A juice cleanse is a type of diet that involves consuming only juices from vegetables and fruits.
Fruit and vegetable juices are high in nutrients and can play a crucial role in balanced diets. Some people believe that only consuming these juices for a period can help “cleanse” the system and provide various health benefits.
Key points about juice cleanses:
- Advocates claim that juice cleanses can help remove toxins from the body and aid weight loss.
- There is insufficient evidence to support the benefit of juice-based diets.
- Research has linked liquid diets with an
increased riskof serious health complications and eating disorders.
Juice cleanses usually involve consuming only juice for a certain period. Many juice-based diets last less than 2 weeks. However, some programs may last longer.
However, regardless of length, juice diets are dangerous, and a person should only consume a liquid-only diet under medical supervision.
This article will discuss the science behind juice cleanses.
Eating disorders can severely affect the quality of life of people living with these conditions and those close to them. Early intervention and treatment greatly improve the likelihood of recovery.
Anyone who suspects that they or a loved one has an eating disorder can contact the National Eating Disorder Association for advice and support via:
- phone or text at 800-931-2237
- online chat, by going to this link
These services are only open during specific hours. Someone in crisis can text “NEDA” to 741741 at any time to get support from a trained volunteer at Crisis Text Line.
Alternatively, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) run a Disaster Distress Helpline that people can contact on 800-985-5990 for 24-7 support.
Many other resources are available, including:
- National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders
- The Alliance for Eating Disorder Awareness
- F.E.A.S.T., who provide support and educational resources to friends and family who want to help someone living with an eating disorder
- Cleansing diets are usually low in calories. A reduced calorie intake may result in temporary weight loss, but this change is rarely long-lasting.
- Consuming an insufficient number of calories can cause a person to experience symptoms relating to low blood sugar because the body does not have enough energy. Examples of these symptoms include fainting, weakness, dehydration, headaches, and hunger.
- A person on a juice cleanse may not consume enough proteins or fats. Both of these are crucial to physical health, healing, and
brain function. Eliminating food groups for extended periods may also lead to malnourishment.
- If a person consumes juices that are unpasteurized or have not had another treatment to remove bacteria, they are at greater risk of illness. This is especially true for very young and older people as well as those with weakened immune systems.
- If a juice cleanse includes laxatives or other methods of bowel stimulation, a person could lose too many nutrients in their stool. This can lead to dehydration and imbalanced electrolytes.
A person should also be wary of pre-packaged juice cleanses that promise significant results, such as reversing diseases or providing dramatic health benefits. There is usually a lack of research to support these claims.
Many fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients that can assist in the good working of the kidneys. Increasing fluid consumption can also be beneficial for kidney function.
However, some foods are high in oxalate, a compound that can
People living with chronic kidney disease may be at risk of oxalate nephropathy. In rare cases, healthy people may also be at risk of this.
Oxalate nephropathy is a condition in which the body cannot excrete enough oxalate through urine, causing it to build up in kidney tissue. In rare cases, this can cause kidney failure.
Advocates of juice cleanses claim that they can help remove toxins from a person’s body and aid in weight loss. Toxins are harmful substances, such as pollutants and synthetic chemicals.
Studies have shown the weight loss from juice-based diets to be “
After the fast, the participants lost an average of 1.7 kilograms (kg), or 3.75 pounds (lb). At a follow-up 2 weeks later, their weight remained 0.91 kg, or 2.01 lb, lower on average. The participants did not report increased well-being levels at the end of the 3 days.
However, a 2017 review found that while juice cleanses may cause initial weight loss due to calorie restriction, they will lead to overall weight gain once a person resumes a full, healthful diet.
Gut bacteria changes
A brief juice cleanse can affect the bacteria levels in a person’s digestive system.
In the same
While these substances can harm health, the human body is adept at removing them naturally. There is insufficient evidence to support the use of detoxification diets in eliminating toxins from the body, according to a
Advocates of juice cleanses often claim that the programs can help remove toxins from a person’s system.
An increase in fluid consumption can help kidney function, and some nutritional compounds may help in the removal of non-organic waste products in the body. However, there is
Consuming a balanced diet and drinking plenty of fluids is the best way to support the body’s natural detoxifying functions.
A person should only adhere to juice cleanses, or restricted liquid diets, under medical supervision.
Juice cleanse supporters may recommend different types of programs, such as:
- drinking only juices and liquids for several days
- consuming juices in combination with dietary supplements
- combining juices with procedures that “cleanse” the colon, such as enemas or colonic irrigation
- drinking juices alongside specific diets as a means of promoting weight loss
Examples of some of the juice blends that the
- apple, cucumber, celery, romaine lettuce, lemon, spinach, kale, and parsley
- apple, lemon, ginger, and beet
- apple, pineapple, lemon, and mint
- filtered water, cayenne, lemon, almonds, dates, sea salt, and vanilla bean
Drinking six of these juice combinations daily provided an intake of 1,310 calories per day.
There is insufficient evidence to assess the efficacy of juice cleanses. Someone wishing to lose or maintain a healthy weight and support their body’s natural processes can try the following alternatives:
- Intermittent fasting: This involves abstaining from eating for limited periods and eating a regular diet at other times. Reviews have linked intermittent fasting with
weight lossand improvements in insulin sensitivity.
- Balanced diet: Eating a balanced diet and staying adequately hydrated are the best ways to maintain a healthful weight and support the body’s removal of toxins.
- Plant-based diets: Based on minimally processed foods, these diets are naturally rich in fruit and vegetables and are
associatedwith reduced body weight. With good planning, a plant-based diet can provide all the nutrients necessary for good health, may lower the risk of heart disease, and typically has a lower environmental impactthan diets including animal products.
Juice cleanses are controversial in the medical community because they do not usually offer long-term weight loss or wellness solutions. Most experts will recommend a balanced, healthful diet instead.
The evidence to support the possible benefits of juicing tends to be anecdotal. There appears to be more evidence suggesting that a juice cleanse can negatively impact the body, for example, by reducing kidney function.
Before starting a juice cleanse, people should speak with their doctor to find out if they need to amend their juicing plan in order to protect their overall health.