Detox Is A Waste
A quick search on Amazon for “detox” brings up over 15,000 products. Everything from supplements to teas to diet books to foot pads show up. And it is to safe to say that every single one is a waste of time and money.
“Real detoxification of foreign substances takes place in the liver, which modifies their chemical structure so they can be excreted by the kidneys which filter them from the blood into the urine.” – Stephen Barrett, M.D.
The fact of the matter is that if you are a healthy person without liver or kidney problems then your body does an amazing job of removing toxins from your body. Your liver breaks down the chemical structure of foreign compounds which then make their way to the kidneys where they can be excreted in urine. This process is noticeable when you eat asparagus. The vegetable gets digested and the liver breaks part of it down into ammonia (which would be toxic) and several sulfur-containing products. When these compounds are expelled by the kidneys into your urine you can smell it (or at least a percentage of the population can). The same process can be seen when you eat a lot of carrots. Your body expels the extra carotene via your urine turning it a bright orange.
Of course there are some substances, such as heavy metals like mercury, lead, and cadmium that the body cannot metabolize. When it comes to heavy metal toxicity there is a process called chelation therapy, developed in the 1940s to assist those with lead poisoning. This involves slow-drip IV injections of ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid, a synthetic amino acid, along with a special diet and aerobic exercise. Chelation therapy is not a pleasant experience and thankfully we have minimized (if not eliminated) our exposure to heavy metals in our daily life. But for some reason it has been used as a “treatment” for cardiovascular disease, autism, and other conditions and diseases even though the science shows no evidence of any benefit. (Chelation Therapy: Unproven Claims and Unsound Theories by Saul Green, Ph.D.on QuackWatch)
“…these detox programs amount to a large quantity of excrement, both literally and figuratively.” – Peter Pressman, M.D.
Most over-the-counter and as-seen-on-TV detox products are nothing more than stimulants, laxatives and/or diuretics made to create as much waste as possible to make you think it is doing something. There is even a pill, sold under many different names, that is mostly bentonite, a clay that is super absorbent and swells up in your intestine. You then excrete a large grey rubbery snake which the manufacturer of the pill claims is proof of the pill clearing your body of “mucoid plaque” (which is not a medical condition and is completely made up). There are special foot baths that may or may not include herbal or homeopathic (a rant on homeopathy will be coming soon) remedies in the water. You simply put your feet in, turn it on and it pulls toxins out of your body through your feet. You can watch as these toxins turn the water a disgusting brown color. The problem? The water turns brown even if you don’t put your feet in. The electrodes in the machine are simply corroding and adding oxidized iron to the water.
The fact of the matter is that any supplement or drink claiming to be “detoxifying” is a scam. You are handing over your hard earned money to these modern-day snake oil salesmen who then use it to promote their products. Stop the cycle now. No more detox!
Thanks to The Skeptic Dictionary for the quotes featured in this post