Detox is a versatile way to lose weight (no gym), cleanse your body (no dieting), and waste all your money (no problem). We analyze the main myths of the industry worth $ 216 billion.
A person has long learned a lesson: when there is someone nearby who can forgive all sins, life becomes easier. This focus is at the heart of the popularity of the detox industry. Its priests will forgive you every burger you eat before bed and forgive the sins of the weekend spent in tequila oblivion. They will help you get rid of excess weight, skin, breathing and stomach problems. And they will be sent to heaven on earth – spas and clinics where nectars from broccoli and celery are brewed. There, on every meter of space, there are devices with lemon-cucumber water, and all rooms are equipped with devices that destroy toxins that are teeming with the world outside the rescue clinics. And all you need to find yourself there is to join the detox flock, leave “donations” and entrust yourself in the healing hands of the guides.
Detox is part of the anti-age medicine market, the volume of which will exceed $ 216 billion next year. According to Harvard Medical School, until recently, the term “detoxification” was used exclusively in hospital circles when it came to resuscitation of people with strong alcoholic or drug poisoning. But soon the idea “we can be clean on the outside, but remain dirty on the inside” was taken up by the adherents of alternative medicine. To their delight, people at all times tried to get rid of “toxins” in the body. The Ayurvedic method – panchakarma – is based on the elimination of toxins by enema with herbal and oil decoctions, as well as provoking vomiting. The Greeks and Romans attended saunas and purified the blood by bloodletting.
“Detox as a procedure in the medical community has long been recognized as a waste of money”, says an expert. – The main reason is that our body is perfect enough to independently cleanse itself of unnecessary substances and deactivate toxins. The intestines and liver cope with this. The first absorbs the necessary substances and removes those that are not needed. And the liver gets rid of toxins. “
In 2009, a group of scientists from the British charity Sense about Science contacted the manufacturers of 15 products found in pharmacies, on the packaging of which flaunted the motley inscription “Purification from toxins.” From powders for detox cocktails to shampoos, the products promised to rid shoppers of the toxins consumed and inhaled on a daily basis. But as soon as the experts asked for documents about the tests, the manufacturers stopped picking up the phone. The British could not draw from them even a clear definition of the term “detoxification”, let alone a list of dangerous toxins. “Detox is a heresy that dictates vile rules, instills fear, negative attitudes towards food and progress, and even feeds us with dangerous and irresponsible advice,” says another expert. “As pseudoscience does not allow us to eat normally. ” “The concept that we can remove toxins from the body by controlling our nutrition is exemplary pseudo-scientific nonsense.”
You may ask – and it is reasonable – why after a weekend in a detox clinic, on an outing yoga camp or in a retreat, the numbers on the scales change downward. Well one expert says: “All procedures and practices in such places are aimed at draining water. A person sees a minus and rejoices. But at the same time everything remains the same fat.” Detox is the work of outstanding marketers. “For a business to continue to exist, it needs visual confirmation of its effectiveness. As for religion, miracles are important, so for detox – the results. “
However, not everything is so simple. As shown by a survey in clinics offering this service, an unusual meaning is often put into a popular term. “Detox is a term that all people understand,” says a resort founder. – And if you say that we are rebooting the way of life, few people will understand what this is about. But for us personally, detox is part of epigenetics, influencing the work of genes through therapy and creating a personalized lifestyle strategy. People came to our resort more than once, to whom we restored the gastrointestinal tract after the juice fasting, which is popular today ”.
MYTHS ABOUT DETOX
All around toxins
Gwyneth Paltrow, one of the mothers of the detox conspiracy theory, is convinced: “Every day, our bodies are targeted by the chemicals that fill nature.” Indeed, the body interacts with a million different elements. But everything in the world consists of them, and it has always been so. The poison becomes poison due to the dosage; even an excess of water can lead to disastrous results.
The body will not cope
Potentially harmful toxins are found everywhere: in our food, shampoos, and so on. The world we live in has always been and will be a seething cauldron of chemicals. But the organism evolves in order to preserve the human population on earth, and copes well with everything that appears in it. With rare exceptions like “Novice” and illegal drugs.
Nutrition will help
In cases where you are experiencing health problems caused by alcohol or drugs, it is foolish to count on the salvation of cabbage, detox tea or water with cayenne pepper. None of the foods listed above cleanse (whatever that means) the liver and intestines. In such a situation, only detoxification performed in a real clinic will help.