You Asked: Will Drinking Lemon Water Help Me Lose Weight?

Lemon infused water is a popular drink for weight loss, thanks to celebrity sippers like Gwyneth Paltrow and Miranda Kerr. Proponents claim that it flushes toxins from the system, reduces appetite and tweaks the body’s digestive processes in ways that block fat absorption.

Trouble is, it doesn't work like that. In fact, lemon water leaves out the most effective part of the fruit.

The drink's hype seems to stem from a 2008 Japanese study that linked lemon's polyphenols—micronutrients with antioxidant properties—to less weight gain and improved fat metabolism in mice who were fed a high-fat diet. It’s possible, the study team said, that lemon polyphenols may stimulate the liver to produce enzymes that help block the absorption of dietary fats.

This kind of research is like rocket fuel for those looking to market a new “miracle” food. But there are a lot of problems with such optimism. The research was in mice, not people, and there have been no rigorous studies showing that sipping lemon water can promote weight loss in humans, says Dana Hunnes, a senior dietitian at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center.

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