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Detox diets debunked, says Hepatitis Australia

With Christmas just days away, Hepatitis Australia and health experts are encouraging Australians to ‘love their liver’ and limit their indulgence.

The plea comes on the back of surveys conducted by Hepatitis Australia, which reveal that approximately 70 per cent of Aussies are at least partly persuaded of the health benefits of a liver detox diet, or detox products.

Contrary to popular belief, going on a detox diet to counter the excesses of the festive season is futile when it comes to liver health, according to Hepatitis Australia.

Associate Professor Simone Strasser, liver specialist and spokesperson for the Gastroenterological Society of Australia, says: ‘There is no scientific evidence to prove that a detox diet or detox products are beneficial to liver health. As toxins do not build up in the liver cells, there is no real benefit to the liver itself.

‘In fact, some herbal remedies labelled as ‘liver cleansing’ are harmful as the liver can go into overdrive to process and dispose of them. The plethora of antidotes to over-indulgence that will be available in the New Year will make little difference.’

According to Dr Strasser, we are far better off preventing disease in the first place: ‘Liver disease may be a silent killer. There may be no signs that liver damage is happening until disease is far advanced. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help to optimise liver function and prevent liver damage.’

The Australian Liver Foundation’s Facts on Liver Disease are available at http://www.liver.org.au/liver_diseases.htm


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