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Are detox diets an effective strategy for obesity and oxidation management in the short term?



Introduction: Detox diets are popular dieting strategies that claim to facilitate toxin elimination and weight loss, thereby promoting health and well-being. Objective: To examine whether detox diets affect antioxidant markers in blood and body composition. Methods: 14 participants were randomly divided into two groups: a) Group 1/Detox diet: followed an exclusive detox diet based on juices for three days, followed by a hypocaloric diet for 4 days; and b) Group 2/Mediterranean diet: followed a hypocaloric Mediterranean diet for 7 days. Results: there were statistically significant differences, in both groups, between the basal and final data in all study variables, except for test PAT. Weight, BMI, total fat, muscle and dROM decreased, while body water increased slightly. Weight loss and body fat were higher in group 2 (Mediterranean diet) than in group 1 (detox diet). The percentage of body water and the level of reactive oxygen metabolites increased. There was greater loss of musculature and water. In group 1, a decrease in the level of reactive oxygen metabolites was observed. However, there was a lower decrease in the body's antioxidant response, in group 1 than in group 2. Conclusion: There are reports which support that detox diets are useful for health promotion and weight loss; however, some preliminary studies suggest that certain nutritional components possess detoxification properties; we did not meet such a conclusion in our study.
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* Autor para correspondencia.
Correo electrónico: (Ismael San Mauro Martin).
Recibido el 27 de junio de 2017; aceptado el 6 de julio de 2017. Los artículos publicados en esta revista se distribuyen con la licencia:
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Artículo inglés
Are detox diets an effective strategy for obesity and oxidation
management in the short term?
¿Son las dietas de desintoxicación una estrategia eficaz para la gestión de la
obesidad y la oxidación a corto plazo?
Ismael San Mauro Martín1, Victor Paredes Barato1, Sara Sanz Rojo1, Sara López Oliva1, Elena
Garicano Vilar1, Paulina Gudalewska2, Marta Martín1, Xin Rui1, María José Ciudad Cabañas3, Luis
Collado Yurrita3
1 Research Centre in Nutrition and Health (CINUSA group). Madrid, Spain.
2Polish Research Unit. Research Centre in Nutrition and Health (CINUSA group). Poland.
3Departamento de Medicina. Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Madrid, Spain.
Introduction: Detox diets are popular dieting strategies that claim to facilitate toxin elimination and weight loss, thereby promoting
health and well-being.
Objective: To examine whether detox diets affect antioxidant markers in blood and body composition.
Methods: 14 participants were randomly divided into two groups: a) Group 1/Detox diet: followed an exclusive detox diet based on
juices for three days, followed by a hypocaloric diet for 4 days; and b) Group 2/Mediterranean diet: followed a hypocaloric
Mediterranean diet for 7 days.
Results: there were statistically significant differences, in both groups, between the basal and final data in all study variables, except
for test PAT. Weight, BMI, total fat, muscle and dROM decreased, while body water increased slightly. Weight loss and body fat were
higher in group 2 (Mediterranean diet) than in group 1 (detox diet). The percentage of body water and the level of reactive oxygen
metabolites increased. There was greater loss of musculature and water. In group 1, a decrease in the level of reactive oxygen
metabolites was observed. However, there was a lower decrease in the body's antioxidant response, in group 1 than in group 2.
Conclusion: There are reports which support that detox diets are useful for health promotion and weight loss; however, some
preliminary studies suggest that certain nutritional components possess detoxification properties; we did not meet such a conclusion in
our study.
detox; oxidation; antioxidant; obesity; diet
Introducción: Las dietas de desintoxicación son estrategias populares que pretenden facilitar la eliminación de toxinas y la pérdida de
peso, promoviendo así la salud y el bienestar.
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Objetivo: examinar si las dietas de desintoxicación afectan a los marcadores antioxidantes en la sangre y la composición corporal.
Métodos: 14 participantes fueron divididos aleatoriamente en dos grupos: a) Grupo 1/Dieta Detox: siguieron de una dieta exclusiva de
desintoxicación basada en zumos durante tres días, seguida de una dieta hipocalórica durante 4 días; y b) Grupo 2/Dieta
mediterránea: siguió una dieta mediterránea hipocalórica durante 7 días.
