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Isagenix is a dietary supplement company that’s best known for its 30-day weight loss programs, which focus on reducing caloric intake through meal replacement shakes and cleanses.
While it appears to be a convenient way to lose weight, you may be wondering if it’s actually effective — or safe.
This article provides a dietitian’s honest review of Isagenix, including the safety, effectiveness, and quality of some of the company’s weight loss products.
DIET REVIEW SCORECARD
- Overall score: 1.21
- Weight loss: 1.5
- Healthy eating: 1.5
- Sustainability: 1.75
- Whole body health: 0.5
- Nutrition quality: 0.5
- Evidence based: 1.5
BOTTOM LINE: The Isagenix diet will cause weight loss if done correctly. However, it is almost entirely made up of processed and prepackaged foods that are high in added sugar. It may be a decent short-term solution but not a good long-term investment.
Known for its popular 30-day weight loss program, Isagenix has since expanded its product line, offering a range of dietary supplements, including probiotics, collagen powders, and bars, as well as essential oils and beauty products.
Many people are drawn to Isagenix because it promises a quick-fix solution for weight loss.
After all, trying to lose weight can be incredibly challenging and overwhelming, so a straightforward 30-day program that’s promoted as simple and easy to follow is understandably enticing.
To make deciding which products to choose easier, Isagenix’s website also includes a quiz that provides product recommendations based on your nutrition and exercise habits.
In addition to personalized recommendations, customers can shop Isagenix’s products by their desired benefit. Currently, the company’s products are organized into four categories:
- Feel Better: includes supplements aimed at improving energy, immunity, stress levels, and digestion
- Eat Better: includes products designed for weight loss, such as shakes, bars, snacks, and other dietary supplements
- Move Better: includes pre-workout, during workout, and post-workout supplements
- Look Better: focuses on beauty and includes collagen supplements and skin care products
Isagenix is a supplement company that offers a large variety of products, including weight loss supplements, protein powders, and meal replacement shakes.
Despite its popularity, Isagenix failed Healthline’s rigorous vetting process due to concerns about its products, health claims, and business practices.
In fact, many Isagenix products were recalled in the last 2 years due to overfortification of vitamins. The company also uses several proprietary blends, which don’t include dosages for specific ingredients.
Additionally, the company’s website makes unsupported health claims, such as that the products support “whole body cleansing” and that they “eliminate fat” and “flush out toxins.”
Furthermore, Isagenix is a multilevel marketing (MLM) company, meaning it relies on customers to sell and market its products. While MLM models aren’t illegal, they are predatory and often make false and extravagant claims about participants’ profit-making capability (3).
Plus, because Isagenix associates are usually former customers who lack proper education on supplements and credentials in nutrition, having them provide guidance on cleansing, weight loss, and more can be dangerous.
Isagenix uses an MLM business model. In addition to raising ethical concerns, this sales model also poses a danger to consumers since Isagenix associates lack the required credentials and education needed to provide guidance on weight loss and supplements.
The 30-day weight loss program is the most popular program through Isagenix. The basic weight loss pack includes:
- IsaLean Shake: whey protein powder that’s used as a meal replacement
- Natural Accelerator: thermogenic capsules containing a blend of vitamins and herbs that are claimed to burn fat and boost metabolism
- IsaFlush: a supplement containing a form of magnesium and a blend of herbs said to improve digestion and gut health
- Cleanse For Life: offered as either a liquid or powdered blend of vitamins and herbs and claims to help the body naturally detoxify and burn fat
- Ionix Supreme: a liquid supplement that contains a blend of vitamins and adaptogens that’s advertised to improve focus and support a healthy immune system
- AMPED Hydrate: a powdered electrolyte drink designed to boost hydration
- Snack Bites: 100-calorie, bite-sized snacks meant to help curb cravings
After dieters complete the 30-day plan, Isagenix encourages them to either start the same system over for another 30 days or try another Isagenix system, like the Energy System or the Performance system.
