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Thrive Investigation

“Life is better when you are thriving!” US company Le Vel market a brand of health products called Thrive that according to the advertising is designed to help you achieve peak physical & mental levels. As well as the advertising, it seems that thousands of people find taking Thrive products a life changing experience.

We take a look at Le Vel Thrive to find out more about the supplements and the company behind the range.

The Company

Le Vel is a US multi-level marketing (MLM) company based in Texas that was started in 2012 by two entrepreneurs called Jason Camper and Paul Gravette, both of whom have a background in the supplements industry.


In just a few years this multi-level marketing company has created a real stir in the supplements world and today is very successful with thousands of promoters – as the distributors are known. The company operates in the USA, Canada, Australia and the UK, and are looking to hit $1billion in sales by March 2017 so have come a long way in 4 years.

Multi-level marketing is nothing new. It can be controversial because it is often accused of pyramid selling, but many people like the concept of running a structured home business, and selling to friends and family. Since the economic crash in 2008, MLM businesses have boomed in the USA as consumers look to add an additional income stream to their household earnings.

See more about MLM in our short Watchdog video.

Thrive Premium Products

According to the advertising, Thrive products are high quality premium supplements that deliver real physical and mental benefits.

The 8 week Thrive Experience is the flagship program and this is where you are encouraged to take a combination of products over a 2 months. If you go through a Thrive distributor you can also take a shorter 3-day or 30-day trial to test it out.

According to the advertising, the key to Thrive lies on how the regimen is taken. Jason Camper, the founder of the company explains more about this,

You take two Premium Lifestyle Capsules “before your feet hit the floor in the morning,” followed by the ultra-micronized Premium Lifestyle Shake Mix, and then the Derma Fusion Technology (DFT™) adhesive applied to clean, dry skin to boost metabolism.

According to Jason,

Within 40 minutes from someone getting up in the morning, they’ve got three formulas circulating in their bloodstream and they’re done for the day.

The advertising claims that doing this will promote:

  • Weight Management and Cognitive Performance
  • Digestive & Immune Support and Healthy Joint Function
  • Lean Muscle Support and Calms General Discomfort+
  • Age-Defying & Antioxidant Support

The Products You Need For The Thrive Experience

The Premium Lifestyle Capsule

This premium lifestyle capsule comes in two forms; M aimed at men and W at women. These capsules contain high levels of vitamins, minerals and plant extracts. In addition, both contain stimulants so will give your energy levels a lift. Although the vitamin quantities are provided – and levels are high – the herbal ingredients and stimulants come under a proprietary blend so it is impossible to see just how strong the effects will be.

The stimulants include caffeine and Theobromine as well as Citrus Aurentium – which is a source of synephrine.

Synephrine has an effect upon adrenaline and can put your body into a stressed fight or flight response which raises the heart rate and increases blood pressure. It can help weight loss when combined with caffeine but is potentially dangerous especially if you have health issues around heart and blood pressure.

Here in unknown quantities, we think it is irresponsible that there is no warning about these stimulant ingredients and in fact the FDA has received 16 adverse health event reports concerning Thrive products. Common symptoms reported so far have included abdominal pain, headache and increased blood pressure.

We will look further into side effects later in the review.

DFT Ultra

A key product of the Thrive Experience is DFT Ultra – a skin patch similar in appearance to a nicotine patch that you change daily. Ingredients include a branded product called Forslean – a coleus foskolli extract, white willow bark, Garcinia Cambogia and more. DFT Ultra looks look like standard weight loss patch but there is no evidence it will work in the way as described.

Although it sounds good to deliver ingredients through the skin, and we are accustomed to nicotine patches, vitamins and some medication being delivered this way, in fact not all ingredients are suitable for this purpose.

To pass effectively through the skin, a substance must have a low molecular weight (which means it is very small) and must be oily. And once an ingredient is in the body, it may have a different effect when eaten compared with skin absorption,

Just because a drug is effective when swallowed doesn’t mean the drug is going to be effective when put on the skin

says Mark R. Prausnitz, director of the Center for Drug Design, Development and Delivery at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, speaking in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

This may be just as well. White willow extract is known for causing stomach upsets and internal bleeding.

The Lifestyle Mix

This is a protein powder that you add to water or a smoothie in order to make a shake. It is based on whey protein concentrate, as are most shakes, and it contains vitamins and minerals plus a proprietary blend of ingredients adding up to 1595mg a serving.

Ingredients in the proprietary blend include oatmeal, ginger root extract, Garcinia extract and undisclosed quantities of caffeine.

You are encouraged to take the three supplements first thing in the morning and many customers have reported enhanced energy, side effects and general “weird feelings” following doing this over a period of time.

Side Effects

Despite the absence of health warnings on the Thrive product information, there have been numerous reported side effects and bearing in mind that the supplements contained undisclosed quantities of ingredients such as caffeine and synephrine, this should not come as a surprise.

Reported side effects of the capsules include:

  • Dehydration
  • Headaches
  • Heart palpitations
  • Sweating
  • Confusion
  • Jitteriness
  • Dizziness
  • Feels like taking speed
  • Chest pains
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Anxiety

Some people have reported skin irritation following the use of the patches.

