Harriet Hall, MD, a retired Air Force physician and flight surgeon, writes and educates about pseudoscientific and so-called alternative medicine. She is a contributing editor and frequent contributor to the Skeptical Inquirer and contributes to the blog Science-Based Medicine. She is author of Women Aren’t Supposed to Fly: Memoirs of a Female Flight Surgeon and coauthor of the 2012 textbook Consumer Health: A Guide to Intelligent Decisions.
On shake days, you’ll use IsaLean meal replacement shakes for two meals a day, and then eat a third meal of around 500 calories, which you make yourself. Shakes are between 240 and 280 calories, approximately half of what I’d call an actual meal. If you get hungry, which you most likely will, you can treat yourself with an Isagenix snack like 100-calorie Slim Cakes, which look like little turds. Doesn’t that sound like fun? Yum yum!
In addition to my journey, I started sharing my story with others and helping them do the same. I have now personally helped dozens of people shed 10, 20, 30, 40 and even (3 people) have shed over 70lbs! They’ve taken back control over their health and their lives. They feel good about themselves, they are happier than they have been for years and they are OPTIMISTIC about LIFE! 

Please remember people, it is a good idea to consult your own health professional first before embarking on one of these schemes. You have no idea how someone with an underlying condition can react to some of the synthetic vitamins pushed by Isagenix. Talk to your GP first. But be acutely aware that the person who sold you Isagenix, is likely to be just like you or me, with no medical background. The person who sold you the product will only be interested in making money from you initial order and autoship orders…….. thats how they get free product and make money.
So should we also only take medicine that is natural from the earth as well? Should we leave it up to our bodies to cure itself without the aid of doctors? I am not understanding this post at all. Science with foods and nutrition is awesome. Our foods are tainted with all kinds of pesticides and poisons. Their are pollutants in the air that your breathing in daily. So you need products to help you get rid of the toxins in your body. The other option would be to just stop breathing as this post would suggest. This is just another nonsense post without any real facts to back it up. It’s all opinion and to my knowledge, people these days are too opinionated. You want to advise people, then spend the years needed and get well informed before you speak on such matters. Thanks for the comments, but no thanks!
I have been having issues for years no one can ever find anything wrong (all in my head) I know that I was perfectly healthy until I had my 4impacted wisdom teeth pulled.@25 years of age.. I also had a mouth full of amalgam fillings..which have been switched out over the years- not the “safe way” until I recently found out about biological dentistry.. I am having the last two removed- safely 6/11.. I stumbled on Dr.Daniel Pompa and his journey..I have always worked hard at physical fitness and eating healthy always making everything from scratch and now all organic, gluten free,sugar free-was hairdresser 34 years.. wanting to go back ( just cuts) am so sick I am struggling- was clinically diagnosed with chronic lyme( positive bans and symptom) also have huge issue with mold and chemical Sensitivities. We are getting divorced over this..

At CHOICE we were contacted by many people with concerns about health advice being provided by Isagenix sellers on social media. Sophia from Sydney says she saw women who were pregnant or breastfeeding who complained of feeling hungry who were being encouraged to persevere with the low-calorie diet by self-proclaimed "wellness experts" on Facebook who were also profiting from sales of the product (see Sophia's story) while others said they were told the program would help with conditions as diverse as asthma, anxiety and insomnia.