Resultados: hubo diferencias estadísticamente significativas, en ambos grupos, entre los datos basales y finales en todas las
variables del estudio, excepto para test PAT. El peso, IMC, grasa total, músculo y dROM disminuyeron, mientras que el agua corporal
aumentó ligeramente. La pérdida de peso y la grasa corporal fueron mayores en el grupo 2 (dieta mediterránea) que en el grupo 1
(dieta detox). El porcentaje de agua corporal y el nivel de metabolitos reactivos del oxígeno aumentaron. En el grupo 1, hubo mayor
pérdida de musculatura y agua. Se observó una disminución en el nivel de metabolitos reactivos del oxígeno. Sin embargo, en el
grupo 1 hubo una disminución menor en la respuesta antioxidante del cuerpo que en el grupo 2.
Conclusión: Aunque hay informes que apoyan que las dietas de desintoxicación son útiles para la promoción de la salud y la pérdida
de peso y algunos estudios preliminares que sugieren que ciertos componentes nutricionales poseen propiedades de desintoxicación,
en nuestro estudio no llegamos a dicha conclusión.
Palabras clave
desintoxicación; oxidación; antioxidante; obesidad; dieta
Detox or depurative diets are one of the latest trends in nutrition. Many products, books and websites have
appeared in order to disseminate these diets not only in Spain (1) but internationally as well (2-4). They are based on facts
that our organism is oxidized and it has accumulated toxins that must be eliminated following a series of guidelines that
vary according to the method. Some of these plans promise weight loss in a short time; many of these diets last less than
a week. Although all of them are short-time diets and they don’t contain processed foods, coffee, sweeteners and salt, the
composition of the diet and the way to prepare food varies. Some of them allow only consuming liquids, other allow the
consumption of fruits and vegetables. Some make a restriction of food that contains protein, like meat or milk and other
include protein shakes. These types of diets are used in naturopathy in an extended way, without a standardized
methodology (5). In addition, cause of the inequality of these diets, the analysis of their effects on health has to be
individualized. Different clinical and review studies have been carried out on the impact of detox diets on health,
elimination of toxins and weight loss. One study evaluated the impact of maple syrup in detox diet in one week on weight
loss, body fat and insulin resistance.
At the end of the week weight loss, lower insulin resistance and body fat were observed without changes in other
hematological parameters (6). In a clinical case, a diet designed based on the phytochemical composition of food was
used and improvement was observed, however, it must be taken into account that it is a result of a single person (7). In
other review study, a positive impact of these diets on the elimination of toxins such as bisphenol A or on weight loss has
not been seen (8).
There is a balance between oxidizing molecules and antioxidants In our organism (9). Oxidative stress is a natural
process in our body that develops for the reason of imbalance in the concentration of these molecules. Reactive oxygen
species (ROS) may be endogenous, due to cell metabolism, and exogenous from the ionizing radiation, tobacco smoke,
ozone, hyperoxia or heavy metals (10). Antioxidants can be found in plants, such as medicinal plants (11), and products of
plant origin. In addition, synthetic antioxidants have been developed, although they have been shown the harmful effect to
health (11). When this imbalance occurs, either by excess or defect of ROS, a pathological situation occurs, since ROS
acts as signaling molecules in different metabolic pathways (12). Oxidative stress has been associated with certain
pathological conditions such as joint pain, diabetes or fertility problems. In addition, it is related to key proteins in
neurodegenerative processes (13). Oxidative stress has also been linked with the aging process. It is believed that with the
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passage of time ROS levels increase and this leads to functional alterations, pathological conditions and finally to death
(9). One of the most widespread diseases in our century that is associated with oxidative stress is obesity (14). Obesity
involves chronic inflammation of adipose tissue that produces the release of ROS by the innate immune system (15) and
pro-inflammatory adipocytokines by adipose tissue. An excess of chronic ROS may contribute to the development of Type
2 Diabetes Mellitus (DM2), insulin resistance, hypertension, atherosclerosis and cancer (14). Obesity is a health problem
that is increasing over the years. It is understood as an excess of the body fat that adversely affects health and mortality.
An excess of the fat is considered when the Body Mass Index (BMI) is higher than 30 kg / m2 (16). This measure presents
a number of limitations such as ethnicity (17), (some studies suggest differences in the percentage of the body fat at the
same BMI as a function of ethnicity), the age, the gender, the muscle / fat ratio (18).
