Healthy Gut. Slimmer You. Those words are used to describe Plexus Slim. It's been several years since I first reviewed Plexus Slim (The Pink Drink). In that time, the ingredients have changed a bit. So, in stead of revamping what I already wrote, I wanted to create a brand new review of Plexus Slim based on the ingredients currently shown on the label. I originally thought of calling this the “new, new review” but since that sounded snarky, decided to call it a review of the current ingredients. Does Plexus Slim really work? What do its ingredients do? Any side effects? Let's see what we can discover.See the original review which has over 2000 comments and testimonials and the review of the formally new formula too as well as reviews on Plexus Joyome wrinkle cream, Plexus Boost, Plexus Accelerator and Plexus Probio 5.
What Is Plexus Slim?
Plexus Slim is a dietary supplement people drink touted to improve blood sugar levels and weight loss through the actions of its ingredients. It's other less formal name is “the pink drink” which goes to the color when it's dissolved in water.
The Plexus website states the supplement works by providing the following benefits:
- Clinically demonstrated to help you lose weight*
- Promotes the growth of good gut microbes◊*
- Increases Lactobacillus by 365 times and Bifidobacterium by 290 times – contributing to overall health◊*
- Increases the metabolism enhancing Akkermansia microbes by 250 times◊*
- Supports healthy glucose metabolism*
- Clinically studied XOS prebiotic
- Patent pending formula
These are pretty interesting benefits but the * and ◊ next to some of the claims direct our attention to the bottom of the page where it says
- *“These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”
- ♢ “The results of an in vitro human gut simulator study suggest that Slim’s formula may have several beneficial effects. Further research, including research conducted in humans, is needed to confirm these preliminary findings.” Basically they are saying there's no human evidence for these claims.
Plexus Slim Ingredients
From PlexusWorldWide.com, the ingredients in each packet of Pink Drink area as follows:
|Amount Per Serving||Percent DV|
|Chromium||200 mcg||167% DV|
|Plexus Slim Blend composed of||531 mg||N/A|
|Green coffee bean extract|
|Alpha lipoic acid|
|Mulberry fruit extract|
In the table, Percent DV = percent daily value; N/A = no daily value established
The supplement also contains these other ingredients:
- Citric acid
- Natural flavors (we are not told what they are)
- Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) leaf extract
- Beet (Beta vulgaris) root extract
- Other fruit and vegetable juice (for color)
- Cellulose gum
- silicon dioxide
These other ingredients play no role in the touted benefits of Plexus Slim. Some ask about why supplements contain silicon dioxide. This compound helps the other ingredients from sticking together. As such, it helps powders stay powdery.
Plexus Slim Research
Clinical research specifically on Plexus Slim cannot be located. Neither the Plexus website, National Library of Medicine or ClinicalTrials.gov reveal any clinical studies. Some Plexus Ambassadors may cite research but those studies do not appear to be peer reviewed in medical journals. As such, I discount as being less clinically relevant as we cannot see the entire study and how it was conducted.
Plexus Slim Ingredients
Let's now summarize the concurrences of research for the main ingredients in the Pink Drink
The chromium in Plexus chromium polynicotinate. This is basically a form of chromium thought to be better absorbed. Each packet provides 200 micrograms of this mineral. Chromium is probably in this supplement to help reduce blood sugar levels. This makes sense. But, when it comes to weight loss, chromium is a dud. The vast majority of studies since the 1990s show chromium does not work
See the Chromium weight loss review for the evidence.
Xylooligosaccharide (also called XOS) is basically long chains of the xylose sugar stuck together. Xylose is often used as a prebiotic. Prebiotics are the food probiotic bacteria eat. Xylose may be used as a way to bolster production of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
When it comes to gut health, diversity of gut bacteria is important. the more different bacteria, the healthier experts say we are. Two ways to improve gut bacteria diversity is eating more fruits/vegetables and exercise.
Plexus Slim Blend (531 mg)
When it comes to Blends, companies do not have to tell us how much of each ingredient makes up the blend. But we know the first ingredient makes up the most of the blend, while the last ingredient listed makes up the least.
