Dietitians Debunk Detoxes

Dietitians Debunk Detoxes
Donna Hayek, RD




  • “Detoxes promote weight loss.”

True, but it’s mostly water weight since the weight loss is quick and there is also calorie restriction which promotes weight loss. The weight will come back on after stopping the detox. This leads to yo-yo dieting; which results in overall weight gain over time.

  • “Detoxes should be performed once or twice a year “to clean out the system.”

The body, especially the intestinal tract, is full of beneficial bacteria that help fight illness, support digestion and keep organs functioning at full capacity. Detoxes can disrupt the balance of good and bad bacteria which can cause harm.

  • “Toxins from a poor diet or medications can “build-up” in the body.”

Not necessarily. The liver breaks down whatever is needed to function. The GI tract, kidneys, lymphatic system and respiratory systems will get rid of the remnants of what the liver broke down.  These organs work together to rid toxins in the body so there is no build up.

  • “You can detoxify your liver through cleanses.”

There is no clinical evidence that supports this. This can also cause liver failure.  

  • “Eating healthy does not always promote weight loss, so detoxing is warranted.”

The best thing you can do for your body is follow the Mediterranean diet and practice portion control. Even if the diet is healthy, too many calories will promote weight gain. This diet encompasses foods high in fiber, lean protein, nuts & seeds, whole grains and healthy fats.