A leading scientist has rubbished claims that so-called "detox" diets can boost health and cleanse the body of chemicals.
According to the Daily Mail, David Bender -- an emeritus professor of nutritional biochemistry -- said the diets were based on an "unlikely" premise.
He insisted there was no "magic shortcut" to weight loss -- which can be achieved simply by eating less and exercising more.
"Detox" regimes may recommend consuming large amounts of fruit, vegetables and juices, and drinking large amounts of water, while avoiding caffeine, sugar and alcohol.
They claim to boost health in various ways including raising energy levels to allowing the body to focus on self-healing.
But Professor Bender of University College London has torpedoed such suggestions in an article entitled The Detox Delusion, published in the Society of Biology magazine, The Biologist.
In it, he says the term "detox" has gone from describing a chemical reaction involved in the production of urine to a "meaningless marketing term" and takes apart the claims made on behalf of detox diets.
He stated that they are at best unfounded, more likey demonstrably false, and at worst dangerous.
"I am not sure what 'self-healing' is and the idea of 'raised energy levels' is nonsense," the Telegraph quoted Professor Bender as writing.
"The whole philosophy of detox is based on the unlikely premise that accumulated toxins cause a sluggish metabolism, weight gain, general malaise and so on.
"Weight gain is due to an imbalance between food consumption and energy expenditure. There is no magic shortcut for weight loss -- you have to eat less and exercise more. It's that simple," he added.