The theory of a “detox” for weight loss, cleansing, and improved health has become a popular trend. This idea is based on evidence that indicates that diets rich in fruits and vegetables are associated with prevention of chronic disease (e.g., cancer). Certain phytonutrients (i.e., plant chemicals with bioactive properties) can bind carcinogens and thus inhibit cancer-causing effects. One of the plant-based compounds of interest is chlorophyll, thought to be potentially responsible for the observed benefits of fruits and vegetables. Chlorophyllin is a semi-synthetic compound of water-soluble sodium copper salt, derived from chlorophyll; it is administered topically to treat wounds and taken orally as an internal deodorant (Feruzzi & Blakeslee 2007; Higdon, 2009).
Exploration of the detoxifying effect of chlorophyll in humans is limited, and most research has focused on commercial-grade sodium copper chlorphyllin. Animal studies have demonstrated that chlorophyll inhibited absorption of toxic compounds (Morita et al., 2001) and significantly reduced DNA damage in specimens with cancer (Breinholt et al., 1995; Simonich et al., 2007). Although researchers are optimistic about the use of chlorphyll for cancer prevention, at this time, there lacks strong evidence to support the use of chlorophyll as a detoxifying agent for humans. Detoxification diets have become increasingly popular, but the evidence-base is not strong for the effectiveness or necessity of detox diets. Our internal organs (i.e., kidney, liver, and colon) and our immune system function to excrete toxins, so extreme diet plans are not needed to flush toxic chemicals from the body. Detox diets typically result in weight loss due to their limited calorie content, which is sometimes so low that nutrient deficiencies and other negative side effects occur, such as low blood sugar, fatigue, dizziness and nausea.
A consistent eating plan containing whole foods without artificial ingredients can provide a nutrient-rich diet that promotes a healthy weight, functional colon, a reduced risk of chronic disease (Zelman, 2012). Rather than a quick fix detoxification diet, try to adopt a sustainable healthy diet that provides adequate calories per day, and is rich in fruits, vegetables, lean protein, beans, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and healthy fats.
Breinholt V, Hendricks J, Pereira C, Arbogast D, Bailey G. Dietary chlorophyllin is a potent inhibitor of aflatoxin B1 hepatocarcinogenesis in rainbow trout. Cancer Res. 1995;55(1):57-62.
Higdon,Jane. Chlorophyll and Chlorophyllin. Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University. Updated June 2009. http://lpi.oregonstat.edu/infocenter/phytochemicals/chlorophylls/#disease_prevention.
Ferruzzi, MG, Blakeslee, J. Digestion, absorption, and cancer preventative activity of dietary chlorophyll derivatives, Nutrition Research, Volume 27, Issue 1, January 2007, Pages 1-12, ISSN 0271-5317,
Morita K, Ogata M, Hasegawa T. Chlorophyll derived from Chlorella inhibits dioxin absorption from the gastrointestinal tract and accelerates dioxin excretion in rats.
Environ Health Perspect. 2001 March; 109(3): 289–294. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1240248/
Simonich MT, Egner PA, Roebuck BD, et al. Natural chlorophyll inhibits aflatoxin B1-induced multi-organ carcinogenesis in the rat. Carcinogenesis. 2007;28(6):1294-1302.
Smith RG. Enzymatic debriding agents: an evaluation of the medical literature. Ostomy Wound Manage. 2008;54(8):16-34.
In addition to taking a toll on our emotional wellbeing, stress can impact physical health. Studies show that stress can increase risk of heart attack, stroke, and heart disease, affect sleep and memory, cause headaches, and worsen depression. Did you know that stress could also impact the health of your smile?
