March 12 2012

Dear Mark: Are Detoxes and Cleanses Safe and Effective?

By Mark Sisson
119 Comments

Today’s edition of Dear Mark poses and then attempts to answer a question many have pondered: do detox and cleansing diets really work? More specifically, do the “more friendly” types of cleanses work, as opposed to the colon-blasting gut-rending methods? Several years back, I wrote a piece on the latter type of cleanse, and I wasn’t very kind. For all the claims of ropy mucoid plaque bogging down the colon of apparently every American (at least the ones who eat meat), I wasn’t convinced, and the evidence simply wasn’t there. I still maintain my stance, but a recent question from a reader drew my attention to kindler, gentler cleansing and detoxifying diets, the kind that you might see on Dr. Oz or in the cupboard of your vegan buddy.

Do these have any merit? Let’s look into it:

Hi Mark!

I was wondering what your take is on cleanses – I realize you have already done a post on this – kinda, but I’m talking about the nicer cleanses (if there is such thing).

Before discovering the Primal way of life I bought a cleansing kit, no, not the horrid lemon detox diet or anything like that. It’s called the “Ultimate Cleanse,” and it requires one to eat only vegetables, fruit and raw dairy for 10 days, in addition to taking the herbs and supplements provided.

I would like to do it, not only because it was expensive, but also just to see how I feel after. Although I don’t like the idea of giving up my fats and proteins as I have grown accustomed to, that have been giving me long lasting energy, and making me feel GREAT – a whole lot better than eating a heap of fruit anyway! More importantly, I don’t want to undo all the good work that I’ve done since eating Primally.

I thought you could maybe do a post on the more friendly type of cleanses (if they exist), and whether it is worth doing, or whether they do more harm than good.

It would be great to know your thoughts!

Thanks,

Debbie

I looked up the “Ultimate Cleanse” and found this, a product by Nature’s Secret. It has a “two-part system” of detoxification, with a proprietary blend of herbal extracts, and then cleansing, with a proprietary blend of plant fibers. The ingredient list for the detox blend is listed here. I randomly chose a few of the listed herbs, spent a few minutes in Pubmed looking for supportive literature, and sure enough, found some. It wasn’t definitive, and it wasn’t necessarily in vivo, and the results may not be applicable to humans or your specific situation (or even your colon), but Nature’s Secret clearly didn’t pull these names randomly out of a hat. There’s “something” to them. But the thing is: you probably could randomly assemble a list of herbs off the top of your head, punch them into Pubmed, and find evidence that each and every one of them has a medicinal quality of some sort. Some may be “hepatoprotective” or “hepatocurative,” some may be “anticarcinogenic” or “apoptosis inhibitors,” and many if not most will have antioxidant properties. The point is that herbs have physiological effects. They all “do something,” which is why they’ve been used for tens of thousands of years in folk medicine (there’s evidence that Neanderthals utilized medicinal herbs). Many modern pharmaceuticals are even derived from, or informed by, medicinal plants.

The big problem with all these detox diets and programs is that little to no scientific evidence for their efficacy exists. The herbs that make up the blends may have some evidence behind them, but beyond anecdotal reports from online forums or real-life acquaintances, there’s nothing to evaluate about the blends themselves. I couldn’t find a cleanse promoter with a section of their website containing clinical research, for example. Anecdotes are certainly interesting, and if I hear enough from people I know and trust, they can even be persuasive. I’m not writing them off outright, but when no concrete mechanisms beyond Pubmed abstracts that consumers must dig up themselves are proposed, there is little to discuss – and that makes it harder to criticize.

Without digging up the ingredients of all the myriad cleansing and detox protocols out there, here’s my general take. Even if these herbal detox diet/cleansing blends work (and there’s no hard evidence that they do), the effects aren’t permanent. Sure, you could do a darn thorough job of cleaning your house every couple months, but if you don’t address the core reasons for the accumulation of clutter, you won’t have solved the problem. The house will get dirty again, the toxins will bioaccumulate again, and you’ll have to cleanse it again. You can’t take these blends forever. I mean, I suppose you could, but who would want to?

So, how do we address the core reasons for the accumulation of toxins?

Well, any discussion of detoxification is incomplete without mentioning the body’s natural, endogenous methods of removing, nullifying, and processing deleterious compounds. Indeed, the liver and the kidneys are our “natural detox units,” literally crafted over millions of years to be stalwart expungers of harmful metabolic byproducts and exogenous toxins. The liver prevents pathogens from passing into the bloodstream, detoxifies environmental toxins, and processes excess nitrogen left over from the breakdown of protein. The kidneys sift through blood and filter out extra water, urea (a toxic metabolic byproduct of protein catabolism), and other wastes, which exit the body in the urine. This is how every able man, woman, and child detoxifies and cleanses. We all come equipped with this rather effective equipment.

The most surefire way, then, to avoid inundating our bodies with unhealthy compounds is to support the function of our livers and kidneys, whether by eating foods that contain supportive compounds or avoiding foods that contain stressful compounds. That’s easy enough, and it doesn’t take a bunch of detoxifying herbal blends (and no enemas).

For liver health, avoid omega-6 polyunsaturated oils in particular, and limit polyunsaturated fats in general, getting them only from fish, eggs, animals, and nuts. Don’t eat refined sugar. Don’t drink too much alcohol, and when you do, eat some saturated fat with it and really minimize your polyunsaturated fat intake the day of.

For liver health, eat egg yolks often and try some liver once in awhile. Both are the richest sources of choline, which our livers require to process fats. We can also make choline from methionine, an amino acid found in animal products, but it’s best to get plenty of both. Primal eaters, be aware: our choline requirements go up the more fat we eat.

Kidney health appears to be adversely affected by fructose intake when compared to glucose. And kidney failure seems to be preceded by the onset of metabolic syndrome, which, as we all know, has its roots in many of the same things that lead to fatty liver.

Funnily enough, the reason why, in my opinion, many of these cleansing diets could actually be beneficial in a roundabout way is because of what they eliminate. It’s not that the lemon juice, cayenne pepper, grade-B maple syrup, and distilled water are cleansing and detoxifying you; it’s that you’re no longer (over)eating the foods fried in polyunsaturated fats, the fructose-laden candy and soda, the nightly six pack of watery ethanol. All those foods, in the long term, actively conspire against the health of your liver and kidneys, the omega-6 fats, sugar, and alcohol by contributing toward fatty liver (which obviously impairs liver function), metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes (which impairs kidney function).

