We are bombarded with advertisements claiming your bowels need cleansing, your liver should be wringed out regularly, and your kidneys crave that very pill or herb the ad is promoting. While the effects promised may seem to be alluring, the overwhelming majority of “detox” solutions are simply scam, and some of the methods used to “cleanse” your body can be really dangerous.
The medical “no pasaran” solutions are aimed at flushing toxins out of your body. The truth is, there are no toxins as they are understood by detox advocates. Admittedly there are metabolites which are the result of processing the chemicals that get into the body or are produced by itself, but if the body’s own systems work properly, i.e. you do not suffer from some liver or kidney disease, your organism can remove all these substances itself, and it does not need any help from herbs or substances that are supposedly effective at eliminating toxins.
The common assumption shared by those brainwashed by the mass media and used by detox proponents is that the liver can accumulate the harmful chemicals, or toxins, it “filters”. The same is true of kidneys, detoxers say. However, it does not stand up to scrutiny: there is no scientific evidence supporting the idea that the body can accumulate toxins. If they are found in the bloodstream, they are eliminated from the body with the help of the liver and kidneys: the former transforms these substances into something way less dangerous, and the latter removes them using urine. They are not some filters that require regular cleansing. No sir. Besides, there are the gastrointestinal tract (which does not need special cleansing either!), lymphatic system, and skin, which are also involved in the natural detoxification processes.
What about detox juices and other programs?
Most of the programs claiming they can detox your body are harmless, as they often imply drinking fresh juices, eating vegetables, avoiding processed food, etc. Such dietary changes are recommended to anyone regardless of the toxin issue, but they do not affect the liver directly. Following a healthy diet is not a detox program, it is a part of a healthy way of life.
As far as special supplements and vitamin injections are concerned, they can do harm, as excess vitamins are likely to cause health problems. In fact, recent researches suggest most vitamin supplements are not just useless, they can be harmful and increase the risk of frailty and diseases. Injections can be even more dangerous.
Homeopathy, which is the most epic pharmacological scam, is harmless, as small amounts of sugar are not likely to damage your organs significantly. Yet its being scam has been proved by healthcare institutions all over the world: there is nothing in them which can have any effect, and the reason why it “works” in some cases is the placebo effect: “According to your faith be it unto you”. That said, you can eat several breadcrumbs and experience the same.
Perhaps, the most dangerous detox practices you can be offered are those pertaining to colon cleansing and filling your guts with something that is supposed to remove toxins. One of such practices is coffee enemas: several people even died after doing so. In milder cases, flushing your gastrointestinal tract can lead to dehydration and imbalance of electrolytes.
So how do I detox?
If you suffer from a kidney disease, are addicted to drugs or have some other real disease that calls for detoxification–not the scam one promoted by those who want to make money by scaring people, but the one actually done in hospitals–you should not buy over-the-counter supplements or detox kits that promise body detox: they simply do not work but can cause you harm. Have you ever noticed that such kits never state what particular toxins they can remove? That’s definitely food for thought.
If you want to help your body, it’s a healthy lifestyle that you should consider, not some “magic pills”. Introduce more vegetables and fruit into your menu, do not neglect physical activity, avoid stress, fight against passions, and strive to make every aspect of your life the way it is supposed to be: it is such a complex thing that it cannot be managed by means of some “kit”, even if it costs a fortune and advertised by celebrities.