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Detox "a meaningless sales gimmick"

The term "detox" is a meaningless sales gimmick used to promote anything from from foot patches to hair straighteners, according to a new report.

It was complied by Voice of Young Science (VoYS), an organisation that represents more than 300 PhD and postdoctorate students working in science.

Despite a lack of scientific evidence, consumers are being misled into believing that detox products actually work, the report says.

While companies use different definitions of the word, none are able to provide reliable evidence or consistent explanations of what the detox process actually involves.

The British Dietetic Association, which represents 6,000 dieticians across Britain, has said that there is no "potion or lotion" which can magically rid the body of chemicals.

The idea that dangerous toxins build up in the body is also dismissed by health experts, who say that the body is more than capable of cleaning itself.

One of the VoYS report's authors, biologist Harriet Ball, said: "Detox is marketed as the idea that modern living fills us with invisible nasties that our bodies can't cope with. Our investigation into detox products has convinced us that there is little or no proof that these products work."

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Voice of Young Science

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"I personally never believed in it or promoted it and very pleased that the media has at least brought this to the attention of the population at large." - V Henry