Limu is a multilevel marketing network that specializes in one ingredient: limu algae. It’s “seaweed in a bottle,” as the company claims.
The plant has long been used around the world as a food and flavoring agent, as well as an herbal remedy. It’s become more popular in the western world as an herbal remedy too.
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The limu algae plant is thought to have a wide range of health benefits, but the claims made by Limu (the MLM company) focus mostly on the weight loss benefits.
Their website highlights the personal transformation stories of clients who have lost dozens of pounds and now look great in a swimsuit.
Limu’s peak popularity as measured by search engine traffic may have already passed. The company experienced a steady rise in public interest from 2010 to 2013, but there was a precipitous drop in interest thereafter.
Search traffic has not plummeted to zero, but it’s currently tracking about one-quarter of its peak volume a few years ago.
While Limu the company is new, the concept is not. The CEO of Limu used to operate an MLM called Dynamic Essentials, which was shut down by the United States Federal Trade Commission for making false or misleading claims about its products. Dynamic Essentials’ flagship product? Limu algae. That’s not a good sign!
The FTC was so upset about the marketing practices that the company was actually forced to destroy an enormous quantity of its limu algae product when it was shut down. This was all the way back in 2003, though. Have things changed since?
The core question with Limu is what the fuss about limu algae is all about. The Limu Original drink, their flagship product, comes in a 33 ounce bottle.
A single serving (one fluid ounce) is mostly limu algae extract, reconstituted with water and blended with papaya, mango, apple, and pear juice for flavoring and sweetness.
The company’s marketing literature trumpets the compound fucoidan, which is found in limu algae, as the root of the health and weight loss benefits of their product. They claim it is a “supernutrient” with antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.
While the company claims that you can enjoy greater immune system strength, joint mobility, better sleep, more energy, the actual science behind this is a lot less clear.
Much of it is confined to studies on cells in Petri dishes. Nevertheless, there are some studies that highlight some interesting properties of limu algae generally and the compound category of fucoidans in particular.
A study published in 2005 by Wan-Loy Chu at the International Medical University in Malaysia highlighted the potential anti-inflammatory effects of several algae species, including the one referred to colloquially as lima algae.
Chu cites a number of basic scientific studies that show potential anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects of lima algae, but acknowledges that there is a big difference between activity on individual cells in a Petri dish and efficacy in the body. Chu calls for additional research in animal models and eventually in humans.
Research out of Henan Institute of Science and Technology in China further investigated the biological activity of fucoidans.
While the authors note that fucoidans, which are really an entire family of related compounds, seem to have some very interesting biological potential as therapeutic agents, there is still a tremendous amount of work to be done.
Not all fucoidans are biologically active, either, and some require chemical modification to affect the biology of the body.
More work done at the University of Hawaii highlights the potential of limu algae to function as an antioxidant and an antimicrobacterial agent (something that kills undesirable bacteria), but again their research was confined to cells under a microscope, not in a living creature.
For what it’s worth, this relatively limited amount of research is not enough to convince the famous integrative medicine enthusiast Dr. Andrew Weil to endorse limu algae products. In a question and answer section on his website, Dr. Weil discourages readers from spending money on limu algae products.
The stern look of one of the country’s top experts on alternative remedies is not good news when it comes to being able to sell a product line focused on this ingredient.
To join Limu, you need to sign up for a $120 monthly autoship (one case of Limu Original). From here on out, you are eligible for a 20% retail discount, and a 5% sales commission on your downline sales, but only to one level.
You need to move up the rankings to earn deeper commission rates, and to do this, you need to enroll a few distributors underneath you and grow your product volume tremendously.
This is not going to be easy with a product line focused on a single, poorly researched ingredient.
With Limu, there are just too many red flags to recommend it.
The checkered history of the CEO and the product line, combined with overzealous claims about the benefits of drinking Limu beverages, and the dearth of scientific research on the biological effects of the product make it an extremely hard sell, and you aren’t getting a whole lot of help from the compensation plan.
You’re $120 in the hole every month, so you have to exceed this by quite a lot to make any real money.
With several better options out there with better compensation plans, a wider variety of products, ingredients with better research behind them, and less red flags in the company and product history, it’s hard to find a good reason to join Limu.
So if you’re set on going MLM, it’s not terrible, but it’s probably not the most profitable, either.
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 overpriced juice to your family and friends.