More

Inevitably, someone will say, 'But my juice cleanse WORKED.' No, it really didn't.

Health fads are nothing new to modern civilization. Collectively, we want so badly to look our best and live forever that we do things that make absolutely no sense (like drink bottles of radioactive water). Thankfully, as medical science advances, we have better and better means to test whether the newest health craze is healthy or just crazy.

Inevitably, someone will say, 'But my juice cleanse WORKED.' No, it really didn't.

Here are five reasons detoxes should make you incredibly skeptical.

1. They are really (really) expensive.

A quick search for cleanse or detox on Google shopping will present you with pages and pages of expensive pills, powders, juices, sprays, patches, creams, and even machines that purport to somehow make you much healthier in a very short period of time.


If they cost all that and actually did all the things they claim to do, maybe there would be no cause for complaint. However...

2. They promise vague benefits and are even more vague about how those benefits are produced.

These products often talk about the dangerous "toxins," "metals," or "chemicals" being stored in the human body. But the particular compound that the product is supposed to fight is almost never specified. Scientific studies of detox products do them no favors, which is why you won't be hearing them cite any peer-reviewed studies.

3. They're often advocated by people who have no expertise in the mechanics of the human body.

It's almost shocking how much money these ordinary-person-turned-health-entrepreneurs can make by starting a food trend — even if that trend has no basis in medical science. They advocate plausible-ish solutions for issues like pain, unwanted weight (especially this one), or fatigue. But the lightest scrutiny often shows them to be largely ineffective.

4. They can be really dangerous.

When it comes to nutrition, juice cleanses are bad news. By restricting your diet to juices, you're flooding your system with fructose (the type of sugar in fruits that makes them taste sweet) while virtually eliminating your protein intake. There's nothing healthy about a high sugar/no protein diet.

Doctors have been waving red flags about colon cleanses and colonics for years. But people are still doing them despite warnings of potential cramping, bloating, bowel perforation, and kidney problems, among other issues.

And because so few of the people who advocate for these regimens are trained medical professionals, they might be advocating for routines that could cause irreparable damage (like this woman in the UK whose "nutritionist" told her to drink so much water that she suffered brain damage from hyponatremia).

5. They have no science to back them up. Like, none.

Eight questions to ask before starting a "detox" or "cleanse":

  1. Have I talked to my doctor about the health issue I'm trying to address?
  2. Have I talked to my doctor about the regimen I'm considering, including its efficacy and side effects?
  3. What specific health benefit am I supposed to get from this regimen?
  4. By what specific method does this regimen deliver this benefit?
  5. Is the person or persons responsible for developing this regimen qualified to do so?
  6. What body of evidence supports this method of health improvement?
  7. Has this regimen's health effects been independently studied and replicated?
  8. Has this regimen's claims been debunked by a credible source?
True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.