The truth about juice cleanses and their effect on pancreatic cancer patients

Fruit and vegetable juice cleanses are popular but do they work without harming the bodyWith summer starting this week, we’re hearing more and more about detoxing to feel super healthy and “clean.”

Maria Petzel, senior clinical dietitian for the Pancreas Surgery Program at MD Anderson Cancer Center, answers a question on our minds: What’s the truth about cleanses? Here’s what she said:

“Cleanses and detoxes are trendy and popular. But our bodies naturally ‘cleanse’ or ‘detox’ 24 hours a day. This is the process of removing toxins that we ingest, inhale or absorb or that are the result of byproducts of metabolism. Toxins are naturally excreted through urine, sweat, stools and exhalation.

“Cleansing programs vary – some simply suggest removing processed and non-organic foods from the diet, so as to limit the intake of toxins. Other programs suggest a full fast – this may actually be harmful and could suppress the body’s natural detox process.”

Instead of cleanses, you can do these five things to support your body’s natural detoxification process:

  1. Drink plenty of water
  2. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits
  3. Maintain bowel regularity through high fiber intake
  4. Eat probiotic foods (yogurt, sauerkraut, tempeh, etc.)
  5. Get adequate amounts of protein in your diet (protein is also part of the detox process)

Pancreatic cancer patients should consult with a doctor or dietitian before modifying their diet.

Are you a pancreatic cancer patient or caregiver? You can access comprehensive disease information, including diet and nutrition tips, recipes and a booklet on the subject – all reviewed and approved by renowned leaders in the field, including Petzel – by contacting the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s one-on-one Patient Central support service by phone or email.

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