1/4 an apples worth of fructose per shake is nothing, my family has grown apples locally for over 100 years and we are often eating over 6 per day ALL YEAR ROUND, that’s a dozen shakes worth 365 days a year, now obviously there are a lot of factors involved, but JUST that alone suggests that there is more going on, my family all live into their 90’s or older, I doubt that eating that amount of fructose is deleterious to our health. And yes an apple is different then fructose alone…I’m just talking about the sugar amount.
and you guys do have a habit of replacing your CHILDREN’S meals with these shakes and bars. For that my friends 4 yr old hasn’t grown a freaking inch since he was 2! That’s her poor decision due to brain washing by her own father who is an invester for the company. Rich man just trying to make money off of ya, doesn’t even give back to the community.
I follow Vani the food babe and she has a wealth of information on this, too. There’s a reason she was able to get fast food companies (chik fil a for ex) to agree to switch to certified organic chicken in the near future. It all comes down to awareness…you cannot trust a company backing their product, nor can you trust the FDA. It’s the sad truth!
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.”
Thanks so much for this. I was trying to tell my friend that there is NO way I could drink 2 shakes a day in place of my meal for the rest of my life. It’s just not practical. I have recently started taking Zijas Smart Mix with moringa oleifera. It’s been the first thing that made sense to me. Don’t stop eating real food. small amounts of lean proteins and complex carbs and the largest portion being LIVE FOODS. Real food. but adding in nutrition. I would love to hear your opinion on moringa…..not all are created equal. Dr. Plant who does the research for zija just did an article on how bad synthetic vitamins and proteins are for our bodies and how many people are capitalizing on that right now. Its so sad. Anyway, thanks again.

The primary focus of the diet is to nourish the body with the right nutrients while ensuring that the impurities that lead to weight gain are removed from your system. There are no restrictive measures in this diet. Instead, the diet encourages reduced calorie intake along with vital consumption of vitamins and minerals that support overall health and well-being.


I wrote this Isagenix review because I do not want you to fall for meal replacement shakes, for protein bars, or otherwise gimmicky foods. These companies produce cheap, toxic products and push them off on people as healthy alternatives (to what exactly I’m not sure). Instead, watch my video on how to make a protein shake that is not only unprocessed but actually good for you.

I am reading all these comments about Isagenix and iv been with the company for 6 months and still have not made any money.Listening to all the testimonies about people making so much amount of money in 2 weeks and I am still struggling on getting a team member to sign up because those i talked too don’t believe in it, and think its a scam. LOL. So I’m getting kind of skeptical now.
I too agree with all that you have said. I have trialled both Herbalife and Isagenix for my own research as I am in the fitness industry. I have gotten more success from telling people to eat a balanced diet of whole foods and the occasional supplemental vitamins (relevant to the goal e.g.. weight loss or muscle gain etc). Whats even worse now is that Personal Trainers are the target to further promote it as the age old saying that ‘my trainer said it was what i should eat’. Shame shame shame to those trainers that do this. They do this to also get more financial benefits from the products as we all low with this multi-level marketing (pyramid scheme).

I just think the important thing to remember when using these products/systems is understanding that you need to use them in a way that fits your lifestyle and what you want out of their use. I think the two most important aspects of getting fit and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are exercise and eating right in a consistent manner. It’s important to plan out your meals and try to get the most you can out of natural foods and probably only supplement when it is necessary. I used to supplement with a ton of other, more sketchy products than Isagenix and I most definitely feel better after the switch. But I also think it’s really important to note that if your goal is to go all natural, or as natural as possible, that most supplements are going to compromise that goal in some form or another.
I was connected to several people on FB that sell this product. They are all claiming the same ‘wealth’ that Isagenix has brought them. One girl claims she has purchased several expensive sports cars, fly’s in a private jet and has an expensive home (posting pictures to prove it). She also claims to be one of the top selling reps, yet her name is nowhere on the Isagenix website. Her pictures appear on other peoples pages as well. Her profile picture has changed from an older blonde woman to a young brunette. Sounds like a fraud to me. This is why I’ve started looking into this product. How can you trust it?
I bought the 30 day Presidents pack and was so excited to embark on my new journey of welllbeing, fitness and creating a new me. Not only did I stick to the programe, I also had the benefit of having had blood tests in the weeks before Isagenix (didnt show much, other than I was incredibly low in vitamin D). Out of curiosity, I had blood tests done again a few days ago.

