Detox Diets Are B.S.

ALPHARAJNutrition, Skepticism, SupplementsLeave a Comment

“Please don’t spend $9 on detox juice. There’s no fairy godmother, no magic wand, and you can’t turn back last night’s partying with kale after the clock strikes midnight. But you can cleanse your life of bullshit.” – Yvette D’Entremont

Detox diets are based on the premise that harmful toxins accumulate in our bodies and can be eliminated through dietary changes.

The problem with this assumption is that it is simply not true.

1. Detox diets appear to work in the short term because most people have poor dietary habits, and short term caloric restriction and increase fruit and vegetable consumption can make people feel a lot better. It’s not the detox that is working. The food you’re putting in your body right now just happens to be a lot more nutritious than the food you were consuming before your began your “miracle detox”.

2. Your body’s natural detoxification processes work fantastically. Your liver does a great job of detoxing you. Your kidneys do an excellent job of detoxing you. Your special juice fasts and kale smoothies DON’T!

3. Dietary restriction of certain food groups is generally the norm followed in most detox diets. Ironically, many of these foods that people restrict in the name of cleansing are actually necessary for the proper functioning of the body’s detoxification processes, such as those that take place in the liver, the kidneys, and the colon.

4. There are however some exceptions in which chronic exposure to chemicals can cause problems. And in these cases real detoxification is provided at hospitals usually when there are dangerous levels of drugs, alcohol, or other poisons in the body. Medicines are used for real detoxification, not ingredients in a smoothie.

5. The next time someone tells you to go on a detox to remove toxins, do this:

Ask that person to name one toxin? Just one.

You’ll be surprised to see how many blank faces and vague answers you get to this one simple question which forms the underlying foundation of detox diets.

6. A recent review of detox diets in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics summarized the evidence supporting detox diets as follows:

“To the best of our knowledge, no rigorous clinical investigations of detox diets have been conducted. The handful of studies that have been published suffer from significant methodological limitations including small sample sizes, sampling bias, lack of control groups, reliance on self-report and qualitative rather than quantitative measurements.”


Asking someone to eat more fruits and vegetables and limit their intake of processed food is one thing.

But promising quick fixes by claiming that someone requires a special cleanse or detox is bullshit.

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