Isagenix IsaLean Shake Review: Does it Work?

According to the Isagenix website, IsaLean Shakes “contain superior nutrition compared to other meal replacement shakes on the market” and are designed to “take your health and performance to new levels.” Powerful words indeed; but words aside, the big question is, does the Isagenix shake work or not? In this review, I’m going to look at the clinical research and ingredients in the IsaLean Shake. Hopefully this will help you better decide if the IsaLean Shake is right for you.

 

IsaLean Shake Ingredients

According to the product website, one Isagenix IsaLean Shake (Dutch chocolate flavor) has 240 calories per packet and the following nutritional information:

240 calories
Calories from fat = 55
Calories from saturated fat = 20
%DV
Total Fat   6 g 9%
Saturated fat  2 g 10%
Trans fat  0g
Polyunsaturated fat  0.5g
Monounsaturated fat 3g
Cholesterol  45mg 15%
Sodium  265 mg 11%
Potassium 430 mg 12%
Total carbohydrate 24g 8%
Dietary fiber  8g 32%
Sugars  11g
Protein  24g 48%

DV = daily value. DV based on eating 2000 calories per day

Tip. The easy way to read a food label in the US is to remember these two facts about the daily values (DV):

  • When you see 5% or less, it’s low in that nutrient.
  • When you see 20% or more, it’s high in that nutrient.

 

Looking at the basic nutrition label for the product, we can say that the Isagenix Lean Shake is high in protein. Its 24 grams of protein provides 48% of the body’s protein need per day (assuming you are eating 2,000 calories per day).tell them to cut their calories and see who lost the most weight and was the healthiest?

Another study option could be to compare the weight loss and health benefits of the IsaLean Shake to other meal popular replacement shakes such as:

Heck, they could have even compared the IsaLean Shake to Slimfast!

 

Study #2. The other study I located was titled Intermittent fasting combined with calorie  restriction is effective for weight loss and cardio-protection in obese women. This study was published in Nutrition Journal.

 

Here’s the thing. This is the SAME study as study #1. As such, it suffers from the same drawbacks that I’ve already covered. Why did they re-purpose the same study data under a different name?

 

Bottom line: Whether it’s kosher or not in the scientific community to do re-purpose the same data under a different name is irrelevant in my opinion. It’s sneaky science and it gives Isagenix distributors a false sense of how much research supports the products they sell.

 

For a more in depth review of the IsaLean Shake study, see the review at Science-Based Medicine.

 

IsaLean Shake and Exercise

The Isagenix website notes that the IsaLean shake is designed to “take your health and performance to new levels.” By “performance” I assume they are referring to exercise performance. While I don’t think the IsaLean Shake will hurt the ability to exercise, I am also not aware of any published peer-reviewed research to show it improves exercise ability either. It might or might not. There appears to be no good proof either way.

It would be interesting to compare the IsaLean Shake to anther brand, such as the Herbalife Formula 1 shake, to see which might make people bigger, stronger, faster, or healthier.

 

The Isagenix Cleanse

Included in the Isagenix program are cleanse days on which people eat fewer calories in conjunction with taking various Isagenix supplements. This is said to rid the body of toxins, which, after they are lost, makes it easier to burn fat and lose weight. But what are these toxins?  I don’t know. I’m also not aware of any peer-reviewed evidence of toxins being released during the cleansing process.

 

The Isagenix Company

Isagenix―also called Isagenix International LLC―was founded by Dr. John Anderson and Jim and Kathy Coover in 2002. Dr. John Anderson is called the “Master Formulator” of several Isagenix supplements.

According to the product website, the company is located at 2225 S. Price Road, Chandler, Arizona 85286. That address doesn’t come up on Google maps, but I did locate another address for “Isagenix International.” That address is 601 S 54th St, Chandler, AZ and on Google maps, does indeed show a building that says “Isagenix” on the outside. That’s good.

Isagenix has a contact number of: 480-889-5747. According to the Better Business Bureau file on Isagenix, the company also has a contact number of 480-889-5777. The BBB gives the company a rating of “A+” as of 1/9/15. See the BBB file for updates and more information.

 

Isagenix Side Effects

I Googled “Isagenix IsaLean Shake side effects” and did not see much in the way of people saying bad things about it, but I must also say that most of the search results I saw appear to be dominated by pro-Isagenix websites. Looking at the ingredients, I think if you are healthy, then the IsaLean Shake is probably safe. For those who have health problems, show the ingredients to your doctor or pharmacist, just to be safe.

 

Does It Work?

