Detox Diet

Detox diets are dietary plans that claim to have detoxifying effects. The general philosophy suggests that most food is contaminated by various ingredients deemed unnecessary for human life, such as flavor enhancers, food colorings, and artificial preservatives. Scientists, dietitians, and doctors, while generally judging ‘detox diets’ harmless (unless nutritional deficiency results), often dispute the value and need of ‘detox diets’ due to lack of supporting factual evidence or coherent rationale. Detox diets can involve consuming extremely limited foods (only water or juice, a form of fasting), or eliminating certain foods from the diet (such as fats). Proponents claim that this will cause the body to burn accumulated stored fats, releasing fat-stored “toxins” into the blood, which can then be eliminated through the blood, skin, urine, feces and breath. Proponents claim things like an altered body odor support the notion that detox diets are working; this claim has been criticized for misinterpreting the body undergoing ketosis. Though a brief fast of a single day is unlikely to cause harm, prolonged fasting can be fatal.

Body cleansing and detoxification have been referred to as an elaborate hoax used by con artists to cure nonexistent illnesses. Most doctors contend that the ‘toxins’ in question do not even exist. In response, alternative medicine proponents frequently cite heavy metals or pesticides as the source of toxification; however, no evidence exists that detoxification approaches have a measurable effect on these or any other chemical levels. Medical experts state that body cleansing is unnecessary as the human body is naturally capable of maintaining itself, with several organs dedicated to cleansing the blood and gut. Professor Alan Boobis OBE, Toxicologist, Division of Medicine, Imperial College London states that “The body’s own detoxification systems are remarkably sophisticated and versatile. They have to be, as the natural environment that we evolved in is hostile. It is remarkable that people are prepared to risk seriously disrupting these systems with unproven ‘detox’ diets, which could well do more harm than good.”

The apparently satisfied testimonial and anecdotal accounts by customers can be explained by either disguised employees creating false anecdotes, or actual customers who are experiencing the placebo effect after trying the products, natural recovery from an actual illness that would have occurred without the use of the product, psychological improvements on illnesses that are psychosomatic or the result of neurosis, and the fact that a large number of dissatisfied customers have not posted equally applicable anecdotes about their poorer experiences.

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~ by superbowlnyc on January 30, 2011.

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