Please forgive the slight inconvenience in creating a new account. Due to juvenile delinquents spamming garbage to the site, we had to install a "Captcha", which can differentiate a spam bot from a human. Once you open your account, confirm it by returning the email, and identifying yourself, we will give you edit privileges. Just request them by leaving a message at click here.
Detoxification (detox for short) is the physiological or medicinal removal of toxic substances from a living organism, including, but not limited to, the human body and additionally can refer to the period of withdrawal during which an organism returns to homeostasis after long-term use of an addictive substance. In conventional medicine, detoxification can be achieved by decontamination of poison ingestion and the use of antidotes as well as techniques such as dialysis and (in a very limited number of cases) chelation therapy.
Many alternative medicine practitioners promote various other types of detoxification such as "diet detoxification," but there is little evidence that detox diets have any health benefits. Furthermore, Sense About Science, a UK-based charitable trust determined that most commercial products' "detox" claims lack any supporting evidence and can be considered a "waste of money".
An animal's metabolism can produce harmful substances which it can then make less toxic through reduction, oxidation (collectively known as redox reactions), conjugation and excretion of molecules from cells or tissues. This is called xenobiotic metabolism. Enzymes that are important in detoxification metabolism include cytochrome P450 oxidases, UDP-glucuronosyltransferases, and glutathione S-transferases. These processes are particularly well-studied as part of drug metabolism, as they influence the pharmacokinetics of a drug in the body.
Certain approaches in alternative medicine claim to remove "toxins" from the body through herbal, electrical or electromagnetic treatments (such as the Aqua Detox treatment). These toxins are undefined and have no scientific basis, making the validity of such techniques questionable. There is no evidence for toxic accumulation in these cases, as the liver and kidneys automatically detoxify and excrete many toxic materials including metabolic wastes. Under this theory if toxins are too rapidly released without being safely eliminated (such as burning fat that stores toxins) they can damage the body and cause malaise. Therapies include contrast showers, detoxification foot pads, oil pulling, Gerson therapy, snake-stones, body cleansing, Scientology's Purification Rundown, water fasting, and metabolic therapy.
- Chelation therapy (Heavy metal detoxification)
- Colon cleansing
- Mayo Clinic Website
- Scientists dismiss detox schemes
- No proof so-called detox products work: scientists
- Danielson P (2002). "The cytochrome P450 superfamily: biochemistry, evolution and drug metabolism in humans". Curr Drug Metab 3 (6): 561–97. doi:10.2174/1389200023337054. PMID 12369887.
- King C, Rios G, Green M, Tephly T (2000). "UDP-glucuronosyltransferases". Curr Drug Metab 1 (2): 143–61. doi:10.2174/1389200003339171. PMID 11465080.
- Sheehan D, Meade G, Foley V, Dowd C (2001). "Structure, function and evolution of glutathione transferases: implications for classification of non-mammalian members of an ancient enzyme superfamily". Biochem J 360 (Pt 1): 1–16. doi:10.1042/0264-6021:3600001. PMID 11695986.
- Metabolic Therapy