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What are some health risks of detox diets and fasts?

Ms. Ashley Koff, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics
You may lose weight sipping lemon water with cayenne pepper for days, but radical fasting detoxes and master cleanses such as these, especially when done for rapid weight loss, can challenge the body much more than your current daily routine. They can deny your body of nutrients it needs, downshift your metabolism, and leave you more sensitive to foods, beverages, and your normal daily chaos when you return to your precleanse eating habits. Not to mention they are a metabolic recipe for energy loss. During a fast the body slows its systems and workload to compensate for a perceived lack of nutrients. To this end, if your cleanse doesn't supply sufficient nutrients (the range of nutrients -- carbs, proteins, healthy fats) it's likely that the body may alter its metabolic functions in a way that prevents sustainable results and may compromise short-term energy and immune function. Not a good thing for your health or your energy.


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.