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Detox claims a 'myth'

5th January 2009

Experts have warned that there is no proof that products which are advertised as helping to "detox" the body actually work.

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Sense About Science, a charitable trust, looked at 15 products - including shampoo, face wash, vitamins and water - and said the majority mentioned detoxing benefits which were "meaningless".

The research was prompted by a campaign which aims to expose incorrect or unclear scientific claims.

The trust said the products' manufacturers needed to present the proof behind the claims they advertised on their products.

All of the companies had different definitions of the word "detox" although it is classified by the Oxford English Dictionary as "the removal of toxic substances or qualities".

In most instances the manufacturers admitted that they had given new names to normal activities such as cleansing.

Tom Wells, a chemist who formed part of the research team, said: "The minimum sellers of detox products should be able to offer is a clear understanding of what detox is and proof that their product actually works."

"The people we contacted could do neither."

Alice Tuff, from Sense About Science, added: "It is ridiculous that we're seeing a return to mystical properties being claimed for products in the 21st Century and I'm really pleased that young scientists are sharing their concerns about this with the public."

 

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