August 1st, 2011
12:30 AM ET

Mayo doctor is no fan of cleanses

Editor's note: "AC 360” senior producer Jill Billante was considering a cleanse and went to the Mayo Clinic for expert answers. Dr. Michael Picco didn’t have good things to say. A new study out Monday backs up Picco’s opinion. But CNN Showbiz writer-producer Lisa Respers France has done it for years and says it really makes her feel better.

The answer to weight loss continues to be eating a healthy diet, but many Americans want a shortcut, and there are plenty of companies willing to offer it. Type the word cleanse into your browser and you'll be overwhelmed with choices. Walk down the aisle of your health food store and you will find products promising to cleanse the colon and now, they can even be found at drugstore chains. Pick up a box and you might go into sticker shock; most cleanses are expensive. There are even companies that offer to deliver juice cleanses right to your home.

This spring, with my New Year’s resolution a distant memory and bikini season looming, I was considering a cleanse to help me lose some weight. After reading a few books on the subject, and one book in particular that seemed to have a smart approach, The Ciminelli Solution, which advocates eating more fruits and vegetables and healthy fats to help cleanse your body, I had some pretty big questions, and I did what journalists do: I started reporting.

I went to Dr. Michael Picco, a consultant on gastroenterology at the Mayo Clinic, for his expert opinion on cleanses.

Do cleanses help you lose weight quickly?

Any weight loss you get is not real. It's due to loss of fluid and waste and it is potentially harmful. Weight loss needs to be done with diet and exercise. I support a diet rich in veggies and a good, well-balanced diet that  includes complex carbohydrates, fat and fruits and vegetables.

When it was reported that Beyonce lost weight fast on the "Lemonade Diet" cleanse, sales of maple syrup, a component of the diet, shot up. What are your thoughts on the "Lemonade Diet?"

We don't endorse this at all.

Do cleanses have any real benefits?

No. The whole basis to this cleansing business is people say it can help things like the immune system, fatigue and depression and it can clean the toxins out of the colon and it can aid in losing weight. There is really no evidence to that at all. Sometimes those cleanses could actually be quite harmful, too. Both in terms of what’s in the cleanse and also in administering them.

Is there any upside to a cleanse?

There is really no good evidence based upon any good research that this stuff makes any difference. The FDA doesn't regulate these products because they are considered within the supplements category. Dietary supplements don't have to meet the rigor that proprietary medicines would require. As a result of that, companies can claim just about anything.

How can cleansing be harmful?

Colon cleansing means you are doing something to cleanse out the colon. That can take the form of enemas or oral preparations. The methods are nowhere near standardized. Some cleanses could have electrolytes or irritants that make the colon more irritated. This can make existing conditions like hemorrhoids worse, and increase dehydration, malnutrition and fatigue. Those who have other medical conditions, elderly folks who are more susceptible to dehydration, continue to increase the risk of adverse effects.

Is there ever a time when the colon needs to be cleansed?

There is no need to cleanse colon; the colon does its own job cleansing bacteria. There are billions of bacteria in the colon, and they work in a symbiotic way to help with various different colon functions. The colon does a good job of changing its lining. It basically works quite well and does not need a periodic colon cleanse to get rid of any toxins.

The  bottom line on cleanses?

The bottom line is that there isn't any evidence that these work. The people claiming they do have evidence it works are not correct. They can do that simply because they are not regulated. I think your readers need to know this before they believe these claims and purchase these preparations and understand there is a downside as well.

Follow @jbillante on Twitter

soundoff (548 Responses)
  1. 먹튀사이트

    I was so amazed by your blog. Thank a person so much.


    April 14, 2021 at 12:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. tadalafil 40 mg daily

    order tadalafil https://elitadalafill.com/ tadalafil daily use

    April 14, 2021 at 21:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Chere Shilleh

    Hi there, I discovered your website by means of Google while searching for a comparable topic, your site got here up, it appears to be like great. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.


    April 15, 2021 at 08:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. kaos

    It’s really a cool and useful piece of info. I’m glad that you shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.


    April 15, 2021 at 11:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. 우리카지노


    April 15, 2021 at 11:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. 카지노사이트


    April 15, 2021 at 19:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. 카지노사이트

    Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon everyday. It will always be helpful to read through articles from other writers and practice something from other web sites.


    April 16, 2021 at 00:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Nestor Mcnatt

    This is certainly a remarkably amazing powerful resource that you’re offering and you simply provide it away cost-free!! I that can compare with discovering websites ones understand the particular in providing you fantastic learning resource for zero cost. We truly dearly loved examining this web site. Appreciate it!


    April 16, 2021 at 06:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. 카지노사이트추천


    April 16, 2021 at 22:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. 카지노사이트추천

    After I initially commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the same comment. Is there a way you can remove me from that service? Many thanks!


    April 17, 2021 at 01:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. buy generic vardenafil over the counter with no pres. online

    vardenafil hcl 20mg tab https://vegavardenafil.com/ vardenafil 20mg

    April 17, 2021 at 05:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. dysfunction

    can erectile dysfunction come on suddenly https://canadaerectiledysfunctionpills.com/ erectile band

    April 17, 2021 at 09:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. 메이저사이트

    I blog quite often and I seriously appreciate your content. Your article has really peaked my interest. I'm going to bookmark your blog and keep checking for new details about once per week. I subscribed to your Feed as well.


    April 17, 2021 at 20:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. 먹튀검증

    Good web site you have here.. Itís hard to find high quality writing like yours nowadays. I really appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!


