Weight loss detox teas reportedly contain laxatives that can lead to heart and kidney problems

weight loss detox teas

Popular social media platforms like Instagram are full to the brim with perfectly sculpted bodies, specifically angled to show toned arms, perky bums and flat stomachs. Some Instagram models and celebrities swear by drinking detox teas to help them get rid of water weight and achieve that “impossibly flat” stomach.

However, when things look too good to be true, it’s because they normally are…

In the firing line are weight loss detox teas that have been reported as being bad for you. Here’s why…

A potentially dangerous issue

Some popular detox teas are not magical herbal teas that can make fat and unwanted weight vanish.

The detoxifying methods are said to be far from glamorous – they can rid the body of ‘toxins’ by speeding up the digestive system and getting rid of essential waters and electrolytes; i.e. by going to the loo.

Many of these teas reportedly contain the laxative Senna, a substance used to treat constipation.

As with all drugs, laxatives should only be used when necessary, and people who take them regularly when they aren’t experiencing symptoms of constipation may be opening themselves up to risks of harmful side effects, such as:

  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhoea
  • Red, itchy rashes
  • Allergic reactions
  • Heart or kidney problems

The NHS also warns against taking products that contain Senna with heart medicine, diuretics, steroid tablets and liquorice root medicines. Although some of these detox ‘flat tummy’ tea medications openly disclose the Senna content, they may list them as containing ‘Senna leaves’, drawing attention to the references of being ‘herbal’ or ‘natural’.

People need to be wary…

In an increasingly influential industry, experts and health professionals warn that people ought to be wary of stars, bloggers, fitness models and even celebrities who use their fame to advertise such remedies. The U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has taken action against some high-profile individuals and organisations for advertising detox teas where there is little or no proof that they actually reduce weight and get rid of bloating.

The ASA recently issued a complaint against Flat Tummy Tea for its professed weight-loss qualities. Sophie Kasaei from Geordie Shore reportedly posted an Instagram picture promoting sachets of Flat Tummy Tea with a side-by-side comparison of her tummy. Even though it looks like a photo comparison of Kasaei standing relaxed and then stood straight and sucking her tummy in, she credits the tea for getting rid of her water-weight, telling others to “go get yours” from a provided website, noting that it was also being sold for a reduced price.

The importance of labelling and advertising

Manufacturers must label their products and advertise their products in a way that complies with advertising standards. Consumers have a right to choose a product that’s suitable for them, and they can only make a decision if the product is correctly advertised.

The ASA found that the company who produced Flat Tummy Tea “did not hold scientific data to support their claims that the tea ingredients could help with water weight loss.” False advertising cannot be tolerated, especially when it comes to health claims for food and drink products.

Kasaeir’s Instagram post has since been banned and removed.

A nutritionist’s view on detox teas

A leading nutritionist, Rhiannon Lambert, shared her concerns over the rising popularity of these detox teas. She explains that Senna works by contracting the colon and forcing out water and electrolytes, but warns that:

“…while this loss of bulk can make you feel and look slimmer short term, it has no impact on fat loss.”

Another trained nutritionist, Steven Grant, agreed with Lambert and shares her concerns over the high-profile social media adverts:

“…promoting these teas to have some sort of magical effect on areas such as detox and weight loss without any scientific backing and no details on the dosages used within the teas is shameful in my opinion.”

The content of this post/page was considered accurate at the time of the original posting and/or at the time of any posted revision. The content of this page may, therefore, be out of date. The information contained within this page does not constitute legal advice. Any reliance you place on the information contained within this page is done so at your own risk.

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