A "Detox" Diet Under Clinical Trial

Woman eating Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

When it comes to detox diets, people are just as divided as possible: some believe they work and they cleanse your organism of "toxins", others find no use of them since the organism can very well clean itself through normal physiological processes.

The need for clinical trials is therefore obvious, but the stakes are too low, so serious, multi-armed, randomized, scientific studies investigating detox diets are scarce.

Yet today we are presenting you the results of a very recent three-arm, randomized clinical trial, still under review, investigating the effect of toxic trace element detoxification, body fat reduction following a four-week intake of the Wellness diet.

The study involved a cohort of 45 women with a body mass index (BMI) of 23.5-30. They were equally divided into three groups: the first one followed the Wellness Diet, the second group followed a plain calorie-restricted diet (they were just eating less than usual, basically), and the third group was the control group; they kept eating whatever they used to eat before the study.

The researcher monitored the toxic trace element levels in the hair of the subjects and other chemical components in urine.

The results

Did detox diet work? Yes. The levels of four toxic trace elements in hair decreased in the group that followed the Wellness diet compared to before the diet. Ni, Rh, Sn, and Ga were significantly lower in this group than in the other two groups.

Does this matter? Only if you are seeking this reduction in toxic trace elements as a purpose in itself. Otherwise, in terms of weight-loss (and wellness, after all), at the end of the trial, both the Wellness group and the calorie-restricted group had lower BMI, waist circumference, hip circumference compared to the baseline values. Surprisingly, the calorie-restricted group outperformed the Wellness group, with a greater mean change from the baseline for weight loss (-3.22 kg vs -1.88 kg) and fat-free mass (-2.08 kg vs -1.09 kg). In fact, the weight, BMI, body fat mass, fat-free mass, waist circumference, and hip circumference of the calorie-restricted group were significantly decreased compared to the control group. No significant changes in any safety parameter were observed.

In conclusion, the "use of Wellness diet might have several beneficial effects and safety such as body fat reduction and improving some element detoxification through caloric restriction but did not reduce body fat mass more than a calorie-restricted diet."

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