Today is Day Four of my special "Does it Work" Health tests, and perhaps, today features the most controversial test of them all.  I'm focusing on nutritional cleansing weight loss plans   These days, it seems almost any magazine you open or red carpet interview you watch on TV, celebrities are talking about detoxing to jump-start their weight loss.
When I first heard of Isagenix and saw a friend in her bikini photo post to Facebook, I kept listening because the photo was amazing and I knew it was her and not a product of photoshop. I was told it was all natural, no sugars, etc. I expected it to be a food delivery service from a local cook but then found out it was another meal replacement diet. Red Flags for me. I don’t drink my calories and I believe we need to stop believing a lab is going to produce anything better than what you can do with whole foods.

Ditch the packaged, processed foods today (even the “healthy” versions). This will ensure you are taking out excess sodium, artificial ingredients and sugar from your diet. Also, ditch the salt shaker and instead use only herbs and spices to flavor your food. You’ll find this can help make a big difference in how you look and feel. Even after one day!

This celebrity-backed juice cleanse (Salma Hayek is a company co-founder) can’t be beat when it comes to convenience. After you can choose either the three- or five-day plan, everything is delivered right to your door, nationwide. But Jackie Newgent, RD, a dietitian and author of the Big Green Cookbook, says that relying exclusively on juice can cause problems with overall nutrition. “Though a natural fruit-based juice cleanse may offer some people a ‘mental’ kick start for following a diet without harm, I don’t recommend the use of cleanses,” she says. “Cleanses have never been necessary to jump-start weight loss or remove ‘toxins,’ and they never will be necessary.”
What’s disconcerting to me is the culty behavior of all these Isagenix drones. “You must use Isagenix. Isagenix is like manna from the Gods. How dare you criticize it! It heals the world!” Blahblahblah. So annoying and anyone with half a thought in their brain could see through this rubbish. Dani, thanks for all you do and ignore the trolls. They are all brainwashed. I’m sure some people are “healed” and lost weight and cured of every disease under the sun but the fact of how they attack and defend and argue would make me run for the hills and never even consider their products. I know a few Isa-head drones in real life and every conversation is a ploy to get me to “just try the healthy lifestyle”, “just give it 30 days”, “don’t you want more energy?” blahblah and even one has gone so far as to say that my doctor who treats me via functional medicine and nutrition is robbing me of money and she wishes I could just try this program. Then she talks all about how much money she makes from the sales. I’m put off. I’m sticking with the ancestral nutrition route forever.

Ohh yes I see these guys in my gym, they started using it and hey I have so much energy, suddenly I have improved my personal record by 40kg? Really? just that you have trained like shit for the last decade and suddenly you got a bit of motivation through a shake? Ahh and yes obviously you stopped eating junk food and drink lots of beer due to the isagenix program, which you should have done to start with.
– Dr. John Anderson – Dr. Anderson made extensive plant tissue studies in organic soil. He discovered ionic minerals. In 1980, he translated his knowledge to the nutritional field. He has worked as a private-label supplement manufacturer and formulator for more than 600 companies, including GNC, Nature’s Sunshine, MetRx; creating more than 2,300 nutritional and weight loss products. His products are internationally recognized.

