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.
Dinner? That's miso soup with some chopped sea vegetables (like the Japanese nori, used to make sushi) snipped over top. Or you might choose a cup of brown rice with a few chopped vegetables mixed in. "Brown rice gives your body plenty of B vitamins, which is a stress reducer. It's very high fiber, will fill you up, will help you sleep, and will flush you out in the morning."
He’s gone low carb, by cutting out refined fructose and other sugars. He’s lost 60 pounds, and has kept it off. He eats carbs. It is just that they are natural carbs from fruits and vegetables. He doesn’t experience cravings. He gets plenty of fiber, and he can eat anything that doesn’t have a ton of sugar added to it. He doesn’t eat much bread. He allows himself to have a little piece of cake on a birthday, etc. He’s healthy, happy, energetic. He educated himself. This is just an example. What works for one, might not work for you.
A cleanse is different than a fast. And the body knows the difference. During a fast the body slows the system and its workload/efforts to compensate for a perceived lack of nutrients. To this end, if your cleanse doesn't supply sufficient nutrients (the range of nutrients -- carb, pro, healthy fats) it's likely that the body may alter its metabolic functions in a way that prevents sustainable results and may compromise short term energy and immune function.
Pseudoscientific claims peppered many comments, such as this one: “Most people only absorb 8% to 12% of what we eat-the rest is waste which we flush down the toilet. With Isagenix we can absorb up to 94% of what is ingested with less waste going down the toilet. Isagenix is full of good probiotics which help rebuild our digestive systems, fights candida. Isagenix also helps the body become alkaline, which is a healthy body. John Hopkins 2008 Cancer Report stated that cancer cannot live in an alkaline body only acidic bodies. Processed food makes our bodies acidic-thus the epedemic [sic] of cancer and diabites [sic] in the USA along with heart disease.” [This is all nonsense.]

But when I consciously choose to travel to far away countries, be accepted by the indigenous people and accept them in return, who hold ancient knowledge and wisdom for the future betterment and evolution of our species, do service to a community, to be part of a combined and soul felt movement for love, understanding, acceptance and peace, then I am SOMEBODY.
Just because soy, agave and gluten are only in some of the items I listed on my site, does not mean that they are not in more products that Isagenix sells. I do not have the time or energy to go through every single product Isagenix sells and highlight the garbage. For example, there is soy in this http://www.isagenix.com/us/en/isaleanbars.dhtml as well as this http://www.isagenix.com/us/en/isagenixsnacks.dhtml and I’m sure in several other products.
I stumbled across this article because a friend gave me samples of Isagenix to try. I’m ever glad I read your article Dani! After approaching my friend with my new findings, she said to me “so what!” and that the health part is only the “side benefit” and that I can make a lot of money selling this to my family and promise that there’s no harm in her product!
Since each individual’s body is different, it is better to consult your dietitian or physician before you start this diet. Depending on current weight, medical history, current activity levels, age, genetics, etc., your dietitian will be able to customize the diet plan. Feeding your body the right foods to help burn more fat and being physically active is the best way to lose weight.
But the products are expensive. I suspect too expensive, given that I can get protein shakes and similar “metabolism boosting” supplements at my local SuperSupplements store. My coach tells me that the difference in price is due to the “trace minerals” and the fact that the whey protein comes from fully organically raised cows in New Zealand. That sounds a bit fanciful to me, but I can’t ignore the fact that the system appears to work for me.
I was overwhelmed a bit at first, but quickly figured out how it all worked. They include lots of literature in the kit so I was able to read more about the products and how they work and when I needed to take them. I was ready to begin! I started on a Thursday and I got up that day and weighed and measured myself (ugh!). The kit provides an area for you to record both your starting weight and measurements and even included a tape measure. I knew this weight had to go and I was excited to finally have some direction!

