Is Health Advice from Social Media Good or Bad?

These days, health information is readily accessible everywhere on the web. But before you take any advice, remember to consider the source of your information.

We recently received this question from a viewer:

Dear Dr. Manny,
I saw something on Facebook about doing a “liver cleanse” to rid my body of toxic buildup that could make me sick. What is it, and is it safe?

Your liver converts nutrients into substances your body can use. This process includes filtering out toxic substances and preparing them to be released from your body. But here’s the truth: Most diseases do not stem from a toxic buildup in your liver.

If you are in good health and don’t overload your system with toxic substances— like alcohol— your liver will be able to cleanse itself very well on its own. So be wary of cleanses that you see on social media sites.

“Most of these products [that are] commercially advertised lack any scientific evidence behind them,” Dr. Dmitri Alden, a surgical oncologist specializing in diseases of the liver told “I recommend … [a] whole-food, plant-based diet; eliminate or minimize consumption of meat and dairy products; drink one glass of red wine a day; eliminate heavy liquor and drink two cups of coffee — and your liver will be happy and healthy.”

Always check with your doctor before making any diet or lifestyle changes.

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