We found out (for you)

It’s easy to envy stars’ perfect body parts. Who hasn’t daydreamed about waking up with Elizabeth Taylor’s eyes, Jennifer Garner’s arms, or Cindy Crawford’s… colon?

Yep, you read that right.

Hollywood has had a long-standing love affair with colonics—treatments during which a holistic practitioner introduces a stream of water into the body, in order to force out whatever waste is lingering in the colon—to “detoxify” the system. Many stars have admitted to scheduling a colonic in preparation for a red carpet event, in order to look radiant and slim on camera. And it’s not only women—Leonardo DiCaprio is said to have become a fan after being welcomed into the club by his supermodel girlfriends.

To many in Hollywood, colonics aren’t the only way to move waste out and summon a healthy glow. Juice cleanses are a more moderate, do-it-yourself method which proponents claim help promote weight loss, lessen bloating, improve sleep, and boost energy.  Kyra Sedgwick touts glowing skin and better sleep as her reasoning for “cleansing,” while designer Rachel Roy says her skin and hair look better as a result. 

Celebrities aren’t just taking part in the juicing craze—they’re capitalizing on its business side, too. Salma Hayek co-founded Cooler Cleanse, an organic, cold-pressed juice company, and drinks its products as part of her health and beauty maintenance program. And Cindy Crawford is an ambassador for Urban Remedy, a raw juice company based in California.

Celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Demi Moore are fans of a regimen created by cardiologist-turned-nutritionist-to-the-stars, Alejandro Junger, MD. His 21-day CLEAN program has a cult-like following, and aims to change dietary habits by helping followers understand how their bodies react to certain foods, such as caffeine, alcohol, processed sugars, dairy and gluten. 

Be Well by Frank Lipman, MD is a 14-day program that includes three daily shakes, two light meals, and supplements—bold-faced fans include Sedgwick, Donna Karan and Maggie Gyllenhaal. According to the website, when gluten, dairy and processed sugars are eliminated, results include weight loss, mental clarity, clearer skin, and a reduction in inflammation. It also aims to help curb cravings (Talenti Salted Caramel ice cream is not allowed). 

As intriguing as these programs might sound, scientific evidence does not support the use of cleanses for detoxification.  Susan Goldsmith, MD, a gastroenterologist in Tampa, FL states that they aren’t necessary because the human body naturally eliminates waste and bacteria.  In fact, they can be downright dangerous if not performed correctly.  “Bowel perforations are a concern with colonics, and electrolyte imbalance and dehydration can occur,” states Goldsmith. Cramping, bloating and vomiting are also possible side effects.  Goldsmith also claims that people should stick to a well-balanced diet with plenty of water and daily fiber instead.

But Edward Guess, MD of Beverly Hills Wellness Center tells his patients to beware of vast misinformation—undergoing a colonic is no more dangerous than having an enema. In fact, he says the only difference is the amount of water used—an enema uses about 2 quarts, whereas a colonic uses 3 gallons over the course of 30-45 minutes. According to Guess, the colon is the human body’s garbage can—and a having a colonic is, like taking out the garbage, a necessary task. 

Sources:

  1. Cooler Cleanse
  2. Urban Remedy
  3. Alejandro Junger
  4. Frank Lipman