The Detoxification Myth

Everyone wants to "detoxify" their bodies. Is this for real?

by Brian Dunning

Filed under Alternative Medicine, Consumer Ripoffs, Health

Skeptoid #83
January 15, 2008
Podcast transcript | Listen | Subscribe
Also available in French | Russian

Today we're going to head into the bathroom and suck the toxins out of our bodies through our feet and through our bowels, and achieve a wonderful sense of wellness that medical science just hasn't caught onto yet. Today's topic is the myth of detoxification, as offered for sale by alternative practitioners and herbalists everywhere.

To better understand this phenomenon, it's necessary to define what they mean by toxins. Are they bacteria? Chemical pollutants? Trans fats? Heavy metals? To avoid being tested, they leave this pretty vague. Actual medical treatments will tell you exactly what they do and how they do it. Alternative detoxification therapies don't do either one. They pretty much leave it up to the imagination of the patient to invent their own toxins. Most people who seek alternative therapy believe themselves to be afflicted by some kind of self-diagnosed poison; be it industrial chemicals, McDonald's cheeseburgers, or fluoridated water. If the marketers leave their claims vague, a broader spectrum of patients will believe that the product will help them. And, of course, the word "toxin" is sufficiently scientific-sounding that it's convincing enough by itself to many people.

Let's assume that you work in a mine or a chemical plant and had some vocational accident, and fear that you might have heavy metal poisoning. What should you do? Any responsible person will go to a medical doctor for a blood test to find out for certain whether they have such poisoning. A person who avoids this step, because they prefer not to hear that the doctor can't find anything, is not a sick person. He is a person who wants to be sick. Moreover, he wants to be sick in such a way that he can take control and self-medicate. He wants an imaginary illness, caused by imaginary toxins.

Now it's fair for you to stop me at this point and call me out on my claim that these toxic conditions are imaginary. I will now tell you why I say that, and then as always, you should judge for yourself.

Let's start with one of the more graphic detoxification methods, gruesomely pictured on web sites and in chain emails. It's a bowel cleansing pill, said to be herbal, which causes your intestines to produce long, rubbery, hideous looking snakes of bowel movements, which they call mucoid plaque. There are lots of pictures of these on the Internet, and sites that sell these pills are a great place to find them. Look at,, and, just for a start. Imagine how terrifying it would be to actually see one of those come out of your body. If you did, it would sure seem to confirm everything these web sites have warned about toxins building up in your intestines. But there's more to it. As it turns out, any professional con artist would be thoroughly impressed to learn the secrets of mucoid plaque (and, incidentally, the term mucoid plaque was invented by these sellers; there is no such actual medical condition). These pills consist mainly of bentonite, an absorbent, expanding clay similar to kitty litter. Combined with psyllium, used in the production of mucilage polymer, bentonite forms a rubbery cast of your intestines when taken internally, mixed of course with whatever else your body is excreting. Surprise, a giant rubbery snake of toxins in your toilet.

It's important to note that the only recorded instances of these "mucoid plaque" snakes in all of medical history come from the toilets of the victims of these cleansing pills. No gastroenterologist has ever encountered one in tens of millions of endoscopies, and no pathologist has ever found one during an autopsy. They do not exist until you take such a pill to form them. The pill creates the very condition that it claims to cure. And the results are so graphic and impressive that no victim would ever think to argue with the claim.

Victims, did I call them? Creating rubber casts of your bowels might be gross but I haven't seen that it's particularly dangerous, so why are they victims? A one month supply of these pills costs $88 from the web sites I mentioned. $88 for a few pennies worth of kitty litter in a pretty bottle promising herbal and organic cleansing. Yeah, they're victims.

It's already been widely reported that alternative practitioners who provide colon cleansing with tubes and liquids have killed a number of their customers by causing infections and perforated bowels, and for this reason the FDA has made it illegal to sell such equipment, except for use in medical colon cleansing to prepare for radiologic endoscopic examinations. There is no legally sold colon cleansing equipment approved for general well being or detoxification.

As usual, the alternative practitioners stay one step ahead of the law. There are a number of electrical foot bath products on the market. The idea is that you stick your feet in the bath of salt water, usually with some herbal or homeopathic additive, plug it in and switch it on, and soak your feet. After a while the water turns a sickly brown, and this is claimed to be the toxins that have been drawn out of your body through your feet. One tester found that his water turned brown even when he did not put his feet in. The reason is that electrodes in the water corrode via eletrolysis, putting enough oxidized iron into the water to turn it brown. When reporter Ben Goldacre published these results in the Guardian Unlimited online news, some of the marketers of these products actually changed their messaging to admit this was happening — but again, staying one step ahead — now claim that their product is not about detoxification, it's about balancing the body's energy fields: Another meaningless, untestable claim.

But detoxifying through the feet didn't end there. A newcomer to the detoxification market is Kinoki foot pads, available at These are adhesive gauze patches that you stick to the sole of your foot at night, and they claim to "draw" "toxins" from your body. They also claim that all Japanese people have perfect health, and the reason is that they use Kinoki foot pads to detoxify their bodies, a secret they've been jealously guarding from medical science for hundreds of years. A foolish claim like this is demonstrably false on every level, and should raise a huge red flag to any critical reader. Nowhere in any of their marketing materials do they say what these alleged toxins are, or what mechanism might cause them to move from your body into the adhesive pad.

Kinoki foot pads contain unpublished amounts of vinegar, tourmaline, chitin, and other unspecified ingredients. Tourmaline is a semi-precious gemstone that's inert and not biologically reactive, so it has no plausible function. Chitin is a type of polymer used in gauze bandages and medical sutures, so naturally it's part of any gauze product. They probably mention it because some alternative practitioners believe that chitin is a "fat attractor", a pseudoscientific claim which has never been supported by any evidence or plausible hypothesis. I guess they hope that we will infer by extension that chitin also attracts "toxins" out of the body. Basically the Kinoki foot pads are gauze bandages with vinegar. Vinegar has many folk-wisdom uses when applied topically, such as treating acne, sunburn, warts, dandruff, and as a folk antibiotic. But one should use caution: Vinegar can cause chemical burns on infants, and the American Dietetic Association has tracked cases of home vinegar applications to the foot causing deep skin ulcers after only two hours.

Since the Kinoki foot pads are self-adhesive, peeling them away removes the outermost layer of dead skin cells. And since they are moist, they loosen additional dead cells when left on for a while. So it's a given that the pads will look brown when peeled from your foot, exactly like any adhesive tape would; though this effect is much less dramatic than depicted on the TV commercials, depending on how dirty your feet are. And, as they predict, this color will diminish over subsequent applications, as fewer and fewer of your dead, dirty skin cells remain. There is no magic detoxification needed to explain this effect. (Later news: In fact, Kinoki footpads contain powdered wood vinegar, which always turns brownish black when exposed to moisture, such as sweat. - BD)

Tip Skeptoid $2/mo $5/mo $10/mo One time

Anyone interested in detoxifying their body might think about paying a little more attention to their body and less attention to the people trying to get their money. The body already has nature's most effective detoxification system. It's called the liver. The liver changes the chemical structure of foreign compounds so they can be filtered out of the blood by the kidneys, which then excrete them in the urine. I am left wondering why the alternative practitioners never mention this option to their customers. It's all-natural and proven effective. Is it ironic that the only people who will help you manage this all-natural option are the medical doctors? Certainly your naturopath won't. He wants to sell you some klunky half-legal hardware.

Why is it that so many people are more comfortable self-medicating for conditions that exist only in advertisements, than they are simply taking their doctor's advice? It's because doctors are burdened with the need to actually practice medicine. They won't hide bad news from you or make up easy answers to please you. But that's what people want: The easy answers promised by advertisements and alternative practitioners. They want the fantasy of being in complete personal control of what goes on inside their bodies. A doctor won't lie to you and say that a handful of herbal detoxification pills will cure anything that's wrong with you; but since that's the solution many people want, there's always someone willing to sell it.

Brian Dunning

© 2008 Skeptoid Media Copyright information

References & Further Reading

Chappel, M. "Colon Therapeutics 23-Oct-03." US Food and Drug Administration, 23 Oct. 2003. Web. 25 Dec. 2009. <>

Fang, Hsai-Yang. Introduction to environmental geotechnology. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 1997. 434-437.

Goldacre, Ben. "Be fit: The detox myth." The Guardian. 8 Jan. 2005, Newspaper: 9.

Lordan, Betsy. "FTC Charges Marketers of Kinoki Foot Pads With Deceptive Advertising; Seeks Funds for Consumer Redress." Federal Trade Commission. Federal Trade Commission, 28 Jan. 2009. Web. 25 Dec. 2009. <>

Moores, S. "Experts Warn of Detox Diet Dangers." NBC News., 18 May 2007. Web. 3 Nov. 2012. <>

Singh, S., Ernst, E. Trick or treatment: the undeniable facts about alternative medicine. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2008. 226-227,308.

Reference this article:
Dunning, B. "The Detoxification Myth." Skeptoid Podcast. Skeptoid Media, 15 Jan 2008. Web. 7 Oct 2015. <>


Just wanted to let you know that chitin is actually pronounced /ˈkaɪtən/ (it's Greek). has a sample pronounciation. Otherwise, great episode, thanks!

Peter Murawski, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
January 15, 2008 2:30pm

Actually, it sounds unlikely that the footpads are made for chitin, as chitin bandages are very fragile and are usually covered with a second, regular bandage.

