To detox or not to detox?

What the medical experts say

The body already has systems in place that protect us from potentially harmful substances. The liver, intestines, kidneys, lungs, skin, blood and lymphatic systems are all designed to work together to ensure any dangerous toxins are chemically transformed into less harmful compounds that are then excreted from the body.

Will a detox make me feel better?

Those who normally eat an unhealthy diet will naturally feel better when they start eating properly. Most people don’t drink enough water or eat enough fresh fruit and vegetables anyway, so simple changes such as boosting hydration and eliminating processed foods will lead to an increased sense of wellbeing.

Will it help me lose weight?

Weight loss through detox diets is usually short-term, as these diets aren’t sustainable. Having completed the diet, most people feel they can go back to eating what they want anyway and return to their pre diet weight. Other claimed benefits of detoxing, such as helping relieve headaches, are more likely to be linked to lifestyle changes such as not drinking alcohol or coffee. Reduced bloating, for example, is probably just a result of eating less while better skin may be due to drinking more fluids.

Are detox diets dangerous?

Experts say that the biggest danger with detox diets is that they often don’t provide enough nutrients. Insufficient carbohydrates can drain you of energy. Other downsides may include blood sugar problems, fatigue, nausea and a decrease in the body’s ability to fight infection. Laxatives are not advised and colonic irrigation is deemed unnecessary and may result in bowel infection or perforation.

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