6abc Action News asked The Wellnest to help them create this segment on some recent health fads: charcoal, Lipo B injections and the one we focused on - matcha tea! Matcha is a green tea that has been used for centuries in Japanese tea ceremonies and Zen monasteries, but which is lately being consumed in trendy lattes, soft drinks and desserts. Are there health benefits to drinking matcha? Watch and see what our Dietitian Lindsey Kane has to say!
"Latest Health Trends: Do They Actually Work?"
By Ali Gorman, R.N.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
There are hundreds of new health trends either touted online, in magazines or just by word-of-mouth but are they really healthy or is it just hype?
We checked out three products and asked our experts.
Up first, it's the latest addition to juices: charcoal.
Makers like Juice Generation have added activated charcoal to lemonade, leafy greens and vegan protein.
6abc Producer Cheryl Mettendorf and I did a taste test.
First we tried the activated lemonade, which we thought was good.
But as for the others, they might be an acquired taste.
But why add charcoal to drinks in the first place?
The claim is that it helps draw toxins out of the body, which can lead to better digestion and clearer skin.
I asked Dr. Charlie Seltzer, a weight loss expert, what he thinks.
He says charcoal will bind to things in the digestive tract and flush them out.
But he says the problem is it binds to everything - even those three pounds of leafy greens.
"The charcoal is basically going to bind to all the good stuff and take it right out, thus defeating the purpose," said Dr. Seltzer.
Juice Generation argues they use the recommended dosage which they say is not enough to flush the nutrients.
We contacted them and they gave us the following statement:
Juice Generation uses the recommended dosage of 1 tsp per 8 ounces of fluid, which is not enough to flush the nutrients from your body that you are consuming in the juice. The goal with the activated charcoal juice line is to integrate them into a healthy lifestyle for added detoxifying benefits.
Smaller shots infused with clay also claim to help detox the body. Again Dr. Seltzer is not a fan.
"No single detox product is really going to make you healthier," he said.
Next up, a product some doctors say can help boost weight loss.
Lipo B injections are a mixture of vitamin B12 with minerals and amino acids.
Nichole Spohn got them as part of a successful weight loss plan.
Her doctor Richard Dittrich explains how the injections can help.
"It allows the liver to work more efficiently and allows the body to metabolize the fat better," said Dr. Dittrich.
But he says it's only part of the puzzle. Spohn also changed her diet.
"Lots of fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, lean meats," she said.
And her weight loss was gradual.
"So is Lipo B by itself the answer: no. But can it help in conjunction with other things? Positively," said Dr. Dittrich.
Our last health trend is not new but has found new popularity: Matcha tea.
Some say drinking it boosts metabolism and can help you lose weight.
Registered dietitian Lindsey Kane explains Matcha is pure, whole tea leaves
"So instead of just seeping the dried tea leaves in hot water, we're grinding it up and in a powder form and it's distributed throughout our entire drink," said Kane.
So it has fiber and packs a high anti-oxidant punch, which means it may boost heart health and lower your risk for some diseases.
As for helping with weight loss, that's never been proven.
But Kane says in ancient times, Matcha helped people slow down and be more mindful, which is still a healthy practice today.
"If Matcha if anything gets us to be more present, that's a good thing," said Kane.
As for the taste, it tastes like a strong green tea.
You can also find Matcha at some coffee houses now including Starbucks.
But if you get a Matcha latte, meaning it's mixed with milk and sugar, then it loses some of its health benefits.
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