Detox: Fact vs. Fiction

Detoxifying the body has become a very popular practice over the past few year. It seems most people choose to live in such a way so as they do a lot of damage to their body, then they want to fix it by doing a bunch of weird things to it, supposedly to flush out all the poisons in a matter of a few days. But, does this really work?

The concept is a noble one, but toxins come from many different sources, not just from food or tobacco, and can remain in the body (cells, liver, kidneys, muscles, etc) for a very long time. Simply taking store bought remedies, or making your own, to flush out the digestive system does not remove toxins from everywhere else except maybe the intestines.

In fact, there is absolutely no valid scientific research to support that flushing out the digestive system by taking pills or powder is of any benefit (except claims made by the companies trying to sell you their products). Some experts also argue that this can be quite harmful. For example, this process can flush out many important digestive bacteria in the digestive system. These bacteria may not be able to make a come back without medical intervention. In the meantime, the body will not be able to break down many of the foods consumed. The person can also suffer from dehydration, vitamin and mineral deprivation, low immune system, dizziness, and fatigue.

Reasonable, safe ways to clean the body:

  • drink plenty of water throughout the day
  • eat about 10 servings of fresh fruit and vegetables every day, spread throughout the day
  • exercise regularly to the point where you break a sweat
  • use a sauna to help the body rid waste through the skin
  • find areas where the air is fresh, and avoid polluted areas
  • avoid foods that are harmful, such as saturated fats, trans fats, salt, processed sugars, etc
  • eat plenty of high fiber foods to keep the digestive system working well, this should not be a problem if you eat enough fruits and vegetables
  • avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can harm and poison the liver

There are many products on the market that make claims to detoxify the body by taking pills, or mixing powder with water, not eating for days, etc. And although they may work to empty the digestive track temporarily, this may be very short lived, can make you feel awful during the process, and who knows what they do in the long term. They can also cause severe dehydration, which may lead the user to think they are losing weight, when in fact the only loss is valuable water.

If you do choose to try the many products available, do it when you will be home most of the time, and you can rest. Consult your physician if you have any medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. If you are pregnant, don't even think about it.

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