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Do Detox Diets Programs Work?

Everyone who watches Oprah knows she has a regular celebrity guest appear on her program by the name of Dr. Oz who answers burning questions about building good health, the human body and weight loss.

Dr. Oz always brings very detailed scientific evidence to prove his point and back up his answers.  He is one of my favorite guests on Oprah because I learn so much from his findings.

(Image of fresh onions - Sanja Gjenero - All Rights Reserved).

One of the questions on a recent show with Dr. Oz involved Detox Diets.

A member of the audience by the name of Alisha had done 7 detox diets over the past five years and had revealed she was just about ready to start another one.

When Oprah asked the audience member to explain about her detox diets, she said "in general, upfront you don't feel very great, but at the end I feel like I have a lot more energy, I'm very focused, maybe a little bit lighter....maybe not always, and just clearer in general, calm."

Oprah asked what type of detox diet programs Alisha went on.  She said "anything from...I've done fasts, I've gone away to fasting spas, I've done "clean eating" like cutting out all processed foods like just eating whole grains, vegetables.."

Oprah then showed a tape of when detox diets were scientifically put to the test.  The actual detox diet test was performed in a controlled environment on ten women who said they "love to party" and all said "they paid the price." The ten women agreed to be part of a scientific test held at a country retreat where they were divided into two groups.

The groups were determined by picking straws to determine who would be in the detox diet group and who would not.

One group was put on a strict detox diet program that claimed to flush all the toxins out of the body.  The other ate a normal diet.

So that researchers could scientifically test the results, both groups were tested at the beginning of the program to see how just how loaded with toxins they really were.  Saliva was taken from each member of the group to be analyzed.

Detox Group Food Plan

Detox group followed a rigorous diet and started each day with fresh vegetable juice with ingredients that included spinach, garlic and onions.

Over the course of the week the group drank beetroot shakes and ate seaweed salads.  The girls obviously did not enjoy their food plan but appeared to stick to the program even though they complained about the taste of the various foods they ate.

Control Group Food Plan

The control group ate a hearty balanced diet of pasta, red meat, wine, coffee.  It was obvious the girls in the control group enjoyed the food they ate and the fact they didn't have to drink garlic laced juice.

The Results?

Was it worth the sacrifice? The results were surprising.

The detox diet had no impact at all. Dr. Oz said he was surprised by the results.  However, Dr. Oz said it should not be called a detox diet.  It should be called a jumpstart program or a rebooting program which takes you back to where your body wants to naturally be.

Oprah said these type of detox programs when followed for three days will help prepare you for a lifestyle change.  It reduces the sugar and salt cravings and gets you ready to eat better.

Does a detox diet work?  Maybe not.

Again, if it helps someone get more aligned to eating a better long term healthy diet it could definitely be worth the challenge of following a short detox plan.  Many weight loss experts do recommend starting a long term program with a quick start or ramp up program and this can definitely.

However, according to the scientific studies, detox diets do not work any better than any other type of diet to reduce toxins from the human body.

What do you think?  Do you agree with Dr. Oz and the scientists or not?

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