There are a few things I like about the Isagenix IsaLean Shake. First, I like that it has 240 calories. While this is a bit more calories than in other shakes—like Shakeology—I think this is probably closer to what people typically eat for a snack. I also like that the IsaLean Shake has more fiber. In addition, I like that the shake has 24g of protein, which when combined with the fiber, might help people feel full longer, reducing overeating setbacks. While not proven, the added protein might also help spare muscle loss during dieting.

The big question, however, is this: Is the Isagenix IsaLean Shake best for weight loss? While there is some research on the product, I see no compelling proof that it’s better than other shakes. While I feel it can be a healthy addition to the diet, I see no benefits―other than convenience―that it’s healthier than the homemade shake I make in my kitchen. I think this is an important point to remember for those who are price-sensitive, because the shakes can be expensive. I do believe that if people follow the Isagenix program, they will lose weight. But that’s not because of anything unique in the IsaLean Shake or the cleanse system. I believe people lose weight with Isagenix because they eat fewer calories.

Here is the IsaLean Shake on Amazon for those who are interested and want to read the comments from others who have tried it.

What do you think?

Comments

  1. slraya says

    That’s for this review Joe! I appreciate your feedback. I am a user of Isagenix and have released almost 30 pounds on the weight loss system. I would appreciate you taking a look at the e+ shot, Cleanse for Life and IsaDelights products.

    • Joe says

      Slraya, you are very welcome! I just added those products to my list of supplements to review (I really do have a list!) and will try to get to them. I’m glad Isagenix has helped you lose 30 pounds. My congratulations on doing that!

  2. Teresa R says

    Hi Joe! Interesting article on Isagenix. I’m an RN and currently use Isagenix. I was introduced to the product by another friend of mine who is also an RN. She simply posted pics of her progress and changes in how she was feeling. She has suffered from chronic fatigue and chronic pain for several years and had required medication for both to function in her life as a busy mom/wife/etc. There was zero pressure to join–she simply shared her results.

    Isagenix is food. Supplements are available for those who choose to purchase them. I buy some, and don’t buy others. Because I am a skeptic, I read all the labels of all the products I was interested in using prior to my first purchase. I was impressed that the protein is sourced from New Zealand cows, which are pastured, and hormone and antibiotic free. In addition it is processed under low heat conditions and is undenatured. All good. Sourcing for other ingredients is also good.

    A typical Isa day for most is two shakes, 2 real food snacks, and a healthy 400-600 calorie real food dinner. Cleansing can take place in several different ways, but the most frequently recommended is intermittent fasting. In fact, regarding the study that you cited, the author makes clear that she was actually studying the effect of intermittent fasting–not specifically Isagenix. The other participants were to eat a “heart-healthy” diet. I don’t know why she limited the trial to women only. Perhaps Isagenix was chosen due to its nutritional profile (lack of artificial sweetners, non-GMO, non-soy) and the fact that IF is already part of the Isagenix program.

    You might find part of the answer in her own words after the studies completion. I found it interesting to note that she tried the products first before she tried them on study participants. And, I personally laughed when I reached the end of the article! isagenixhealth.net/study-finds-isagenix-superior-to-leading-heart-healthy-diet/

    You also mentioned MLM. Until now, I have simply purchased products for my own use, however, I now have friends asking me about what I’m doing. The reason? Lost inches, improved mood, improved sleep. Just as I was introduced to the product by a friend, she was also introduced to the product by a friend named Tracie. Tracie didn’t intend to do anything more than improve her own health–she’s the busy mom of SEVEN. That said, her health changed and people started asking her “how and why” and now she’s earning almost as much as my husband does at his job! Oh, and she just started using Isagenix last July!

    Here’s her story: isafyi.com/adoption-counselor-and-busy-mom-has-it-all-with-isagenix/

    She’s not alone in her results. Here’s pics of another of her friends that started around the same time: facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152246771122728

    I could FILL your page with results like these!

    Many people are benefiting from improved nutrition. Many, like the friend who introduced me to Isagenix, no longer need their medications because of their improved nutrition from FOOD. (Isagenix is FOOD, not medicine!) Many CrossFit athletes talk about improved recovery times and increased PRs. All I know is that I am losing inches, resting well, and am the HAPPIEST I have been in years. I hope you consider trying some/all of the products you research, and like you, I would love to see a side-by-side comparison STUDY of Isagenix with similar products.

    • Joe says

      Hi Teresa, really glad Isagenix is helping you and others. when I wrote my review I wanted to focus only on the research and after reviewing the research on the IsaLean shake I did say I would not be surprised if people said they would lose weight. So, Im not suprised by the testimonials you have provided. Isagenix provides a way for people to eat less calories. There isnt anything wrong with that and for those who have been successful with it I am happy. There are many avenues to weight loss. Isagenix can be one of those ways.

