Mushrooms in Juice Plus® Complete

Q: If I am allergic to mushrooms, can I use the North American Juice Plus Complete formula?

A: Juice Plus® Complete shake mixes now contain juice powder from Agaricus bisoporus – commonly known as the Portobello mushroom (when mature) or the button or crimini mushroom (when smaller) – the most widely consumed mushroom in the world. The recent addition of mushroom powder to the Juice Plus® Complete formula in North America has raised some questions about those with “allergies” to mushrooms.

First let’s discuss why mushrooms were added to Complete. The company is constantly looking for “whole food” sources of nutrients for all their products.

In making a shake mix, previously a plant-based source of vitamin D2 was added to the Complete to provide a small, safe daily dose. Epidemiological studies show that vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk for certain chronic illnesses, including various cancers, autoimmune diseases, and cardiovascular disease. Much of the biologically active vitamin D comes from skin exposure to sunlight. Yet, the increased widespread use of broad-spectrum, high sun-protection-factor (SPF) sunscreens in recent years may also contribute to the rise in vitamin D deficiency. In cases of severe deficiency, vitamin D3 is used to quickly raise levels, and vitamin D2 is not as effective in these severe situations. [1]  However, it is possible to get too much vitamin D3 supplementation as well. [2]

So, vitamin D2 is a safe choice in making Juice Plus® Complete.   Many people drink more than one shake a day and they may additionally be taking vitamin D3 supplements. Using vitamin D2 ensures that their levels do not rise too high from using the Complete shakes.

The improvement of adding mushrooms as a whole food source of D2 is more in alignment with the company’s philosophy of marketing whole food products. Recently mushroom powders with standardized amounts of vitamin D2 became available, and the company chose to make this change. No matter what food group you look at, a very small percentage of people will have serious allergies associated with certain foods.

Mushrooms also have additional health benefits including supporting brain, liver, and immune function. [3]

In terms of those with allergy concerns, it is important to understand the difference between a food allergy versus a food intolerance [4] as the latter may be healed by focusing on healing the gut lining. A food allergy involves the immune system making antibodies to the allergy and the release of histamine. This can be life threatening and it is an immediate reaction–such as an anaphylactic shock–that can be triggered through smell, taste or touch. Surprisingly, a very small percentage of the population has this type of allergy: fewer than 2% of the entire cohort of those who have such allergic reactions have a mushroom-specific allergy. If you know you have this kind of reaction to mushrooms immediately, then it is best to avoid using the Complete shake and to use the Juice Plus® Complete bars instead.

The sensitivities that are due to food intolerance are not so immediate and are unlikely to be life threatening. Furthermore, it is my belief (based on experience) that by healing the gut and changing our gut biome, we can reverse much of the food intolerances that exist. The Transform30® program is designed to do exactly that if the recommendations are strictly followed, and it can take up to 6 months for this to happen.

My experience is that most people have leaky gut due to the use of dairy and gluten combination of foods. Our children grow up eating macaroni and cheese, spaghetti with cheese, cheeseburgers, quesadillas, pizza – all of which have this deadly combination of dairy and wheat. This creates a constantly inflamed gut for starters and leaky gut over time. Down the road, much more serious conditions occur. I have some videos on this if you would like to learn more. [5] As an adjunct, I will say that using 10,000 IUs of Vitamin D3 in these situations along with Transform30® program is beneficial.

It is possible to do Transform30® program using the Complete bars which have no mushrooms in them. In time, this program can possibly heal the mushroom intolerances as well as other food intolerances once the gut is healed and the gut flora becomes more “friendly”.


[1] http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/746941 – (Log-in Required)

[2] http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/vitamin-d-toxicity/faq-20058108

[3] http://fungi.com

[4] http://www.csallergy.com/food-allergies/

[5] http://info.transform30.com and http://CE1.Transform30.com


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