Although a cleanse might not have much inherent value, Schnell says, drinking juice for a few days, alternating a day of juice with a day of meals, or replacing some meals with juice to achieve weight loss isn't necessarily dangerous if you're in good health. "Most people who do not have a preexisting serious health condition, such as diabetes, colitis, or Crohn's disease, will probably be able to complete a one- to three-day juice fast without problems," Schnell says. "Potential concerns would be maintaining adequate hydration and knowing what, exactly, are the ingredients in the juices. Pure fruits and vegetables in the short run are all right for healthy people, but diabetics, for example, may have challenges identifying starches and sugars and therefore controlling their blood sugar."
Hey – I color my hair, there are chemicals in that. I also wear non-organic lipstick, too. My sunglassess – they’re made with plastic that I’m sure is chemically altered and manufactured. And my wood floors in my house were stained with chemicals and man, did it smell bad. My sheets are not organic, either. I try and use natural soaps and shampoos whever possible but my 5 year old likes Suave watermelon kids soap. Oh well. My nailpolish probably has formaldehyde in it (I wish it wouldn’t). And every so often I let my kids eat Cheetos (but they have to eat a fruit right afterwards).
I actually don’t get paid to write posts as I don’t accept sponsored posts. And if you actually “hire bloggers for a living” which I’m not even sure what that means, you would know that bloggers rarely, if ever (I’ve never known a blogger to get paid for this and I know a lot of bloggers) get paid to write against products. I’ve never been paid to write an article actually. The disclaimer is for my affiliation with companies like Amazon, doTERRA and Perfect Supplements.
I am compelled to speak about my experience and say I have never been more sick from a self induced decision in my life. Day 3 was complete agony. I could barely get out of bed and the list of symptoms were unlike any flu or sickness I have ever had. Nausea, Headache, dizziness, joint pain, muscle cramps, shooting pains in my legs, incredible stomach pain, fatigue, terrible chills. I have been a zombie for the last 2 days and barely on day 4 (today) at 50%. I stopped the madness last night.
“I have been a vegetarian/vegan/organic eater all my life! Before I started on Isagenix I was eating a high raw, all organic, nutritionally balanced diet, with lots of whole food, juicing, etc. I started on the shakes during my first pregnancy because although I was eating the “healthiest diet” on the planet of real whole foods, my blood work showed differently.”
I was in poor health and using the Isagenix products helped me lose weight, begin exercising, and make healthier food choices. I continue to use Isagenix products as part of a healthy lifestyle. Unlike Dr. Hall, I am not an MD, but with that being said, many of her criticisms of the Isagenix products are not really accessible to the average person. So, Dr. Hall, I guess since you are writing so much about Isagenix, maybe refer us readers to other health professionals, perhaps in the field of nutrition that can speak with more credibility, to what you are saying.

A friend inquired about a product, Isagenix (actually a whole family of products) that is being pushed by the leader of her weight loss group, claiming that “The Isagenix cleanse is unique because it not only removes impurities at the cellular level, it builds the body up with incredible nutrition. Besides detoxing the body, Isagenix teaches people a wonderful lesson that they don’t need to eat as much as they are accustom to and eating healthy choices are really important and also a lot of the food we are eating is nutritionally bankrupt.”


I too agree with all that you have said. I have trialled both Herbalife and Isagenix for my own research as I am in the fitness industry. I have gotten more success from telling people to eat a balanced diet of whole foods and the occasional supplemental vitamins (relevant to the goal e.g.. weight loss or muscle gain etc). Whats even worse now is that Personal Trainers are the target to further promote it as the age old saying that ‘my trainer said it was what i should eat’. Shame shame shame to those trainers that do this. They do this to also get more financial benefits from the products as we all low with this multi-level marketing (pyramid scheme).
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.
But more recent studies show that while increasing fish oil intake improves omega-3 index, reducing LA intake doesn’t have any effect. Nor does increasing LA in the diet lead to any increase in molecules produced through pro-inflammatory pathways (5). Those pathways appear to be tightly controlled and not influenced by LA intake. – I know you said that this oil can cause inflammation in our bodies….but the research (studies NOT done or funded by Isagenix…no worries) shows that this is not the case.