It has been seen that a distribution of mainly abdominal fat is related to increased inflammation, the oxidation and
alterations in glucose and lipid metabolism. A waist circumference more than 80cm in women and 94cm in males is
associated with a high level of visceral fat and moderate cardiovascular risk (and > 88 and 102, high risk). The factors
that influence on obesity are low physical activity, an excess of calories in the diet in a continuous way, genetic,
environmental, cultural and economic factors, endocrine diseases and as a side effect of some pharmacological
treatments. The excess of body fat, especially the visceral fat, involves a number of associated diseases such as
hypertension, dyslipidemia, coronary heart disease, stroke, renal and hepatic dysfunction, non-alcoholic fatty liver,
osteoarthritis, DM2, asthma, Sleep apnea, infertility and colon, prostate, endometrial and breast cancer (19,20) The
inflammation and the oxidation present in obesity are closely related. The oxidative stress is a part of the normal
physiology of the human body. ROS occur as a consequence of various metabolic processes, forming part of a redox
homeostasis (9,10). Patients with obesity have increased level of oxidation processes.
Inflammation promotes a state of oxidative stress in the body and this in turn prolongs the inflammatory state.
Pro-inflammatory transcription factors are sensitive to the free radicals. Both the inflammation and the oxidative stress are
involved in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance, DM2, cancer, atherosclerosis and premature aging. Alterations in
glucose metabolism are due to inflammation, capable of altering insulin signaling, which can lead to hyperglycemia, which
turns oxidative stress and inflammation. The hypertrophy of adipocytes due to obesity compromise the physiology of
adipose tissue (21), resulting in increased oxidative stress and the inflammation. The inflammation and the oxidative stress
would therefore be linked to the diseases associated with obesity (13,19, 21).
Both inflammation and the oxidative stress decrease with weight loss (14,15,19, 20, 22). One of the strategies for
weight loss is a calorie restriction. This restriction is associated with a reduction in the risk of associated with obesity, as
well as an increase in longevity. This has been studied in flies (23), mice, and monkeys (24) and continues the debate about
humans (25). The RC decreases the inflammation and the oxidative stress, as well as damages caused by ROS. Another
dietary intervention that seems to improve the inflammation and the oxidative stress is the consumption of food rich in
antioxidants such as fruits and vegetables, especially because of their content in polyphenols, which appear to have a
direct effect on ROS. These antioxidants would improve the body's antioxidant capacity, vascular function, glucose
metabolism, and reduce oxidation of the LDL cholesterol and the progression of atherosclerosis (11,26). Recent reports
have reported that very short-term low-calorie diets in obese subjects improve insulin resistance (27) in those with DM2
with comparable effects to Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (28), the hypothalamic response to glucose (29) and decrease
oxidative stress, more effectively in obese people without DM2 (30).
To evaluate the short-term effect of a hypocaloric, antioxidant-rich diet based on fruit and vegetable juices on
antioxidant markers in blood and body composition.
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Material and methods
14 participants from the Autonomous Community of Madrid, 11 women and 3 men, at the age between 30 and 60
years were recruited. Inclusion criteria were as follows: adult men and / or women at the age from 30 to 60 years, without
serious diseases, overweight or obese. Those subjects who did not complete the study or did not provide signed informed
consent were excluded. In addition to subjects who had serious illnesses (diabetes, fructose intolerance, celiac disease,
neural diseases, heart disease, hepatitis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), cancer, etc. ).
Study design:
A semi-experimental, prospective and comparative study was designed. Participants were randomly divided into
two groups:
A) Group 1 / A / Detox: Exclusive detox diet based on juices for three days, followed by
a hypocaloric diet for 4 days.
B) Group 2 / B / Mediterranean Diet (MD): Hypocaloric diet for 7 days.
During one full week both groups received a nutritional intervention in which each individual was given a
hypocaloric diet. In addition, this diet was adjusted to a negative balance of 500 Kcal / day. The G1, in addition to the
above, was given a Detox diet, based on juices, for 3 days within the same week.
The different juices were composed by:
a) Pineapple, apple, spinach, water, lime, cucumber, celery, agave syrup, camu camu, guarana, xanthan
b) Water, celery, mango, pineapple, carrot, passion fruit, reishi, maca, xanthan
c) Apple, water, celery, spinach, lime, kale, pea protein, rice protein, guarana, xanthan, Himalayan salt.
d) Water, strawberry, banana, pomegranate, raspberry, beetroot, agave syrup, pea protein, rice protein,
xanthan, açai.
e) Apple, water, kiwi, celery, spinach, goji berries, spirulina, xanthan.
f) Water, mango, orange, pineapple, pomegranate, banana, carrot, celery, flax seed, xanthan, lucuma.
Each of the participants, before being included in the study, received information about the purpose of the study,
and signed an informed consent for their participation.
