The term “detox” has been exploited as a way to sell diet programs. But is there some truth to it? Do we need to “detox”? The answer is, as I typically say with nutrition… that it depends.
Detoxification, or the process of removing toxic substances, is an integral part of body functioning. Our cells, organs, and body systems are constantly clearing toxins to allow our cells to function. Toxins are not just drugs, alcohol, and external factors. Our body produces its own toxins as byproducts of normal metabolic reactions – this may be partially why we have “detox organs” (like the kidney and liver) in the first place.
The short answer to this is no. But we do live in a world with more micro-exposures to toxins than humans have ever been before. The abundance of manmade “forever chemicals” like additives, pesticides, plastics, and medications continues to increase. Some individuals are more frequently exposed to or are around larger amounts of these toxins (ex. a car mechanic or a farmer) and others might be genetically less efficient at clearing toxins.
I like to think of our ability to clear out toxins as a bucket with a drain at the bottom. People exposed to larger amounts of toxins might be overflowing the bucket, while those who don’t detox as well, have a very small drain. These are examples of people who might need some “detox support”, which simply means they need some help opening up and supporting their natural pathways for detoxification.
Ultimately, most of the time when we hear the term “detox,” we can expect a scam… detoxing does not mean a juice cleanse, skinny tea, or fad diet. Understanding how we can minimize toxin exposure and support our body in clearing toxins is real.
If you believe that your detoxification pathways might be a little “sluggish,” start by implementing some of the above practices and reach out to a functional practitioner, who can support you!
Morgan Goodstadt, MS, RD, CDN, LDN, IFNCP
Registered Dietitian, Master’s in Clinical Nutrition, Certified Integrative and Functional Nutritionist and Health Coach. Morgan combines her expertise in nutrition with evidenced-based functional medicine and experience in human behavior to help her clients improve their health, relationship with food, and overall wellbeing. Her philosophy aims to achieve balance in both the diet and other areas of life.
The term “detox” has been exploited as a way to sell diet programs. But is there some truth to it? Do we need to “detox”? The answer, as I typically say with nutrition, is that it depends.