I decided Skinny Me Tea needed their own post after even the other snake oil type detox & weight loss scammers objected to being included in the same post as them.
So what’s up with Skinny Me Tea in particular? You can click that link and read about victims of this scam reporting serious side effects including at least one case requiring hospitalisation. This article is an absolute horror story and I beg you to read it if you have even considered using this dangerous product.
On the subject of cleanses and detoxes in general, here are some resources a colleague has compiled.
“It’s an irrational concept, yet an intriguing idea, that modern life so fills us with poisons from polluted air and food additives that we need to be periodically “cleaned out” (“detoxified”). Never mind that natural chemicals in our foods are thousands of times more potent than additives, or that most Americans are healthier, live longer, and can choose from the most healthful food supply ever available. — Frances M. Berg, M.S.
Real detoxification of foreign substances takes place in the liver, which modifies their chemical structure so they can be excreted by the kidneys which filter them from the blood into the urine. –Stephen Barrett, M.D.
“Toxin” is classic pseudoscience terminology.” –Ben Goldacre, M.D.
“…these detox programs amount to a large quantity of excrement, both literally and figuratively.” –Peter Pressman, M.D.”
“What the marketers of detox products have done is made the term “detox” meaningless – actually the term now is nothing but a red flag for snake oil.”
“The idea that we need to follow a special diet to help our body eliminate toxins is not supported by medical science. Healthy adults have a wonderful system for removal of waste products and toxins from the body. Our lungs, kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal tract and immune system are all primed to remove or neutralise toxic substances within hours of eating them.”
” The investigators concluded that there are no methodologically rigorous controlled trials of colonic cleansing to support the practice for general health promotion. Conversely, there are multiple case reports and case series that describe the adverse effects of colonic cleansing. The practice of colonic cleansing to improve or promote general health is not supported in the published literature and cannot be recommended at this time.”
“If we are to believe the “detox” cult, our bodies are a pestilent sea of toxins, arising both from internal sources (the colon being but one example) and external sources. That’s why it’s useful to divide our “toxic exposure” from an alt-med perspective into two general kinds: External and internal, the latter of which is often referred to as “autointoxication.” External toxins are easy to understand and consist of pretty much anything that is viewed as toxic that enters the body from the environment.”
“Whatever the reason for the resurgence of belief in various “detox” modalities, one thing’s for sure. Unnamed, unknown, undefined “toxins” are the new evil humors and miasmas, and detoxification is the newest fashionable form of ritual purification.”
“Any product or service with the words “detox” or “cleanse” in the name is only truly effective at cleansing your wallet of cash. Alternative medicine’s ideas of detoxification and cleansing have no basis in reality. There’s no published evidence to suggest that detox treatments, kits or rituals have any effect on our body’s ability to eliminate waste products effectively.”
“So does detox work? If it helps us realise that having a healthy lifestyle all the time is an attainable goal, then yes. But if it makes us think healthy living is like purgatory, something to be ventured into very occasionally, and with much trepidation and forward planning, then the answer is clearly no. And is it an intellectually dishonest scam? Probably. Although it might be gentler to think of it as a voluntary, self-administered tax on scientific illiteracy and decadence.”
“Autointoxication is an ancient theory based on the belief that intestinal waste products can poison the body and are a major contributor to many, if not all, diseases. In the 19th century, it was the ruling doctrine of medicine and led “colonic quackery” in various guises. By the turn of the century, it had received some apparent backing from science. When it became clear that the scientific rationale was wrong and colonic irrigation was not merely useless but potentially dangerous, it was exposed as quackery and subsequently went into a decline. Today we are witnessing a resurgence of colonic irrigation based on little less than the old bogus claims and the impressive power of vested interests. Even today’s experts on colonic irrigation can only provide theories and anecdotes in its support. It seems, therefore, that ignorance is celebrating a triumph over science.”
Ernst E. Colonic irrigation and the theory of autointoxication: a triumph of ignorance over science. J Clin Gastroenterol. 1997 Jun;24(4):196-8.
“The idea that putrefaction of the stools causes disease, i.e., intestinal autointoxication, originated with physicians in ancient Egypt. They believed that a putrefactive principle associated with feces was absorbed in to the general circulation, where it acted to produce fever and pus. This description of the materia peccans represented the earliest forerunner of our present notion of endotoxin and its effect. The ancient Greeks extended the concept of putrefaction to involve not only the residues of food, but also those of bile, phlegm, and blood, incorporating it into their humoral theory of disease. During the 19th century, the early biochemical and bacteriologic studies lent credence to the idea of ptomaine poisoning–that degradation of protein in the colon by anerobic bacteria generated toxic amines. Among the leading proponents of autointoxication was Metchnikoff, who hypothesized that intestinal toxins shortened lifespan. The toxic process, however, was reversed by the consumption of lactic acid-producing bacteria that changed the colonic microflora and prevented proteolysis. The next logical step in treatment followed in the early 20th century when surgeons, chief among them Sir W. Arbuthnot Lane, performed colectomy to cure intestinal autointoxication. By the 1920s, the medical doctrine fell into disrepute as scientific advanced failed to give support. However, the idea persists in the public mind, probably as an extension of the childhood habit of toilet training.”
Chen TS, Chen PS. Intestinal autointoxication: a medical leitmotif. J Clin Gastroenterol. 1989 Aug;11(4):434-41.