We humans are an arrogant bunch. For some odd reason we think we can improve God’s/Nature’s/Evolution’s (depending on your beliefs) designs, which have been under development and constant improvement for millions of years.
One of the latest examples of our arrogance is the very trendy concept of a cleanse or detox. I just took a quick look on Amazon and there are 10,577 results when you search the word “detox” in the book category.
- 21 day sugar detoxes
- 10 day detoxes
- 3 day rapid weight loss detoxes
- Everyday detoxes
- Beauty detoxes
- No excuses detoxes
- Healing detoxes
. . . you get the idea.
The concept is that we ingest a lot of toxins and our environment is polluted so we breathe a bunch of toxins as well. Oh, and our water sources contain toxins as do our household cleaners, so when we shower and clean up we absorb toxins through our skin.
Seems to make sense. It’s a wonder any of us are still alive!
But Wait . . .
Let’s think about this a little more. Maybe we should start by trying to define what these “toxins” are that we are trying to expel from our bodies with all the “miracle detox” diets.
“To be frank, I don’t think ‘toxin’ means anything,” says Professor Tom Brenna, who studies biomedicine and nutrition at Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology. “It’s one of those words that seems like it means something but in actuality means nothing. I don’t know what toxins people would sweat out, and I really don’t know what a detox diet is.” [Go here for full discussion]
Uh-oh! We are in serious trouble right out of the gate. A leading expert in the field is basically saying we’re chasing a ghost.
The best experts seem to be able to do in defining “toxin” is to say that it is roughly equal to a “poison,” which sounds about right to a layperson.
Dr. Brenna goes on to point out that in biology “the dose makes the poison.” So, arsenic and carbon monoxide are toxic, but Brenna points out that so is water if you drink a couple of gallons fast enough.
In other words, almost anything can be a poison/toxin in the right dose. I’ll bet if you ate enough broccoli even that would be toxic.
OK, so let’s just go with the “poison” definition of toxins and assume that we somehow manage to introduce some of these poisons into our bodies by eating mercury laden fish, or working in an asbestos factory, or drinking a diet soda.
And, let’s further assume that we unwisely choose to continue voluntarily introducing toxins into our bodies (mainly by eating and drinking) over a period of weeks, months or years and the toxins begin to accumulate in our tissues.
Clearly, since toxins = poisons we need to get them out of our bodies ASAP, and that’s where the whole “detox” concept seems to make sense.
But let’s revisit my initial statement about human arrogance. I have done intensive, high-level, very scientific and thorough research (I Googled for about 30 minutes), and I have discovered the absolute best detox program for seniors and everyone else too.
The Anticipation Grows . . .
So, what is my discovery? What is this miraculous detox system that trumps all the others? The system is made up of three components:
- The human liver
- The human kidneys, and
- The human lungs
That’s right. Mother Nature in her wisdom, and knowing we would eventually pollute our environment, supplied us with the most sophisticated toxin filtering system ever known.
Thinking we are going to improve on this natural system which has been evolving and improving for millions of years with some 10-Day Miracle Detox is, well, arrogant.
One final thought on the subject of toxins.
Maybe we would be wiser UpGraded Seniors if we quit making our natural detox systems work overtime, nights and weekends trying to cope with all the toxins we are voluntarily introducing into our bodies in the form of Frankenfoods and beverages created in a chemistry lab (sometimes called a food science lab), and let the world’s most sophisticated detox system – our liver, kidneys and lungs – deal with the toxins that somehow get past security and gain entry into our bodies. Just a thought.
My humble written discussion may have been semi-boring (I hope not) so to make things more entertaining here’s a funny, entertaining and informative video about detoxing which was the inspiration for this rant.