Of course, a big roadblock to assessing the safety, or the effectiveness, of the cleanse is that none of the individual doses of the herbs are listed on the product, merely a dose for the overall "proprietary blend" of herbs.
For instance, bearberry is known to cause liver damage in children under 12, says Ayoob, and can be harmful in adults, though only at higher doses. From the packaging, it's impossible to tell how much of the herb you're getting in each tablet.
Because Michaels' products are all considered supplements, not drugs, they do not fall under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration, and hence are not required to report how much of each ingredient is included.
But Willis says he wouldn't be surprised if the pills contained insignificant amounts of the herbs. Because the FDA doesn't monitor supplements, manufacturers aren't required to put high enough doses of ingredients to be pharmacologically effective -- and often they don't, for fear of adverse side effects.
Overall, experts said Michaels' "Triple Process Total Body Detox & Cleanse" was probably not a dangerous supplement, just an ineffective one.
"This product is an absurdity," says Willis. "It's completely bogus that this would detoxify the gut. Someone takes a laxative and they lose two pounds of water weight, but it will come right back."
Ayoob agreed that using diuretics and laxatives as a way to supposedly cleanse the gastrointestinal tract is an ineffective and unhealthy approach to jump starting a diet.
"It may change what the scale says, but it can be harmful" because it dehydrates you in order to shed the water weight, he says. Ayoob also criticized the supplement's goal of reducing "body waste buildup" as a bogus claim, saying that the gut excretes waste on its own.
Michael's supplement also comes with a seven-day probiotic course, which dieticians say is the only thing about that might be beneficial in the product.
If you are bloated or constipated, increasing fiber, would be a healthy way to address that problem, and sheding excess water weight is best done by reducing the amount of salt in your diet, says Politi, but using a cleanse, of any variety, is not something that she recommends.
"Bottom line: if you have any of these problems or need help losing weight, see your physician, not Jillian Michaels," Ayoob says.
A request for comment on the supplement from Michaels' agent, Jonathan Swaden, was not immediately returned.