It’s pretty simple, in the end. As a society, our natural detoxification systems are overburdened with terrible food and a lack of supportive micronutrients. Detox gurus can talk about all the environmental toxins circulating through the air and being absorbed transdermally, but the biggest threat (and easiest target) is the stuff that we willingly put into our mouths, chew up, and swallow. If you really want to give yourself a chance at natural detoxification, eliminate the awful food that’s fouling up the process and start eating some nutritious Primal fare that supports liver and kidney function.

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119 thoughts on “Dear Mark: Are Detoxes and Cleanses Safe and Effective?”

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  1. It seems that lots of folks want an instant fix that requires little effort or accountability.

    1. Dumb comment. Most of the people cleansing are the same people eating healthy diets, or what they believe to be healthy diets.

      1. R, I respect your opinion. Could you elaborate? You’re saying they’re just misinformed? If so, what makes my comment dumb?

  2. For liver support, does anyone think supplementing with milk thistle is a good idea?

    1. I have supplemented with milk thistle seed powder for some time. I can’t say for certain that it is supporting my liver, but I have noticed that my sleep is much deeper and more healthful – maybe there is a connection ??!!

      1. Milk thistle contains a high amount of magnesium. I too have noticed that when I take a magnesium supplement before bedtime that I sleep like a stone.

    2. milk thistle helps replenish the glutathione oxidase system in the liver, and promotes liver regeneration. one of the nice things about it is that its constituents enter the entero-hepatic loop, so you get more bang for the buck.

    3. I looked into liver health when my mother got diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver and then cirrhosis.
      Forget supplements. If you stick with Mark’s advice you should be right – AVOID alcohol, PUFA, and sugar, EAT ruminant liver once a week or three egg yolks everyday (or both).
      For those that don’t like liver – cut it into swallowable pieces and freeze so you can throw it down without chewing.

      1. I can’t stand the taste of liver but I have found a way to eat it. I find that if I move it to the side of my mouth to chew, and make sure it doesn’t touch my tongue, then I have no problem with it at all.

      2. Does it have to be ruminant liver? What about chicken liver, which I find so much more palatable (especially when made into a pate)?

  3. What about those green juice cleanses. Like drinking freshly made green vegetable juice for X number of days? or even just having a green juice per day as a supplement? not the sweet fruit ones, maybe a green apple in there for flavor rest are veg.

    1. I sold my juicer at a discount to a friend after a few months of use. You’re better off just using a blender to make those fruits and veggies into a smoothie. That way you get the juice along with some healthy veggie fiber. Juicing separates the juice from the fiber so it’s like shotgunning sugar and starch into your body. Best to keep those carbs in their complex form to avoid huge insulin spikes.

      1. Plus it’ s a pain in the a** assembling, disassembling, and cleaning a juicer every day…

      2. It depends on whats your goal with juicing. I am a ulcerative colitis patient and not interested in too much of fiber so would prefer juice without fiber. I am planning to buy Omega J8004 juicer. Which one you had?

        1. I use the Omega Vert juicer, and love it. (Omega Verts do very well when juicing leafy greens.)

          I did an 8-day juice fast/cleanse a few months ago, and had huge improvements in energy levels and PCOS issues. I didn’t lose any weight (I juiced too many fruits…) but I wasn’t juicing to lose weight.

          Since then, some of the symptoms that went away after juicing have started to creep back. So I’m now adding in a green juice once a day to see if that will get me back on track. If after a while it doesn’t I’ll juice again for a few days, see if that helps.

          Why do I juice instead of blend, it’s an easy way to get all the nutrients out of your vegis, and I don’t like chewing my juice or drinking pulp (to each his own). My juice recipe for today? 1 green pepper, 1 med-bunch of parsley, 200 grams of Spinach, a head of read leafed lettuce, 1/2 green apple, 1/2 of a lemon, 1/3 hot pepper.

  4. I gave Colon Blow a try a few years back and it left me clean as a whistle.

      1. I have a friend who did the Super Colon Blow, he made the mistake of taking it before he went kite surfing on Lake Erie and he wound up getting blown clear over to the opposite side of the lake.

    1. Castor oil will do the trick pretty well also and is probably a lot cheaper.

  5. I wonder whether it’s an emotionally/spiritually cathartic ritual that people are looking for rather than a physiological cleansing process. If so, just ditching junk and grains isn’t going to cut it — not dramatic or punishing enough. I believe that is the reason many popular diets have “phases” that prescribe precise amounts of particular magical foods instead of just having people eat well from day 1.

  6. It’s a funny thing being human. We’re animals, we’re part of the ecology yet we we’re bestowed with this adolescent notion that “we know better”. Our subsequent tinkering has led us away from health and happiness and at the same time given way to inconcievable advances. What’s goin on momma nature?!

  7. Be wary of any detox or blend of supplements that will unnaturally spike your intake of vitamins and nutrients! There is such thing as too much of a good thing (hypervitaminosis, anyone?).

    And, of course, check the ingredients. Sugar goes by many names.

  8. In the early days when I was trying to regain my health I tried countless detox programs and kits. I never felt great afterwards. They never seemed to help at all. In the end they certainly may have made a move towards a healthier liver or kidney but ultimately what I have found over the years is that a supremely clean diet is the best detox there is.

    Nature built us well. Eat the foods she gives us and only the foods she gives us, in reasonable, natural amounts, and detox comes naturally.

    1. I completely agree.
      I used to take Ultimate Cleanse ALL the time because I had chronic constipation. All this product did was eventually gave me a bowel movement (about a weeks in taking it)…I also noticed my veins shrinking and limbs always being cold.

      Compared to the primal diet, this ultimate cleanse has NOTHING…it does NOT detox at all. It just moved the bowels (and perhaps only for me). Since I continued to eat like crap (SAD at its finest) there was no detox being achieved at all.

      This product just ended up stressing my system even more than it already was and I eventually came down with rheumatoid arthritis.

      All my ailments have disappeared with the paleo/primal/preditor diet.

  9. Mark,

    I think this is good advice for people that are generally in good health. However, there are a lot of people out there whose systems are in really bad shape. Their normal detox pathways are blocked up or dysfunctional. They may have undigested food from gluten problems that end up fermenting in the gut. They may have pathogens/parasites/bacteria. Sometimes the detox system becomes overwhelmed. Anyways, I think its not really fair to say that just avoiding toxins will do the trick if you are very ill or have lived on the “american diet” your whole life. These people can benefit greatly from targeted help with their detox systems.

