Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Wisdom Wednesday: Detox Drinks

Some people claim that detox drinks help remove toxins from a person's body and promote weight loss. Typically, a person will include detox drinks as part of a detox diet. However, there is very little evidence that these types of drinks and diet have any detoxification effects. The use of the word detox is not always appropriate. Detox drinks may boost health, aid in weight loss, and support the body's natural detoxification processes, but this is different from medical detoxification.

An article in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics notes that some studies show that commercially available detox diets may improve the way a person's liver removes toxins from their body. However, the article also highlights that these studies had flawed methodologies and small sample sizes. A study in the journal Current Gastroenterology Reports found that a detox diet may help a person lose weight, but only because the diet is low in calories. Further, the authors note that diets that help a person lose weight by significantly reducing the number of calories they consume are unsustainable. Typically, people who undertake such calorie-restrictive diets put the weight back in the medium-to-long term.

The National Center for Integrative and Natural Health (NCINH) point out that as well as causing problems with a person's weight in the mid-to-long term, a person on a detox diet may not be getting the nutrition they require to keep their body healthy. Although they do not detox in the medical sense, detox drinks can be healthful.

Typically, people use a food processor to turn raw ingredients into a smoothie. As well as being a convenient way to consume fruits and vegetables, using fresh ingredients preserves the fiber in fruits and vegetables, which the juice alone lacks.

How healthful a smoothie is will depend on the ingredients. For example, a lemonade cleanse detox drink, containing lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper, sounds healthful, but it contains relatively few nutrients and is high in sugar.

There is little scientific evidence to support claims that detox drinks can help remove toxins from the body. However, a detox drink may be a healthful drink if it contains plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. A diet rich in fruits, veggies, healthful proteins, fats, and fibrous carbohydrates promotes the natural detoxification system in the body and creates overall balance.

My Take:
The most common request I hear from a new patient is they want to do a liver detox. Many of them are already taking products supposedly designed to create liver detoxification.

Liver detoxification is possible, although typically not with most of the commercially available products as this article suggests. But is it healthy? The answer is – it depends. Honestly, most patient’s general health is too poor to properly support liver detoxification.

Evaluation of liver detoxification pathways is step 19 in the QA (Quintessential Applications) protocol. In the eighteen steps that proceed liver detox, inflammation, immune system, citric acid cycle and the endocrine system are all addressed. Then, and only then do we turn our attention to the evaluation and treatment of phase 1 and phase 2 liver detoxification. This provides a strong base to support any treatment protocol.

Bottom Line:
Liver detoxification can be an important step in regaining health. However, you must reduce inflammation and address other health issues prior to successfully implementing any liver detoxification program. I also suggest testing for genetic defects in the methylation pathways as well.

May 20, 2019 NIH

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