Commercial detox diets claim to facilitate toxin elimination and weight loss, thereby promoting health and well-being. They are popular as a spring detox – because people are usually on detox diets after Christmas holidays. For few days or weeks you have to drink fruit and vegetable smoothies or spicy lemon juice … or eat nothing. Propagators of these diets also recommend to use laxatives and diuretics.
- Detox diets are presented as diets “promoting health” – And I ask you: is really good to eat laxatives (if you are healthy)?
In the contex of detox diets, toxins including synthetic chemicals, heavy metals and other potentially harmful products of modern life that we intake from the diet and air – are accumulated in the human body. But these diets do not identify the mechanism by which this wide range of toxins are eliminated from the body.
- It is a pity. I would like to really know the mechanims by wchich the grapefruit-ginger juice or cucumber-spinach smoothie can remove heavy metals from the body.
I think that propagators of commercial detox diets should know that the human body has own detox system – composed of liver, kidney, gastrointestinal system, skin and lungs. These organs are involved in the elimination of undesirable substances from the body. I would like to highlight the function of LIVER . Liver is known as a personal body cleaner! It produces one of the main antioxidant systems in the body – glutathione. Glutathione binds toxic substances to one another and eliminates with them in the bile.
The detox diets involves energy restriction. Of course it is accompanied by weight loss. However, muscle mass suffers the most. Fasting also increases the release of stress hormones, which increase appetite and cause overeating.
Current studies don’t support to use detox diets for toxin elimiantion and weight loss (1, 2). These diets are connected with a number of health risks – low intake of energy and nutrients and the electrolyte imbalance caused by the usage of laxatives and diuretics, which can lead to fatal consequences (3).
(1) Cohen M (2007) ‘Detox’: science or sales pitch? Aust Fam Physician 36, 1009–1010.
(2) Ernst E (2012) Alternative detox. Br Med Bull 101, 33–38.
(3) Johnstone AM (2007) Fasting – the ultimate diet? Obes Rev 8, 211–222.
Anzenbacher P & Anzenbacherova E (2001) Cytochromes P450 and metabolism of xenobiotics. Cell Mol Life Sci 58, 737–747.
KLEIN, A. V. a H. KIAT. Detox diets for toxin elimination and weight management: a critical review of the evidence. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics [online]. 2015, 28(6), 675-686 [cit. 2018-06-18]. DOI: 10.1111/jhn.12286. ISSN 09523871. Dostupné z: http://doi.wiley.com/10.1111/jhn.12286