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Isagenix Review: Our Concern With Their Formulations

Isagenix Review: Our Concern With Their Formulations

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Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.

Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.

Isagenix is a company that sells a variety of weight loss and beauty products. It’s a multi-level-marketing (MLM) company, and most of our previous reviews of MLM brands (like our review of Plexus supplements) have been unfavorable as these companies are generally more focused on marketing than sound science.

In this article we’ll review the ingredients in some of Isagenix’s top products based on medical research to determine if they’re likely to be safe and effective. We also highlight some ethical issues we have with their MLM business model.

Isagenix Collagen Elixir Review

Isagenix Collagen Elixir ingredients

The top-selling product on Isagenix’s site is their collagen elixir. While this ingredient is proven to improve skin quality and reduce wrinkles, the dose in Isagenix appears slightly underdosed.

A medical review of oral collagen supplementation for skin aging found the maximally-effective dose to be 10 grams (g) daily. Isagenix Collagen Elixir contains 5 g per serving.

5 g is still an effective dose, but half of what we typically recommend for daily collagen intake.

Isagenix’s collagen product also contains two ingredients we recommend avoiding for health reasons. Citric acid is the first, and this additive flavoring and preservative ingredient has been shown in medical research to contribute to inflammatory diseases in rare cases in humans. It can be derived from citrus fruits, but over 99% of citric acid used as an additive in manufacturing is derived from a fungus called Aspergillus niger, which is a known allergen.

Collagen Elixir also contains natural flavors, which we recommend avoiding because this is a broad category descriptor that doesn’t state which exact chemical compounds were used for the flavoring. Consumers can’t determine if the flavoring agents used are safe and non-toxic without a description of which compounds were used.

This product contains a few other active ingredients, but none we find to be effective for improving skin health at the dosage contained. As an example, the product contains a proprietary blend of four different botanical compounds such as goji extract powder for a total dose of 160 milligrams (mg).

This equates to an average of 40 mg per ingredient in the blend, which is comically low. One medium apple is 182 grams, so each ingredient in this formulation is 1/4550 the dose of one medium apple.

Manufacturers often include miniscule amounts of exotic ingredients to try to make their Supplement Facts label look more impressive, as most consumers aren’t aware of the effective doses of the ingredients, and that appears to be the case here.

It’s also worth noting how absurdly expensive this product is. A 30-count of bottles (one month of product) costs $150 for guests. Since we already established collagen to be the only effective anti-aging ingredient in this formulation, we can compare the costs directly to another collagen product.

We typically recommend Bulletproof collagen powder, as it’s unflavored, sourced from grass-fed animals, and contains no questionable additives. The only ingredient is collagen.

A 17.6-ounce jar of Bulletproof collagen costs $37.36, and provides 50 servings of 10 g collagen (their serving size is 20 g but we actually recommend using half of that since 10 g seems to be the maximally-effective dose as established previously).

Taking 10 g of collagen daily from Isagenix would require two Collagen Elixir bottles daily, and would only last 15 days.

The cost-per-serving of a 10 g serving of collagen from Vital Proteins is $0.75, and the cost-per-serving of a 10 g serving of collagen from Isagenix is $15.

Isagenix Shakes Review

Another popular category of Isagenix products is their shakes. Rather than simply providing protein, these products seem to provide a wide range of questionable additive ingredients as well.

Their Pro French Vanilla shake, as an example, does provide a protein dose of 36 g that’s more than enough for muscle building and recovery.

However it also includes fructose as an additive. This sweetener has been associated with cardiometabolic disease in medical research, and we recommend avoiding it entirely (except that consumed from whole fruits which has not been shown to be harmful in non-diabetic patients).

The shake also contains natural flavors which we covered earlier, and a wide range of synthetic vitamins and minerals. We typically recommend that consumers avoid products with added synthetic vitamins and minerals, because these are added to so many processed foods today that the overall consumption may push blood levels of certain vitamins into unhealthy ranges.

Vitamins and minerals should be supplemented only based on a documented deficiency, and there is no proven health benefit of taking a wide range of random vitamin and mineral blends from different processed foods.

Isagenix’s IsaPro Whey Protein products have a better formulation, as they lack the added sweetener and vitamin and mineral blend. They do contain natural flavors, so we wouldn’t recommend the product. It’s also relatively expensive at $53 for 30 servings, or $1.77 per serving.

We would recommend Naked Nutrition Whey powder over Isagenix. It contains no questionable additives; the only ingredient is whey protein.

The cost of Naked Nutrition Whey powder is $99, and it provides 76 servings, so the cost per serving is cheaper than Isagenix at $1.30.

Our Take on MLMs

We recommend that consumers avoid MLMs generally, as we find the business model to be unethical and irresponsible. MLMs often profit by taking advantage of people without a business education who are interested in entrepreneurship. The term “Isagenix ruined my life” gets 1,900 monthly searches on Google according to SEMRush. Many “downstream” marketers can lose money by joining, and many aren’t aware of the financial risks when signing up.

A bigger concern in regards to MLM health products is that they rely on members (often with zero scientific credentials or education) to sell their products on social media. This allows the brand to defer liability, and leads to members of the MLM often making all sorts of untrue and uneducated claims about the products, which are deceptive.

Anyone with a social media account who has contacts involved in an MLM is probably aware of this trend. It’s dangerous for people with no scientific background to be making health claims about the efficacy of products that aren’t backed by research, and we find it unethical that MLM companies indirectly allow this.

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Isagenix sells overpriced health products with decent formulations, but we wouldn’t recommend their most popular products due to the inclusion of additive ingredients.

Isagenix Collagen Elixir is the most expensive collagen product per-serving that we’ve ever reviewed, and we find that Vital Proteins is a superior and cheaper alternative.

Isagenix Shakes contain a variety of ingredients we recommend avoiding from a health perspective, such as fructose and synthetic vitamin and mineral blends. Our research indicates that Naked Nutrition Whey Powder is a cheaper and superior formulation.

We further recommend avoiding Isagenix for ethical reasons, as MLM companies like them are ruining the lives of many uneducated consumers, and allowing questionable health claims to be made on behalf of their products on social media.

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