What Nutritional Strategies Are Best for Healthy Aging?

I'm looking forward to this mealTelomeres are the protective nucleic acid and protein caps on the ends of chromosomes and are a key to healthy aging. Because telomeres help maintain stability of our DNA, they are critical in controlling cellular aging and death (1).

In the simplest terms, when telomeres get short, bad things happen. At Isagenix we feel addressing your cellular health is an essential part of our Healthy Aging Solution and is part of the reason we feature Product B® IsaGenesis® to support the health of telomeres.

Now a new study published in the journal Metabolism has provided an update on how certain nutrients, foods, and dietary patterns affect telomere length (2). For anyone concerned about the aging process, identifying simple strategies to help delay age-associated telomere shortening is of prime importance.

Researchers of the review noted that dietary antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and consumption of antioxidant-rich, plant-derived foods help maintain telomere length, whereas saturated fat intake, refined flour cereals, processed meat, and sugar-sweetened beverages are associated with shorter telomeres (2). Based upon the recent review, here are some of the top ways you can support your telomeres:

1. Boost Healthy Fat Intake

There is considerable evidence tying the amount and type of fat you eat to biological processes implicated in accelerated aging (3). For example, omega-3 fatty acids like those found in fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines display beneficial properties and are suggested to protect against premature telomere shortening (2). In line with this notion, one report found an inverse association between baseline blood levels of omega-3 and the rate of telomere shortening (4).

2. Get Adequate Antioxidants and Nutrients

Telomeres are particularly sensitive to oxidative stress; therefore, it is possible that adequate intake of antioxidants and antioxidant-rich foods may provide protection against oxidative stress-induced telomere shortening (5, 6). In fact, increasing the intake of beta-carotene, folic acid, magnesium, and vitamins A, E, and C are each associated with longer telomere length (7, 8).

The most prominent direct association of increased telomere length is the consumption of seeds, legumes, nuts, and coffee (9). This is likely explained by the richness in antioxidant compounds found in these products. There are also direct associations with the consumption of fruits and vegetables like peppers, carrots, spinach, and seaweed (9 – 12).

3. Limit Alcohol Use

It’s no secret that alcohol abuse leads to earlier onset of age-related diseases. Consistent with this fact, a case-control study conducted in Italian men reported decreased telomere length in alcohol abusers compared to social drinkers (2). On the other hand, there is abundant epidemiological evidence suggesting that moderate alcohol consumption (up to one drink per day for a woman and up to two drinks per day for a man) could be beneficial for overall health, particularly for supporting cardiovascular health (13). Being sensible is the best advice here.

4. Cut The Junk

Shorter telomeres are associated with increased consumption of red and processed meats (9, 14). Furthermore, consumption of sugar-sweetened soda was associated with shorter telomeres in a large American cohort of over 5,000 adults (15) and similar results were found in a large cohort of Korean adults (9). Bottom line: excessive consumption of junk foods like sodas and highly processed meats are not going to support telomeres.

5. Take Ageless Essentials with Product B

As part of the Healthy Aging Solution, Isagenix offers Ageless Essentials™ with Product B IsaGenesis as a proprietary formula of potent antioxidant bioactives, botanicals, and vitamins to support the health of telomeres. Antioxidants are the body’s primary mechanism against oxidative stress, which is a primary source of telomere damage (2). Ageless Essentials Daily Pack also contains IsaGenesis, specifically developed to help support telomere health. In fact, recently IsaGenesis has been independently investigated to evaluate its effects on antioxidant defense systems essential for maintaining healthy telomeres and reducing cellular aging.

In this research, scientists found that IsaGenesis supplementation to healthy humans increased the level of a major antioxidant enzyme in the body known as catalase by 30 percent compared to a placebo supplement. The major function of catalase in cells is the removal of excessive and toxic amounts of hydrogen peroxide, which is particularly damaging to telomeres. In fact, elevation of catalase activity has been associated with increased longevity in experimental models of aging (16, 17).



