Detox diets for toxin elimination and weight management: a critical review of the evidence
Version of Record online: 18 DEC 2014
© 2014 The British Dietetic Association Ltd.
Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics
Volume 28, Issue 6, pages 675–686, December 2015
How to Cite
2015) Detox diets for toxin elimination and weight management: a critical review of the evidence. J Hum Nutr Diet. 28, 675–686 doi: 10.1111/jhn.12286& (
- Issue online: 5 NOV 2015
- Version of Record online: 18 DEC 2014
- energy restriction;
- dietary intervention;
- weight loss
Detox diets are popular dieting strategies that claim to facilitate toxin elimination and weight loss, thereby promoting health and well-being. The present review examines whether detox diets are necessary, what they involve, whether they are effective and whether they present any dangers. 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. There is preliminary evidence to suggest that certain foods such as coriander, nori and olestra have detoxification properties, although the majority of these studies have been performed in animals. To the best of our knowledge, no randomised 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 programmes.