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Detox Diets - To Detox Or Not - That Is The Question!

Friday, July 30, 2010
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Scientifically, Detox (de-addiction) is a treatment for alcohol or drug dependence, but generically it also refers to dietary plans to rid the toxins, accumulated in the body, which otherwise might exert a negative effect. This approach is propagated by the alternative medicine system to attain optimal health but lacks factual evidence.

To quote Professor Alan Boobis OBE, Toxicologist, Division of Medicine, Imperial College London "The body's own detoxification systems are remarkably sophisticated and versatile. They have to be, as the natural environment that we evolved in is hostile. It is remarkable that people are prepared to risk seriously disrupting these systems with unproven 'detox' diets, which could well do more harm than good."

Also Catherine Collins, Chief Dietician at St George's Hospital, USA, in her research paper 'The Link Between Diet and Disease', writes "The body is extremely sophisticated in detoxifying itself," She says "There is no evidence that detox diets boost the immune system. On the contrary, reducing protein intake will compromise it. Fruits and vegetables contain powerful antioxidants and as such help the body to detoxify itself naturally. But you don't need to take kilos of them at the expense of anything else."



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User Comments

07 September, 2010 | Priya Suresh | Reply

Priya Suresh It appears that your website does not recommend detox diets but my cousin and his wife go to this ashram in Coimbatore every year for 3 weeks and they come back ....very rejuvenated.Their day to day life is very stressful on the professional, social& personal front so this program is life saving for them.They have different oil massages and concoctions to drink followed by a healthy absolutely low fat, low sodium, high fluid and fibre diet. It is typically Indian and has worked wonders. Kerala Ayurvedic ashrams are all typical of these and people are much better for it. So what do you have to say?

20 September, 2010 | Sankar | Reply

Sankar Hi Priya actually if you can include in your daily intake plenty of water, green tea, good helping (3-4 servings) fresh vegetables and 2 -3 servings of fruits, tender coconut water and yoghurt preferably as buttermilk , do yoga in the morning, do 5 mts breathing exercises 2 times a day and maybe even meditation and go for a nice brisk walk for 45 mts or go to the gym and work out anytime you get before dinner... its like a regular detox. You will neither need to take off specifically for detoxing or pay that kind of money. Think about it!!

02 August, 2010 | Anuja Bhalla | Reply

Anuja Bhalla Is white tea just as good as green tea?
Which one has more antioxidants?
What is the best way to prepare it to keep its benefits intact.

03 August, 2010 | Poonam Vaswani | Reply

Poonam Vaswani Hello Ms Bhalla,
Both white and green tea come from the same tea plant, the main difference being that white tea leaves are harvested at a younger age than green tea leaves. White tea is not subjected to fermentation at all, while green tea is partially fermented.
Studies have shown that white tea has high anti inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The young, white tea leaves retain antioxidants in higher concentrations than green tea does.
To brew white tea, boil water and cool slightly. Pour over 1-2 tsp of tea leaves and allow to steep for about a minute.

02 August, 2010 | Vyjayanthi Gopalan | Reply

Vyjayanthi Gopalan Hello,

I drink about 3 cups (each cup is 300ml) of green tea everyday, without sugar and milk. It makes up for almost 1000 ml of my water intake, also I drink about 2000 ml of water every day apart from the fluids in my diet. My question to you is - (1) Does so much of water and green tea helping me in detoxification? and (2) Am 6 months pregnant (second child), is it fine to drink 3 cups of green tea a day?

02 August, 2010 | Nilanjana | Reply

Nilanjana I cant believe you would take chances during pregnancy by having so much green tea.
There is mo supportive evidence green tea helps during pregnancy.
Be careful.
You must, must, must talk to your primary care physician or OB and follow her advice.

Good luck!

02 August, 2010 | Vijayalakshmi | Reply

Vijayalakshmi Hello, Ms Gopalan,
Pregnancy is a time when you think of giving the best nourishment to the foetus, so please do not think of detoxification now. It was also heartening to note that you drink plenty of water but again it depends on where you stay (in terms of humidity and heat), as too much can cause an imbalance of body salts, especially sodium
With regard to green tea consumption, 3 cups of green tea may not be bad, however there are a couple of things which do not favour drinking too much of green tea
1. Even though studies have shown that green tea helps a woman get pregnant, there is a divided opinion on its consumption during pregnancy. Some experts link green tea to defects in neural tube in babies. Drinking large amounts of green tea reduces an enzyme called Dihydrofolate Reductase (DHFR), which is favourable to prevent cancer, but increases the risk of neural tube birth defects.
2. Apart from poly phenols green tea contains caffeine and tannic acid. High amounts of caffeine are known to cross the placenta, and are associated with spontaneous abortion, intrauterine growth retardation, and low birth weight.
So many experts/doctors suggest pregnant women, drink less of green tea if they want to or avoid it altogether, especially in the first trimester.
We thereby suggest you consult your doctor on this, as well as the quantity of water, as s/he knows your condition best.
The NV team would like to wish you a happy and healthy pregnancy.
Thank you

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