Monday, February 4, 2013

Do Ion Footbaths Detox?

With spring approaching here in Airdrie, patients are already talking about detoxification.  And, of any time of year, spring is the most opportune time to kick-start the body's already functioning purification systems after a long winter.  Unfortunately, many popular "detoxifications" are either completely ineffective or only create temporary diarrhea thereby "cleansing the bowels."  Worse, several times last year I saw the effects of an "herbal detox" that was absolutely dangerous. 

Today I'm going to highlight a popular product recently shown to be under the completely ineffective category.  Two years ago, a very well ran study assessed the effectiveness of the IonCleanse footbath.  The conclusion?  "Contrary to claims made for the machine, there does not appear to be any specific induction of toxic element release through the feet when running the machine according to specifications."  Yes, the water usually changes colour (this study tracked potentially toxic elements not just colour change) whether your feet are in the water or not!

Here is the entire study for those interested in seeing the detail to which the authors thoroughly tested the IonCleanse machines.  Objective Assessment of an Ionic Footbath (IonCleanse): Testing Its Ability to Remove Potentially Toxic Elements from the Body

As Detox has become mainstream culture, so has the opportunities to take advantage of your time and money.  Please ensure you are doing a safe and effective detoxification this spring.  Even the necessity for all people to do a full-fledged detox is certainly a matter of debate.  As a naturopathic doctor with a keen interest in environmental medicine, I evaluate each patient on a case by case basis: there is no one size fits all approach.