  1. López-Otín C, Blasco MA, Partridge L & Serrano M, Kroemer G. The hallmarks of aging. Cell. 2013 Jun 6; 153(6):1194-217.
  2. Freitas-Simoes TM, Ros E & Sala-Vila A. Nutrients, foods, dietary patterns and telomere length: Update of epidemiological studies and randomized trials. Metabolism. 2016 Apr; 65(4):406-15.
  3. Poudyal H & Brown L. Should the pharmacological actions of dietary fatty acids in cardiometabolic disorders be classified based on biological or chemical function? Prog Lipid Res. 2015 Jul; 59:172-200.
  4. Farzaneh-Far R, Lin J, Epel ES, Harris WS, Blackburn EH & Whooley MA. Association of marine omega-3 fatty acid levels with telomeric aging in patients with coronary heart disease. JAMA. 2010 Jan 20; 303(3):250-7.
  5. Von Zglinicki T. Oxidative stress shortens telomeres. Trends Biochem Sci. 2002 Jul; 27(7):339-44.
  6. Houben JM, Moonen HJ, van Schooten FJ & Hageman GJ. Telomere length assessment: biomarker of chronic oxidative stress? Free Radic Biol Med. 2008 Feb 1; 44(3):235-46.
  7. Xu Q, Parks CG, DeRoo LA, Cawthon RM, Sandler DP & Chen H. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jun; 89(6):1857-63.
  8. Sen A, Marsche G, Freudenberger P, Schallert M, Toeglhofer AM, Nagl C, Schmidt R, Launer LJ & Schmidt H. Association between higher plasma lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamin C concentrations and longer telomere length: results of the Austrian Stroke Prevention Study. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2014 Feb; 62(2):222-9.
  9. Lee JY, Jun NR, Yoon D, Shin C & Baik I. Association between dietary patterns in the remote past and telomere length. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2015 Sep; 69(9):1048-52.
  10. Tiainen AM, Männistö S, Blomstedt PA, Moltchanova E, Perälä MM, Kaartinen NE, Kajantie E, Kananen L, Hovatta I & Eriksson JG. Leukocyte telomere length and its relation to food and nutrient intake in an elderly population. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2012 Dec; 66(12):1290-4.
  11. Marcon F, Siniscalchi E, Crebelli R, Saieva C, Sera F, Fortini P, Simonelli V & Palli D. Diet-related telomere shortening and chromosome stability. Mutagenesis. 2012 Jan; 27(1):49-57.
  12. Chan R, Woo J, Suen E, Leung J & Tang N. Chinese tea consumption is associated with longer telomere length in elderly Chinese men. Br J Nutr. 2010 Jan; 103(1):107-13.
  13. Ronksley PE, Brien SE, Turner BJ, Mukamal KJ & Ghali WA. Association of alcohol consumption with selected cardiovascular disease outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ. 2011 Feb 22; 342:d671.
  14. Nettleton JA, Diez-Roux A, Jenny NS, Fitzpatrick AL & Jacobs DR Jr. Dietary patterns, food groups, and telomere length in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Nov; 88(5):1405-12.
  15. Leung CW, Laraia BA, Needham BL, Rehkopf DH, Adler NE, Lin J, Blackburn EH & Epel ES. Soda and cell aging: associations between sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and leukocyte telomere length in healthy adults from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. Am J Public Health. 2014 Dec; 104(12):2425-31.
  16. Cutler RG. Oxidative stress and aging: catalase is a longevity determinant enzyme. Rejuvenation Res. 2005 Fall; 8(3):138-40.
  17. Schriner SE, Linford NJ, Martin GM, Treuting P, Ogburn CE, Emond M, Coskun PE, Ladiges W, Wolf N, Van Remmen H, Wallace DC & Rabinovitch PS. Extension of murine life span by overexpression of catalase targeted to mitochondria. Science. 2005 Jun 24; 308(5730):1909-11.

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IsaLean Shake: A Complete Ingredient-by-Ingredient Breakdown

Meal Replacement ShakesAt the core of any Isagenix System is IsaLean® Shake. What is IsaLean Shake? Its chief function is to serve as a nutritious meal replacement. With a proper balance of protein, good fats, and low-glycemic carbohydrates, along with a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals, IsaLean Shake takes all of the guesswork out of proper weight management and muscle maintenance.

When trying to lose weight, maintain a healthy weight, or simply lead a healthy lifestyle, having a delicious meal that can easily be consumed on the go is key. Unfortunately, many of the options on the market today are essentially comprised of protein, artificial sweeteners, and vitamins. Without the proper balance of macro- and micronutrients, a meal replacement will not be able to do its primary job—nutritionally take the place of a meal.

Now we know that by looking at the ingredient list of IsaLean Shake, there might be some questions about what ingredients are and what they do. It’s why we thought we’d give you an ingredient-by-ingredient breakdown. As you’ll notice, each ingredient serves a purpose  to make the shake a great tool for your health and weight management.

