
Several before and after Youtube videos by women do say their acne has improved such as this video of a woman who used the supplement for 5 months
The good news is it's not hard to raise your levels. Two inexpensive ways to boost glutathione production are exercise and taking N-acetyl cysteine supplements.
See the how-to naturally raise glutathione levels for more insights.
Diindolylmethane is often called “DIM.” You make DIM when you eat broccoli, cauliflower, brustle sprouts, and other cruciferous vegetables. Researchers are interested in DIM because it may help reduce cancer. It appears diindolylmethane can modulate estrogen levels. Because of this, some feel DIM may help reduce hormone-sensitive cancers like breast and endometrial cancer.
DIM may also help men with prostate cancer too. That said, The anti-cancer effects of DIM will require human clinical studies to know for sure. While obtaining DIM from food is safe, those with a history of cancer should talk to their doctor about diindolylmethane supplements.
Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is an antioxidant. The nutrient is found naturally in vegetables like broccoli and spinach as well as meats. Because of its antioxidant properties, ALA may be used topically to reduce skin aging although the reason it's said to be used in Balance capsules is to improve insulin sensitivity.
Various studies have noted alpha-lipoic acid can lower blood sugar levels in people with insulin resistance (pre-diabetes). While studies tend to use more ALA than is found in Balance capsules, it's possible that ALA -combined with the other blood sugar lowing ingredients – may work similarly. More research is needed.
Alpha-lipoic acid may also be used to help weight loss. Some studies note ALA may aid weight loss but if it works, the effects may not be noticed by most people. There are better weight loss supplements out there.
Estrogen Modulating Ingredients
Here's a breakdown of the ingredients which may alter estrogen levels
- Diindolylmethane (DIM)
Blood Sugar Lowering Ingredients
Here's a breakdown of Balance capsule ingredients which reduce blood sugar
- Alpha-lipoic acid
Several people have reported skin conditions like acne improved when taking Balance supplements. Some evidence suggests high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance are linked to acne. If this is true, then improving blood sugar control may help reduce acne breakouts. Given that 3 of the 6 ingredients in Balance capsules can modulate blood sugar, these ingredients may be responsible for the positive outcomes people are reporting.
- Alpha-lipoic acid
Who Makes Alani Nu Balance?
The company is called Alani Nutrition LLC and the website is AlaniNu.com. The address listed on the bottles of the Balance supplement is PO Box 35159 Louisville KY 40232. Since this is a PO Box, its possible the company has its supplements made by another organization. No other business address could be located. The website was registered in 2017 by an organization called “Onyx and Rose.”
The company had an F rating from the Better Business Bureau. See the BBB file for updates and more information.
Alani Nutrition Questions and Answers
How much do Balance capsules cost?
One bottle is 49.99. If you purchase a subscription, bottles are $47.49. Not a big savings in my opinion
Can you take Alani Nu Balance while on birth control pills?
There's no proof the supplements interfere with birth control pills and increase the risk of pregnancy. Balance does not contain saw palmetto which some women fear increases pregnancy risk.
See the Saw palmetto birth control pill review for more insights.
Can it help hair grow?
There's no evidence Balance supplements regrow hair or improves hair thickness. If this happened to you, leave a comment below. For more insights on other supplements see these reviews
How do you contact Alani Nutrition?
No company phone number could be found. Customers can reach out via this email address: contact AT alaninu.com. Alternatively, you can write to their PO Box: PO Box 35159 Louisville KY 40232.
How to purchase
The company makes many dietary supplements. they can all be purchased directly from the company website AlaniNu.com. You can also find the supplement at GNC. It's possible some social media influencers may promote these supplements too. As a rule, be cautious with supplements from social media.
Supplements come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you opened the bottle, the company will refund you 50% of the price you paid. If you did not open the bottle, you will receive a 100% refund of the sales price. You need to email the company first to be issued a refund. See the company information section above for how to do this.
Alani Nu Balance vs Halo Kiwi
Halo Kiwi Seed Booster, made by glam life guru social media giant Tati Westbrook is super popular and like Balance, capsules have several happy customers. Halo Kiwi contains very different ingredients than Balance and like most supplements, there's no clinical testing that compares them against each other. So its anyone's guess which is better. See the Halo Kiwi review for more information.
