Alternative detox

Br Med Bull. 2012;101:33-8. doi: 10.1093/bmb/lds002. Epub 2012 Jan 31.


Background: The concept that alternative therapies can eliminate toxins and toxicants from the body, i.e. 'alternative detox' (AD) is popular.

Sources of data: Selected textbooks and articles on the subject of AD.

Areas of agreement: The principles of AD make no sense from a scientific perspective and there is no clinical evidence to support them.

Areas of controversy: The promotion of AD treatments provides income for some entrepreneurs but has the potential to cause harm to patients and consumers.

Growing points: In alternative medicine, simplistic but incorrect concepts such as AD abound. AREAS TIMELY FOR RESEARCH: All therapeutic claims should be scientifically tested before being advertised-and AD cannot be an exception.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health
  • Complementary Therapies / adverse effects
  • Complementary Therapies / methods*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / methods
  • Hazardous Substances / pharmacokinetics*
  • Humans
  • Inactivation, Metabolic


  • Hazardous Substances