Commending you on writing frankly about a product which has “sacred cow” status with so many who want any way to be healthy that allows them to avoid work and learning about real food. I have a friend who uses this (she hates to cook and wants to know nothing about the subject). I had to go through several google search screens to find an article that wasn’t either directly selling or touting the sale of the product. It’s brave of you are because people who are having their pet delusions questioned are not generally likely to respond with sane remarks. I learned the hard way that health doesn’t come off a factory manufacturing line.
There was an inverse association between soy food intake and sperm concentration that remained significant after accounting for age, abstinence time, body mass index, caffeine and alcohol intake and smoking. In the multivariate-adjusted analyses, men in the highest category of soy food intake had 41 million sperm/ml less than men who did not consume soy foods.
Dani, You are 100% correct about your research. I am an EX Isagenix cult member. I, thankfully, escaped only losing one body organ to this product (my gallbladder). Thank you for all the information you are providing. You have to know sweetie that Isagenix has watch dogs all over the internet to lash out at any naysayers and they even go as far as having negative comments and reviews removed/hidden.
They are relentless. One doesn’t even have the energy to work out yet she sucks down those shakes! It’s a SHAKE plan for crying out loud! $400 / month. I don’t get it. A bag of muscle milk is what, $35? How about eat some fruits and veggies. Eat some protein, eat more fruits and veggies and voila! Oh, and workout for 30 mins a day and you’ll lose weight!
What’s disconcerting to me is the culty behavior of all these Isagenix drones. “You must use Isagenix. Isagenix is like manna from the Gods. How dare you criticize it! It heals the world!” Blahblahblah. So annoying and anyone with half a thought in their brain could see through this rubbish. Dani, thanks for all you do and ignore the trolls. They are all brainwashed. I’m sure some people are “healed” and lost weight and cured of every disease under the sun but the fact of how they attack and defend and argue would make me run for the hills and never even consider their products. I know a few Isa-head drones in real life and every conversation is a ploy to get me to “just try the healthy lifestyle”, “just give it 30 days”, “don’t you want more energy?” blahblah and even one has gone so far as to say that my doctor who treats me via functional medicine and nutrition is robbing me of money and she wishes I could just try this program. Then she talks all about how much money she makes from the sales. I’m put off. I’m sticking with the ancestral nutrition route forever.
And too add to all this madness. I was born and rise in the carribean so I know what real cow milk, good cow, pig, goat, chicken, duck meat taste like as well as good fruits taste like. All from trees that grow naturally and animals that feed on natural grass, not hormone and antibiotic or pesticide nonsense that are used in farms etc… Only when I came to North America to live and eating the crap they call meat that got me sick….. I could go on and on but I will not..As stated before do not deny me my feeling from using super nutrient in my body that works for me. The end and
Anyway, I wondered what your thoughts were about the effects on your metabolism from going on those cleanse days. You can do the cleanse days either one day a week through the month or they highly recommend doing two days back-to-back. When I had talked about what I was doing with a friend they were concerned about the possible effects on my metabolism. Even the super gung-ho supporters of Isagenix admit to gaining pounds back right after a cleanse despite losing weight during the cleanse. I know you mostly focused on the ingredients, but I wondered if you had any thoughts about how this might effect metabolism?
Some nutrients can be added in the form of teas and powders to aid the body in both phases of detoxification for a more effective cleanse (note: elimination is critical during a cleanse to make sure that you are passing out of the body the toxins being liberated from the cells…and elimination can come from all forms so body odor, bad breath, breakouts are all to be anticipated and actually are signs of an effective cleanse as long as they clear up).
I researched Isagenix approx 3 years ago when approached at a health expo. When I heard that the product used ‘NZ sourced organic non-denatured whey protein’ the alarm bells started ringing… In NZ all milk for consumption is pasteurised. As in Australia it is illegal to sell unpasteurised milk for human consumption. At the time I had a friend who was a sales rep for Fonterra (essentially the NZ dairy industry) and asked her if she could look into organic dairy farms & the processing raw milk. Her search turned up a blank. The only source of non-denatured whey protein that I know of is from Wellwisdom based in San Diego.
You misunderstood my point. I’m not saying tricalcium phosphate is inherently bad. It’s bad when it’s synthesized as it is here. Are people going to overdose on it? No, likely not. But the fact that it’s an ingredient in a product that is touted as all-natural, the best available and healthiest shake is something that needs to be identified. I was trying to highlight the fact that there are synthetic ingredients present.
I will tell you that the science behind the system is rock solid. Everything is based on clinically proven science. Clinically proven science is also NOT fixed… it is fluid and ever changing so adaptation is important. What we are taught now in schools is 15-20 years behind current research… it’s the nature of our educational system. It takes time for information to flow down to the classroom level… and not just in nutrition.
When you challenge a way people think and what they have been led to believe their entire life, it scares them to think they’ve been lied to (medical field, food manufacturers–I mean, really? If the food has been manufactured and made in a factory, how CAN that be REAL food?, people and corporations and chemical companies “out to feed the world and raise more food”–how is that working out for us, when we have people literally starving all over the world?). The whole concept of everything people have been told, taught, and have done their entire life isn’t necessarily the right or correct thing to be doing.
I also stated: They repeat the tired old myth that our food isn’t as nutritious as in the “good old days.” They put digestive enzymes in their products to help you assimilate them, not realizing that orally ingested digestive enzymes are themselves digested in the stomach before they can do anything. They say that their electrolytes “ignite the body’s electrical system” – I have no idea what this means, and it certainly is not scientific terminology. – Again none of them could comment.
The “heart healthy” diet is ridiculous – it consists of grains, low-fat foods, minimal meat, and processed food byproducts. It’s the opposite of what people should eat for heart health. Like I said in my other comment, when you’re testing against horrible diets in the first place, it’s not surprising that the outcome is positive. But it doesn’t mean that the products are ideal.
There are many, many poor people out there desperately looking for a solution to their obesity, and many of these programs will work for different people. Presenting opinion as fact, and robbing these people of the opportunity to try something that may save their life, is immoral. Perhaps your way of life will suit some other people, but maybe others will need to try something different. They deserve to read truly unbiased reviews of products, and try at their own discretion.
The reason I feel this stuff is a scam is this. I did an experiment after I after heard all the hype on this stuff. I bought an herbal cleansing kit from the good food store and used protein shakes to replace breakfast everyday for a week. It cost me 39 dollars for the protein and 30 dollars for the cleanse. I lost 8lbs in 7 days. Was it the right way to go about it? No, I just wanted to prove that people are sheep and 280 dollars was a waste of money!
Dani, your reply is spot on! In my experience, all the Isagenix people try to scare us into thinking that there is no way our bodies can rid themselves of all the environmental toxins we are exposed to. I agree that the environment has become very polluted and that we are exposed to more toxins than ever before, but as long as you eat healthy, unprocessed and sustainable food, your liver can do a pretty good job of getting rid of things that are not not supposed to be there.
Wow! This is great! I was approached by someone during the week – trying to get me to rep this product for them, because I “have good energy” I knew nothing of it, and assumed it was something far natural and sincere. So I sit down to find myself watching the most ridiculous video ever, of all these weird cult like people, claiming that they no longer work but make MONEY MONEY MONEY.! This is so far removed from what I think a healthy person (body and soul) should be like. It appears just another brainwashing scheme, spend money to find health and happiness. There are many more ways than this stupid company! Sure people do this and lose weight, good for them, but I agree that there are many other HEALTHIER ways to do so. You don’t need to buy packaged, manufactured crap. People need to wake up. Spend time, not money on yourself. Way to go Dani! Loved the read, and will follow your blog now too! All the best to you. 🙂
But your reason for wanting to do a cleanse may be totally admirable. For instance, perhaps you want to break out of eating patterns that leave you feeling sluggish halfway through your workday, or maybe you'd like to turn down your meat consumption a tad for the environment's sake. In those cases, you can still do what Larson calls a "reboot" rather than a cleanse to accomplish those goals without depriving your body of necessary nutrients.
So far, the meta-analyses and systematic reviews on randomized, placebo-controlled feeding trials comparing fructose to other carbohydrates have not revealed to have any quantitatively meaningful metabolic effects. That is, fructose has demonstrated no significant effect on body weight, blood pressure, or uric acid in calorie-controlled trials. On the other hand, fructose demonstrated improvement of glycemic control at levels comparable to that obtained in fruit.
Not true Dani. Good pick up Emma! A person eating a mainly organic diet with lots of fresh fruit and veges could be eating just as much fructose through the fruit they eat, if not more. I have already explained the low sugar levels in the isagenix products, 11gs in the shake, The swiss study I linked to mention that it could be dangerous at high levels like more than 100grams per day!