    -Joe

    1. I agree with your comment. For those of us who have been very ill for a long time, sometimes a cleanse is exactly what we need. While I am not condoning the use of any particular commercial cleanse, I feel that the idea of giving one’s detoxifying organs a break is a useful one. Mark is correct in pointing out that it is often the foods that are omitted during a cleanse that give us a greater sense of well being. My version of a cleanse is consuming nothing but bone broth for a couple of days. It makes me feel great!

      1. Your detox organs do not need to take a “break” every once in a while. They are not muscles. Your heart and lungs do not need to take a “break” either. These organs and others perform their functions 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, for 80 years or more, without a single “break.”

        A cleanse is basically a fast. If a short period of fasting makes you feel good, then by all means go for it. But in no way does fasting give your liver and kidneys a “break.” That is just not how the body works.

    2. The colon is not a detox pathway. What do you think a “detox pathway” is exactly?

      If you’ve lived on the SAD all your life, committing to eating a clean, whole-foods diet will make you healthier.

      We aren’t ruminants – our digestive system does not ferment food.

      Anyone who has had a colonoscopy knows that there is not that much up in there. You drink that godawful laxative they give you and it completely empties you out.

      If someone really has a colon blockage, they would be doubled up in pain, and without medical intervention would be dead. A blockage would only come about in someone with a history of severe inflammatory conditions like diverticulitis/Crohns, and that person would definitely know they have an issue.

      1. Gina,

        You’re right, the colon is an elimination, not a detox pathway. It is however, along with the small intestine, loaded with both good and not so good bacteria. When starches are not properly broken down by pancreatic enzymes they ferment. When fats are not properly broken down by bile salts they rot. Hence gas and bloating, or hopefully the lack thereof
        .
        Sure, a consistently healthy diet is ideal. But for someone who is finally enjoying going to the bathroom everyday after only going once every two weeks or for another who has been migraine free for the past 7 days after years of suffering, an elimination/detox program can be the eye opener they need.

      2. Gina,
        There is increasing evidence that what is seen on a colonoscopy is misleading. What has long been thought of as the colon walls are actually impacted foodstuffs stuck along the colon walls. That impacted matter is unable to be flushed daily with a standard bowel movement; a cleanse would be more suitable.

        1. Nonsense.

          As stated in the article, the healthy human body is designed to cleanse itself. The “evidence” you’re talking about is hype generated by the manufacturers of so-called cleansing products. Those people are interested only in profit. It’s to their advantage if they can convince you that your body is “toxic” (which it more than like isn’t).

          A much better idea would be to save your money and optimize your overall health through appropriate diet and exercise. This website is a good place to start.

  10. I love this post because it really hits home the message that getting/staying healthy and healing yourself is really just, simple. Sometimes I get frustrated by the seemingly slow progress of some of my own minor health improvement goals (in this case, my acne), and perplexed by the fact that my skin is crappy now even after switching to a healthy diet, when for YEARS I ate the worst crap you could imagine EVERY DAY yet had milky white, smooth, perfect skin (even during puberty!). Now I realize that for all of those years of shitty eating, there was damage being done but it wasn’t until it reached a certain threshold of damage that it manifested into a symptom I could SEE. I’ve only been primal for about a year (and certainly have been FAR from perfect for most of it), and I’m sure it will take a bit of time to undo years and years of damage. But sometimes I still do get frustrated and hard on myself and want to give it a little “push”, but become so wrapped up in macronutrient paranoi/over-analyzing that it just creates stress (and stress eating, and a final surrendor that ends in cheating!). This post reminds me that as long as I’m not eating crap, I’m in pretty good shape.

    1. Hey Liz, I don’t know what’s your condition exactly, but I’ve been fighting acne for many years (accutane – 2 rounds, minocycline, anti-bio lotions..)
      After I’ve cut off milk products, sugar and processed products my situation turned much better, but I’ve made a fortunate mistake – bulking up on what I thought is “healthy carbs” (whole wheat, whole rice, oatmeal etc). Bulking up (wanted to gain weight for body-building) stressed my stomach, made me feel like crap and along everything else made my acne worse.

      Giving up wheat, sugar, milk and processed products and oils, eating plenty of veggies and healthy oils and meats, getting enough sun and/or vitamin D and Omega 3 all seem to work for me well (Tomorrow I’ll complete 2 months into this diet). While my skin isn’t perfect (still got some minor acne and scarring), I feel great and my skin shines.

      Hang in there and don’t lose hope.
      You’re not alone 🙂

      1. Thanks, Gillian 🙂 I have a feeling that for me, the vegetable oils are the biggest contributor, with sugar being next. I’ve noticed no difference in my skin when cutting out or increasing dairy, except for my skin was actually at its best when I was eating a ton of this amazing grass-fed yogurt made from non-homogenized milk from the farmer’s market (so I think another factor for me is definitely the balance of my gut flora… I know they play a fairly significant role in metabolizing/regulating certain female sex hormones… which might also be related to the fact that my jaw became clicky and prone to lock-jaw around the same time that my acne worsened, and when I mentioned this to my dentist he said that 8/10 people with this problem are young women, so he suspects it has something to do with hormones).

        1. That’s interesting, Liz. I’ve got clicky jaw aswell (it doesn’t lock, but my yawns make a fierce click sound). I’m a male, by the way. In regards to what KL wrote in the comment below this, I guess it has some truth in it – when I had repressed feelings in me I used to touch my skin a lot..

        2. That clicky jaw could be an indicator that something’s out of whack. Pick up a copy of Pete Egoscue’s book, “Pain Free.” He has some very good exercises that will get rid of it.

    2. Liz,
      on the body-mind connection side of things pimples/acne are associated with repressed anger. You could try some positive thinking/affirmations stuff, or not.
      Just offering a different field of view.
      have a great day.
      KL

  11. Those detox products are great for detoxing your wallet of pesky green rectangles.

  12. How about just eating healthy and throwing in a weekly 24 hour fast?

  13. Great post! It entirely makes sense that people feel better after a detox because of the processed foods their eliminating and the switch to whole foods for 10 or so days.

  14. Once I did a 2 day fruit detox, gained 3 pounds and felt weird and shaky for 2 days. A few years later I tried the “lemon juice detox” where you mix juice with cayenne and maple syrup. Three glasses in and I found myself throwing up in the bathroom. I couldn’t hold it down. No more so called”detox” for me. I’ll stick to primal. Never felt better.

