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Effects of Meat Detox

author image Jennifer Andrews
Jennifer Andrews specializes in writing about health, wellness and nutrition. Andrews has a Master of Science in physical therapy from the University of Alberta as well as a bachelor's degree in kinesiology. She teaches yoga and pilates and is a recent graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.
Effects of Meat Detox
A green vegetarian salad in a clear bowl. Photo Credit: Stockphoto24/iStock/Getty Images

With the rise in high-protein, low-carb diets over the years, the consumption of meat has increased. While lean meat may be a healthy source of essential nutrients, particularly protein, eating products higher in fat such as saturated fats can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and obesity. Furthermore, the over-consumption of meat may lead to digestive and organ dysfunction, as large amounts of protein are difficult to digest. Consult with a physician prior to initiating a meat detox to avoid any adverse health risks.

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According to the Mayo Clinic, animal protein is high in acid-forming purines. When purines are broken down in the body, it leads to the production of uric acid. High levels of uric acid in the blood lead to negative health effects such as the accumulation of crystals around joints. This can lead to painful conditions such as arthritis, or gout, a particular form of arthritis affected by diet and obesity. Diets high in protein increase the production of uric acid and are referred to as hyperuricemia.


Detoxing from meat products may initially result in weakness of the body. This is often mistaken for insufficient protein intake. However, weakness is usually a result of the body directing its energy to eliminating toxins and acid-forming protein from the body. As a healthier, alkaline environment is established, symptoms of weakness decrease and the body feels energized and stronger from a nutrient-rich diet in fruits and vegetables.

General Effects

According to the Mayo Clinic, detox diets incur possible side effects that can negatively impact health if not addressed. Common side effects include dizziness, fatigue, nausea, difficulty concentrating and dehydration. This is believed to be the result of toxin elimination from the body in which the body's energies are being used for detox, versus normal functions. Typically, this period lasts for the first few days and is followed by an increase in energy and focus.

Organ Dysfunction

The Mayo Clinic states that there is limited evidence as to the effectiveness of detox diets. Toxins and waste products in the body are eliminated by the body's liver and kidneys through urination and bowel movements. However, a diet high in protein can over-tax the body's organs, leading to dysfunction and adrenal fatigue. Protein also takes longer to digest in the body, leading to undigested food in the intestinal tract, which increases risks of constipation, bloating and flatulence. Eating a healthy diet that focuses on fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains, with lean proteins in moderation, is the healthiest method to improve health.

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