Some people have reported side effects following the use of the protein shake including:

  • Migraines
  • Jitteriness
  • Confusion

There are zero health warnings about any of the ingredients in the products. If you buy direct from a distributor you will not be given any proper information regarding your suitability for taking the supplements or any health effects to watch out for.

There are no links to any clinical evidence to prove the efficacy of the supplements and no information regarding any potential risks.

In most cases Thrive promoters do not believe that any negative effects are even possible with the supplements.

Becoming a Thrive Promoter

According to the company information, Thrive is free to join. At first glance this makes Thrive look a little different from many other MLM companies out there but don’t be fooled because it really is not.

You will be expected to buy $100 minimum of products a month in order to stay active and earn commissions from your downline. You are also encouraged to join others to your network, sign up loyal customers in autoship programs and all the usual selling tricks that are associated with being an MLM distributor.

For example, if you sign two people up to autoship programs in the same month, you receive free products for as long as the autoship programs are in operation.

None of these tricks are actually bad, but when it comes to hard selling to friends and family, it can seem a little underhanded. However, you may make some extra money or at least get your own Thrive products free of charge.

One thing that does set Thrive apart from other MLMs is the enthusiasm of the promoters. These people really seem to believe in their products and if you look at Facebook for example you can see thousands of people proudly proclaiming that they are “thriving for life”.

There is an official Facebook page, operated by Le Vel called Le Vel Brands and it makes for some fascinating viewing. The posts are all about the life changing aspects of Thrive and how people have turned their lives around by using this brand.

They all mention the enhanced energy levels and the benefits of being involved with the company.

We are pleased that some people have found a way to live that makes them feel happy, but we are very concerned that Thrive looks a tiny bit like a brainwashing cult.


Not all Thrive promoters are as happy. Some people have complained about a lack of communication with the higher levels of the company. Issues have included not being paid promised commissions, customers’ auto-shipment deliveries not being cancelled when requested, and about difficulties getting answers about the products’ nutritional information.


Is Thrive Expensive?

Thrive is expensive and the price will depend on whether you sign up to auto ship, become a promoter yourself or just purchase as a retail customer.

You can buy the supplements separately or as a package. It is important to note that if you do buy the Thrive Experience pack, you will need to buy it twice in order to complete the full experience.

For example, a box of 30 DFT patches costs $62 for a one off purchase or $50 if you sign up to auto ship.

The Thrive Experience Lifestyle Pack + DFT: includes a month’s supply of Thrive W or Thrive M, 1 carton of Thrive Premium Lifestyle Mix, and 1 pack of Thrive DFT patches for $188 or $150 on the auto-ship program.

If you subscribe to the Le-Vel monthly auto-ship program, you’ll get recurring shipments of Le-Vel Thrive products delivered to your home each month and your credit card billed accordingly.

You are advised to buy through an official Le Vel Thrive promoter so deals and offers may vary according to whom you buy from.

You can also buy Le Vel Thrive via outlets such as Amazon; a practice frowned on by Thrive promoters.

Prices are as follows.
1 x 560g tub Premium Lifestyle mix (Shake) costs around $50.00
1 x 60ct box of the Premium Lifestyle capsules (M or W) costs around $65.00
1 pack of 30ct DFT patches costs around $48.50

Prices will vary depending on the seller.

In Conclusion

Le Vel is undoubtedly a successful business going from strength to strength as the company approaches its $1 billion landmark. However, it is hard to see what is so special about the supplements and in our opinion all that enhanced energy experienced by customers is down to the speedy effect of the stimulants combined with some vitamins that you take first thing in the morning.

There is very little evidence that the Thrive supplements are actually good for health and wellbeing, and very little real information about the ingredients. Yes, you can read the names of the ingredients, but the stimulants and herbal ingredients are all under proprietary blends, meaning there is no individual ingredient quantities breakdown. This means you have no idea of just what you are taking or how strong it is.

We are concerned about this lack of contents information. There have been reported side effects and the FDA has received complaints. Anyone who has a heart or blood pressure condition should certainly avoid products containing synephrine for example, yet this is overlooked by the advertising and distributors alike.

In addition, we think that Thrive is overpriced. Essentially it appears to be a vitamin supplement in various forms combined with some stimulants and there seems to be nothing to justify this expense. After all, you could just buy a vitamin supplement and a caffeine pill and combine it for much the same effect.

We don’t want to rain on the Thrivers parade. These people are passionate about their products and really believe. But we wonder if this opinion is being formed in part by the excitement of being involved with a currently hot company as much as it is by taking stimulants at breakfast time?

Thrive is not all bad. But in our opinion there are much better supplements on the market and easier ways to make a living than becoming involved with this company.

Disclaimer: Our reviews and investigations are based on extensive research from the information publicly available to us and consumers at the time of first publishing the post. Information is based on our personal opinion and whilst we endeavour to ensure information is up-to-date, manufacturers do from time to time change their products and future research may disagree with our findings. If you feel any of the information is inaccurate, please contact us and we will review the information provided.