  15. I always cringe when I hear the word ‘detox’. Firstly, because our body is equipped to efficiently get rid of waste anyhow! It’s one of those marketing words, that are vague and don’t really mean anything. It will probably ‘work’ (skin clarity, energy, bowel function) for someone who’se living off junk food, but for someone whose already eating healthy, its pointless, especially if it involves huge amounts of fiber and/or juice (aka sugar). If you want to ‘detox’, simply eat when you’re hungry; it will give your digestive system time to move things along, which is ‘detox’ in action. Great post, Mark!

  16. Great post Mark. I had liver the other day and couldnt sleep. Wonder why?

  17. The body stores toxins primary in it’s fat reserves, the body’s fat stores are living tissues with their own vascular system, so any WATER based detox program that does not address the body’s fat stores will be largely ineffective.

    Fats on the other hand can emulsify other fats, just like you use WD-40 to dissolve tar & gum on your car, and over time will “wash” fatty organs and structures via the natural process of (fat) cell, sterol & hormone interchange & replacement.

    Since primary organs are densely fatty and protein structures, the absolute best thing anyone can do to ensure their health is to eat lots of good, pure, high quality fats AND protein to make sure you’re providing your body the basic raw materials it needs for proper cellular and cell membrane structure, rebuilding and repair.

    More from the great Brian Peskin, Landmarks In Nutrition and Health.
    http://goo.gl/kzwBK

    Surprise #8 — Carbohydrates, not protein, are hard on the kidneys.
    High blood glucose levels place excessive stress on the kidneys. That
    is why diabetes is the single greatest cause of kidney failure in the U.S. “Protein is GOOD for KIDNEYS.”
    Reference: Basic Medical Biochemistry: A Clinical Approach, pg. 653. Dawn B. Marks, Allan D. Marks, Colleen M. Smith, Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, August, 1996, ISBN: 068305595X.

    1. Also remember that the liver and kidneys are self cleaning & self repairing FILTERS, NOT storage organs, they do not store toxins but instead dump toxins & wastes into the body’s urinary & excretory channels for disposal OUTSIDE the body. This is why animal liver & kidneys are safe to eat, and it’s the reason why regular intake of high quality fats & protein are absolutely essential, even critical to maintain the ability of these organs to clean & maintain themselves.

    2. Excuse my ignorance here but if the body stores toxins in it’s fat reserves what happens to the toxins when you go primal and begin to lose the weight?

      1. Sian, When the body goes into it’s mild ketotic state after using up all of it’s stored glycogen it begins using fats for energy, and in doing so some or all of any toxins that have been stored in the fat cells can be released back into circulation in your bloodstream & system and may provoke what is (not exactly appropriately) described as a ‘Herxheimer Reaction’, sometimes strong & intense, which may cause a wide range of temporary symptoms, such as hives, itching, swelling, headaches & flu like symptoms, fatigue, etc.

        This would usually only be true for a person that has had a large chronic exposure to chemicals & toxins, the average person who has already adopted a paleo style whole natural foods diet will already have slowly removed stored toxins from their body and may not have noticed any negative reactions from a GRADUAL change of diet.

        Some people however do report feeling sick or having other symptoms when attempting a sudden change to a healthier whole foods diet. It even happens when training the body to run on fats instead of glycogen from carbs, the body initially resists the change which is why it sometimes takes a week or more to adapt to running on fats for energy. Dr. Eads & other have written about the symptoms a person can feel while transitioning to fats, although they are usually mild people sometimes have a few problems switching to a paleo diet.

        Even Brian Peskin, whose work I greatly admire along with Mark’s, recommends taking an herbal detoxifier every day as step 5 of his cancer prevention program “to help minimize the effect of any carcinogens and harmful additives in foods.” http://goo.gl/xE5eL

        Considering the information about environmental toxins in this excellent video I just became aware of yesterday I think a daily detoxifier is probably a good idea. http://goo.gl/Puifq

  18. Exactly my point – if you’re not eating so much crap in the first place, you won’t need to ‘cleanse’. I cleaned up my diet and body with primal already…

  19. I think if you just avoid eating lead paint chips you’re 90% of the way to detox-ville.

  20. Several people mentioned Fasting- I agree that it is Nature’s cleansing method. A few weeks ago I felt congested and achey…no fever or anythng, but I hadnt felt “sick” in so long it really was a surprise. I didnt wake up with an appetite the next day, and that evening I just had some chicken (bone) broth, not much else. The lack of food helped clear out the clogged sinuses, and the next day I was able to rest and recover fully.

  21. Thanks for your post, Mark.

    As much as (frequently expensive) detoxes sound great to me, I’m always drawn back to the naturally detoxifying effects of whole, natural, organic foods to do that job on a daily basis.

    BTW, as I’m sure many of your other readers do, I have undenatured whey protein every morning.
    The cysteine-containing glutathione is also a great natural detoxifyer.

    Between it and the whole foods, I don’t think I could ask for more.

    Thanks again for the post, Mark

  22. Thanks Mark for responding to this question. I have been wondering for quite some time how acceptable a juice cleanse is in the primal lifestyle.

    If you take the herbal blend out of the equation: What do you think of a few days of no food/only green juices ? And by green juice I mean a fresh blend of organic spinach, kale etc.. with just 1 green apple or 1 carrot to make it more palatable?

    My concern is the Glycemic index of the juice: on one hand it is almost only veggies, on the other hand it is pure juice with no fibres and a fruit/carrot added to the mix…

    I know I should go for the fasting but, while working, a day or 2 on juice is easier than a day or 2 without food. Is it useless to try a juice cleanse if you cannot go for fasting yet?

  23. When I started trying to get healthy I did a bunch of different kinds of detoxes (in a box, nasty epsom salts oil and grapefruit juice liver cleanses, juice fasts, etc), and I never seemed to get much of a result… well except that I did poop more (TMI!!!), so I guess that was good to a degree…but no other apparent results.

    However, I decided to try doing fasting for Lent this year, and wow. This is like a real detox. Immediately, I have more energy, feel better, skin looks better. I started with intermittent juice fasting and that still didn’t do much, but just doing water fasting for a whole day makes a huge difference. I wish I had known back then that I didn’t need to buy those expensive concoctions of herbs, I just needed to stop eating for a little while!
    I do drink some herbal teas too, maybe that helps as well. At least, it helps keep my mind off food!

