Consumer Reports cautions teatox may do more harm than good

Latest diet trend in a cup pairs certain kinds of tea, light eating, exercise

SAN ANTONIO – It's the latest diet trend and it comes in a cup: It's called teatox. 

People are trying to lose weight by pairing certain kinds of tea with light eating and exercise. 

But does it work and is it safe? 

If you're thinking of using teatox to shed extra holiday pounds, Consumer Reports says detox tea might do more harm than good.

Detox teas contain a variety of ingredients, including some that claim to help with weight loss: Stimulants like guarana, which can contain up to four times the amount of caffeine in coffee.

"Too much caffeine will not only not help long-term with weight loss, but can cause issues like jitteriness and nervousness," said Consumer Reports' Diane Umansky. 

Teatoxes also often contain laxatives, such as senna or senna leaf. 

"The reason you might see a short-term dip in the scale is because they're dehydrating. But once you consume enough liquid, your weight will go right back up. And used to excess, laxatives can be dangerous," Umansky said.

Detox teas are often regulated like dietary supplements, which means much more loosely than medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration.  

If weight loss is your goal, there are better, safer and proven strategies, such as portion control, getting plenty of fiber and stepping up physical activity, Umansky said.

If you're still thinking of a teatox, talk to your doctor or pharmacist first to make sure what's in the ingredients won't conflict with any medication you are taking.

And if you enjoy a cup or two of traditional tea a day, go for it. Consumer Reports said it's a reasonable part of a healthy diet and may have some small weight loss benefits.

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