What are the risks, what are the benefits for our health?

Do these practices help us improve our health, lose weight, lower blood sugar levels or get back in shape? What does scientific research tell us about all these diets? Some answers with our experts. A show in partnership with Doctissimo site.

A little reminder: For any health problem, the attending physician is actually the first point of contact. For weight or diet questions, there are professionals: diabetologists, endocrinologists, hepatitis doctors, gastroenterologists and dietitian nutritionists who are also health professionals.

A widespread phenomenon

Bernard Sureur, an epidemiologist at CRESS-EREN (INRAE, Inserm, Université Sorbonne Paris Nord, Université Paris Cité) and coordinator of the NACRE network (Nutrition Physical Activity Cancer Research) noted that “The practice of fasting is quite common. One in ten patients say they have used this type of practice, and two-thirds of these patients expect to benefit. But patients, for example, suffering from cancer, throw themselves into such dietary restrictions, sometimes abandoning their treatment. While research shows that these practices are of no benefit in the case of oncological disease, And they can also be very dangerous and increase the risk of mortality from malnutrition or other causes.”

Why do people cling to miracle cures?

How can we explain the success of these practices and the self-proclaimed gurus of detox, intermittent fasting, ketogenic diets (slimming diets based on the almost complete elimination of sugar and starches (carbohydrates) from the diet and increased consumption of raw foods? stuff? fat ( lipids)) and other mechanisms? For Dr. Adrian Chaboche, because “It sells dreams, and the idea that losing weight will be easy. We take advantage of people who are suffering. These people are looking for someone to listen to them. Those who frequent these gurus will look for someone who can welcome them and tell them the general truth. There is a very important psychological factor behind all this. People want to be reassured, but we can be reassured by telling crazy stories!”

So good for you!

50 minutes

Is this fasting useful?

Are these remedies or diets completely useless? Marie-Christine Boutron-Rualt, Inserm’s first-class research director, internists and hepato-gastroenterologists at the Institut Mutualiste Montsouris in Paris distinguish patients: A person who overindulges at Christmas and rebalances their diet by eating easy-to-digest foods like fruit can detoxify fairly quickly. Our body is something amazing that has the ability to detoxify a certain number of exogenous products from contaminants, for example atmospheric or food contaminants or endogenous products, for example eggs, pieces of bacteria etc. But a person undergoing bariatric surgery cannot do intermittent fasting.

A mono-diet therapy?

What about eating only apples or drinking lemon or artichoke juice for two or three days? Marie-Christine Boutron-Roulault explains that “If it lasts two or three days, the body can handle a lot. But if we do it out of guilt, because we’ve had too much fun and we buy ourselves a good conscience by doing something extreme on the contrary, we’ll create a kind of stress that’s bad for the body. . And severe restrictions are not recommended for patients with weight problems. This will lead to a yo-yo effect: they will lose and then gain a little more.”

Adrian Chaboche did not “The fear of detoxes goes away the moment they are “normal” products like lemon juice. But by focusing on this kind of technique, we put aside what is really necessary and really useful for the body: long-term life balance. So if you want to do a detox treatment to take care of yourself at certain times, why not… but it shouldn’t change what’s necessary.”

Rely on the microbiota to find balance

Marie-Christine Boutron-Rualt advises relying on on the microbiota : “The gut microbiota, this symbol of billions of bacteria, wants us well. It has been shown that when the liver is fatty, and also inflamed, apple pectin will improve the microbiota and liver function. We will never be reminded: a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, hazelnuts and whole grains is the key.”

Strictly limit alcohol and ultra-processed products

Adrian Chaboche: “ Alcohol is for funNot for health. And that’s a maximum of two glasses per day and not every other day. ” And Marie-Christine Boutron-Rualt adds: “We can also stop ultra-processed industrial food in which ingredients unnecessarily overload our bodies, but which, in fact, do not provide us with anything nutritious and rather of good quality. favors a plant-based diet Dietary rebalancing Should be done with common sense and quality food. It is in our interest to adhere to the saying: “Breakfast for kings, lunch for princes, dinner for beggars.” “It’s better to have a higher intake at the beginning of the day than at the end of the day.”

On the effects of rest on food and cancer Intermittent fasting Worth listening to….


  • Boris Hansel, Endocrinologist and nutritionist at Bichat Hospital (AP-HP, Paris) where he heads the Nutrition-Prevention Unit. He teaches medicine at Paris City University. He coordinates the YouTube channel PUMS (for good health) and also airs videos on nutrition themes on Dr BH channel.
    Author of No fat or sugarCo-authored with Benoît Molin, Flemerion 2018.
  • Dr Bernard Sarr, CRESS-EREN (INRAE, Inserm, Université Sorbonne Paris Nord, Université Paris Cité), and coordinator of the NACRE network (Nutrition Physical Activity Cancer Research).
  • Marie-Christine Boutron-Rualt, First-class research director at Inserm, internist and hepato-gastroenterologist at Institut Mutualist Montsouris in Paris.
  • Gerald Kirzek, Emergency doctor and medical columnist (notably on France 5 in health magazines). Since this summer he has been writing a column on France Bleu. Author of Darrol: An Anatomy Lesson Albin Mitchell – on 2023

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