Here’s what you need to know:
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nutrient dense foods are those that provide an average of 10% or more daily value per 100 calories of 17 nutrients, including potassium, protein, fiber, iron and calcium1. While there are several fruits and vegetables that are nutrient dense, there are some in particular that are best in the summertime, because they also happen to be refreshing and help with hydration. Citrus fruits and berries are excellent choices for summer snacking. According to CDC’s nutrient density approach, the healthiest of them all is the strawberry, with a nutrient density score of 17.591. According to the FDA, strawberries have more vitamin C than any citrus fruit, and are also rich in potassium and fiber. As an added bonus, strawberries are a good source of flavonoids2, a group of phytonutrients linked to reduced risk of diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers3. Strawberries are about 92% water4, a proportion similar to that of watermelon; and, because of their electrolyte content, strawberries are an ideal source of hydration on warm days. If you aren’t a fan of eating a portion of plain fresh strawberries, the flavor of strawberries is delicious when sliced pieces are added to your ice water. There are also many healthy summer recipes, both sweet and savory, that contain strawberries, such as the Caprese Salad with Strawberries recipe below from Nasira’s Nutrition Kitchen.
Refreshing Caprese Salad with Strawberries
2 pounds fresh strawberries, stemmed and halved
2 cups bite-sized fresh mozzarella balls (Bocconcini), drained and halved
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
3-4 fresh basil leaves, finely diced
Salt, pepper to taste
In medium sized bowl, toss strawberries and mozzarella balls with olive oil. Season mixture with salt and pepper. Add basil and toss again. Drizzle balsamic syrup over and around salad. Grind more pepper on top and serve.
Here’s the bad news: fads and crash diets generally don’t work. We are bombarded with misleading nutrition advice that not only promotes yo-yo dieting, but can even be dangerous. Extreme diets are difficult to maintain and the benefits (if any) are often inconsistent and short-lived. Be wary of supplements – expensive and poorly regulated, most are unnecessary unless an underlying deficiency exists and many have negative side effects.
If you’re interested in a particular diet or supplement, consult a true nutrition expert: a registered dietitian. The term Registered Dietitian (RD) is a protected term. All RDs have a minimum standard educational background that includes a bachelor’s degree in dietetics or nutrition from an accredited college or university, at least 1200 hours of supervised practice experiences at an accredited institution, and successful completion of the national Registration Examination for Dietitians. Additionally, all RDs must complete recertification every five years by completing at least 75 hours of continuing education. RDs are true nutrition experts and are most qualified to provide recommendations on nutrition-related disorders and help people plan healthy, balanced diets. While many "nutritionists" provide advice that is not evidence-based, Registered Dietitians are trained to critically evaluate research studies and develop nutrition recommendations supported by sufficient research. RDs are trained to assess medical history, medications, supplements, and eating and exercise habits in order to provide their clients with safe and effective nutrition counseling to reach their health and fitness goals.
Here’s the good news: healthy eating can be simple, feasible, and lifelong! By balancing calories and eating mindfully, you can manage your weight, achieve optimal health, and prevent disease. Utilize accurate nutrition information from peer-reviewed sources and contact our registered dietitian to answer your questions.
by Sabrina Burkholder
Having braces is not something most teenagers look forward to. But when taken care of correctly the process of braces is not as bad as it seems. The most important part of making the process easier is proper hygiene. By flossing and brushing my teeth and braces several times a day, I was able to prevent cavities during the process and could enjoy my new smile once the braces came off. Flossing is done by using something called a floss threader, which you can find with other dental care products in stores. The threader allows you to take the floss up and behind the braces to floss, which is extremely important to make sure you are stimulating the gum tissues between your teeth. When having braces a lot of foods have to be cut out of your diet to avoid staining and breaking a bracket. Popcorn – one of my favorite snacks in the world – was one of the restricted foods, so instead of snacking on that I found other things such as pretzels or some Ritz crackers to satisfy my snack cravings.
I was never happy about getting braces, but I knew that after the 15-month course of having them, I would have a beautiful smile. In the end, it was absolutely worth it. Now I am always careful to wear my retainer at night to maintain the movement, because teeth will try to move back. Having braces once was enough for me!