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What is Herbalife and why you should be concerned

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Purdue chapter.

Recently, a nutrition shake store at Purdue has been outed from being supplied by Herbalife. Up until about a week ago, I didn’t even know who or what Herbalife is. Now that I do, I am disgusted that I bought from them and unbelievably shocked the store still exists near campus. Many nutrition stores around the country have been outed because of their supplier, Herbalife. But what is Herbalife? How did they come about? And why should you be concerned?

Herbalife is a multi level marketing (MLM) company. In short, they are basically a pyramid scheme. They sell nutritional supplements and other personal/health care products in many countries including the US. The more popular product from Herbalife is their weight loss program which uses meal supplements, such as shakes, to help people “slim down.” Herbalife’s mission is to “improve nutritional habits around the world with great-tasting, science-backed nutrition products…” But is Herbalife really staying true to this mission? No. They aren’t.

According to James de Lacey, a strength and conditioning coach for national sports teams, in the last 30 years there have been 50 cases of liver damage associated with Herbalife products. Their products have been shown to cause side effects such as liver injury, nausea, tiredness, fatigue, and many other unhealthy and painful instances. Herbalife’s products cause loss of appetite, fatigue, and jaundice making the weight loss unhealthy. Of course, this is against Herbalife’s mission. They are not improving nutritional habits, instead they are making them worse.

In another study done, four Herbalife products were found to have bacteria known as Bacillus subtilis. This bacterium is the same one known to cause food poisoning symptoms. In fact, one female patient was admitted to the hospital after using one of these products. She had no history or family history of illness and was extremely healthy.

So, why should you be concerned?

I think this all boils down to research. Ever since hearing about Herbalife and the fact I bought into one of their products, I have been more careful about where I get nutrition supplements from. In 2020 alone, Herbalife disclosed that there are more than 100,000 distributors of their products. That’s scary.

Do you want this disgusting bacteria in your body? Do you want to suffer from some of the symptoms that other people have? Obviously not. Who would want to? Therefore it is so important to learn about the stuff in your food before you buy it. For all you know, you could be slowly poisoning yourself.

Ava Smith

Purdue '23

Hello! My name is Ava Smith. I am a junior studying Advertising and Film Studies. I am from a suburb of Chicago called St. Charles and enjoy all the wonderful parks it has to offer. My hobbies consist of writing, filmmaking, and spontaneous adventures with friends. Currently, I am the Multimedia Manager for Boiler Communication and Social Media Moguel at the Hub on State Street. This is my second year being involved in Her Campus and I am so excited about all the new memories and opportunities I will make this year and for years to come!