Products can be purchased individually and without a subscription, though you can save money by purchasing products in packs and signing up for auto-ship. Additionally, preferred customers, who pay an annual fee of $39, save up to 15% on products.
Losing weight with Isagenix
Isagenix’s 30-day program involves following a specific diet that includes shake days and 1 or 2 cleanse days per week.
On shake days, dieters replace two meals per day with IsaLean shakes. For the third meal, you’re encouraged to choose a healthy meal, which should contain the following:
- 400–600 calories
- thumb-sized amount of healthy fat, such as olive oil or mashed avocado
- palm-sized portion of protein, such as chicken, tofu, or eggs
- two fist-sized portions of produce, like berries, broccoli, or salad
- one fist-sized portion of a complex carbohydrate, like brown rice or quinoa
On shake days, dieters also take additional Isagenix supplements, including the Natural Accelerator, IsaFlush, Cleanse for Life, and Ionix Supreme.
On cleanse days, dieters are instructed to abstain from meals and instead consume four servings of the Cleanse for Life drink, small amounts of fruit, and Isagenix-approved snacks like IsaDelight Chocolates.
The 30-day weight loss program involves supplements, meal replacement shakes, and fasting days to help customers lose weight.
Isagenix products contain a wide variety of nutrients, herbs, and botanicals.
Here are the main ingredients found in the company’s most popular weight loss products, including the IsaLean Shake, Cleanse For Life, Natural Accelerator, and Snack Bites.
The traditional IsaLean shake is available in eight flavors, including creamy Dutch chocolate, creamy French vanilla, chocolate mint, mocha, and others.
There’s also a plant-based version of the IsaLean shake, which comes in three flavors: banana bread, strawberry, and rich chocolate.
IsaLean shakes are sweetened with fructose and are designed to be used as a meal replacement twice per day on shake days during the 30-day program.
There are slight differences in nutritional content of the shakes depending on the flavor. Here is the nutrition information for 1 serving (2 scoops or 61 grams) of the mocha IsaLean shake (4):
- Calories: 240
- Fat: 6 grams
- Saturated fat: 2 grams
- Carbohydrates: 24 grams
- Fiber: 8 grams
- Sugar: 10 grams
- Protein: 24 grams
Traditional IsaLean shakes contain Myo-IsaLean Complex, a proprietary blend of whey protein. The plant-based shakes use a blend made from fava bean, mung bean, and pea protein.
Both versions of the shake also include vitamins and minerals, as well as branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) — essential amino acids that are important for repairing and building muscle in the body, though research on the use of BCAA supplementation is mixed (
Cleanse For Life
According to the website, the Cleanse For Life supplement comes in liquid and powdered form and contains a blend of herbs and botanicals that are claimed to support whole-body cleansing and help protect against oxidative stress.
The product is sweetened with fructose and stevia. It’s also vegetarian and gluten-, soy-, and dairy-free.
The nutritional information for 1 scoop (6 grams) is as follows (6):
- Calories: 20
- Fat: 0 grams
- Saturated fat: 2 grams
- Carbohydrates: 5 grams
- Fiber: 0 grams
- Sugar: 4 grams
- Protein: 0 grams
It’s important to note that the product contains a proprietary blend. As the amounts of each ingredient aren’t disclosed, it’s best to avoid this product if you’re sensitive to any of the ingredients found in the blend.
Some of the ingredients included in the proprietary blend include:
- Aloe vera. Aloe vera contains plant compounds that have a laxative effect. It may also be beneficial for digestion, though more research is needed. Keep in mind that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve of aloe vera in dietary supplements because it hasn’t been tested for safety (
- Betaine HCL. Betaine HCL may be effective in reducing bodyweight, though more research in humans is needed (
- Ashwagandha. Some research suggests that ashwagandha may be effective in lowering stress and anxiety levels and helping individuals manage weight, though further studies are needed (
12, 13, 14).
