For the last few weeks I've been hearing many people talking about doing detox diets or regimes! But do they really work and are they worth the money? Let's take a look at the facts.
The fitness industry is full of myths many of which are perpetuated by the supplement industry. One of the worst is the detox fad or craze! It often attempts to sell you products based on the idea that your body is a toxic cesspool and needs your help to clean it up! The point is, if the marketers leave their claims vague enough, a broader spectrum of people will believe that the product will benifit them. And, of course, the word "toxin" is sufficiently scientific-sounding that it's convincing enough by itself to many people. Most people have no back ground in physiology and have no idea how the body works. Therefore it's pretty easy to fool them into thinking that they need to help the body detoxify. This is simply not true!
Anyone interested in detoxifying their body should just think about paying a little more attention to their body and less attention to the people trying to get their money. Your body already has nature's most effective detoxification system. Millions of year of evolution can't be replaced by a pill, tonic, rub or patch!
The best most effective cleaner we have is the liver. The liver changes the chemical structure of foreign compounds so they can be filtered out of the blood by the kidneys, which then excrete them in the urine. I am left wondering why the alternative practitioners never mention this option to their customers. It's all-natural and proven effective. Isn't it ironic that the only people who will help you manage this all-natural option are the medical doctors? Certainly your naturopath won't. They wants to sell you some inactive crap that does nothing!
Two American experts said, there was no evidence to support the belief that such regimes help to remove potentially damaging toxins from the body. The lungs, kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal tract and immune system already remove or neutralize toxic substances within hours of consumption.Roger Clemens, professor of molecular pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Southern California and Dr Peter Pressman, an endocrinologist at private medical firm Geller, Rudnick, Bush and Bamberge, say many have reported detoxing worked for them.
They write: "There are thousands of testimonials that describe experience of less bloating (actually the result of eating less food), clearer skin (improved hydration) and decreased headaches (reduced alcohol and caffeine)." But they say the benefits people feel are not due to their body getting rid of excessive toxins.
The suggestion that elimination of noxious agents is enhanced because of this regimen is categorically unsubstantiated and runs counter to our understanding about human physiology and biochemistry." Says Dr. Pressman.
"The improvements detoxers see are instead due to changing from what is likely to have been a "poor" diet.
And they stress the body is designed to "detox" itself."
A group of over 300 UK scientists and engineers who investigated the evidence behind claims made for products and diets, have started a public awareness campaign by publishing a dossier that shows the word "detox" has no meaning outside of the clinical treatment of drug addiction and poisoning. Called the "Detox Dossier", the report describes the findings of the investigation by the Voice of Young Science (VoYS) network of over 300 early career researchers. They reviewed about 15 products, ranging from bottled water to face scrub, and found that many detox claims were "meaningless", said a BBC report.
Putting a detox patch on your skin may make the area sweat more, and while very small amounts of chemicals may come out in the sweat, the effect is very small and makes little difference to the overall amount of chemicals in your body, they said. The investigators also said that detox tonics can't improve your liver or kidney function, and if you have too high a dose of some of the detox supplements you could become very ill and even die. They could also interact with other drugs like the contraceptive pill and reduce their effectiveness.
‘‘First, they are produced by every living cell in the body – in other words, every cell that uses oxygen produces free radicals as a by-product, in much the same way a car produces exhaust fumes as it burns petrol,” he says.
‘‘The second source is in our immune system. When our white blood cells deal with pathogens in the body, such as bacteria, viruses or fungi, they use these damaging free radicals to do the job for them. But when those cells of the immune system be come over-active, and there is an uncoordinated or overactive inflammatory response, the body produces too many free radicals. The excess spills out into the surrounding tissue, and this is what makes your throat feel sore when you have an infection. It’s not necessarily the streptococcus, but the immune response to it.”
The third and final source of free radicals, according to McCartney, is the environment around us and our personal habits. Key factors in the over-production of free radicals in the body are things like inhaling cigarette smoke, not getting enough exercise, gaining weight around the middle of the body and heavy alcohol consumption.
‘‘There are proven things you can do to make yourself healthier, but there’s no quick-fix solution. Going on a so-called ‘detox diet’ after a period of over indulgence doesn’t offset the damage you’ve done. It can actually cause more harm, and in fact some kinds of damage to your liver, brain and gut can never be undone. The best advice from a dietician’s point of view is to have a habitually healthy balanced diet where you’re not over indulging in things like alcohol,” he says.
CLAIMS MADE ABOUT DETOXING
Claim 1: Toxins build up in the body and need to be flushed/cleansed from it.
The terms ‘toxic’ or ‘toxins’ are used to imply that a chemical is causing you harm. The truth is, all chemicals can be toxic and it is the dose that is important – for example, one 400mg vitamin A tablet may be beneficial, but taking 20 at once could damage your liver.
Most chemicals do not accumulate in the body: they are removed by the liver and kidneys. Many detox products which claim to flush the body of chemicals contain diuretics, which increase the amount you urinate. This just removes water and some salt and could cause potential other health issues! In extreme cases, diuretics can cause your salt levels to become depleted, causing cramping or, in the worst cases, a coma. You may achieve temporary weight loss by dehydration, as with a sauna, but this is only short term, as you will regain weight while you rehydrate.
Claim 2: ‘Eliminatory organs’ should be detoxified.
The term ‘Eliminatory organs’ as used by detox products refers to the liver, kidney and digestive system. These organs don’t need to be cleansed unless you have consumed a dangerous dose of a substance to the extent that they are overwhelmed, such as a drug overdose. In these cases, medical intervention is needed via stomach-pumping, blood transfusion or dialysis.
Claim 3: The product will help ‘neutralize nasty free-radicals’
Detox tonics and supplements often claim to contain high level of antioxidants to help remove free radicals in your body. Free radicals are made in the body and can cause cell and DNA damage, but they also play an important role in our immune system, protecting against bacteria and viruses. The body makes its own antioxidants, using the food in our normal diet. Additional antioxidants are removed by the kidneys and excreted in the urine as waste.
Just like weight loss and fitness there is no magic pill you can take! So if you want to become healthier and take better care of your body. It's that simple eat well drink plenty of water and exercise! There is no easy way to get fit it takes work!