We have some bad news for some of you who are into detox and detox cleanse…
The idea that you can “detox” your body…it’s all a myth. A legend. A lie perpetrated by companies trying to sell you an easy path to health and wellness.
The idea that you can eat junk food and then wipe the slate clean with a concoction of vegetables passed through a blender is, again, simply not true.
Our bodies are already full equipped to eliminate “toxins” to begin with.
Our livers serve as industrial chemical factories, converting anything that could be harmful into something that is less harmful and which is easier to eliminate via urine, feces, or even sweat.
And speaking of urine…our kidneys are also amazingly efficient at detecting and eliminating many substances which can be harmful.
Even our lungs get involved by eliminating excessive alcohol.
In fact, alcohol is a great example.
When we consume alcohol, the liver breaks alcohol down into acetaldehyde, which is actually quite dangerous.
But the acetaldehyde is immediately converted into carbon dioxide and water, which are body can easily eliminate.
Now excessive drinking over many years can cause liver damage, in part due to the excessive build-up of acetaldehyde.
But for the average, casual drinker, even for one who occasionally binges, a “detox” after a night out on the town is simply not necessary.
We’ll come to what is “necessary” in a moment.
What is in my detox cleanse?
Chances are, your detox cleanse product has a blend of fruit and vegetables. The most common ones are green vegetables (kale, spinach, broccoli), fruit (especially cucumber), and citrus (usually lemon or lime).
Passing fruit and vegetables through a blender and drinking the resulting mixture is not harmful.
However, it may cause stomach upset and diarrhea.
In fact, it’s the resulting diarrhea that vendors of these so called “cleansers that work” or “best colon cleanse” point to and say “See! It works!”
Occasional diarrhea is fine. But inducing it on a regular basis is simply not a great idea.
We can lose a great deal of water and electrolytes from diarrhea. So to induce it on purpose to get rid of “toxins” is not a great idea.
What are “toxins” anyway?
The definition of toxin is,
A toxin (from Ancient Greek: τοξικόν toxikon) is a poisonous substance produced within living cells or organisms…Toxins vary greatly in their severity, ranging from usually minor (such as a bee sting) to almost immediately deadly (such as botulinum toxin). Source: Wikipedia.
In other words, a toxin could be, for example, the substance in the bee sting that causes the itch. Or the substances in certain mushrooms which makes them poisonous.
So toxins have nothing to do with eating too many cookies or drinking too many whiskey sours.
The best way to undo the cookies or drinking?
1. Rehydrate with water (not sports drinks)
2. Eat fruit and vegetables (don’t drink them)
3. Get some exercise
The irony is that increasing your consumption of fruits and vegetables and water, coupled with exercise, could lead to an important health benefit…weight loss!
There is absolutely no evidence that any of those expensive detox kits do anything.
End of story.
Can they be harmful?
Probably not. But again, who knows?
We recommend staying away from detox regimens that trigger diarrhea, or anything involving colon cleansing or similar products.
And we definitely recommend staying away from enemas or similar procedures.
Detox Myth Debunking
A group of pharmacists and other scientists in England have set out to educate consumers about this detox nonsense.
You can read all about their exploits here. One of their findings is startling:
The dossier concluded that ‘detox’, as used in product marketing, is a myth and worryingly many of the claims about how the body works were wrong and in some cases the suggested remedies were potentially dangerous.
The bottom line is very simple, folks.
- Detox is a myth.
- Products which claim to detox or detoxify your body are a waste of money.
- If you want to reverse bad dietary habits, then do it without depending on pills, shakes, drinks, or other instant solutions.