With this new-found popularity, the number and type of cleanse diets has soared, from food-based "liver detoxes" to liquid-only fasts for several weeks and everything in between. While the extreme cleanses often get a bad rap—Beyonce confessed that drinking the maple syrup-lemon-cayenne pepper concoction made her "cranky"—many women swear by cleanse diets to lose weight, increase energy, and even help clear up acne.


After reading all these comments, all I can see is that people who sell Isagenix are merely brainwashed and are only able to regergetate that crap they’ve been taught at their “cult-like” conventions and information nights. Do they not realise that what they being taught may or may not be correct in the first place? Do they not realise that sometimes scientists are paid a lot of money to make knowingly faulse claims??? Also what makes them qualified to dish out nutrition advice to others on behalf of a company in the first place?
Lastly, a word to other ISA users who feel the need to defend to product. I hear, ya. I’ve seen the testimonials and read the info and know many people have changed their lives. I hear ya, but hear me. If you’re going to dispute, debate, or otherwise comment, please at least do so in a respectful manner. No part of Dani’s original blog post was lashing at any of us personally, and frankly some of your responses are embarrassing by affiliation. Calm down and realize that knowledge is a great thing, and often times knowledge we initially disagree with can often be the most important kind.
Thanks for all of the comments. Yes, I too, firmly believe that Isagenix is a complete and total scam. Its marketing scam works because management convinces their sales agents that they are saving the world – yeah by selling expensive highly processed nutritional products (I don’t even want to use the word food) using questionable means and unscientific and undocumented claims. 
×