Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Oh my God I'm full of toxins!

We've all heard and read about the trend that is detoxing. This is both the process of removing so called toxins from the body, as well as an associated diet that will help in the removal of these so called toxins.

The Wikipedia definition of detoxification (to give it its full name) is the "removal of toxic substances from the body." However, the science behind their efficacy is limited to say the least. Scientists, doctors and dietitians have disputed the positive effects of detox diets, and largely put such fads down as harmless.

As the word detox implies the removal of toxins, then what precisely are the toxins that such processes are supposed to be removing? Some of these detoxification processes involve placing your feet in a water spa, whereby the toxins are then extruded from the body via the soles of the feet. After the process has taken place, the water apparently turns a dirty brown colour. This is the residue from the detoxification process. Presumably, this substance was circulating around the body just prior to being removed. There are many other such processes, which all make similarly absurd claims, all without a shred of evidence as to their efficacy.

The human body is the most amazing and powerful detox agent anyone ever needs. It can successfully remove alcohol, drugs and all manner of chemicals from the body. I am sure we have all experienced the pain and suffering of a hangover. The alcohol that has been consumed, is rapidly broken down by the liver, and removed from the body as waste. What a superb piece of machinery, and all achieved without the need for expensive and gimmicky foods and drinks.

The best detox diet the body can get is one that contains fresh fruit and vegetables, plenty of water, exercise and sufficient rest. Any over indulgences can be compensated by following the advice above.

Detox is a marketing fad used to sell products at exorbitant prices to a gullible public, with wildly exaggerated claims made regarding their efficacy. If you want to cleanse your body, then drink lots of water, abstain from alcohol and drugs, abstain from smoking, increase your consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables, take regular exercise and get lots of rest.

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