Each packet of plexus slim provides 531 mg of the following ingredients:
1. Green Coffee Bean Extract
Green coffee also goes by the name coffae robusta. Its active ingredient is often said to be an antioxidant called chlorogenic acid. The Plexus Slim label tells us each packet contains 50% chlorogenic acid. Green coffee is popular for weight loss but I remain skeptical.
The favorable research studies are small and there are not many of them. Also, the studies showing it works have used a supplement called Svetol which is not in Plexus Slim.
What makes green coffee controversial is one of the very best weight loss investigations was retracted after it was found to contain serious errors.
This is why green coffee remains a weight loss scam in my book until unbiased and well designed studies are published.
2. Garcinia Cambogia
Garcinia cambogia, also known as hydroxy citric acid (HCA) is a popular weight loss supplement. When I did a deep dive into the garcina / weight loss research, I concluded it was at best a 50/50 shot at whether it worked or not. I saw just as many clinical studies showing it worked as didn't work.
Many of the studies though were small and had problems with how they were performed. As such, I don't believe anyone can say for sure if it's an effective weight loss aid.
And then there's the big controversy: Does garcinia cambogia cause liver failure? While I feel the risk is low, there is some evidence it might. While in many such reports, people were taking supplements containing many ingredients, we now have a report of liver failure in someone who only took garcinia cambogia. There is no reports of Plexus Slim causing liver problems or elevating liver enzymes.
See the Supplements and Liver Failure review.
3. Alpha Lipoic Acid
Plexus slim is touted to promote healthy glucose metabolism. Alapha lipoic acid is an ingredient which seems to do this. Multiple studies have shown Alpha Lipoic acid can improve the ability of insulin at reducing blood sugar levels. Amounts used in research are usually around 300 mg per day taken for several weeks. While we are not told how much alpha lipoic acid is in the Pink Drink, it's possible it may have close to this amount.
There is also some evidence alpha lipoic acid may help weight loss. Studies tend to use over 600-1000 mg. This is more than is in Plexus Slim.
4. Mulberry Fruit Extract
There are 2 types of mulberry – black and white. Plexus Slim uses white mulberry (Morus alba). Some evidence shows mulberry can reduce blood sugar levels in people with type II diabetes. Some studies use 1000 mg to 5000 mg a day to achieve this effect. Mulberry is also an antioxidant. Some evidence suggest it reduces free radical damage to insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas.
Because it's a food, mulberry likely has many active compounds which probably have multiple effects other than just blood sugar lowering.
Blood Sugar Lowering Ingredients
Here is a quick review of the ingredients in Plexus Slim which lower blood sugar
- Alpha lipoic acid
- White mulberry
See above for specifics on each
Weight Loss Ingredients
Here's a quick review of the ingredients in Plexus Slim which might help weight loss
- Garcinia cambogia
Note. my own opinion is garcinia cambogia doesn't work but there are some studies saying I'm wrong. Im not listing green coffee bean until I see better quality studies on it.
What's The Key Ingredient?
There is not just one active ingredient in Plexus Slim. Different ingredients do different things.
Plexus Slim Formula Changes
If we just look at the key ingredients, we see some changes have been made Since Plexus Slim was first created. Here's a quick comparison of old vs current ingredients:
|2018 Ingredients||Original Ingredients|
|Xylooligosaccharide||Citrin K (garcina cambogia)|
|Green coffee bean extract||Alpha lipoic acid|
|Garcina cambogia||Oxypregnane steroidal glycoside (hoodia gordonii)|
|Alpha lipoic acid||Chromium (amino nicotinate GTF)|
|Mulberry fruit extract|
As can be seen, the big changes are the addition of mulberry fruit and Xylooligosaccharide and the removal of hoodia gordonii (they called it Oxypregnane steroidal glycoside). They also now call garcnia cambogia by it's proper name and not “citrin K.” The position of Chromium on the list has changed too.
Where To Buy
So where can people buy Plexus Slim? Because the company has a multi-level marketing (MLM) component to it, it's sold in stores like Walmart, GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, Costco, Target, CVS, Walgreens, korger, Food Lion or RiteAid.
Rather, it can be purchased either from a Plexus Ambassador or directly from PlexusWorldWide.com, the official company website. When ordering Plexus the website, you first have to create an account. When you do, you don't have to provide information on the Plexus ambassador you heard about it from.
