30BaD FADs: Frequently Added Discussions
Juicing Contraindications: Detox or Side Effects?
While not against our guidelines as of the writing of this blogpost, juicing here at 30BaD is generally not recommended outside of an occasional treat, a calorie boost especially for athletes who may have a difficult time consuming enough calories and or carbohydrates during training and competition, as an emergency caloric source when no other foods are available, and or where liquid nutrition is needed during medical emergencies.
Outside of these exceptions, time and again, when people practice chronic juicing, many of them experience side effects, contraindications, and or misunderstood symptoms of detox.
Some of our 30BaD members have had troubles with juicing such as indigestion, sour and or acidic stomach, nausea and or vomiting, diarrhea, blood in feces, constipation, gas, bloating, acid reflux, hyperglycemia aka high blood sugar and hypoglycemia aka low blood sugar with blood sugar spikes of extreme highs and lows, blurred vision, spikes and or dips in energy, mood swings, dizziness, brain fog, headaches, migraines, excessive mucus production, acne, skin eruptions such as canker sores, itching, body odors, and inability to absorb and assimilate calories sometimes resulting in weight loss and or malnutrition, and inability to absorb vitamins and minerals and other nutrients in spite of high calorie count. The high sugar and acid content of some juices, as well as a potentially high amount of antinutrients such as oxalic acid, may give some people teeth pain and oral issues such as sores and bleeding gums.
Juicing and or Juice Therapy
Juicing involves extracting juices from fresh fruits and vegetables. Some people choose to consume juices to supplement calories, as a treat, and or as a therapy for illnesses such as cancer and or to assist in cleansing and or detox. When used for as part of medicinal treatment and or detox, juicing may be called juice therapy.
However, there is no convincing scientific evidence that extracted juices are healthier than whole foods. In fact, there may be evidence that juices and or juice therapy may cause more side effects and or problems than the juicing prevented or cured. (1)
Overuse of juicing or consuming too much of certain juices can cause severe diarrhea, sometimes claimed to be "cleansing" by proponents who believe that "toxins" are removed from the body during this process. The juices from fruits and starchy vegetables such as carrots or beets can contain a lot of sugar, which may be harmful for diabetics and can contribute to weight gain. Overall, however, juicing is considered safe when it is used as part of a healthy diet. Commercially juiced products should be pasteurized to kill harmful germs, which can cause serious infections in some people whose immune system has been weakened by cancer. Relying on this type of treatment alone and avoiding or delaying conventional medical care for cancer may have serious health consequences.
Juicing Side Effects, Contraindications, or Detox?
Many people who experience negative side effects of juicing are told by juicing proponents that they are actually going through detox, and they happily continue with the regimen and or purchasing the juice products from their internet salespersons in the never ending search for that elusive toxin.
If someone needs to detox, they may do so on any diet. For example, people who are sensitive to dairy and or gluten and grain products may develop acne. Those sensitive individuals may be advised to avoid their trigger foods by the mainstream medical and nutrition community, and once the offending food is removed, so too does the acne disappear. Therefore, it can be assumed that some individuals who have negative side effects to juicing are not detoxing, rather reacting in a negative way to the juice and or the concentrated antinutrients in the juice. (2) (3)
However, if an individual has a similar negative reaction to juicing, they are told by juicing proponents (who are not necessarily health professionals) that this is just detox and good for them.
And, the same individuals who are able to eat whole oranges and or other fruits with no symptoms suddenly develop negative "symptoms" once the juicing is begun, therefore, one must ask what changed and why the negative effects of juicing in some individuals?
Just like a medication might cause some side effects, so too does juicing in some sensitive individuals. If the side effects are minor, it may be up to that individual to decide whether or not to continue with the juicing.
When a medication is taken and or if during therapy, one experiences negative effects, these are called side effects and or contraindications, not "detox" and or "positive effects" and the patient is advised to stop the medication and or therapy. (4)
Juicing, especially when held up as a therapy, should come under the same scrutiny and analyses as any other therapy and or medication, and if the person or patient is having negative side effects and or contraindications, the juice therapy, cleanse, fast, and or supplementation should be ceased immediately.
