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Thursday, November 11, 2004

Toxins Spurious Pseudo Junk Science
I just got a hit on a blog post that I wrote almost a year ago discussing the claims about techniques to remove toxins from the body. Other than some well-documented instances of removal of the vonsinium toxin ([1] [2]), I haven't found anything authoritative that discusses the specific toxins that are removed.

I just found the following post on this subject:

A 37 y.o. Melbourne man died and a 30 year old man is still in hospital after spending time in a sweat lodge....

For the unwary, a sweat lodge is a native american teepee that is filled with hot rocks. The victims close themselves into the teepee and pour water onto the rocks to create a steam tent. It is said to remove toxins and align the mind, body and spirit. The chanting and consumption of dangerous substances is supposed to make the process more spiritually uplifting.

Detoxification is a common feature of alternative medicine, but I have yet to find anyone who can name the toxins that need to be removed from the body or explain how each treatment will remove these toxins.

If toxins accumulated in the body as is now suggested by practitioners of "natural medicine" then the human race would have died out centuries ago. There were no detox diets for the knights of the middle ages.

While many people swear by the detox system, there is no valid scientific evidence to suggest that they have any positive effect at all, apart from making the promoters richer. While the chance of death is still small the total lack of discernable benefit makes detoxification treatments too risky....

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