Some of us are interested in the idea of fasting and giving the body a rest but very uninterested in doing a fast. If you fall into this crowd, ProLon might appeal: It’s a five-day program designed to mimic a fast. The kit includes simple, minimal foods. Soups and bars are made of real whole foods. Olives, crackers, vitamin supplements, and teas round out the program. No cooking or shopping means more time for sleeping. The only menu decision you’ll have to make is whether to order the original edition (with vegetable, minestrone, tomato, and mushroom soups) or V2 (with butternut, white bean and spinach, black bean, and tomato soups).
Another option is to get extra detox support from your daily multivitamin. Balls in the Air has N-acetylcysteine to replenish glutathione (the body’s master detoxifier), plus broccoli-sprout powder and broccoli-seed extract. Six tablets and capsules—with vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fats, and plant extracts—are already sorted into daily packets for your convenience.*
Supplements to avoid Though some naturopathic and integrative medicine practitioners believe that certain dietary supplements, in tandem with a healthy diet, can help the body’s natural detoxification processes, many traditional physicians and government health organizations disagree. The National Institutes of Health says there isn’t any convincing evidence that detox supplements work, and certain products and ingredients may harm you, or simply be frauds.
Foroutan, as opposed to government health organizations, takes a more open-minded approach to detox supplements. “Because the supplement industry is unregulated, it’s impossible to say, as a category, whether detox supplements are helpful, harmful or neutral,” she says.
The body has its own defensive, detoxifying system that includes breath exhalation, bowel movements, urination, sweating and normal liver function. The liver plays a large role in filtering out harmful substances. Once any substance is ingested—including nutrients, medications or toxins—it makes its way to the liver, where it is processed or detoxified. Then, it's either transferred back into the bloodstream or passed to the bowel where it can be eliminated.
Bottom line: If you’re looking to kick-start a new, healthy lifestyle, the safest and most effective things you can do are eat well and limit putting yourself in harm’s way—which includes being wary of the potentially unsafe world of supplements.