I'm not sure how I feel about that.
Because one does not have to provide details on ambassadors means the Plexus website is in competition with Plexus ambassadors for sales. To become a Plexus Ambassador, it costs $34.95 paid annually.
If you are using a Plexus ambassador, you can provide either their phone number or Plexus ID. If you do, then the ambassador will receive credit for your order – using an Ambassador does not add to the price of Plexus Slim.
How Much Is Plexus Slim?
From the plexus website, if you purchase just 1 month of Slim, the cost is $87.95. Shipping and tax may also be added. There is also an autoship program where you'd receive supplements at regular intervals. Purchasing Plexus Slim this way is a little less expensive – $82.95. Shipping charges and tax may also be added.
Here are the prices of their other products:
- Plexus Block : $39.95 (+S/H)
- Plexus Accelerator +: 39.95 (+S/H)
- Plexus Boost: $39.95 (+S/H)
- Plexus 96 Chocolate $35.95 (+S/H)
- Plexus 96 Vanilla $35.95 (+S/H)
- Plexus X Factor $39.95 (+S/H)
- Plexus X Factor Plus: $ 39.95 (+S/H)
- Plexus X Factor Kids $ 34.95 (+S/H)
- Plexus VitalBiome $39.95 (+S/H)
- Plexus ProBio $39.95
- Plexus BioCleanse 120 ct $ 29.95 (+S/H)
- Plexus MegaX $39.95(+S/H)
- Plexus Nerve $47.95 (+S/H)
- Plexus Ease: $44.95 (+S/H)
- Plexus Edge $ 34.95 (+S/H)
- Plexus Ease Cream $$39.95 (+S/H)
- Plexus Body Cream $49.95 (+S/H)
- Plexus Brest Chek Kit $34.95 (+S/H)
These prices reflect if you purchased an item only once. There is a small discount when on the autoship program.
How Many Calories?
Each packet of Plexus Slim has 5 calories. This is an insignificant amount.
Plexus Slim And Gut Health
When Plexus Slim first came out, it was touted for weight loss. The idea of gut health is an evolution of not only the marketing but also the ingredients in the supplement. With the incorporation of the prebiotic, Xylooligosaccharide (XOS), the idea of plexus helping the microbiome.
While I'm sure XOS will alter the contents of the microbiome in some way, I don't know what effects this would lead to. Would it lead to better health? Maybe but until Plexus-gut health studies are published, it's hard to know for sure. As mentioned above, eating more veggies and fruits and exercise have also been shown to improve gut health.
Does It Have Caffeine?
Plexus Slim is probably pretty low in caffeine. The label says it has 2% natural caffeine. The caffeine probalby comes from the green coffee bean.
Is Plexus Slim FDA Approved?
The Food and Drug Administration does not approve supplements in the US. There is a law which regulates supplements (DSHEA) but it's often criticized for a number of reasons.
In 2014 PlexusWorldWide did receive a warning letter from the FDA over the language used to describe the benefits of their products Fast Relief ProBio 5 and BioCleanse. Basically the FDA believed the company made statements it should not have made. This sometimes happens with companies. When the FDA sees statements it disagrees with, it reaches out to companies and asks them to change their wording.
See the ProBio 5 Review for more on that supplement.
Other Plexus Slim Controversies
In 2013 the Australia government's Therapeutic Goods Administration (their FDA) noted Plexus Accelerator 3 day pack contained a banned ingredient called DMAA which is a stimulant. See the Plexus Accelerator Plus review for more information.
In 2014, the Canadian government also called attention to DMAA as well.
DMAA is no longer found in Plexus supplements
Is Plexus Doctor Recommended?
I've heard ambassadors say its recommended by medical doctors (MDs/ DOs) but I don't think I've ever encountered a physician who recommended it. That's not to say none do, but I've not met any. My original review has over 2400 testimonials and comments. I don't anyone leaving a comment was a doctor.
If you look at the comments there, you will see some nurses advocating Plexus. Some of them are also Ambassitors which some may say makes them biased. I won't make that call. I'll simply, say I prefer supplements with clinical evidence.
I can understand the challenges faced by doctors who try to get patients to lose weight and blood sugar. It's quite possible some may be OK with a patient trying Plexus Slim for a month or so to see what happens. I'm sure anything which motivates patients is welcomed.