      With respect to Isagenix being food, I’d point out that not everything in the IsaLean shake is technically “food” ( in other words, macro-nutrient). For example, strictly speaking enzymes are not food but I agree that when digested that they are a source of protein, which is a food (macro-nutrient).

      With respect to the intermittent fasting study, yes, intermittent fasting is part of the isagenix program however Isagenix supplements are not needed to do intermittent fasting. Also since one of authors had a consulting relationship with Isagenix, it would have been better to not use Isagenix shakes if the primary purpose was to study intermittent fasting. It just weakens the gravity of the study in my view.

      I have a couple of other Isagenix supplements on my list to review and hope to get to them in the not too distant future.

  3. cheryl greene says

    Thank you. I found your research helpful. I have been searching the web for information on this product..there seems to be a lot of hype about this product. I’ve been told by a chiropractor to take two shakes a day to help with muscle repair….. I am a skeptic. I use another product line for supplements, that I am really happy with.

    I have found that shortly after drinking the shake my jaw is clenched, like I have had a lot of caffeine. But no shaking or any other effect. Not sure I like the product.

    I am not taking it for weight loss.. so I feel a bit scammed by this person.

    I am thinking I will return my unopened boxes

    • Joe says

      Cheryl I’m glad I was able to help. I’ve never heard of a clenched jaw after using the shake. What did your chiropractor say about that? While the IsaLean shake had some attributes I liked seeing, if your other supplement is similar, just stick with that because in the end its just a meal replacement shake. You could even make something similar yourself if you liked. For what its worth, I think your muscle will be repaired just fine if you eat normally also.

      Please consider sharing my review with your friends as I’m sure its hard to find me amongst all the other reviews out there.

  4. Suzanne says

    Hi Joe, I’m sure you get plenty of requests to evaluate products but it was me at AAAI in Atlantic City this past June, where I brought up the Isagenix products. My thanks so much for reviewing and so much great information. You are the best. See you in June again!

  5. Kate says

    Joe; thanks for your due diligence, and I will just chime in and say it’s very hard to find the ingredients in Isagenix products on the web; at least a list of ingredients that aren’t supplied by Isagenix. I like to use Mayo Clinics website for health care questions on deceases, nutritional supplements and trend diets, but you have to enter in the name of the ingredient your are researching to do their search. I appreciate your report in this area in particular.

    Friends of ours have lost significant weight on Isagenix products, and have invited myself and my husband to attend a “Just Cleanse” gathering to present Isagenix. Mind you, both of these friends were thin to begin with, but they must have felt they wanted to be healthier.

    I don’t know their genetic risk to cancer, heart decease, diabetes etc, but our male friend “Jake” had a heart attack 3 weeks after he started the Isagenix shake/cleansing program that his wife “Carol” had been on for over a month prior to starting Jake on the same program.

    After talking to Carol about Jake’s heart attack, she said he complained to her about feeling tremendous pain in his mouth and jaw for several days. When he felt this pain, he would take a baby aspirin, the baby aspirin was not working and he had his heart attack within 24hrs of his last complaint of the jaw pain.

    I noticed in your “Reply” section, one of your readers also complained of jaw pain. Perhaps this is a side effect of Isagenix products, perhaps not. I do know that Jake’s medical doctor wants them both to stop using Isagenix products immediately, and wants Jake to gain back 20lbs through food.

    The Isagenix line of products is very trendy in our area right now, and seems to be given support by chiropractors (DC’s in particular). I also have noticed The Isagenix business model appears to be set up as a pseudo multi level networking business, similar to Amway and Shaklee.

    I will not be using any of these products, and will hope this as with other trend diets and networking businesses introduced will play out without any casualties.

    Thank you for your report Joe.

    • Joe says

      Kate, you are very welcome and I’m glad you were able to find me on the web (‘Im sure its hard these days with millions of websites out there!). Jaw pain is one of the signs of a heart attack. Interestingly its usually listed as a sign thats more common in women but as you pointed out, men can have jaw pain as well.

      Ultimately its difficult to say whether Isagenix was linked to “Jakes” heart attack or not. They have so many products and this could also be an unfortunate coincidence. While we may never know, I can agree with Jakes doctor and recommend he get healthy without Isagenix supplements -or any other for that matter.

      • Sandy Prazmowski says

        Seriously??? Heart Disease can take decades to escalate to a Heart Attack.
        Anyone who blames a specific food during a specific week or day is plain ignorant of cardiovascular facts. It’s like saying he died from shovelling snow.
        Yes exertion can bring on a heart attack but the disease is already present and waiting with the majority of cases from a lifetime of poor eating and exercise habits.

