There are numerous, although rarely reported in Italy, the cases of people who have had serious health problems, in some cases irreversible, after following detox programs that are dangerous to health.
These programs were often recommended by “wellness therapists” or naturopaths of whom these people were clients, with the purpose of losing weight, detoxifying the liver and intestines, cleansing the kidneys.
However, the detox cure was not limited to a few days, it was often weeks.
Something that is not only absolutely useless , but above all harmful.
DANGEROUS DETOX: THIS IS WHAT CAN HAPPEN
And so in Israel, a woman suffered permanent brain damage according to doctors due to a three-week diet based on fruit extracts and water, which caused her to lose too much sodium, leading to irreversible damage to her health.
Blogger Yovana Mendoza Ayres recently fell in the eye of the storm after quitting her raw and fruitarian diet, which also included water-only fasting sessions.
As a result, Ayres lost her period two years ago, but she was led to believe by the “experts” who treated her that losing her period was a good thing.
It was only over time that she realized how much her amenorrhea was damaging her health, after she also began to have a severe intestinal infection.
And so she introduced eggs, fish, and cooked foods into her diet, with the result that the situation normalized. Ayres, criticism apart from those who accuse her of having betrayed the raw food cause , has in short recovered.
Less fortunate was a woman who detoxed soy sauce , ingesting a liter of soy sauce diluted in water to drink every two hours. Admitted to hospital following a heart attack, the woman suffered permanent neurological damage, the doctor reported that she was treating her.
Previously, the same woman had lost 12 pounds on a diet that for a month made her eat only white bread and canned natural tuna, causing severe nutritional deficiencies that led to depressive problems.
WHEN CAN WE TALK ABOUT DANGEROUS DETOX?
These are obviously borderline cases.
A detox is now a generic term that stands for both a healthier and cleaner diet and for slimming programs that if they create deficiencies and repercussions on health have very little to recommend.
And that in the fruit and vegetable only versions it can be done from one to a maximum of three days, under the supervision of a doctor.
But certainly not more. For example, eating salads and soups for lunch and dinner and fruit snacks during the day. Or by using smoothies and detox smoothies based on seasonal vegetables and fruits.
In the weekly version of the famous Detox Miracle, for example, the plan also includes protein shakes from rice or pea, potatoes, oats and brown rice. Quite another thing. Detox yes, vegan yes, but with criteria!
In its most extreme forms such as the cleanse of liquids only such as herbal teas or water , a detox or fasting diet cannot be followed for more than a few days only if a doctor recommends it, and it is necessary to stop at the first side effects.
Yet I myself have heard many therapists recommend a cleansing and detox fast for up to thirty days. I even heard it from some of the students in my seminars that I attended as a nutrition student.
Not only is this absolutely dangerous, but if someone were to offer you a liquid-only detox for weeks, run away as far as possible.
HOW CAN WE MAKE A HEALTHY DETOX?
There are many ways to detoxify, to help the liver and kidneys or intestines in situations where an unbalanced, high-calorie diet has done some damage.
With more fruit and vegetables, with fresh and seasonal products, with some purifying herbal tea, with citrus juices.
But always with a view to a diet that does not only include these foods , especially if it lasts more than two or three days.
Even semi-fasting programs, such as that of Dr. Valter Longo, last about 4-5 days, and in any case include food in small quantities or protein preparations with mineral salts and vitamins.
Before doing any of these detoxes, even if it is sponsored by a doctor, it is always best to talk to your doctor first and not decide for yourself.