“These diets are so popular right now, mostly because people think they’re a quick fix for shedding pounds,” says Jennifer Ventrelle, R.D., a nutrition counselor at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.
Most detox supplements and diets on the market are not regulated by the FDA so they are potentially harmful.
According to Women’s Health Magazine juice cleanses slash your calorie consumption and skimping on calories for a few days, your body stops producing a crucial growth hormone called IGF1, and reduces thyroid and other hormones as well as insulin levels.
According to an article on Live Science, there is little scientific evidence that these restrictive diets remove harmful substances from the system. Joy Dubost a dietician in Washington, D.C. and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says that juice cleanses are a “quick fix that over promises”.
Despite the increasing popularity of these plans, there’s very little scientific evidence to support the need to give your organs a digestive vacation. Our liver, lungs, kidneys and gastrointestinal tract work to remove toxins and harmful substances. The only time your digest system would need rest is after a surgery if your doctor advises you to do so.
According to an article on Detroit News, when you detox, you might notice you’re losing weight, but you’re losing water weight and when you return to eating normally you will gain all the weight back and faster.
As well as losing water weight, you start to lose your muscle mass because without adequate protein, your body takes from your own muscle tissue. “Your body thinks you’re starving and panics,” explains Marc Hellerstein, M.D., Ph.D., professor of human nutrition at the University of California at Berkeley.
The concept of fasting isn’t new. The modern-day detox has existed since the 1930s, with the first grapefruit diet fad. With each new cleanse coming out it is important to know that the risks outweigh the benefits. If a person wants to follow a more cleansing diet, they should increase the amounts of fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich foods and water in their diet as well as daily exercise.