Body detox myths abound on the internet. While many of the anti-detox arguments are well-intentioned, they often miss the bigger picture. We’re deconstructing the top 5 Body Detox Myths to prove how a balanced detox program can be a useful tool for your body and overall health.
Myth #1: Body Detox is a fad
The practice of body detox and cleansing for improved health has been around for thousands of years. From the 5,000-year-old Indian Ayurvedic medicinal system to South American purification rituals, cleansing has been an integral part of healthy living across many cultures for ages.
In the United States, cleansing and body detox has really come of age in the last 15 years with our increased awareness around untested chemicals in our environment. In fact, “over 4 billion pounds of toxic chemicals are released into the nation’s environment each year including 72 million pounds of recognized carcinogens,” according to Mount Sinai Hospital’s Children’s Environmental Health Center.
The more we learn about our increased exposure to pollution in our food, water, and air, the more we turn to balanced cleansing programs to aid our overloaded detox organs.Today, cleansing and body detox are not fads but some of the most powerful health tools available.
Myth #2: Detox is a code word for “weight loss scheme”
Many of us have tried weight loss programs that don’t work. They’re quick fixes that don’t address a solid foundation of health. A body detox done in the right way focuses on a clean eating meal program, removing mucus-forming and hard-to-digest foods, addresses emotional eating, and teaches you skills to live healthier after your cleanse.
Myth #3: Doctors don’t recommend a body detox or cleansing
While this may have been true years ago, cleansing and body detox programs are now recommended by many doctors as well as naturopaths, chiropractors, therapists, and healthcare workers that can be found in the Functional Medicine doctor database.
Most doctors do not receive sufficient nutritional training during medical school. In order for them to learn about cleansing, they often need to go through postgraduate programs like the ones offered at the Institute for Functional Medicine.
As our healthcare system evolves and alternatives to the symptom-based model are discovered, we’re confident we’ll see more doctors turning to cleansing as a tool to treat many modern day symptoms and conditions.
MYTH #4: THERE IS LITTLE SCIENCE TO SUPPORT DETOX AND CLEANSING
There is mounting evidence suggesting that supporting our body’s detoxification processes is essential to health. Dr. Jeffrey Bland, the “father of functional medicine”, writes: “Specific foods and their nutrients determine … the effectiveness of your detoxification process. Compromise the detox process, and a toxic load of substances builds up in the body and poisons your metabolism.”
The Institute for Functional Medicine has written a four hundred page textbook on the science of detoxification used to re-train medical doctors. This textbook alone is loaded with hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific articles that provide evidence to support the benefits of balanced cleansing programs. Unlike major pharmaceutical companies, most practicing doctors and wellness companies do not have the resources to pay for full studies. However, there is evidence supporting the components of a balanced cleanse.
Take the Clean Program as an example -- there is research supporting the use of the 12-hour window as a means of intermittent fasting to improve health indicators and counteract disease processes. Additionally, our use of the herb berberine has been shown to enhance antibacterial activity. Probiotics, which we include daily during the Clean Program, work in a wide variety of ways such as improving digestion, prevention of allergies, and a reduction of gut inflammation in mice.
If you were to use even just one of these tools, you may feel some benefits. The power of the Clean Program comes from combining many of these beneficial tools into a simple, effective system to produce a more profound experience. This experience helps support short-term and long-term health and habit changes. Finally, this study shows how shake supplements like our Daily Shakes used in a medical food supplemented detox program can improve health outcomes.
In the end, the claim that there is no science supporting balanced cleansing just doesn’t hold up.
Myth #5: Cleansing is a quick fix, not a long-term solution
There is no quick fix that will magically change people’s long-term health. Each one of us is a mix of motivations, desires, and habits that often conflict with one another. Some days we want to do what it takes to get healthy, other days we don’t. But we do know that certain practices help us build habits that can lead to long-term changes.
The Clean Program takes these habit-forming practices and makes them part of the program’s core structure. For example, we learn to make Daily Shakes, to eat from the Clean Diet, and to discover which foods work best us. We also connect you with a supportive online community that will keep you inspired. All of these examples can be used after you finish your body detox to createsustained long-term health changes.
Thus, a balanced body detox cleanse, like the Clean Program, becomes a powerful gateway to an energized lifestyle that begins to work as soon as you start.
If you enjoyed this article, we recommend Body Detox Myths Dispelled: Part II