And, I'd like to add that there there are several uses of the word "Detoxification". It's also used in drug/alcohol rehabilitation, where it usually means replacing the drug with another medicin to prevent or ease withdrawal.

Other then that, I totally agree. But still, I wouldn't call the people victims, except of their own stupidity.

I'm all for getting dumb people to give you money, and encourage it. I see it as a form of punishment for stupidity.

Alcari, the Netherlands
January 17, 2008 1:54pm

The people that are stupid enough to buy into this crap aren't going to heed the message of this report....I find it funny though.

Danny, Seattle
January 18, 2008 2:37am

I agree that a lot of things out there are for your money, but there is one little detoxification that's actually legitimate: a candida cleanse.

People who have overgrowth of candida albicans fungus (often referred to as yeast) really don't need to spend any money on cleansers; they just have to know that candida feeds off sugars and simple carbohydrates. Cut out sugar, white breads and rice, eat more garlic, onions, and live yogurt, and you're done. I don't want people with candida to think that it's a hoax along with this other crap.

Regarding actual "toxins," however, all you really have to do is take care of your own liver....

Emily, Virginia
January 18, 2008 7:08am

Some stuff here is true, some over-exaggerated.

January 18, 2008 7:53am

Sure, some of it is bunk, then again, some of us don't have insurance to go pay a doctor every time we may feel a little sick, even if that sickness lasts for years. I'm not sure if you've looked at how much money doctors charge, but it is not a practical amount to pay without the aid of insurance. Some of us have to rely on "natural cures" and hope that they are not ripping us off.
A lot of modern treatments are simply more efficient methods derived from older natural cures, so there are some valid ones out there. Article would be better if it listed some working methods of detoxification.

Sr. Lopez, KS
January 18, 2008 10:10am

if you truly need to detox. after a hard party weekend. Denatured charcoal will cleanse the blood

it is what is givin in the hospitals
when you O.D. and it workes wonders

you swallow a hand full of them late sat. night and sunday is a little nasty but mon you are 100% as long as you are on a proper vitamin regaiment

Donny, Occoquan
January 18, 2008 10:16am

Fasting is the most effective way to cleanse the body. The master lemon cleanse is the best I've done. I agree most of the detox products out there are junk. I'm curious if the author includes detox teas in his category of a waste of money.

I've tried the foot bath a couple times and am curious where the metals came from if not from my body.

Craig, Asheville, NC
January 18, 2008 10:23am

I wouldn't really trust FDA.

They are known to oppose alternative therapies. It doesn't go along with pharmaceutical industry lobbying as it would decrease amount of 'conventional' drugs sold.

I am not trying to say that these cleansing pills do not really cause this mess, I am just saying that I am cautious when FDA says something is good or bad.

laki, USA
January 18, 2008 12:06pm

Easy for you to say to go to a real Dr. to recieve medical treatment that is trustworthy. Unfortunately, not everyone has medical insurance or the money to pay for medical treatment. Most of us who use alternative medicines are the ones stuck out in the cold by our own country that has outpriced medical care. Squeezing out the lower/lower middle class from basic medical care. Most of us suffer through our medical issues and try to survive.
I'd like to know the precentage of deaths in this country from major catastrophic illnesses that are the poor in this country. I find it dusgusting that our country is so bent on stopping civil war, poverty, starvation and a litney of other social issues in other countries when our own country suffers from all of the above. Our government needs to take care of it's own before it starts to solve the worlds problems!!!!!!!

Raylyn, USA
January 18, 2008 1:16pm

Good Lord, the resolutely gullible are out in force on this one. Five responses and only one is not full of frothing rage and paranoia. Danny's helpful hints for binge drinking are the most sensible of the lot.

Cambias, Amherst, MA
January 18, 2008 4:53pm

With all due respect to the author, absence of proof is not proof of absence. While it is true that many of the "detox" products available are complete crap, thaere are those "alternative" methods (read as traditional) which do a great deal of good. also, I would like to point out to Cambias that of the responses so far only two involve anything close to frothing rage and those are his and the one right before him. Also, the head of the FDA is the one who has claimed that the FDA is unduly influenced by drug companies so I'm unsure as to how that statement is paranoid.

sarah, New Orleans
January 18, 2008 7:00pm

The body is amazing and will take care of itself. It is call homeostasis. Thanks for calling attention to these charlatans.

Of course, illness and disease happen, and there is a lot we don't know about it, but I refuse to spend any money on alternative medical products that are not proven by evidenced based studies. I am spending my money on a new pair of shoes, a good book, a great meal or fun movie.

Jan, Laguna Niguel
January 18, 2008 7:41pm

"Actual medical treatments will tell you exactly what they do and how they do it." What they don't tell you is that while treating one part of your body, they are usually screwing with another. Doctors only know textbooks - they are very removed from the actual body, and cannot see it in any wholistic sense. Certainly they are great in some situations: removing bullets, sewing limbs back on after accidents... but let's not forget they make their money on humans being sick. I'd rather spend mine on remaining healthy. Make sure you always see a recognised practitioner, because yes, charlatans are scary. The FDA, in its scaremongery, is moreso.

Ingrid, Melbourne Australia
January 18, 2008 8:03pm

To Raylyn,
Many may lack the income necessary to visit a medical doctor, but wholistic "healers" are neither free nor cheap, nor can I see any proof that they do anyone any good.
Any alternative medicine that is theorized to be equivalent to medical treatments without substantial proof is nothing more than a large gamble with your personal health.
Maybe it's just me, but I would sooner visit a free clinic and get proper medical advice than self-diagnose or use alternative medicines that could likely drain my money and leave me no more healthy than I was before.

Melissa, Anchorage, Alaska
January 18, 2008 8:23pm

Running down the entire alternative treatment realm is not helpful to anyone. Western drs have run down many alternative treatments that have now been proven helpful. ie: lysine for herpes and skin/tissue repair. salt water cleansing of the sinus kills and cleans away bacteria stopping sinus infections better than antibiotics. and many others.

Bryan, Gulfport
January 19, 2008 9:11am

"Any responsible person will go to a medical doctor for a blood test to find out for certain whether they have such poisoning. A person who avoids this step, because they prefer not to hear that the doctor can't find anything, is not a sick person. He is a person who wants to be sick."
I disagree with you because I did not want to be sick. I was miserable and medical doctors trained in the best schools could find nothing wrong. Why? Simply because they followed a textbook definition and lab guideline for my illness. They claimed nothing was wrong until, one day I fell so ill that I was hospitalized. All of the sudden, I was sick enough to be diagnosed by one of them with what I had claimed was wrong all along. A natural practitioner finally got me back on my feet and I've never felt better. I feel more comfortable working with a natural MD who can analyze me as an individual rather than most MDs in the world that would look at me as a business. Thus, it is fair to say that the medical practices of textbook medicine are flawed.

Carla, Atlanta
January 19, 2008 2:13pm

Interesting. I went and looked at a list of ingredients on the first in your list, Dr. Natura, and there is no bentonite in it. When I didn't see it there I did not bother researching the others as it appears you do not have your facts straight.

My $.02

James, Denver
January 19, 2008 2:58pm

Indeed, Cambias, they are out on this one.
To all those who feel "alternative" treatments have something to offer over scientific medicine, I have a question for y'all. Would you fly in an aircraft that had been maintained by "alternative" methods?

Marius vanderLubbe, Nullabour Plain., Australia
January 19, 2008 4:47pm

Where do you get your info? NONE of the mentioned colon cleanse products contain bentonite (clay)in their ingredient lists. Are you just making this stuff up? Sounds like it...Wonder what would happen if YOU got the product and tried it? It offers a money back guarantee, but I don't think you'll need it, as it sounds like you are full of crap yourself! Has Western medicine brainwashed you this much? How about the greedy, money hungry drug companies? They are making money off you, advertising their pills on TV and telling us to "ask our dr. if so and so is right for you", without even telling us what the drug is for! Drugs are the second biggest business in the U.S., brainwashing Americans that they will make their lives better, when in fact the side effects are much more numerous than the benefits of any of the meds. Maybe you should be skeptical about that harsh reality...

Leslie, Atlanta
January 20, 2008 12:55am

So when you, or one of your kids, gets meningitis, you'll just be getting garlic.

Marius vanderLubbe, Nullabour Plain, Australia.
January 20, 2008 12:47pm

wow! I checked out the DrNatura site and I can't believe people fall for this. The colon cleansing stuff actually contains both pectin and guar gum- with or without bentonite, that would give one gummy stools.
The fact that the first page is covered with histrionics and you have to go further into the site to find the ingredients is itself a clue to the credibility of these jokers.

Amy, Philadelphia
January 21, 2008 1:29am

re VanderLubbe's posts: your logic is fabulous!! very entertaining, keep it up.

Ingrid, Melbourne Australia
January 21, 2008 6:55pm

Thanks, Ingrid. Nice to see a fellow Antipodean here.

Marius vanderLubbe, Nullabour plain,Australia
January 22, 2008 1:55am

Bentonite is there. Botton right of the page.

Marcelo, Rio de Janeiro
January 22, 2008 3:43am

My favorite was a trip to a health food store where a clerk suggested a tea to "clean" my liver. I did not even think I had a dirty liver! It had lots of ingredients, but cascara and senna were at the top of the list. Two well know herbal laxatives that would easily lead someone who suddenly produced an increase in bowel movements that their body was getting rid of toxins and their liver was being cleaned!

