The dangers of juice diets

Experts have spoken out against juice diets, saying the restrictive food fad can lead to a host of health issues, including migraines, muscle loss, and even liver damage. Photo / Getty
Experts have spoken out against juice diets, saying the restrictive food fad can lead to a host of health issues, including migraines, muscle loss, and even liver damage. Photo / Getty

Everyone from supermodels to Hollywood celebs have dabbled in the juicing trend, and advocates of the diet say it's the ideal way to lose weight.

Plus it's big business - juicing "how to" books and YouTube videos are watched by millions, and miracle weight loss stories are the subject of news articles and social media discussions throughout the world.

However, dietitians and food experts are starting to speak out against juice diets, amid mounting evidence that the juicing trend can cause a range of health issues.

According to a health website, The Hippocratic Post, part of the problem is the chemicals released when whole citrus fruit is put into the juicer.

A 2004 study found that when orange juice is squeezed with the rind on, it releases synephrine, which has been linked to migraine headaches.

Citrus fruits can also cause magnesium deficiency in some patients, which has been found to play a part in triggering migraines.

Other problems linked to juicing diets include extreme fatigue, irritability, and constipation, while those who stick to the restrictive diets long term - which isn't recommended on any mainstream juice diet plans - may be putting themelves at risk of some serious health issues.

"In the short term, women on these regimes could suffer dizziness, exhaustion and headaches, specialist dietitian Sioned Quirke told The Hippocratic Post. "In the longer term, health consequences could be serious, including problems with fertility, metabolism and even liver damage.

Experts say juice diets have been linked to headaches and migraines. Photo / Getty
Experts say juice diets have been linked to headaches and migraines. Photo / Getty

"Fruit and vegetables contain plenty of essential vitamins and minerals but they are low on important amino acids, fat and protein," she explained.

While the restirctive juice diets are effective for weight loss, the lack of protein can result in muscle wastage.

And when it comes to the idea of juicing as a detox, Bristol University dietitan, Sue Baic, doesn't buy it.

"Detox diets are based on the idea that toxins build up in the body and can be removed by eating, or not eating, certain things, she told The Hippocratic Post.

"However, there's no evidence that toxins build up in our bodies. If they did, we would feel very ill."

-nzherald.co.nz

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