Fact or fiction: You need to detox

You need to detox to clear toxins from your body – we hear it every January after the excesses of the festive season.

It sounds quite attractive to 'cleanse' the body after a period of over-indulging. Nutritionist Elizabeth Stewart explains:

"Our bodies constantly filter out, break down and excrete toxins and waste products. These can include alcohol, medications, products of metabolism and digestion, dead cells, chemicals from pollution and bacteria. This is done by our body's in-built 'detoxifiers' – the liver, kidneys, skin, intestines and lungs. All these toxins are excreted by the body within hours of being consumed, in the form of faeces, urine and sweat. There is no scientific evidence that a detox diet helps rid the body of toxins any faster."

The bottom line: Myth

The body is designed to be 'self-cleansing'. If you've been eating a lot of junk food and drinking a lot, you probably will feel better if you cut these things out of your diet. But if you're a normal, healthy eater, all a detox will do is unnecessarily deprive you of foods you probably enjoy.

First published: Apr 2007

Ready to put your health first?
Subscribe here


Thanks, you're good to go!


Thanks, you're good to go!


{{ contentNotIncluded('company') }} has not subscribed to {{ contentNotIncluded('contentType') }}.

Ask your librarian to subscribe to this service next year. Alternatively, use a home network and buy a digital subscription—just $1/week...

Go back