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Scott discusses some research on detox diets, cleanses, and other forms of elimination diets.
Detox diets for toxin elimination and weight management: a critical review of the evidence
From the article abstract:
Although the detox industry is booming, there is very little clinical evidence to support the use of these diets. A handful of clinical studies have shown that commercial detox diets enhance liver detoxification and eliminate persistent organic pollutants from the body, although these studies are hampered by flawed methodologies and small sample sizes. […] To the best of our knowledge, no randomized controlled trials have been conducted to assess the effectiveness of commercial detox diets in humans. This is an area that deserves attention so that consumers can be informed of the potential benefits and risks of detox programs.
Key quote from the article:
“It is known that dieting in general has an estimated success rate of only 20%. (84). A possible explanation for this lack of success is that animals and humans have evolved mechanisms to defend against weight loss because starvation can lead to reduced fertility and even death (85).” (p. 681)
Scott points out that dieters need to consider three realms of time: the immediate, the residual, and the cumulative.
Detox diets feel good in the immediate realm of time during those first few days or weeks—which is why they seem like they’re working—but consumers don’t realize that the rebound or metabolic or hormonal push-back they experience in the residual and cumulative realms of time was caused by the initial diet, even though there might be a delay between the actual dieting and the longer term ramifications.