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How detox works

Celebs from Kourtney Kardashian to Hilary Duff swear by them for weight loss, but do they really work—and are they even safe? These days, though, they've become big business, and a handful of celebrities are touting their weight-loss benefits on social media. In a way, detox teas have become the liquid version of waist trainers—the before and after results are often dramatic, and their celeb backing generates buzz, but you may be wondering: Do they really work, and are they safe?

Before you plunk down your hard-earned money and start sipping, here are five things you should know. Personally, I'd love to see a study comparing outcomes generated by a detox tea compared to a placebo, with both groups following the exact same eating plan, but I haven't found any.

That makes it difficult to know whether the weight-loss results people are getting from these teas are actually due to drinking them, or simply the result of' a cleaned-up diet and consistent workout routine, which we already know can lead to weight loss. In any case, simply sipping detox tea while continuing to skip the gym and order takeout is unlikely to help you shrink your shape.

Detox teas that combine caffeine with diuretics can trigger the loss of water weight. Just two cups of water weighs one pound on a scale, so shedding fluid can make you look and feel lighter—even if you haven't lost an ounce of body fat.

Detox teas can also trigger a laxative effect, which causes your body to eliminate waste from your GI tract, another result that can make your stomach flatter, and allow you to feel lighter, even if your lean-to-fat ratio remains exactly the same.

If this quick-fix effect gives you the confidence boost and motivation you need to start eating healthier and working out—the real keys to getting healthy and lean—terrific assuming the teas are even safe to drink—see below. Just remember: If you go back to your former less-than-stellar eating or exercise habits, or stop drinking the tea, you can gain the weight right back just as quick as you dropped it.

In addition to actual tea, detox concoctions typically include additional herbs, which may be designed to curb appetite, rev metabolism, or boost weight loss in other ways.

One example is senna, a plant with a natural laxative effect.

The Benefits of Detoxing

According to the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Databasethe potential side effects of senna use may include abdominal pain and discomfort, cramps, bloating, gas, nausea, and diarrhea; excessive use can lead to potassium depletion and other electrolyte abnormalities, which can trigger muscle spasms and an abnormal heart rhythm. Another popular ingredient in weight loss teas is guarana, a plant that's often added to energy drinks.

Its side effects are commonly related to its caffeine content, which may include nervousness, restlessness, stomach irritation, nausea, vomiting, headache, anxiety, agitation, ringing in the ears, and fast heart and breathing rates. Bottom line: Do your homework about exactly what's in a product before you put it in your body. Even "all-natural" substances can have potential side effects, especially if they're overused, combined with other supplements or medications that result in negative interactions, or if taken by those with pre-existing medical conditions.

Most detox teas contain caffeine, probably because this stimulant may suppress appetite, trigger your digestive system to let go of waste, and help you shed water weight. A caffeine-induced energy boost may also lead to working out a little longer or harder than usual. However, too much caffeine can also be risky see above and interfere with getting enough sleep—and catching too few zzzs may ultimately undo the tea's weight-loss effects. In fact, too little shuteye has been shown to trigger excessive eating and weight gain and even slow metabolismwhich can make it easier to gain weight even if you don't eat extra calories.

A good rule of thumb, regardless of where your caffeine is coming from, is to nix it at least six hours before bed. And if you're trying to shed pounds, commit to making adequate sleep a top priority. While there are some published studies on various ingredients often found in detox teas, I haven't seen any research on the teas themselves, particularly in the precise formulas they're prescribed that research isn't required for the teas to be sold, by the way. That means that using detox teas leaves unanswered questions about if and how they work, how they should be used, how much may be too much, and possibly who shouldn't use them.

If you're unsure, or are planning to start drinking them, talk to your doctor, nutritionist, or health care provider. Just be sure he or she doesn't have a vested interest in the sale of the product you're considering: If they happen to be selling or endorsing it, seek a second opinion. What are your thoughts on this topic? Chat with us on Twitter by mentioning goodhealth and CynthiaSass. Cynthia Sass is a nutritionist and registered dietitian with master's degrees in both nutrition science and public health.

Frequently seen on national TVshe's Health' s contributing nutrition editor, and privately counsels clients in New York, Los Angeles, and long distance. Connect with her on FacebookTwitterand Pinterest.

