Wednesday, 25 October 2017 20:54

Should I do a Juice Cleanse?

Juicing has been one of the most popular diet trends recently and it seems to just keep growing. There are many interpretations of what a juice cleanse entails, but the majority tout the ability to help you detoxify your body and shed pounds. And all you have to do is drink their juice for roughly three days! The juicing trend has gained popularity in large part thanks to the many celebrities who advocate for different juices or start their own cleanse lines. All together, juicing has very little research behind it, and even less in its favor.

            The two biggest claims juice brands make are their detoxifying and weight loss abilities. While most people do lose weight on these cleanses –they also often gain it back almost immediately. The detoxification claim is even more dubious, though. Juice brands make bold statements about the toxins our bodies absorb from the environment and their products ability to flush them out, but there is little evidence to support this. Most of the juice companies use vague statements and never actually mention which toxins they are trying to eliminate or how they’ll do it. A medical journal article I found even brought up several points on why juice cleanses could actually promote certain toxins. Researchers found that a majority of the juices have extremely low levels of calcium and high levels of Oxalate –a nephrotoxin naturally found in produce.1 Unfortunately for juicers, the body naturally cleanses excess Oxalate using calcium.1This means that, at least in this case, these products can actually hinder toxin removal and interfere with the body’s inherent ability to cleanse itself.1 Experts have also pointed to this ability of the body to detoxify on its own to show there is no need to resort to juicing as a means to purify yourself.2

            In addition to the low calcium and high Oxalate content, there are numerous other nutritional concerns associated with these cleanses. Though nutritional content varies between juice brands and flavors, there are a few concerns that apply generally. For the most part these juices are high in sugar, and low in things like fiber and protein. Since partaking in the cleanse means missing out on vital nutrients (macro and micro) I would not recommend it to any patients. Any benefits from consuming juices could be replicated by incorporating more whole fruits and vegetables into your diet.2

 

-Holli Rizk, CHN 

 



References:

1. Lien, Yeong-Hau H,M.D., PhD. Juicing is not all juicy. Am J Med. 2013;126(9):755. https://une.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.une.idm.oclc.org/docview/1432306695?accountid=12756.

2. Do you really need to "detox"? Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter. 2016;33(11):4-5. https://une.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.une.idm.oclc.org/docview/1763777614?accountid=12756.

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