Not sure why you consider Palm Kernel Oil unhealthy. Palm kernel oil is an edible plant oil derived from the kernel of the oil palm Elaeis guineensis, and is comparable to coconut oil. A cardio-friendly alternative to animal fat, palm kernel oil is free of dietary cholesterol, and there is no evidence that it increases production of cholesterol in the body (1). Palm kernel oil is stable at room temperature, does not require hydrogenation (the process behind trans-fat formation), and has a long shelf life.
Do you know how many great, healthy meals you could make for the same price people are spending on this crap? Look for products with less than 5 ingredients, all that you can pronounce…It’s not that tough. Blows my mind. Or how about this…invest in a personal trainer and get your butt off the couch? Here’s another thought, higher a nutritionist or dietitian. It’s not that hard. Eat clean, exercise to the best of your ability, and stop looking for the magic pill.
Iasgenix!? If it were truly a revolutionary product that everyone could benefit from, then why MLM? Why have Isa Kids!? Children need to cleanse? WOW. That shows you right there what they are about…$$$. I have no stake in this game, just stumbled across the blog. I have friends on Isagenix. I dont get it? Starving themselves to be healthier? Cleansing? What happened to calories in calories out? Exercise? Site this, site that, but really ..come on pleople..it seems simple to me…eat food, real food, veggies, fruit, meat, not too much and exercise. I really hope no else asks me to meet for coffee because “they have something they want to discuss with me!” And no child should be cleaning! HOLY CRAP! LOL
I found myself about 25 days ago, being faced with the choice of trying Isagenix. I looked into it. I did some research. I was discerning. And given that those who introduced me to it were close family and I had been watching their results closely and was actually impressed, I decided to give it a go. But lets be clear about something: I owned that decision completely. It was not sold, because I will not be sold to. Now, 20 days in, so many of my hopes and dreams are back in gear and the adventures I’ve been hoping and praying to be part of are within my conscious control. Isagenix didn’t do that. I did. I saw Isagenix as a tool and I realised that my application of that tool would be paramount to the success or failure of the venture. Sure, I understand and appreciate that some of the ingredients are suspect. But so is the fluoride added to water supplies that is still mandatory in most provinces and states of New Zealand and Australia where I’ve spent the majority of my 39 years. And we know what that stuff does to our pineal gland… right? And what the pineal gland does for us and how important latest neurological studies are suggesting it is to our overall experience as “living systems?” I really hope thats a bandwagon those of you with “credentials” are on. I don’t mean that disrespectfully, I sincerely mean that.
I have been living with two people who sell it, for the past 3 months. One of them eats pizza all of the time (2-3 times a week) and he also takes a lot of prescription drugs, ie. Ambien, anti-anxiety meds and others, the product does not seem to help him, obviously. The other sells it full-time and his motivation seems to be money and becoming on of the ‘millionaires’, you know, like the good ‘ole Amway days, remember the ‘millionaires’. He doesn’t seem to care that much about the actual product, except he works night and day on his sales ability and is quite aggressive in convincing people of one thing or another.
Thank you for this post. It is unnerving that people are questioning your “professional background”. What credentials do these so called blog-blashers have? Now, I’m the first one to say that if it works for you, GREAT! If using whatever-shake-pound-reducing product has been a stepping stone in the right direction, than that too deserves applause. However, we all know there are many foods that even our beloved FDA trumpets as “healthy” even though they are chalked full of toxins. Nitrates in lunch meat comes to mind here. Nitrates that have long been (and ban from most European countries) known to cause cancer and other illnesses. Just because something has been “approved” by doctors, doesn’t necessarily mean it is safe! Phen-phen was also the wonder drug, and many many people lost weight, and now the use has been banned. This too was hailed as “safe”. Canned food is another example. It is now becoming widely known that approximately 10% of canned foods have high levels of BPA that is known cause various cancers, especially in children where many infant formulas contain high levels of BPA. These canned food were also toted as “safe”. So let’s stop with the “doctor’s research and doctor approved” jargon.
I’ve used the products before -never sold them as MLM are just tacky IMO- and I have to say there is a lot of very misinformed, fanatical weirdness going on with it. I think a lot of the people who are fanatical about it, are not very educated in general- that is what I noticed across the board with them. But that’s maybe also why, they’ve fallen into it so deeply.

