Detox – a waste of money

A report by Voice of Young Science dismisses ‘detox myth’ saying detox remedies are a waste of money. Detox has no meaning outside of the clinical treatment for drug addiction or poisoning.

Today young scientists and engineers are publishing a dossier on their hunt for the evidence behind detox claims made for products and diets, and beginning a campaign to alert the public.

They found:

– No two companies seem to use the same definition of ?detox’.

– Little, and in most cases no, evidence was offered to back up the detox claims.

– In the majority of cases, producers and retailers contacted by the young scientists were forced to admit that they are renaming mundane things, like cleaning or brushing, as ?detox’.

– They range in price from ?1-2 for a detox drink to ?36.95 for detox bath accessories.

The dossier shows that, while companies and individuals now use the claim ?detox’ to promote everything from foot patches to hair straighteners, they are unable to provide reliable evidence or consistent explanations of what the ?detox’ process is supposed to be.

The investigation has been conducted by the Voice of Young Science (VoYS) network of over 300 early career researchers. It follows the publication of There Goes The Science Bit… with the charity Sense About Science a year ago, when a group of young scientists exposed dodgy science claims by making phone calls to product manufacturers. After widespread publicity for the publication, they received many subsequent examples, where the word ?detox’ came up repeatedly, and offers of help. This led to a rapidly growing network of evidence hunters and this new investigation.

Today, as the dossier is published, many of the scientists involved – including physiologists, biochemists, doctors and pharmacists – will be launching their own ?detox’ leaflet, Debunking Detox, to the public outside high street retailers in central London. The leaflet promotes the liver and kidneys as a fantastic ?detox’ system and explains why there is no need to spend money on expensive products and treatments.

Source: Sense About Science, UK

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