One of the most popular myths about the human body is that people need to lose weight. Our bodies are able to remove toxins so they don’t harm us.
If your organs stop working, you need a hospital, not adetox products.
A chemistry magic trick
Detox foot baths are marketed as removing toxins from the feet, but this is not possible. The skin on your feet is too thick for anything to get through.
The water in the foot bath turns red and brown after the device is used to cleanse the body. This disgusting mess is claimed to be toxins but is actually the result of a simple chemistry trick: rust from electrodes conducting electricity through the water.
There’s a little more to it. Dr. Stephen Lower, PhD, a professor of chemistry, explains further:
The color comes from the oxidation of the metal electrodes. These are usually made from iron, nickel, and copper. The colors can be changed with the amount of salt and the pH of the solution, as well as the substances that are added to the bath before use, or are present in the “soaps” that are often used to prepare the patient’s feet.
There are bubbles of hydrogen and chlorine gases that are dangerous in confined spaces, and there are bubbles of sodium hydroxide that are also dangerous. The latter tends to make the skin softer, allowing it to break off, pick up colors, and complete the illusion that one usually pays a heavy price for.
Test it for yourself
The water changes color with or without a pair of feet, as revealed in an impressive exposé by Inside Edition:
Adam ruins detox cleanses
The TV show Adam Ruins Everything produced an entertaining segment on Why Detox Cleanses are a Rip-Off. Adam Conover aptly states:
toxins are not a special type of chemical. It has become a trendy thing.
Unlike some bacteria such as Salmonella and E. Coli, Borrelia Burgdorferi do not produce toxins. Lyme disease is caused by the body’s response to the B. Burgdorferi bacteria.
That is why it is not correct for patients with chronic Lyme to claim that their negative tests are a result of the immune system not responding to them. The reason chronic patients don’t test positive is because they don’t have the disease.
Inside Edition: Detox Foot Bath Investigation
Quackwatch: The Aqua Detox Scam
Kennedy DA, et al. Objective assessment of an ionic footbath (IonCleanse): testing its ability to remove potentially toxic elements from the body. J Environ Public Health. 2012;2012:258968.
Dr. Edzard Ernst: Six signs you are being treated by a quack
Dara Mohammadi: You can’t detox your body. It’s a myth. So how do you get healthy?
Science-Based Medicine: The Detox Scam: How to spot it, and how to avoid it
Science-Based Medicine: “Detox”: Ritual purification masquerading as medicine and wellness
Respectful Insolence: IonCleanse foot baths: The confluence of antivaccine nonsense and cancer quackery
Respectful Insolence: A “clinical trial” of foot bath “detoxification”
The Atlantic: The Dangers of Snake-Oil Treatments for Autism (discusses IonCleanse by AMD Facebook groups)
Video: Ionic foot detox electrode scam. How it works.