Detoxification, or “body cleansing”, is a subject of contentious debates in scientific circles, since there is no definite evidence in favour of detoxification diets. According to some scientists, detoxification is a pseudo-medical concept. Today, detoxification has grown so popular that there are scores of so-called detox diets that purport to promote the discharge of toxins from the body, along with weight loss, thus benefiting health. People often ask if detox diets are at all necessary, what they involve, and whether they are effective or harmful. There is little clinical data to support these diets. Still, this subject deserves attention so that consumers can be informed on the potential benefits and risks of different detox plans.

The human body is frequently exposed to toxins, while toxicity levels are higher than at any time in the past. Toxicity has external and internal sources. External toxins can enter the body with food and drink, different medications, or polluted air. Internal toxins are products of regular bodily processes. In other words, the biochemical processes of our metabolism produce substances than need to be discharged from the body. The process of detoxification involves the mobilisation, biotransformation, and elimination of toxins of both exogenous and endogenous origin. This process is constantly running as part of the regular function of five core organs: the kidney, liver, skin, lungs, and intestines. Detoxification is a vital cellular task, and the failure of natural detoxification mechanisms can lead to death.

We should also keep in mind that our health depends on a nutritious and balanced diet. Since approximately 70% of our immune system cells are located in the intestines, maintaining a healthy digestive system is essential. Although a healthy body has a natural detoxification capacity, our detoxification organs are overburdened by the modern lifestyle, bad habits, and harmful environmental factors. In the long term, the burden of harmful substances on the body can cause chronic fatigue, digestive disorders, hypersensitivity, and illness. In most cases, the body can discharge noxious substances without outside assistance. While scientific evidence is scarce, it may be assumed that an appropriate diet can support the natural detoxification process. It is important to make a diet plan that supports digestion and includes a variety of foods needed to supply the body with key nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

It should be emphasised that detoxification is in fact a well-planned natural diet that improves bodily processes, provides strength, and restores energy. It is a long-term goal rather than an instant solution. Instead of detoxification, we would do better to call it a diet that aims to improve eating habits, as well as health and the quality of life.

In most cases, people focus on weight loss as the goal of their diet instead of the opportunity to cleanse the body of accumulated harmful substances. They often resort to quick fixes, but short-term detoxification is not recommended. A diet change is a much healthier approach.

The detoxification process is most effective if we do not smoke, if we engage in physical activity and adopt a healthy, balanced diet, such as the Mediterranean.