A Good Meal Replacement Starts With Quality Protein

One of the most important aspects of any meal or meal replacement is the source, amount, and quality of protein. The protein in IsaLean Shake helps to set it apart from other meal options. Packed with 24 grams of undenatured whey protein, IsaLean Shake helps satiate hunger, optimize muscle building, and support fat burning (1-4).

  • Exclusive Myo-IsaLean Complex™: A proprietary blend comprised of undenatured whey protein, milk protein concentrate, and nonfat dry milk. All of our dairy proteins come from “Cheerful Certified” dairy cows that are pasture raised and not treated with routine antibiotics or hormones.

A Low-Glycemic Nutritional Profile Offers Slowly Absorbed Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates, which include sugars, are the preferred source of fuel for your brain and immune system. However, a high dose of refined sugars can cause your blood sugar to spike and then crash, leaving you feeling fatigued, hungry, and unsatisfied.

For the purpose of helping you stay energized yet keeping blood sugar in check, it’s important to choose meal replacements that are tested for their glycemic response. For example, Isagenix IsaLean meal replacement options are tested and labeled as “low-glycemic” referring to the slower rate that the carbohydrates are absorbed from these foods.

  • Fructose: Fructose is found naturally in fruits and vegetables, and unlike other sources of simple sugars it is low-glycemic. In addition fructose is also a little sweeter than other sources of sugar, providing a naturally sweet taste with less use of sugar overall.
  • Tapioca maltodextrin: Tapioca maltodextrin is a source of slowly digested, complex-carbohydrate that also helps round out the flavor of the shake.

A Combination of Good Fats Offers Proper Digestion, Nutrient Absorption, and Health

Getting enough of the right kinds of fat every day is an important part of any healthy diet. IsaLean Shake is equipped with 6 grams of good fats, supplied for optimal nutrition from sources like olive oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, and palm kernel oil, to name a few. Fats are crucial not only for proper digestion and absorption of some vitamins, but also for many different body functions. Isagenix users can be confident knowing that they are getting proper amounts of fats from good sources.

  • Olive oil powder: The main source of fat in the IsaLean Shakes, Soups, and Bars because of its naturally high composition of monounsaturated fatty acids, specifically oleic acid.
  • Sunflower oil powder: Extracted from the seeds of sunflowers, sunflower oil is a rich source of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
  • Flaxseed extract: A high-quality source of alpha-linoleic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid.
  • Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil: Extracted from coconuts, it is a source of fat that is more rapidly absorbed and used as energy because of its relatively smaller chain length and is a readily available source of fuel for the body.

Dietary Fiber Supports Your Gut

Fiber is an important aspect of any diet because it helps with satiety and helps promote digestive regularity. Unfortunately, most people fail to consume adequate fiber in their diet (5). Working to help close this gap, each IsaLean Shake supplies 8 grams of fiber.

  • Isomaltooligosaccharide powder: A natural digestion-resistant starch that acts as a prebiotic fiber, supporting the growth of beneficial bacteria.
  • Yucca root powder: The tuberous root of the yucca plant, native to the Mojave Desert, is naturally rich in dietary fiber. 
  • Psyllium seed powder: An herbaceous plant with seeds that are a rich source of bulk-forming fiber.

It Also Includes Digestive Enzymes and Probiotics

Consuming a healthy meal is important, but your body needs to be able to break down and use the nutrients from it. That is why IsaLean Shake comes with its own blend of enzymes to ensure that your body is getting the most out of each sip. The active enzymes in combination with probiotics in IsaLean Shake also supports gastric health and digestive regularity.

  • Enzyme blend: A blend of digestive enzymes incorporated into IsaLean Shake to aide absorption and digestion of macronutrients.
  • Bromelain and papain: A mixture of protein-digesting (proteolytic) enzymes naturally found in pineapples (bromelain) and papayas (papain).
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus: A beneficial bacteria belonging to the genus Lactobacillus that resides in the GI tract and is commonly found in dairy products like yogurt.

A Full Spectrum of Vitamins and Minerals

With 23 vitamins and minerals, IsaLean Shake provides the micronutrients that are seriously lacking in a typical diet. Getting a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals in one meal is hard to do, but near impossible in under 250 calories per meal. IsaLean Shakes truly provide maximum nutrition in minimal calories.

