How great would it be if you could just poop out all of the bad things in your body?
This is pretty much what the fad “detox diets” are offering. All you have to do is starve for a couple of days, maybe get an enema or two and then live on raw veggies for a few more and hey presto, you’ve lost 10kgs!
But is this really possible? Do we need to be detoxified? Do those of us who don’t do detoxes have a bundle of toxins oozing through our veins? Eek!
Do we have toxins in our body?
The human body is actually super duper good at getting rid of nasty things that we don’t need. That is why we have organs like our liver. Ever wondered why we apologise to our liver when we’re slumped on the couch after a big night out? It’s because alcohol is a toxin and our liver is the organ that gets rid of that toxin. So by drinking a bundle more alcohol than we needed to, we are making our liver work super hard which is why we feel the need to apologize to it in the morning.
Our liver and kidneys are constantly working hard to remove toxins from our body. As our blood passes through these organs they efficiently remove the toxins and waste that we don’t need and send them to our bladder and bowel. So we already do poop out the bad stuff!
We also have bacteria in our intestines which are super good at getting rid of any nasty toxins before they reach the rest of our body. So all in all we have a pretty good toxin removal team in our body already, yay!
But will a detox diet help anyway, just as a refresher?
Sadly, probably not. Not because they don’t work, just because there really isn’t much work for them to do.
Most scientists agree that our body is just far too good at getting rid of toxins itself to need any help. We can actually get rid of a lethal dose of alcohol in 6 hours! In fact there are a fair few scientists out there, like Bernard Dixon, who are plain sick of hearing about detox diets because they’re just so darned silly.
In fact a few years ago a group of scientists, Sense About Science, were so shocked by the amount of money the detox diet industry was making that they decided to do a little research themselves. They talked to 15 different companies offering detoxes and found that no two companies even had the same definition of a detox! As well as that they found that none of the detox diets found in supermarkets or pharmacies actually had any research to back up any of their claims. Oh dear.
So moral of the story? Don’t put yourself through the pain. Living on lemon juice and bum washes can’t be fun at all, and the bottom line is that it really won’t work. So put down the juicer, pick up a glass of water and get a good night’s sleep. Good old Adam’s ale and a bit of shut eye will actually go a long way when it comes to helping your body get rid of toxins.