    Fasting so far is not nearly as hard as I thought it would be. But I’m making a conscious effort to eat plenty of protein fat and vegetables on the days that I do eat, instead of grains and apple juice cocktails. And it makes a big difference.

  24. I agree with the gyst of this article. I think society generally has wrong what real “toxins” plug us up. And you are spot on with the best way to not get “toxified” in the first place. For a lot of us however, we are pretty damn toxified in our current state. I did the Isagenix cleanse, lost 15 lbs, gained crazy energy, and used it as a catalyst to moving into the primal concept. I am far from following it perfectly, but much much much closer than I was pre cleanse. My main goal since has been cutting out processed carbs and sugars as much as possible, and man does it work. Of course the Isagenix cleanse was basically the same concept. It was a 9 day high protien, low sugar, make your body attack your fat diet, and mad did it work. I lost a decade of belly fat easy in 9 days, of course it sent me to the gym and I got a ton of exercise (but i am generally an active person who just recently got bogged down by bad health). The Isagenix was protien shakes for morning and dinner and a high protien lunch, with supplement snacks in between and surround by 2 days of fasting using this berry extract liquid to ease the hunger. Its basically everything that is in the Primal Blueprint, just cut down to a 9 day kickstart and utilizing protien powder for shakes. After doing this cleanse looking and feeling great, it was easy for me to motivate myself to go primal to keep feeling and looking this good. I wouldnt totally knock all cleanses, but I will say the painful ones probably do more harm than good, and agree with you that the biggest benefit is the crap processed sugars and carbs that you are not eating.

    You really have this stuff down, and more people need to understand how amazing they can actualyl feel from it.

  25. Great article, and something I’ve thought for a long time. If you nourish your body it will function gloriously!

  26. I agree, great article.

    I think a lot of people think about doing cleanses because they feel so bad. And they feel so bad because they are eating the wrong foods. Maybe not even what is considered crap, but sometimes just eating something they think is healthy like grains and not realizing how bad they can be for their system.

    Once you eat Paleo you don’t need to worry about any of this stuff. Another benefit to add to the list.

  27. I’ve been curious about this just recently. Although I do believe detoxification kits and cleanses are probably unhealthy and ineffective, I am sure there are healthy ways to detoxify, mainly through diet changes.

    An example of this would be cilantro, which I read about in a comment yesterday. I wouldn’t mind buying (or even growing) this healthy herb and liberally adding it to dishes.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19902160

  28. Isn’t a detox essentially a gentle fast? And there are definitely cleansing benefits to fasting, as I think you’ve talked about before.

  29. Thanks for clearing that up! Can’t say I have not been tempted, but just could never muster up the courage. I know many who cleanse often – and they are often the same people who eat the food you suggest need cleansing. I think I will stick to clean foods and let my body take care of the rest.

  30. Debbie – How much do you think you could get for it on eBay? Honestly, if you’re happy with how you eat, there is zero reason to mess with things, even if it means you wasted money. Try eBay; I’m convinced I could unload a bellybutton lint collection there.

  31. I’m about to go on the juicing fast. I made a test drink with carrots, celery, beets, lemon, apples, oranges but then put a huge chunk of ginger in it. I will remember not to do that next time haha.

    I think fasts are great to sort of reboot your body. Thanks for this post.

    Brad

  32. The Functional Medicine approach to biotransformation and elimination (detoxification) is as follows:

    An essential physiologic process that rids the body of xenobiotics (any foreign substance.)

    Balances the crucial phases of liver detoxification, known as phase I (biotransformation) and Phase II (conjugation). These must be in balance to properly excrete a harmful foreign compound.

    Balancing these phases requires essential nutrients such as riboflavin, Niacin, B12, BCAA’s, N-acetylcysteine, methionine, glycine and other amino acids.

    This process must be performed while removing other harmful foods from the diet (elimination diet) such as gluten, dairy, corn, soy and other allergenic foods.

    The introduction of a proper detoxification should be administered by a licensed health care practitioner who has knowledge of detox biochemestry.

    It is not a fad, it is a stradegy to facilitate the proper elimination of toxic compounds that have been proven to cause serious health issues.

  33. This is excellent post.
    I recently went to an Ayurvedic clinic to understand their version of detox.
    They had following procedure:
    Early morning medicated ghee (clarified butter) for few days. During this time eat just small amount of diluted rice when hungry. They stop it and do colon cleansing when skin becomes oily and have other symptoms.
    Though I am not a fan of colon cleansing but I liked their method of gentle fasting.

    1. Very smart, I like that. Butyrate, butyric acid in butter, is the single most important colon nutrient, it’s one of the main nutrients used by epithelial cells that line the last 3 feet of your colon, very important for cancer prevention and is why people that avoid eating fats have the highest rates of colon cancer.

      See beatcfsandfms dot org, Heal Your Gut

  34. Important topic! Most people aren’t really ready to do a proper detox anyway, as their systems are too out of wahck to handle toxins trying to leave – clear pathways are a must. In order to get ‘clean’ you gotta start by eating clean. Eating fermented foods along with a Primal/paleo style diet is a great way to begin detoxing your body – not to mention there is always intermittent fasting…….I personally, each season like to do a little house cleaning, so I focus on supporting my liver a bit more and reducing all sugars for a bit!

  35. My doctor (Osteopath and 2nd generation Korean herbalist, acupuncturist) recommended that I detoxify my liver by drinking hot tea made with organic apple cider (or lemon juice) and honey. It seemed to work. My body found several gentle yet effective ways of cleansing itself with the help of that tea. My energy level and state of mind improved.

  36. I’m curious about the point that says “If you do drink alcohol, have some saturated fat with it.” I’ll definitely try this, but was curious why it works. I eat Paleo but still enjoy my alcohol and would like to minimize its damaging effects.

    1. From Paul Jaminet’s Perfect Health Diet article ‘Is It Smart To Drink?’ http://goog.gl/ZdZA3

      “A primary safety concern with alcohol is its effect on the liver. Alcohol consumption can produce fatty liver disease and, eventually, a scarred and damaged liver (cirrhosis).

