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August 12, 2015 2 min read

The latest trend in cleansing your body is to 'teatox.' This means supplementing a low calorie diet with large amounts of herbal tea. Fans of the practice say it helps clear up skin, improves energy, boosts the metabolism and aides weightloss. Sounds too good to be true. That might be because teatoxing isn't without a catch. "Tea" covers a broad range of beverages. It includes beverages made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis shrub-- both green and black tea come from this plant, as well as dried fruits and herbs. Green and black teas have been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes and the antioxidants in green tea may also reduce the risk for certain cancers. But, there isn't much research out there about the herbs that can be found in a typical teatox blend. The weightloss from a teatox may be a result of the fact that the prescribed teas include senna. “Senna is a laxative that works by irritating the bowels,” says  Dr. Esther Konigsberg, medical director for Integrative Medicine Consultants in Toronto. This can cause diarrhea which leads to weight loss through dehydration. This is a dangerous game as dehydration can lead to malnutrition. Popular teatox programs come in 7, 14 and 28 day packs -- all of which are prolonged periods for diarrhea. This can lead to  electrolyte imbalances, depleted potassium levels, and heart irregularities. Plus, you put yourself at risk for "rebound constipation" which happens when your body becomes dependent on a laxative for a bowel movement. Is weight loss actually worth all that? “There’s no strong evidence for detoxing at all,” says Konigsberg. “Our bodies detox all the time if we are exercising and drinking enough water.” So, how do you lose weight? Konigsberg recommends whole foods, and regular exercise as a healthier and more sustainable way to go about it. What say you? Do you teatox? Will you continue to teatox? Source: Chatelaine    

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