The Detox Myth

Many of us, particularly those living in industrialized parts of the word, are exposed to toxic elements from the air, water, and food.  The most common elements are aluminum, lead, and mercury.  Once absorbed into the body, these elements can remain in the body for a very long time, often an entire lifetime, until removed.  Toxins disturb the metabolic system and are linked to many medical conditions.

UK scientists recently published their research on the evidence behind detox claims made for products and diets by the million-dollar detox industry. According to the scientists’ warning, there is no evidence that products frequently sold to help the body "detox" actually work. "Detox" has no meaning outside of the clinical treatment for drug addiction or poisoning.

The multi-million dollar detox industry sells products with little evidence to support their use. These products trade on claims about the body which are often wrong and can be dangerous. The dossier shows that, while companies and individuals now use the claim "detox" to promote everything from foot patches to hair straighteners, they are unable to provide reliable evidence or consistent explanations of what the "detox" process is supposed to be.

No two companies seemed to use the same definition of "detox" - officially defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as the removal of toxic substances or qualities. In the majority of cases, producers and retailers were forced to admit that they had simply renamed processes like cleaning or brushing, as detox, the scientists said.

Anyone concerned about the holidays overindulgence, can get the same or greater benefits from eating healthy foods, exercising, and getting plenty of sleep, reveals the Detox Dossier, published by scientists at the non-for-profit Sense About Science foundation in the UK.  The conclusion of the study is that you can detox your body with whole food and food nutrients as your body is capable of removing most potentially harmful chemicals you will encounter in your daily life.

Foods that are known to have good natural detox properties include garlic, seaweeds, miso, wheat or barley, and mung beans among others.  Also, a large number of studies find that cruciferous compounds contain certain antioxidants that help the body neutralize and flush out environmental toxins, thus promoting normal cellular growth in tissues and organs.

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