Do Detox Diets and Cleanses Work?


Detox diets and cleanses are very popular, however, according to the Mayo Clinic, there is very little evidence that they eliminate toxins from your body. Some people claim to feel better after detox. These benefits are usually achieved by people who eat a lot of processed foods and switch to a cleaner, healthier diet.

A detox under your doctor’s supervision may be a good gateway to start eating a healthier diet long-term. Detoxing can range from total fasting to juice fasting, food modification and/or the use of herbs and vitamins. Detox diets should only be considered for short-term use and you should beware that long-term fasting and fad diets can be dangerous to your health. Lasting results come from eating a healthy well-balanced diet consistently.

What are toxins and how does my body get rid of them?

Toxins are considered to be external chemicals or metals that are consumed or absorbed by the body. These items can cause damage to your body and ultimately contribute to disease. Some of the more noted toxins are:

  • Drugs and alcohol
    • Any type of drugs, alcohol, cigarettes or vaping can cause excess toxins in your body.
  • Lead
    • Lead can be naturally occurring, but is most commonly found in old paint, used car batteries and lead pipes.
  • Mercury
    • Mercury occurs in nature, but is commonly found in thermometers, mining and burning of fossil fuels.
  • Bisphenol A (BPA)
    • BPA is used in the manufacturing of polycarbonate plastics. These plastics are used to make beverage containers, compact disks, plastic dinnerware, auto parts and toys.
  • Diacetyl
    • Diacetyl is used in flavoring chemicals including microwave buttered popcorn and e-cigarettes. It is considered safe to ingest, but when it is inhaled long-term it can irritate and scar your lungs and airways.

Your body is created to naturally detox and unless you have been exposed to a significant amount of toxins, your body will do an amazing job getting rid of the bad stuff. Your digestive tract, liver, kidneys and skin break down toxic matter and eliminate it through urine, stool and sweat.

If you are considering a detox, or if you have been exposed to any kind of toxin and you are concerned for your health, you should seek advice from your doctor.