Removing Body Toxins – the Myths Behind the Adverts

It did sound too good to be true – can you really wash away the effects of overindulgence with a pile of vitamin pills and a bottle of water? In reality, if you could remove all those nasty free radicals with just a body brush and a skin patch, the protective role of the digestive, excretory and immune systems of the body would become redundant. However, according to 3 week diet review, these actions supplement the diet and exercise you do on daily basis. Our body has its own five star remedy for unwanted nutrients and toxins. It’s called homeostasis – the restoring of normal body chemistry within the blood stream. Why do you think we throw up after too much rich food or get thirsty after a workout?

Why Detox?

The medieval physician Paracelsus (1493 – 1541) said “Poison is in everything, and no thing is without poison. The dosage makes it either a poison or a remedy.” This laid the foundation stone of modern toxicology. Alcoholic drinks illustrate vividly the relationship between dose and response. The tolerance of the body to a wide range of potentially harmful chemicals varies widely among individuals, but whether we ingest, inhale or soak them up via the skin, an overdose can be fatal. Drugs, food additives, environmental pollutants, industrial and household chemicals can all be lethal, along with toxins from plants and pathogens.

Alien substances in the blood stream will make you feel ill, whether they are hairy microbes or chemicals ingested by accident. Our liver can handle most of the latter and our immune system enjoys a battle with the bugs, even if we have to sweat it out. So what do we learn from this? Avoid eating things that upset the balance of homeostasis – and let the body go into natural detox mode for a few days. Drink plenty of water while the gut rests. Only eat foods which taste nice. Nothing new there!

Bad Science

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and these days specialised knowledge is no longer restricted to professionals. Once the purveyors of cosmetics, food supplements and miracle diets saw a market for a generous dose of pseudo-science, an explosion took place. Manufacturers do not have to provide peer reviewed scientific evidence to back up their claims, and the phrase “detox” is little more than a marketing term, whereas detoxification in the medical sense has a more precise meaning.

If you swallow too many paracetamol tablets, your liver will struggle to carry out a full detox unless medical intervention takes place within 12 -15 hours. Why? The potentially harmful breakdown products of detoxification overwhelm the chemicals trying to neutralise the drug and liver cells start to die. Prompt treatment aims to stimulate production of the natural antidote before irreversible damage ensues.

Using Common Sense

Set this good science against the bad and judge for yourself. In their defense, many detox diets have been around a long time. Calorie restriction, elimination of specific foods and veganism contain more than a few wholesome grains of common sense and agree with mainstream medical advice. The danger is confusing knowledge and information. We’ve got plenty of the latter thanks to Google, but if you want the facts – ask the professionals!