      Interestingly, in animal studies the harmful effects of alcohol on the liver occur only when it is combined with polyunsaturated fats:

      Researchers induced liver disease by feeding mice a combination of alcohol and omega-3-rich fish oil. They then stopped the alcohol and split the mice into two groups, one fed fish oil plus glucose, the other palm oil plus glucose. (Palm oil consists predominantly of saturated fat, and is less than 10% polyunsaturated.) Livers of the fish oil group failed to recover, but the palm oil group “showed near normalization.” The researchers hailed saturated fat as “a novel treatment for liver disease.” [2]
      Mice fed 27.5% of calories as alcohol developed severe liver disease and metabolic syndrome when given a corn oil diet, but no disease at all when given a cocoa butter diet. (Corn oil is 55% polyunsaturated, cocoa butter is predominantly saturated fat and is less than 3% polyunsaturated.) The first line of this paper begins, “The protective effect of dietary saturated fatty acids against the development of alcoholic liver disease has long been known.” [3]
      Scientists induced liver disease in mice by feeding alcohol plus corn oil. They then substituted a saturated-fat rich mix based on beef tallow and coconut oil for 20%, 45%, and 67% of the corn oil. The more saturated fat, the healthier the liver. [4]
      This makes biological sense. Alcohol is metabolized in the liver just like fructose, a toxic sugar. Polyunsaturated fats are chemically fragile and quick to react with sugars; saturated fat, which lacks fragile carbon double bonds, does not.

      It seems that if you keep your liver clear of polyunsaturated fats, the alcohol will be disposed of safely.”

      1. This is super interesting, thank you so much for taking the time to post!

        So it sounds like if I drink alcohol I shouldn’t take too much fish oil? My crossfit trainer recommends high doses of fish oil (3-6 tbls) a day if you have sustained an injury during the healing process (sometimes up to a week or two.)

        And in general I should keep my fats to primarily animal fat and coconut or palm oil?

        1. I think what the post is saying (though I hope not) is that if you enjoy some red wine, you had better not be taking fish oil capsules (even if you are also taking milk thistle, I guess,even everybody says fish oil has various benefits). Apparently if you are going to imbibe in some alcohol, you should ditch the fish oil and have a shot of coconut oil instead.

        2. No human being on the planet has any business taking more than 1 or 2 grams, or around 4 percent of TOTAL daily calories, of ANY polyunsaturated oils, a point made clearly and emphatically by not only Mary Enig PhD but also Udo Erasmus, Ed & Patricia Kane PhD, Brian Peskin & others. 4 percent of a 2000 calorie diet amounts to 80 calories, and since fats have approx. 9 calories per gram that amounts to just UNDER 1 gram of liquid poly oils.

          The reason is because more than 3 or 4 percent intake of any liquid poly oil dilutes, disrupts & destabilizes the phospholipid content of the bi-lipid membranes of every cell in your body which interferes with the ever critical flow of oxygen & nutrients into and waste product flow out of the cell. Your body can no choice in the matter and can only use the fats that you eat in your diet for cell structure, hormones & enzyme production, etc. Cell membranes are the gatekeepers, and cell membrane structure & conformation is crucial not only for health of the cell but also determines the state of overall health of the complete organism, meaning us!

          Here’s a quote from that article: “Along with saturated fats, cholesterol in the cell membrane gives our cells necessary stiffness and stability. When the diet contains an excess of polyunsaturated fatty acids, these replace saturated fatty acids in the cell membrane, so that the cell walls actually become flabby. When this happens, cholesterol from the blood is “driven” into the tissues to give them structural integrity. This is why serum cholesterol levels may go down temporarily when we replace saturated fats with polyunsaturated oils in the diet.46″ http://goo.gl/Eaz0f

          Another critical point to keep in mind that fish, krill or other such oils are NOT true essential fatty acids because the body can normally make, or ‘derive’ the eicosapentanoic and docosahexanoic acids (EPA & DHA) in fish and krill oils from the base, or parent, omega-3 oil such as flax if supplied in the diet or supplemented.

          Furthermore, the body’s normal and natural conversion rate of parent omega-3 oils to the derivative forms occurs ONLY AS NEEDED and ONLY in the amounts needed by the body, and is normally and usually very low with conversion to DHA at around 2 percent and conversion to EPA at around 0.26%, or just 1/4 of 1 percent! of total omega-3 intake, which should only be 1 or 2 grams a day MAX. Excessive intakes of omega-3 and/or omega-3 derivatives is known to cause depression & brain chemistry disruptions, skin disruptions since there’s NO omega-3 in human skin, and thins out & destabilizes blood tissues causing bruising, bleeding and risk of stroke, infarction and ischemia. http://goo.gl/5dGsR

          So taking multiple TABLESPOON levels of omega-3 derivatives, and even just the parent omega-3, most definitely constitutes pharmacological overdose level intakes of 20, 500 and even thousands of times beyond true physiological need, NOT good.

          Here’s how the math for that conclusion breaks down: 1 TEASPOON equals around 5 grams, there’s 3 teaspoons in 1 TABLESPOON, so 1 tablespoon equals around 15 grams, which times your intake level of 3 to 6 TABLESPOONS of fish or krill oil per day equals anywhere from 45 to 90 grams of fish oil per day!! Again, NOT good!

          As intelligent as your crossfit trainer may seem I doubt he or she is a lipid scientist or has devoted much study and research into them other than having read the plethora of omega-3 misinformation parroted by virtually everyone, otherwise he/she would not be recommending that level of intake, or even the use of fish, krill & omega-3 derivatives at all.

          So to answer your last question, yes, keep your intakes of ALL polyunsaturated oils low, even the much lauded olive oils since the body can also MAKE omega-9 oleic acid which is why olive oil is not an essential oil, to around 4% of your daily calories, and make sure you get daily intakes of some form of the good, natural UN-refined & UN hydrogenated saturated fats including coconut oil and especially BUTTER to provide butyric acid which feeds & protects your colon from cancer.

  37. I always thought these detox binges were bull. Using the loo and taking a dump is the best way to clean out your colon!

    Why bother using forceful, or even ‘kinder’ ways of speeding up this process? It doesn’t make any logical sense. Eat veggies, eat coconut oil, maybe use magnesium citrate before bed if you’re constipated. But why spend oodles of money on something that isn’t natural?

    Quick fix + good health is an oxymoron. It takes time and patience.

    People are lazy. They do not wish to commit to long-term, healthy eating, no matter WHAT the benefit. They want to eat their McCrap, and drink their venti mocha-crappacinos full of dead milk.

  38. Intermittent fasting is fantastic; I’ve been doing it to deal with indigestion/candida issues. The body knows how to heal itself and will tell you (with hunger) when it’s ready to eat again.