D.B., Scotland
January 22, 2008 12:00pm

Why did you visit a health food store in the first place? Why not the doctor? What symptoms did you describe to the clerk? Come on, D.B., all the facts please.

PS. These days even doctors know about and acknowledge, in your words, "dirty livers"...

Ingrid, Melbourne Australia
January 22, 2008 4:19pm

"A doctor won't lie to you and say that a handful of herbal detoxification pills will cure anything that's wrong with you; but since that's the solution many people want, there's always someone willing to sell it."

Well thats what happened to me - seems like doctors do lie. You make so many assumptions in this trashy article - my advice go write for rupert murdo - that's of course if you are not alraedy doing so.

Greg, Palm Beach
January 22, 2008 4:35pm

Detoxing isn't a myth just because there are a bunch of fake treatments for it. Any nutritionist will tell you to drink lots of water. Why? because it flushes bad shit out of our systems. There's tons of other things you can do to clean your body, its just that some people like to make money off of other people's ignorance to the facts.

Eric, Detroit
January 22, 2008 10:14pm

Oh,come on!Medical Doctors are the biggest quack assed charlatans out there,pimping hard for the big pharmaceutical companies!!Don't forget to take your 'little purple pill' for the dread disease acid reflux(Egads!)or your friendly cartoon charactered Zocor for depression (suddenly a 'disorder',instead of a common,normal phase of emotion experienced by everyone from time to time)!There is no Wizard of Oz,Folks-the detached guy in the white coat checking his watch really doesn't know that much more than me or you.

Barry, Atlanta
January 23, 2008 1:33am

Not to mention the fact that western medicine loves to "discover" treatments which "alternative" medicine has been using for hundreds or even thousands of years... who'll ever forget the Great Western Discovery of Manuka Honey just a couple of years ago?? As though until then, no one else had ever heard of it.

Face it, practitioners of western medicine are becoming more and more afraid as more and more people are realising their so-called "diagnoses" are the worst kind of guesswork, in aid of lining their wallets for their children's private school education, or that holiday house in Portsea...

"Why fix your diet if you've got Crohn's Disease, when we can get you addicted to steroids??? Stay on that sugar!
Don't worry if you've had breast cancer, we can give you a preventative that doesn't involve the bother of cleaning up your environment. It'll probably give you cancer of the uterus, but we can just remove that. And if, in the meantime, you die of cancer of the uterus, then at least we were successful in preventing the breast cancer from returning. Pip pip - how's your kid's education?"

Ingrid, Melbourne Australia
January 23, 2008 4:34am

There is no question that western medical doctors write bogus prescriptions and encourage the pharmaceutical companies in their quest to create a pill for everything. There is money to be made for both parties when that happens, and its a shame. Still, the medical community, despite its many flaws, is based on research and evidence that is reviewed and updated as new facts come to light. Even though there is money to be made, most doctors care more about helping people than making a cheap buck off prescriptions.
The peddlers of pseudoscience remedies and organic miracle cures are not so held down by a medical establishment or a Hippocratic Oath. They are there to make money and play off of people's emotions and fears, and they are very good at what they do. I, for one, would much rather trust my health to a professional medical practitioner than a man selling footpads soaked with vinegar.

Eric, Seattle
January 23, 2008 10:16am

I'm not worried about doctors writing "bogus" prescriptions; my concern is that writing prescriptions is all they know. They have no clue of how to improve health through lifestyle or diet (most of them will tell you the best way to get calcium is through eating DAIRY!! - can't wait to see how many of you try to defend that).

The problem with western medicine is that it repeatedly attempts to treat the symptoms rather than finding the root of the problem. Repeated prescription causes allergies and further strain for the body, since all these pharmaceutical drugs carry effects other than the one they are supposedly treating you for.

Many problems will go away of their accord if the body’s natural immune system is encouraged (eg sometimes it is just a matter of increasing liver function, spleen function etc). But doctors play on the fact that people want “quick fixes”, so they prescribe some little “tested” pills. And come on Eric, who do you think pays for those “test results”??

Ingrid, Melbourne Australia
January 23, 2008 2:29pm

I am surprised by how many people see the world as black and white. I've been reading alot of comments with people who are strictly for and strictly against alternative methods/medicines or western medicine. Yes, there are alternative medicines out there that are junk, but that does not negate all others. On the other side, there are miracles of modern, western medicine that cannot be duplicated by any alternatives, but it is also not without flaw.

Doctors, too, hand out medication for various ailments, but many also do not devote the time and energy to explain what is happening to your body and to help you understand what behaviors contribute to your imbalance of health. How can he (she) if he only has a few minutes to see you? Most often, they treat a disease and not the underlying cause of it and you will come back again and pay more.

Many well respected and accomplished scientists, doctors, geneticists and the like are now blending alternative philosophies with western medical philosophies as they are now seeing the power that both have together.

Instead of seeing any one side championing the other, I see it as both sides have something to contribute to my health. Both sides are victim to greedy, dishonest businesses who take advantage of people's vulnerabilities.

Valerie, Van Nuys
January 23, 2008 2:46pm

Ingrid, I don't know what crappy doctors you see, but mine has never prescribed me anything to fight the symptomes, unless it's a problem that will solve itself.

It's completely normal for a doctor to prescribe something for the headache, instead of doing expensive tests, because 95% of the time, the problem will solve itself.

It is also normal for to prescribe medicin, IN ADITION to advicing you to improve your lifestyle and nutrition. Again, I don't know what backwater regions of the world you all live in, but here in modern western europe, where everyone has relatively cheap insurance, I've never heared a doctor say "Here's some pills for your weak bones, you go right ahead with your cheeseburger diet"

but here's something that'll really blow your mind, I tried it once and laughed my ass off.
Go to a real doctor and fake an illness, I chose constipation. My doctor suggested drinking water, eating fiber and coming back after a few days.
The local homeopathist/bio resonance person however, waved his magic wa.. i'm sorry, bio resonance apperatus, and suggested that I should stop eating peanuts (which I never do, yuck) and should take some garlic pills.

Now, which ones are the quacks again?

Alcari, the Netherlands
January 24, 2008 4:24am

Damn those Medical Doctors, because they detected and treated my Pulmonary Atresia as an infant I'm still alive and have to deal with dirty intestines.

Joseph, USA
January 24, 2008 12:48pm

The problem with some of the alternative methods and promotion of them is they are just so lacking in actual facts.

Read this:

I'm just not sure I would want to take this if they told me I was drinking some form of clay also used in kitty litter.

I'd rather have an apple juice or bowl of oatabix. It's great for cleansing the system out.


Samantha, England
January 25, 2008 4:49am

Ingrid, please let us know what exactly your qualifications for your position are.

Marius vanderLubbe, Nullabour Plain, Australia
January 25, 2008 6:42am

Oatabix will give your system a good clean out. The stink can be smelt all the way out to Ireland. You steamer!

Marc, England
January 26, 2008 2:58pm

I see those ads on tv and sometimes it gives me some hope, but always investigate. I read the comments from those who have tried and truly appreciate the honesty of those people. I do believe there are natural herbs that can help and believe that doctor prescribed medicines can harm you. I also realize that medicines can sometimes be the only resource for us. People go to the doctor for everything these days and get the pills for the miracle cure. I believe that many of our illnesses are due to our way of foods, drinking everything but cleansing water essential to us, tobacco products, etc. What ever happened to pest free gardening and home cooking meals? We want everything to be convenient and quick so we bring much upon ourselves.

Marilyn, Portland, OR
January 27, 2008 1:16pm

This is the silliest thing I have ever seen written. No more have I seen a group of people that are into alternative medicine than those working in the medical industry. There are many studies and their results by all major med schools on the benefits of many commonly used treatments(natural). Well studied, but a waste of life to write essays on things that are only studied at a skeptical viewpoint. There is a sad common practice with the critical "learned" individual is they lack the ability to view any subject claimed as beneficial purely optimistic and critical with hope there may be help. Have you read any of the studies relating new cancers and nervous system diseases with the long term effects of toxins in the body. The body is magnificent. Not built to clean the drugs, pesticides, insecticides, radiation and all the other number of toxins that are man made and new. Our body needs help and more toxins are not always the answer.

Kris, Alaska
January 29, 2008 12:20am

Kris, a few things that bothered me about your post.

1) What exactly is a toxin? It is a buzz word that is thrown around a lot but is never defined. Before "toxin" is properly defined, it is very good advice to be skeptical of anything that claims to rid the body of them.

2) The body has organs built specifically to do the jobs that you claim the body can't do. The liver is there to break down certain harmful molecules and keep your body running smoothly. The kidneys are also built to filter blood and remove the byproducts of the livers actions. The body is, in fact, built to clean itself of unwanted chemicals.

3) You say that the medical community is into alternative medicine. Saying that every major med school is on board with the majority of natural remedies is untrue. Although some natural remedies may have beneficial effects (basically all cholesterol lowering drugs on the market today were developed from a substance found in red yeast rice), it is not true that all natural remedies are helpful. Since there are so many quacks trying to make a buck, the medical community is forced to be skeptical of new claims. If foot massages and herbs could cure all known diseases, doctors wouldn't exist.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
January 29, 2008 8:32pm

Kris, there is a vast difference between natural medicine and natural medicene.