- Turmeric root extract. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, may be effective in helping overweight individuals reduce bodyweight (
- Inositol. Inositol is a type of sugar naturally produced by the body. It has been used in the treatment for polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) to help support healthy weight loss. However, its use in the general population is not well-studied (
Overall, the proprietary blend includes several different herbs, some of which have some preliminary research supporting their benefits. Overall, however, there’s not enough evidence to support the bold claims found on the Cleanse For Life supplement.
The Natural Accelerator is capsules that contain a blend of vitamins and herbs purported to help dieters boost their metabolism and burn fat.
The capsules are vegetarian, and dairy-, gluten-, and soy-free.
- Niacin. Supplementing with niacin, as nicotinic acid, has been shown to improve blood lipid levels, but studies supporting its ability to promote fat burning or weight loss are lacking (
- Chromium. There is some thought that chromium supplementation may be beneficial for weight loss, but there’s no concrete evidence to support its effectiveness (
- Green tea leaf extract. There’s some research supporting the use of green tea leaf extract as a thermogenic to promote weight loss, though overall the research is mixed (
22, 23, 24).
- Apple cider vinegar. While apple cider vinegar has gained popularity as a method for burning fat in recent years, the research supporting its effectiveness and safety is lacking (
- Cayenne fruit powder. There’s some promising research suggesting that capsicum spices, including cayenne pepper, may help boost fat loss, though more research is still needed (
26, 27, 28).
- Cinnamon bark powder. Cinnamon may also have positive effects when it comes to weight loss and even blood sugar control (
- D-ribose. D-ribose is a simple sugar that may improve exercise performance and recovery when taken as a supplement, though more research is still needed (
- Black pepper fruit extract. Piperine, the active ingredient found in black pepper, contains anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce the risk of some chronic diseases. While promising, more research on the use of black pepper extract as a supplement is needed (
While some of the ingredients found in the Natural Accelerator may beneficial for weight loss, there’s not enough evidence to support that these capsules will directly burn fat or boost metabolism.
Additionally, because these ingredients are part of a proprietary blend, it’s unclear whether they’re present in high enough amounts to have a noticeable effect.
The peanut butter-flavored Snack Bites are individually packaged and meant to serve as filling snacks that can curb a sweet tooth.
They are gluten-free and non-GMO, though they do contain milk, peanuts, and soy.
- Calories: 100
- Fat: 4.5 grams
- Saturated fat: 1.5 grams
- Carbohydrates: 13 grams
- Fiber: 4 grams
- Sugar: 2 grams
- Protein: 5 grams
The Snack Bites contain gluten-free rolled oats, peanut butter, fava bean protein, white chocolate, and evaporated milk.
Overall, Isagenix products contain a large variety of ingredients, many of which don’t have enough scientific evidence to support their benefits for weight loss.
The Isagenix website cites several studies showing that the plan does indeed lead to weight loss. However, it’s important to note that all of these studies were funded by Isagenix, which is a conflict of interest and a potential source of bias.
Below is an overview of the research shared on the company’s website.
In one study from 2012, women were assigned to either a food-based weight loss protocol, which consisted of 3 meals per day, or a liquid-based diet in which breakfast and lunch were replaced with an IsaLean shake (
On average, women in both groups consumed 880–1,080 calories per day, 6 days a week, followed by 1 fasting day. After 8 weeks, women in the liquid group lost an average of 3 pounds (1.4 kg) more than those consuming 3 meals per day.
The liquid diet was also more effective in reducing total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels (
Furthermore, due to the design of the study, it’s unclear whether the effectiveness of the liquid diet was a result of the IsaLean shake itself or the low calorie nature of a mostly liquid diet.
The company’s website also includes more recent studies that compare a high protein, low calorie diet, in the form of the Isagenix weight loss plan, to a traditional heart-healthy diet.
