No Nonsense Nutrition

The 'Real Deal' about nutrition and diet

Christmas Detox?

Err; no – please don’t.

Read this: You can’t detox your body. It’s a myth.

‘Detox’ is marketing, not medicine

Firstly, the idea of a ‘detox’ is actually a clever marketing term designed to treat a nonexistent condition. Detoxification though, is real; it’s a medical treatment used to remove dangerously high levels of real, identifiable, toxins such as drugs or alcohol from the body. However, the myriad ‘detox’ treatments advertised by the wellness industry claim to eliminate all sorts of mysterious, non-existent and unspecified ‘toxins’.

The marketing for ‘detox’ treatments typically attribute a wide array of symptoms and diseases linked to ‘toxins’: headaches, lethargy and digestive problems all of which are general enough to apply to most of us, at one time or another and particularly after a period of overindulgence, such as Christmas. Exactly which of the so-called ‘toxins’ actually cause which condition is not usually specified and how exactly these naughty, nebulous ‘toxins’ cause symptoms is never fully explained.

The colon is ‘ground zero’ for detox advocates and this concept is an old one which dates back to the ancient Egyptians and Greeks and persisted until the early 20th century when doctors advocated ‘purging’ to cure disease (blood-letting and enemas). The underlying principle of this so-called ‘auto-intoxication’ is the idea that food passes from our stomach, to our intestines and then remains and rots in our colon, giving rise to ill-health. In reality, our bodies have robust, intrinsic, and highly effective, detoxification systems; kidneys, lymphatics, gastrointestinal system, and liver.

My Conclusion

Detoxification, purification and fasts are a fundamental part of  all the major religions and exist, as least in part, to satisfy our human need to atone for our sins and indulgences. The wellness industry has exploited this with their quasi-religious, pseudo-scientific, marketing of  various detox products and diets, all which are highly effective at cleansing your wallet of money.

Go for a walk!



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