Save Pin FB ellipsis More. Close Share options. All rights reserved. Close View image.By: Team Asprey. They promise to give you more energy, help you lose weight, and clear up your skin, among other things.

You can use a good detox to bounce back from overindulgence, like a sugar binge or having one too many with your friends. Juice and water cleanses, for example, are often counterproductive because they deprive your body of essential nutrients it needs to function. A good detox protocol can help you eliminate more stubborn toxins by supporting your natural detoxification pathways.

how detox works

Yes, harmful chemicals are everywhere. No reason to panic. Your body is wise and does a lot of detoxing on its own. However, certain chemicals or a higher toxic load may make it tough for your body to clear toxins efficiently. For example, you eliminate most of the bisphenol-A BPA and other plastics you ingest, but a small percentage hides away in your fat cells, messing with your hormones and accumulating over time.

No one is immune from the toxic load of modern life. Sweating does more than cool you off.

8 Detox Methods That Really Work

It also helps you get rid of both heavy metals and xenobiotics — foreign compounds like plastics and petrochemicals — in small but significant amounts. A review of 50 studies found that sweating can remove lead, cadmium, arsenic, and mercury, especially in people with high heavy metal toxicity. Sweating also eliminates hormone-disrupting BPA, which accumulates in your fat cells.

A couple studies have shown that infrared saunas are the most effective for detoxing, but the research was funded by infrared sauna companies, so take the results with a grain of salt. Both traditional and infrared saunas are effective for detoxing. I personally use a Sunlighten infrared sauna and love it. Exercise increases lipolysis the breakdown of fat tissuereleasing toxins stored in your fat tissue.

Lipolysis is especially effective when you combine it with liver and kidney support or adsorbents that can suck up the released toxins. This article focuses on all of the above. Studies show that people who exercise and lose body fat end up with higher levels of circulating hormone disruptors. Working out addresses the issue to a degree: it improves circulation, providing more oxygen to your liver and kidneys so they can better filter out toxins.

You can also give your system even more support and pull out bad stuff with the next two detox tools: activated charcoal and glutathione. Activated charcoal is a form of carbon that has massive surface area and a strong negative charge.

Charcoal binds to chemicals whose molecules have positive charges, including aflatoxin and other polar mycotoxins, [13] BPA, [14] and common pesticides.

Charcoal can bind to the good stuff, too i. They should absorb many of the toxins you release into your gut and GI tract.If you buy something through a link on this page, we may earn a small commission.

Does a foot detox work? What the research says

How this works. Health spas and alternative health businesses are increasingly offering foot detoxes as a way to remove toxins and heavy metals from the body. However, there is no scientific evidence to confirm that they work. People claim that it is possible to detox the feet using a range of techniques, including ionic footbaths, foot soaks, and scrubs. In this article, we look at the science behind a foot detox and detail some of the most popular detox methods.

Advocates claim that a foot detox removes toxins and heavy metals from the body through the feet. The manufacturers of the IonCleanse, which is one of the most popular foot detox systems, claim that it uses charged particles called ions to create an ionic field that cleanses and purifies the body.

These ions then attract and neutralize toxins and heavy metals of the opposite charge, supposedly pulling them out through the bottom of the feet. The theory is that users will feel relaxed and refreshed after using this system. The manufacturers advise people to do a foot detox for 30 to 60 minutes each week.

It is possible that the water in the bath will change color during the detox, which some people believe means that the detox is taking place. However, changes in the color of the water are usually due to sweat and dirt from the feet. They may also occur when people add salts to the bath water or when metals in the bath corrode over time.

Other types of foot detox method, such as foot masks and scrubs, do not rely on ionic charges to work. Instead, they simply remove impurities from the surface of the skin. Proponents say that a foot detox offers many benefits, but the most credible one is that they provide a relaxing experience. Many people enjoy a warm foot soak, especially if they add extra salts and essential oils to the water. Foot soaks can increase circulation, clean the skin, and relieve aches and pains.

There has been very little scientific research on the effectiveness of foot detoxes. As a result, most evidence is purely anecdotal. A small study with six participants tested the ability of the IonCleanse to remove toxic elements from the body. The researchers collected water samples before and after minute sessions, both with and without feet in the bath. They also collected urine and hair samples from the participants.