Causes of Juicing Side Effects and Contraindications
Lack of Fiber
Juicing removes the fiber from the fruits n veggies
The soluble fiber in fruit and some vegetables may gel up inside the intestine. This fiber slows down digestion and regulates assimilation of nutrients as well as water absorption.
Diets high in animal products may have little or no fiber, and diets high in grain products that have insoluble fiber actually may scrape and irritate the intestines like shards of glass and do not digest well.
Fruits are high in soluble fiber which also causes easy elimination of feces just like toothpaste being squeezed from a tube. This soluble fiber attracts water and turns to gel in the intestines. (5) (6)
Without this fiber, nutrients, calories, and carbohydrates can pass right through the system without being digested and assimilated and possibly lead to unwanted weight loss and or malnutrition. This can also lead to indigestion, diarrhea, and or constipation. Problems with extreme highs and lows of blood sugar may occur as well.
If circumstances such as athletics, lack of calories available, and or medical emergencies warrant juicing, then as much pulp as possible should be added back into the juice, and better yet, try to make smoothies.
Decrease in Nutrients
During the juicing process, there may be some loss in nutrients along with lack of fiber. For example, one orange has 52 mg of calcium. A cup of orange juice, in spite of possibly being made from multiple oranges, only has about 27 mg of calcium. So while it may seem that a cup of orange juice might provide a higher caloric count, the nutrition content of some essential nutrients has been decreased. (7) (8)
Poor Nutrient Ratios
While it might be argued that other vitamin and mineral counts have increased, that is not always a healthy thing if consumed in excess and out of balance. For example, when eating a healthy diet long term, there may be some nutritional and medical evidence that keeping calcium phosphorus ratios at 1:1 or better is essential for proper calcium assimilation and the building of strong bones, teeth, and tissues. Oranges have ideal calcium to phosphorus ratios of almost 2:1. However, when processed into the form of juice, the calcium levels are decreased, and phosphorus levels increased to a ratio of about 1:1.5. Long term, in some individuals, this could lead to bone softening, teeth sensitivities, and or loss of teeth. (9)
Increase in Antinutrients
Many foods contain certain amounts of antinutrients. Antinutrients are substances that adversely affect nutrients by interfering with their digestion or absorption. (10) (11)
For example, sometimes spinach is touted as a health food because of its high iron and or calcium content. However, spinach is not a great dietary source of iron or calcium because it contains and is high in oxalic acid which inhibits the absorption and assimilation of calcium and iron which could lead to iron deficiency anemia and or osteoporosis and dental problems. (12)
Again, going back to the oranges vs orange juice example. All living things including oranges have some oxalate content. However, it is possible that in a more concentrated form such as orange juice, the oxalate content and or other antinutrients may be higher, and the nutrients that buffer them and or work in tandem with them are decreased. This may lead to inhibition of the body's ability to properly absorb and assimilate essential nutrients leading to long term health consequences.
Juicing and or juices should be consumed sparingly if at all. In nature, outside of some nectar loving species, very few animals and or our primate cousins engage in juicing. Our primate cousins do not have access to fancy juicing paraphernalia and or machines, and have evolved to have a symbiotic relationship with their fruits by eating them whole and with their fiber intact. As stated before, juices may be taken as a treat, as an emergency calorie source, or to supplement caloric needs in athletes, and or as liquid nutrition during medical emergencies, but should never be used exclusively as a food or calorie source.
It is better to train the digestive system right from the beginning to properly chew, digest, and assimilate fruits, tender lettuce greens, and or raw nuts. If one is having a difficult time with calories, then smoothies might be a compromise. With smoothies, the whole fruits and greens are blended and some of the fiber is still intact.
This blog is for informational purposes only.Never try to self diagnose or treat a disease or symptom. Many diseases and conditions have similar symptoms. In case of a medical emergency, seek medical care to get a proper diagnosis.
The medical and/or nutritional information on this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health
provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional
medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read on this Web site.