Detox diets for toxin elimination and weight management

A critical review of the evidence

A. V. Klein, H. Kiat*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Detox diets are popular dieting strategies that claim to facilitate toxin elimination and weight loss, thereby promoting health and well-being. The present review examines whether detox diets are necessary, what they involve, whether they are effective and whether they present any dangers. Although the detox industry is booming, there is very little clinical evidence to support the use of these diets. A handful of clinical studies have shown that commercial detox diets enhance liver detoxification and eliminate persistent organic pollutants from the body, although these studies are hampered by flawed methodologies and small sample sizes. There is preliminary evidence to suggest that certain foods such as coriander, nori and olestra have detoxification properties, although the majority of these studies have been performed in animals. To the best of our knowledge, no randomised controlled trials have been conducted to assess the effectiveness of commercial detox diets in humans. This is an area that deserves attention so that consumers can be informed of the potential benefits and risks of detox programmes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)675-686
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics
Volume28
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015

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