After testing each of the samples, they concluded that the foot detox bath does not reduce toxin levels in the body. Toxins did not leave the body through the feet, and the system did not stimulate detoxification through the liver, kidneys, or hair either.Some people are apprehensive to quit drinking due to withdrawal symptoms, but alcohol detox is the first step in treating alcoholism.

The alcohol detox stage is the first step in treating alcoholism. During this time, alcohol is completely flushed from your body. Withdrawal symptoms typically subside within approximately one to two weeks after starting detox; however, this could take longer depending on the severity of your AUD.

From there, you will be able to focus on other aspects of the recovery process such as different activities, therapies, counseling sessions and support options. Alcohol is a depressant that your body begins to rely on over the course of months and years of drinking. Your brain eventually stops producing certain chemicals that it receives from alcohol, becoming dependent on the drug.

This is what causes withdrawal symptoms such as headache, fever, nausea, irregular heartbeat and hallucinations. While some people may only be affected by minor effects of alcoholismothers may face extreme pain. Treatment specialists at a rehab facility will be able to help you manage your pain with different medications. This allows you to focus on your recovery and get better.

A treatment expert can help you find top-rated rehab facilities that fit your needs and will guide you along your recovery journey. Contact an expert today and take the first step in overcoming alcoholism. The alcohol detox phase can involve withdrawal symptoms ranging from mild intensity to life-threatening. Oftentimes, the longevity and severity of your alcohol use disorder AUD will play a role in the withdrawal symptoms you experience.

how detox works

For example, individuals who have struggled with years of heavy drinking are more likely to develop serious withdrawal symptoms like seizures or delirium tremens. Although uncommon, the most serious effect from alcohol withdrawal is delirium tremens.

It can start within two to five days after your last drink and can be life-threatening.

how detox works

However, less than five percent of people will develop delirium tremens when quitting drinking. Due to the severity of some withdrawal symptoms, alcohol detox should be monitored by a medical professional.

This is especially true for those who have a history of lung or heart diseases, or other medical conditions, as withdrawal symptoms can quickly worsen. You can also talk with them about the symptoms you are experiencing, as well as if you are in any pain. This information helps your medical team determine which medicine will help alleviate your discomfort.Detoxification detox diets are popular, but there is little evidence that they eliminate toxins from your body.

Specific detox diets vary — but typically a period of fasting is followed by a strict diet of raw vegetables, fruit and fruit juices, and water. In addition, some detox diets advocate using herbs and other supplements along with colon cleansing enemas to empty the intestines.

Some people report feeling more focused and energetic during and after detox diets. However, there's little evidence that detox diets actually remove toxins from the body.

Indeed, the kidneys and liver are generally quite effective at filtering and eliminating most ingested toxins. So why do so many people claim to feel better after detoxification?

It may be due in part to the fact that a detox diet eliminates highly processed foods that have solid fats and added sugar. Simply avoiding these high-calorie low-nutrition foods for a few days may be part of why people feel better.

If you're considering a detox diet, get the OK from your doctor first. It's also important to consider possible side effects. Detox diets that severely limit protein or that require fasting, for example, can result in fatigue.

Long-term fasting can result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Colon cleansing, which is often recommended as part of a detox plan, can cause cramping, bloating, nausea and vomiting.

Dehydration also can be a concern. Finally, keep in mind that fad diets aren't a good long-term solution. For lasting results, your best bet is to eat a healthy diet based on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean sources of protein.

5 Things You Should Know About Detox Teas

If you do choose to do a detox diet, you may want to use it as a way to jump-start making healthier food choices going forward every day. Katherine Zeratsky, R.

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how detox works

Healthy Lifestyle Nutrition and healthy eating. Products and services. Free E-newsletter Subscribe to Housecall Our general interest e-newsletter keeps you up to date on a wide variety of health topics. Sign up now. Do detox diets offer any health benefits? Answer From Katherine Zeratsky, R.The lemon detox diet involves consuming just a lemon juice-based mixture for 1 or 2 weeks, with no solid foods. The diet aims to remove toxins and cleanse the body.

However, scientists have found no evidence to support these claims, and the diet may be harmful in some cases. The concept of a detox originates from medical procedures that remove alcohol, drugs, or other toxins from the body. These procedures often use drug-based therapies to achieve this. But outside of this specific medical context, the concept of detoxing is simply a dieting trend with no scientific basis. Supporters of the lemon detox diet believe that it can improve skin and digestion and promote energy and weight loss.