        • Joe says

          Sandy, of course it takes a long time to develop to where heart disease becomes significant. I said what I did because we cant know if what the person took contributed to the heart attack or not.

          While I think the shake is probably harmless, Kate mentioned that her friend also used a cleanse supplement too. While I don’t know the ingredients in that product, some cleanses might cause electrolyte imbalances, through fluid/mineral losses, which might contribute to heart arrhythmias. This is just one reason I’m not a fan of cleanse supplements.

  6. Chris O'Brien says

    Joe,

    Thanks for your honest input on a topic often coloured. Your thoughts are appreciated.

    Regards,
    oby

  7. Sunnydae says

    Thank you for this review. It’s a very fair review. I started using Isagenix 34 days ago..I was skeptical, because like so many other products that I have tried, I failed to maintain. In all the products I’ve tried, nothing made me feel like this. I didn’t lose a lot of weight (only 4 lbs) because I still ate brownies and cookies about 2x a week. I did lose over 12 inches on my ribcage, abdominals and hip area! These are the problem areas that don’t get touched in the other diets I have been on.

    I have tons of energy and it just stirs something inside of you that makes you want to run or do a few crunches everyday. I still don’t push the products on people, if they’re interested, I tell them what it has done for me. It’s a bonus for me that I will get a little rebate to use on my own future purchases. Rebates or commission are that huge…about $25 if, that’s a big IF, a person buys a $300 system or pak. If the person buys something that is not a system or a pak, you even get lesser than that or none at all (if it’s per item purchase).

    • Joe says

      Sunnydae, you are very welcome and dont worry about losing only 4 pounds. that’s about 1 pound a week and is well within what is considered healthy weight loss. Be glad of that :)

  8. Jen says

    Thank you for your review of this product. I have been researching many meal replacement shakes, most recently Dr. Sara’s Hormone Balancing Shake. Have you ever heard of this doctor and her protein shakes and supplements? She is the NYT bestselling author of The Hormone Cure, which is a very interesting book and recently she added her own shake/supplement product line to the market.

    I have been trying to compare her ingredient list to that of Isalean Shakes to see if one is better than the other. One noticeable difference is the sugar content being higher in Isagenix, and that The Balancing Hormone shake sources protein (22g) from vegetables instead of Whey. (namely Pea, Chlorella and Potato).

    Thirdly, Isagenix also contains soy. Anyway, my research is still ongoing, not sure which product on the market is the best for meal replacement/weight loss and has the least amount of ‘bad stuff’ in it for me. Any thoughts you had would be much appreciated. Thank you.

    • Joe says

      Jen, Ive never heard of Dr Sarah’s hormone balancing shake but I will add it to my list of things to look at. Id say the best way to know if her shake balances hormones is to get your hormones tested first by your doctor and try the shake for a month and then retest the hormones again. In the absence of actually feeling better, that is the only way to really know if its altering hormone levels or not.

      Im glad I was able to help some. let me know if you turn up anything on the hormone shake or if, if you try it, how it worked out for you.

      • Jen says

        Thanks Joe. I have had my hormones tested and they were all in the normal ranges. I am curious about her shake in direct comparison to Isagenix. Namely, the difference in sugar content and protein source. I have been reading a lot of negative posts of Isagenix online and on meal replacement shakes in general. I have been making my own shakes using berries and hemp protein and almond milk but i’m wondering if i’m missing out on some essential nutrients – minerals and vitamins etc…and i’m wondering what is the best source for protein. Thanks for your time.

        • Joe says

          Jen, one thing I wonder about when I see negative – or positive reviews – is who is making the claims. What is the background of the person making the claims? Are they slamming one thing to promote another thing? While I didnt see anything “terrible” when I looked at the isagenix shake, I personally like what you are doing with the berries. Why dont you toss in some spinach or kale tomorrow and see how that tastes? Remember more vitamins/minerals aren’t necessarily “better.” Do you take a multivitamin? if yes Id say you are probalby doing ok. Generally, you cant go wrong making your shakes with food.

  9. shirlee says

    So glad that I found your website. I have had such a hard time finding actual reviews of weight loss products that are not actually reviews at the company’s website.

  10. domenic says

    Hi Joe, The Isa lean shake also contains fructose in it. I have read another review by Dani Stout who also listed a number of other ingredients that she labelled as “toxic” or “unhealthy” such as the type of soy used, potassium sorbate and a few others. Doctor Robert Lustig an expert in Childhood Obesity and the author of “The Bitter Truth” also labels fructose as toxic because it metabolizes straight into the liver. What is your opinion or knowledge on this?