    The human body is magnificent!

    1. So true Pat! It is really quite amazing what the body can do. That is of course, if you are providing it with the right fuel, and treating it in the right way. It’s so important to be able to listen to your body, however sometimes it is easier said than done! 🙂

      To me the idea of cleansing is still quite appealing. Maybe it is more of a spiritual thing…hmmm.

      Do you, as a reader/contributor have any recommendations for a beginner to IF? I do have Marks book, but it is good to know the opinions of others!

      Oh, and thank you for answering my question Mark! There is so much interesting and useful information here! It sounds like from all the replies that intermittent fasting the way to go.

      As always your information is in abundance and very helpful!

  39. PRIMAL/PALEO “IS” A DETOX AND CLEANSE.. THOSE THINGS ARE NOT “REALLY”
    NEEDED TO ACCOMPLISH THE JOB.
    GROK ON!!>>>>

  40. For someone who has been putting rubbish into their body for a couple of years, any suggestions as to how long it will take to get some detox benefit if eat primally? Just wondering how long it starts to take for the body to start getting rid of the toxins that have been stored up and cleaning out the system…..

    1. Such a good question, i’d like to know that too! I’m guessing the answer is very subjective though…

  41. The post on allergies and cleanses is very timely for me right now. Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to share in case it helps anyone else.

    I just finished a week long “meat cleanse” (everyone in my life was pretty disgusted by this). I ate only meat and organ meats for a week and completely eliminated everything else (I read on here somewhere that you can get all of your necessary nutrients except two from organ meats). I intended to go longer but was lusting after vegetables so hard that it was borderline obscene. I suspected I had some food allergies and I wanted to get to the root of it.

    I have been primal for about 3 months now and have been mostly feeling great with some lingering issues. I have a rare autoimmune disorder called tumid lupus (Basically lupus of the skin. My doctor said that I should not be in the sunlight, at all, ever, for any length of time. I’m dubious and would love the input of a non-CW doctor on this or any non-CW person who knows about this). As with any autoimmune disorder, now that I have one I have a 1 in 10 risk of developing another. For this and other reasons, I have had a heightened awareness of my health lately.

    After my meat week, I “broke” it with a salad that had bell peppers on it. Within a few hours, I felt pretty crummy. My face got blotchy and red (which is a problem I always have. Funny I am JUST NOW realizing it is diet related). A few days later, I stupidly put paprika on some chicken and within a few minutes my cheeks were so red they were almost purple. Got rid of all of my spices and spice mixes with paprika or cayenne – sadly, that was about half and I shed a tear as I bundled up my curry powder. Nightshade allergy? Check.

    Last night, I made four “egg nests.” I highly recommend these to anyone who can tolerate eggs, because they are out of this world. It is like a puff pastry made entirely of eggs, a pinch of salt and a pinch of hard cheese. Anyway, I got a terrible headache and could not sleep for hours because of it. I woke up this morning feeling AWFUL. I am home from work now, with my guts feeling awful and the headache not going away. Egg white allergy? Check.

    My friend pointed out a post from MDA the other day about Robb Wolf’s autoimmune disorder diet. Not surprisingly, this involves eliminating dairy (which I already did about a month ago since it gave me such problems), nightshades, eggs and coconut. I haven’t eliminated coconut yet because I haven’t reintroduced it and discovered that it hates me yet. I am suspecting it does.

    So, while I know that my “Meat Cleanse” isn’t exactly what Mark was talking about in the post, I will say that it helped me identify some allergens. Yes, I probably could have just eliminated these things individually and eaten normally, but I am impatient and wanted to do it all at once. I think it is funny that I was so resistant to the idea of eliminating the foods from Wolf’s list, but independently discovered that I have issues with all of them anyway. I don’t know if these foods (and a lifetime of eating “healthy” whole grains) caused the autoimmune disorder or if I have issues with those foods because I have an autoimmune disorder.

    Regardless, I encourage self-experimentation with these foods for anyone who is primal but feels like there is still room for improvement in how you feel.

  42. My ulcerative colitis/celiac disease is my auto detox for grains, gluten, eggs, and raw veggies. They work fast, reliably, and oh-so completely. I’m thinking of prepping for my next colonoscopy with scrambled eggs and toast…;)

    1. Another UCer here. Apologies but didn’t understand your connection of auto-detox with UC.
      I essentially eat everything (in moderation), gave up on alcohol and fried food completely. Would welcome more details.

  43. @ Mark,

    You mention choline for liver detox. I am ulcerative colitis patient and planning to supplement Phosphatidylcholine. Recent clinical trials using phosphatidylcholine in UC have shown some positive results (there are a few papers on Pubmed). It not only acts in liver detox but is also involved in mucosal lining of the gut. Whats your take on it?

  44. I do a detox every now and then, eating nothing but fruit for about 10 days. Maybe it’s just a psychological effect but I get the feeling it really helps.

  45. I am sooo glad that someone out there finally agrees with me! I did my science and nutrition degree at the university of British Columbia and did a big study on detox diets. You can not speed up your body’s natural detoxification methods. You can only stop eating those foods that give you toxins in order to be toxin free permanently, otherwise what you say is true the detox diets are conditional and only work because you basically stop eating or give up a lot of foods(for most detoxes anyways)

  46. I believe “cleanses” and “detox programs” are deeply misunderstood (and yes, some are downright dangerous!). While I’m no master on the subject, I spent two or three years eating paleo/primal and my lifelong cystic acne was just as bad as it ever was, if not worse.

    It wasn’t until I found Natalia Rose’s Detox 4 Women, which actually has many similarities to a paleo diet, that I found the results I was looking for, both in healing my skin and weight loss as well.

    It’s not a short fast, but a continuous and ever-evolving lifestyle in and of itself. While she suggests daily green juices, cooked food is included as well, along with raw goat cheese, dark chocolate, fish, eggs, and wine; all while still cleansing ones body and allowing accumulated toxins to leave.

    Long story short, this is what finally cleared my skin. That being said, I’ve been experimenting with implementing aspects from both paleo/primal and a cleansing lifestyle into one. I’ve learned amazing, helpful things that make me feel really good from both approaches.
    Lastly, I think it’s wise to stay open to the fact that we are all still learning here, and when you’ve found what works for you, do it! However, to assume that every other approach is wrong or couldn’t possibly work for others is ultimately self-limiting. You never know what you might learn from someone else.

