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Cleansing the skepticism surrounding detoxification diets

Monday, January 23, 2012 by: Paula Rothstein
Tags: detoxification, diets, skeptics

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(NaturalNews) A recent article published in The Science of Biology espouses the anti-detoxification views of Professor David Bender, professor emeritus of nutritional biochemistry at University College London. In his article, titled The Detox Delusion, Professor Bender claims that detoxification is a "meaningless marketing term," even potentially dangerous to your health and unnecessary as a dieting tool. He further states, "I am not sure what 'self-healing' is and the idea of 'raised energy levels' is nonsense."

For many in the mainstream medical and scientific community, it is not pharmaceutical drugs (killing approximately 100,000 each year), or pollutants found in our food, air and water that are dangerous. It is not the unstudied synergistic effect of the millions of tons of toxic waste released each year, creating a veritable toxic soup from which we breathe that may be dangerous to human health. Rather it is detoxification itself that poses a threat.

This community of "thinkers," who largely agree with Bender, believe the body incapable of self-healing (i.e. every symptom must be suppressed rather than expressed). They obviously see that chemicals and pharmaceuticals can be useful in manipulating symptoms; however, they fail to appreciate the merit and influence of eliminating harmful chemicals from the body through detoxification. In short, they want it both ways.

Is detoxification a fanciful notion?

To consider the skepticism which often surrounds detoxification, one must start with two specific questions: Is it possible to rid the body of harmful chemicals via detoxification; and, if so, is it necessary? Natural health advocates answer "yes" to both questions while conventional science and medicine generally say "no".

Setting aside the idea - which to some degree may be accurate - that every diet is based on some form of marketing scheme, the blanket claim that detoxification is completely unnecessary and even dangerous is absurd. Simply because it is possible that a person could harm him or herself when engaged in, let's say, a severe diet or fast does not mean detoxification is dangerous.

Detoxification is a critical part of any weight loss plan

Toxins have the ability to interfere with our metabolism in a number of ways. They overburden our liver and kidney's detoxification system, promote insulin resistance, activate the stress response, interfere with thyroid function and increase inflammation - all leading to obesity. It is naive to believe our body is capable of naturally detoxifying from the numerous stressors encountered in any given day.

The reason someone cannot lose weight is complicated. Dr. Mark Hyman writes in his book The UltraSimple Diet, "Obesity and weight problems are not always related to what we eat or how much we exercise. New research points to the role that environmental toxins play in causing weight gain and preventing weight loss."

For example, engaging in a diet for weight loss, in conjunction with a sound detoxification program, can be a most effective approach. We know that certain toxins and neurotoxic materials are stored in fat cells to protect the body from their toxicity. The body keeps these toxins from entering the bloodstream by creating a protective shield to act as their home until they can be processed by the liver.

Toxins are a fairly new concept to the human experience

We are just beginning to unearth the myriad mechanisms which can go awry when the body is overburdened with these mind and body-damaging poisons. Contrary to the many skeptics of detoxification, like Professor Bender, an emerging body of scientific evidence suggests detox diets can markedly improve the body's ability to cope in an environment fraught with an ever-increasing exposure to toxins.

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About the author:
Paula Rothstein is a freelance writer and certified holistic health coach active in the area of natural health and health freedom advocacy. As a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, she has gained insight into the political nature of food, the failings of a drug-dependent healthcare system, and the uniqueness of individual health. For more information, please visit: http://www.twincitieshealthcoaching.com.

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