MD REVIEW

Doctors Discourage Detox Cleanses

The Appeal of Detoxing

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Being healthy requires hard work, which is why discovering shortcuts is always alluring. These shortcuts can come in the form of detoxes or cleanses. Detoxifica­tion diets are trendy, but there is little or no evidence that they actually remove toxins from your body. Many doctors and health­care providers discour­age using detoxes or cleanses because of potential harm. Here are the problems with detoxes relating to nutrition and the gastro­intestinal tract.

Food Detoxes

The detoxification of your body with nutrition or food includes eating raw vegetables or fruits, and drinking plenty of juice or water followed by fasting. Some people feel more energetic and focused after a detox diet.

But detoxes don’t actually remove toxins from your body. They might remove highly processed food from your gut. According to National Center for Complementary and Integra­tive Health, a 2015 review concluded, “there was no compelling research to support the use of ‘detox’ diets for weight management or eliminating toxins.”

Detox diets are deficient in protein and carbo­hydrates. This can cause lethargy and fatigue. Moreover, long-term fasting leads to various nutritional defi­cien­cies. A diet lacking protein and fatty acids, may put you at risk for metabolic acidosis, which is excessive acid in the body.

Intestinal Detoxes

Detox Cleanse Danger

You might believe that intestinal cleansing eradicates parasites and expels accumulating fecal matter that adheres to intestinal walls. This viewpoint is fundamentally mistaken. According to gastroenterology, when fecal matter accumulates, it comes into the inferior part of the colon. It doesn’t adhere to intestinal walls.

Detoxes disturb bowel function of the intestines. Moreover, detoxification programs contain laxatives, which can cause diarrhea, dehydra­tion, and electrolyte imbalance.

You Don’t Need Detoxes

Did you know that your body already has its detox­ifi­ca­tion system? The kidneys filter your blood and remove toxins. Likewise, your liver processes medication and releases any chemical you ingest. Together, these organs make up the biological cleansing power­house of your body. According to British Dietetic Association, the idea of detoxifying your body is useless because your body has a well-developed system to detoxify.

Doctors Are Skeptical of Cleanses

Some dietitians and doctors have concerns about restraining whole food groups because this can cause eating disorders. More­over, all the positive effects you have after using detoxes or cleanses are short-term. You might lose a few pounds quickly, but soon gain the weight again.

At the risk of offending some advocates, there is no proven benefit of detoxes or cleanses. Under certain circum­stances, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention recommends chelation therapy. This is a chemical detox­ifica­tion procedure for eliminating life-threatening toxic metals from your body.

Eating healthy meals from each food group and exercising regularly requires more effort than detox cleanses. But the combina­tion of good fitness and nutrition is a better way to control weight and improve long-term health.

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