Do detox products really work?

You don't have to go far to find the word “detox” on products on supermarket shelves or natural restaurant menus. The idea behind this name has to do with health and detox, but do detox products really fulfill this role of cleansing our bodies?

That was the basic question of a Guardian publication, and the conclusion was wordless: "[detox] is a pseudo-medical concept designed to sell things." Yeah, that hurt.

According to Edzard Ernst, professor of medicine at the University of Exeter, England, there are two types of detoxification: one that works and the other that doesn't. What works, according to Ernst, is that done in people who have some kind of drug addiction and are at risk of death.

"The other is the word that is being invaded by businessmen, healers and quacks who want to sell a fake treatment that supposedly detoxifies your body of toxins you may have accumulated, " explains the doctor, referring, of course, to products that carry the name “detox” on their packaging.

Ernst also says that if a person's body accumulates so much toxin that it cannot eliminate that excess, that person would be dead or in need of radical medical intervention. The teacher explains that in the body of a healthy person, the organs work well and there is no way to improve the functioning of something that is already working.

In this sense, it is worth remembering that product packaging speaks of toxins that need to be eliminated, but do not specify which toxins they are, so it is not possible to measure the real efficiency of this type of product. A test conducted in 2009 in the United Kingdom sought to evaluate the effectiveness of 15 detox products. The result? None of the manufacturers could define what kind of detox each product offered, nor could they even explain what detox is.

Still, the number of products that promise to detoxify consumers only increases: pills, tinctures, teas, juices, face masks, bath salts, shampoos, body creams and so on.

In addition to this type of product, there are aesthetic and medicinal treatments that also promise a detox, as is the case with colonic irrigation. This procedure is done to eliminate traces of feces that remain on the walls of the intestines. The technique is to “flush” the bowel by inserting a “hose” with water. Many doctors warn that this type of technique is too invasive and can puncture the intestines.

The ideal recipe for up-to-date health? Practice physical activities, have a balanced diet and not smoke. In addition, one should always keep in mind that these products move large amounts of money but ultimately do not deliver the benefits they promise.

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