Myth Busting: Can Toxins Really “Build Up” in Your Body?
The human body is particularly complicated and an example of advanced biology that has taken us centuries to understand as well as we do. We are still learning more about our bodies and human biology and will likely still be learning for years to come. Fortunately, we have learned enough about human biology to understand what is good and bad for us.
Most people view this as maintaining a healthy diet and avoiding overly sedentary lifestyles to try and stave off obesity. They also attempt to avoid exposing themselves to dirt or filthy environments to avoid catching an illness or introducing bacteria to their systems. Unfortunately, this is only one part of keeping our bodies healthy, and there are other concerns that people must consider when trying to maintain their health.
One of the main concerns for our health is the buildup of toxins that might impact our organs and overall health. Toxins are a threat to any living organism since our bodies cannot safely ingest certain compounds or breathe in certain gases. There is a theory that our bodies store certain toxins that can build up and eventually cause a toxic reaction once they hit a tipping point. Certain groups claim this is a misconception and that the body does not store toxins the way it stores fat or nutrients.
The problem is that there is so much conflicting information that it has become difficult for people to recognize what is true. So, the question is: can toxins really build up in your body?
Do Toxins Build Up in the Body?
The simple answer is "no," toxins do not build up in our bodies because we are designed to resist harmful elements. Our bodies have organs designed to flush out toxins and prevent them from oversaturating and poisoning us. The most notable organs for toxin regulation are the liver and kidneys, which both play a role in our body's natural toxin removal.
When these organs are healthy, our bodies can purge lesser toxins before they can build up to large concentrations. More severe toxins will usually be purged, too, but we might experience serious symptoms before we heal. Some toxins are potentially lethal and require medical intervention to cure, but the odds of passively building up toxin levels are so low that they are practically negligible. The problems begin when the organs responsible for removing these toxins are compromised and cannot function properly.
Kidney and liver damage is common, especially among individuals who frequently consume alcohol or other harmful substances. While moderate alcohol consumption is not overly harmful, poor diet or exercise habits can compromise these organs and prevent them from functioning. When this happens, it becomes possible for toxins we would ordinarily purge automatically to thrive in our bodies.
Fortunately, people's struggles with their body's toxin response are usually minor and will not result in fatal symptoms unless they overconsume toxic substances. For example, overconsumption of alcohol while your liver or kidneys are compromised will increase the odds of alcohol poisoning, but you will still be able to flush toxins (albeit at a slower rate) if you exercise in moderation.
While our bodies can purge toxins independently, this has not stopped people from trying to enhance the process with additional tools. Most notably, people have begun using detox products to trigger the body's natural detoxification process. This has generated questions concerning detox's validity and efficacy from people concerned that detox products do more harm than good.
Is Detoxification Healthy?
Detox supplements are increasingly common in many households, but just as many people decry them as harmful. Detoxes, a colloquial term for detoxification, was a practice that first came into existence in the early 19th century, though it was met with significant skepticism from medical professionals. By the 1830s, most people were skeptical that detoxification affected the body beyond minor purging.
By the early 20th century, most mainstream medical centers disowned detoxification, and most citizens came to view it as ineffective. Despite most people discounting detoxification as a hoax, many people continued to favor it as a resource to enhance their health and purge toxins from their bodies. The detoxification process has several variants designed to address different parts of our anatomy, with certain detoxes being more generic.
Regardless of your detoxification process, the end goal is to purge harmful compounds and molecules from your body. The reason for a detox depends on the person going through it, with some people trying to improve their health while others are trying to lose weight. The problem is that the definition of a "toxin" has become somewhat muddied by personal opinion.
True detox is meant to eliminate toxins introduced by exposure to hostile environments or from consuming unhealthy food and drinks. The detoxes that focus on weight loss are called "detox diets" and are generally considered harmless by medical professionals. While they are disregarded due to their questionable value and the general consensus that detoxes are unnecessary, they remain a popular tool for people trying to lose weight.
Conversely, others use detoxes to clean one of the most sensitive aspects of our biology. The colon is responsible for processing waste so we can purge indigestible food and eliminate toxins from what we have consumed. The colon is closely linked to the liver, which helps purge toxins from our food before allowing the waste to travel from our colon to our rectum. Detoxes that apply to the colon, known as colon cleanses, are designed to purge food stuck in the colon.
When too much food material is gathered in the colon and not properly excreted, it causes a blockage called a bowel obstruction. A byproduct of this condition is constipation, which inhibits our ability to excrete waste properly.
While these bowel obstructions are not inherently dangerous, we should try to avoid them whenever possible. Colon cleanses are designed to accelerate this purge, but certain issues with colon cleansing must be considered. Our colons can remove these blockages on their own as long as they do not result from a serious health condition. As a result, colon cleanses are considered redundant and pointless by many medical professionals. However, they can slightly enhance our body's natural ability to purge food matter trapped in the colon.
