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Is the Detox dangerous?

Posted 7 years ago by Adam

Going all out at Christmas time, feeling sluggish and bloated after the holidays, so following up in January with a detox.  Sound familiar?  Well a leading Professor at University College London has stated that detoxing is at best a waste of time & money, and at worst, could in fact be dangerous.   In an article[1] published in The Biologist in December, Professor David Bender argues that ideas of a 'detox' - to which millions of Brits subscribe every January after Christmas indulgence - are nothing more than propaganda churned out year after year by the health & beauty industy.  Bender argues that this idea of helping the body to eliminate toxins with a 'detox' is nonsense, and that in fact the human body 'processes and removes toxins very efficiently' without help from 'expensive supplements, fad diets or lifestyle changes.' 

It does seem that the detox products on the market could come with a bit more scientific research behind them.  However I would argue that if you were to look into taking on a simple and natural detox process, that can only be a good thing.  Some of the advice given by 'detox experts' includes cutting down on sugar levels, eating less fatty and processed foods, increasing your intake of water, fresh fruit and vegetables, and decreasing caffeine and alcohol consumption.  Surely these are positive steps in the right direction for a healthier, happy gut, and a positive way to beat the Christmas bloat this year.

...When it comes to the 'detox', I'd argue that it's better not to go overboard; and yet a few simple lifestyle changes could well be a positive thing.  At the end of the day, like so many things it seems to be a question of moderation.  

How about you, have you tried the 'detox' ? 


1.  Professor David Bender, The Detox Delusion, The Biologist, Vol. 58 (4), Published 13 December 2011.

About Adam Whitby

Adam has been involved in health and medicine for over thirty years, mostly reviewing clinical studies for general practitioners, writing patient information leaflets and producing medical video programmes.

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