Nopalea has been a staple of late-night TV and online advertising for several months, so I decided it was time for me to try it myself and report back my finding to my readers. And because results may vary, I’m asking for reader reviews as well.
What is Nopalea?
Nopalea (by Trivita) is formed from the Nopal cactus (Opuntia ficus-indicia, typically called “prickly pear” for culinary uses) and is cited on its official website as containing nutrients which “have been proven to help the body reduce inflammation, which may help: Reduce pain due to inflammation, Improve joint health, Relieve swelling in muscles, Protect cellular health.” They claim to have sold over 5 million bottles.
Most of the claims that Nopalea makes stems from studies about the Nopal cactus (Opuntia ficus-indicia). Those touting Nopalea point to belatains, which are rare phytochemicals supposedly only found in a few plants on earth. In reality, Belatains are actually contained in several common edible plants such as spinach and rhubarb, and the amount of these phytochemicals necessary to provide efficacy in Nopalea is either unknown or not stated.
Claims that phytochemicals can aid in reduction of inflammation are true. The special and rare nature of the availability of these phytochemticals seems exaggerated by the Nopalea advertising.
Red Flag #1
The first red flag I noticed on the website is that they don’t make it easy to just order a bottle. Instead, they want to offer you a free 32 ounce bottle of Nopalea. “Free” meaning you have to pay about $10 in “shipping and handling” charges. Nowhere is there mentioned a way to skip the “free” 32 ounce bottle. In fact, there isn’t a way to order it without calling their 800 number.
Red Flag #2
Nopalea is a darling of Multilevel Marketers. Any “health” food or supplement promoted in the MLM world is a big red flag to me, as I feel there is an agenda by its sellers to make money, whether it even works or not. (See my article on Wellness International for my first-hand MLM story on a health product).
As with most “health” products, unbiased reviews are hard to find. These products’ websites almost always contain cherry-picked or fake reviews. Other review sites such as Amazon are often flooded with fake reviews as well, leaving the true unbiased reviews drowning in a sea of BS. This often leaves such a product full of 5-star and 1-star reviews, with few in the middle.
I tried Nopalea for a month. I found the taste to be pleasant, though I can’t say I noticed any significant changes from using it. It certainly did no harm. With a suggested 1 to 3 servings per day, Nopalea is simply too expensive for me to go through two bottles a month with little or no effect.
There are dozens of Nopal-based products to compete with Nopalea, most of them much less expensive (though I’ve seen at least one that is more expensive). It’s quite easy to find other products based on the Opuntia cactus, such as “Full Spectrum Nopal Cactus” from GNC, which costs about $15 for 120 1000-mg tablets. That’s considerably less expensive, and it’s in pill form. There are others on Amazon.com that sell for under $10. It’s also possible that simply eating prickly pear may provide the same health benefits as drinking the much more expensive Nopalea, which could be characterized as “cactus juice.”
I certainly wouldn’t call Nopalea a scam. It is a valid product based on real research. It is, however, highly overpriced cactus juice in my opinion, and some of the claims in the advertising seem to be exaggerated. Finally, it is my personal preference to shy away from any product marketed by the MLM community.
I’d like to hear your reviews of Nopalea – good, bad, or neutral. I’ll do my best to filter out any obvious fake reviews to keep it as real as possible here.
So have you used Nopalea? What was your experience with it?
- Seeking Reviews for Realdose.com’s Weight Loss Formula No. 1
- Instaflex: An Advertising Review
- Raspberry Ketone: Miracle Pill or Scam?
- African Mango Scam: Don’t Believe It.
- Website & Product Reviews: WeeklyHealthTips.org, LeanBody Extreme, and Lipotrim
- Website Review: Peaklife.com
- Opuntia ficus-indica on Wikipedia
Filed under: Reviews