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05 January 2011

Debunking detox diets

It sounds like a good idea: go on a detox diet to shed kilos and "purify" your body by eliminating waste products and "toxins". But really, is this a smart way to lose weight?

“You may feel good from losing a few pounds and clearing out your intestines, but detox diets and purgatives can be dangerous,” warns Dr Mitchell S Cappell, chief of gastroenterology at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan.

“Getting rid of stool and water [in this manner] can lead to diarrhoea, dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, which could lead to [cardiac] arrhythmia.” And when you flush the “toxins” from your intestines, you’re also getting rid of the good bacteria that help keep your digestive system healthy.

 
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