Is Detoxification Junk Science?

These days, juice bars are everywhere, as are people who are on a ‘juice cleanse’. Drinking juice made from greens and fruit, these devotees believe they are taking in more nutrients, resting their digestive systems, and ridding their bodies of harmful ‘toxins’.

The truth is that they are more likely to be riding a sugar high, negatively impacting their metabolism, and possibly entering the realm of disordered eating. ‘Juice cleansing’ has finally been exposed as a bad habit that appears healthy, but is actually wasteful, and bordering on the ridiculous in what many claim it is able to do.

Yes, there are toxins in our system.

We are all routinely exposures to pesticides, lead, and pharmaceuticals and these residues can build up in our bodies over time, including in our brain. But the assumption that a glass of green juice will be able to remove these materials just doesn’t make sense. Sure, greens provide excellent nutrition. But if you want to detoxify, you’ll need to move past spinach, kale, and mangoes to experience any serious effect into a more serious green food, like chlorella.

Chlorella is a single-celled freshwater algae that is able to replicate itself up to 8 times per day, making it a sustainable – and excellent – food source. Chlorella contains more than twice the RDA of Iron and Vitamin A, and contains 16 grams of protein in a 1 ounce serving. But even more interesting, chlorella, once its cell wall is cracked, binds to heavy metals and other contaminants, removing them from the body.

This isn’t ‘junk’. A 2016 study showed that chlorella enhanced the elimination of radioactive strontium from the body. Strontium is produced by nuclear fission, and has a half-life of 28.8 years, which means it would take almost 30 years for its potency to reduce by half. Strontium is what is referred to as a ‘bone-seeker’, depositing into the bones, causing bone cancer, cancer of nearby tissues, and leukemia. Strontium poisoning is a real concern in areas that have experienced nuclear accidents. This study shows Chlorella also had a protective effect on mice exposed to lead and other heavy metals.

If you’re looking to experience a true detox, here are some guidelines for using chlorella successfully:

If you are allergic to iodine, or have an iodine related thyroid condition, use chlorella with caution as it contains moderate levels of iodine.

Chlorella’s detoxification abilities can only take place is the cell wall is broken. Look for a high-quality, organic source and avoid cheaper brands, which may be improperly cracked and stale. Less of a reputable brand is much more effective than copious amounts of a substandard product.

Side effects such as sensitivity to sunlight, headaches, vertigo, and shaking may be experienced. Note that these are also side effects of detoxification. If you have any concerns, talk to your doctor.

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