Detox. It’s a word that being tossed around loosely nowadays, from home-made smoothies to juice cleansing businesses. It’s everywhere and everyone is getting in on the act – and we can’t blame them. Everyone just wants to rid themselves of bodily impurities and be fit as a fiddle.
But here’s the thing: It’s a scam.
According to Exeter University professor Edzard Ernst, unless you’re being treated for drug addiction, detox is nothing more than a marketing term used by entrepreneurs to move products. Your body already has the liver, kidneys, and skin to the detoxifying for you. And if your body had the amount of toxins these products say, you’d either be in the hospital or dead.
A lot of these products claim that they are the proverbial magic bullet against toxins. But truth is, no one even knows what these toxins are. In 2009, scientists scrutinized the detox industry by asking manufacturers of 15 products about the science behind the claims. Not one of them could give a sound answer, “let alone name the toxins,” says The Guardian.
Detoxing is not only a farce, but can be dangerous as well. Colonic irrigation, for example, involves doctors shooting a hose up your bum to drain you of poo that’s allegedly been lurking in your system for years. No doctor has actually seen one of these loitering pieces of shit. To add insult to injury, the procedure could even perforate your bowel.
So why do we still buy into this whole detox thing? Because it’s easy. Rather than settle for good ‘ol exercise and a healthy diet, we’d rather indulge in our vices – like smoking and excessive drinking – then turn to something that will make all the bad effects go away. We love to believe this is all real, and that the marketing people are telling us the truth, and so we buy into it.
“It’s a scandal,” says Ernst. “It’s criminal exploitation of the gullible man on the street and it sort of keys into something that we all would love to have – a simple remedy that frees us of our sins, so to speak. It’s nice to think that it could exist but unfortunately it doesn’t.”