There is no evidence that products widely promoted to help the body "detox" work, scientists warn.
The charitable trust Sense About Science reviewed 15 products, from bottled water to face scrub, and found many detox claims were "meaningless". Anyone worried about the after-effects of Christmas overindulgence would get the same benefits from eating healthily and getting plenty of sleep, they said. Advertising regulators said they looked at such issues on a case-by-case basis.
The investigation, done by research members of the Voice of Young Science network, was kicked off by a campaign to unpick "dodgy" science claims - where companies use phrases that sound scientific but do not actually mean anything.
They challenged the companies behind products such as vitamins, shampoo, detox patches and a body brush on the evidence they had to support the detox claims made. No two companies seemed to use the same definition of detox - defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as the removal of toxic substances or qualities.
In the majority of cases, producers and retailers were forced to admit that they had simply renamed processes like cleaning or brushing, as detox, the scientists said.