This article will discuss the truth behind these claims and whether the lemon detox diet is safe. There is no evidence to suggest that detox diets can remove toxins from the body or have any noticeable health benefits. The idea of detoxing is to flush out harmful toxins. However, the human body naturally prevents this from happening and protects the body from toxins by removing them.

The body is highly efficient at breaking down and removing harmful toxins, such as alcohol, by-products of digestion, bacteria, or chemicals from pollution. The large intestine absorbs nutrients from the food a person consumes and distributes them into the bloodstream.

10 Ways to Detoxify Your Body

The body excretes the remaining nutrients as solid waste. It helps to eliminate toxins from the body, cleanse the blood, and metabolize nutrients and medications. A lemon detox diet will not enhance any of these natural body processes and may hinder them.

This diet is highly restrictive and extremely low-calorie, and without a balanced diet, the body will not receive the supply of the nutrients and energy it needs to function correctly. This includes removing toxins and waste products. A lemon detox diet does not contain any fiber. Fiber plays an essential role in digestion by supporting the large intestines and influencing metabolism.

Without fiber, the large intestine cannot remove toxins and waste products from the body as effectively. Although a lemon detox diet may not enhance the removal of toxins, some people report feeling refreshed and re-energized after doing one.

However, people can achieve these improvements through a variety of healthful alternatives. This includes not drinking alcohol for periods, stopping smoking, sleeping well, exercising regularly, and eating a nutritious diet.Ionic detoxification foot spas are the stuff of health food stores and late night infomercials.

They appeal to anyone who likes the idea of improving their health easily and pleasantly. In fact, the idea of removing impurities through our feet by simply relaxing in a 30 minute ionic foot bath sounds idyllic, and perhaps too good to be true.

The big question, however, is not whether we would like a thirty minute footbath in the name of good health, the question is whether a thirty-minute ionic footbath will improve health?

I was excited to have a scientific understanding of the usefulness or potential of this technique! I can report on the little information we could possibly glean from the data presented, which is encouraging, but far from definitive.

The study followed six healthy people who agreed to take an ionic detoxification footbath once each week for twelve weeks. The water before running the footbath was tested for levels of different elements, as was the water after a minute footbath session without feet, and the water following a minute footbath with feet. My biggest complaint: The authors pooled all of the data from all six subjects, and from all twelve weeks of footbaths.

By this method of pooling data, you can imagine that changes in a specific element in one subject would be diluted if the other five subjects did not release the same element into their baths.

Similarly, if subjects released elements early on during the regimen, but then the detoxification subsided, those results would be diluted by pooling all of the data from all twelve weeks.

The authors also tested the levels of potentially toxic elements in urine and hair samples at specific times throughout the twelve-week trial. The urine results suggest a wide variety of individual responses, as well as individual differences in the time-course of elements appearing in the urine.

For me, this supports the idea that individual differences may be significant, and that perhaps this study would have been better presented as a series of six case studies. When the authors provided a graph of elements again, pooled found in post-footbath water samples over the week period, there was not a reliable trend, but rather several peaks and valleys over the course of the experiment.

No standard deviations were graphed. I tend to think that the variation is probably more meaningful…. Despite its weak experimental design, and lack of rigor in data analysis afterall, the sample size was really too small to do anything but pool the data for statistical significancewe can learn a few interesting tidbits from this experiment.

There were statistically significant differences in the quantities of elements in the water following a footbath with feet compared to a footbath without feet.

Here are the elements that were statistically more or less prevalent following a foot bath with feet remember, this is the data pooled from 6 subjects, 12 footbaths each :. Arsenic levels were significantly higher when feet were in the detoxification foot spa. Calcium levels were significantly lower when feet were in the detoxification foot spa even lower than what was in the water before any feet were soaked.

Chromium levels were significantly higher when feet were in the detoxification foot spa. Cobalt levels were significantly higher when feet were in the detoxification foot spa. Iron levels were significantly higher when feet were in the detoxification foot spa. Magnesium levels were significantly lower when feet were in the detoxification foot spa again, even lower than the amount of magnesium present in the water before any feet were soaked. Manganese levels were significantly higher when feet were in the detoxification foot spa.

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