The people involved in the manufacture of Isagenix products are of the highest pedigree. I won’t start listing names… I’ll leave it to you to research. The names you’ll find aren’t world class athletes.. in fact, unless you’re a scholar of nutrition or high level personal training, you’ve probably never heard of them… they’re the people that world class athletes look to.
One of the most unsettling things about Isagenix, along with some other high-profile diet programs, is the use of random unqualified people to sell the product. I suppose that’s the nature of MLM, but a colleague of mine managed to flip me some extremely crazy screenshots of one Isagenix salesperson’s posts on Facebook, and they were completely outrageous.

Now, don’t even get me started on the whole organic movement. Everyone knows that no organic farm out there is 100% free of pollutants and pesticides. As much as the organic farmer tries to be free of pesticides there is no guarantee. You see, the farmer next to him might use pesticides and depending on environmental conditions i.e., wind, rain, those pesticides and pollutants can easily end up on an “organic crop”. And there are no governmental controls in place to govern the whole organic market.
My very sweet friend has been suckered in by Isagenix. I have always known that “cleansing” and “toxins” were lies and used to sell products, but she raves about Isa being a whole food and full of nutrition. She is a nice person, so I was willing to hear her out even though I hate MLMs. All I had to do was read the ingredients list on the shakes – who actually thinks this is healthy? I tried googling and very little comes up about the products that isn’t positive. My friend added me to some Isagenix support groups on Facebook and what I have seen in them frightens me. It is cultish. These people are unnaturally positive. They do not necessarily make health claims, but they “share their personal experiences,” which end up being health claims. New members come in asking questions like, “I am hypoglycemic. Should I cleanse?” People tell them to cleanse, anyway and not doing so would be worse for them. They tell people that they need to take this stuff while pregnant (um – taking too much vitamin A while pregnant is dangerous, even if it is beta carotene). They talk about how doctors just don’t know anything about nutrition. Really? And THEY do? None of these people are physicians or nutritionists, and their knowledge of human nutrition comes only from reading Isagenix propaganda. They talk about how the FDA is corrupt so the fact that it isn’t FDA approved is a good thing. Are you kidding me? I am genuinely concerned about people I know and love and it scares me how they are more willing to listen to these companies that are profiting handsomely from them, than they are to listen to friends, family… And doctors. I wish I knew what to do. Thank you for providing this article. I hope more people will read it.
Also, for your further enjoyment you should look further into the lead levels of the shakes. They have been sited by California Prop 65 and have labeled all of their shakes accordingly. They have information on their website as to how they are still under the federal guidelines. They did in fact remove the soy lecithin from the shakes after what they described as “confusion” amongst people. Not stating that in fact soy lecithin contains trace amounts of soy proteins.
Being an organic vegetable farmer does not automatically mean you eat well. You can eat 100% organic and still not be eating right. It doesn’t mean you know about nutritional science or how to properly fuel your body. Though as someone who’s an organic vegetable farmer, I’d expect more. These products source whey from across the globe, which then has to travel all the way to the US – they use canola, wheat and soy, none of which are specified as organic and all of which destroy topsoil.

My sister and mom just started Isagenix, and they love it. I’ve been trying to get them to eat healthy for the past year, but they’ve been too lazy. Isagenix just seems like a way for people to lose weight with minimal effort. Sure, it is harder to actually take ten to fifteen extra minutes to actually make a meal, but it’s so much better for you. That being said, I do get that sometimes people need a nudge in the right direction, so I get the appeal. There are just so many other options out there!
Isagenix Ionic Alfalfa, bilberry extract, ashwagandha extract, pau d’arco inner bark extract, blueberry extract, aloe vera leaf gel, raspberry juice extract, burdock root extract, rhodiola root extract, deglycyrrhizinated licorice root extract, eleutherococcus senticosus root extract, turmeric root extract, peppermint leaf extract, yellow dock root extract, fennel seed extract, suma root extract, choline bitartrate, betaine HCI, inositol, fructose, potassium citrate, citric acid, purple carrot, natural flavor, lime juice powder, pyridoxine HCI, niacinamide, cyanocobalamin, and I-methionine.

