Isagenix is a large multi-level marketing (MLM) company offering a large variety of health/wellness products and weight loss systems. You buy product from a sales rep, who sells it to boost their monthly numbers and hopefully—but rarely—make a profit of any kind. Isagenix is huge, has roped thousands of people into its pyramid setup, and charges very high prices for products that may or may not help (though don’t seem as outright dangerous as some others out there).
But it’s popular. Five systems and products top the Isagenix best-sellers list; one is the berry-flavored Cleanse For Life dietary supplement. It can be bought on its own or as part of the 9- and 30-Day Systems. See our reviews of both here and here.
According to the Isagenix website, the Cleanse For Life supplement is:
A synergistic blend of natural cleansing herbs and antioxidant botanicals to help support the body’s own detoxification processes.
- Helps eliminate stubborn fat and supports metabolism*
- Nourishes the body’s own detoxification systems*
- Powerful antioxidants nourish and protect your body* (the asterisks lead to a standard disclaimer about no FDA evaluation of any kind)
This supplement is taken on “cleanse days”—where you eat nothing but four servings of this liquid supplement, pop back a few Isagenix “snack” tablets, and drink scads of water to keep your stomach full enough it doesn’t realize its only getting a couple hundred calories for the entire day.
Cleanse for Life can be purchased in three forms, each 32 ounces total (16 two-ounce servings):
- Powder (to be mixed with 2 ounces water): $42.67 plus shipping
- Single shot bottles: $51.93 plus shipping
- Bottled liquid: $42.67 plus shipping
Now, note: you take this four times daily. So this supplement lasts four days for the money you’re paying. But Isagenix warns against doing multiple consecutive cleanse days, so if you do just one a week this will last you a month.
How Does Isagenix Cleanse For Life Work?
So what does Cleanse for Life offer for its eighty calories each day (four servings)? From the website:
What is Cleanse for Life? A scientifically formulated, synergistic blend of natural cleansing herbs and botanicals designed to support whole-body cleansing and protect against the effects of oxidative stress and harmful toxins. …
How does Cleanse for Life Work? Cleanse for Life is not a colon cleanse or laxative. Unlike other products on the market that may deplete the body of vital nutrients, Cleanse for Life supports the body’s natural detoxification processes and nourishes the body as it cleanses.* …
Nourishes the Body: Unlike laxatives and other cleanses, Cleanse for Life has vitamins and minerals to nourish the body and promote better health.*
Cleanse Your Way: Take Cleanse for Life daily as part of a balanced diet to promote better health or use it as part of a one- or two-day intermittent fasting deep cleanse for additional benefits.
Is Isagenix Cleanse For Life Safe?
Cleanse for Life never claims to be a harsh colon cleanser or a laxative, rather to support the body’s natural detoxification process during the cleanse so no vitamins and minerals are lost. It doesn’t contain caffeine or caffeine-high botanicals, so it’s unlikely to make your heart race or be dangerous to your health unless you’re allergic to one of the ingredients. That said, a lot of botanicals don’t have much medical research behind them, so checking with your doctor is still good practice, especially if you take any medications. Better to be safe before you open your wallet.
Back to the website to check out the main ingredients:
- Aloe Vera: Soothes to the digestive system and increases bioavailability of other nutrients
- Specialized Licorice Root and Turmeric: Promotes detoxification by supporting liver health
- Berry Blend : Provides potent antioxidants
- Peppermint: Supports the Digestive system and is soothing to the GI tract
- Adaptogens : Helps maintain homeostasis and increase body’s resistance to stress
So on the surface it doesn’t look dangerous at all. But I did see reviews where people reported headaches and other mild-to-moderate side effects—maybe 5 percent of the reviews I skimmed through. Others praise it, saying it helps their body truly “restart” from its usual cycle, making them feel recharged and reenergized.
What Is The Feedback On Cleanse For Life?
According to TimeToCleanse.com (which, in the spirit of transparency, is an “Independent Isagenix Associate”):
Most colon cleansing products contain harsh (& sometimes dangerous) ingredients, laxatives and diuretics which strip the body of everything (good and bad). These programs can put a stress on the body and leave it depleted of good bacteria.
But in the equal spirit of reality checks, let’s go to the Mayo Clinic website:
There’s very little evidence that dietary cleanses do any of the things they promise. The fact is we don’t need to cleanse our bodies. Our liver, kidneys and gastrointestinal tract do a good job of detoxing it every day. If you’re looking to rejuvenate your body, focus on eating more whole foods, drinking water and removing highly processed foods from your diet.
So while Cleanse for Life may be generally safe, it may not be necessary.
Pros and Cons of Cleanse For Life
Many users swear by Cleanse for Life, so it must be doing something—even if it’s just convincing the brain that it works. Intermittent fasting does have benefits, and if a little two-ounce shot of liquid makes you feel better through it, more power to you. It’s certainly better than harsh chemicals and a boatload of caffeine. The servings are small, so even if you don’t care for the taste (some reviewers most vehemently did not) you don’t have to chug two cups of it.
The downsides to Cleanse for Life come in a handful of bullet points:
- It’s expensive, and you can pretty much count on a desperate associate pushing to sell you shakes, snacks, fat-burners, hydrators, and half a dozen other products along with your little bottle of dietary supplement. And it’s not available via retail—Isagenix states bluntly that any seller on eBay or Amazon is doing so illegally and the product may be outdated, tampered with, or just a knockoff with an Isagenix label slapped on it.
- Fasts aren’t for everyone. While Cleanse for Life may regulate your blood sugar levels—it claims this—it’s not going to keep you from feeling hungry.
- As mentioned above, more than a few reviewers say the taste, while “berry,” is not great—one compared it to taking a cup of concentrated grape Robitussin. Some reported gagging or vomiting even with the small servings. Several mentioned it does taste better warm (like a tea).
The Bottom Line
An occasional fast—followed by fresh, nutritious, whole foods—isn’t going to hurt you if you’re otherwise healthy.
But Cleanse for Life and the programs it’s related to boil down to “meh.” Some love it, some hate it; some see results and some don’t. If you need a kick in the backside to get into eating healthy, Isagenix isn’t the worst system out there.
Just go in with your eyes open: the Associate is primarily focused on selling product. You’ll need to stand your ground and order only what you’ve decided on after your research. And the check-in with your doctor.