Dude, drop the detox

It’s very common at this time of year for certain newspapers and magazines to recommend that we check in to a spa for a detox. You know which kind of magazines, I’m talking about, don’t you?

Now, a detox might be a sensible course of action if you spent the festive season ingesting heavy metals, or if DDT is your secret mince pie ingredient. In this case, I recommend checking in to an emergency hospital ward rather than a health spa.

Otherwise, a detox shouldn’t be necessary, as the body is very efficient at removing harmful chemicals, being equipped with livers and kidneys just for this purpose.

Wikipedia describes detoxification as the process, real or perceived, of removing toxins from the body. The charity Sense About Science, which exists to promote good science, describes detox as a waste of money.

These toxins aren’t really toxins at all. You might just call them food and drink. And you might have eaten and drunk too much of them. In which case, a session at the gym might be called for. But detox? Forget it.

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