Detox Is A Scam: A Doctor Explains How To Maximize Your 2017 Health Goals

Life & Culture Editor


You know how it goes: The second the ball drops and New Year’s Eve becomes New Year’s Day, people mobilize. They drink their last glasses of champagne, kiss the nearest closest stranger, and swear that this will be the year they quit the grind, shift perspectives, and finally — finally — find inspiration.

For many people, that means a commitment to being healthier. It means a serious detox diet. It means transforming from the withered husk of a drunken caterpillar into a radiant human-sized butterfly, casually munching on an unpeeled carrot.

I’m one of those people. On New Year’s Day I refused a lunch at the Golden Corral (and its totally hygienic chocolate fountain), wrote out a list of resolutions about my health (my blood pressure is too high, my activity level too low), and then proceeded to slam an entire glass of Apple Cider vinegar because the internet told me that it would help me lose weight, improve circulation, and kickstart my metabolism. It would also detox my entire body, turning me from a dude who relentlessly punishes his insides with chocolate pasta and gallons of eggnog into a lean, mean, sour-smelling machine, ready to take on the world.

Except it’s all bullshit. All of it. And the first thing that Dr. Natasha Bhuyan told me — when I proudly announced that I’d just fortified my body with a nourishing blend of water and Bragg’s vinegar — was that there is no scientific evidence that chugging the stuff for breakfast actually does anything.

In fact, if you, like me, have to take a medication that helps you control your blood pressure so you don’t die before you hit 40, it could actually be dangerous.

I would have known that, had I done a little research. But I hadn’t. Instead, I’d done a cursory Google tour and believed the hype. And that’s why I was on the phone, bloated and sweaty, and no longer feeling as proud of myself as I had a few seconds before. Chances are, you’ve stood in a similar spot: queasy and feeling stupid because you thought that a cleanse or detox would miraculously fix everything wrong with your life like it was Iyanla Vanzant and a film crew.

Worry not, nodding friend! Your problems are my (and by extension, all of our) problems, and Dr. Bhuyan, an Arizona-based family practitioner with One Medical, was happy to provide the real facts about all those detox diets your friends keep pushing at you.

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