HEALTH

Are cleanse and detox diets worth the money?

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(WJLA) - They are a popular way to lose weight quickly; a technique embraced by fans of instant gratification.

But are detoxes and cleanses really all they're cracked up to be?

Kira Lopez is a believer in "The Master Cleanse."

"It makes me feel good," she says.

The combination of water, lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper is one of the oldest cleansing regimens around, having started in the 1940s.

"The benefits to me are, number one, energy - really feeling energetic and good and light on your feet. I need that," Lopez explains. "The second benefit is probably weight loss."

But, while Lopez' cleanse is relatively inexpensive - about $50 for the 10 days - there are other products and juices that tout results, but come with a hefty price tag.

Robbi Scheuer has tried one of those programs.

"I didn't feel that I had a benefit from it," Scheuer said. "I think, technically, I lost like three pounds of water weight, and it was back in three days."

Some say the cleanses rid the body of toxins. Registered dietician Rebecca Scritchfield is a skeptic.

"Cleanses are a waste of money," she says.

"Our body does everything it needs in order to cleanse itself," she continued. "Every day our liver and kidneys work together to help remove toxins, and it doesn't need us to interfere with any type of expensive cleanse."

Some detox regimens rely on what could be dangerously low levels of calories, if followed over an extended period of time.

But, with the diet industry surpassing more than $60 million in sales last year, the hype might just continue to fuel this popular trend.

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