Nina Anniston

Nina Anniston

Detoxing: Separating Fact from Fiction

  Feb 19, 2024
Reviewed by Dr Saket Srivastava

Every day, we go through various different activities, whether it be playing our favorite sports, eating out at a café, or simply walking through the park for some peace. And while we are on it, we are accompanied by the hundreds of toxins surrounding us. 

Toxin is a common word that refers to pollutants, artificial chemicals, metal particles, or basically any element in our environment that has a negative effect on us. Now, we do consider faux friends and negative people as toxins too, but that’s a different story.

Detoxing means eliminating toxins from our body

Detoxing, a term that has been receiving quite significance for a long time, is a process that aims to “detoxify” your body from these toxicants. A lot of diets and products have emerged in the market that promise to cleanse our bodies of toxic substances and boost our immunity levels while promoting overall well-being. There are also those who even claim magical weight loss and body growth.

However, these are mere claims not backed by any professional research. The real truth of detoxing lies within our own bodies. Our body is created to perform the process of detoxification by itself naturally. We have several organs that are actually made for the sole purpose of purifying our body from the various intoxicants that inhabit us.

Detoxing means eliminating toxins from our bodys

In this article read about the various myths that surround the term “Detoxing”, misconceptions about detox diets, and more. You’ll also find out the ways by which our body detoxifies itself.

What Is Detoxification?

Detoxification is the act of removing toxins from the body in order to promote general health and overall well-being. It involves adopting lifestyle and nutritional changes that enhance the body’s built-in detoxification systems. 

Detoxing can help to improve digestion, strengthen the immune system, and raise energy levels. This can be naturally done by consuming foods high in nutrients, staying hydrated, working out, and limiting exposure to toxic substances.

There are various diets that claim to detox our body.

Whilst some diets and detoxification strategies, such as sauna wrap, are growing increasingly popular, it’s essential to proceed carefully and seek advice from a medical professional. A consistent, well-balanced approach to detoxification can improve one’s health in a better way.

How Does the Body Detoxify Itself?

“We can’t detox our body, it detoxifies itself.”

Our, or basically every living organism’s body, doesn’t actually need a detox program. We all are “designed” with some “predefined” organs that perform this function. The human is known to cleanse itself through various mechanisms which include: naturally

  1. Liver: One essential organ that regulates the breakdown of carbohydrates and removes toxic chemicals from the circulating blood. It converts harmful compounds into particles that dissolve in water and are filtered out through bile or urine.
    Representation of how a kidney works.
  1. Kidneys: These organs, similar to the liver, eliminate hazardous toxins as well as waste products from the blood, which then leave the body in the form of urine. What makes it different from the former organ is that kidneys are responsible for maintaining the level of specific substances and elements in the blood. 
  2. Lungs: The respiratory system, specifically the lungs, helps in clearing out unnecessary gases in our blood. While the cells in our body perform their functions, they produce CO2 which is also released into our bloodstream. The air sacs in the lungs extract the CO2 from the blood, which is then removed when we breathe out.
  3. Skin: The cells present at the top layer of the skin are always dying and falling apart. When they are removed they take away any pollutant or harmful particles from the skin. Moreover, sweat glands also play an important role in cleansing the toxins present on the skin through perspiration.
  4. Digestive System: The digestive system absorbs the essential nutrients from the food throughout the digestion process. During this, the waste components of the food also get separated. Through bowel movements, the gastrointestinal tract breaks down and gets rid of poisons and waste.

Detox Diets and Practices

With the word “detoxing” spreading around the health and medical industry, there have been various different products that claim to do the same. It’s common to see Detox diets and practices being promoted as a means of speeding the body’s natural cleansing processes. Among these practices, many people seek beverages that help remove toxins from their bodies. These mostly consist of:

  1. Fasting: Many detox procedures include fasting or an intense cut back on calories for a specific period of time. This is often done alongside taking vitamins or other detoxifying beverages.
    Juice cleanses are a part of detox diets.
  1. Juice Cleanses: Juice cleanses are known to remove toxins by limiting the diet to juices made up of various fruits and vegetables for a certain period of time. This increases the daily intake of roughage and water in the body which helps flush out unnecessary substances.
    Herbal supplements help in reducing toxins
  1. Herbal Supplements: There are various herbal supplements and teas in the market that prove to be healthy for the body. They could become a part of your detox program as they support the liver and kidneys in their detoxification procedures. 
  2. Colon Cleanses: The goal of colon cleansing techniques like enemas and colon hydrotherapy is to flush the colon of waste and toxins.

FUN FACT!!! A perfect diet for everyone doesn’t exist! Everyone’s different in body type, genetics, and environment, thus it is impossible to create a diet that suits the whole population.

The Reality Of Detoxing

Although detox diets and practices are becoming more and more popular, it’s critical to realize that many of the claims made in relation to them have not actually been verified by scientific evidence. Here are some crucial issues to keep in mind before you take any action:

  1. Limited Scientific Support: Detox diets’ ability to remove toxins and enhance health is still mostly unknown. When in optimal condition, the body’s natural detoxifying organs are mostly sufficient.
  2. Potential Risks: Certain detoxification techniques, such as fasting or severe calorie restriction, can be unhealthy and result in deficiency of certain nutrients, loss of muscle mass, and other health issues.
  3. Lack of Regulation: As the detox sector doesn’t really have any actual evidence to showcase its products’ capability, it is mainly unregulated. There may be a lack of quality control and scientific validation for detox programs and products.
  4. Focus on Sustainable Habits: Adopting long-term, sustainable practices that support general wellness should be the main focus instead of temporary detox regimens. Proper hydration, regular exercise, a balanced diet, and enough sleep are essential for boosting the body’s natural detoxification capabilities.

When considered as the body’s inherent way of disposing of pollutants, detoxification is an essential part of staying healthy. Although there are a lot of commercial detoxification regimens and techniques that claim to do so, they lack any scientific support and can prove to be harmful.

 Tips for a healthy lifestyle

Focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle that promotes your body’s natural detoxification processes instead of opting for severe detox techniques. Before making major dietary or lifestyle changes, consult with a healthcare professional. Furthermore, constantly search for evidence-based wellness strategies before taking any action. Lastly, stay safe, and stay healthy!