Additionally, the individuals following the high protein, low calorie diet met with a registered dietitian throughout the program for accountability and support — an important aspect that’s lacking in the 30-day Isagenix weight loss plan.
Overall, as your calorie intake will likely be greatly reduced while following the Isagenix 30-day program, it’s very possible that you’ll lose weight.
However, keep in mind that in addition to being highly restrictive, the diet doesn’t set you up for long-term success.
Specifically, it doesn’t provide education on ways to make lasting lifestyle changes that are important for weight loss and maintenance, such as healthier ways to cook, how to read nutrition labels, or tips on increasing physical activity.
As a result, after finishing the program, there’s a high risk of regaining any weight that you had lost.
While research on the diet is lacking, the 30-day Isagenix diet is very low in calories and likely will result in short-term weight loss. However, as it doesn’t focus on long-term behavior change, there’s a high risk of weight gain after the diet ends.
Isagenix products have not been directly tested for safety.
Additionally, some of the products have been recalled in recent years due to overfortification of vitamins and minerals. This could cause negative side effects and even lead to toxicity in the body, which can be quite dangerous (43).
The use of proprietary blends should also be considered when deciding the safety of these products. The amounts of specific ingredients are not listed in proprietary blends, so it’s unclear if they are included at safe levels.
However, according to the website, Isagenix facilities do meet the FDA’s standards for current Good Manufacturing Processes (cGMP).
The website also claims that the products are third-party tested for accuracy and purity, though the specific testing organization isn’t disclosed.
Ultimately, the products are likely safe for most healthy individuals, but it’s always a good idea to check for product recalls and run any new supplements by a healthcare professional first.
While some products have been recalled in the past due to overfortification of vitamins and minerals, Isagenix products are likely safe for most healthy people. Still, it’s always best to talk with a healthcare professional before taking any new supplements.
Isagenix’s 30-day weight loss plan is an extremely restrictive approach to weight loss that isn’t deigned to be a sustainable solution.
While the IsaLean shakes can be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle, there are plenty of more affordable protein powders and meal replacement shakes to consider.
Regardless of what product you ultimately decide to purchase, keep in mind that supplements should be used as addition to, rather than a replacement for, an overall balanced diet.
Isagenix’s 30-day weight loss program is an expensive and unsustainable weight loss method. For lasting weight loss, it’s best to focus on a reduced-calorie diet that’s rich in whole foods.
Isagenix is an overly restrictive diet that isn’t meant to be followed for more than 30 days. Here are a few alternatives that offer a more sustainable, yet convenient, way to support your weight loss efforts:
- Meal delivery services. Several companies, like Factor_, offer prepared, preportioned meals using high quality ingredients. While they’re more expensive than cooking meals from scratch, these services offer the convenience of Isagenix in the form of well-balanced, satisfying meals.
- Working with a registered dietitian (RD). Losing weight can be incredibly challenging and requires a personalized approach. An RD can create a customized plan to help you reach your goals.
- Meal planning apps. Meal planning apps offer an affordable alternative to meal delivery services. Apps like PlateJoy are a great option since you’ll received customized meal plans to fit your dietary needs and preferences.
- Noom or myWW+. There are several weight loss programs that are designed to help you lose weight by helping you make more informed and mindful food choices. In particular, Noom and myWW+ (previously Weight Watchers) may help you lose weight through behavior change, community support, and accountability.
Whatever method you decide to use for weight loss, make sure it’s something that feels sustainable for you in the long term.
The Isagenix weight loss system is a popular method to lose excess pounds quickly.
However, the research found on the website is flawed and inconclusive. Additionally, the company tends to lack transparency when it comes to its ingredients.
The 30-day program itself is also extremely restrictive and fails to teach important lifestyle habits that are needed to support long-term weight management.
Instead of spending money on the Isagenix plan, we suggest finding a more realistic and sustainable approach to weight loss, such as downloading a meal planning app or working with a registered dietitian.