Lifevantage is an MLM that focuses on “cellular health” products. They only offer a small line of supplements, but all of them are highly targeted on improving the health and well being of the smallest structures in your body.
Their flagship product is the anti-aging and pro-health supplement Protandim, but they also offer a brain-boosting nootropic energy drink, a suite of weight loss products, anti-aging cosmetics, and even a dog health supplement.
Did I get on board? This explains everything:
The company has been rebranded several times—it was previously known as Lifeline and Yaak River Resources, among other names, but its current iteration has fairly stable popularity.
As measured by search engine traffic, interest has been fairly stable over the last five years. There was a transient rise in interest in mid-2016 and a relative slide thereafter, but search engine traffic is still at over 50% of peak volume.
It still can’t compete with the big names in health MLM companies, but the stability of interest is a good sign.
The company’s philosophy seems to be “do only a few things, but do them well.” Their limited product line allows them to focus on the design and presentation of each of them in more depth.
Their website is very well-designed, and their product packaging is slick and professional. It conveys the sense that they really know what they are doing. Some other MLMs in this market niche don’t convey the kind of scientific authority that Lifevantage’s products do.
When examining Lifevantage’s products, it’s impossible not to talk first about Protandim. It’s their core product that all of their marketing material highlights, and its focus is on fighting aging by improving cellular health.
The Protandim line is actually two products, each of which is supposed to target a specific cellular metabolic pathway. Each Protandim product (NFR1 and NFR2) contains five plant extracts, but they are separate from each other (i.e. there’s no overlap)
Protandim NFR1 contains milk thistle extract, bacopa extract,Ashwagandha extract, green tea extract, and turmeric extract. Protandim NFR2, on the other hand, contains rhodiola rosea extract, coenzyme Q10, grape extract, alpha lipoic acid, and quercetin.
Typically, to make an educated guess of the effects of a supplement like this on the body, you’d have to look at the effects of each ingredient individually. Fortunately for us, the company has actually sponsored studies on the effects of the supplement in humans, so we can see what the net effects of all the ingredients together is.
A 2006 study published by scientists at the Webb-Waring Institute for Cancer, Aging, and Antioxidant Research at the University of Colorado in Denver examined the biological effects of a Protandim supplement in healthy volunteers.
Over the course of a 120 day period, the volunteers took the Protandim supplement and had various blood markers of health examined multiple times. The researchers found that the supplement caused a marked decrease in a type of marker called TBARS, which can be used as a proxy for oxidative damage in the body.
TBARS levels in your body typically increase as you get older, which makes sense because the amount of cellular damage is racking up over time.
The study on Protandim, however, found that the supplement lowered levels of TBARS in all subjects, but especially so in the older volunteers. This could mean that it has a powerful anti-aging effect, at least as measured by this proxy compound.
One downside of this study is that it was not placebo-controlled, so it’s hard to definitively state that the supplement actually caused the claimed benefits.
Other research on Protandim has not been as promising. A study in runners found that Protandim did not improve performance, decrease TBARS levels, or improve quality of life compared to a placebo, even over the course of a 90-day supplementation program.
It may be that the benefits of Protandim are not as pronounced in regularly exercising people, or were too small to detect in such a study, or that the initial study showing a TBARS decrease was just flawed.
There’s also at least some decent science behind their other products, too. Axio, for example, their brain-boosting energy drink, contains caffeine (a simple but known cognitive enhancer—though there’s also a decaf version), green tea extract, theanine, and a heavy dose of B vitamins.
These are common in other nootropic supplements as well. The green tea extract and theanine combination in particular is known to increase brain power, according to a 2011 study in the Journal of Medicinal Food.
The compensation plan for Lifevantage is aggressive, but also rewarding. If you can jump in with good, consistent product volume, you’ll do reasonably well.
Becoming a distributor costs $150 up front, some of which is products you are required to buy. Earning full bonuses requires moving at least 200 product volume per month, but if you move 100 product volume you still can earn half bonuses.
Even a level one distributor is eligible for commissions two links downstream (i.e. you bring on a distributor below you, and they bring one on below them, you earn commissions on both of their orders). Moving up in the rankings is tough, though, and this is reflected in their income statement.
The actual products offered by Lifevantage are pretty solid, especially considering that the company is confident enough to sponsor independent research on them.
The downside is the pretty aggressive compensation plan which makes it hard to earn money. If you have a solid business plan and sales pitch, you might be able to swing it, but don’t start up until you do.
If you’re set on MLM, Lifevantage is not terrible, but there are definitely more profitable opportunities out there.
If you’re doing it for the money, there are better ways to kill your day job. You might like our coaching because it shows you the good life without peddling products to your family and friends.