Wow. Just wow. Dani, first of all – my hat is off to you for sticking to your guns. Secondly – I totally agree – eating healthy organic locally sourced food is your best bet for health – that and unlearning some serious misinformation about fat, cholesterol and sugar. Finally, it is an unfortunate reality that many things in life are corrupted by the profit motive – at times to such an extent that decent people are caught up in the craze to just make a quick buck or two. It is also unfortunate that so many people are caught in the trap of ignorance, poverty or both – it is not cheap to feed a family on really healthy food, especially meat, produce. I’ve researched these topics and also the history behind American industrialized agriculture (e.g. Food, Inc., King Corn, etc) and am appalled at the corruption and overall insanity that has engulfed this nation. You can go just about anywhere else in the world and get healthy food quite easily – a expat friend of mine lives in Uruguay and is very happy with the situation there. So, hang in there and keep up the good work on your blog and getting the truth out. Do you know of Chris Kresser and his work?
I actually use Isagenix and I’ve lost 15 lbs so far. I absolutely agree that shakes and supplements are not the way to go. But I also am honest with myself: I work three jobs and have very little time for anything. When it’s time to eat, I’m usually in the car, going to the next job, and end up eating poorly because of it. Doing a shake for two meals helps me so much because I know I’m not going to make a bad food choice (like fast food) and I can also drink it in the car. HOWEVER, I don’t like how expensive Isagenix is. I work three jobs because I’m a musician and while I love what I do, we make next to nothing. I certainly can’t keep doing Isagenix. I can’t afford it. However, from Isagenix I have learned how to choose things that fill me up and are healthy (I’m speaking of the one meal a day here – I have a ton of veggies and usually put quinoa and black beans [I don’t really like meat very much] with it, along with a teensy bit of olive oil) So…
The comment on ‘natural flavors’ is misleading as, to start, there is no MSG in the shakes even though you say technically it can be classed as a natural flavour. Actually it can’t as USDA will not allow MSG on the ‘natural flavors’ list. It does, on the other hand, allow glutamic acid. Glutamic acid is an amino acid that occurs naturally in our bodies. Aside from this, you do not actually know which ‘natural flavors’ are in the product. Before making suggestions of what they might be and misleading people, actual research could involve you asking company, if you were genuinely doing an ‘unbiased’ review on the internet for literally everyone to read.
They advertise “no caffeine added” for a product that contains green tea; green tea contains caffeine. 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.
I have been reading most of what has been published here … not all because WOW is there a ton of comments … talk about advertising, this could be taken and taught as a Master Class in Marketing … Anyway, I just wanted to make ONE THING PERFECTLY CLEAR and I will be brief and not include links or anything of the like. Anyone who has a Professional Degree, Certification, a Doctor, Scientist etc. CANNOT make false claims … cannot report product ingredients that DONT exist. They simply cannot make reports, claims or put ANYTHING in WRITING that has not been validated or proven by a governing body – ESPECIALLY FOOD; and food that is allowed to be sold to the general public. They will stand to lose their careers, reputation, business, livelihood (and I’m sure most of these professionals do not want to lose their livelihood) … that said, it is profoundly irrelevant if Isagenix Sponsors a study or not … the Doctor or Scientist who puts his/her name to it will be held accountable if their reporting is inaccurate – this is not arguable. And for those of you who will say that they just get paid off to report whatever the Company in questions asks them to do – I’m sure I will also see you rallying at the next UFO pick-up point, or stocking your fallout shelter for the coming “End of Days” ushered forth by the “One World Government.” So, while I like some of the points you make Dani, you cannot deflate and set aside information because it came from the Isagenix website or further, you cannot discredit any information source because it comes from the producer of the product (let me be clear, I am speaking only for the the FOOD WORLD here – not Spiderman toys, or toothbrush makers) – do you really believe that the world, the government, will allow just any LARGE organization to produce whatever FOODS they want, however they want to, without any organized, highly educated Governing Body to be held accountable to? Just to make money? If so, then see you at the rally.
An Isagenix-funded study published in Nutrition & Metabolism in 2012 found that over an eight-week period, people who used Isagenix meal-replacement shakes as part of an intermittent fasting and calorie-restriction diet lost 2.2 pounds more than those who followed a similar diet using regular food. However, according to a 2012 article published on the Science-Based Medicine website, this study wasn't well-designed, and Isagenix paid to get it published in the journal. The author of the website article, Dr. Harriet Hall, also noted that there were inconsistencies in the numbers listed in the results, potentially making the conclusions unreliable.
i respect your opinions in this article but no where in the links you listed for the shakes does it contain gluten or soy… There are a couple of products that do and they list those on their allergen list and clearly state it on the packaging, so those with allergies can stay away. I too have researched several products on the market, but I mainly go off of how healthy I feel. I used to have migraines 2 to 3 times a week.. they are gone now. Be careful what you read, this company has 2 published studies by Universities and more to come – these studies aren’t just put out by the company they are listed with the universities as well as in other well known and respected publications. I challenge you to research John Anderson the master formulator.. you’ll find his background in science is pretty impeccable.
But the products are expensive. I suspect too expensive, given that I can get protein shakes and similar “metabolism boosting” supplements at my local SuperSupplements store. My coach tells me that the difference in price is due to the “trace minerals” and the fact that the whey protein comes from fully organically raised cows in New Zealand. That sounds a bit fanciful to me, but I can’t ignore the fact that the system appears to work for me.
Ageless Actives can help you to diminish the signs of ageing from the inside out and can help combat the effects of free radical damage. Isagenix Ageless Actives work to protect your body at the cellular level to help slow the progressive loss of physiological reserves and functions and help support the body to rebuild and restore its vital systems, support energy production and protect cells from oxidative stress.

