Detoxification (detox) diets are more popular than ever.
These diets claim to clean the blood and eliminate harmful toxins from the body.
However, it is not entirely clear how they do this,what they’re supposed to eliminate and if they actually work.
This is a detailed review of detox diets and their health effects.
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:
- Rest the organs by fasting.
- Stimulate the liver to get rid of toxins.
- Promote toxin elimination through feces, urine and sweat.
- Improve circulation.
- Provide the body with healthy nutrients.
Detox therapies are most commonly recommended because of exposure to toxic chemicals in the environment or diet. These include pollutants, synthetic chemicals, heavy metals and other harmful compounds.
Bottom Line: Detoxes are short-term interventions designed to eliminate toxins from the body. They are claimed to help with various health problems.
The Most Common Ways to Detox
There are many ways to do a detox diet, ranging from total starvation fasts and juicing to simpler food modifications.
Most detox diets involve at least one of the following (1):
- 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, and then slowly reintroducing them.
- Using laxatives, colon cleanses or enemas.
- Exercising regularly.
- Completely eliminating alcohol, coffee, cigarettes and refined sugar
The different detox diets vary in intensity and duration.
Bottom Line: There are many kinds of detoxes. Some of them involve fasting, eating specific foods, avoiding harmful ingredients and taking supplements.
Which Toxins are Eliminated?
Detox diets rarely identify the specific toxins they aim to remove or how exactly they eliminate them.
In fact, there is little to no evidence that detox diets actually remove any “toxins” from your body.
More importantly, there is really no scientific evidence backing up the claim that our bodies are loaded with toxins and need to be cleansed.
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 (3, 4, 5, 6, 7).
However, generally speaking, these compounds are removed from or limited in commercial products today (15).
All that being said, there is little
Do Detox Diets Work?
Some people report feeling more focused and energetic during and after detox diets.
However, this improved well-being may simply 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.
On the other hand, many people also report feeling very unwell during the detox period.
Detox Diets and Weight Loss
Currently, very few scientific studies have investigated the effectiveness of detox diets for losing weight (2).
While some people may lose a lot of weight quickly, this seems to be due to loss of fluid and carb stores, rather than fat. This weight is therefore usually regained quickly once you start eating normally again.
The weight loss effects of one detox diet, called the “lemon detox diet,” was studied recently in overweight Korean women. It involves consuming only a mixture of organic maple or palm syrups and lemon juice for 7 days.
This diet significantly reduced body weight, body mass index, body fat percentage, waist to hip ratio and waist circumference, in addition to reducing markers of inflammation in the body (16).
If a detox diet involves severe calorie restriction, then it will most certainly cause weight loss and improvements in metabolic health.
However, this type of “crash” dieting probably won’t lead to long-term results unless you change your lifestyle at the same time.
Bottom Line: Studies linking detox diets to weight loss are lacking. Some indicate that detox diets may help with short-term weight loss.
Detox Diets, Short-Term Fasting and Stress
Several varieties of detox diets may have effects similar those from short-term fasting, or intermittent fasting.
However, these effects do not apply to everyone. Studies in women have shown that both a 48-hour fast and a 3-week period of reduced calorie intake may increase the levels of stress hormones (19, 20).
Bottom Line: Some detox diets may resemble intermittent fasting regimes, which can improve some biomarkers of health.
Safety and Side Effects
Before doing any sort of “detox,” it is important to consider possible side effects.
Severe Calorie Restriction
Several detox diets recommend fasting or severe calorie restriction. Short-term fasting and limited calorie intake can result in fatigue, irritability and bad breath.
Some detox diets may pose the risk of overdosing on supplements, laxatives, diuretics and even water.
There is a lack of regulation and monitoring in the detox industry, and many detox foods and supplements may not have any scientific basis.
Who Should Avoid Detox Diets?
Some groups of people should not start any detox programs or calorie-restricting regimens, at least not without consulting with a doctor first.
This includes children, adolescents, elderly people, the malnourished, pregnant or lactating women and people who have blood sugar issues or medical conditions, such as diabetes or an eating disorder.
Bottom Line: Detox diets may severely limit energy and nutrient intake. Some also include approaches and supplements that can be harmful. Some groups of people should never do detox diets.
Breakfast, blood sugar, & inflammation
Recent research has shown that Inflammation is responsible for 7 out of 10 Deaths in the United States. But it doesn’t have to be the same way for you.
In fact, in a fairly short amount of time, you could start to experience better sleep…less stomach issues…more energy and stamina…less muscle and joint pain…a drop in weight…lower stress levels…and much, much more!
Learn how to Prevent—Even Reverse—Most Major Diseases by “Turning Off” Inflammation!
Did you know that one of the best times to stretch is right before bed? However…
What stretches should you do? Here’s a 1-minute stretch routine you can do before bed...
Lisa, Yoga Coach
eatlocalgrown / wisemindhealthybody
...easy, 3-minute exercise that completely cured his horrendous snoring! We can both finally sleep!
Today is a good day. Tonight will be even better. Why?
Because you're about to learn easy throat exercises that cure (not just treated) your stubborn snoring – in 3 minutes – starting TONIGHT!
...even if straps, sprays and even torturing CPAP masks have failed you in the past.
Most people heal their snoring in just a few minutes per day using these powerful throat exercises. And they're so easy, you can do them, regardless of your age or physical shape.
Use them anytime, anywhere... even while stuck in traffic or watching TV.
Plus the results are permanent!
Did you know that your bodyfat can become "calorie-resistant"?
True. And it's completely unaffected by even the strictest diets... and most intense exercises.
However, there's good news- Calorie-resistant bodyfat can be now removed...
It's a little-known, calorie-burning hormone we all have... just waiting for the right spark to come alive. It's not thyroid, leptin, ghrelin, insulin, adiponectin, HGH or any other "fat loss" hormone you may know. Read more to find out precisely how to unleash its calorie-burning power:
To your health!
PS - Studies show that it can also reduce your risk of diabetes by 53.7%, a heart attack by 83.3% and stroke by 51.4%. Here's more of the scientific proof...
I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat. This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.
d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.
See, every year 610,000 people in the U.S. die of heart disease. Cancer claims another 584,000...stroke 130,000...Alzheimer's disease nearly 85,000 — and the list goes on.
Truth is, we now know... chronic inflammation is responsible for 7 out of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States! Hundreds of studies and scientific reviews prove it.
Fortunately, newer research shows you can prevent-even reverse-most major diseases by "turning off" inflammation. And in our new book, we show you how to do just that.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a debilitating condition-and you"re not sure what the culprit is-now's the time to find out...while you can still do something about it!
--> Grab your FREE copy of this groundbreaking soft cover book today (while supplies still last.)
Over the past year, my friend Dave over at PaleoHacks has been working on a super secret cookbook project with our good friend Peter Servold a Le Cordon Bleu trained Chef and owner of Pete's Paleo...
And today, this new incredible Paleo Cookbook is finally available to be shipped right to your door for FREE!
The cookbook is called Paleo Eats, and it's filled with over 80 chef created, insanely tasty Paleo recipes which means they are free from gluten, soy, dairy, and refined sugar.
Get your FREE copy of Paleo Eats Here. (Grab this today, because they only ordered a small batch of these cookbooks for this freebie promotion, and they will sell out FAST!)
Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!
5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.