Detox myth – Trust your body and stop wasting money

Are you thinking about all the junk you consumed over the weekend and how you could get rid of the waste piling up in your body? Looking for a quick fix or did someone tell you about a new rave cleanse, it is the only way to a healthy life? Well keep reading before you make the decision to detox your body with some unknown substance.

Detoxification is the process in which the body breaks down and eliminates toxins from the system according to Organic Nutrition while Dr. Frank Lipman author of Revive: Stop feeling spent and start living again and world renowned lecturer on internal medicine claims that detoxification is a key component of what the body does naturally to neutralize, transform or get rid of unwanted materials or toxins, this is a primary function constantly working and interacting with all other functions of the body.

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So if your body naturally cleanses itself what exactly do you need a detox or cleanse for?

Nutritionist and detox experts Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman states that our diets are filled with toxins, chemicals and a host of other bad, bad, bad elements for our body, that needs to be cleansed out the solution is to eat raw food cleanse or eliminate meat from our diet for a period of time and in some extreme cases indefinitely. Now, as you guys are quite aware herbal cleanse / detoxing has in recent years skyrocketed to fame, Dr. Josephine Briggs Director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine stated that over $34 billion is spent in the United States yearly on Alternative Medicine, this includes a range of health practices from promising and sensible to potentially harmful.

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The human body is extremely fascinating  it can take anything we eat such a sugar, alcohol or even fast foods which could become very toxic when consumed in high quantities but did you know also oxygen, salt and even water in high enough quantities are all poisonous to our bodies.  This is the function of the liver and kidneys.

The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that extract waste from blood, balances body fluids, form urine and aids in other important functions of the body, residing in the back muscles of the upper abdominal cavity, sitting opposite each other on either side of the spine. The kidneys are multi-functional powerhouses of activity, but the core function as it relates to our topic is waste excretion, with all the different things we eat that the body does not need inside of it, the kidneys filters out toxins, excess salt and urea a nitrogen-based waste created by cell metabolism. Urea is synthesized in the liver and transported through the blood to the kidneys for removal, while the liver clears the blood of drugs and other harmful substances, produce bile which helps to carry away waste and breaks down fats in the small intestine during digestion and resist infections by producing immune factors and remove bacteria from the bloodstream.

In reality the human body comes with structures designed to specifically clean and filter the blood and digestive system, the liver and kidneys does a great job at filtering out actually toxins and send them out of our body as waste and bacteria from the blood and chemically neutralizes toxins in addition to synthesizes and secreting bile in which the liver is famous for, by converting them into substances that can be eliminated by the kidneys. Dr. Lipman claims that detox actually decreases the amount of toxins we put into our bodies while at the same time supporting our bodies natural detoxification and elimination system with nutrients it needs to function properly through internal cleansing, and that detox is currently ignored by our current medical system, let’s explore why.

According to the Guardian and Harvard Medical  a detox does not really help the kidneys and liver to function any better, fight off disease, increase energy and lift the spirits, but these diets actually turn a blind eye to nutritional health and that detox kits are often designed to make you feel that you are getting superior value for your money even though you are not, this point is further cemented by British Diabetic Association that stated detox is non sense and that DNA testing is quite inadequate for analyzing botanical products that have gone through a lot of processes from leaf to tablet.

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According to experts prolonged fast can put blood sugar levels out of whack, with a threat for those with diabetes, heart and kidney disease, user of these detox can also experience sodium, potassium and chloride deprivation,  so call detox are not accomplishing anything because what they do is simply take out the fluid in your intestines, you will not get rid of fats or supposed toxins only water weight.  Harvard Medical School in its Healthbeat newsletter examined the Master Cleanse and found it “lacking in protein, fatty acids and other essential nutrients. Carbohydrates supply all the calories, which is extremely low, daily laxative regimen causes dehydration, deplete electrolytes and impair normal bowel functions. A person who goes on the famous Master Cleanse diet used by stars such as Beyonce and Naomi Campbell risk developing metabolic acidosis, depletion of the body’s acid base balance and acidity in the blood. This can lead to coma and death.

There is no sufficient scientific evidence to support herbal remedies and its safety for human consumption, research determines reliability and while one person may take a cleanse that seem to work for them, this in no way states that this cocktail of drugs will be safe for consumption by the general population.

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In general all medication, let’s just say every single thing we consume is detoxified by the liver and eliminated by the kidneys, by taking a cleanse, there are great risks of damaging both the kidneys and liver and should be avoided, the Department of Health and Human Services say that most commercial detox diets are nutritionally unsubstantiated, unnecessary and unable to support claims that they cure disease and medical conditions.

The reason behind drug testing by the United States Food and Drug Administration is to ensure safety, and cannot determine whether the potential medical treatments offer benefits to patients until clinical research on the treatment is completed. Clinical trials are an integral part of new product discovery and development and are required by the Food and Drug Administration before a new product can be brought to the market, determining the quantities they should be used, with cleanse we don’t truly know how they will affect the individual, if it will clash with other medication being used or if it will negatively enhance other medication causing it to become toxic, while risking medication becoming either increase or decrease where the prescribed drug stays in the body longer or is eliminated to quickly affecting the overall therapeutic effect.  According to the Food and Drug Administration people think detoxes are cleared but in fact they do not need proof of safety or effectiveness to go on the market.

Detox 101

Remember we are all different and with the seemingly infinite array of detox diets currently available the fundamental question to ask oneself before embarking, is it worth the unknown risk? Detox are generally not recommended, University of Guelph, researchers used DNA fingerprinting to find that 1/3 of 44 supplements tested contained no trace of the plant listed on the label is that enough to deter you? Instead try to stop smoking, cut back on alcohol, eat a balanced diet, drink more water, get more fiber in your diet and avoid processed foods.  Let me know in the comments if you have ever taken a cleanse or detox and if you received the desired results.

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