Do These “Cleanses” Really Work?
What is a Detox?
Detox diets are generally short-term dietary interventions designed to eliminate toxins from the 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 cleanses or enemas.
This is claimed to:
However, human research on detox diets is lacking, and the handful of studies that have been published suffer from significant limitations.
Which Toxins are Eliminated?
Detox diets rarely identify the specific toxins they’re removing, and there is little evidence that they even remove any toxins. Your body is actually very capable of cleansing itself, through the liver, feces, urine and sweat. The liver makes toxic substances harmless, and then makes sure they’re released from the body.
Despite this, there are a few chemicals that may not be as easily removed by these processes, including heavy metals, persistent organic pollutants, pthalates and bisphenol A (BPA). These tend to accumulate in fat tissue or blood and can take a very long time, even years, for the body to get rid of.
Which Detox Diets Work?
There is some evidence from animal studies that indicates coriander, an algae called Chlorella, and several types of fruit acids and pectin may help eliminate toxic metals and organic pollutants.
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