A group of scientists in Britain say beyond the clinical treatment of drug addiction and poisoning, the 'detox' theory is a myth and the general public is being misled.
The scientists who are associated with the charity 'Sense About Science' say the best way to stay healthy is to eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and they say there is no evidence that products which claim to help the body 'detox' work.
A group of over 300 young scientists and engineers reviewed 15 products, ranging from bottled water to facial scrubs, and they warn that the claims made about many such products are "meaningless".
They have put together a report called the "Detox Dossier" which debunks the detox myth which follows an earlier report, "There Goes The Science Bit..." published by Sense About Science, which exposed a number of science claims by manufacturers about their products and generated such interest that it led to the 'detox' investigation.
According to the Advertising Standards Authority in the UK unsubstantiated claims by companies regarding their products are challenged but the problem in this case appears to be the varied interpretations of the term "detox".
Detox is currently was used to promote a range of products with little consistent explanation of what the word means and more often than not there is no evidence to support the 'detox' claims made.
The group challenged companies behind products such as vitamins, shampoo, detox patches and a body brush on the evidence they had to support the detox claims made and most producers and retailers were forced to admit that they had simply used the term detox instead of the deadly dull 'cleaning' or 'brushing'.
The scientists say detox diets are a waste of money and some are potentially dangerous - they cannot improve liver or kidney function, and high doses of some of the detox supplements could have serious and even deadly consequences - they could also interact in a negative manner with other drugs and reduce their effectiveness.