We take a look at the whole detox diet pill industry and see whether the end results really match up to the promises. Are detox diet pills safe to take or is it just another marketing ploy to part you with your money?
Lose 30 pounds in 30 days, banish the cellulite forever, get rid of bloating and get glowing skin are just some of the impressive claims made by the manufacturers. It’s no wonder then that we could be tempted into trying a quick fix!
Are the weight loss results possible to the ordinary person and what effect can these detox pill have on your health? Join us on another special investigation from the Diet Pills Watchdog team.
So What Are Detox Diet Pills?
The phrase “detox diet pills” has been coined to describe a number of diet supplements that claim to cleanse your digestive system and clean out your bowels.
This is because some researchers claimed to have found a link between having a sluggish bowel and an increase in weight. The theory went that by cleaning out your system then you will lose weight and be more efficient at burning fat.
The other school of thought is that a build up of toxins in the bowels slows down the efficiency of the body and therefore makes gaining weight so much easier.
Both theories led to the marketing of specific detox diet pills and more specifically, colon cleansers. As a result there has been an explosion in companies offering these types of products with the claim that you can lose massive amounts of weight.
So How Do These Colon Cleansers and Pills Work?
There are a number of detox diets around which promote healthy eating and an elimination of “bad” foods in order to give your body a thorough spring-cleaning. Many people swear by these detox diets and can feel incredibly energised, manage to lose weight and feel so much healthier.
The diet pill companies seized on this and developed a range of products to help flush out the digestive system and promote a more extreme version of a detox diet.
They do this in two ways; they ram the detox pills full of two main types of ingredients:
Diuretics and Laxatives
Diuretics are designed to expel water from your body. They claim that obese people have an excess amount of water in the body and by expelling more water you will lose weight.
Laxatives are designed to stimulate the bowels and get things moving again. The idea is that fat people are literally “full of waste,” and by helping the body expel all this waste matter you will not only lose weight but your digestive system should work so much better.
What Is The Science Behind The Claims?
Unfortunately there isn’t any.
None of the manufacturers can list any scientific evidence to prove that taking large amounts of diuretics and laxatives can lead to long-term health benefits or lasting weight loss.
Yes sure you might lose some short-term weight but this is in the form of a dangerous lowering of your natural water level combined with an imbalance in the natural health of the bowel.
So The Experts Don’t Recommend Detox Diet Pills?
That’s right, all the existing medical teachings believe that our bodies are completely capable of excreting waste from our body, this is the whole basis of our bowels, kidneys, lungs and skin.
Problems can arise from having a bad diet low in fibre, fruit and vegetables but this is simply tackled by adopting a healthy diet, something we should all be doing as a matter of course.
But It Worked For My Friend; She Lost a Ton of Weight!
Quite possibly she did, but you need to know how and why she may have had short-term weight loss.
By taking the detox diet pills she will have expelled water from her body to a dangerously low level. Couple this with the laxatives that excrete waste and excess water from the bowel then it’s likely some weight loss may be have occurred.
Unfortunately for the average person this is all playing with fire. Our bodies are cleverly designed to balance out our water consumption, put simply when we are thirsty we drink. By interfering with this process we are messing with the natural balance.
Any weight loss is temporary and comes from the lower levels of water in the body and waste being expelled quicker, which is usually coupled with Diarrhoea.
So These Detox Diet Pills Are Dangerous Then?
Most experts would agree that was the case.
By artificially lowering the water content of our bodies and taking laxatives we are risking several side effects.
The biggest threat is from dehydration, which has a whole host of scary outcomes. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dehydration)
Symptoms can include:
- Decreased Blood Pressure
- Increased Urination
By drying out your body like this you experience several symptoms, firstly there is thirst and discomfort. This is usually coupled with a loss of appetite, which is one of the side effects the use of these pills is designed to promote. You might be dehydrated but at least you stop eating!
Secondly dehydration can lead to constipation, this is why the laxatives are added in. The body is drying out so the laxatives help expel waste from the bowels, which of course it would have done naturally anyway.
Thirdly by interfering with your bodies’ natural functions, you induce something called Homeostasis. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeostasis)
This is the technical term for the natural balance of the body; it’s where it regulates itself completely naturally to stay in the optimum condition. Unless you have a medical condition that interferes with this then the body will always stay in Homeostasis.
By taking colon cleansers and other detox supplements you are messing about with these natural functions, which could potentially cause severe side effects.
What Other Side Effects Are There?
Apart from the main dehydration threats there are other side effects to contend with.
Because you are ingesting large amounts of laxatives then the whole health of the body can come under threat when you take these products long term.
We have seen some of the worst of the detox pill people selling 3 and 6-month packages of these pills. This could mean you are putting your body under threat for long periods of time.
The main side effect of this is to play around with the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that you absorb. No scientific tests have been carried out on any of these products to show what effect they have on health long term. You could literally be playing with a ticking time bomb if you took any of these products on a long-term basis.
You could also experience a decrease in your immune system from the imbalance your body goes through. This can lead to an increased risk of infections.
These types of detox products can also interfere with the natural metabolism of the body. It can become slowed down form the natural imbalances that are induced, this can lead to rapid weight loss when the product is no longer taken.
What Are The Alternatives?
It is more than possible to see some of the benefits that detox diet pills claim to have without risking your health.
Simply eat more fruit and vegetables and stay hydrated with water. Try and avoid junk food and high sugar soda drinks as well, as these are also proven to be bad for your digestive system.
This is more than enough, to keep a healthy gut going and flush any toxins that might be in your body.
By exercising more you can also “get things moving” better. Exercise will have the positive side effect of helping you burn fat more efficiently so it’s a win-win all round.
What About A Detox Pill Taken With A Diet Pill?
This is another popular misconception pushed by the diet pill scam merchants. It has been popular marketing from the scam merchants who try and extract as much money as possible from you.
We have written about the free trial scams before and they normally have two “free trials” of a diet pill and a colon cleanser. You sign up for both free trials and only pay for shipping then get stung further down the line when they bill you exorbitant amounts for both products.
The whole idea is to scam you for double the money and no other reason.
If you ever see a fake news site pushing a diet pill AND a colon cleanser then in all likelihood it is a scam, get out of there quick!
So I Take It You Don’t Approve Of Detox Diet Pills?
We can only go on the evidence presented to us, and unfortunately there is no evidence whatsoever that taking high dosages of diuretics and laxatives could have ANY health benefits.
None of the merchants we looked at have anything to suggest that these pills could be effective on a long-term basis.
We have also heard of a number of cases where people, and particularly those 18-25 become “addicted” to detox diets. The fast weight loss from dehydration and waste elimination starts to be “need” by the individual and they get in to a dangerous spiral rather like having anorexia or bulimia.
Unfortunately detox diet pills have become fairly mainstream with the view that if they are about they must be all right. On the contrary the lack of real facts is not only of concern but we really must question the morals of those merchants who persist in pushing them as a weight loss answer.