A number of celebrities have spoken out and endorsed the celery juice diet, which is claimed to combat a range of conditions including acne, high blood pressure, constipation and psoriasis. Kim Kardashian, 38, recently told how she’d started drinking celery juice every morning in a bid to treat psoriasis. Other celebs promoting celery juice include Naomi Campbell, Miranda Kerr, Kylie Jenner and Gwyneth Paltrow. But according to the British Skin Foundation, the celery juice diet could not only give you wrinkles and make your skin age, but could also raise skin cancer risk.
I don’t think this is a good sustainable way of losing weight and whilst UVA can reduce the inflammation of psoriasis, it can also increase skin ageing and the risk of skin cancers
Emma Wedgeworth – British Skin Foundation
The celery juice diet typically involves drinking 16 ounces of celery juice on an empty stomach every morning. You then have to wait for a certain period of time before eating anything.
However, experts warn a chemical compound found in celery actually increases the skin’s sensitivity to UVA sunlight – which can cause premature ageing and skin cancer.
“We know that your diet can have a significant impact on psoriasis,” said consultant dermatologist & British Skin Foundation spokesperson Emma Wedgeworth.
“Maintaining a healthy weight is a great way to do this, and losing weight can greatly improve psoriasis, so this may be one of the reasons why the celery juice diet is thought to help.
“In addition, celery is known to contain ‘psoralens’ which can increase your skin’s sensitivity to UVA sunlight.
“UVA sunlight reduces the inflammation of psoriasis – so if you drink a lot of celery juice and sit in the sun, there may be a reaction in the skin.
“However, I certainly wouldn’t advise using celery juice as a way of treating psoriasis.
“I don’t think this is a good sustainable way of losing weight and whilst UVA can reduce the inflammation of psoriasis, it can also increase skin ageing and the risk of skin cancers.”
Nutritional therapist Alison Orr, a specialist at YorkTest, added that unless you change your entire diet, a quick celery juice fix won’t provide any ‘detox’.
“Some of the claims I’ve seen about celery juicing are misleading and worrying,” said Orr.
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“Certainly, juicing vegetables can have health benefits – you’re adding lots of electrolytes and nutrients to your diet, and hydrating yourself naturally, all of which can improve the overall functionality of the body and improve energy levels.
“But I highly doubt that it would heal the body of known, or mystery, conditions alone.
“And it’s even more unlikely if other aspects of a diet have not been addressed – like sugar intake and the types of foods eaten.
“The detrimental effects of a diet with a lot of highly-refined and processed foods, for example, are unlikely to be overridden by the health benefits of celery juice.”
Orr warns that problems like acne, digestive problems, fatigue and headaches could be the result of a simple food intolerance – not the need for a radical celery detox.
“Rather than turning to juicing, or focusing on drinking or eating one vegetable, people should check they aren’t reacting to the foods they’re eating in the first place,” she said.
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