Diets detoxifying the body (differently detoxifying diets or detox) are very popular among both sexes. They are attributed to the effective elimination of accumulated toxins in the body and weight loss. Does the hunger cleanse the body, and if so, how? What should you pay attention to while starving yourself?
Detoxing the body – what is it about?
Detoxing the body, i.e. detox is the concept of removing toxins from the body through various types of diet interventions. In colorful magazines and on the Internet, you can easily find suggestions for many diets that affect the cleansing of the body, as well as specific products or supplements that support this process. The problem is that toxins are not always defined. In medicine, substances that are a threat to life or health are usually regarded as toxic. When it comes to detoxifying the body with diet, the creators of this purification concept speak quite enigmatically.
There are many non-specific symptoms about toxin contamination of our bodies, such as fatigue, hair loss, sleep disturbances, concentration and many more. These symptoms can be easily attributed to many different diseases, they are universal, and yet they can result from such trivial errors, such as inadequate hydration. How much of all this truth?
Does detoxifying the body work?
Unfortunately, according to The British Dietetic Association, there is little evidence of the effectiveness of cleansing diets. First of all, most of the diets and products offered on the European market are not tested in terms of the effects of their use. However, if it is – research is usually not carried out in a reliable way.
The body has been equipped with systems to eliminate undesirable substances. The kidneys, lungs and digestive tract together with numerous enzymes take part in the detoxification of the body. Different substances are removed through various mechanisms. There is, therefore, and there can not be one effective method for eliminating all that is harmful. What may threaten us today are some heavy metals, DDT pesticides, phthalates, bisphenol A and others still circulating in the environment.
Probably the diet can protect against the negative effects of excessive intake of harmful substances with food and other sources. Which products can be helpful?
Natural detoxification of the body
Coriander – no human studies were conducted, but in lead poisoned mice, the administration of coriander at a dose of 12 mg 10 times a week for 25 days led to a reduction in the content of lead in bones by as much as 22%. It is not known what mechanism is behind such properties of coriander, but it is assumed that this is the result of citric acid content. Chlorella may also have beneficial effects, which in mercurial poisoned mice stimulated excretion in urine. It has also been shown to work against some dioxins (a diet containing 10% chlorella, a test in mice).
The substances that are ubiquitous are bisphenol A and phthalates. We find them in water from plastic bottles, in tinned food, cans. It is true that their half-life is short and they are quickly removed from the body – we consume them every day, thanks to which we provide ourselves with their fresh portion every day. A good way to lower the concentration of bisphenol A and phthalates is to limit the consumption of products packed in cans, plastic bottles.
Detoxifying the body – fruit and vegetable diet of dr Dąbrowska
The fruit and vegetable diet of Dr Ewa Dąbrowska consists in consuming no more than 800 calories each day. Any products except low starch vegetables and low-sugar fruits are excluded from the diet. The diet is based on consuming the above-mentioned products raw, in the form of purees, juices and soups. What is the purpose of its use? According to the author herself, this diet aims to cleanse the body of toxins and restore natural repair mechanisms. The so-called endogenous nutrition, which leads to the removal of damaged and harmful proteins from the body.
On the basis of studies carried out with animals, periodic fasting, lasting up to 24 hours, triggers the autophagy process. Autophagy is a process involving the absorption and digestion of cells called phagocytes of proteins that should be degraded. In this sense, hunger can cleanse the body. In addition, due to the release of fatty acids, which after a dozen or so hours become an energy source, fasting causes the release of toxins, which due to their lipophilicity accumulate in adipose tissue. An example is the once used DDT pesticide. Dr Dąbrowska warns, however, against using hunger strikes on her own without the doctor’s supervision.
Natural methods of detoxifying the liver
There are natural products that can help our livers. Sour milk thistle is one of the most popular recently. Milk thistle extract contains numerous compounds with antioxidant, regenerative and supporting the removal of harmful substances from the body, such as drugs, alcohol, pesticides, molds, etc. It has been proven that it can seal cell membranes of hepatocytes, thus preventing harmful compounds from entering. Secondly, it stimulates liver cells to produce protein compounds and regenerate. In addition, it also has anti-inflammatory effects. The main compound responsible for the beneficial effects of the milk thistle extract is silymarin (it is a combination of 5 compounds). It is recommended to use the extract in doses of 200-400 mg.
Who can you recommend extract from milk thistle? People suffering from fatty liver, cholecystitis, after jaundice, exposed to drugs damaging the liver, exposed to continuous contact with harmful substances (including alcohol). Milk thistle preparations are considered safe.
Detoxing the body – how long?
Long-term fasts (longer than 48 hours) were not widely available. However, more and more people talk about the positive impact on health of periodic fasting, for example, a day in progress. The concept of intermittent fasting has different varieties, so-called alternate day fasting, or alternating daily fasting with food according to preference, limiting the consumption of calories to a specific feeding window during the day. It has been shown that such interventions are safe for healthy adults and obesity. In addition, they contribute to weight loss, reduce glucose and insulin levels. It is assumed that they may act preventively on the occurrence of cardiovascular or neurodegenerative diseases, but this has not been explicitly confirmed.
Long-term, weekly or longer-lasting fasts can not be recommended because the sense of their use and safety are not proven. However, if you decide to take up the challenge and apply, for example, the diet of Dr Ewa Dąbrowska, consult with your doctor.
Taking immunosuppressive drugs or cancer is a contraindication to this type of activity. In addition, it should be remembered that during the fasting, the metabolism of drugs changes. It may be necessary to reduce their dose, so a doctor’s check is necessary. In turn, the use of IF can be an interesting experiment, there are many indications that it will be beneficial for health.