Various medical professionals have reportedly debunked the myth that juice cleanses can remove toxins from the body.
Despite the popularity of juice fasts, doctors have stated there is no scientific basis behind the toxins people are supposedly trying to remove from their bodies, The New York Times reports.
"People are interested in this so-called detoxification, but when I ask them what they are trying to get rid of, they aren’t really sure," explained Dr. James H. Grendell, chief of the division of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at Winthrop-University Hospital. "I've yet to find someone who has specified a toxin they were hoping to be spared."
Although toxins do indeed exist, they are defined as a substance that has a damaging effect on the body in its own right or in large quantities, such as lead, pesticides, a large amount of alcohol or certain medications. However, generally speaking, the human body is equipped to take care of most waste that enters it.
"The human body is well-designed to eliminate wastes and toxins, and a number of organs play a role," Grendell said.
Through the liver and the kidneys, substances are drawn from the bloodstream and are processed to be excreted through urine or feces.
Although juice can be beneficial for general health or weight loss, there is no part of the body’s detoxification process that has been proven to be aided by juice cleanses.
"It’s hard to understand because there is no good scientific evidence that a juice cleanse, or any other food for that matter, is particularly relevant to removing toxins," Grendell said.
Dr. Woodson Merrell, author of “The Detox Prescription,” stated that juice can be an effective way to increase vegetable intake.
"The whole thing about juice is it makes that easier to get," Merrell said. "And it’s easily digestible and absorbable."
Nevertheless, he added that juice cleansing "has been so overly hyped [with lots] of people making wild claims of things."