    Here’s to feeling good in your skin, however you get there.

  47. it seems to me that if you sum up the answers to the questions identified in the title of this post (which mark usually does pretty well in the last sentence or 2) it would read something like this: ‘Yes, it’s very likely that they are safe’ and ‘I don’t know if they are any more effective than my own 21-day program, but it’s possible considering the addition of concentrated herbs and other whole-food nutrients, which we already established often have significant physiological effects. You guys tell me – which ones have you done and how did it compare to going primal?’

  48. I think Mark is right. the detox works because of what it eliminates, not the actual supplements in the product you take to replace food. I’ve never done a detox but I am interested in green juicing or smoothies and their healing effects

  49. The problem I always have with these products, and why I avoid them in general is that they fail to address two critically important points:

    1) What, exactly, is a “toxin?”

    2) If we don’t define “toxin” how do we know they’re being gotten rid of?

    One might as well market a special juice blend that will rid you of pancreatic gnomes and support your cranial elves.

  50. Mark,

    While I generally agree with you – about 9 months ago before I went primal I tried a detox of apple juice and olive oil. It was on a holistic website, didn’t cost me anything.

    Basically, for 2.5 days you drank nothing but water an apple juice (no fruit due to the fibre, apparently) – about 2-3 litres of the stuff a day. During the latter half of day 3 you eat nothing from noon, until half an hour before bed you mix (and this is completely gross) 1/4 pint of EVOO and 1/4 pint of fresh lemon juice and chug it. Then go to sleep on your right side while trying not to throw up.

    Thoughts? It definitely worked, I ‘passed’ hundreds of little stones.

  51. Sorry, haven’t read earlier comments, but wanted to throw this in. Heavy metal toxicity may be an exception to the re-toxification issue. Past extreme exposure (chewing on a painted crib rail in the 50s, playing with the “quicksilver” from a broken thermometer, a mouth full of amalgams removed but not chelated) are serious! http://www.kitchendoctor.com/herbs/cilantro.php I’ve been reading a lot lately that suggests that the reason the Candida/parasite population goes up during chelation is that they sequester the heavy metals in transit, in an attempt to prevent them from being redeposited in new and potentially worse areas than those from which they were chelated. Thus it is vital to provide for the prompt elimination of the mobilized heavy metals via zeolite, bentonite clay or, as indicated in this article, chlorella. I have read that the cilantro/chlorella combination is, indeed, more powerful for excretion of the heavy metals than cilantro alone. I suspect that with the use of the elimination protocol the parasite problem will be also alleviated and may even be the step that leads to finally conquering a long-standing Candida problem that could be explained simply by the presence of the heavy metals in the first place. I recently bought a product called Green Utopia containing many substances (including chlorella, cilantro, and seaweed) which I’ve hoped will help with a more gentle chelation than described in her article. I believe I’m too ill to tolerate what she went through! This article has increased my confidence that this might work. I will save the above article for use when I’ve regained some strength. Sulfur is also a known detoxifier. I wonder if my greatly increased consumption of eggs without the addition of a means to remove toxins quickly from my gut would explain why I’ve had immune problems and constant sickness this winter. Perhaps, also, it’s why I’ve never been able to tolerate MSM?

  52. I think all the paleo people should never detox…just eat more meat and drink blood for a juice fast if you need a liquid diet….I mean there are no more poisons now than there were when we were cavemen! In fact detox are only for anorexic people that think fruit is healthy for you…..Time to attack the Bacon!

  53. This is clearly a controversial topic and I seem to be on the less popular side.

    I’ve done a number of juice or water fasts, including those with daily colonics. I appreciate the psychological effects of the cleanse as well as feeling lighter, empty, and having a sense the detoxing. Its also a good way to get started in the right direction with a clean body. I think that extended water/juice fasts can be tougher to sustain by heavily acidic persons (usually O-blood type).

    Of course, those types of cleanses and their effects are not sustainable. Therefore, now I tend to prefer IF (intermittent fasting) and the occasional purgative.

    I don’t think we should write off cleansing wholesale. Even the 5000 year old science of Ayurveda uses detox (either vomiting, purgation, or enemas) as one of its primary treatment methods, as was mentioned above, by lubricating the insides with clarified butter. In addition, ayurveda recommends weekly purgatives (laxatives) to clear the system.

    While our paleo ancestors may not have intentionally cleansed, they certainly would have fasted, if even over long harsh winters due to inadequate food supply. And they knew herbs to flush and clean the system, should they be necessary or helpful. But what is different is that they weren’t exposed to chemicals, heavy metals, hormones, radioactive elements, etc like modern day man is. I don’t think anyone knows the true extent to which these can become accumulated in the body, good diet or not, and the possibility of eliminating them, detox or not.

    To direct my response to the Debbie, who initially asked, I think it is worth a try (especially give you’ve already spent the money.) Just be aware how to feel, throughout the cleanse, immediately after, and in the longer term. And skew towards more veggies on the cleanse, less fruit/dairy.

  54. My mother (65 years old) has been diagnosed with blood sugar which is slightly above the regular.
    Medical doctor has not given medicines but some eating plan restrictions.
    How can she lead a typical life without acquiring affected by Diabetes?
    She has a incredibly active & healthy life so far, I wish to defend her from
    any unwanted troubles due to this onset of Diabetes. Please advise.
    .

  55. A friend recommended the Lady Soma Detox since it was using all natural ingredients and I was really impressed. I did the Detox in 7 days.

    This was a lot easier than other cleanses mostly because you’re not starving the whole time. I even had energy to work out.

    I emailed the company about suggestions and a rep got back to me the same day with a lot of great suggestions. Really nice woman and nice company.

    I felt really cleansed after the first 3 days and the “cleansing” part sort of slowed down after that, so doing just 3 days is probably enough for most people.

    I lost 8 pounds by the 6th day and I’ve only gained back 1 pound. Great product!

  56. Soap is not produced by fat plus an acid. Were that the case our stomach acid would be problematic. Soap is produced by combining fat plus lye (alkaline).

    Tamara St. John documented in detail on her Facebook page, Alternative Health Solutions, her experiences with many intense detox protocols as she battled cancer naturally, including the serious consequences of her early mistakes. I presume she included that info in her book.

  57. I have been wanting to do a detox for some time, but was never sure about the best way the go about doing it. There are so many products and misinformation out there. However I am glad that I found this article! Thanks for sharing it!