Detox on the Rocks? | Food News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Published May 2, 2007 at 5:37 p.m.

Unsurprisingly, CNN reported today that experts are coming out against the wildly popular Master Cleanse regimen. The "cleansing fast" allows a laxative, saltwater and a beverage made of purified water, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup. Nothing else. For 10 days or more.

Some people do it for weight loss, some to detox. The conventional wisdom is that folks who lose weight on this type of fast gain it back quickly. As far as purification and cleansing are concerned, many medical practitioners say it's potentially dangerous and just isn't necessary. Cited drawbacks can include dizziness, inability to concentrate and poor nutrition.

As I'm neither a nutritionist nor a GI specialist, I know I'm not qualified to offer my own opinion on the efficacy and safety of cleansing. But what I know I'm not a fan of is using radical, purgative measures to "make up for" a generally unhealthy diet -- as Mr. Campbell, one of the CNN article's subjects, tries to do. All of the fasting/cleansing in the world isn't going to help you if you subsist on fast food, snacks and sweets. I'm dying to sit Mr. Campbell down and feed him some gorgeous local veggies.

None of my friends have done the Master Cleanse, so I've never gotten any first-hand anecdotal info about it from anybody I really trust. Anyone out there a cleanser?