What colon cleanses and detox diets have in common is that their values are not as high as certain exaggerated accounts would have you believe. For example, a detox diet is not a miracle treatment that will have you at your dream weight within a month. Rather, they can be supplementary tools that enhance the body's natural capabilities when combined with a healthy lifestyle.
You must also ensure you do not overuse detox supplements since health complications can arise if you undergo a colon cleanse too often or do not eat enough to maintain a detox diet. Taking these precautions makes it possible to use detox products and routines safely to enjoy their benefits.
What Are the Benefits of a Detox?
As mentioned, detoxes and cleanses are fairly limited in their ability to improve our health since their effects are considered second to our natural ability to purge toxins. As a result, the benefits of detoxes are considered supplementary for anyone who uses them. While this might not be the answer you were hoping for, it does not mean that a detox cannot help you enhance your health and expedite the removal of toxins from your body.
The key is to remember that these detoxes are not substitutes for healthier lifestyles and that they must not be used as such. Most of the benefits associated with detox diets have to do with the changes you make rather than the supplements you use. For example, some of the most prominent detox diets involve the generous consumption of green tea. Green tea is renowned for its nutritional value and caffeine concentrations, which are excellent for losing weight and eliminating harmful molecules in the body.
Any tea derived from Camellia sinensis (yellow, white, black, and oolong) shares the same nutritional value as green tea. Introducing them to your detox diet gives your body access to nutrients that will automatically improve your health. One of the main nutrients of green tea is epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a catechin linked to several health benefits. EGCG is an antioxidant, meaning damage caused by free radicals is reduced, and those same molecules are eliminated.
With detox diets, green tea and its variants promote hydration for the body, which is one of the key resources for our body's ability to purge toxins. Without proper hydration, our bodies cannot flush the toxins through the colon to be expelled with our waste. Furthermore, proper hydration promotes nutrient absorption, reinforcing our natural defenses against these toxins that protect us until they can be purged.
Additionally, green tea has been linked to weight loss, which has made it a common addition to detox diets focused on weight management. Ultimately, consuming green tea or the other 4 variants derived from C. sinensis is one of the best options when using a detox program because it is one of the healthiest drinks in the world. It is also one of the safest drinks you could ever consume if you practice proper moderation (primarily concerning caffeine concentration). While tea consumption might be one of the more beneficial aspects of detox dieting, there remains the question of colon cleansing.
Colon cleansing is a little more complicated since the practice involves expediting an otherwise natural process. It is important to remember that performing a cleanse too often can yield harmful consequences such as dehydration or kidney damage. When performed properly, colon cleansing can have limited benefits that tangentially help the body's natural ability to cleanse the colon.
Colon cleansing has been studied, albeit not extensively, to determine whether it actually helps us purge toxins or bowel obstructions. Some claim that colon cleansing provides several health benefits and can purge toxins from your body at unprecedented rates. They also allege that it can help with weight loss the same way detox diets can, giving colon cleanses an undeserved reverence.
The studies conducted on colon cleansing found that the process does have limited benefits that can improve your health. Specifically, a study from 2016 discovered that colon cleansing moderately improved gastrointestinal health. The study involved patients with irritable bowel syndrome, which can generate unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms, but the cleansing reduced their severity.
Despite the results of this study, colon cleansing must be performed sparingly to avoid damaging your colon. According to most sources, you should only have 3 or 4 sessions within a 2-week period to minimize the odds of damage. You should also regularly get checked to ensure you have not damaged your colon in the interim.
Finding the Right Blend
Exposure to toxins is not rare and could affect you daily depending on your environment, lifestyle, and dietary habits. Fortunately, our bodies are well-equipped to deal with these issues and can purge these toxins without outside intervention. As a result, toxin buildup in our bodies is extremely difficult, if not impossible, since we regularly purge toxins before they can reach harmful levels.
Certain detox tools can help bolster our bodies' natural abilities, but only to a certain extent. If you plan on using a detox diet or colon cleansing routine, you must not overindulge or diverge from the instructions. Otherwise, you risk doing more harm than good. Any detox products you use should be made from natural substances promoting health. The trick is finding a product that fits that criterion.
We at Teami know that there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding our health and appearance, especially with the number of pharmaceuticals marketed to enhance them. However, we have always believed that natural compounds have a better chance of supplementing the functions of the human body. While they might not resolve major diseases, the proper substances can provide natural enhancements for things like our ability to purge toxins.
Among our products is our Skinny Tea Blend, made with oolong, making it a perfect addition to any detox diet. We encourage you to visit our website and peruse our products for yourself. After all, finding the right blend is a Teami effort.
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