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"Like many other fad diets, detox diets can have harmful side effects, especially for teens… Lots of claims are made about what a detox diet can do for you, from preventing and curing disease to giving you more energy to making you more focused and clear-headed. Of course, anyone who goes on a low-fat, high-fiber diet is probably going to feel more healthy, but proponents of detox diets claim that this is because of the elimination of toxins, as opposed to carrying around less excess weight or having a healthier heart. However, there's no scientific proof that these diets help rid the body of toxins faster or that the elimination of toxins will make you a healthier, more energetic person." This article, written specifically for teenagers, includes links explaining the functions of the rectum and the colon; advice from a medical doctor and a registered dietician about herbal dietary supplements (and why to be wary of them); and information on eating disorders, nicotine and alcohol. Article reviewed by Jessica R. Donze, RD, and Susan Konek, RD, Teens Health (April 2003)