For me this is hugely off putting, and totally disgusting. I am not someone who just follows blindly, I did my research into in for almost a year and was very hesitant to try it, I spoke to alot of people read alot of articles, and also did as much ingredient research as possible, but the whole thing seems so filtered, that only certain things get through, as long as they approve.

If they’re so great, you shouldn’t feel the need to ‘report’ anyone. People are welcome to make their own opinions on the subject and she wants people to be informed is all. We all own a brain and while most of us use it to make good choices, some make more informed choices. I personally would never put something from a can into my body, or my families body, but then I guess that’s because they’re my family and not yours. Not really sure why people are so passionate about a diet supplement…maybe because there is money involved. I know a large number of people in my town who have used it and only two have kept weight off and they are selling the product. Both have ‘fallen off the wagon’ as well. Another woman was over 400 pounds, took some weight off and put it all back on…most likely because of personal choices, of course. But healthy eating and exercise, again, in my opinion, are the best way…life style change, not change in a can. Also, what happens to all of the extra vitamins? They have to go somewhere right? kidneys? liver? I would be concerned

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.
One of the most important defense mechanisms the body has to guard itself against aging is a process called autophagy (8). Autophagy can be thought of as the body doing its own internal “housekeeping” so that all organ systems and processes continue to run smoothly. Old, damaged cell components are repaired or discarded so that cells can continue to function optimally. Autophagy in the body decreases as we age, so the body’s ability to self-help itself is reduced as well. Calorie restriction, including fasting, has been found to promote autophagy to mend the body’s cells (9). It’s as if the consumption of fewer calories allows the body to rest and to go into recovery mode. This has been proposed to be the reason why calorie restriction and fasting have an “anti-aging” effect.
Debate provides a platform informed choice – in the spirit of increased knowledge and insight – thank you for this blog. We are all doing the best we can – for our bodies for our future 🙂 This program works for me – I am not an evangelist – as it may not be for you – but it just might be a better option than what people choose now – with obesity as an epidemic – I would suggest its the mainstream consumption habits of the western world that require a sprinkling of this education contained within this blog.
Hi! Very interesting blog post and comments section. I was given Isagenix by my sister and am currently on Day 4 of a 2 week “cleanse”. Prior to her giving it to me, I told her that I was wary of the product because I could not find any research supporting Isagenix that was not influenced or purchased by the company itself. That’s odd, especially for such a large company with so many supporters and testimonies. Despite my hesitation, I agreed to try it. I am obese and have been having trouble with sleep apnea, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations. My typical weekly diet included regular doses of fast food, pizza and at least 2 liters of fit soda per day. Frankly, I believe that Isagenix DOES contain things that are unhealthy. However, it is likely that they are less unhealthy than the disgusting things I was already consuming everyday. My plan is not to use Isagenix for life. I can see why people do, though. It’s a matter of convenience (and for some, a matter of pride). I am using this period to move from being completely unhealthy to embracing real foods again. There’s something about two shakes a day and a 48 hour no-solid-food period that just makes you appreciate something simple and natural like a sweet potato. (Please please please don’t tell me sweet potatoes are bad for me. I just fell in love with them.) I fully intend to return to a life of real food, which I believe does have everything we need to be healthy and thrive. I just needed a way to “reset”, to start the change I know my life needs.