The entire project was carried out with dental staff of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
Study factors:
Anthropometric measurement of height, weight and waist circumference was performed. An InBody Model 230
multi-frequency (20-100 kHz) bioimpedance four-phase electric device was used, according to the manufacturer's
instructions (31), for weight measurement, body fat percentage, subcutaneous fat (kg), The amount of lean body mass (kg)
and the percentage of water. Size was also measured with a SECA® mobile squeegee with a precision of 1 mm. Finally,
the BMI was calculated (BMI = weight (kg) / height (m2)).
Measurement of d-ROM and PAT test was performed with an analyzer model FRAS 4 Evolvo
(H & D SRL, Italy).
Physical activity was assessed by means of the IPAQ questionnaire (32), recording the intensity of the exercise,
both in its main activity and in free time.An adapted version of the Health Questionnaire (SF-36) (33) was used to assess
quality of life, and the National Health Survey (34) was used to record sleep quality.
Dietary habits were assessed using Food Frequency Frequency Questionnaire.
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The DIAL software was used to evaluate the managed menu. The recommendations of the Mediterranean diet
pattern were used in terms of the recommended consumption frequencies of the SENC, 2015 (35).
Data were collected by trained and trained dietitian-nutritionists, homogenizing a protocol for data collection and
monitoring of the study.
Statistics analysis:
Descriptive analyzes were carried out, presenting the results as means, standard deviation and percentages.
Parametric statistics, Student t test and ANOVA were used to analyze the differences between the means of two groups
of quantitative variables and χ2 test for nonparametric qualitative variables. Significant differences were considered with p
values <0.05. Data analysis was performed using SPSS® (version 20).
The sample consisted of 14 participants (11 women and 3 men), between 30 and 60 years, with a mean age of
53.14 ± 16.14 years. Baseline demographic and anthropometric data are shown in Table 1.
Detox diet (n=8) Mediterranean diet (n=6) P-Value
Height [m] (M ± SD) 166.94 ± 2.18 165.67 ± 2.17 0.483
Weight [kg] (M ± SD) 75.13 ± 3.61 80.28 ± 11.88 0.035*
BMI [kg/m2] (M ± SD) 26.91 ± 0.93 29.52 ± 4.912 0.044*
Total fat (%)(M ± SD) 34.55 ± 1.92 37.47 ± 4.04 0.336
Muscle (Kg) (M ± SD) 46.90 ± 3.28 45.97 ± 4.49 0.394
Water (%)(M ± SD) 47.78 ± 3.29 45.75 ± 6.63 0.266
dROM (M ± SD) 445.88 ± 26.90 483.50 ± 28.30 0.792
PAT (M ± SD) 2560.75 ± 71.77 2615.50 ± 110.33 0.860
* p<0.05, considered statistically significant.
Table 1: Baseline descriptive data of the sample.
In both groups there are statistically significant differences between the basal and final data in all study variables,
except for PAT (Figure 1). Weight, BMI, total fat, muscle and dROM decreased, while body water slightly increased
(Table 2).
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* p<0.05, considered statistically significant.
Figure 1: Difference in weight, BMI, total fat, muscle, water, dROM and PAT, of both groups, at the beginning and at the end of the
Detox diet (n=8) Mediterranean diet (n=6) P-Value
Height [m] (M ± SD) -1.91 ± 0.61 -2.18 ± 1.78 0.693
Weight [kg] (M ± SD) -0.68 ± 0.20 -0.80 ± 0.63 0.641
BMI [kg/m2] (M ± SD) -0.21 ± 1.12 -0.62 ± 2.44 0.684
Total fat (%)(M ± SD) -1.05 ± 0.60 -0.70 ± 2.75 0.730
Muscle (Kg) (M ± SD) -1.12 ± 0.76 0.30 ± 1.95 0.581
Water (%)(M ± SD) -20.63 ± 48.26 19.5 ± 67.43 0.217
dROM (M ± SD) -220.63 ± 424.11 -38.83 ± 259.49 0.374
Table 2: Difference between the study variables, at the beginning and at the end of the study
The variables "muscle difference" and "weight difference" did not follow a normal distribution and were therefore
compared by the Mann-Whitney U test, which indicates that there are no statistically significant differences between the
results obtained in groups 1 and 2 (Table 3).
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Weight_dif Muscle_dif
U de Mann-Whitney 23.500 22.000
W de Wilcoxon 59.500 43.000
Z-0.065 -0.259
Sig. asint. (bilateral) 0.948 0.796
Exact signification [2*(sig. unilateral)] 0.950 0.852
Mann-Whitney U test
Table 3: Mann-Whitney U test between muscle difference and weight between
the two study groups.
