'Detox', 'cleanses' and quick fixes
"The plans are supposed to remove chemical and dietary toxins from the body. But weight-loss experts have long been skeptical about the claims, saying there is no scientific evidence such programs do a better job than the body's own organs. They also say many of the plans are deficient in protein and other nutrients.
"These kinds of diets are not a reasonable approach to weight loss, and there is no data that they do what they claim," says Gary Foster, director of the Center for Obesity Research and Education at Temple University in Philadelphia. He is concerned that the cleanses could be harmful to people who suffer the medical consequences of obesity, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.
Joy Bauer, a registered dietitian in New York City, says: "People are always doing them, and it's disheartening because they are sophisticated, smart people who know better, but they are so desperate for a quick fix. You don't experience long-term success on them. You may be less bloated. You may feel lighter. You may be losing some weight, but much of it is water weight...Nutrition experts say they'd like to see some scientific evidence the plans work. "I've never seen any published trials that would lead me to believe that if you are healthy, your lungs, kidney and liver need help removing toxins from your body," says Colleen Doyle, director of nutrition and physical activity for the American Cancer Society."
Another view on "cleanses" and alternative, sensible things one can do to feel and be healthier.
Jane Brody's column in the Science section of yesterday's New York Times is an interesting read about antioxidants, the enthusiasm with which they were hyped, and the wisdom of not relying on one or more "magic" supplements or foods.
"Simply put, there is no quick fix. The best chance for leading a long and healthy life comes not from any pill or potion but from pursuing a wholesome lifestyle. That means following a nutrient-filled but calorically moderate diet rich in vegetables, fruits and whole grains...not smoking; exercising regularly; maintaining a normal body weight; and driving and riding safely.