Detox debunked

The idea that 'detox' regimes will help your body rid itself of 'toxins' is nothing more than a marketing invention

It’s January; the detox fantasies are in full force. One-week regimes, 24-hour plans, pills, potions, kits, devices and diets. Programmes from a bizarre array of “authority” figures, presented by the media as immaculate experts, despite their correspondence-course qualifications. And a barrage of sciencey-sounding claims, the majority revolving around short-term health drives that make no lasting difference.

The notion of detox is medically meaningless. A vast army of marketers and lifestyle gurus has erected an entirely new physiological system. Look at a metabolic flow chart, the wall-sized maps of all the molecules in your body: you can see the way food is broken down into its constituent parts, and the way those components are converted between each other, and the way those new building blocks are then assembled into muscle and bone and everything else you are made of.

It is impossible from this chart to pick out the “detox system”. There is nothing on the subject in a medical textbook. That burgers and beer can have negative effects on your body is certainly true, for any number of fascinating reasons; but the notion that they leave a specific residue — “toxins” — that can be extruded by a specific physiological mechanism is nothing more than a marketing invention.

Source - Times

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