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Some Myths About Toxins

For over a hundred years, self-proclaimed healers have told people that in order to have better health they need to get rid of the toxins in their bodies. This may have required drinking lots of water, having weekly enemas or scrubbing the skin. At least blood-letting is no longer practiced.

Your body is already well-equipped to get rid of the toxic products formed by intestinal bacteria. As long as you’re eating enough vegetables, you will have one to three bowel movements a day so you naturally get rid of the waste products of digestion. There’s no need for enemas.

I heard one practitioner say that the skin is a major organ to get rid of body waste so scrubbing with a loofa sponge is necessary. The area of the skin in even a large person may be around a square yard. Sweat glands are not all over. In contrast, the microscopic vessels and tubules in your kidneys continually offer a bigger surface area for excretion of what later becomes urine. Your heart pumps over a fifth of the blood in each beat into the kidneys. About 150 quarts of blood pass through the kidneys every day. Most of the liquid returns to the blood and less than two quarts of urine go into the bladder. So even in hot weather the skin is not as important as the kidneys for salts and urea to leave the body.

Some people say you get rid of toxins by fasting. You can smell them in your perspiration or urine during a three day fast. Actually your body is creating these toxins by breaking down some of your muscle tissue and later some body fat. First your body uses the glycogen in your muscles and liver to make glucose. Your brain is the one organ that needs glucose and it gets what is available in the blood. When glycogen reserves are gone your body breaks down proteins to make simple sugars that become blood glucose and discards the excess urea that results. If some body fat is not completely burned, some byproducts go into your urine and acetone appears in your breath. Thus the urea and acetone you smell have been caused by the fast. You created toxins rather than cleansing your body of them. .

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