Detox or Live a life of Toxins?

SHOCK AND DETOX

New Year, New You! 

Welcome to your life, it is 2018 and you are ready to be everything you were not in 2017. Let’s get healthy together…. now what to do first? Especially if you want to be healthy NOW. Right now!

Here enters every person, product, and company that has been excitedly waiting to impact your eager New Year’s resolution desire: to be healthy and well A.S.A.P. 

When we start searching for health information, we come across a lot of new health plans and systems that really could make a difference for those of us that gained a few pounds or bloat over the holidays.

There are two common groups that promote detox diets as a solution to your healthy beginnings:

  1.  Product Companies that specialize in marketing certain and specific words to influence consumers          

  2.  Keen, Inspiring Health Coaches that really want to help others have the best life.

“Detoxing”, “Cleansing” and “Flushing” companies make you a promise that their product or service is necessary to help your body rid itself of toxins.

But why can’t the average post-holiday body rid itself of toxins?  To answer this, let’s assess this idea and take a little trip down Anatomy and Physiology lane.

Most generally healthy human bodies have two perfectly awesome organs called “the liver and the kidneys.”  The liver’s entire job is to self-cleanse the body while the kidneys duty is to excreting waste into the urine. Nothing, not even evil toxins, will store themselves in the liver or the kidneys. Unless a person has documented damage or disease in these organs, the body’s liver actively cleanses and kidneys excrete all by themselves. Fancy that.

Often detox products state rather convincing claims that our bodies need toxin removal, “our toxic society, polluted air and methods of food production present the need to eliminate pollution from our liver, lungs and colon. A clean colon is evidence of a healthy body.” No doubt, a healthy body is a healthy body, but what exact toxins are harming our bodies?  As stated above, our excretion systems will not store any toxins so how are they causing harm when present? Do these toxins have a name? How are they staying and impacting the body? What harm is being caused?  If these toxins are so dangerous to us, what are their names and how are we affected both short and long term.

Detox claims will further their rationale by describing symptoms you may be experiencing such as “headaches, fatigue, insomnia, hunger, or cancer risks.” Truly, if your body needs a detox, you need to get to a hospital.  Actual detoxification treatments are medical procedures that accredited professionals assess and administer, and these treatments are not available to consumers. Surprisingly, they are saved solely for people that need detoxification to stay alive.

The term detoxification is used by companies to legitimize their products to sound science-evidence based. Yet when we look into the science behind it, the facts allude to why we need it without telling us what “it” really is, at least factually.

I refer to this food marketing strategy as the “play on people’s desperations.” We want healthy, we want healthy now. And quick fixes are instantly satisfying.  Think of it if you were a marketer:

WHAT ARE PEOPLES PAINS?

  • Scared of Cancer, Disease
  • Want to lose Weight
  • Want to feel like they care about the environment
  • Want to feel happy

 

HOW COULD WE SELL TO THEIR PAINS?

  • Reassure them they will get what they want if they continually use our product.
  • Don’t want a headache? This solves headaches.
  • How? We don't know but we will market it anyways
  • It will make you happy, it will make you fit, it will increase energy

 

So let’s say we like what we are hearing and jump aboard the detox train. One of our healthy friends, who recently became a health coach swears by this detox product and the product line it came from.  They really want to help, are very knowledgeable and live a healthy life, they must know right! They know a lot about toxins in the body from reading nutrition books and articles and they are caring helpful people. We truly love motivation and when others help us get healthy, we trust them.

The product seems to be helping, so now is where we ask…. is there a defined time period we take this and then we become toxin-free? How will I know I am toxin-free, are there measurable changes in my blood levels, the way my organs function, etc.?

It would be fascinating for a product to explain when a detox is needed or to what end our goals with detoxing are achieved. But this information is not provided.  Some companies do suggest a time period to take their products, but lack the evidence to why that specific time period works.  We are all unique individuals with our own genetic dispositions, lifestyles, stressors and needs; we can’t all have the same detox time frame. But as a product company, why would you market like this?

To create big ticket sales, companies market their products to as many eligible candidates as possible.  This means making largely generalized claims rather than specific ones in order to cover a bigger market group. Bigger market group, bigger dollars. You may not have headaches or need to lose weight, but no one wants cancer.  The more the dramatic the claim, the more response to the pain, especially when using science jargon as fact. 

Surely, there has been a bachelor party, post exams, or a holiday celebration night of our lives we questioned our bodies ability to make it through, but when it did, what does that say about all the other days of our existence prior to detox products. 

In 2018, part of our getting healthy regimen means asking better questions and being cautious about who and why we trust them.  Seek professional knowledge, research peer-reviewed journals and fact check. Most importantly, trust your awesome body that with small changes to healthier eating, proper rest, stress management and an active lifestyle, your liver and kidneys will know just what to do.