Chances are you’ve already seen on TV or read articles on the net from the industry experts claiming there is no such thing as “detox“.
They usually tend to label all detox schemes and programs as pastor scams which their only goal is to cleanse your wallet of cash.
They reason that there is no science behind these treatments. They’re ineffective and may even pose health risks. They also claim that your body detoxes itself naturally and you do not need to go on any cleansing diet or program in order to keep it clean.
On the other hand, there are some detox diets and programs which are receiving raving reviews and have proved to be effective in regards of transforming the health and life of those who undertook them.
So, do we really need to detox or cleanse? Or, all of these remedies are just a waste of time and money?
Why so many experts tend to believe that detox programs do not work and are just a waste of time and money? And why, despite the experts’ disapproval, detox remedies have received considerable attention and approval by the general public?
To come up with an impartial answer, let’s see why some health experts advocate against detox remedies and why they believe that any “detox” or “cleanse” product or program is just a waste of time and money.
Here are the 4 main reasons why opponents believe that all things related to “detox” or “cleanse” is just a mumbo-jumbo and have no basis in reality. We’ve also provided our thoughts on each item to help you come up with a more meaningful conclusion.
Summary: Whether we need to do anything to detox our body or not is a point of controversy.
1. Your Body Can Naturally Get Rid of Toxins on Its Own
This is, by far, the main reason why many health experts tout against detox programs. They reason that our body’s detoxification system is completely capable of removing toxins from our body and, to deal with toxins, there is no need for any outside help from a detox or cleansing program.
There is no doubt about the efficiency, power, and versatility of our body’s detoxification system. As it was laid out in our in-depth article on “body’s detoxification system”, it has been designed to fend off the attack of harmful toxins, bacteria, and viruses.
But, as Bruce Lourie, the co-author of the international best seller “Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things” puts it: “Our systems are not prepared for the onslaught of post-1950 synthetic toxins that we ingest, breathe, and absorb through our skin, on a daily basis ().”
The increasing number of researches which show how toxins can affect our health negatively are a great testament to the fact that our body is not prepared to handle the onslaught of toxins it’s exposed to each and every day.
A growing amount of researches have confirmed that frequent exposure to toxins, such as heavy metals, pesticides, air pollutants, additives, artificial colors, and many more, which we’re in contact with on a daily basis, may lead to serious health conditions such as infertility, liver damage, diabetes, brain damage, cancer, or death (, , , ).
In our in-depth article on toxins, I described in details what these toxins are and what health conditions they are linked with.
The onslaught of chemical toxins, we’re exposed to day in and day out, takes a serious toll on our body’s detoxification system.
Our body’s detoxification system needs a large amount of enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and molecules in order to eliminate harmful substances from our system.
For example, during the phase-1 of liver’s detoxification process, liver needs lots of antioxidants in order to neutralize the potentially dangerous and life-threatening free radicals which have been produced during this process. If the required antioxidants are not provided in that phase, the harmful free radical would not be neutralized properly which may pose a significant threat to our health and well-being.
That’s why following a healthy and balanced diet filled with natural antioxidants is crucial to our health. This also proves that our body’s detoxification system needs proper help from outside to function effectively.
So, by following the advice of experts, who say “your body detoxes naturally and nothing needs to be done on your part”, you’re just leaving your body defenseless against the onslaught of chemical toxins.
Unfortunately there are a lot of false claims in overly-marketed detox landscape.
A real detox or cleanse is nothing but a diet, program, activity, or tool which helps your body get rid of toxins only by supporting or strengthening your body’s detoxification system. In the other words, a true and healthy cleanse should only rely on body’s detoxification system to do its job.
A true and healthy detox treatment should only rely on body’s detoxification system to do its job.
In this regards, a healthy and well-balanced diet which provides all of the required nutrients for body’s detoxification system to function properly is the best detox program.
Fasting as well as a few other credible detox diets can also be considered legit detox programs.
A good workout can also support your body’s detoxification system and accelerate the detox process. so, exercising can also be considered a good detox program.
