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Detoxification and purification: how useful are detox cures?
Detox cures are particularly popular right now during Lent. "Detox" stands for "Detoxification" (English: "Detoxification") and means detoxification. With such a cure, the body is freed from harmful toxins and the well-being is increased. But how useful is this concept really?
Teas, smoothies, food supplements: All kinds of products are now also available for detox cures. Detox is "in". Such cures are supposed to detoxify the body. They should also help you lose weight. But what's with the new trend?
Spring cleaning from the inside
Detox is the magic word when it comes to detoxifying the body. Now, especially during Lent, many people feel the need for spring cleaning from the inside.
As the Consumer Service Bavaria in the KDFB e.V. (VSB) writes in a current message, the detox concept is based on the assumption that pollutants such as nicotine and other toxins accumulate in the body.
An unhealthy diet with lots of meat, sausage and sugar is said to lead to the storage of so-called “slags” and to acidify the body.
Detox cures and "cleansing" dietary supplements are said to help eliminate the pollutants. They also promise more life energy, a strengthened immune system or weight loss. However, the effect is questionable.
The market for detox products is booming
The market for detox products such as powders, pills, teas and juices is booming. Detox food supplements have very different compositions, the consumer service explains on their website.
Possible ingredients are vitamins, minerals, various herbal ingredients such as fruits, so-called superfoods, aloe vera, turmeric, linseed, mate, green tea, peppermint, dandelions and many more.
Some detox products also contain draining ingredients such as nettle, horsetail or dandelion. The permanent intake can lead to increased excretion of minerals and impair the effect of medication.
Various variants of detox diets can be found on the Internet, in magazines or in health guides. Most of these are multi-day juice cures with water, herbal tea, fruit and vegetable juices.
This is followed by a diet with vegetables and fruit. Solid food is slowly being fed back in. Other possible components of a detoxification diet are bowel movements, "detoxifying" food supplements or baths. The recommendations are varied.
The weight loss with detoxification diets is mostly based on the loss of body water and not body fat.
No scientific evidence
According to the Bavarian consumer service, there is no scientific evidence that detox diets and pills promote the elimination of toxins. There are also no slags or deposits of metabolic products in the body.
A healthy human body excretes unwanted metabolic products and excess acids anyway via the liver, kidney, intestine and lungs.
“From a medical point of view, it is not necessary to detoxify the body regularly with detox cures and dietary supplements. This does not compensate for an unhealthy lifestyle, ”says Gisela Horlemann, graduate ecotrophologist at the Consumer Service Bavaria in the KDFB e.V. (VSB).
"Instead, we recommend a balanced diet with natural foods, lots of fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs supplemented by sufficient exercise in the fresh air."
Entry into healthier eating habits
But even if the theory of acid- and base-forming foods is not scientifically proven, an increase in vegetable and fruit consumption from a nutritional point of view is to be welcomed, explains the German Society for Nutrition (DGE).
When adding vegetables and fruits in the form of juice or smoothies, however, it should be borne in mind that, in their liquid form, they provide energy but hardly saturate. In addition, only a little fiber is supplied to the body in this way.
The avoidance of alcohol and nicotine is positive for detox cures.
A detox regimen may be an introduction to a change in eating habits, but should not be done without medical supervision. In the long run, a strict detox diet can lead to a lack of nutrients such as protein and fat.
According to the DGE, children, adolescents, pregnant women and nursing mothers should not take a detoxification cure. And people taking medication are advised to seek medical advice. (ad)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.