The Richmond Register

Lifestyles & Community

August 12, 2012

Do detox diets work?

RICHMOND — Like many other diets, popular detox diets probably don’t live up to the hype.

Detoxification diets are billed as a healthy way to get rid of toxins from the body. They vary somewhat in their approach, but typically there is a period of fasting followed by a regimented diet of fruit and fruit juices and raw vegetables.

Plenty of water also is consumed. Some detox diets advocate adding specific herbs and other supplements to help empty the intestines.

Colon cleansing (enemas) may also be a part of the process. Most detox diets last a week to 10 days.

Reports of people feeling more alert and energetic after detox diets are common. However, this may be due to the belief they are doing something healthy for their bodies. According to the Mayo Clinic, there is little evidence that detox diets actually remove toxins from the body. Most toxins are eliminated naturally by the kidneys and liver and excreted in urine and stool.

The bottom line is that detox diets are not scientifically proven to work.

It’s also important to recognize that there are side effects associated with detox diets, including fatigue, dehydration, nausea and dizziness.

If you are considering a detox diet, you should discuss this with your doctor first. A better, proven alternative is a healthy diet consisting of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein.

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