I just found this article and I am SO happy someone finally put this out there in clear and simple context. As a holistic nutritionist, I have been asked many times by clients about this product, and now I can send them to this article for further reading as there is only so much detail I can go into during a consultation without going on a 2 hour rant 😉
Ok. I understand that your opinion was about the ingredients and I respect that, and don’t worry I won’t ask about credentials but I am gonna tell you my experience with Isagenix because I’ve been using them for a while on and off. I am now 41 years old and I’ve been involve in sports all my life. I am a black belt in taekwondo, but I practice other martial arts as well. I am 6’1″ and weight 170 pounds. Born in Cuba, and resident of Miami fl since 1995. first time I tried Isagenix was with the 30 day program. I made a personal trainer friend of mine to measure my body fat before and after the 30 days. I went from 17.9 to 14.3 of body fat in one month even cheating some how like eating my regular breakfast and using a banana and milk on the shakes. Let me say that I am a very skeptical person and I like to question everything. I have seen great results of people using the Isagenix products, including a few friends of mine, and no I am not a distributor. I’ve been a professional massage therapist for 10 years, and know many people from a very wide range of society. I believe must of the health problems in the US is not from the food out there but from life choices, lack of physical activities, and abuse of over the counter and prescription medications. Isagenix like any other products out there may have their flaws but if you combine it with a healthy diet you can achieve good results if you are trying to loose body fat. Based on my own experience I would use it at the beginning of your plan to boost the start and then stick to the healthiest eating habits that you can possible make according to your income level. If you wanna talk about gluten free diets well gluten is present on so many foods that it would be very difficult to avoid every single day. My Cuban grandfather ate white bread and butter everyday at breakfast for 90 years until he died, but he also walked several miles everyday at the same time, so how bad gluten may be compare to other hazards of the daily living, it’s all relative to lifestyle choices. A patient from the chiropractic office that I work for, lost 45 pounds in two months using Isagenix products combined with other diets changes. Tell her that it doesn’t work and you can guess what would be her answer. Again if you stick to the ingredients you may be right, based on the results I have seen I bet to differ 100% with you. Good luck everybody on your health quest!
Also, I was extremely frustrated after I initially signed up. The person who had “sold” me on it immediately sent me links on how to branch out and get people to ask me about it. It was suggested that I post my success (there was not success) on my facebook page and to watch videos on how to talk to other people in order to sign up. The exact words were “you will be a great brand rep as you are already active and healthy, people will flock to you”. That was not my intent at all and I did not sell it to one person.
Great article! We have changed our diets to (as much as possible) organic, unprocessed, chemical free foods. I am 52 and this is the best I have felt, I believe, ever! Eating this way and incorporating exercise has been a life changer for me. At my last two physicals my labs have come back wonderful. I also am in menopause and do not have to take anything. I appreciate this article, as this product was brought up during my exercise class today and I was somewhat leery of it. Thank you for advocating true healthy eating.
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.
Dani, you mention you have an issue with the non GMO soybean oil which for the record is in 1 out of 47 products available by Isagenix. Yet elsewhere on your blog you mention that you have no problem with fermented soy to another poster as the phytic acid is reduced through fermentation. There is no soy protein in any of the isagenix products which contains the phytic acid. Obviously the form of ingredients plays a part, which you yourself have acknowledged in this post https://ancestral-nutrition.com/basics/
The cleansers in my Isagenix Facebook group said it would be easier after day five, and they were right. I got used to drinking a shake for breakfast and a shake for dinner, and looked forward to my low-glycemic lunches like it was Christmas morning. (I was salivating as I put pieces of lettuce into a container at the salad bar.) Though I didn’t lose any more pounds than the previous weigh-in, this didn’t deter my motivation. For the first time in a long time, I’m feeling good—digesting food nicely (in the past, I’d have a bit of a rumble here and there), and oddly, I have more energy than ever before.

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.
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