Alani Nu Balance Side Effects
Bottles of Alani Nu Balance warn people to not take if you are at risk of high blood pressure or are being treated for high blood pressure, have kidney or thyroid problems or if you're being treated for psychiatric problems, anxiety, depression, have difficulty urinating, seizure issues, or have had a stroke. They also state the supplement is not approved for men with prostate problems. The supplements are NOT intended for children.
Testimonials posted on Amazon include the following:
- being sent defective bottles with the seal broken and different color/size capsules
- having allergic reactions / itchy skin
- bloating, acne and altered menstrual cycle
- thyroid hormone imbalances
- weight gain, anxiety, and depression
Here are general considerations when taking Alani Nu Balance. This list is not complete:
- Start with less than recommended for the first week. For example, don't start with 4 capsules. Start with 1 instead.
- Taking with food may reduce stomach upset. The company recommends taking with food in the morning.
- Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Stop taking Alani Nu at least 2 weeks before having surgery
- Talk to your doctor if you take medicines such as blood thinners
- Those with a history of cancer need to talk to their oncologists
- Antioxidant supplements may interfere with cancer therapy
- This supplement is not intended for children
Alani Nu Balance And Liver Failure?
In January 2020, the New York Post and other news outlets reported that a 23-year-old Emily Goss from Texas who needed a liver transplant on Christmas day 2019 after taking Alani Nutrition Balance supplements for several months.
Heres's a video from news station KETK NBC:
This is an unimaginable nightmare. It appears to be the first case attributed to the Balance supplement. As the New York Post reports, Alani Nutrition denies the claims and states they partner with a licensed pharmacist when creating supplements and that their products are made in a facility that follows good manufacturing procedures (GMP).
What is going on here?
Some of the news reports I saw have called Alani Balance an herbal supplement. But none of the 6 ingredients in the supplement are herbals. So, if news reports are wrong about this, could they also be wrong about the cause of liver failure too?
One way to try to figure this out is to go to the LiverTox website. LiverTox maintains a list of supplements that have been linked to liver damage. I searched LiverTox for the ingredients in Alani Nutrition Balance supplements:
- Diindolylmethane (DIM)
- Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)
None of the 6 listed ingredients in Alani Nu Balance seemed to be connected to liver damage.
I also searched the National Library of Medicine to see if there were isolated reports of hepatitis or liver failure. Here is a breakdown of what I found:
No reports of human liver damage caused by folic acid supplements could be located.
Some reports link chromium polynicotinate to liver hepatitis but in the cases, people were often taking a multi-ingredient supplement and not chromium alone. These leaves open the question as to which ingredient was responsible for the liver toxicity. For what it's worth, there is not much chromium in Balance capsules (only 120 micrograms).
Reports of human liver failure caused by inositol supplements could not be located.
No reports of human liver failure by glutathione supplements could be located.
DIM supplements don't seem to be related to human liver failure.
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)
No reports of human liver failure by alpha-lipoic acid supplements could be located.
Summary: No no good evidence for the ingredients in Alani Nu Balance causing liver damage in people could be found – at least from what I could tell. Leave a comment below if you found the evidence I missed.
Speculation: Other Causes of Liver Failure?
If the ingredients are not connected to liver damage, what could be the reason for what happened to the woman from Texas? We can only speculate. For those seeking answers, here is some speculation. Take it for what it is:
1 Could it be the unique combination of ingredients in Alani Nu Balance are responsible? In other words, some or all of the ingredients combined with each other to cause the problem. At this time, I'm not aware of this combination of ingredients causing problems.
2 Could the ingredients contain adulterations – other compounds not listed on the label? Unfortunately, China and other countries make many dietary supplements ingredients (and medications). In the past, the FDA has recalled several prescription medications due to the presence of hazardous compounds.
Could the liver damage be due to a tainted batch of ingredients? The company states they work with a facility that follows good manufacturing practices. That's good. But, what country do the ingredients come from?
Is Alani Nu Balance Right For You?
To me, Alani Nu Balance looks like an expensive inositol supplement. Myoinoisitol makes up most of the ingredients – and it's very affordable. Several of the ingredients lower blood sugar and this may help reduce acne too. There's no evidence the supplement improves menopause symptoms or helps women get pregnant. When in doubt, investigate health supplements you take and if you have medical problems, talk to your doctor first.