Did you know that Ancient Egyptians had a weird way of associating decay with feces and they used certain laxatives and enemas liberally to “detoxify their body.
Nowadays, the same concern that Ancient Egyptians had, was mostly transformed into a body auto-intoxication thing.
This is why plenty of products and services are hitting the market stating that they detoxify your body of bad toxins that are dangerous to your health and can potentially shorten your life span.
Well, the theory of auto-intoxication is easily explained as your body’s “inability” to keep itself cleaned, causing toxins to form and being absorbed into the body, ultimately poisoning it.
Another theory I’ve heard is that constipation can cause a long term accumulation of feces on the walls of the intestine, making it unable to absorb nutrients or eliminate the stool effectively.
This theory states that food can remain undigested and your body will reabsorb wastes from the blood.
That was the beginning of the master cleanse diet..
The principal Master Cleanse Diet was originally created in 1940’s to serve mainly as a stomach ulcer solution and it was invented by Stanley Burroughs.
In 1976, Stanley Burroughs created the book called The Master Cleanser in which he was promoting his diet for weight loss and “any other disease”, making statements like “this book will correct all disorders” – pretty bold in my opinion
Basically, this diet is a fasting diet comprised of 10 days of living on a drink made from lemon juice, water, cayenne pepper and maple syrup.
Does Master Cleanse Diet Work?
You’ve probably also heard about the “life changing” results this diet gave to some people by reading certain testimonials.
Before I dive into conclusions, let’s examine this diet more closely, especially the ingredients:
- Most of this diet is comprised of water which is a good thing but in reality, water has no nutritional value.
- Maple syrup – the main source of calories for this diet, this is mostly comprised of glucose and fructose.. nothing more – sugar
- Lemon juice – alright, some vitamin C and just a weak acid – your stomach acid is another league compared to lemon juice but nonetheless.. lemon juice doesn’t have any “magical detoxifying properties” and it doesn’t add to weight loss – there’s no study to prove this
- Cayenne pepper – aside from irritating your GI tract, the only positive benefit this ingredient might give you is a nasty diarrhea
So as you can see, this diet is basically a laxative diet which means its effectiveness is mostly based on not letting “waste products” staying too much in your colon.
The only sure positive effect this diet can bring you is mostly excess water intake which could help with hydration which in turn might make your skin look better and that’s why some people are also reporting that their skin is looking better when they are on the master cleanse diet.
While some people will argue over and over again that the master cleanse diet is NOT a usual diet but more like a “detoxification” diet, we all know that most people want to use it as a diet.
And even if it is completely true that your body absorbs certain toxic materials coming from our environment, you have to acknowledge that your body already has a mechanism to remove all these toxins.
This mechanism is your kidneys, liver, lungs, GI tract which is quite efficient by itself and even if some toxins cannot be eliminated because they buildup in your fat tissues, and can only be eliminated with expensive medical treatment, this lemon juice will NOT do anything in helping with the removal of “toxins”.
The area of “detoxification” is so full of hype, bs and misinformation that I cannot stress enough that it will be hard for me to cover all of it.
Most of the “bad stuff” you hear about toxins is simply nonsense and this is especially true because none of these factors that cause a said “toxification” are specific.
This whole detoxification charade is mostly a scare tactic created to convince people that there are some sort of dangerous toxins that will poison your body and you will die if you don’t drink their snake oil lemonade.
This is simply untrue.
Sure, there are toxins out there but these can be identified.. toxins like mercury which can buildup if you eat a diet high in fish – now that’s a real toxin.
Finishing this piece, the concept of autointoxication of your body was abandoned even from 1919 – Alvarez WC. and 1922 – Donaldson AN. when it was clearly demonstrated that fatigue, appetite loss and headache were not a cause for your digestive system health because the state of your fecal state was mostly impacted by the distension of the colon mechanically rather than by toxin accumulation and absorption.
And if this wasn’t enough, doctors looking at colon during surgical procedures, found no clear evidence that constipation or hardened feces have the ability to accumulate on your intestinal walls.
Next time you see someone recommending detoxifying or a “cleanse” diet you can show them this picture:
Summarizing all this, the master cleanse diet is basically just another scam diet which quite frankly WORKS in helping you lose weight, BUT in a totally unhealthy way!
Detox diets are a waste of money and also quality time and they are at best, dangerous to your health.
You basically starve yourself, lose muscle mass, potentially get your health in a worse shape you originally had and let’s not even mention about vitamin and mineral deficits this diet can cause.
There’s no genuine research study that shows the master cleanse diet program as a healthy way of losing weight and neither studies showing their compounds as healthy as they advertize it.
If you are looking for genuine diet and training advice, there are specific books that can help you do that but if you are just looking for a more general answer, eating less and exercise more is a good start. I made a summary of the best books on dieting here.
Just start by calculating how many calories you need to lose weight and get on a good training program.