    • Joe says

      Dominic, I think we should make the distinction between fructose – which is found in fruits and high frutose corn syrup – which is synthetic. Fructose is processed differently than other sugars and as such can raise triglyceride levels in large amounts. But fruit only has a little fructose and also contains fiber which reduces us from getting a fructose surge quickly.

      Im not sure how much fructose is in the IsaLean shake (let me know if you do) but I did notice it has 8 grams of fiber so I wonder if that might help slow the entrance of fructose into the blood stream?

      The research on high fructose corn syrup – which is usually about 55% fructose and 45% glucose – is somewhat murky I think. Ive seen studies showing its bad and others showing its not bad (in “moderation”). My gut instinct on it though is that it does make my “spidey sense” tingle if we use a lot of it (and it is in a LOT of processed foods).

  11. Jessica says

    If you follow the system your caloric intake is about 1200 calories. Weight will be lost. With that being said I use the system but don’t follow it exactly because the caloric intake is too low but I do feel like I have more energy when following the system by having 2 shakes a day, ionix supreme, etc.

  12. Gail says

    From what you and others have said, it certainly seems like Isagenix is largely dependent upon milk products. It seems counter-productive to general health to eliminate from one’s diet two meals per day that could otherwise have been from whole essential foods – berries, bananas, spinach, kale, eggs, etc. As you said, if one ate two low caloric shakes of any manufacturer in lieu of meals, then had a modest dinner, one would lose weight; but along the way, one would also be losing out on the great variety of nutrients supplied by real food.

  13. Todd says

    Isomaltooligosaccharide is a prebiotic which means that it is also a source of fiber. Prebiotics pass undigested and then ferment in the colon creating a healthy environment for good bacteria.

  14. Nick says

    Thanks Joe, A great unbiased review. Exactly what I was looking for. You don’t support or reject claims, but put forward facts and good points to consider.

    It did help me make a decision.

    Cheers, Nick

  15. Maria says

    Thank you for this post, but I will pass on this product, it also sounds like MLM to me.

    I will stick with my Organic Moringa Powder, which is a whole, real complete food, in itself, and which I believe blows this product out of the water, and is much more economical too.

  16. melissa says

    I just recently started using IsaGenix and I am detoxing from Lyme Disease. I was trying to lose weight due to the Lyme, wanted a detox diet, and was starting a detox protocol because Lyme causes your body to be full of toxins.

    When I kept doing research I was finding that the IsaGenix products I was already using contained things that I needed. I kept reading about glutathione, a master antioxidant, and the best source was the type of whey protein found right in IsaGenix. Adaptogens found in the t+chai.

    On the cleanse days, that’s when I really know I am ridding my body of the Lyme toxins, there are things that happen and one of the things I take should be taken on an empty stomach so that’s when it is most effective and it is taken 3x a day.

    I found this program at the right time and it can be so useful not just for losing weight, but for healing from medical issues as well. I watched my psoriasis heal on the cleanse days. I had prior knowledge about cleansing/fasting that it triggers the body to heal itself and really became a believer when I saw it happen with my own body.

  17. neli says

    Good research Joe..… I have high blood pressure and my friend advised me to take isagenix shakes to replace my meals 2 times a day as loosing some pounds help in controlling HBP but after reading all comments now I am scared to use this shake……

    • Joe says

      Neli, thanks. While I think the shake is likely pretty safe overall, why don’t you show the ingredients to your doctor/pharmacist and get their feelings on it. Isagenix has many products which I have not yet looked at but for the shake, it just looks like a regular meal replacement shake that’s low in calories. In many people losing weight can help reduce blood pressure. By replacing 2 meals a day with 2 shakes, your weight should be reduced. This may help your HPB. For what it’s worth, if its going to work, I don’t think you need any other isagenix products. I don’t think anyone does. Again, show it to your Dr./phamrsist and see what they say. They know your medical condition best. Let me know what they say.

  18. says

    Great review! I don’t mind some supplements as a crutch, but prefer to get my nutrients from whole foods. And I am ok with fructose as long as it comes from a whole piece of fruit. Would rather get sugar that way.

    I’ve started sharing recipes for homemade smoothies on Instagram @thinkcleanfood – I use a plant based protein powder when added but most of my smoothies are just veggie and fruit! I’m by associates wth any mlm either.

    If someone prefers isagenex they could certainly make their own smoothie with real food and add a scoop of protein powder! Anyway, just wanted to throw out a place where folks can find healthy recipes without product!

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