The Risks of Taking AG1
Hi Everyone. I was quite shocked recently, as you know if you follow Eat Burn Sleep on Instagram. My AG1 health supplement had arrived, and I looked at the ingredients, of course.
AG1 is a health drink endorsed by doctors and marketed with words such as ‘Promotes Gut Health,’ ‘Supports Immunity,’ and ‘Helps Recovery.’
For this post, I will tell you why AG1 can’t do what it claims to do.
Are Supplements Safe?
Firstly, everyone needs to know that supplements are not FDA-approved (Food and Drug Authority). Manufacturers are left responsible for their products’ safety but do not need to prove their safety.
Nor do they need to prove the effectiveness of their supplement.
A supplement manufacturer may do business with another manufacturer who may verify the safety of their ingredients before they use them themselves, but the other manufacturer does not have to prove the safety of their ingredients, either.
The Food and Drug Authority verifies no safety certification. Additives have never been rigorously tested.
I always advise going with a trusted brand, like Minami or Solgar, for instance, but always advocate that a supplement cannot cancel diet and lifestyle.
Also, please ask yourself what you want from your supplement. For instance, you can achieve optimal health by making diet and lifestyle changes. You can lose a lot of weight fast and safely, with ease in many cases, along with treating depression (amongst so many other issues). Just join this anti-inflammatory lifestyle! The side effects are incredible, and they keep on coming!
What Do Supplements Contain?
Most supplements are packed with fillers, stabilizers, bulking agents, and preservatives. The supplement company can get away with all the additives because they don’t have to comply with any food and drug laws, and it is a billion-dollar industry.
This is why I always advise you not to buy anything off the internet that is from an unreputable company or even from one that has been around a while and has endorsements from doctors.
Is AG1 Good or Bad for You?
AG1 has been around a while, is recommended by doctors, and has famous people as investors! So, there’s a lot to ‘trust’. Endorsed by Dr. Chatterjee, Dr. Mark Hyman, Huberman Lab, and Dr. David Sinclair, it is not a surprise that their revenue numbers are apparently through the roof. Doctors are telling you that it is good for you.
AG1 was founded in 2010, called Athletic Greens initially, and according to their website, AG1 is made from the highest quality ingredients in accordance with the strictest standards (bear in mind that there are no strict standards in place by the FDA).
Their health supplement drink contains 75 vitamins, minerals, superfoods, probiotics, and adaptogens.
They have a statement on their website that reads that there are no GMOs, herbicides, pesticides, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
Can You Trust AG1?
Supplements are huge money-makers, and the manufacturers don’t need to prove their safety.
Even when taking supplements from ‘reputable’ brands, it’s always wise to ensure that you go over the ingredients with your nutritionist or healthcare provider because you may have adverse symptoms or sensitivities to ingredients that are not classed as dangerous to health.
AG1 has an abundance of ingredients that are good for some if you look into them in isolation. Still, there aren’t any studies to show clinically relevant doses when combined with the other ingredients.
Also, adaptogens like dandelion extract, for instance, are dangerous if you take a certain medication. Licorice can lead to hypokalemia and hypertension; some people are more sensitive to licorice exposure (Kwon et al., 2020).
There is no caution about this on their website, by the way.
The most significant health risk I noticed within seconds of looking at the ingredients is soy lecithin!
Soy lecithin causes gut dysbiosis. It is NOT good for gut health, boosting the immune system, and aiding recovery. It does the complete opposite.
Why AG1 Ingredients Have Health Risks
Gut dysbiosis leads to a dysregulated immune system, which leads to chronic inflammation, which leads to conditions such as alopecia, candida & H-pylori, diabetes, depression, IBS, bloating, migraines, obesity, skin inflammation, and the list goes on!
Soy lecithin is an effective emulsifier to fabricate delivery systems for enzymes, vitamins, flavors, pesticides, antimicrobials, nutraceuticals, and so on.
Now, AG1 could argue that they use lecithin for this reason, and the good ingredients outweigh the harmful ingredients necessary for producing a healthy supplement drink.
BUT SOY LECITHIN IS THE SECOND LARGEST INGREDIENT IN THE SUPPLEMENT!
Soy lecithin is used as a thickener, stabilizer, emulsifier, moisturizer, and mild preservative, yet AG1 states that its product doesn’t contain any preservatives.
It is listed as lecithin in the ingredients with a footnote at the end: This product contains a premium lecithin for phosphatidyl serine and phosphatidylcholine. It is derived from SOY. This product has been tested and contains NO SOY trypsin inhibitors or other soy proteins.
The metabolism of phosphatidylcholine from soy lecithin in the gut microbiota has been linked to cardiovascular disease, as discussed in studies (Wang et al., 2011, Tang & Hazen, 2014).
How is Soy Lecithin Produced?
Using a chemical solvent, soy lecithin is created by extracting soybean oil from raw soybeans. Then, this oil goes through a process called degumming. This involves water mixed with the oil until the lecithin separates from it. The lecithin is then dried and is often bleached. The DNA in soy lecithin is degraded during this process, so it is impossible to tell whether it is GMO or not. Also, I am not sure what AG1 means by premium soy lecithin.
Soy is well-recognized as an allergen, but it is the protein in soybeans that causes allergies. The vast majority of protein is removed in the soy lecithin manufacturing process, and the trypsin inhibitor mentioned can cause pancreatic disease, which is what they are referring to here.
Is Soy Lecithin Healthy?
