Coup Detox?

From the Master Cleanse to the Fruit Flush, advertised options for removing your body’s residue are endless. But are they legit… and what are the health concerns?

The premise of detoxification advocates is that your body accumulates waste over time — painting a picture of sludge-plastered colons and contaminated cells that must be flushed by infusions and dietary fasting. Sounds good, but consider these points:

Pros: While starvation causes metabolic meltdown, avoiding additives and chemicals prompts good health. And since many plans forbid alcohol and caffeine, while prescribing large doses of water, you’re more apt to hydrate properly — which naturally expels impurities. Some of the fruit-and-veggie options jumpstart irregular digestion by default because they’re high in fiber and low in sugar, artificial ingredients, and fats… all of which can burden bowels. Consequently you may feel marked improvement because you’re not overstuffing on the classic American diet.

Cons: Unfortunately, only a balanced diet and regular exercise can truly fortify health. Any so-called “miracle&lrdquo; fad that promises to filter and flatten will not only fail, it could be dangerous. While they may rightly require elimination of unhealthy foods from your diet, other restrictions deprive you of important nutrients your body’s natural purification system (liver, intestines, skin, and lungs) needs for optimum performance.

The Bottom Line: While temporary detoxification programs can stimulate a cleaner lifestyle, avoid extreme regimens that promote long-term food evasion, laxatives, or diuretics. Always speak to your doctor before trying any plan, especially if you have health problems.

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