Figure 2 shows that weight loss and body fat were higher in group 2 (Mediterranean diet) than in group 1 (detox
diet). In group 1, there is greater loss of musculature and water. In the case of group 2, the percentage of body water
increased. In group 1, a decrease in the level of reactive oxygen metabolites is observed, whereas in group 2, they
increased (Fig. 2). However, in group 1, there is a smaller decrease in the antioxidant response of the organism than in
group 2 (Fig. 2).
To the best of our knowledge, no rigorous clinical investigations of detox diets have been conducted. The handful
of studies that have been published suffer from significant methodological limitations including small sample sizes,
sampling bias, lack of control groups, reliance on self-report and qualitative rather than quantitative measurements (8). In
addition, health and fitness-related social media content keep including strict diet/exercise plans and “detoxes” that claim
to have health and weight loss benefits (36).
Liquid-based detox diets that claim to rid the body of toxins (despite no medical evidence indicating this is
necessary) have been criticized by the Dietitians Association of Australia and can result in the loss of healthy gut bacteria
and electrolytes (37).
Commercial detox diets rarely identify the specific toxins they aim to remove or the mechanisms by which they
eliminate them, making it difficult to investigate their claims (8).
The only commercial detox product to have been evaluated clinically is UltraClear® (Metagenics Inc., Aliso Viejo,
CA, USA), a medical food supplement that purports to detoxify the liver (38,39). MacIntosh and Ball examined the effects of
UltraClear® in 25 naturopathy students, without the inclusion of a placebo control group. A statistically significant (47%)
reduction was observed in the volunteers’ scores on the Metabolic Screening Questionnaire (MSQ) over the 7-day
treatment period. The MSQ comprises a short set of questions designed to gauge the severity of a broad range of health
complaints, including headaches, nausea, genital itch, coughing, chest pain, mood swings, acne and dark circles under
the eyes.
It is possible that malic acid (found in grapes and wine), citric acid (found in citrus fruits), succinic acid (found in
apples and blueberries), citrus pectin (found in the peel and pulp of citrus fruits), coriander, selenium, Chlorella (a type of
green algae), Nori and Olestra may provide the basis for an evidence-based detox diet in the future (if the need for
detoxification is established) (8).
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Figure 2: Weight, body fat, muscle mass, body water dROM and PAT differences in group 1 with respect to group 2.
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Currently, no scientific studies have investigated the effectiveness of commercial detox diets for losing weight. But
there are many anecdotal reports of the stressfulness of popular detox programmes. This is not surprising considering the
low-energy, nutrient-poor nature of many of these diets (8). Based on the work of Mazurak et al. (40) and Tomiyama et al.
(41), it is possible that low energy detox diets increase stress, elevate cortisol and stimulate appetite, thereby making it
difficult to lose weight. The findings of Pankevich et al. (42) obtained from studies of mice hint that stressful detox diets may
set the scene for binge eating and rebound weight gain in the future, although this requires experimental validation.
Most clinical studies of calorie-restricted diets with 9- to- 20 week intervention periods have reported that energy
consumption of less than 1,000 kcal/d causes a reduction in body weight, BMI, abdominal visceral fat, and intermuscular
fat (43,44). Although our intervention period was shorter than these studies and higher in calories, no significant decreases
in body weight, BMI and body fat percentage were observed in the detox group.
Although it is plausible that energy-restricted detox diets are able to produce short-term weight loss (6), it is
unclear whether these diets are useful for maintaining a healthy weight in the long-term. Consumers should be made
aware that the weight loss claims of these detox products are not underpinned by any clinical evidence (8).
Although there is scant clinical evidence available to support the use of detox diets, there are anecdotal reports
that support they are useful for health promotion and weight loss. Results obtained in our work do not follow this line.
Although there is currently no evidence to support the use of commercial detox diets for removing toxic
substances from the body, there are some preliminary studies suggesting that certain nutritional components possess
detoxification properties.
Considering the popularity of detox diets, our opinion is that consumers and medical professionals should be
better informed about their possible risks and benefits, and that legislation should be put in place to protect consumers
from unsubstantiated claims.
Conflict of interests
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
No funding declared.
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... Tais estratégias populares se baseiam na justificativa de que o organismo oxidado precisaria eliminar toxinas acumuladas por meio de dietas hipocalóricas. Com a popularidade das dietas de desintoxicação, sugere-se que deveria ser implementada legislação para informar os consumidores e profissionais da saúde sobre informações não comprovadas (MARTÍN et al., 2017), pois a falta de regulamentação da rotulagem e alegações dos produtos de desintoxicação é uma grande preocupação (KLEIN; KIAT, 2015). ...
