If you read my blog at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, you might remember an article I published in 2015 when I was hell-bent on discovering detox fact from fiction. In doing so, I dissected vaults of scientific literature relating to bodily detoxification and came across an article claiming that the entire idea of a detox was a myth.
"Detoxing—the idea that you can flush your system of impurities and leave your organs squeaky clean and raring to go—is a scam," the author Dara Mohammadi wrote. "It's a pseudo-medical concept designed to sell you things."
Her simplified assessment of detoxing stumped me. It failed to mention any of the scientific research supporting the use of properties such as spirulina and milk thistle extract, which, many researchers argue, aid the body while naturally cleansing organs.
"Proponents will tell you that mischievous plaques of impacted poo can lurk in your colon for months or years and pump disease-causing toxins back into your system," she went on to say. "Pay them a small fee, though, and they'll insert a hose up your bottom and wash them all away."
This got me thinking. Physicians often use rectal suppositories to rapidly administer drugs into the bloodstream. Which poses the question: If our body is able to soak up drugs from rectal suppositories, wouldn't our bodies be able to soak up toxins from crappy foods coursing through our intestines in the form of fecal matter?
The colon is equipped with myriad natural mechanisms that work to mitigate toxins such as natural bacteria and mucus membranes, leading many to believe that substances such as chlorella and milk thistle extract or enema use is unnecessary.
But in our modern world, who doesn't ingest any chemicals, pesticides, artificial colors, dyes, or overly chlorinated water or partake in occasional bouts of gluttony or drinking, all of which impede said "natural mechanisms" working to keep toxins at bay? My answer is simple. Why not err on the side of caution and use supportive measures to keep your body running and feeling well?
Some natural detox products don't "detox" the gut directly, but they do activate specific reflexes in the gut that cause the nervous system to relax and stimulate bile production by the liver, which causes a laxative effect. And, come on—the desired end of any gut detox is a poop and that glorious "after" feeling, right?