Toss the remaining candycanes and enjoy a zero-calorie peppermint-scented candle instead. The essential oil found in mint leaves has analgesic properties that studies show serve as a muscle-relaxant and natural remedy for headaches. Relax into your recovery by lighting a minty candle or sniffing some peppermint oil; you may actually get the added benefit of losing a bit of the weight. One study published in the Journal of Neurological and Orthopaedic Medicine found that people who sniffed peppermint every two hours lost an average of 5 pounds a month! Let a minty candle burn for a couple hours before you go to bed (blow it out before bedtime, though). And to lose even more weight, don’t miss these 42 Ways to Lose 5 Inches of Belly Fat.
No one is asking about science based research. Dani is correct in everything she has said and my only critique would be to further back her current research by utilizing and citing additional sources backed by evidence based research. The critics on this site offer no back up of their opinions with anything more than what they have obviously bought into after some type of indoctrination into this program. As a RN and public health professional there is simply no research that supports this type of program as being ” good” for you. Any extreme reduction in calories, fasting, and eliminating real food will get you results if yyou’re looking to lose weight, however, over the long term because of the lack if research we really don’t know what type if long term effects this type of regimen may have on the body. The key here is to fully research not just the program but the ingredients and the claims any type of program makes. If you know a medical professional that you trust utilize their professional opinions. Lastly the mist credible information will be found in peer reviewed journals and publications. Be fully informed!!!!!!! One last thing…when you say that the protein is Ftom “grass fed cows grazing in the pristine lands in New Zealand” exactly HOW do you know this? Seriously. How in the world could you even verify this? HOW is that protein turned into the protein you consume in your shake? I’m sure that the process is not as “pristine” as you might think.

Not everyone has fresh raw milk at their fingertips and some of the other ingredients, like grass fed meat. But you can get a lot of protein from organic produce. The big thing about Isagenix is the amino acids. Amino acids are protein. But you can lose weight with organic bone broth too. There are a hundred ways to lose weight without eating synthetic concoctions.
@DrJonesy — thank you so much for your candor and perspective. I sense that is the experience many people have with Isagenix and other products. There isn’t a lot of proof they work, aside from a possible placebo effect which likely wears off. There is a risk they may in fact be bad for health. But the one thing we know for sure is that when you are selling a product via MLM, it tend to be overpriced, and it tends to be sold to people you care about, who buy it because they are about you and trust you. Thank you again for your story.
There is a difference between soy lecithin and soybean. I’d suggest you research, and not all soy is bad for you some of the time. I disagree with your fructose assumption, as you give no better alternative especially since the only alternatives on the market are much worse for you. I think you should do further checking beyond reading a label. The company holds regular universities in which you can personally meet the scientists and physicians leading the way in bringing better healthy choices to our world. Reading a website really only gives you a glimpse. There is much, much more. That’s why you need a coach, or someone who has taken time to further their understanding. The very things you mention, are exactly what Isagenix is not. It is too bad that you are keeping other people from experiencing something that could change their lifestyle from bad to good.
And I guarantee you this: Not one iota of an “erg” will be energetically transferred towards wondering if signing up for a 30 day cleanse with Isagenix was a good move or not. I may make use of it again. In fact, I will likely continue with SOME of the products for a while. Might even sign a few people to get my adventure fund up. What do you know… Better health, better lifestyle, AND wealth creation…
“After speaking with him, I gathered that Dr. Lustig and Dr. Sievenpieper actually do tend to agree more than disagree on the data. For example, Dr. Lustig told me that he understood full well that the animal data and ecological analyses shouldn’t be used for arguing his position that fructose is a unique metabolic danger. He also agreed that answers needed to come from randomized controlled feeding trials in humans, which is really what Dr. Sievenpiper’s research has been about.

Drink water to lose water! Cocktails are abundant over the holidays, as well as salty nosh and nibbles—all of which can leave you dehydrated and bloated. Alcohol and salt throw off the effect of antidiuretic hormone on the kidneys—the chemical that controls how much you urinate. As a result, you pee frequently and body holds on to what little water is left; that’s why you feel bloated. Start replenishing your body asap with a large pitcher of water with sliced whole lemons and oranges for natural detoxifying benefits. Citrus fruits are rich in the antioxidant de-limonene, a powerful compound found in the peel that stimulates liver enzymes to help flush toxins from the body and gives sluggish bowels a kick, according to the World Health Organization. That’s why it’s also one of our 8 Easy Strategies for Rapid Weight Loss.
I have a similar opinion to Mickhael. You need to be more considered with your use of buzz words like toxic. Moderation is absolutely the key. If you drink too much water it is toxic. Yes maltodextrin is a food additive, one that serves a useful purpose as a thickener in some processed foods. I agree that processed foods should be limited, cooking with unprocessed ingredients is definitely the way to go. But I still eat processed foods in moderation because I enjoy them, and they serve a useful purpose on many occasions. I think you need to improve your understanding of a few nutrition topics (there are many that I need to improve my understanding of also, nutrition is a relatively new science).
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