If you mean unresearched herbs and untried substances and such, then yes, the medical world is doing lots of research on it. Most turn out to be nothing, but you never know when you find a new "quinine".

If you mean foot massage and channeling and such, then no, the research has been done, and redone, and all the so-called evidence is purely annecdotal.

Alcari, the Netherlands
January 30, 2008 12:58pm

Drat, just when I thought.......
no, was told of a new miracle, I wind up saving 19.95

dick, cincinnati
January 31, 2008 2:57am

THANK YOU! I have been saying this for years! its about time someone put it out there for others to read.
there is no way you can pull any poisons out of your body via your feet or your intestines...for cripes sake by the time they reach them parts of your body....hello! they are IN your body. Just don't put them there in the first place. actual science discoveries have to (and the dr.s want to show off their work/findings, who wouldn't?) go through a testing process where five other independent doctors or companies preform the exact same work/tests to get the same outcome. if they don't get the same results (or get the tests done)...well then it doesn't work. i am all for homeopathy but against con artists.
Good for you and thank you!


Lisa, illinois
February 1, 2008 6:16am

Oh yes! Medical doctors and drug companies. They are always looking out for your well being.

Doctors get paid kickbacks for specific numbers of prescriptions. (I saw my doctor's check from the drug company).

Why are so many people dead from FDA approved drugs from our reputable drug companies?

Why are the same drugs cheaper outside of the US?

Give me a break! They are just as bad as the snake oil salesmen.

TB, Los Angeles, CA
February 1, 2008 8:55pm

Lisa, for you to call out detox remedies and then praise homeopathy is a bit contradictory. It is a lot like saying, "I don't believe in snake oil, that is ridiculous. I use magic elixirs instead."

If you don't understand what I mean, there is an episode that deals with homeopathy on this site. I suggest you check it out.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
February 1, 2008 9:02pm

I think grouping the silly foot pads and the expensive pills with other forms of detoxification isn't really legit. Additionally, there are many forms of detox that can be done without buying these types of products. For example, the "Lemonade Diet" (Master Cleanse) requires lemons, cayenne pepper and maple syrup. I've done this several times, and the results are great.

AJ, Atlanta
February 2, 2008 9:15am

AJ, would you be so kind as to enlighten us as to how lemons, cayenne pepper and maple syrup can have a detoxifying effect?

Marius vanderLubbe, Nullabour Plain, Australia
February 2, 2008 3:21pm

What I want to know is: is there a genuine cure for lycanthropy out there? This constant metamorphosing into a wolf & back again is drives me mad - mad, I tell you! I wake up in the morning with dried blood all over my face & hands, a burning pain in my bones, & no memory whatsoever of the previous night's activities. Why me, God - why?

Anyhoo, yeah: it'd be awesome if anyone out there knew of a real, viable remedy for werewolfism - I so need to get my life back on track, you know? Plus, if I don't get this taken care of before I die, I'll have to spend Eternity in Hell (as my soul'll be damned for my being the Devil's pawn & tasting human blood), and that'd just suck ass.


Diego Baz, Pittsburgh, PA
February 3, 2008 1:40am

Ahh, yes. The old Werewolf question. Colloidal silver at 30c dilution will do there trick. I hope you've had your distemper and rabies shots. Either of those two will certainly end the endless cycle of wolf and man. (fade out to Metallica)

Marius vanderLubbe, Nullabour plain, Australia.
February 3, 2008 2:21am

Are you really sure you want to start him out at such a high strength. Good lord man, 30C! I would start at 30X tops and if symptoms persist, then move on to the 30C. A solution that powerful put into an actual lycanthrope might kill the man. Marius, I almost want to accuse you of being an irresponsible homeopath. ;-)

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
February 3, 2008 11:43am

I have to say thanks for this episode since it helped save my mother from a quack.

My mother had been seeing a self-described "board certified physician" who had her doing multiple forms of detox, the foot baths and the pads, plus a variety of supplements. Don't know whether I should mention his name, but he calls himself "America's health coach" and turns out to be a chiropractor and homeopath -- even though his web photos show him in surgical scrubs with a stethoscope.

Much to my mother's credit, after I told her the details of this podcast she decided to test the foot wash process. When she saw for herself the process was a fake, she also had her real physician look over the supplements she'd been taking and discovered she was getting overdosed with Vitamin A.

Now she's informed her insurance company about this guy and hopefully started the process of getting him out of business.

Lowbil, Knoxville, Tn
February 5, 2008 7:09pm

What kind of society are we living in!!!!

shawn, singapore
February 13, 2008 6:06am

Likely true re detox programs but lets not forget a Dr. gets all sorts of goodies for prescribing drugs, and they never suggest diet modifications
etc. I heard for all their years of med school they do one day on nutrition. No wonder people go looking for alternatives.

Brett Carter, West Auckland NZ
February 15, 2008 10:58pm

Doctors are very well paid drug dealers.

adam, toronto
February 16, 2008 6:04pm

As I suspected all along, except in rare emergencies, most peoples asshole says exit only.

Joe Health Conscious, Eugene, Oregon
February 16, 2008 10:58pm

Exactly where are you running into these doctors that hand out drugs with no recommendations of lifestyle change. I know several doctors that recommend diet change and lifestyle change before even thinking about giving out prescriptions.

I will admit that drugs are prescribed too often, but many times it isn't the doctors fault. People are beginning to assume that there is a magic pill for anything that is wrong with them. They go to the doctors and don't want to change their life, they just want a pill that will change what they want to change. Doctors will advise that the people eat better, stop smoking, or lose weight, but the people demand a magic pill. That isn't the doctor's fault.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
February 17, 2008 10:27am

They don't run in to those doctors, because someone like that would never hang on to their licence. They merely exist in the imagination of the people who peddle water as medication and wave their hands to balance the bodily humors.

Any doctor worth his degree will, symptomes permitting, ask you if you're eating enough this-and-that, if you smoke, excersice, have a history and plenty else.

What they will not do however, is prescribe excersize and order you to stop smoking, because they're not allowed to. What any good doctor will do instead is 'Strongly Suggest' you stop smoking and take up jogging, as well as prescribe some cough medicin.

The problem lies not with the doctor, at least over here, GP's aren't allowed to tell people that they have to get off their fat ass and loose 50 pounds or that problem is not going away, because, by some retarded law, 'losing weight' is not a prescription.

--that was written by an almost-MD

Alcari, the Netherlands
February 17, 2008 2:17pm

That picture wasn't really necessary.

Yuhar Nahim, Sitilokation
February 18, 2008 1:14pm

um but what medical doctors will do that a naturopathic doctor wont is spend 5 minutes with you, and prescribe something for your symptoms that they are being paid by a drug company to use, without considering anything about your mental health, fitness, lifestyle, and the body's power to heal itself. and then, you come back into their office with a "new sickness" which is really just side effects of that drug they gave you, so they give you a new medication to treat the side effects of the other side effects.... its a never ending cylce. medications are dangerous chemicals

kristin, texas
February 19, 2008 11:14am

I noticed none of the comments were about the truth of this whole article. Just a lot of jabber about what actual doctors will or won't do. You understand the point of this article was to expose the nonsense that is the detoxification business, right?
I quite honestly was surprised that there weren't a bunch of people here claiming they engage in this detox voodoo and that it works for them. Oh well, I'm sure that's coming soon enough.

Stacey E, Heber, Arizona
February 19, 2008 3:25pm

Just a response to Ingrid in Melbourne, Australia...

"...Why fix your diet if you've got Crohn's Disease, when we can get you addicted to steroids??? Stay on that sugar!"

Actually - Crohn's is an immune disorder that does not have anything to do with sugar intake - modifications of Crohn's diet usually means less roughage & fiber. But removing sugar from your diet, no matter how laudable, won't cure you of Crohn's. Our intestines form about 70% of our immune system. Concerns about poor nutrition result from having Crohn's as adhesions and such cause digestive malabsorption, which means Crohn's patients can eat a good diet and not necessarily even benefit entirely of it's good nutrition. Try a site like www.CrohnsOnline for more reliable information about the nature of Crohns. I have no affiliation with this site, I am just a Crohn's patient who has for years studied and researched it, and know first hand what effects diet can have - Others may experience differently of course, but there are common factors.

Since we are debunking here, I just wanted to clarify that about Crohn's because that is a common misconception.

Susan, Melbourne, FL
February 19, 2008 6:38pm

Great show!

Natasha, Lethbridge, AB, Canada
February 20, 2008 8:06am

It's funny how that "Mucoid plaque" thing when revealed, really does seem absolutely ridiculous. Yuck!

I have a question about the "Kinoki foot pads" though ....

I happened to watch their "dis-infomercial" - when I was up waaay too late the other night. And I noticed how they showed chemical charts with values for substances such as "benzene", etc. The "before" chart shows high levels and the "after" chart shows little or none.

What's the deal? Can they really get away with making statements like that? If those claims are false, isn't there laws about misrepresentation? I get it that the herbal/supplement/ etc market are not held to the same standard as those regulated by the FDA, but come on now...isn't there some legal ramification for lying to people this way?

TIA for anybody who knows something about the claims made by their charts.

