There are so many products out there that claim to help one “detox” and many people often buy into it because they do believe that they’re constantly exposed to toxins either through pollution or through the foods we eat – mostly thanks to the media that talk about the pesticides used in agriculture etc.
However, do we really need to go on a detox programme?
What the medical experts say
Doctors will tell you that medically speaking, these toxins can’t easily accumulate in our bodies or even penetrate into it and if that happened, we’d likely be dead or in need of serious medical intervention.
As explained by Dr Cheng of Women Infinity, “Our bodies have protecting mechanisms as the skin forming a protective layer that completely wraps around the body, and areas of the body not covered with skin do not go unprotected.”
But of course, there are some toxins that are produced during different body chemical reactions, but Dr Cheng clarifies that our bodies are capable of getting rid of them by the body’s natural detoxification organs such as the kidneys, liver, skin and lungs.
The liver is the most important organ when it comes to detoxification, followed by the kidneys, the small intestines and even your lungs. Your body also has the lymph system where the network of lymphatic capillaries leads to bigger lymphatic vessels and finally to the lymphatic glands (lymph nodes). They are placed in groups all along the lymphatic ways. These lymphatic glands are stations where infectious agents are filtered white blood cells.
In an article that she wrote, Dr Cheng fully explains how the whole body’s detoxification system works and why all these ‘detox’ products are based only on pseudo-medical concepts. Most of these products contain diuretics or laxatives to make you go to the toilet more frequently, and are not suitable for people with certain medical conditions.
Thus, she strongly believes that you need not fear about detoxing your body and leave your organs to do their jobs. You only need to worry if your organs fail and in need of serious medical consultation.
What other wellness practitioners say
Wellness Coach, Chong Su Lee, believes in doing a 30-day detox programme annually to “flush out all the junk”. Comparing the intestines and organs to that of a toilet pipe, she explains that while it is true that the body naturally does detoxify itself, you still need to maintain your organs in tip top condition to ensure that they are able to do their jobs properly.
How does our internal organs get clogged? Simply through unbalanced diet and/or unhealthy eating habits over time, causing a lot of waste to stick to the sides of our internal organs or to calcify into stones in our kidneys. That said, Chong does agree that a lot of the ‘detox teas’ out in the market are really natural herbs that are known to have diuretic or laxative effects. She warns that while they’re harmless to take once in a while, a lot of ‘detox’ teas are not meant for daily consumption. That is why she only recommends an annual detox programme which mainly uses natural herbs and plant fibre to ensure that our intestines get the ‘scrubbing’ needed and to kill off any parasites.
To detox or not to detox
Most doctors will tell you that those who claim to feel better after using these ‘detox’ products are just experiencing psychological feeling called the placebo effect. What both Dr Cheng and Chong agree on is that the ultimate ‘detox’ is really leading a healthy balanced lifestyle – sufficient exercise, eating a balanced diet and avoiding real toxins such as smoking.
Photo credits: Pixbay and Women Infinity