I welcome any physician to leave a comment below about their experiences with this product (positive or not)
Plexus Ambassitors (distributors) are those who sell Plexus supplements. These are often people who had a good experience and want to help others. Sometimes they may be people lured into the business with thoughts of making a lot of money.
An advantage going through an Ambassador is they may be able to offer personalized guidance with how to use the products. While I like this, Plexus Ambassadors may or may not have any nutrition background like college degrees or nutrition certifications. So, if you have a medical issue, the guidance you receive will often not be the same as from a doctor, pharmacist or dietitian.
If people have side effects, the solution is to not take another plexus supplement (or any supplement). The correct response -depending on the severity – is to stop taking the supplement and see if the symptoms improve. For very bad side effects, seeing a doctor is in order.
I bring this up not to slam Plexus Ambassitors but rather to help them better deal with side effects that people may bring up from time to time.
Does Plexus Slim Have Research?
As stated above Plexus Slim (the pink drink) has no clinical studies in medical journals to back-up claims. Ambassitors sometimes point to a study which showed the supplement lowered blood sugar. I discount this study for the following reasons
- It's not published in a medical journal
- It only involved 8 people (that's not a lot)
Another issue is the study involved the original formula which is different than what is sold today. Also, the investigation only looked at blood sugar. It was not about weight loss. Considering Plexus Slim has been around for many years, I'd expect to see clinical studies -published in medical journals – it by now.
For more on this study see this previous plexus review.
Who Makes Plexus Slim?
The company is called Plexus Worldwide, LLC. The address listed with the Better Business Bureau is 9145 E Pima Center Pkwy Scottsdale, AZ 85258-4627. An online search of this address reveals a corporate center. The former address of this company was 7440 E. Karen Dr. #400, Scottsdale, AZ 85260. The BBB states the business was started on Jan 1 2008.
The BBB gave Plexus World Wide a rating of A+ when this review was created. This was interesting considering 63% of the reviews were negative. My guess is this high rating is based on the company responding to complaints filed with the BBB. See the BBB file for updates and more information.
There were no SiteJabber reviews for the company when this review was created. See the SiteJabber file for updates.
Contact Plexus Slim
The contact number is 480- 998-3490
Plexus Slim Side Effects
There are many positive and negative reviews of this product online. But, the big question is whether Plexus Slim is safe and does it have any dangers? In healthy people, I think this supplement is safe. Here are some things to consider for those who may not be “healthy.” This list is not complete:
- Start with less than is recommended for the first seek to see how you react
- Stop taking plexus slim at least 2 weeks before having surgery
- Speak to your doctor first if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Speak to your pharmacist/ doctor if you take any prescription mediation
- Not intended for people under age 18
- Since it has some caffeine, don't take close to bedtime
- Plexus Slim may reduce blood sugar levels. This may be an issue for some diabetes
- Some reports link garcinia cambogia to liver problems and elevated liver enzymes
- Green coffee extract may reduce blood pressure
- Xylooligosaccharide (XOS) may have a laxative effect in high doses (4grams)
Chromium may reduce thyroid hormone levels when taken at the same time. Separate taking them by at least an hour to reduce this from occurring.
Some evidence suggests chromium may lead to kidney problems. But I think this is rare. I had to search back to 1998 to find a report I felt was relevant. To be safe, speak to your doctor if you have kidney problems before taking chromium supplements.
Some research suggests chlorogenic acid (an ingredient in green coffee) may raise homocysteine. High homocysteine levels are controversial as they may be linked to heart disease. See your doctor if your homocysteine is high for personalized recommendations on this matter.
Leave a comment below if you experienced anything I did not list here.
Plexus Slim Pro & Con
Here is a quick run down of what I liked and didn't like about this supplement. These are my opinions.Yours may be different:
|Company has been in business many years||Expensive|
|Products guaranteed||No clinical research|
|Company responds to complaints||Over-the-top claims|
Does Plexus Slim Work?
I didn't try Plexus Slim and I don't personally know anyone who has tried it. I can only go by the research. Because of its ingredients, I'm fairly sure it will reduce blood sugar levels. But as for weight loss, let's just say results will vary.