Detoxing is becoming popular even in athletes. Hence the interest in this subject on this site is logical. The answers you get here, from real experts, cannot be clearer. So if you are in doubt if you should do some detoxing please read this article first. Also in Thailand detoxifying is big business.

On the influence of nutrition on our health.

Detox. Juice courses. Detoxification. Cleansing enemas. You probably know someone who does it. Or you may be someone who does it himself.


It is a popular activity which assumes various forms, but often comes down to the frequent consumption of liquid vegetables such as spinach or carrots. Or drinking boiled water with things like ginger and red beetroots.

Rens Kroes, sister of the world famous supermodel Doutzen Kroes, writes books and fills her instagram with information about detoxing, TV Doctor Oz well known of the Oprah Winfrey show promotes detoxing  in his empire, and where previously  a Senseo coffee adorned the kitchen counter it is now a juice centrifuge. The idea behind detoxing is that the body can get rid of poisons that daily  enter the body and are stored there with the help of certain foods of all kinds.

Intestines do not have to be clean and empty.

The professor of clinical nutrition and former gastroenterologist and hepatologist at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam,  Lisbeth Mathus-Vliegen.

Is that right?

Lisbeth Mathus-Vliegen is near to anger as the term falls. “Detoxing is really a scam”

Ask a gastroenterologist and hepatologist and the answer is: it is an invention of clever businessmen who want to earn a lot of money with total nonsense. No more than that. The body itself takes care of detoxification. The professor of clinical nutrition and  gastro-enterologist and hepatologist at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam cannot emphasize it strongly enough.

Doutzen Kroes                Her sister Rens Kroes                  Oprah Winfrey                   Modern juicer

The liver is our main detoxification organ. “Unsafe and toxic substances that we ingest through food or medication, are converted in the liver to other substances that are discharged through the bile ducts and intestines,” says Mathus-Vliegen.

The kidneys are in second place when it comes to detoxification. There are not many scientific studies about detoxing regimens and diets. Those kidneys are indeed quite often ignored by the detoxing industry, as most treatments focus on the intestines, but that aside. “Detoxing methods are often based on  juice cures, fasting and laxatives”  Mathus-Vliegen says. ‘In this way they think to get grip on our intestines from the idea that excrement accumulates in the course of time and which accumulation can only be removed on rigorous manners.’

Actually it is a very old tradition that smart people have given a modern twist. Detoxification dates from the time we use bloodletting, suckers and leeches as active therapeutic methods.

The first revival of the trend dates back to the seventies, when detoxification was used as a tout in the Western, big-bellied world under the name ‘detox’. The pleas ranged from eating fiber rich food to fasting and more aggressive methods like cleaning enemas.

Drinking green juices or a day of fasting is certainly not bad for the body, but you will not get “clean”.

Intestines do not have to be clean and empty, the professor explains. “All the undigested food is a feast for our intestinal bacteria. Giving us as gratefully something in return, such as butyric acid which provides the intestinal lining of food and ensures that the cell division of the intestinal wall does not go awry. Or B vitamins, folic acid and vitamin K.”

Drinking green juices or a day of fasting is certainly not bad for the body, but “clean” you will not become. You would refurbish the cleaning of the intestines, is anyway a big misconception, says Mathus-Vliegen. “Think of patients who require an empty gut for a colonoscopy and have to prepare for it with clear drinks and laxatives. Those patients are not at all thankful and find the preparation often worse than the investigation itself.”

There are not many scientific studies on detox diets and cures. What exists, professor of cardiology and practitioner of obesity at Macquarie University in Sydney, Hosen Kiat, last year examined in a retrospective study in the British Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics. Thre was no evidence that a real detoxifying diet exists. However, he found examples of diets that were fairly disastrous, like that of the man who died of an overdose of water in an attempt to purify the body.

 Also read Article 87 b, about Water Intoxication