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Apr 18

Why detox foot pads don’t work, and 3 tips to help your body naturally detox instead – Insider

In the medical field, detoxing is an important treatment conducted when someone has overdosed on drugs or other toxins. But, the practice of detoxing as a do-it-yourself, quick health fix has grown in popularity over the years.

There are several popular detox regimens or therapies advertised today, including juice cleanses, taking dietary supplements, and sweating in a sauna. Another product on the market is called a detox foot pad. But while manufacturers may claim otherwise, there is no evidence that detox foot pads, or detoxes in general, work.

Here's what you need to know about detox foot pads, why they don't do the job, and what you can do to help your body's natural detoxification process instead.

A detox foot pad is a sticky patch that you place on the sole of your foot and leave on overnight while you sleep. You can buy various brands of foot pads at stores like CVS or Walmart, or online.

Proponents of detox foot pads claim the product draws out toxins, such as heavy metals, from the bottom of your feet.

There is no health risk in using a detox foot pad, and the purported benefits include:

When you remove the pad, it will be blackened, darkened, or discolored supposedly due to the toxins that were removed from your body. The color of the patch is supposed to determine the type of toxins collected, and in theory, the more you use the pads, the clearer the patch will become. However, there is no evidence this is true.

There is no evidence that detox foot pads work as advertised, says Jeffrey H. Alexander, DPM, a podiatrist at Rush University Medical Center. And there are no published scientific studies available that prove that detox foot pads work. All supposed benefits are based on purely anecdotal evidence.

But what about the darkened pad when you pull it off in the morning? Sorry to say, those colors are primarily from the chemicals in the pads themselves.

Detox foot pads, which are infused with vinegar and other chemicals, can darken or change color after reacting to the perspiration and warmth from the soles of your feet, says Alexander. This discoloration has also been found when dropping distilled water on the product or steaming the pad over a boiling pot of water.

The most these pads would be absorbing is perspiration from the foot, says Michael Trepal, DPM, FACFAS, the Dean and Vice President of Academic Affairs at the New York College of Podiatric Medicine. Sweat glands on the feet can excrete moisture, but that's a normal part of the body, says Trepal. You'd find all of that after wearing a sweat sock too, including some discoloration.

Note: The bottom of your foot is the thickest, toughest skin you can find on the body, says Alexander. It is probably the worst place to draw out toxins since they wouldn't be able to penetrate such a tough layer of skin.

A 2014 review of detox methods found no evidence that any advertised strategies eliminate toxins from the body or help you lose weight . In fact, in 2010, the Federal Trade Commission charged certain detox foot pad companies for misleading consumers to believe the pads could treat numerous medical conditions.

Not only do detoxes not work, but there's no need to go on one. That's because the body does a great job at detoxifying itself. Your gastrointestinal tract, liver, and kidneys all work to process, filter, and excrete toxins and waste from your body.

There are some more beneficial, scientifically-backed ways to help your body with its natural detoxification process, including:

There is no evidence to support the supposed benefits of detox foot pads. The discoloration of the patch, which is infused with vinegar and other chemicals, is due to the sweat and warmth from your foot, not toxins.

Your body already has a natural detoxifying process that involves the kidneys, gastrointestinal tract, and liver. You can help this process along with eating a balanced diet, getting a good night's rest, and drinking enough water.

Original post:
Why detox foot pads don't work, and 3 tips to help your body naturally detox instead - Insider

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