Consumer Reports reveals how well juice cleansers work

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Consumer Reports teamed up with 7 On Your Side's Michael Finney for a report on juice cleansers and whether they're worth the money. (KGO-TV)

All juice cleanses claim to eliminate toxins and rejuvenate your body. But, how well do they work?

About 20 percent of adults concerned about their weight have tried a cleanse and surprisingly men are edging out women.

Juice cleanses are an estimated $200 million per year industry, so Consumer Reports took a look under the lid to see what they deliver.

Susan Williams did her first juice cleanse two years ago and has done several since. "I will do a cleanse if I've eaten too much, if I've been drinking too much, if I've been having too much sugar. I feel like it resets my system," Williams said.

By replacing solid foods with juices made from fruits, vegetables and even nut milks, some cleanses claim to jump-start a healthier you.

Consumer Reports nutritionist Amy Keating looked at three-day programs from some top-selling brands, including: Blueprint's Renovation cleanse, Pressed Juicery's cleanse one, and Suja's Original Fresh Start.

They promise to do things like rest your digestive system, rejuvenate your body, increase energy, and eliminate toxins. "We just didn't see a lot of evidence to back some of the claims they make," Keating said.

None promise you'll drop pounds,but you probably will in the short term because most are relatively low in calories. The juices Consumer Reports reviewed also tended to be too low in fiber and protein and too high in sugars.

They are also pricey as three days of juices can cost as much as $200. "If you're healthy and you do a cleanse for one, two or even three days, it's probably not harmful. But any longer than that just really isn't smart because they just don't contain all the nutrients your body needs," Keating said.

And for truly sustainable changes, Consumer Reports reminds us that healthy eating is a better way to go.

As with any diet, Consumer Reports advises checking with your doctor first if you want to do a cleanse.

Consumer Reports reached out to the manufacturers regarding the claims they make and some did not respond. Those that did defended the benefits of their products. After reviewing the information and conducting their own research, Consumer Reports' health experts remain unconvinced the products are worth the money.

Consumer Reports is published by Consumers Union. Both Consumer Reports and Consumers Union are not-for-profit organizations that accept no advertising. Neither has any commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site.

(All Consumer Reports Material Copyright 2014. Consumers Union of U.S. Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)
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