Month-long detox to get over alcohol-fuelled Christmas “can do more harm than good”Doctor says a month”s detox is “medically futile”
Doctors say that the so-called “Janopause” – when drinkers cut out alcohol for only the first month of the year – is “medically futile” and fails to rejuvenate the liver in the long term
This can then cause people to consume more from February onwards and lead to more significant harm.
And while a month-long break can give the liver a rest, experts warn that it does not heal any damage already caused by regular heavy drinking.
A break can actually pile additional pressure on the organ once drinkers resume their old habits.
Andrew Langford, chief executive of the British Liver Trust, said: ‘A one-hit, one-month attempt to achieve long-term liver health is not the way to approach it.
“You’re better off making a resolution to take a few days off alcohol a week throughout the entire year than remaining abstinent for January only.’
Dr Mark Wright, consultant hepatologist at Southampton General Hospital, added: ‘Detoxing for just a month is medically futile. It feeds the idea that you can abuse your liver as much as you like and then sort everything out with a quick fix.’
Dr Wright said the liver treats alcohol as a poison that the body needs to evacuate. To break alcohol down, the liver produces chemicals known as enzymes.
High levels of enzymes can lead to liver scarring and eventual cirrhosis, which can be fatal.
Dr Wright added: ‘The liver is fantastic at detoxing – that’s what it does. But if you think giving it a rest will help, you’re wrong.’
The warnings come as David Cameron is reported to have ordered officials to draw up a scheme to introduce a minimum price for alcohol in a bid to curb binge drinking.