The prestigious, high-profile journal Nutrition & Metabolism has now published the results from University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)’s clinical study involving Isagenix products. The open-access, peer-reviewed journal is regularly cited and one of the most widely read publications in the nutritional science community.
The significance of this research is clearly recognized by the authors of the study, who note that superior results were obtained by subjects consuming Isagenix products as part of their diet program as contrasted with a well-recognized “heart-healthy” diet plan. The study was the first to examine the combination of both Shake Days and Cleanse Days as a novel protocol on cardiovascular risk factors.
Isagenix funded the research as part of its partnership with UIC to study calorie restriction on Shake Days and intermittent fasting on Cleanse Days as a weight management tool for reducing body weight, body fat and visceral fat. The Isagenix system demonstrated superior results across key measured parameters.“Our main finding was that weight loss was actually greater in the Isagenix group. The subjects on Isagenix lost 3 pounds more on average than the subjects on the [heart healthy] diet,” said lead study author Krista Varady, Ph.D., an assistant professor of nutrition at UIC’s College of Applied Sciences.
The study found that subjects on the Isagenix system had an average of 56 percent greater reduction in body weight, 47 percent greater reduction of body fat, and more than twice the reduction of visceral fat as compared to subjects on the “heart-healthy” diet. Visceral fat, or intra-abdominal fat, because of its proximity to internal organs is linked to several cardiovascular risk factors.
“As expected, the greater weight and visceral fat loss equated to a greater decrease in certain cardiovascular risk factors, specifically cholesterol levels, inflammatory markers, and oxidative stress,” Dr. Varady said.
The 10-week study evaluated the effects of both dietary plans in combination with intermittent fasting, or Cleanse Days, on body weight, body composition, oxidative stress and cardiovascular risk factors in 54 overweight or obese women aged 35 to 65 years.
The trial had two phases: a two-week weight-maintenance period and an eight-week weight-loss period. During the weight-maintenance period, subjects continued eating their usual diet and maintained a stable body weight. During the weight-loss period, all subjects followed diets that included intermittent fasting (IF) and calorie restriction (CR). They were then placed in one of two diet groups—the IFCR-liquid based diet or the IFCR-food based diet.
Subjects in the IFCR-liquid group followed a modified form of the Isagenix 30-day system (consisting of IsaLean Shakes, Isagenix Snacks!, Cleanse for Life, and Ageless Essentials Daily Pack with Product B). Those in the IFCR-food group received instruction from a registered dietitian weekly on how to make healthy choices by implementing dietary guidelines that have been nationally recognized to decrease cardiovascular disease risk. These guidelines include limiting calories by 20 to 25 percent daily, limiting total fat to 35 percent, limiting cholesterol intake, and increasing intake of fiber-rich foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables. IFCR-food subjects were also instructed to eat approximately 240 calories for breakfast, 240 calories for lunch, and a 400-600 calorie dinner. Both groups recorded their food intake but meals were not provided as a part of the study.
Both groups performed Cleanse Days one day per week. However, the IFCR-liquid subjects consumed the herbal-drink Cleanse for Life, whereas the IFCR-food subjects received an identical product without the herbs added to serve as placebo.
Related post: To see a Q&A with Dr. Varady about the study, see article: “Study Finds Isagenix Superior to Leading ‘Heart Healthy’ Diet.”