There is a lot of confusion about soy lecithin because it is added to everything, even in ‘healthy’ and ‘all natural’ packaged food (most likely not healthy or natural). Surely that means that it is okay to consume, or even good for you? (Marketing is powerful, and you can’t trust the words on the packaging).
The fact that lecithin is in more ‘healthy’ and ‘all natural’ foods, which people pay more money for, adds to the confusion. The soy lecithin is added to make the food more palatable, for texture and a lengthened shelf-life.
There are articles all over the internet contradicting the health risks of soy lecithin. Lecithin is found in eggs, and it must be good for you, as there are lecithin supplements to buy, too. Some statements say that soy lecithin is safe in small doses.
If it is in something you drink or eat daily, it is not in small doses.
You have to think about the long-term effects.
You need to know that soy lecithin is one of the factors that is contributing to the rise in obesity, diabetes, and other chronic conditions.
The Dangers of Supplements
Since packaged foods and supplements, ‘healthy or not,’ are packed with chemicals and additives more than ever before, it is no surprise that there is an increase in people having high cholesterol and blood sugar, joint issues, and other signs of inflammation. There is a reason why there are anxiety and obesity pandemics.
Soy lecithin does not belong in our microbiome in such significant quantities. Our health depends on our gut having a good diversity of microbiota. If you are consuming many organisms that do not belong there, they will increase. When they proliferate, gut dysbiosis occurs.
This is the beginning of your body becoming inflamed. If continued, you are opening yourself up to disease, turning on genetics, or exacerbating a condition and making it worse.
Emulsifiers aggravate metabolic disorders through intestinal bacterial overgrowth, increased permeability of the intestinal mucosal barrier, and deficiencies in the host’s immune defenses.
Is Inulin Safe?
The other ingredient that is linked to disease in AG1 is the fourth ingredient listed.
That is inulin!
Inulin alters your microbiota, which causes chronic inflammation and a dysregulated immune system.
It is linked to metabolic disorders, obesity, and diabetes.
Inulin, even taken for a short while, disturbs systemic cholesterol and bile acid metabolism and may have detrimental effects on liver function. (Pauly et al., 2020).
A study at Weill Cornell Medicine realized that inulin took daily increased T reg cells and induced a rise in white blood cells (eosinophils are often noted in allergies and asthma) in the lungs, the gut, and other parts of the body.
Again, many articles that can be read on the internet state the health properties of inulin. It is important to run through ingredients with your nutritionist (or contact us if you are a member) or your doctor for potential side effects of ingredients of foods and supplements.
It is imperative to be cautious with conditions, intolerances, and allergies. People are known to be sensitive to inulin. Symptoms of side effects include flatulence, gas, bloating, diarrhea, and stomach discomfort.
There is no data to say that probiotic supplements that you are taking reach your gut. Getting probiotics from food is guaranteed. Most vegetables contain prebiotics and will feed the good bacteria in your gut.
I wonder why these doctors have put their name to a product with a massive amount of soy lecithin in and inulin, and so on.
Reading one of AG1’s clever marketing statements: AG1 empowers the gut for whole body health. I’m afraid I have to disagree. Soy lecithin disempowers your gut and renders it to disease. But I do agree with their statement:
We can’t achieve a healthier everything else without a healthy gut.
Beware of Marketing Words!
They could cost you your health.
If you haven’t heard my podcasts or the recent Instagram Live with Dr. Dawn Sherling about the dangers of additives in foods, check them out.
Making positive changes in our lifestyles and protecting ourselves as much as possible from chemicals will have a more significant impact on our health, now and in the future.
Also, consider how much it will cost you to make you unhealthy in the long run. AG1’s ‘BEST VALUE’ package is for two people at £2,328.00 ($2,796.70) a year. For a single subscription (at the time of writing, there was an offer of £79 per month), which is £948.00 (approx.$1,140) a year for a ‘health’ supplement!
Knowing what is good for you and how your body works is the best way to take care of it. Knowing what is in your food is imperative to your gut health.
A year’s subscription to Eat Burn Sleep gives you the knowledge and tools you need.
It is the equivalent of having your own nutritionist and a year’s gym sessions with unique exercises not found anywhere else. It is having access to an ever-expanding anti-inflammatory cookbook with recipes from around the world, like Catalan Roasted Vegetables, Chicken Marbella, and Moroccan Burgers.
It’s an optimum health education platform that is continually being added to, and so on.
EBS is family-friendly and world-friendly.
The Premium Membership, which gives you access to everything you need to support your gut health and optimum health holistically, is only £290 a year, without health risks and long-term positive effects.
Our members are getting happier and healthier, changing their tastebuds and changing their microbiome. They are living a better life as the days and years go by. Many had mild to chronic health conditions before joining.
Why You Shouldn’t Trust All Supplement Companies
The takeaway is to always remember that supplement companies are not FDA-approved. Marketing words on packages do not have to be approved, either. They are created to make you buy them.
The supplements industry is a billion-dollar one.
With obesity, diabetes, and other chronic conditions on the rise, it is no wonder that ‘healthy supplement’ companies are taking an ‘any means necessary’ approach to ‘tackling’ the problems. Yet, the supplements that they are creating ultimately contribute to the rise in disease.
Always check ingredients and run them by a dietician, nutritionist, and doctor. You can get away with small doses that can change your microbiota now and again but think about the long-term effects. We have the complete list of what to avoid in the Red Lists, Members. Check the article: How to Silence Hidden Inflammation.
Boosting your health with supplements, even endorsed by doctors and famous people, may just be rendering your body susceptible to disease.
Do take care. Your health is precious. Have a great day!