Especially in spring and during Lent, you are surrounded by health tips. Everyone claims to know what the body needs and almost every year a new trend emerges. Unfortunately, many of these trends are pure humbug. Purification is one of them. And today we will show you why.
Supporters of purification cures claim that they free the body from stored substances - the so-called waste products - and thus detoxify it. What sounds good and sensible at first glance, unfortunately shows a lack of evidence on closer inspection, which is why we have taken a closer look at the myth surrounding detoxification for you.
How did the myth of purging come about?
A major contribution to this was made by the physician Otto Buchinger. In the 1930s, he postulated that our intestines need to be thoroughly cleansed from time to time, like an oven, of so-called "slags" - a term that originated in metalworking. In order to philosophize further about the meaningfulness of purification cures, we must therefore first clarify what exactly is meant by these "slags" coined by Otto Buchinger.
Well, so correctly one is not united over the Entschlacken until today. Supporters of the theory mean however mostly that it concerns partially decades-old deposits, which develop due to an unhealthy way of life. This includes the consumption of toxins, such as smoking or alcohol consumption, as well as an unhealthy diet. For example, industrially processed foods are said to be unable to be fully processed by the human digestive system. These tiny amounts of undigested residues are said to accumulate and deposit in our intestinal mucosa over a long period of time.
Over the years, these deposits eventually lead - so the theory goes - to the body becoming over-acidic, and over-acidification of the body makes you sick. The list of illnesses that can allegedly be triggered by this is long and ranges from allergies, fatigue and poor concentration to pain, infections and diseases such as Cohn's disease, neurodermatitis and psoriasis.
The solution to all these problems seems so simple according to the purification theory: Balance the body's hyperacidity by eating alkaline-forming foods - which include fruits and lightly steamed vegetables - and drinking plenty of water and herbal teas, and restore the body's internal balance.
But why don't we believe in it?
So much for the theory of the followers of detoxification. But what keeps us from believing them? Proof number one why we have our doubts with the purification theory is that our intestines unfortunately have nothing at all to do with the hard, porous mass that remains in smaller or larger pieces in a furnace when hard coal and coke are burned.
On the contrary, our intestines are packed with about seven liters of digestive juices that ensure that their contents are properly decomposed. It is riddled with muscles that keep its contents constantly moving, and has specialized cells that form mucus to help food pass through the digestive tract without any problems. In addition, the mucous membrane of our small intestine is constantly shedding cells, so nothing can permanently attach to its walls on that basis alone.
Proof number two, which we bring into the field, is that until today slags have never been detected as a substance in the human body. This is also the reason why doctors in particular do not think much of the purification theory. According to today's medical standard, healthy people have sufficient elimination of metabolic products and toxins from the body.
The German society for nutrition (DGE), for example, said: "In a healthy human body there is no accumulation of slags and deposition of metabolic products. Substances that cannot be utilized are excreted via the intestines and kidneys. The term "purge" repeatedly mentioned in connection with therapeutic fasting cannot be scientifically substantiated."
So does a purification cure make sense at all?
Yes and no. A purification cure with the goal of removing non-existent "slags" from the body is definitely not purposeful in our opinion. Nevertheless, as described above, our body is constantly busy removing undigested residues and metabolic products from our body.
Our excretory organs, such as the kidneys, liver, stomach and intestines, are especially called upon to eliminate the undesirable residues in a natural way. With this task very well a health-conscious detox cure for example with herbs and wild plants, which by nature have a stimulating effect on our metabolism and support our excretory organs.
But now to our favorite topic: the cells. Detoxing on a cellular level makes us feel better and more comfortable again. In fact, unlike detoxing, it has been scientifically proven that all of our cellular processes accumulate cellular waste, as we can see here have reported. To get rid of this ballast, it makes sense to stimulate the body's own cleansing process of autophagy.
This also has the advantage of strengthening and replenishing the specialized cells in our intestines that form the mucus in the digestive tract, and the rejected cells of the small intestine. As already mentioned, these are essential for the elimination of our ballast through the intestines.
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