    April 18, 2021 at 21:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. 카지노사이트

    When I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I receive 4 emails with the same comment. Perhaps there is a way you are able to remove me from that service? Thanks a lot!


    April 19, 2021 at 01:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. API 5CT drill pipe price

    Alpha Pipe buys and sells all kinds of new steel pipeline, surplus steel pipeline as well as made use of steel pipeline.


    April 19, 2021 at 04:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. 먹튀검증


    April 19, 2021 at 18:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. 먹튀검증


    April 20, 2021 at 15:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. alprostadil urethral suppository

    alprostadil topical cream https://alprostadildrugs.com/ transurethral alprostadil

    April 20, 2021 at 17:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. 먹튀검증

    You're so awesome! I do not think I've read through a single thing like this before. So good to discover somebody with a few original thoughts on this subject matter. Really.. thanks for starting this up. This site is one thing that is required on the web, someone with some originality!


    April 20, 2021 at 18:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. c-alprostadil

    muse injection https://alprostadildrugs.com/ alternative to alprostadil

    April 21, 2021 at 05:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. zithromax drug

    zpack name https://zithromaxes.com/ zepak antibiotics

    April 21, 2021 at 05:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. kaos distro anak

    Pretty element of content. I just stumbled upon your site and in accession capital to assert that I get in fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing in your augment and even I success you get admission to persistently fast.


    April 21, 2021 at 17:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. 먹튀검증업체

    Great post! We are linking to this great content on our site. Keep up the good writing.


    April 22, 2021 at 01:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. 먹튀검증

    I'd like to thank you for the efforts you've put in writing this blog. I am hoping to view the same high-grade content by you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my very own website now 😉


    April 22, 2021 at 07:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. LA Weekly's List

    I love the manner you have actually ended this article ...


    April 23, 2021 at 03:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. 먹튀검증

    Hi, I do think this is a great site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I'm going to return yet again since I book-marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.


    April 23, 2021 at 04:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. 먹튀검증

    I blog quite often and I really appreciate your content. This great article has truly peaked my interest. I am going to take a note of your blog and keep checking for new information about once a week. I opted in for your RSS feed as well.


    April 23, 2021 at 07:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. 토토사이트

    Spot on with this write-up, I actually believe that this web site needs much more attention. Iíll probably be back again to read more, thanks for the info!


    April 24, 2021 at 14:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. LA Weekly's List

    You have actually covered this subject professionally.


    April 24, 2021 at 18:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. 사설토토

    I need to to thank you for this very good read!! I certainly loved every bit of it. I've got you book-marked to look at new stuff you postÖ


    April 24, 2021 at 21:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. 사설토토


    April 25, 2021 at 04:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. 토토사이트


    April 25, 2021 at 15:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Best Proxy Ip List

    I’d have to verify with you here. Which isn't something I normally do! I get pleasure from reading a put up that will make individuals think. Additionally, thanks for permitting me to comment!


    April 25, 2021 at 19:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. generic sildenafil pills

    buy sildenafil generic https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ 200 mg sildenafil

    April 26, 2021 at 01:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. 사설토토


    April 26, 2021 at 04:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. 토토사이트


    April 26, 2021 at 12:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. viagra canada for sale

    best viagra pills 25 mg canada pharmarcy https://canadaviagrastore.com/ help me please find a place to buy viagra in canada

    April 26, 2021 at 20:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. canadian pharmacy cialis no prescription

    is it safe to order cialis from canadian pharmacy https://canadacialisstore.com/ canadian viagra cialis

    April 27, 2021 at 04:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. 사설바둑이

    Pretty! This has been an extremely wonderful post. Thank you for providing this information.


    April 27, 2021 at 06:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. 바둑이


    April 27, 2021 at 10:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. jersey olahraga

    I am just commenting to let you be aware of of the extraordinary experience my cousin's girl developed visiting your site. She realized several issues, including what it's like to have an ideal teaching heart to let other people without difficulty know certain multifaceted matters. You undoubtedly did more than readers' expectations. Many thanks for offering those interesting, healthy, informative not to mention fun tips about the topic to Tanya.


    April 27, 2021 at 14:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. 온라인바둑이

    I used to be able to find good info from your blog articles.


    April 27, 2021 at 16:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. 사설바둑이

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a friend who has been conducting a little homework on this. And he actually bought me lunch due to the fact that I stumbled upon it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to discuss this subject here on your site.


    April 27, 2021 at 22:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. patenqq

    Hi there, I found your web site via Google while searching for a related topic, your web site came up, it looks great. I've bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.


    April 28, 2021 at 05:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. 바둑이

    May I just say what a relief to find a person that actually knows what they're talking about on the net. You definitely realize how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More and more people need to look at this and understand this side of the story. I can't believe you are not more popular because you definitely have the gift.


    April 28, 2021 at 17:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. 바둑이게임

    I blog quite often and I seriously appreciate your information. The article has really peaked my interest. I'm going to book mark your site and keep checking for new information about once a week. I opted in for your RSS feed as well.


    April 28, 2021 at 18:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. best cheap garden equipment

    Not many authors with correct expertise of the topics they discuss.


    April 29, 2021 at 00:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. url

    Very few writers with appropriate expertise of the subjects they blog about.


    April 29, 2021 at 06:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. backlinks

    obviously like your web site however you need to take a look at the spelling on quite a few of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling issues and I to find it very bothersome to tell the reality on the other hand I’ll certainly come back again.


    April 29, 2021 at 06:35 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.