But a detox pad, which is claimed to cleanse your body out of toxins only by wearing it, is not a real detox program or device from our standpoint. It does not support your body’s detoxification system. Our bodies do not work like that. Foot is not a detox organ and has nothing to do with our body’s detoxification system. It’s a totally false claim…
Nearly all of the detox supplements on the market can also be classified as fake detox remedies which have nothing to do with your body’s detoxification system and everything to do with your pocketbook.
Another important point you need to be aware of is that although short-term detox programs can help to decrease the toxic burden on your body’s detoxification system and help it to revive but it cannot be a long-standing solution. Since our modern lifestyle exposes our body to loads of toxins each and every day, a sensible solution needs also to be the one which supports our body’s detoxification system day in and day out.
So, the recommended long-standing solution is nothing but healthy and clean lifestyle changes. You need to learn more about the toxic substances you’re exposed to and learn how to avoid them effectively. You also need to learn how to make clean food choices and how to cook clean. Developing the habit of exercising on a regular basis can also accelerate the detoxification process and improve your overall health.
Summary: Our detox organs need a slew of enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and molecules to complete the detoxification process effectively. As a result, our body’s detoxification system definitely needs some help from our part to function optimally.
2. There Are No Toxins to Remove
Some health experts believe that detox programs are a solution for a made-up problem.
They believe that detox purveyors are using the vague language. They don’t specifically name the toxins that their programs can allegedly eliminate. And they believe that they avoid to name what specific toxins they’re able to remove because in fact there is no such a toxin in body to remove.
As I explained in our in-depth post on toxins we’re exposed to loads of toxins each and every day. In that article I’ve, in fact, enumerated some of the toxins we need to be most concerned about. You may check it out for more info about toxins and how they can affect your health and life adversely.
The reality is that it does not matter if detox opponents acknowledge the presence and threat of chemical toxins or not. The truth is that the toxins do exist and are threatening the life and health of all living creatures, including us humans, on the planet (, , ).
Case in point, check out the startling science-backed facts below which are a testament (among many others) of the threat of toxic chemicals for our health and life.
The startling findings of a research conducted by Environmental Working Group (EWG) showed that there were an average of 200 industrial compounds, pollutants, and other chemicals in 10 newborn babies ().
There are some detox programs which actually do specify exactly what toxins they’re concerned about and want to eliminate. Heavy metal detox, sugar detox, drug detox, and alcohol detox just to name a few.
There are also some other full-body detox programs which their main focus is on eliminating different types of harmful toxins and improving overall health by reducing the toxin exposure and boosting the body’s detoxification system. These types of detox programs usually do not specify what toxins they’re exactly supposed to eliminate because they target many different types of toxins and may differ from person to person.
Admittedly, there are also some detox or cleansing products out there which make false claims by trying to make their potential customers believe that their bodies are contaminated with toxins which actually do not exist.
So, it’s highly recommended to stay away from these kinds of fictitious detox products at all costs, follow a healthy and clean lifestyle, and only seek for real detox remedies which focus on supporting and strengthening your body’s detoxification system on a healthy note.
Summary: Despite what some health experts say, the truth is that toxins really do exist and would affect our health and life adversely if we do not take care of them.
3. Detox or Cleanses Can Harm You
Some experts believe that nearly all detox remedies are all dangerous practices which would not help you to amount to anything.
For example, they believe that enemas, also known as colonic irrigation or colonic hydrotherapy, can actually cause injury to the colon, rectum, or anal canal. The tip of the device may actually injure the organs it touches and lead to bleeding or infections.
They also reason that liver or kidney cleansing supplements may actually strain the organs and cause more harm than any good.
They also believe that colon cleansing supplements may flush away the helpful gut bacteria, throw off the balance of electrolytes, or lead to dehydration.
Unfortunately most of the claims the detox opponents make in regards to potential dangers of detoxing are true.
Enemas can hurt your guts, the majority of detox supplements on the market can do more harm than any good, and some detox diets such as juice cleanses may affect your body’s detoxification system negatively and lead to more toxin buildup.
Detox market is overly marketed and full of false claims. But this should not keep us from acknowledging real and genuine detox programs and remedies which have transformed the health and life of many individuals for better.
