Cleanses have recently become popular as a means to improve health and energy, rejuvenate the body, lose weight and slow aging. According to Spins research, between October 2008 and October 2009 Americans spent more than $100 million dollars on cleansing and detox products in an effort to lose weight, gain energy and purify themselves of harmful toxins. Unfortunately, scientific evidence showing any health benefits of cleansing has yet to be investigated, therefore the use of cleanses to treat illness is not totally embraced by the medical community. However, many complimentary alternative doctors and practitioners use cleanses and detoxification programs to support whole body health.
Cleanses typically involve some type of fasting or food elimination to let the organs “rest” and to flush “waste buildup” from the targeted organ. They also may include herbal teas, enemas or colonics. Physician Michael Picco at the Mayo Clinic warns of the dangers of fasting cleanses. “Fasting cleanses (abstaining from food) are not clinically proven and can cause extreme medical reactions or conditions. Your body may go into starvation mode and you may develop low blood sugar, anemia and dangerous electrolyte imbalances that can lead to cardiac arrest and coma.” According to Geatano Morello, ND, who is a detox specialist and author of Whole Body Cleansing (2009), many popular cleanse regimes such as the master cleanse, a 10-20 day fast during which you subsist on a mix of lemon juice, maple syrup and water are so extreme that weight loss is nearly impossible to maintain once you go back to eating solid food.
The notion that fasting cleanses actually “clean” the body is more of a marketing ploy than sound science. The human body naturally expels toxins from the body via detoxification pathways in the gallbladder, liver, kidneys, digestive system, lungs and skin. The gastrointestinal tract contains 70% of the body’s immune response and one of its major roles is to remove waste from the body. Currently, there is little research that waste build-up or constipation (straining to pass hard stools) causes cancer, health issues or disease. However, it is widely believed in complimentary alternative and Ayurvedic medicine that 1-3 bowel movements a day is healthy and helps to expel metabolic wastes and toxins from being reabsorbed by the body. Some sources indicate that regular bowel movements range from 3 times a day to a few times weekly. Therefore, the absence of a daily bowel movement is normal for many but may not necessarily be optimal. Improving regularity can be accomplished by
- Increasing intake of fiber rich foods (whole grains, beans and lentils, whole fruit and vegetables)
- Exercising regularly
- Drinking adequate fluids
Doing it the healthy way is always best. Make health and fitness your lifestyle. So let’s get started. Contact me or click on my link www.fitguy46personaltraining.com for your free consultation. Make it a great day!!!