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Master Cleanse is a modified juice fast that permits no food, substituting tea and lemonade made with maple syrup and cayenne pepper. Proponents claim that the diet detoxifies the body and removes excess fat. There is no scientific evidence that the diet removes any toxins, or that it achieves anything beyond temporary weight loss. Though unlikely to be harmful over the short term it can be harmful over the long term. Short term side effects include fatigue, nausea, dizziness, and dehydration, while long term harm includes loss of muscle mass.
Nutritionist Jane Clark points to a lack of essential nutrients in this program, citing a deficiency of protein, vitamins, and minerals. As a result of these deficiencies, including far fewer calories than the recommended amount for health and optimum functioning, individuals on the diet may experience headaches and a variety of other symptoms in the short term and the diet is potentially harmful over the long term. The program has been described as an extreme fad or crash diet, and any weight lost during the fast can be expected to be regained once the diet is stopped. Dietician Keri Glassman has said those following the diet are "guaranteed" to gain weight after stopping.