These remedies only focus on supporting your body’s detoxification system, are completely safe to practice, and would lead to higher energy levels, improved mood, younger look, healthier skin, improved digestion, and improved overall health.
Summary: Unfortunately there are some detox programs or products which would do more harm than any good. Nevertheless, authentic detox treatments are completely safe and can change your life for the better.
4. There is No Scientific Evidence to Support the Credibility of Detox Remedies
The lack of scientific evidence is another major reason why so many health experts, including physicians and nutritionist, have been touting against detox remedies.
There is no scientific evidence that any of these so-called cleanses really benefit a person’s health, according to Stella L. Volpe, professor and chair of the department of nutrition sciences at Drexel University in Philadelphia ().
When it comes to detox remedies it should be noted that there are thousands of detox programs and products out there. But, not all of them are created equal.
Admittedly, many of them are not evidence-based and would not live up to the hype. But, does it really make sense to disregard all detox remedies, including those which have been backed by science and have transformed the lives of many individuals, in favor of some unauthentic and fictitious detox products?
For example, fasting is a highly credible and effective detoxifying remedy which has a history dating back thousands of years. Many different permutations of fasting have been used within different cultures and communities to purify their bodies and souls over millennia.
The high credibility of fasting is not only due to its long history but there are lots of scientific evidence which supports the reliability and effectiveness of this ancient remedy. Below is just a few of the health benefits of fasting which have been backed by science.
- Fasting detoxes body by helping the body to get rid of toxic substances such as heavy metals and helps release toxins in the form of PCBs from the body fat stores (, , ).
- Fasting prevents and improves type-2 diabetes by decreasing blood sugar levels significantly and reducing insulin resistance (, ).
- Fasting fights inflammation by reducing several markers of inflammation and may help to improve inflammation-induced health conditions such as multiple sclerosis (, , ).
- Fasting enhances heart health by reducing blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood triglycerides (, , ).
- Fasting promotes weight loss through boosting metabolism and lowering calorie intake (, , ).
- Fasting may delay aging and increase longevity (, , , ).
- Fasting can prevent cancer or accelerate cancer treatment by blocking tumor development and increasing the effectiveness of chemotherapy (, ).
- Fasting enhances brain and cognitive functions by increasing the generation of nerve cells and improving the brain structure (, , ).
So, as you may have noticed, a real detox remedy such as fasting, is not a fad diet with no scientific basis which is doomed to failure. But it’s a real age-long remedy which has survived for thousands of years and can be backed by loads of science-based evidences.
Other examples of detox remedies which have a reliable scientific basis are: some diet-based detoxes which advocate clean and healthy eating choices, some sugar detox programs, some detox baths, some herbal teas, acupuncture, and a handful of natural supplements.
Summary: Admittedly, the majority of the detox programs or products on the market have no scientific basis. Nevertheless, the reliability and effectiveness of authentic detox remedies such as fasting can be confirmed by a large and growing amount of scientific evidence.
The Bottom Line
Detox or cleanse is the practice of supporting and optimizing the body’s detoxification system in order to get rid of harmful toxins through healthy methods such as dieting, fasting, bathing, acupuncture, etc.
Despite the growing popularity of detox remedies, some health experts have started to question the reliability and effectiveness of these practices.
They argue that there are no toxins which a detox program can flush away. They also declare that our body’s detoxification system is completely capable of dealing with toxins and there is no need for any outside help. But, a growing number of researches are showing that the toxins really do exist and are affecting our health adversely.
The fact that toxins can affect our body negatively shows that our body is not able to fend off the large amounts of toxins we’re exposed to day in and day out.
They also claim that detox treatments have no scientific basis. But, the truth is that there is ample scientific evidence which confirms the reliability and effectiveness of authentic detox treatments such as fasting.
Unfortunately we should admit that the majority of detox products on the market do not live up to the hype and have no scientific basis. Some of these products may even pose health risks and do more harm than any good.
So, it’s highly recommended not to follow any prudent fad detox product you come upon. Make sure to research them carefully and only choose real detox treatments which are reliable and have a scientific basis.