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Is detox a myth?

by (1169)
Updated about 2 hours ago
Created May 17, 2012 at 9:48 AM

Just wonder if detox by for example taking pro biotics is a myth? Is there any evidence that the body actually can detox itself? Isn`t the body detoxing itself all the time anywhy, without suplements?

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11683 · May 17, 2012 at 8:43 PM

probiotics are critical, but not because they "detox".

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2801 · May 17, 2012 at 5:24 PM

As a former binge eater, I here ya, man. Listen to your body AND evaluate the message in a contextually-appropriate fashion.

Medium avatar
10214 · May 17, 2012 at 4:37 PM

I believe toxicity is to a large degree caused by visceral fat packing around the internal organs, which inhibits their function. Waistline reduction to eliminate this fat is the most important detoxification a person can do.

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6117 · May 17, 2012 at 2:37 PM

Heh, my body often tells me to consume alcohol, sugar, refined carbs, etc. Some body signals should be ignored! But I totally agree with your answer.

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661 · May 17, 2012 at 12:47 PM

the lemon fast is interesting! i wish i could do it but im too skinny

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20411 · May 17, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Most of the claims of the high priced detoxing regimes are a myth in the sense that they are not backed by science and probably just hype. Matthius is correct in his answer. And yes, the liver and kidneys are always working to get rid of toxins. Reducing your modern toxic load is probably a good idea.

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8933 · May 17, 2012 at 10:59 AM

That's an awesome answer, Matthius.

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5 Answers

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2801 · May 17, 2012 at 10:52 AM

I guess it depends on what you define as "detoxification." Going on a two-week lemon juice fast to replenish 'vital enzymes' and restore 'pH balance' is an entirely different ballgame than avoiding toxic foodstuffs like partially hydrogenated oils to allow your body to naturally rid itself of accumulated junk.

Probiotics can be beneficial, though the number of active cultures in commercially fermented foods like yogurt and probiotic supplements are often far fewer than advertised.

Don't complicate things. Don't do anything stupid like daily coffee enemas and cabbage detoxes to rid your system of alleged toxins. Just eat natural food in moderation, and tweak your diet in response to bodily signals. Your body is speaking to you; listen.

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8933 · May 17, 2012 at 10:59 AM

That's an awesome answer, Matthius.

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661 · May 17, 2012 at 12:47 PM

the lemon fast is interesting! i wish i could do it but im too skinny

Cccb899526fb5908f64176e0a74ed2d9
2801 · May 17, 2012 at 5:24 PM

As a former binge eater, I here ya, man. Listen to your body AND evaluate the message in a contextually-appropriate fashion.

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c
6117 · May 17, 2012 at 2:37 PM

Heh, my body often tells me to consume alcohol, sugar, refined carbs, etc. Some body signals should be ignored! But I totally agree with your answer.

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6117 · May 17, 2012 at 2:55 PM

I think a clean diet absent processed, refined foods and toxic substances allows the body's natural detoxification systems to work in the way they evolved to. Keep in mind our bodies are chemical factories, and that even 100% natural bodily processes produce many toxic substances that must be either metabolized into something harmless and reabsorbed, or excreted. And our bodies are full of substances that are harmless when they stay where they belong, and harmful when they invade other tissues. Hydrochloric acid is great in the stomach, and not so great in our throats. Bacteria are great in our digestive tracts, but deadly when they escape into the abdomen or bloodstream (as in perforated bowel). Our bodies generally manage all this quite effectively with only good food, water, air and sunshine as inputs.

As for probiotics, I'm more accustomed to hearing them recommended for digestive/gut health (which improves everything else), not for detoxing.

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3924 · May 17, 2012 at 2:21 PM

I think it depends on what you are trying to "detox" and how you are using the probiotics. I have a genetic problem (mild primary hyperoxaluria) and poor intestinal function/health which have combined to cause me major health problems with toxic overload of oxalate (a common antinutrient/natural toxin found in many plant foods). I am currently in detox stage that involves eating a low oxalate diet, taking supplements to counteract the genetic problem, and healing my gut. This is a standard protocol for oxalate detox (as is dialysis in severe PH cases). An important part of healing my gut involves taking probiotics (along with many other Paleo/GAPS protocols). I am definitely in the middle of a major detox, and I've found that as I heal my gut it's not just the oxalate that is detoxing. I am detoxing other toxins that have accumulated in my system because my leaky gut was letting some real crap in. I doubt the probiotics would have healed my gut enough to trigger the detox process by itself, but as part of a comprehensive program they are vitally important.

Also, probiotics in a healthy gut break down a lot of naturally-occurring toxins before they can get through your intestinal wall and into your body. This is a vital job of your gut flora, so in this sense taking probiotics will help keep you toxins out. This happens with oxalate and other plant "chemical-defense weapons."

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32518 · May 17, 2012 at 1:18 PM

I understand that our body fat is the major storage site for anything our kidneys & liver haven't "detoxed".

If my fertility clients ask about detoxng, I always suggest that they slowly lose any excess body fat before they get pregnant & focus on supporting the liver & kidneys by eating a nutrient-dense diet.

Medium avatar
10214 · May 17, 2012 at 4:37 PM

I believe toxicity is to a large degree caused by visceral fat packing around the internal organs, which inhibits their function. Waistline reduction to eliminate this fat is the most important detoxification a person can do.

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4181 · May 17, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Your body is constantly detoxifying itself yes, I think it just depends to what context you are referring to a detox

I imagine anyone who has had success from juice/water fasts are people whose gut is damaged or inflamed somewhat and giving it a rest from processing food in order to heal itself has maybe made them feel better. From the research I've done people say their skin or other problems improved during the fast and then continued to after the fast finished, this to me suggests the gut has healed somewhat

You will get people saying detox is a myth but I personally think it can be real

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