The dangers of too much detox

A woman was left disabled after following a "detox" diet which involved drinking large quantities of water.

Although doctors stress the need to avoid dehydration by drinking enough fluids, drinking more than enough is a different matter. The human body may be mostly water, but you can have too much of a good thing. In the most serious cases, "water intoxication" can kill, and there is, say experts, scant evidence that drinking even slightly more water than usual can improve your health.

The current popularity of detox diets which recommend drinking many litres of water a day, and drinking even when not thirsty, could cause problems if taken to extremes, they say.

The claim is that drinking more than usual can do everything from improving your skin tone to "flushing out" toxins from your body. However, the amount of water actually needed in a day varies from person to person, and depends on other factors such as climate, and exercise, says the British Dietetic Association.