Detox remedies are ‘a con’, says scientists

Many so-called 'detox' products are a waste of money

Before you begin starving yourself and loading up with potions for the annual New Year detox, think twice, after scientists claim many detox remedies are a con.

New evidence shows that many products on the shelf that promise to ‘detox’ the body are often misleading, or simply not true.

The charity Sense About Science has gathered together information on 15 products including drinks, patches, diet supplements and even a ‘detox brush’, saying the items are conning consumers into believing they cleanse our bodies, when our systems are capable of recovering from overindulgence on their own.

‘The multimillion pound detox industry sells products with little evidence to support their use. These products trade on claims about the body which are often wrong,’ says the charity’s leaflet.

One such product blackmarked by the charity is Boot’s ‘detox brush’ which scientists say simply cleans the skin. The company states the wonder product will ‘brush away impurities’ and ‘stimulate the lymphatic system to help remove impurities and toxins from your skin’.

Another product, the Crystal Spring Detox patch, intended to be stuck to the soles of feet, was another such ‘detox’ remedy slammed by scientists, as well as the Farmacia spa therapy detox pad, which apparently ‘harnesses powerful natural ingredients, including tree sap and uses the principles of foot reflexology to rid your body of these damaging toxins’.

Most of the 15 products tested showed that although they promised to ‘detox’ the body (ie. remove toxic substances or qualities), in the majority of cases retailers were forced to admit they had just renamed processes like cleaning or brushing, as detox, said the scientists.

Advice from Sense About Science for those feeling the bulge after Christmas excess was to eat healthily and get plenty of sleep.

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