Susan, Melbourne, FL
February 22, 2008 5:48pm

I've tried a few cleanses over the past five years and have been satisfied with the results of each. Gallbladder cleanse, master cleanse, colon cleanse. I don't have any major illness aside from a tendency to overeat and I've found that giving my body a break from digestion and a good internal "scrubbing" has:
-improved my skin,
-helped reduce cravings for sweet/salty foods,
-and dropped a few unwanted pounds here and there.

My boyfriend (who turned me on to this site) is concerned that I'm being, I don't know, swindled, maybe, but I buy the ingredients cheaply myself from farmer's markets and regular grocery stores.

I think each person has an individual response to things put in the body. I have a very sensitive stomach and don't tolerate animal products well. I have intense stomach cramps from eating meat, and I break out with huge cyst-like pimples and am very congested any time I eat dairy.

Having done the cleanses myself, I can speak from experience. How many skeptics have actually tried one of the cleanses?

Leslie W., Atlanta, GA
February 25, 2008 9:39am

It's just funny how in the 80's wasn't the big detox fad to go out and get an enema?

Then in the late 90's I had a co-worker trying to sell me a detox pill that would clear everything out of me and even get rid of my life long seasonal alergies.

All I know is that while in the military I had annual physicals. I smoked, drank, and didn't eat right...but I also had good blood pressure, low cholesteral, could run a solid 7 minute mile and was 20 lbs under my maximum allowable weight.

Apparently every individual is just individual. What works for one person doesn't work for another.

By the way, I have quit smoking.

Rob E., Memphis, TN
February 29, 2008 5:53pm

Personal experience is no evidence of effectiveness. It's anecdotal. The benefits Lesley describes are no mystery & can be accomplished by a brief fast. What Rob describes is true, so long as it doesn't violate the possible. People claim to feel better after seeing a chiropractor, though it's well established joints don't "misalign" w/o severe debilitating effects. The "knuckle-popping" performed does indeed feel good, but is no cure. Are we to recommend chiropractics, based on personal experience, or shall we rely on study & a thorough understanding of anatomy & physiology that shows it to be less effective than benign neglect. These"cleanses" are similar. They do the impossible. Where did the "Master Cleanse" come from? It just appeared one day FOR SALE-no theory,no research. The worst is the gall bladder cleanse, because it could kill someone who thinks it’s a cure. Stones can't pass thru the bile duct to the colon. A stone in the bile duct causes severe pain & nausea. If you are experiencing these, you need to see a doctor. You won’t just poop it out - ever. As usual, the cure is prob the cause of the evidence of its own success. Tho, no matter what the incontrovertible truth is, folks will believe what they want to be true, not what is demonstratibly so. This is why “evolution is just a theory” these days. We live in a dangerously irrational age, where the ’right to believe’ trumps reason, & defence & demonstration of the truth is viewed as an attack.

Ellen R., Spokane, WA
March 2, 2008 2:13pm

Great article.

Although I doubt Leslie will return to confront the messages she inspired, I will respond to what she's said.

I think your list of results combined with your treatment are telling. I'm going by what you said, i.e: ".. aside from a tendency to overeat and I've found that giving my body a break from digestion.." You are altering your eating habits to give your body a break from "digestion" (which makes about as much sense as giving your heart a break from pumping blood). Does that include avoiding processed foods? There are actual correlations between the processed ingredients such as monosaccharides or enriched flour with weight gain. It's not a mystery why - they are empty calories delivering no extra nutrients, utilized quickly by your body before other macronutrients, thereby decreasing the uptake of beneficial nutrition. This is easily shown in the lab with enzymes which mimic the function of the human body.

To think that you lose an amazing couple of pounds is rather uninspiring. When did you weigh yourself? Were they at the same times each day (preferably before breakfast)? Regardless of whether you followed a method to your weigh-ins, your weight loss could be attributed to your aforementioned "digestion break" or any other factors, including less water retention.

Bear in mind, Leslie, that I am not against you as a person. It's just those silly beliefs that need changing.

Chris D, Winchester, KY
March 21, 2008 3:52am

Ironic. As a hard core skeptic myself, I am always gratified to see half-baked claims by fakirs debunked. Yet, within the same article is evidence of your utter lack of skepticism when it comes to another set of fakirs - the medical profession.

Let's take this assertion:

"A doctor won't lie to you and say that a handful of herbal detoxification pills will cure anything that's wrong with you..."

Now read this peer reviewed paper about anti-depressants:

So it appears that most doctors may not lie about a handful of herbal detox pills, millions of them have no problem whatsoever swallowing everything their pharmaceutical company sales rep want them to believe - and prescribing lethally dangerous drugs to our children based on those marketing positions.

Frankly, I think that unjustified and unquestioning faith in a paternalistic medical establishment operating largely out of self interest (have you ever researched the AMA or ACOG or any of the other medical lobbies??), for all intents and purposes in the service to large pharmaceutical corps, is far more dangerous to life and limb than a few naturopaths hawking their wares. Just google 'anti-depressants suicide school shootings violence' to see what I mean.

Ozzy, Phoenix
March 25, 2008 1:18pm

Fasts and cleansing out mucus from your body obviously work despite what your article may say disproving pills from companies that easily take advantage of New Age suckers. Personally I agree with Ozzy; dangerous medication given out so haphazardly by doctors would be better worth investigating.

Jack, Phoenix
April 1, 2008 12:59pm

Fasting causes the tissue of your muscles to degenerate. I can't see that as healthy. The body needs balance, and the body needs food. If there is some proof the fasting is "good", I'd like to see it. Being broke and having no food in the house, I was never very healthy. The best way to "cleanse" the body is to drink plenty of water.

It's true that these companies sell shit for money, and I also believe that many pills that doctors give to us because that is what they are given aren't always necessarily what we need, as certain foods contain many of the same effects... but the world revolves around money, and everyone should know one thing above all else: Trust nothing. But that doesn't mean wallow in your ignorance. It means learn as much as possible about every situation you encounter. Because you only have one life, (maybe, speaking as an avid agnostic,) so you should use it to its best extent.

Demetrius, Shelburne, ON
April 1, 2008 1:47pm

All should take comfort knowing it is AGAINST THE LAW for a hospital to turn away someone showing up to their ER before examining and treating. Millions of uninsured use the ER as their primary care physician every day. Trust me I actually work in a hospital and have personally seen uninsured patients with million dollar bills walk out the door with the only reprecussion from the hospital being staining their credit.I empathise with your situation as before my own permanent employment I too rolled the dice as one of the millions of uninsured, which is why I took out loans, went to school and found employment where I have insurance. I am not opposed to nationlized healthcare, but I am opposed to the growing sense of entitlement in this country as though everyone should get something for free. It all comes from somewhere, and as opposed as I am to the war, and many other things this d... administration has done, even with the massive expense of this senseless war, our defense budget STILL comprises less than half of the annual payments for medicaid and medicare. Now imagine what would happen if ALL persons were insured for free, and the group who is entrusted to run this system is the same beauracrats you and I agree are screwing up the country. All persons should take their destiny into their own hands. My advise, take a 2 yr nursing program, or a 2 month nurses aid program, and help the problem by getting a job in a hospital where you will be insured

mike, chicago
April 2, 2008 10:11pm

Skeptoid, As one who did the Dr. Natura colonix cleanse, I am living proof that these types of things DO help people. Having been told that I had possible appendicitus(because the area of my pain was on the cecum, which is where the appendix is attached & also is where the small and large intestine meet) I did not want to have a surgery without my best try first. I was having chronic pains in that area & I did not have a bowel movement for almost 2 weeks. The stool softeners & enemas that were recommended in the last few days did produce 2 teeny, hard bowel movements. My problem was as a young mom of 3 preschoolers, I wanted to do too much for the kids & I "forgot" to eat healthy. being so busy,I'd been eating lots of snacky,refined on-the-go foods,convenience foods, not enough fruits & veggies & whole grains. Well, the herbal cleanse was sent quick & I had several bowel movements the 1st day. Now, you cannot possibly tell me that 1 scoop (approx 1 1/2 tsp) and 1 small capsule of these products could've produced anything like the picture you have above in your article. No Way, No How! For me it was on day 3 that I had the 'snakey' bowel movement. That was after the 3 day TOTAL of approx 4 1/2 tsp along with 3 tiny capsules of the herbal remedy, altogether. Sorry, but it doesn't add up to what came out! And I never had another BM like it, though I continued the products a month & increased doses. That shows the product doesn't cause the wierd BM. Eat veggies & drink H2o!

gal, indy
April 4, 2008 11:39am

Brian, you are dead on about the "mucoid plaque" being an artifact of the pill or potion being taken for the plaque. I also wholeheartedly agree with your criticism of the ionic foot baths and the foot pads.

However, detoxification (which doesn't have to involve the colon at all) can be a help for many chronic and acute conditions that allopathy does not address very effectively.

Basically, all you have to do is reduce calories and nutritionally support detoxification pathways. No colonic irrigation required!

I write about detoxification on my website here:

Thanks for the great article, but keep in mind that there are scientifically sound approaches, so don't throw the baby out with the snake oil.

Hans Conser DC

Hans Conser, Bozeman, Montana
April 15, 2008 10:27am

I am a doctor and I did the 5 day fast with Blessed Herbs colon cleanse. Of course it works! The stuff that came out was unbelievable. Also, I stopped taking the bentonite/psyllium after two days. The stuff kept coming out. I also put a packet in some water to see if it expands. It did, but nothing more that the glass. To suggest that what we are excreting is exactly what we took (i.e. the pills and powder) is absurd. We all have impacted, hardened plaque in our intestines.I would try it for yourself. Remember, the odds are stacked against you - i.e. white rice, refined flour, 'enriched' grains, crackers, - junk like that.
Good luck all.

