These are the findings of a study published as data sets in two peer-reviewed journals—the first appeared on July 30 in Nutrients and the second on August 29 in Frontiers in Physiology (1,2).
In the study, both men and women using Isagenix products significantly reduced total, abdominal, and visceral body fat, and increased lean body mass percent and metabolism. The body composition changes also contributed to better measures of cardiovascular health during weight loss after 12 weeks.
After initial weight loss, those who continued using Isagenix products also had significantly improved weight maintenance and body composition as well as continued benefits on cardiovascular health measures after 52 weeks in comparison to those who transitioned to a traditional “heart-healthy” diet.
The study was conducted by researchers at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York under the direction of principal investigator and senior corresponding author Paul J. Arciero, Ph.D., Director of the Human Nutrition and Metabolism Laboratory and Professor of Health and Exercise Sciences.
“The novel findings from this study may very well revolutionize how we prescribe weight-loss diets moving forward because of the increase in proportion of lean muscle and drastic reductions in abdominal and visceral fat mass during initial weight loss and the ability to maintain these favorable changes over the long term,” Dr. Arciero said.
Long-term Study Design: Phase 1 Weight Loss and Phase 2 Weight Maintenance
The researchers designed the new study to evaluate weight loss in both men and women from an Isagenix System over 12 weeks and to determine if the results could be sustained over a year.
The study would also be the first to evaluate how weight loss using Isagenix products affected other factors. These included lean muscle, abdominal and visceral fat, as well as energy metabolism and arterial health.
The design of the 15-month study included one week of phase-in baseline control where subjects maintained a stable weight and, afterward, broke into two phases: Weight Loss Phase 1 of 12 weeks and Weight Maintenance Phase 2 of 52 weeks.
During Weight Loss Phase 1, all participants performed six Shake Days and one Cleanse Day per week.
- As part of Shake Days, subjects replaced two meals per day with IsaLean® Shake, had a 150-calorie snack (men only), one IsaLean Bar, and ate a whole-food dinner consisting of between 450 and 600 calories.
- As part of Cleanse Days, subjects drank the botanical drink Cleanse for Life® along with plenty of water throughout the day, up to six Isagenix Snacks™ wafers, and up to one other 100- or 200-calorie snacks of choice.
- The subjects also received Ageless Essentials™ Daily Pack, Ionix® Supreme, and e+ Energy Shots to consume on all days, as desired.
- Continuing on an Isagenix weight maintenance system by replacing two meals per day with IsaLean Shake or IsaLean Bars, eating a normal diet without food restrictions, and performing 1-2 Cleanse Days per month.
- Transitioning to a dietitian-counseled diet that emphasized eating whole foods, lean meats, and fruits and vegetables in line with American Heart Association recommendations for being “heart healthy.”
Results: A Third of Visceral Fat Lost, Lean Mass Gained, Better Arterial Health, and Enhanced Metabolism
During the initial weight-loss phase (Phase 1), the subjects lost an average of 10 percent of their total body weight, nearly 20 percent body fat, and 33 percent of their visceral fat. They also increased their proportion of lean body mass (9 percent) and had significantly improved cardiovascular health with improvements in arterial flexibility (11 percent).
Over the yearlong weight maintenance period (Phase 2), the subjects who continued following an Isagenix System had a significantly lower body weight (6 percent), lower amount of total body fat (10 percent), and improved lean body mass (5 percent) compared to those who followed a “heart-healthy” diet.
Additionally, those who followed the Isagenix plan had better maintained their initial improvements in arterial health. “As an active nutrition and exercise science researcher for over 30 years, these were very impressive findings and clearly established our protein-pacing [Shake Days] and intermittent fasting diet regimen [Cleanse Days] as an effective short- and long-term strategy to promote healthy body weight, abdominal and visceral fat mass loss as well as enhanced metabolism and cardiovascular health compared to other commonly prescribed diets,” Dr. Arciero said.
One of the more intriguing findings from the weight loss phase (Phase 1), said Dr. Arciero, is that “the subjects had a five percent increase in resting metabolic rate, which is likely due to ‘protein pacing,’ or spreading doses of whey protein over the course of the day.”
During the weight-maintenance phase (Phase 2), the study also measured positive effects toward maintaining metabolic rate. “This was possibly related to a higher proportion of calories obtained from protein in the subjects during the Isagenix weight-maintenance phase,” said Eric Gumpricht, Ph.D., Isagenix Manager of Research and Science, and a co-author on the Nutrients publication.
Company’s Continued Commitment to Science
The study demonstrates the continued commitment of Isagenix for funding clinical studies supporting the safety and health benefits of Isagenix products as a way to promote and maintain weight loss, Dr. Gumpricht said.
“We observed safe and efficient weight loss with Isagenix during the weight loss phase for both men and women,” he said. “But more importantly, that continuing incorporating intermittent fasting as Cleanse Days alongside caloric restriction as Isagenix Shake Days helped subjects better maintain those favorable changes to body composition—weight, fat, and visceral fat loss and lean body mass retention and arterial health.”
The findings provide additional scientific validation after earlier work performed at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) found that Isagenix products demonstrated superiority when compared to a traditional heart-healthy diet for improving body composition during weight loss in women after four weeks (3, 4).
The earlier findings from UIC appeared in Nutrition Journal and in Nutrition and Metabolism in 2012.
The new Skidmore College study was registered at National Institute of Health’s ClinicalTrials.gov, a publicly and privately supported registry of clinical studies conducted around the world.
- Arciero PJ, Edmonds R, He F, Ward E, Gumpricht E, Mohr A, Ormsbee MJ, Astrup A. Protein-Pacing Caloric-Restriction Enhances Body Composition Similarly in Obese Men and Women during Weight Loss and Sustains Efficacy during Long-Term Weight Maintenance. Nutrients2016, 8(8), 476; doi: 10.3390/nu8080476
- Li Z, He F, Tinsley G et al. Comparison of High-Protein, Intermittent-Fasting Low-Calorie Diet and Heart Healthy Diet for Vascular Health of the Obese Front. Physiol. 7:350. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2016.00350
- Klempel MC, Kroeger, CM, Bhutani S et al. Intermittent fasting combined with calorie restriction is effective for weight loss and cardio-protection in obese women. Nutr J 2012 11:98. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-11-98.
- Kroeger CM, Klempel MC, Bhutani S et al. Improvement in coronary heart disease risk factors during an intermittent fasting/calorie restriction regimen: Relationship to adipokine modulations. Nutr Metab 2012;9:98. doi: doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-9-98