Most people think that juice cleanses are a new fad. While it certainly has become more popular in the last few years, this concept has existed for more than a century. Juice cleanses were once promoted as ‘miracle cures’ for almost any disease. While no longer considered a medicine, juice cleanses are used to provide “detoxification” for the body. Why do people try cleanse diets?
- To remove toxins from the liver, colon, and intestines.
- For quick, long-lasting weight loss benefits.
- To ‘shock’ a body’s system back into health.
Just look around. There are hundreds of herbal cleansing and juice diet kits and many more juice cleanse books and programs, all claiming to provide “healthy detoxification.” However, is there any scientific backing to these cleanses? Do they really work? Through decades of clinical studies and research, scientists have identified serious problems with each of these claims:
First, the human body has evolved over many centuries into a very efficient machine. Your body has its own ways of cleansing and detoxifying through organs like the kidneys and liver. External sources of detoxification, from juice cleanses to enemas, are unnecessary and potentially dangerous health options.
Also, while these crash diets do cause weight loss, a large amount of the decrease can be attributed to lost water or muscle mass. Humans are not equipped to properly handle extreme weight loss in a short amount of time, and programs like juice cleanses can often lead to decreased metabolism and other side effects.
Finally, these cleanses cause extreme spikes and valleys in blood sugar levels, which can be extremely dangerous, especially to those at risk of diabetes. Juice cleanses and other ‘extreme’ fad diets also can contribute to accelerated aging effects.
Juice cleanses do not sound that bad when you review their ingredients lists. After all, their nutritional labels often include natural ‘superfoods’ like kale, carrots, ginger, turmeric, lettuce, celery, cucumber, parsley, and lemon. The ingredients themselves are actually all very healthy for the body. However, the problem with juice cleanses centers around the nutrients that are lacking in these juices and how that can negatively benefit your health.
All juice cleanses come with health risks. While the side effects of juice cleanses have been identified by scientists, no clinical trials have proven the efficacy of these diet programs for detoxification. Physicians and scientists agree – juice cleanses are much more effective at ridding your wallet of cash than clearing your body of toxins.
All supplement and medical treatments should be reviewed by a physician or other health professional, especially those who advocate severe dietary restrictions or other practices with major health risks and expected side effects.