The dangers of the juice cleanse

By Sarah Jung | Contributor

Living in a judgmental society, many people are looking for new ways to fit the beauty standards. Where do they look? They look for inspiration from influencers on social media or celebrities they perceive as being beautiful. With all these new concepts being thrown around, a question begins to arise. Are these new diets and treatments safe just because your favorite celebrity supports it?

The juice cleanse has become a worldwide phenomenon, supported by many celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Salma Hayek and Nicole Richie. As people began to see all these celebrities sport similar thin physiques and glowing faces, the phenomenon took the teen world by storm. Teenagers everywhere were buying weeks worth of pressed juices, thinking the only way to become beautiful was to drink the celebrity-promoted juice. Something as safe as juicing became a parent’s worst nightmare.

In the article “Juicerexia? The Dangers of Juicing Diets,” a discovery contributor wrote, “People may initially lose some weight, but they usually gain it back, sometimes, rapidly. The roller coaster effect this produces can also harm your metabolism and lead to disordered eating. Unfortunately, relying solely on liquids to sustain a human body only intensifies these patterns, experts say.”

Juicing has been advertised as being a one week fast that promises to clear the body of toxins, clear skin, induce weight loss and increase a person’s energy capacity.

The problem with these diets that promise fast-results is that younger men and women who do not understand the health risks of abusing the diets can become sucked into the dark hole of eating disorders. Many people will start the diet and begin to see some results and forget the goal that they were trying to attain. They will continue with their diet to an unhealthy point, seeing their physique as never being adequate enough. When abused, juicing can be harmful to a person’s kidneys, weaken their immune systems and cause low-blood sugar, leading to other illnesses.

In a case study written in the American Journal of Medicine performed by Yeong-Hau H. Lien, M.D., Ph.D., a patient’s bodily health was observed during a juice cleanse. They found that “He had acute renal failure with a high serum oxalate level and required temporary hemodialysis. Fortunately, he recovered his kidney function partially, but had a loss of glomerular filtration rate by 14 mL/min due to the juicing program.”

Many of these dangers are not being advertised as well as they should. It is advertised as being super simple, easy and a tasty way to lose a lot of weight, however, this is very misleading. They are not being told about the risky side effects and mental tolls that these kinds of diets can cause.

Instead of promoting ways to lose weight and become the next top model, influencers should be tearing down the beauty standards and beginning to show men and women how to love themselves for who they are, for self-love is the one diet that does no harm.