  • Magnesium oxide, magnesium citrate: A source of magnesium, an essential electrolyte mineral.
  • Ascorbic Acid: Also known as vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin and antioxidant.
  • Biotin: A water-soluble nutrient belonging to the B group vitamins.
  • Selenium: A trace mineral that acts as a cofactor of antioxidant enzymes.
  • Vitamin E: A fat-soluble nutrient with antioxidant properties.
  • Copper: An essential trace mineral.
  • Vitamin A: A fat-soluble vitamin that belongs to the carotenoid family.
  • Zinc: An essential trace mineral.
  • Manganese: An essential trace mineral.
  • Iodine: An essential mineral.
  • Niacinamide: Also known as vitamin B3 or niacin. Niacinamide is the non-flushing form of niacin.
  • Cholecalciferol: Also known as vitamin D3, an essential nutrient.
  • Chromium: An essential trace mineral.
  • Molybdenum: An essential trace mineral
  • Pyridoxine hydrochloride: One of three forms of vitamin B6 that is found naturally in a variety of foods such as avocado, soybeans, fish, lima beans, chicken, and bananas.
  • Cyanocobalamin: Also known as vitamin B12, is a water-soluble vitamin.
  • Folate: An essential B vitamin necessary for metabolism.
  • Riboflavin: An essential B vitamin necessary for metabolism.
  • Thiamin: An essential B vitamin necessary for metabolism.
  • Tricalcium phosphate: A source of calcium.
  • Potassium citrate: A source of potassium, an essential electrolyte mineral.
  • D-calcium pantothenate: Also known as vitamin B5, supports carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism.
  • Ionic Alfalfa™: A proprietary alfalfa juice concentrate containing organically bound trace minerals.

Flavor Gives It Character

No matter how good for you something may be, you probably aren’t going to drink it if it doesn’t taste good. When creating each IsaLean Shake, taste was taken into careful consideration. There are no artificial flavorings or sweeteners added to enhance the flavor of any Isagenix products. IsaLean Shakes include only natural flavorings:

  • Natural Flavoring: “Natural flavors” is a regulated industry term used to define flavorings that are created using only components found in nature. They are generally made up of essential oils, essences or extracts, fruit juices, and spices. For more information, check out this article.
  • Xanthan gum: A natural gum that acts as a soluble fiber and is used as a thickener in IsaLean Shakes and Soups.
  • Stevia leaf extract: A South American herb that is naturally sweeter than sugar and provides no calories.

Other Ingredients Help with Manufacturing 

  • Silicon Dioxide: A naturally occurring mineral that is used as an anticaking agent that helps maintain the proper texture of IsaLean Shake.
  • Magnesium stearate: A vegetable-derived salt used during the manufacturing of the shake.

A No-Compromise Quality Shake

When it comes to creating each product, we follow the Isagenix No-Compromise Quality Policy. These stringent quality standards start with the selection and rigorous testing of each individual raw material. It’s an extensive and thorough process, set up to ensure our commitment to the highest standards of manufacturing and quality assurance.


  1. Mamerow MM, Mettler JA, English KL et al. Dietary Protein Distribution Positively Influences 24-h Muscle Protein Synthesis in Healthy Adults. J Nutr 2014.
  2. Chungchunlam SM, Henare SJ, Ganesh S, Moughan PJ. Effect of whey protein and glycomacropeptide on measures of satiety in normal-weight adult women. Appetite 2014;78C:172-8.
  3. Miller PE, Alexander DD, Perez V. Effects of whey protein and resistance exercise on body composition: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Am Coll Nutr 2014;33:163-75.
  4. Tang JE, Moore DR, Kujbida GW, et al. Ingestion of whey hydrolysate, casein, or soy protein isolate: effects on mixed muscle protein synthesis at rest and following resistance exercise in young men. J Appl Physiol 107: 987-992, 2009.
  5. King DE, Mainous AG, Lambourne CA. Trends in dietary fiber intake in the United States, 1999-2008. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012 May;112(5):642-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2012.01.019.

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Isagenix: A Word About Integrity in Nutrition

Woman using microscope in laboratoryYou should always know what you’re putting into your body. It’s a simple stance to take for health, but it’s easier said than done. For the Quality Assurance (QA) team charged with the daily and meticulous work of continual testing and ritualistic documentation of every single ingredient in Isagenix products, it’s not as straightforward as it sounds.

“If it’s not written down, it didn’t happen” is a slogan spotted on office walls and in email signatures belonging to Isagenix QA team members. Talk to any team member and one gets the sense of their collective satisfaction in either conducting things the right way or not at all.

More than a platitude for eating well, or eating “clean,” the task of knowing what’s in the ingredients that go into Isagenix products and ensuring their proper handling is a mandate for QA. The company’s no-compromise standards establish just that, “no compromises regarding the safety, efficacy, and health of customers.”