2BOCOO, San Diego
April 19, 2008 7:56pm

Well, I'm the Space-pope of modern medicin, and I say there's no way in hades you're a doctor in anything worth mentioning.

Not to get to ad-hom, but from the way you talk, there's absolutely no way you ever managed to get through university. Of course, that's after I ingore the factual error of hardened plaque in the intestines (By which you mean 'colon', yet another sign)

As usual, I'll believe it when I see a properly done, independant study that backs up all the claims made on the package. Lacking them, and having plenty of evidence of the contrary, I wouldn't buy colon cleansers if they were the last pills on earth.

Lacking any survey, would you please upload a picture of yourself, holding some of this mysterious plaque that no scientist has ever seen. Please include in the picture a sign saying "Told you it was real" and a recent newspaper.

The fact that no reliable source has ever detected this plaque without someone first taking the "cleaning" medication should be ample sign of fraud, or at least warrant a skeptical view at the whole matter.

ps. Don't forget to check out the next season of the Sarrah Conner Chronicles this fall on Fox


Alcari, Reykjavik, Iceland
April 21, 2008 5:28pm

Mucoid plaque IS described in scientific sources, but MDs are too incompetent to recognize it.

In an article called "The Scanning Electron Microscope"(Scanning Microscopy v5 n4 1991 p1040), it says that an "excess" and "rather thick layer of mucus" is "encountered quite often" and it "should impair digestion and absorption of macro- and micronutrients, as well as of medications." Interestingly, it also says that "because of the lack of appreciation of surface details with the light microscope, are ascribed to so-called patchy lesions."

Another article titled "Intestinal mucins in health and disease"(Digestion 1978 v17 n3 p234-63) says that "a situation of lowered intestinal pH and/or increased luminal serum proteins might cause normal mucins to undergo a pathological transformation into either a viscous gel or an insoluble precipitate" and that "mucin secretion may be a physiologic mechanism by which harmful toxins or immune complexes are cleared from the intestinal surface."

In a textbook called “Clinical Gastroenterology” by Howard Spiro 4th edition, there are several endoscopy pictures showing mucoid plaque so thick it can’t be denied by anybody (plates # 31, 46, 63, 66, 80, 81, 83).

Finally, on page 155 of the conventional textbook "Color Atlas of the Digestive System" dated 1989 by Pounder, Allison, and Dhillon, there is a photograph of a mucoid plaque "snake" that looks EXACTLY like the photograph you put up on this podcast. No cleansers were taken.

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
April 24, 2008 9:26am

Anybody who has ever had or seen a colonoscopy can tell you that the plaque just doesn't exist. Even the medicine they give you to completely clean out your colon before the procedure does not produce anything that even remotely ressembles what these so called "cleansers" produce.

Martha Dade, Mexico City, Mexico
April 25, 2008 7:11pm

It is profoundly disturbing and somewhat depressing that there are not only people who actually believe this but that there are people who continue to perpetuate such nonsensical tripe.

I myself have had several colonoscopies due to a history of colon cancer in my family (history=genetic predisposition)and in all the videos, photos, examinations, etc. there was never any such "hardened plaque" lining the colon.

To 2BOCOO, "Joe Shmoe," and others like them: pardon the pun, but you (and your so-called "sources") are full of sh*t :)

John D., Old Bridge, NJ
April 28, 2008 7:29am

Look, some people like the idea of eating clay that will make a mold of thier intestines and then crapping it out...people can be weird.

Dennis Eck, L.A.
April 28, 2008 1:19pm

ooooOOoooh. Your anecdotal testimonies from medical doctors stating that they simply can’t see it totally disproves my claim that those medical doctors are not competent enough to recognize it. I suppose that objective, independent, anatomical studies published in conventional human pathology journals and indexed in the Medline database as well as photographs published in conventional textbooks of gastroenterology and pathology are no match for the anecdotal testimonies of the all powerful medical doctors who simply state that no one ever sees it. ooooOOoooh. Let's all bow down to the MD Gods.

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
April 29, 2008 5:29am's gettin' deep here.

All this poo talk makes my butt want to throw up!


Happy pooping!

Pooh, Pooh, Sh*tsville, USA
April 30, 2008 12:12am

I've had stool that looks like that and I've never taken any sort of bowel cleansing pill, etc.

Anonymous, Virginia
May 2, 2008 4:44pm

I think Joe Shmoe fromm Portland Maine said it best.
There are things MD's dont recognize in the colon when they are not looking for that and it appears in so many its normal.....AND we get huge kickbacks on prescribing Pharmecueticals to the much more narrow minded.

Dr. J M.D., Orlando FL
May 5, 2008 6:39pm

Well, after being extremely sick for the last seven months (on the couch for four of them) and spending $12,000 in Western Medicine for doctors to find out what on Earth is wrong with me because I have encephalitis of the brain and reoccuring meningitus, all the MD's have told me they couldn't find anything wrong with me. I've had two MRI's, a spinal tap, and more blood tests than one can imagine. No concrete results. Out of pure desperation I decided to turn to natural medicine in hopes of a cure for God knows what. I am one and a half ways through a 3 month colon cleanse and have seen the most foul smelling hideous configurations come out of my body. I no longer have the encephalitus or the meningitus. I have lost 3 inches already around my middle of what I thought for years was fat. It isn't. It isn't. It is impacted fecal matter that is sometimes hard as rocks and has obviously been in there for years. My 5 month long bout with sciatica is gone. My headaches are gone. I am feeling healthier than I did when I was 25 years old. I am 40 now. I'll never go back to having an impacted colon again. I even took my own digital photographs of what actually came out. It's real.

Kristin, Neptune City, New Jersey
May 6, 2008 10:33am

Go to the Doctor or any good Chemist and ask for a good Wormicide and stay at home to see what comes out.this is easy and cheap.

nizar mohamed, Lethbridge
May 7, 2008 1:27pm

Nizar - Your recommendation is that I take an unapproved drug for a condition that is not evidenced by any symptoms or tests?

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
May 7, 2008 1:32pm

Two drops of Oil of Oregano in a glass of water every day will kill intestinal parasites also (including the worms). It's not a drug but it has antibacterial and antiviral properties. It's good for many ailments.

Kristin, Neptune City, New Jersey
May 9, 2008 6:05pm

If I have something that looks like that inside of me I don't want to see it; that's disgusting. Frankly I think anybody who would want to voluntarily examine their sh__ has way too much time or money on their hands.

Jerome, Phila, Pa
May 9, 2008 10:20pm

Not all alternative practitioners are out to scam of swindle people. Some actually try to use solutions that really work and don't cost an arm and a leg. You cover only one angle of detoxification and presume to have answered the issue so aptly? This is only the second article of yours that I've read, and already it's obvious that you are fucking idiot when it comes to health and medicine.

Seth, Philadelphia, PA
May 10, 2008 2:44pm

Seth - Are you saying that anyone who does NOT pay cash to people who did not go to medical school, for unapproved drugs, to treat conditions not evidenced by any symptoms or tests, is an idiot? I would say a person who DOES that is the sucker.

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
May 17, 2008 9:39am

I can see that many of us don't really know what to believe, but if you think something works for you, and you can afford to buy it, and it really doesn't hurt you, why not give it a try. If a scammer is a scammer, it will come back on him or her. Now for the old folk meds. Everything is put on this earth for us to use, we are learning how to use what's available to us, but some things we don't really know about yet.
Tobacco is harmful or is it the chemicals put on the tobacco that really hurts us most? I do know that if you put tobacco on a bee sting it draws out the poison, and helps the pain subside. Almost everything that is a pill is made of some kind of extract, sinthetic material, tree, leaf, bark, weeds, dirt, roots. Natural, or not, it's in there. When you go to a doctor whether he believes you are sick or not, he will always push a pill on you of somekind. It may or may not help you. So you get to take it and let him know how it worked on your next visit, if not so good, then guess what, another pill perhaps something a little different, so they use meds that have already been used but it is packaged a little different, looks like it will work. So, to me that is scamming. Medical school is a business like any business, everyone has to pay for everything, doesn't matter for what, or for how long. I went to Dental school, and I finely had to get out of the profession because it never stopped costing me.

Mae Kensland, Bend, Oregon
May 17, 2008 6:58pm

Only a terrible doctor pushes pills on patients that don't need them. I have never met one, but I won't claim that they don't exist. I will say that they are far outweighed by the responsible doctors who always advocate lifestyle changes before they will look to a pill (unless of course you have a bacteria). People don't want to change, and the doctor is required to help them, so the only thing he can do once they refuse to diet and exercise is give them a pill. That is far from being the doctor's fault, it is the patient's attitude that needs to change.

Just because you can afford something, doesn't mean you should buy it. Often, the money could be much better spent on other things. There is no need to waste your money on detox products or natural remedies that have been proven to be bunk. It is just a waste of money, nothing else.

