Do Detox Products Work?
Detox products get our attention by making wild claims. There are pills and preparations that are packed with probiotics, antioxidants and other beneficial stuff, but can we be sure they do anything for our health?
When I go to a health foods store I am constantly amazed by the claims on the packaging of some so-called "detox products". There are pills that are supposed to contain probiotics, spinach, wheat grass and other healthy food. Can taking a pill really be the equivalent of a nutritious meal? And what about supplements that claim to help my body get rid of toxins?
Some of these products claim to be backed up by scientific studies but the casual observer is not able to tell if the studies were run by some independent research body or by the company that makes the product. I personally do not see how the quantity of healthy ingredients they can pack into a pill would be large enough to make any difference to my health.
Some vitamin supplements have been shown to help people make up for deficiencies in their diet but what can a pill, or any kind of product contain that will help my body to detox? Well, if you do some reading on the internet you will find that no scientist has ever found evidence to support the efficacy of detox products. The promotion of the principles of detoxification opens the door for a range of products including foot pads, face washes and dietary supplements that are supposed to help the body eliminate toxins. But science can find no evidence to support detoxification.
There has been some controversy in Britain about a product containing artichoke and dandelion which is supposed to help with digestion and to get rid of toxins from the body. The product is backed by a member of the British royal family who, as far as anybody knows, holds no medical or scientific qualifications.
If you wanted to prove that detox products work, theoretically it would be a simple procedure. Get a few volunteers together, test their blood for toxins, then put them on a course of detox products. If the detoxification was successful the next lot of blood tests would show that some or all of the toxins had been eliminated, or at least their levels decreased.
Unfortunately no test results exist that prove detox products help to eliminate toxins from our bodies. Even water has been promoted as an aid to detoxification. Excess water consumption has been condemned many times by scientists who say that taking in too much water could lead to the malfunction of the body's natural mechanisms for getting rid of toxins. Of course if someone is suffering from kidney or liver disease then this will interfere with the bodies ability to eliminate toxins. In this case medical treatment is called for, not artichoke and dandelion compounds.
Most detox products contain some kind of claim to "aid in the process of elimination of toxins". If they make no claim to cure disease they are on safe ground legally. Most health-related products include on their packaging the advice to keep to a balanced diet and to follow a healthy lifestyle. That should eliminate any risk of litigation.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Zara Buckley is a journalist with a keen interest in health matters. Visit her site to learn more about detox foot baths as well as learning about how to natural body cleansing.