Sometimes described as the “Wild West” by food insiders and regulators alike, the dietary supplement and natural health products industry has earned its nickname because of too many examples of reprehensible practices like hoodwinking customers into spending money on false promises.

These bad-apple companies never last long—once word gets around that customers have bought only marketing hype, not real results—but there seems to always be a new crop of irresponsible companies coming up with concoctions not backed by science or quality.

The No-Compromise Difference

What exactly does it mean to have no-compromise policy, what does it comprise of, and how does it set apart a company like Isagenix that provides Solutions to Transform Lives™ along with measurable results?

By way of illustration, an apple is not even an “apple” at Isagenix until it’s undergone a battery of tests. These include botanical fingerprinting, testing for strength and composition, testing for biological actives (e.g., quercetin), and testing for safety—requiring that it passes for heavy metals, potential microbial activity, pesticides, and herbicides.

Let’s break that down a little further into steps:

Step 1 – Imagine a light-yellowish raw material powder arriving at a facility that produces Isagenix products and is quarantined. Despite the powdery pulp being accompanied by a Certificate of Analysis, (like a birth certificate) describing it as “apple pulp” it is not considered as such until it passes botanical fingerprinting, a process that, depending on the raw material, might involve a botanist looking for identifiers under a microscope or using some other standard methodology.

Step 2 – Depending on the raw material, it might also undergo further analysis for strength and composition. The ingredient turmeric, for example, is used for its content of curcuminoids, the health-promoting bioactives that are part of specific products such as Cleanse for Life® and Brain Boost and Renewal™. The benefits of these products depend on the standardized extract of turmeric containing a high percentage of curcuminoids. The trouble is, natural variation in turmeric can mean that the content of curcuminoids isn’t always there, which requires that the raw material be rejected. What Isagenix rejects, other companies buy for a discount.

Step 3 – Safety being the highest priority at Isagenix means that any food products have to be “clean.” The principals of “clean” and “safe” have been a statute at the company that existed well before the rise of “clean eating” or “organic.” In the world that belongs to QA scientists, you hear of countless examples where “whole food” and “organic” supplies often turn up too dirty to meet standards due to high microbial activity or even the presence of heavy metals from probable use of organic, arsenic-based pesticides. Isagenix does seek organically produced materials whenever available, but safety remains the priority and the order of the day.

Step 4 – The Finished Product Verification process at Isagenix requires that once products are produced, samples of batches are then sent out for third-party laboratory testing to determine that every claim on the label of a box, bottle, or canister is properly accounted for to ensure efficacy.

Why Integrity in Nutrition Matters

How many times have you looked at a finished natural product (powder, liquid, or capsule) and wondered if it really contains what its label says is in it? Could you trust a product with an abundant ingredient list with marketing that all the vitamins come from “whole foods” or that make other claims that just seem too good to be true?

With little regulation and scrutiny, unfortunately, a lot of the time companies make false claims to sell a product. It’s as bad as adding one, two, or three more ingredients to a list on a label without actually purchasing, testing, and manufacturing with those ingredients.

In some cases, a product’s entire nutritional profile could be dishonest—in which case you end up with protein shakes that contain half or less of the stated grams of protein in a serving. The difference is made up with a carbohydrate filler like cornstarch that’s not represented correctly on the label at all.

You notice quality when you notice results. Results matter to people. The difference in a person putting on muscle or losing fat is in the details. There’s good reason why Isagenix products have withstood the test of science in producing true transformations of health.

A premium should be placed on those kinds of nutrition products that are scrutinized daily by a QA team that invests time, testing, and documentation to be sure claims are correct and uncompromised. That’s Isagenix integrity combined with no-compromise standards.

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Stop Sarcopenia Before it Starts

ScienceTalks_042016_Sarcopenia_LindsayGnant-300x300Trainer: Lindsay Gnant M.Sc., RDN. Nutrition Communication Specialist


Did you know that age related muscle loss, also known as sarcopenia, begins as early as your 30th birthday? Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Communication Specialist Lindsay Gnant M.Sc., RDN. explains how sarcopenia isn’t something that happens overnight, but gradually over time. “But the good news is that no matter your age you can take steps right now to improve your muscle health,” says Lindsay. Listen in as Lindsay explains how to fight back against muscle loss and utilize the Isagenix products to help protect and build your lean muscle.

For more podcasts visit IsagenixPodcast.com.

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