Este trabalho objetivou realizar uma revisão de literatura sobre bebidas mistas de frutas e vegetais e seus principais componentes no contexto do consumo alimentar. O presente estudo é uma revisão narrativa elaborada a partir da consulta em diferentes bases de dados, como: Web of science e Science Direct. Optou-se pela busca por termos livres. Os termos juice, drinks foram combinados com as palavras fruits “AND” vegetables para localizar estudos sobre os dois temas. Posteriormente, a fim de selecionar estudos com os principais componentes das bebidas mistas, foram utilizados os termos livres “citrus limon”, “Malus domestica”, “Ananas comosus”, “Cucumis savitus”, “Brassica oleracea”, “Spinacia oleracea”, “Zingiber officinale” e “Mentha ssp”. O critério de inclusão dos trabalhos foi pautado na seleção de materiais que tivessem por objetivo estudar os efeitos isolados do consumo dos principais ingredientes das bebidas mistas, como também os artigos que utilizaram a bebida mista com alegação “detox” nos estudos. O direcionamento dos artigos selecionados está relacionado com a prospecção da atividade antioxidante e, apesar da composição das bebidas ser diversificada, destacam-se o uso de maçã, de repolho e de pepino como ingredientes das preparações. As bebidas mistas, sucos ou smoothies apresentaram variável composição que determina os atributos sensoriais, composição físico-química, compostos bioativos e atividade antioxidante. Palavras-chave: Suco. Nutrição. Alimentação. Abstract This study aimed to conduct a literature review on mixed fruit and vegetable drinks and their main components in the context of food consumption. The present study is a narrative review elaborated from the consultation in different databases, such as Web of science and Science Direct databases. It was chosen to search free terms. The terms juice, drinks were combined with the words fruits “AND” vegetables to locate studies on both themes. Subsequently, in order to select studies with the main components of mixed drinks, the free terms "citrus limon", "Malus domestica", "Ananas comosus", "Cucumis savitus", "Brassica oleracea", "Spinacia oleracea" ”,“ Zingiber officinale ”and “Mentha ssp ”. The inclusion criterion of the studies was based on the selection of materials that aimed to study the effects of vegetable consumption alone, which are the main ingredients of mixed drinks and included articles that used the mixed drink or juices with claim “detox” in the studies. The direction of the selected studies is related to the prospecting of antioxidant activity and, although the drinks composition is diverse, the use of apple, cabbage and cucumber as ingredients of the preparations stand out. Plant foods are important sources of nutrients for food. The mixed drinks, juices or smoothies presented variable composition that determines the sensory attributes, physicochemical composition, bioactive compounds and antioxidant activity. Keywords: Juice. Nutrition. Food.
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Obesity-related oxidative stress, the imbalance between pro-oxidants and antioxidants (e.g., nitric oxide), has been linked to metabolic and cardiovascular disease, including endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are essential for physiological functions including gene expression, cellular growth, infection defense, and modulating endothelial function. However, elevated ROS and/or diminished antioxidant capacity leading to oxidative stress can lead to dysfunction. Physical activity also results in an acute state of oxidative stress. However, it is likely that chronic physical activity provides a stimulus for favorable oxidative adaptations and enhanced physiological performance and physical health, although distinct responses between aerobic and anaerobic activities warrant further investigation. Studies support the benefits of dietary modification as well as exercise interventions in alleviating oxidative stress susceptibility. Since obese individuals tend to demonstrate elevated markers of oxidative stress, the implications for this population are significant. Therefore, in this review our aim is to discuss (i) the role of oxidative stress and inflammation as associated with obesity-related diseases, (ii) the potential concerns and benefits of exercise-mediated oxidative stress, and (iii) the advantageous role of dietary modification, including acute or chronic caloric restriction and vitamin D supplementation.
