Yearender 2021: Do detox diets really help remove toxins from the body and aid weight loss? – The Indian Express

December 28, 2021 by No Comments

It would perhaps not be erroneous to say that ‘detox’ took over ‘immunity’ to become the buzzword this year. From detox juices and smoothies, to detox foods and diets — the trend made its presence felt everywhere — from social media to on our plates —  owing to its promise of “cleansing the body of toxins”.

But can eating certain foods and drinking a few ‘cleansing’ juices really help get rid of toxins from the body and also aid weight loss? To understand the trend and its effectiveness, we reached out to experts — read on to know what they said.

What is detox?

Detox or detoxification is a short-term dietary intervention that claims to help eliminate toxins from the body. They involve fasting for one to three days; or consuming specific liquids like fruit and vegetable juices and infused waters; or eliminating entire food groups; or taking laxatives, diuretics, enemas; or doing colon cleanses, said Purabi Gunjal, lead nutritionist, Proactive For Her.

Is it effective?

“There is little to no evidence to prove that detox diets remove any toxins from the body. Also, there are certain chemicals that cannot really be easily removed from our bodies like BPA, heavy metals, and organic pollutants. But going on a detox can lead to severe energy restriction, and in turn, fatigue, electrolyte imbalance, dizziness or loss of orientation; people can even overdose on laxatives and diuretics, which can potentially be harmful to their health,” Gunjal explained.

As per a National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) report, a 2015 review concluded that there was no compelling research to support the use of detox diets for weight management or eliminating toxins from the body. A 2017 review said that juicing and detox diets can cause initial weight loss because of low intake of calories but that they tend to lead to weight gain once a person resumes with normal diet. There have been no studies on long-term effects of detoxification programs.

Are you dependent on detox too much? (Photo: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

In fact, as per Simrun Chopra, Deep Health Coach and Founder, Nourish With Sim, one’s body “has a sophisticated way of eliminating toxins that involve the liver, kidneys, digestive system, skin, and lungs”. “Still, only when these organs are healthy, can they effectively eliminate unwanted substances. Otherwise, it is a health issue and needs special dietary protocols. For instance, kidney transplant, on dialysis, irregular bowel movements, fatty liver, polycystic kidneys, wheezing, eczema etc,” she said.

Chopra said detox diets “are not only harmful to people with certain medical …….



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