Because of spam, I personally moderate all comments left on my blog. However, because of health issues, I will not be able to do so in the future.

If you have a personal question about LI or any related topic you can send me an email at I will try to respond.

Otherwise, this blog is now a legacy site, meaning that I am not updating it any longer. The basic information about LI is still sound. However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.

In addition, my old website, Planet Lactose, has been taken down because of the age of the information. Unfortunately, that means links to the site on this blog will no longer work.

For quick offline reference, you can purchase Planet Lactose: The Best of the Blog as an ebook on or Almost 100,000 words on LI, allergies, milk products, milk-free products, and the genetics of intolerance, along with large helpings of the weirdness that is the Net.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Detox, Shmeetox

If you need something a bit lighter to tamp down your anger from yesterday's junk science post, I found it in a Time magazine article by Alice Park, Detox, Shmeetox.

The subject is still pseudoscientific nonsense designed to do nothing to your body except to make your wallet lighter. But Park has the right idea. Most of the time the proper medicine to use on the woo-woos and nutcases is ridicule.

Those commercials you see for foot pads that suck toxins out of your body?

But it turns out that detoxing does very little de-anything. The brown color on those foot pads? That comes from chemicals in the pads that change color whenever they get wet--even if the moisture comes from something as toxin-free as distilled water. "There is no science behind these detoxification services," says Dr. Christine Laine, deputy editor of the Annals of Internal Medicine. Says Dr. Bennett Roth, chief of gastroenterology at UCLA: "This is the 2009 version of the snake-oil salesman."

Colon cleansing? Crap, and not the good kind. Oh yeah, and a badly done colonic can "result in punctures in the intestinal wall."

Is there any science at all behind this nonsense? None. If you catch them off guard on a good day, they'll admit it themselves.
Even detox practitioners acknowledge that there is little evidence of the effectiveness of their work. "We would love to have that kind of good research, but that takes time and money, " says Mark Toomey, director of the Raj spa in Fairfield, Iowa, which offers cleansing oil-based massages, enemas and diets.

It's snake oil. Ridicule them off the face of the earth. When the gullible suggest it to you laugh in their faces. Wave around the money you save by not giving it to the quacks.

Save your anger for the quacks who misuse science to scare parents. And kill children.

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