At the beginning of every year just when people are thinking of going on a detox diet to help them lose weight after the holiday season we get the headlines Detox is rubbish, Detox is a scam, Detox is a waste of money, Detox Diets are dangerous. You might well be asking does detox work?
I recently saw the headlines “The Detox that Destroyed my Life”. The story was about a woman who said that giving up alcohol for a detox diet had ruined her life. She became depressed and withdrawn. When I read the story it was obvious that the woman had a drinking problem long before she went on the detox.
She readily admitted that she was a binge drinker at university and since then her social life had revolved around alcohol. She had a problem long before she went on the detox. The withdrawal of alcohol for the detox diet just magnified her brain chemical imbalance that she was trying to balance artificially with alcohol.
Do you really need to detox?
Then we get the dieticians and some doctors who say that we don’t need to do anything special to detoxify as our bodies are very good at it and are doing it on a daily basis.
One consultant has said “For most people it’s rare to have excessive amounts of toxins in the body unless you suffer from alcohol or drug-related conditions, because our bodies get rid of them immediately”.
If this is the case how come researchers worldwide have found that these days we all have a number of toxic chemicals accumulating in our blood and fatty tissues? Babies are being born with a number of toxins in their blood that they got from their mothers.
Toxic Chemicals & Disease
Other researchers have discovered that pesticides are an important factor in the development of Parkinson’s Disease? In fact it has been shown that people with Parkinson’s disease have some problems in their detox systems.
If our bodies get rid of toxins immediately how come that air pollution causes more deaths from heart disease than lung disease? Scientists are not sure how the very fine particles in polluted air increases the risk of heart disease but they do know that the toxins get into the blood stream and cause problems.
One dietician has said “Indeed, the detox brigade has claimed that a whole host of illnesses, from depression and asthma to heart disease and even cancer, are the result of a build up of terrible toxins.”
Well, the claims are true. When you look at some of the terrible symptoms that the 9/11 New York World Trade Center rescue workers suffered as a result of the toxins they were exposed to you realize what a terrible toll toxins have on health.
The same dietician has also claimed that “The body actually has a massive overcapacity to dispose of toxins.” . If this were the case then these workers would not have suffered with a variety of severe health problems following the disaster. We would not have to worry about all the chemical toxins that surround us.
Chemicals in your blood
We know for a fact that we all have chemicals in our blood and stored in the fatty layers of our cells. If the body disposed of chemicals that well then they would not accumulate would they?
It’s a fact that although our detox systems were designed to eliminate harmful substances that we are exposed to we have never been exposed to the level of or type of harmful chemicals that we are today.
Our bodies are overwhelmed with the toxins we are bombarded with every day. With today’s processed junk food lacking in nutrients, sedentary lifestyles and stress of modern living our bodies simply no longer have the tools to eliminate them.
The presence in our bodies of various types of toxic chemicals, heavy metals, partially broken down products of everyday body metabolism and bacterial toxins have been linked with specific diseases and syndromes.
The liver is the main organ of detox and has a two step process known as Phase 1 and Phase 11 for neutralizing toxins. Having an effective detox system is essential for good health and to prevent chronic disease.
Variations in detox capacity
Researchers have discovered that there is a wide variation in how people’s detox systems work due to genetics, nutritional status and level of toxin exposure. In some people Phase 1 works well but Phase 11 does not. In this case there is a build up of toxins that have been processed by Phase 1.
In others, Phase 1 may not work so well so the toxins don’t get as far as Phase 11 and they cause problems in the body. If you have underactive Phase I detoxification you will experience caffeine intolerance, intolerance to perfumes and other environmental chemicals with an increased risk for liver disease.
Several studies have found links between impaired detox pathways and certain conditions such as Chronic Fatigue, fibromyalgia, immune dysfunction syndrome and cancer.
Foods and certain nutrients rev up detox
Researchers now know that there are certain foods substances that rev up or inhibit Phase 1 & Phase 11 detox pathways. They know the key nutrients that are needed for the detox system to work efficiently. A good detox program aims to supply the nutrients needed to support the liver detox system.
There are no double blind placebo controlled trials that the orthodox medical profession are so fond of but there are published studies that show that a good detox program can reduce toxin levels and symptoms in people with chronic illness.
So, if the naysayers are talking about the off the shelf, one day detoxes or detox teas that are readily available in supermarkets then they are right. You are wasting your time and money because they won’t detoxify you. The most it could do for you is to get you onto a healthier diet.
My answer to does detox work is this. A detox diet that prepares you properly for detox, includes the foods and nutrients that rev up and support the detox pathways and gives you a maintenance diet to continue with after the detox is never a waste of time, effort or money.
There are many people that will testify to the fact that detox was not a waste of time for them and that their previous troubling symptoms vanished. I for one recovered from chronic fatigue with detox but it didn’t happen overnight. You can learn more about effective detox in my eBook
The Definitive Detox Diet .