Never take medical advice from Hollywood stars.
From the old "I'm not a doctor but I play one on TV" commercials to the "celebrity diet tips" you find in magazines at the supermarket checkout aisle, stars are just full of bad advice when it comes to your health.
One of the more recent trends in Hollywood's boutique medicine industry involves colon cleansings -- the idea that a very elaborate (and often expensive) chemically enhanced enema can somehow cure all sorts of health issues.
There's just one problem with it: There's no real research to back up colon cleansings -- and there's plenty of evidence that they could be dangerous and even deadly.
Researchers recently took on Hollywood by examining 20 studies on colon cleansing published over the last decade. They found no real evidence to back the common health claims, which range from the removal of "toxins" to improved skin, and even weight loss.
Let's face it: If losing weight was that simple, enemas would be sold by the dozen on supermarket endcaps -- and we'd all be Hollywood thin by now.
But a colon cleanse isn't just a harmless gimmick to help us normal folk feel like the stars. There are real risks involved.
The procedures can cause an electrolyte imbalance so severe it can lead to hospitalization -- not to mention severe life-altering side effects such as kidney failure.
In some rare cases, colon "detox" has even led to the worse side effect of all: death.
The patients who survive it still battle plenty of unpleasant, but less-threatening, side effects, including nausea, vomiting, and issues with bowel movements.
The risks are hardly a surprise when you consider that many of these procedures aren't performed by doctors or even nurses. Despite the fact that colon detox centers look and feel like medical offices -- right down to the white coats -- the highest degree your "colon technician" may have is a high school diploma.
The truth you won't hear from the Hollywood stars is that there's no secret to colon cleansing. Your body does a pretty good job of it on its own, and I'm pretty sure I don't need to explain how.
There are times when you may need a real colon cleanse -- like before a procedure such as a colonoscopy -- but let an experienced naturopathic doctor help you with those decisions.
Not a Hollywood celebrity or a poorly trained "technician."