13 comments on “Thrive Investigation”

  1. Colin McNutt says:

    Most of what this review say in my experience is not true. I was encouraged to talk to a pharmacist if I had any health concerns. I feel more protected by this company than by my doctor who simply says, take this. I have used Thrive as part of a multitask approach to changing my health. I’ve been on the product for 7 months. I no longer have leg cramps and muscle spasm that I used to get drinking 7-9 mugs of coffee per day and many energy drinks a week. I’m a truck driver so staying awake is part of the job. The clean, level and sustained energy throughout my day is the best benefit for me. People that say it’s like Speed have never done Speed. I have. This is nowhere near the same effects. I’ve lost 28 lbs in 3 months. The motivation and support of my team is wonderful. The support system of the company is top notch. The science of all the products is available online. Just like other companies they can not divulge all the testing and processes involved. The pyramid scheme of a job I have now is terrible. I work hard and the owners get more money than I ever will. At least in a Multi level company you can pass those above you in the team. I get direct benefit from the work I do.

  2. Sandra Dee says:

    I was on the weight loss management which included the patches. I started waking up in the middle of the night with racing heart rate that woke me out of a dead sleep. The patches made my arm hurt, ache all day. That isnt normal. Sorry but not everyone can handle whatever the hell is in this product. Some may not have reactions to it but I had a bad reaction and because they dont list all the ingredients you dont know what you’re putting in your body. I have friends that love it and have no reactions but sorry its not for me.

  3. RobC says:

    I have been using Thrive for the past 3 weeks. I thought it was fantastic….until the last few days. I have been having all day headaches, of which I rarely ever get, waking up at night with my heart feeling like it is going to jump out of my chset, electric shock like pains several times throughout the day in my stomach and elevated BP (180/95) as I have hypertension, I take prescriped meds to manage it. It is usually 120/80 since being under control…until Thrive! I inly found this page tonight at midnight afrer being awoken with my whole body feeling the sensation of every heart beat. The product def gives mental clarity but I think you need a clean bill of health before starting the program. If you do happen to start, be aware of any negative changes in your body. Thanks to the Author of this page for the information provided.

  4. Ladonna ann porteza says:

    How to order

  5. ALISHIA Robin says:

    I am a thrive customer. I am not taking products for weight loss.I have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar ) . I have had an awesome experience from this product. I feel better emotional an physically . I have more energy an my Dr has seen a difference.
    Thank’s Bea Pillen
    I’m Alishia Robin an I thrive.

    1. Pharaoh of knowledge says:

      “I’m Alishia Robin an I thrive”, Wow the cult like brainwashing is in full effect on this one. I hope she safely returns to reality someday.

  6. julie carson says:

    The shipping fees through the company you have to do other options to make better cost choices

  7. Lisaz says:

    I disagree with the example of the Thrive experience. You do not get the “speed”
    Feeling. And when you cut caffine out like coffee and sodas the product gives a natrual sustained all day alertness with no crash.
    Total rid the “brain fog” most women experience.
    I am a customer not a promoter. The product has had many beifits for me.
    Including but not limited to digestive support, joint support, mental focus/clarity, mood support. As for the MLM claim that people freak out about. All
    Corrporate companies run the same. You have you CEO, upper management , middle management then the employees under them.
    So in a sence all businesses run the same.

    1. Christa says:

      Except, yes, you do get the speed feeling. Its exactly like drinking too much starbucks coffee.

      1. Colin McNutt says:

        How much speed have you done? Some people do feel an energy rush. I would recommend only using one pill till your body adjust to the purity of the ingredients.

        1. Robert Michaels says:

          What purity do you speak of…Most of the vitamins are synthetics,
          not natural at all,and what about their “Propriety blend”,they list
          what they are,but no content amounts,that presents a serious health risk
          especially with the Green Coffee Bean and White Oak Tea because
          of serious huge amounts of Caffeine!!!

          Thrive is a SCAM…just as Juice Plus,Amway,Herbal Life,and the rest of the MLM Pyramid Schemes!!!

      2. janet w henrichsen says:

        What are the side effects of synephrine?
        But bitter orange is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken as a supplement for a medical purpose such as weight loss. Bitter orange, particularly when taken with stimulants such as caffeine or caffeine-containing herbs, increases the risk for high blood pressure, fainting, heart attack, stroke, and other severe side effects.
        Surgery: Irvingia gabonensis can affect blood sugar and might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop taking Irvingia gabonensis at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
        IF YOU A WOMAN:
        Birth control pills (Contraceptive drugs)
        Interaction Rating: Minor Be cautious with this combination.
        Talk with your health provider.
        The body breaks down the caffeine in guarana to get rid of it. Birth controlpills can decrease how quickly the body breaks down caffeine. Taking guarana along with birth control pills can cause jitteriness, headache, fast heartbeat, and other side effects.

        Some birth control pills include ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel (Triphasil), ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone (Ortho-Novum 1/35, Ortho-Novum 7/7/7), and others.

    2. Josh says:

      You are not cutting out caffeine the stuff is loaded with it

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