THE MASTER CLEANSE DIET? OR WEIGHT WATCHERS?

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN IN 2009

Sugar and Diuretics Conspiring to Create Magic in Your Intestines:

Maple syrup full of anti-oxidants & zinc? In the tree, yes. After being boiled to make it, no.  I know some people who’ve had great success with this diet and yet others, none! Do we grant it warm acceptance or label it as hog wash baloney? If you don’t want to buy baloney even when its very reassuring to do so, permit my attempt to use science here as a candle in the dark.

$75.00 on Amazon for $7.50 worth of ingredients called ‘The Master Cleanse”, is the first sign of a snake-oil sophism.  Ms. Beyonce’ lost 10lbs in 20 days  yet still warned against it. Perhaps because drinking grade B maple syrup mixed with cayenne pepper and lemons as her only sustenance wasn’t the brightest idea she’s ever had.

Now where’d we put our baloney detection kit? Ok, all facetious notions aside, my first google result yielded a The New York Times article with quotes from Dr’s like, “lack of scientific evidence that detoxification actually works” and “these claims are not only ludicrous but tantamount to fraud”.

The Cleanse people have doctor references too, and you should look them up. I did. Dr. Pujari is a “board certified internist and credentialed medical herbalist” w/a degree from the Royal College of Phytotherapy in London. Which means she’s no more of an M.D. than I am. Though her garden is probably greener.

Let’s not discount a large demographic feeling ‘revitalized’ upon completion- assuming its from the new lack of toxins. Personally, I’m assuming their vigor is a robust thank-you note from their clenched stomachs for showing them normal food after a week of draconian starvation.

And there are indeed some real doctors too who believe in it. Usually the ones selling their Detox books on Amazon for $11.53:

I truly believe that cleansing and detoxification… is virtually one of the most powerful healing therapies (real healing of ailments and not just suppression of symptoms) I have witnessed….”

This is a mere observation designed to snare the gullible. In court he’d say he saw ailments disappear after some patients started the diet. He speaks of pretense and confusion mixed and a common fallacy of logic called:

 

          ‘Post Hoc’ fallacy – “It happened after, so it was caused by.”

 

Jesus statues appear with moisture on them and thousands of good people convince themselves it’s a miracle. 4% of ALL cancer goes away all by itself regardless of whether you kissed the head of a voodoo priest or not. ESPers are consistently consulted by the Authorities even though they never guess better than expected by common sense. These are proved or presumptive baloney. Likewise, antacid commercials tout they contain calcium, whereas calcium, containing only nutritional value, is useless for gastritis. Don’t think. Blindly trust.

Where’s the double-blind study? Right here: Baloney Detector No. 8

Alright, what about the ‘toxins’ clearly presenting themselves in full hi-definition in your toilet? Well, (besides the laxatives in it) might it be the similar idea to those detoxing foot pads on infomercials that, after applied to your feet bottoms, will cause black gunky stuff to appear on your soles in the morning?.

It’s not a true Master Cleanse unless you’re drinking it from their special $15 bottle.  It seems likely to me that they use the same ingenious idea of creating the so-called toxins (with the foot pads, theres a chemical in there that responds to the type of sweat on your feet, and turns black. Also containing an anti-perspirant so, night after night there’s less black stuff appearing as your sweat pores clog from the deodorant-implying the toxins have been purged. Now why didn’t I think of that?).

If you’re not pressed for time, google “Gawker+detox” for an article that summarizes the NYT neatly and the comments are hilarious. I’d love to reference a scientific article FOR the diet too. But there aren’t any. At least none that aren’t from websites with ‘diet’ in their url.

Now, does your rash (the ‘healthy’ side effect they say) really imply your body is enjoying this? Or is it maybe a result of your body going into shock? Then, I might remind you, they say your immune system could be suppressed now. Might that lead to something worse like pneumonia or the flu? Or, am I just being cynical? I mean, I know how much you read or heard from your bestie about how ‘good’ it was before you started but, did you look at an equal smattering of skeptical scrutiny too?

No medical research on these. And Naturopaths and the allopathic medical community do not support it. And Alternative health practicioners don’t quite all agree either.      I called BS initially just based on what I learned in Mrs. Bott’s ninth grade Biology class, but Mastercleanse.org/com’s readings fail logic arguments that even the most credulous can comprehend. Never leave home without your kit, friends.

Now don’t get glum on me thinking I’m dismissing some precious facet of your inner life. I’m not saying the diet doesn’t ‘work’. If ‘cleansing’ clearly helps you get a grip on whatever it is you are trying to get a grip on, then you have truly found something wonderful!  The Placebo.  It’s been widely understood since the 50’s that ‘sugar pills’ can affect real physical change (provided the ailment originated from the mind, especially anxiety and depression).

I write this not bc I’m looking to show what P.T. Barnum meant when he said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” But because it can be much more dangerous than that, when societies lose the capacity for critical thinking, the results can be catastrophic – however sympathetic we may be to the ones who’ve bought the baloney.

The question is not whether we like the conclusion that emerges out of a train of reasoning, but whether that premise is true.

In conclusion, we go to Weight Watchers (WTW). Its one of the few programs that gets consistently provable results due, as far as I can tell, to their alcoholics-anonymous style group hugs.

–SVP

EDITED BY JANE

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