By the way, I do understand that being a dentist is expensive. After paying tens of thousands of dollars to get his degree, my cousin ended up buying his own practice for a few million dollars. That is slightly offset by the 4-5 hundred thousand dollars he makes every year though. Boy, what a sucker he is for putting up with those ridiculous costs.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
May 18, 2008 7:40pm

In my first post, I have already given a few examples of mucoid plaque being in the scientific literature despite MDs' incompetency to recognize it. You pseudoskeptics are only able to give lamebrained appeals to authority and call it a "thorough bebunking."

It's pretty pathetic that a MD is "required" to give out statins against his or her so-called better judgement. MDs are full of shit. Statins are a huge waste of this country's money. Catering to patients' stubbornness is a very profitable venture indeed.

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
May 20, 2008 7:59am

Joe Anonymous, I suggest you rush out and spend all the money you have buying unapproved drugs to fill your body with for conditions that you show no symptoms of. Don't just talk, take action and prove your point.

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
May 20, 2008 8:06am

Eric Schulman, I suggest you rush out and spend all the money you have buying APPROVED drugs from a MD to fill your body with for conditions that you may show symptoms of. For example, if you happen to have irritable bowel syndrome, take action by doing what your MD tells you:

"Your doctor may suggest fiber supplements or laxatives for constipation or medicines to decrease diarrhea, such as Lomotil or loperamide (Imodium). An antispasmodic is commonly prescribed, which helps to control colon muscle spasms and reduce abdominal pain. Antidepressants may relieve some symptoms. However, both antispasmodics and antidepressants can worsen constipation, so some doctors will also prescribe medications that relax muscles in the bladder and intestines, such as Donnapine and Librax. These medications contain a mild sedative, which can be habit forming, so they need to be used under the guidance of a physician."

For an added thrill, try stopping the antidepressant without the guidance of a MD. I'll see you on the nightly news.

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
May 21, 2008 6:11am

I would, if I was ill. The problem is, I'm not. I'm perfectly healthy at the moment.

But if I followed the strategy YOU do, I would go out ANYWAY and pay money to someone who didn't go to medical school for an unapproved drug.

Maybe that's why you're too embarrassed to give your name. Or is it because you fear Big Pharma will send Men in Black to kill you, for having the courage to demand only unapproved drugs from untrained practitioners?

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
May 21, 2008 6:16am

You mean you would make OTHER PEOPLE pay all that money. Not you. Unless you are so rich that you don't need health insurance, taxpayers via government insurance or coworkers via private insurance would be paying for it. Not you. I am happy to report that I am not a drug-addicted financial burden on the working and middle class.

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
May 21, 2008 7:38am

It sounds like we're getting at the real reason you object to medical science. Sounds like it has nothing to do with health or science, your real objection is to corporations and capitalism?

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
May 21, 2008 7:41am

Here's a little more about this scam:

Mucoid Plaque Scambuster, Chicago, IL
May 26, 2008 9:10pm

Don't know about the Mucoid thing but healthy eating people who workout hardly ever get ill or have to go see doctors. I'm one of them. And colon cleansing isn't a scam. But the two products you mentioned in no way represent the large number of all natural products available to the public that give you no side-effects. And as for doctors, they take an oath. It's their JOB to promote pharmaceuticals. Try asking a pharmacist, who is neutral for the most part. Since they don't prescribe medicine, they have no stake in it either way. And they will often offer alternatives to taking drugs like physical activity and changing eating habits. It's naive for one to believe corporations have the people's best interest at hand. You could go a step further by asking your doctor about his or her own personal health regiment. I doubt they consume any of the garbage everyone else does.

Derrick Harris, Memphis, TN
June 2, 2008 12:42pm

The existance of mucoid plaque has already been scientifically proven. Medical doctors are just not competent enough to recognize it. Go to this blog and see for yourself:

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
June 3, 2008 9:14am

Hi Joe Shmoe,

I like that trained medical doctors are incompetent and "just don't know" how to find this dreaded mucoid plaque, however you and a bunch of untrained self proclaimed homeopaths somehow do.

So if everyone in a crowded room thinks I'm crazy, and yet I think all of them are crazy, which one of us is *most likely* to be correct.


SmartGuy, San Francisco
June 4, 2008 7:05pm

As you suggested, I read with skepticism "The Detoxification Myth," because the writer was "too lame to put his real name and city."

His signature is meaningless because it cannot be read with no name clearly printed underneath.
Please practise what you preach.

Jaime E. Dy-Liacco, Manila, Philippines
June 5, 2008 3:36am

Wow, I'm so glad so many of you are so smart. You believe total BS that has no scientific basis whatsoever. When one of you can prove what you say then maybe it will hold some water. Joe Schmoe, I suggest you come up with some better reference than a blogspot post. A few pictures showing a turd in someone's bowel means nothing, except to some idiot incapable of interpreting it.

As for our friend in the Phillipines, I suggest you open your eyes the tiniest amount. Below the signature you can't read is the authors name as well as a link to his bio.

Fucking stupid people. You ARE the reason for much of the worlds bullshit.

RC Mitchell, Puget Sound, WA
June 10, 2008 3:26pm

RC Mitchell, your hysterical diatribe demonstrates who the "fucking stupid people" really are. First, you refer to my blogspot as my "reference" when everybody can see that it is a medium which HOLDS my references. Duh. Second, you claim that those endoscopy pictures on my blog show "turds" rather than a thick, rubbery mucus. Talk about stupid! That conventional textbook where the endoscopy pictures came from explicitly states that the stuff in the endoscopy pictures is the "mucosa" and NOT feces, and it is a well known fact that MDs ALWAYS remove feces before doing endoscopy. By the way, thanks for testifying that the stuff in those endoscopy pictures looks like some sort of bowel settlement because those MDs that took those endoscopy pictures claim that it is the "mucosa," which proves that MDs are either liars or incompetent. Gotcha! Those MDs in that textbook EVEN identify that mucoid plaque breaking away from the surface as the "mucosa" and NOT feces! Finally, you ignored the fact that those two medical journals TOTALLY CONTRADICT Edward Uthman's interpretation of what the surface of the intestines look like. Duh. Fucking stupid MD worshipers. You are the reason for Americans being the sickest in all the industrial nations despite American health care being the most expensive anywhere in the world.

Go to my blogspot:

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
June 11, 2008 8:26pm

Mr. Shmoe - You're probably smart to stay anonymous. The guys in the white suits have a rubber room prepared, and they're looking for you.

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
June 11, 2008 8:39pm

--Part One--

Dear Joe,

As a current medical student who has access to a medical library, I decided to check up on one of your sources. Specifically, the one where you got those 7 endoscopy pictures, Clinical Gastroenterology, 4th ed., by Howard Spiro. You've been a bad boy, guilty of being either willfully ignorant or maliciously deceptive, but most likely both.

You seem to have read the captions under each plate only so far as to see the MDs claim that what they're looking at is mucosa while totally disregarding any explanation they gave, then dismiss their claim that it is mucosa because it doesn't look like "normal" mucosa to your layman eyes. You're half right. It's not "normal" mucosa, it is DISEASED mucosa, but mucosa nonetheless. What it’s NOT is mucous tightly adhered to wall of the intestine. Perhaps it is YOU how is too incompetent to recognize what the hell you're looking at.

Let's look at the second plate on your blog post (the first is correctly identified as normal looking mucosa). The caption reads, "A mucosa whorl surrounds the appendiceal orifice in the cecum". Just looks like the orifice leading to the appendix in the ascending colon to me.

Grant Herndon, Fort Worth, TX
June 21, 2008 10:38am

Thank you, Grant Herndon, for demonstrating to everyone here my point that MDs typically have poor observation skills as well as poor reasoning skills.

Concerning your poor observation skills, I never said in my blog that MDs think that it is “normal” mucosa. You even put the word “normal” in quotes indicating that I used this word in my blog. My blog does not use this word or even suggest this. This demonstrates my point that MDs typically have poor observation skills. Thanks. I tried to give a full spectrum of what the intestines “typically” look like. Typically, some people have certain diseases and some people don’t.

Concerning your poor reasoning skills, the only argument you made was an appeal to authority, which is a logical fallacy. You said that it is, in fact, the mucosa simply because those MDs said so. Those MDs gave no scientific proof and instead just simply ASSUMED. In contrast, those medical journals in my blog demonstrate, using SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS, that the intestines are often covered with a rather thick layer of mucus, which other pathologists sometimes ASCRIBE to so-called “lesions.” A lesion is defined as “any abnormal tissue found on or in an organism, usually damaged by disease or trauma.” Duh. This demonstrates my point that MDs have been conditioned to only believe what authorities want them to believe and to only read certain medical journals rather than to think for themselves. Thanks.

My blog:

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
June 21, 2008 7:57pm

First off, I didn't mean to imply that you had used the word "normal" in your post; I was just using the quotations for emphasis. I apologize for leading you to think I was putting words in your mouth.

As for the appeal to authority, my appeal was to the entire community of gastroenterologists whose observations and conclusions have been published in peer-reviewed journals and medical texts...a significant body of evidence. You, however, continuously make an appeal to Dr. Richard Anderson on your blog. When it comes to crimes of using arguments from authority, you seem to be the one most guilty.

You seem to be saying on your blog that the lesions shown in the pictures are due to "thick, rubbery mucous", as opposed to distinct morphologic changes due to disease processes. If that is indeed what you're implying, sorry, but those are pictures of diseased mucosa. That's what the intestinal mucosa itself looks like when diseased and inflamed, and this is only further confirmed by microscopic histologic examination of mucosal biopsies. Just because you choose to view those pictures through mucous-colored glasses of layman ignorance doesn't make the conclusions you reach true.

