Colon Cleansing: Myth vs Science

By Dante Noe Raquel II , Jan 16, 2017 07:23 PM EST

Colon detoxification or, occasionally, cleansing is one of those strange alternative drug ideas that hangs around without one single bit of indication supporting it. We're going to look at it with the feathery dinosaur's cynical eye.

The Promise: Flushes Out Toxins From Your Body

They're widespread, but they aren't confirmed to do what they say they'll do: flush toxins out of your digestive system. In fact, they may be risky and even backfire.

What You Can Eat And What You Can't

That hinge on on the detox diet you're following. There are many of them. Some involve abstaining, or just drinking lots of liquids. Others allow some foods, like fruits and vegetables.

Level of Effort: High

You'll be hungry and may feel scrawny. Whether a detox diet is safe rest on on the plan and how long you stay on it. Most people don't feel good on low-calorie, nutrient-poor diets. Possible side effects include low energy, low blood sugar, muscle aches, fatigue, feeling dizzy or lightheaded, and nausea.

Does It Work?

If your goal is to detox your digestive system, don't waste your time or money. Your body is an expert at getting rid of toxins no matter what you eat. Contaminants don't build up in your liver, kidneys, or any other parts of your body, and you're not going to get rid of them with the latest detox miracle. Particularly avoid diets that promise to detox your liver with supplements or "cleanse" whatever the diet controls needs washing out.

Is It Good for Certain Conditions?

Not only are detox diets not good for individuals with certain medical circumstances, they could be harmful. There is no research displaying they improve blood pressure or cholesterol or have a positive outcome on the heart. For people with diabetes, they may be quite dangerous. Any diet that severely confines what you eat could lead to dangerously low blood sugar if you take medicine for diabetes.

There are many ways to get your body clean and healthy inside and out. This isn't one of them.

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