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Background: Adolescence and young adulthood are key periods for developing norms related to health behaviors and body image, and social media can influence these norms. Social media is saturated with content related to dieting, fitness, and health. Health and fitness–related social media content has received significant media attention for often containing objectifying and inaccurate health messages. Limited research has identified problematic features of such content, including stigmatizing language around weight, portraying guilt-related messages regarding food, and praising thinness. However, no research has identified who is “liking” or “following” (ie, consuming) such content. Objective: This exploratory study aimed to identify demographics, mental health, and substance use–related behaviors that predicted consuming 3 types of health and fitness–related social media content—weight loss/fitness motivation pages (ie, “fitspiration”), detox/cleanse pages, and diet/fitness plan pages—among young social media users. Methods: Participants (N=1001; age: median 21.06, IQR 17.64-24.64; female: 723/1001, 72.23%) completed a cross-sectional 112-question online survey aimed at social media users aged between 15-29 years residing in Victoria, Australia. Logistic regression was used to determine which characteristics predicted consuming the 3 types of health and fitness–related social media content. Results: A total of 378 (37.76%) participants reported consuming at least 1 of the 3 types of health and fitness–related social media content: 308 (30.77%) fitspiration pages, 145 (14.49%) detox pages, and 235 (23.48%) diet/fitness plan pages. Of the health and fitness–related social media content consumers, 85.7% (324/378) identified as female and 44.8% (324/723) of all female participants consumed at least 1 type of health and fitness–related social media content. Predictors of consuming at least one type of health and fitness–related social media content in univariable analysis included female gender (OR 3.5, 95% CI 2.5-4.9, P<.001), being aged 15-17 years (OR 3.0, 95% CI 2.2-4.0, P<.001), residing outside a major city (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.4-2.9, P<.001), having no post–high school education (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.7-2.9, P<.001), being born in Australia (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.2-3.2, P=.006), having a self-reported eating disorder (OR 2.4, 95% CI 1.5-3.9, P<.001), being a victim of bullying (OR 1.7, CI 1.3-2.3, P<.001), misusing detox/laxative teas or diet pills (OR 4.6, 95% CI 2.8-7.6, P<.001), never using illegal drugs (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.2-2.0, P=.001), and not engaging in risky single occasion drinking on a weekly basis (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.3-3.0, P=.003). Conclusions: Consumers of health and fitness–related social media content were predominantly teenaged girls. There is a need to ensure that this social media content portrays responsible health messages and to research further the role of fitspiration pages, detox pages, and diet/fitness plan pages in influencing body image and health behaviors.
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Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are produced by living organisms as a result of normal cellular metabolism and environmental factors, such as air pollutants or cigarette smoke. ROS are highly reactive molecules and can damage cell structures such as carbohydrates, nucleic acids, lipids, and proteins and alter their functions. The shift in the balance between oxidants and antioxidants in favor of oxidants is termed "oxidative stress." Regulation of reducing and oxidizing (redox) state is critical for cell viability, activation, proliferation, and organ function. Aerobic organisms have integrated antioxidant systems, which include enzymatic and nonenzymatic antioxidants that are usually effective in blocking harmful effects of ROS. However, in pathological conditions, the antioxidant systems can be overwhelmed. Oxidative stress contributes to many pathological conditions and diseases, including cancer, neurological disorders, atherosclerosis, hypertension, ischemia/perfusion, diabetes, acute respiratory distress syndrome, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and asthma. In this review, we summarize the cellular oxidant and antioxidant systems and discuss the cellular effects and mechanisms of the oxidative stress.
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Oxidative stress plays a pathological role in the development of various diseases including diabetes, atherosclerosis, or cancer. Systemic oxidative stress results from an imbalance between oxidants derivatives production and antioxidants defenses. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are generally considered to be detrimental for health. However, evidences have been provided that they can act as second messengers in adaptative responses to stress. Obesity represents a major risk factor for deleterious associated pathologies such as type 2 diabetes, liver, and coronary heart diseases. Many evidences regarding obesity-induced oxidative stress accumulated over the past few years based on established correlations of biomarkers or end-products of free-radical-mediated oxidative stress with body mass index. The hypothesis that oxidative stress plays a significant role in the development of metabolic disorders, especially insulin-resistance state, is supported by several studies where treatments reducing ROS production reverse metabolic alterations, notably through improvement of insulin sensitivity, hyperlipidemia, or hepatic steatosis. In this review, we will develop the mechanistic links between oxidative stress generated by adipose tissue in the context of obesity and its impact on metabolic complications development. We will also attempt to discuss potential therapeutic approaches targeting obesity-associated oxidative stress in order to prevent associated-metabolic complications.
Lifespan can be extended by reduction of dietary intake. This practice is referred to as dietary restriction (DR), and extension of lifespan by DR is evolutionarily conserved in taxonomically diverse organisms including yeast, invertebrates, and mammals. Although these two often-stated facts carry the implication that the mechanisms of DR are also evolutionarily conserved, extension of lifespan could be a case of evolutionary convergence, with different underlying mechanisms in different taxa. Furthermore, extension of lifespan by different methods of DR in the same organism may operate through different mechanisms. These topics remain unresolved because of the very fact that the mechanisms of DR are unknown. Given these uncertainties, it is essential that work on the mechanisms of DR is not clouded by imprecise descriptions of methods or by technical problems. Here we review the recent literature on DR in Drosophila to point out some methodological issues that can obscure mechanistic interpretations. We also indicate some experiments that could be performed to determine if DR in Drosophila operates through similar mechanisms to the process in rodents.
