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A medical food-supplemented detoxification program in the management of chronic health problems
Although the body is designed to eliminate toxins, it cannot always handle the overload present in today’s environment. Toxin overload can lead to a variety of health problems such as chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, muscle and joint pain, headache, and allergy or flu-like symptoms. It is for these reasons that detoxification therapies are gaining popularity all over the world.
According to Dr. Jeffrey Bland and colleagues in Alternative Therapies, “Detoxification therapies are designed to lessen exposure to toxic substances while facilitating the physiological processes associated with the elimination of toxins from the body.” While detoxification therapies often consist of water or juice fasts, Dr. Bland and colleagues hypothesized that enhancing the intake of specific nutrients may positively influence the detoxification process.
In order to test their hypothesis, researchers conducted a study in which 84 patients (the intervention group) received a medical food supplement that provided a combination of nutrients designed to enhance gastrointestinal healing and detoxification in addition to a low-allergy-potential, calorie-controlled diet. The control group consisted of 22 patients who received the low-allergy-potential, calorie-controlled diet without the medical food supplementation. A low-allergy-potential diet is free of common allergens including dairy products, gluten-containing grains, and citrus fruits.
Upon completion of the 10-week study, patients filled out a Metabolic Screening Questionnaire (MSQ), which was used to evaluate the severity, duration, and frequency of symptoms associated with individual patient health problems. Dr. Bland and colleagues reported that “The intervention group had, on average, a 52% improvement in symptoms as measured by the MSQ, whereas the control group had only a 22% average improvement.”
Researchers concluded that “The results of this study confirm our hypothesis that patients…who are given the specific medical food supplement described…had a significant improvement in their clinical outcome compared with that of the control patients, who received only the calorie-restricted [low-allergy-potential] diet.”
Altern Ther Health Med 1995;1(5):62-71.
Advanced Nutrition Publications ©2002