Juice Cleanse:

Detox Health Benefits and Side Effects

Juice cleanses, also known as juice detoxes or juice fasts, involve the exclusive consumption of fruit and vegetable juices over a designated period. They are continuing to grow in popularity for their associated benefits of detoxification, boosted nutrients, increased energy and weight loss.

However, this surge in interest often comes hand in hand with misconceptions. In this article, we delve into the nuances surrounding juice cleanses, exploring their health benefits and explaining the perceived risks related to nutrient deficiency, blood sugar fluctuations, and the potential for muscle loss. As with any new health routine, it is crucial to carefully consider how it aligns with your individual health goals and needs.

Juice cleanses play a role in enhancing overall health by providing concentrated nutrition, helping to increase your intake of several antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. Conventional juicing methods may subject ingredients to increased oxygen or heat, which can damage or degrade the nutritional value. However, cold-press juicing is designed to extract every ounce of goodness, preserving the nutritional value more effectively. For example, a product by The Juice Smith provides 4 out of your 5-a-day in just one bottle and contains up to 1kg of vitamin-rich organic produce.

Below are the major juice cleanse benefits backed by clinical studies:

  • Improved Gut Health 
  • Weight Loss & Maintenance 
  • Improved Heart & Brain Health 
  • Protection Against Disease 

Improved gut health:

An improvement in gut health is one of the main health benefits of a juice cleanse, due to its ability to help nurture a diverse and balanced gut microbiota, which is generally associated with better health outcomes. During a cleanse, the digestive system has a rest from the processing of solid foods, reducing the workload on the digestive tract and potentially alleviating bloating and discomfort.

This is discussed in a study led by Susanne M. Henning et al., from the Center for Human Nutrition in the Department of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles, which observed significant alterations in the gut microbiota composition after a 3-day juice-based diet. It found a decrease in the carbohydrate based bacterias and increase in bacterias which supplies nutrients and energy to the body. 

It's important to note, however, that the impact on gut health can depend on factors such as the duration of the cleanse, the specific ingredients used, and an individual's overall dietary habits. 

Overall, if you are looking for something to help with your gut health, this is one of the main health benefits of a juice cleanse. The evidence provided in the study described the findings as significant, rather than random fluctuations, which presents the changes in the gut  microbiota as meaningful and noteworthy. 

Weight loss & maintenance: 

If you are struggling to lose weight and are feeling the impact of this on your overall health and emotional well-being, there are several health benefits associated with a juice cleanse which relate to helping with weight loss.

In the study led by Susanne M. Henning et al., from the Center for Human Nutrition in the Department of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles, participants experienced a significant decrease in weight and body mass index (BMI) during the 3-day juice cleanse, with the weight loss being maintained even after returning to a customary diet for two weeks.

The weight loss associated with juice cleanses primarily stems from a combination of factors: caloric restriction, water weight reduction, a reduced intake of processed foods, improved digestion and gut health and an increased resting metabolic rate. 

This demonstrates that a juice cleanse, as evidenced by Susanne M. Henning et al.'s study at UCLA, offers significant health benefits for weight loss. Participants experienced notable decreases in weight and BMI during the 3-day cleanse, potentially from a combination of factors, with these effects sustained even after returning to a regular diet. 

Protection against disease: 

Amongst the key health benefits of a juice cleanse, is the potential that can be gained when consuming fruit and vegetable juices to protect against oxidative stress-related diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular problems.

Oxidative stress is characterised by an imbalance between reactive species production and antioxidant defence in the body. Fruit and vegetable juices are packed with natural substances that protect our bodies. These include vitamins C and E, and other special nutrients that fight off harmful particles. SOD (Superoxide Dismutase) and CAT (Catalase) are like the body's cleanup crew, helping to break down these harmful particles and reduce damage to our cells.

This understanding is grounded in a study organised by the Department of Pharmacy at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande, which discovered that the consumption of natural fruit juices, especially those from fruits like berries and pomegranates, boosts the body's antioxidant levels and lowers MDA (a marker of oxidative stress). This suggests that these juices can enhance our body's defence mechanism against damage from oxidative stress, potentially guarding against related diseases. Meaning, in simple terms, consuming these fruit juices could help our body better protect itself from certain health issues.

Improved heart & brain health:

Another juice cleanse benefit is the positive effect it can have on the health of your heart and your brain. The study by Susanne M. Henning et al., from the Center for Human Nutrition in the Department of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles, discovered that plasma and urine nitric oxide levels significantly increased during the juice cleanse, which is important for vasodilation and cardiovascular health.

Specifically, on day 4 of the juice-based diet, participants in this study experienced a significant increase in plasma and urine nitric oxide levels by 244% and 450%, respectively. This suggests that the consumption of fruit and vegetable juices rich in nitrate contributed to elevated NO levels, which are associated with vasodilation (the medical term for when blood vessels in your body widen, allowing more blood to flow through them and lowering your blood pressure) and potentially improved cardiovascular health.

Consequently, this improved blood flow and lower blood pressure not only improves heart health, but also ensures sufficient oxygen and nutrient supply, promoting overall brain health. Therefore, this evidence presents improved heart and brain health as an important health benefit of a juice cleanse.

Is there any risk with juice cleansing?

While many experience a variety of health benefits when choosing a juice cleanse, it’s important to consider that individual experiences may vary and there are some risks you should be mindful of before choosing to begin a cleanse.

Prolonged juice cleanses may lead to deficiencies of nutrients such as protein, fibre, and healthy fats, which are found in whole foods. This deficiency can contribute to fatigue, a weakened immune function, and potential digestive issues. 

While the sugars found in juices with high fruit content are natural, some individuals may experience spikes or crashes in blood sugar levels. Those with diabetes or individuals prone to blood sugar fluctuations should be wary of this before deciding if a juice cleanse is right for them. 

For those attempting to gain muscle, a juice cleanse may not be the right choice for you due to the lower levels of protein. There is a higher chance of increased weight loss and potential muscle loss if a prolonged cleanse is chosen. Individuals who experience weight loss during and after a juice cleanse, should take into account the risk of rebound weight gain if regular eating resumes too quickly, and instead should gradually return to a healthy, well-balanced diet. 


If any of the associated benefits of a juice cleanse sound appealing to you, we recommend considering your personal health goals and consulting your doctor or a healthcare professional to ensure you can make an informed decision. We are also available to answer any questions or concerns you may have about our juice cleanses (all questions are welcome!). We are advocates of a juice cleanse being able to support long-term health by adopting a balanced approach alongside varied diets, regular exercise, and lifestyle changes tailored to individual needs. We have a variety of juice cleanses available based on your health goals and lifestyle. Each of our cleanses also comes with a detailed cleanse manual to help you through the process every step of the way.
Juice Cleanse: Detox Health Benefits and Side Effects