Obesity is gaining acceptance as a serious primary health burden that impairs the quality of life because of its associated complications, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, asthma, sleep disorders, hepatic dysfunction, renal dysfunction, and infertility. It is a complex metabolic disorder with a multifactorial origin. Growing evidence suggests that oxidative stress plays a role as the critical factor linking obesity with its associated complications. Obesity per se can induce systemic oxidative stress through various biochemical mechanisms, such as superoxide generation from NADPH oxidases, oxidative phosphorylation, glyceraldehyde auto-oxidation, protein kinase C activation, and polyol and hexosamine pathways. Other factors that also contribute to oxidative stress in obesity include hyperleptinemia, low antioxidant defense, chronic inflammation, and postprandial reactive oxygen species generation. In addition, recent studies suggest that adipose tissue plays a critical role in regulating the pathophysiological mechanisms of obesity and its related co-morbidities. To establish an adequate platform for the prevention of obesity and its associated health risks, understanding the factors that contribute to the cause of obesity is necessary. The most current list of obesity determinants includes genetic factors, dietary intake, physical activity, environmental and socioeconomic factors, eating disorders, and societal influences. On the basis of the currently identified predominant determinants of obesity, a broad range of strategies have been recommended to reduce the prevalence of obesity, such as regular physical activity, ad libitum food intake limiting to certain micronutrients, increased dietary intake of fruits and vegetables, and meal replacements. This review aims to highlight recent findings regarding the role of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of obesity and its associated risk factors, the role of dysfunctional adipose tissue in development of these risk factors, and potential strategies to regulate body weight loss/gain for better health benefits.
Detoxification is a vital cellular task that, if lacking, can lead to early morbidity and mortality. The process of detoxification involves the mobilization, biotransformation, and elimination of toxicants of exogenous and endogenous origin. This article discusses the phase I and phase II detoxification and biotransformation pathways and promotes using food to support these highly complex processes. The author identifies the comprehensive elimination diet as a useful therapeutic tool for clinicians and patients to use to achieve detoxification. Using this diet, the patient removes the most common allergenic foods and beverages from the diet and replaces them with nonallergenic choices for a period of 4 wk, gradually adding back the eliminated foods and observing their effects. Another effective clinical tool that the author discusses is the detox-focused core food plan, which identifies the variety of foods required to supply key nutrients that can maximize the effectiveness of detoxification. Finally, the author provides a case study in which these tools were used to help a patient suffering from major, debilitating illnesses that resulted from exposure to malathion, including severe vomiting and diarrhea, headaches, night sweats, severe arthralgias and myalgias, episcleritis, and shortness of breath. The article details the interventions used and the clinical results (ie, successful resolution of most issues after 3 mo).
The lemon detox program is a very low-calorie diet which consists of a mixture of organic maple and palm syrups, and lemon juice for abstinence period of 7 days. We hypothesized that the lemon detox program would reduce body weight, body fat mass, thus lowering insulin resistance and known risk factors of cardiovascular disease. We investigated anthropometric indices, insulin sensitivity, levels of serum adipokines, and inflammatory markers in overweight Korean women before and after clinical intervention trial. Eighty-four premenopausal women were randomly divided into 3 groups: a control group without diet restriction (Normal-C), a pair-fed placebo diet group (Positive-C), and a lemon detox diet group (Lemon-D). The intervention period was 11 days total: 7 days with the lemon detox juice or the placebo juice, and then 4 days with transitioning food. Changes in body weight, body mass index, % body fat, and waist-hip ratio were significantly greater in the Lemon-D and Positive-C groups compared to the Normal-C group. Serum insulin level, homeostasis model assessment insulin resistance scores, leptin, and adiponectin levels decreased in the Lemon-D and Positive-C groups. Serum high-sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) levels were also reduced only in the Lemon-D group. Hemoglobin and hematocrit levels remained stable in the Lemon-D group while they decreased in the Positive-C and Normal-C groups. Therefore, we suppose that the lemon detox program reduces body fat and insulin resistance through caloric restriction and might have a potential beneficial effect on risk factors for cardiovascular disease related to circulating hs-CRP reduction without hematological changes. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
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. © 2014 The British Dietetic Association Ltd.