An interesting weekend OT read about the scam that is the “detox” diet movement, or industry, or just plain scam. Here’s an extract:
“Let’s be clear,” says Edzard Ernst, emeritus professor of complementary medicine at Exeter University, “there are two types of detox: one is respectable and the other isn’t.” The respectable one, he says, is the medical treatment of people with life-threatening drug addictions. “The other is the word being hijacked by entrepreneurs, quacks and charlatans to sell a bogus treatment that allegedly detoxifies your body of toxins you’re supposed to have accumulated.”
If toxins did build up in a way your body couldn’t excrete, he says, you’d likely be dead or in need of serious medical intervention. “The healthy body has kidneys, a liver, skin, even lungs that are detoxifying as we speak,” he says. “There is no known way – certainly not through detox treatments – to make something that works perfectly well in a healthy body work better.”
I’m a postdoc health researcher and I specialise (usually) in nutrition, exercise and health, and I am relieved and heartened to see an article that tells it more or less like it is.
A long time ago I used to shop in “health food shops”, mainly because I was interested in foods but I think I was taken in by all these vague claims about herbs are good and toxins are in food and you must look for natural this and that. Having had 15-20 years now to look at the evidence, if anything I wish these places would be closed down. 90% of what they well is myth and placebo, the remainder is potentially harmful, having circumvented most or all of the safety tests that “conventional medicines” must pass.
Ride a bike, cook from scratch, go easy on the booze. That’s all you need to know really. Or did I just do myself out of a job?