Do Cleanses Work?


Quick Answer

Cleanse diets have no scientific basis, according to WebMD. While they are popular as a way to detox the system, human biology does not support these claims as internal organs naturally eliminate toxins from the body. Because the diets are low-calorie, it is likely that they cause weight loss.

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Full Answer

Unfortunately, as with other extreme diets, WebMD indicates most people who lose weight using a cleanse diet gain it back as soon as they begin eating normally again. Most of these diets include a period of fasting, followed by a highly restrictive diet for several days. Some of these diets include using supplements and herbs to speed the process. A few also advocate use of enemas for cleansing the colon.

While agreeing that these diets are not scientifically proven, Mayo Clinic reports that some who use them feel more focused and energetic when following the cleanse and immediately afterward. Patients should speak with their doctors about their diet plans before beginning the cleanse routine. If the diet limits protein, it often causes fatigue. Individuals who follow a long-term fast often lose essential minerals from the body. The colon cleanse process has the potential to lead to dehydration, bloating and other intestinal problems. A sensible approach to weight loss is more likely to provide lasting results.

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