Context: Removal of toxins from the body is an integral part of Ayurvedic, yogic, and naturopathic medicine. Symptoms of poor health in people free from diagnosed disease may be related to toxin buildup.
Objective: This study investigates whether a 7-day program of detoxification can improve well-being and enhance the activity of liver detoxification pathways.
Methods: In this pilot, patient-outcome-focused, noncontrolled clinical intervention, 25 disease-free participants were recruited. Pre- and postmeasures were taken using the Metabolic Screening Questionnaire (as a subjective assessment of well-being) and drug challenge tests to assess hepatic detoxification capacity.
Results: A statistically significant (47%) reduction in the Metabolic Screening Questionnaire scores resulted. This improvement in patient-assessed health occurred concurrently with a 23% increase in liver detoxification capacity, as reflected by the caffeine clearance measure. There was an increase in the urinary sulfate-to-creatinine ratio after treatment, indicating a trend toward improved liver function.
Discussion: In disease-free adults, a 7-day course of detoxification may produce improvements in subjective health reports. This simple, short-term intervention may be appropriate for disease-free individuals without specific toxin exposure, for the purpose of enhancing health and preventing the development of disease.
Conclusions: A simple 7-day detoxification program resulted in a significant reduction in participant symptomology. The tendency toward improvement in liver detoxification measures is consistent with the hypothesis that improved liver detoxification capacity may contribute to well-being.