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Do Detox Diets and Cleanses Really Work?

Safety and Side Effects

  • Severe Calorie Restriction can result in fatigue, irritability, and bad breath.
  • Overdosing on supplements, laxatives, diuretics, and even water.

  • At-Risk Populations 

    include children, adolescents, older adults, those who are malnourished, pregnant or lactating women, and people who have blood sugar issues, such as diabetes or an eating disorder.

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Do Detox Diets and Cleanses Really Work?

Do Detox Diets and Cleanses Really Work?

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/detox-diets-101

healthline.com

6

Key Ideas

Detox and its limitations

Detox diets are generally short-term dietary interventions designed to eliminate toxins from your body.

A typical detox diet involves a period of fasting, followed by a strict diet of fruit, vegetables, fruit juices, and water. Sometimes a detox also includes herbs, teas, supplements, and colon cleanse or enemas.

Human research on detox diets is lacking, and the handful of studies that exist are significantly flawed

Most Common Ways to Detox

Most detox diets involve at least one of the following:

  • Fasting for 1–3 days.
  • Drinking fresh fruit and vegetable juices, smoothies, water, and tea.
  • Drinking only specific liquids, such as salted water or lemon juice.
  • Eliminating foods high in heavy metals, contaminants, and allergens.
  • Taking supplements or herbs.
  • Avoiding all allergenic foods, then slowly reintroducing them.
  • Using laxatives, colon cleanses, or enemas.
  • Exercising regularly.
  • Completely eliminating alcohol, coffee, cigarettes, and refined sugar.

Which Toxins Are Eliminated

Detox diets rarely identify the specific toxins they aim to remove. The mechanisms by which they work are also unclear.

There is little to no evidence that detox diets remove any toxins from your body.

However, your body can clear itself of most toxins through the liver, feces, urine, and sweat.

Effectiveness Of Detox Diets

  • Some people report feeling more focused and energetic during and after detox diets. It may be due to eliminating processed foods, alcohol, and other unhealthy substances from your diet.
  • You may also be getting vitamins and minerals that were lacking before.
  • Some people might lose a lot of weight quickly due to loss of fluid and carb stores rater than fat.
  • Many people report feeling very unwell during the detox period.

Potential Benefits

Several aspects of detox diets may aid your health. These include avoiding environmental toxins, exercising, eating nutritious food, drinking water, limiting stress, and relaxing.

Safety and Side Effects

  • Severe Calorie Restriction can result in fatigue, irritability, and bad breath.
  • Overdosing on supplements, laxatives, diuretics, and even water.

  • At-Risk Populations 

    include children, adolescents, older adults, those who are malnourished, pregnant or lactating women, and people who have blood sugar issues, such as diabetes or an eating disorder.

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Intermittent fasting...

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Popular regimens of fasting:
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  • The 6:1 Pattern: similar to the 5:2, but there’s only one day of reduced calorie intake instead of two.
  • “Eat Stop Eat”: a 24-hour complete fast, 1–2 times per week.
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Keep fasting periods short

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The best way to avoid these side effects is to stick to shorter fasting periods of up to 24 hours — especially when you’re just starting out.

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Detox is a myth

Detoxing – the idea that you can flush your system of impurities and leave your organs squeaky clean and raring to go – is a scam. It’s a pseudo-medical concept designed to sell you things.

Supposed "toxins"
“Toxins” refer to poisonous substances that you ingest or inhale. But it’s not clear exactly what these toxins are. If they were named they could be measured before and after treatment to test effectiveness.

“The ultimate lifestyle ‘detox’ is not smoking, exercising and enjoying a healthy balanced diet like the Mediterranean diet.”

“The ultimate lifestyle ‘detox’ is not smoking, exercising and enjoying a healthy balanced diet like the Mediterranean diet.”

Essential Oils
  • Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants and capture their scent and flavor, or "essence", enhanced with aromatic compounds.

  • Essential oils are made via distilla...

Types of Essential Oils

There are more than 90 types of essential oils, claiming varying health benefits. It is important to note that many of their claims are still not accepted by the scientific authorities. The ten most popular ones are:

  • Peppermint: for increased energy and improved digestion.
  • Lavender: to relieve stress.
  • Sandalwood: helps with focus and calming of nerves.
  • Bergamot: for skin and for reducing stress.
  • Rose: for reducing anxiety
  • Chamomile: to improve mood and inducing relaxation
  • Ylang-Ylang: for treating headache, nausea and skin problems.
  • Tea Tree: increasing immunity and fighting infections.
  • Jasmine: helps with depression and libido.
  • Lemon: for headaches and to aid digestion.
Using Essential Oils

Essential Oils are widely used to treat certain health conditions and problems. Some claim that these oils can help with:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Insomnia
  • Inflammation

Essential oils also have antibiotic and antimicrobial properties, can freshen up our surroundings, have a variety of cosmetic uses, and are a safe and environmentally friendly alternative to toxic mosquito repellents.

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