Your body holds toxins from smoking, hamburgers

I was at Weight Watchers last night and one of the women there mentioned that she had done some sort of GNC Women’s Slim Colon Cleanse thingie. A nutritionist told her that toxins build up from smoking, drinking, every hamburger you ever ate. She lost 3.5 pounds this week and feels great!

What I said (OK, mumbled): That’s what your liver is for.

What I wish I could have said:

First, unless you have advanced liver or kidney disease, your body is perfectly capable of identifying toxins and cleansing itself of them. What do you think the circulatory system, liver and kidneys are for?

Second, there are nice friendly bacteria in the digestive system that help with digestion, and to the extent that they were removed, that’s not good!

Third, I have to assume that these pills you took were some sort of laxative. The use of laxatives and diuretics is eating disorder territory. Just follow a sensible eating plan instead.
This was the same woman who doesn’t want to eat all her points, partly because if she eats less her stomach will be smaller. No, not that she’ll lose fat on her stomach area, but her actual stomach will be smaller. Um, I’m pretty sure your stomach gets full and then empties itself, assuming no digestive issues.

Genuine, qualified nutritionists don’t promote this “toxin” nonsense. But no matter how logically and repeatedly it’s refuted, the credulous will keep on with their enemas (excuse me, “cleanses”).

I’d just smile and say in response to this woman, “Yeah, it feels good to take a big dump.”

My main theory on diets and nutritional wackiness is that the body’s natural reaction to dietary startlement is to dump ballast, and that ballast is mostly water. Switch to an all-protein diet? pee a lot. Switch to all fruits & veggies? Pee a lot. Every diet I’ve ever heard of says “w00t! you’ll five pounds in no time!” and I think, “wait for the tide to come back in…”

Get your colon cleansed? Sure, you’ll lose weight. It’s called poop.

Yeah, her words were “It was a nutritionist who told me this, so…”

Yeah, OK.

There was a website selling some colon cleanser pills awhile back, I’m not sure if they’re still around or not. It made you crap out some NASTY gray, stringy, lumpy, rope-like stuff, and they had a contest to see who could crap the biggest nasty gray stringy lumpy rope-like thing and send in a picture of it. It was supposedly gunk that is built up in everyone’s colon. Later I read somewhere that the gray stuff actually comes from the “cleansing” pills. Pure, unadulterated snake oil. Stuff like that should be illegal.

I do think the stomach actually shrinks with consistency reduced volume. I note that if I’ve not been eating much for a week or two, I get much fuller much quicker. Similarly, if I gorge myself for a while it takes more for me to feel full. It might not be physiologically accurate, but that’s definitely the perception of a lot of people.

Looking at pictures of lumpy, gray pooped-out ropes seems like a pretty good diet plan.

Urgh - I hate the term “toxin.” Most people who use it wouldn’t know a toxin if it injected cellulite into their ass. And in general, qualified medical and health professionals don’t recommend unnecessary colon cleanses.

As somebody who works doing health risk assessment, I agree wholeheartedly. By the definition I have to use, just about anything is a toxin. I was recently given some “green” home cleaning product that is supposed to be wonderful for you because it doesn’t contain toxins. The first ingredient is denatured alcohol. Wait, what?

Alcohol is a toxin. It’s not bad as far as toxins go (I’ve been known to ingest a fair amount), but it’s technically a toxin. Denatured alcohol is alcohol that’s been made MORE toxic so you can’t drink it.

Allow me to add “natural” and “chemical free” to the list of words I hate.

Arsenic occurs naturally in most soils here in CA. Does that make it good for you? How the hell is a processed vegetable patty called “Natures Burger” more natural than cow and a meat grinder?

Nothing is “chemical free.” Even the void of space has a few molecules of hydrogen, a chemical, floating about.

Your body is fairly good at filtering out most of the crap you ingest. If your body can’t get rid of it, a dump isn’t going to purify your body any more than a good bath. Your colon is not spackled with toxin.

Amen, sister! (or brother?) Great rant!

I quit going to my yoga class because the instructor, who was otherwise great, kept spouting on about toxins. “Now building up heat in your body from yoga is great for removing toxins!” Lady, what you don’t know about chemistry…would…would…kill you! I guess by that rationale, a 104 degree fever would be the… best …thang …EVAR!



Between my fasting-toxin-cleansing-pureed-celery drinking MIL and my rabidly conservative dad…I always end up in arguments whenever we visit family.

But I don’t smoke hamburgers!

Exactly. Water is a chemical. And everything we eat is organic.



I have a colonoscopy scheduled for next Monday. I’d say the prep qualifies as a “cleanse.” Wonder how much weight I will lose? :smiley:

That said, when I was going through chemo, one of the drugs could cause a bladder infection if it stayed too long in my system. Do you know what miracle procedure my doctor told me to do to flush this “toxin” from my system?

Drink lots of water

People want the quick fix. They don’t want to do the hard work.

(ivylass, who lost 30 pounds over the summer by exercising and watching her portions.)

Hehe…yeah, there are a whole lot of “organic” pesticides out there. Roundup, for instance, is an organic chemical. Oh, the irony.

:stuck_out_tongue: Ya got me. Hilariously, you can find “organic salt” at places like Whole Foods.

If you eat a nice nightshade salad washed down with a cup of hemlock tea, you are eating organic. And ricin, one of the most potent poisons there is, comes from castor beans.

Yeah, I’ve seen that too. Makes me smile and shake my head whenever I see it.

Dude you are missing out! You think Hamburgler ate all of those purloined patties? And Grimace? Don’t get me started.