“Detoxes” and “Cleanses”
You may hear people say that they need to “detox” after overindulging during a weekend or vacation. But there isn’t any convincing evidence that so-called detox programs actually remove toxins from your body or improve your health. You might lose weight on a detox diet, but that’s because these diets are often very low in calories.
Detox programs may involve a variety of approaches, such as fasting, consuming only juices or other liquids for several days, eating a very restricted selection of foods, cleansing the colon (lower intestinal tract) with enemas, laxatives, or “colonic irrigation,” or some combination of approaches. Some of these techniques may be harmful to your health. For example, fasting can cause headaches, fainting, weakness, and dehydration, and colon cleansing procedures may have serious side effects, especially in people with underlying health conditions such as kidney disease or heart disease.