You may call my reliance on texts an appeal to authority. But those texts were written and pictures were taken by people making observations of disease processes while looking through a scope in someone's body, not by laymen drawing conclusions based on someone else's information.

Grant Herndon, Fort Worth, TX
June 22, 2008 2:50am

I’m sorry, but there are no microscopic histologic examinations showing that the SURFACES depicted in those SPECIFIC endoscope pictures are composed of healthy or diseased cells rather than mucus. Those “microscopic histologic examinations” you referred to are either cross-sections showing diseased or healthy cells BELOW the mucus layer or are from parts of the intestine that contain no thick layer of mucus. Histology is, specifically, the microscopic study of CELLS AND TISSUE themselves, so you would not find them focusing too much on non-living mucus. As I have already said, my blog contains a published study demonstrating that a rather thick layer of mucus is encountered quite often in certain diseased states, which other pathologists misidentify as a lesion because they have a “lack of appreciation of surface details” using the light microscope. The mucosa being inflamed or diseased does not rule out a thick layer of mucus being present at the same time.

As for an appeal to authority, it is defined as an argument that bases the truth of an assertion solely on the merits of the person making the assertion rather than the merits of the assertion itself. Accordingly, you emphasize personal merits such as “not by laymen” instead of discussing the merits of your assertions themselves. In contrast, by blog is full of scientific evidence and sound arguments rather than a list of Richard Anderson’s credentials.

My blog:

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
June 22, 2008 6:12pm

“The mucosa being inflamed or diseased does not rule out a thick layer of mucus being present at the same time.”

That’s true, but that’s not what you seem to be saying on your blog, which is my whole point of bringing up the histologic examinations. You seem to be saying that the non-normal appearance of the intestine is due to thick mucous adhering to the intestinal wall, rather than morphologic changes of the mucosa itself. If that is true, then there should be normal intestinal mucosa underneath once any mucous is removed, and histologic examination would show a normal microscopic appearance. However, during disease states (including those claimed in the captions of the pictures on your blog), there are distinct microscopic changes.

Here is a microscopic view of normal mucosa, with the pictures’ caption under the link:

A, Normal small-bowel histology, showing mucosal villi and crypts, lined by columnar cells. B, Normal colon histology, showing flat mucosal surface and abundant vertically oriented crypts.

Here is a microscopic view of ulcerative colitis, an endoscopic example of which can be seen on your blog as the last picture in the series; again, the caption of the picture is under the link:

Ulcerative colitis. Microscopic view of the mucosa, showing diffuse active inflammation with crypt abscess and glandular architectural distortion.

(pictures from Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease, 7th ed.)

Grant Herndon, Fort Worth, TX
June 22, 2008 7:59pm

"but since that's the solution many people want, there's always someone willing to sell it. The skeptoid book is now available...!"

heh- did you do that on purpose?

Anyway, if all this BS colon stuff exists, why do colonoscopies look so clean after patients stop eating for a day? Shouldn't almost everyone have nasty gunk in there?

eric thorn, Seoul, ROK
June 22, 2008 9:02pm

The GI docs give you a cocktail to use the day before your colonoscopy to clean you out. It forces you to eliminate pretty much everything in your system so that you are left with a squeaky-clean colon. This allows for an unobscured view of the walls of your intestine.

Grant Herndon, Fort Worth, TX
June 22, 2008 9:57pm

Grant, that just proves the point that this mucoid plaque doesn't exist. A simple laxative such as Go Lightly is all that is needed to get the colon almost perfectly clean. The laxative basically just speeds up what your colon normally does (and the excess amount of liquid helps to flush out the colon if I remember correctly). There is no hard, rubbery plaque that cannot be removed by the natural action of the colon. No special pills or week long fasts are needed to "cleanse" the colon. Its only job is to do that all on its own, each and every day.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
June 23, 2008 4:41pm


I didn't mean to sound like I was saying there was, I was only answering Eric's question about why bowels are so clean-looking on endoscopy, and perhaps to show that it's not just a lack of eating for a day, but that there is a laxative involved. Unfortunately the subtleties of language are sometimes lost when written.

Oh, and I realized that I left off the page numbers on my reference a couple posts ago, so pictures taken from:

Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease, 7th ed., p. 828 (fig. 17-30) and p. 850 (fig. 17-47)

Grant Herndon, Fort Worth, TX
June 23, 2008 5:03pm

My apologies, Grant. I misread your comment and completely misconstrued what you were saying. I even missed the fact that you are the soon to be MD who is arguing against Mr. Schmo (if that is his real name). I will just have to chalk it up to having an off day.

PS: I am just glad you didn't rip apart my extremely amateur explanation of laxatives. I am working on becoming a PT so when you move away from muscles and nerves my knowledge base shrinks considerably.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
June 24, 2008 10:10am

No harm done Steve.

You got the explanation of laxatives mostly right. Sorta'. While some laxatives do stimulate/speed up the intestine and decrease the transit time, Go Lightly doesn't really do that. Go Lightly is polyethylene glycol, which acts as an osmotic laxative, meaning it works to pull water into and keep water in the intestine. So your plumbing just accumulates an over-abundance of water, and everything else acts at the same rate. When you start shooting out clear liquid, you're pretty much cleaned out. Hope this helps!

Grant Herndon, Fort Worth, TX
June 24, 2008 7:07pm

Your argument that hard rubbery plaque is naturally removed is unsupported. Those medical journals I cited demonstrate its existence in otherwise "squeaky-clean" intestines.

Grant Herndon, concerning your "You seem to be saying" argument, it is not true that I am saying that. I'm saying that the appearance is caused from SOME COMBINATION of mucosa changes AND mucus. You are failing to understand that "mucus on the mucosal surface will contain within the glycoprotein gel material from sloughed off epithelial cells, bacteria, digested food, plasma proteins, digestive enzymes, secretory IgA and bile"(from a medical journal).
That piece that was breaking away, for example, is actually a combination of dead cells AND thick mucus. Others show such things as inflammation of the mucosa bursting through UNDERNEATH the thick mucus layer. Others (that "mucosa whorl" for example) show mucus, which has transformed into a "dense white precipitate" from a situation of "lowered intestinal pH" or "increased luminal serum proteins" (from a medical journal).

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
June 25, 2008 10:01am

First I’d like to say that the quote you use, “mucus on the mucosal surface…” is perfectly legitimate and I agree with it whole-heartedly, and I’ve never had any issue with the concept. The intestinal mucosa contains numerous cells called Goblet cells whose major function is to secrete mucus. That’s just GI histology 101.

What I’ve been taking issue with this whole time was your use of the text from which you took the endoscopy pictures, although it’s your right to interpret any resource as you see fit. You were using your inexperienced, untrained interpretations to twist what the pictures were showing, when the captions under the pictures would say otherwise (which you neglected to post on your blog, which I also felt was somewhat dishonest).

My biggest beef was one picture you referred to explicitly (I’m guessing it was this: Unfortunately, your blog is down right now so I can’t quote you directly, but you said something to the effect of “one picture even shows mucus so thick it’s breaking away from the intestinal wall”. That statement was just false, as the caption under the picture in the text says it is “necrotic mucosa” that is “sloughing off extensively”, a fact that, again, you didn’t provide on your blog when you commented on it.

You then proceeded to make sweeping derogatory generalizations about MDs, based in part on your interpretations of the pictures, when you had the facts of what you were looking at right in front of you.

Grant Herndon, Fort Worth, TX
June 25, 2008 12:25pm

Grant Herndon, I'm upset with google and my spyware and virus infected computer right now, but I think you remember what I said in my blog.

Getting back to what I said about MDs having poor observation skills, I said on my blog exactly this: "Dr. Richard Anderson explains that medical doctors typically think that they are looking at the mucosal itself when they are actually looking at a thick, rubbery, mucus-like substance." This obviously means that the MD authors of the pictures think that they are looking at the mucosa, necrotic or otherwise, and Anderson disagrees with their interpretation.

Furthermore, you are again making appeals to authority (as well as going around in a logical circle) when you say, essentially, that it is not true that MDs MISTAKENLY think that they are looking at the mucosa because MDs say (in the caption) that they are looking at the "necrotic mucosa," which you dimwittedly call a "fact."

The reason why you make these lame-brained appeals to authority is because you don't know how to think for yourself, which I explained in my conclusion paragragh: "The sad fact is that medical doctors have been conditioned. . .to only believe what the AMA wants them to believe."

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
June 25, 2008 6:12pm

You seem to keep trying to hammer home the point that the MDs are quite possibly mistaken in the interpretations they write in the captions of the pictures, as if I just don’t ‘get it’ or something. To spell it out, I DISAGREE WITH YOU, and here’s why. When it comes to accepting contentions as true I can do 2 things (in this case): I can accept the conclusions the MDs reach in published medical texts, or I can accept what you or Dr. Richard Anderson says.

As I’m sure you’re aware, I accept what I’ve read in the medical texts with a high degree of confidence. But I do so not because it’s an MD that says it, but because of the process that the MD’s conclusions go through before it’s published. MDs are certainly not immune to making mistakes, but when their conclusions are put through the checks and balances system of peer review, what gets through to be published has a certain degree of credibility to it. Statements and conclusions of observations that go through this ringer have a certain weight to them that I just don’t ascribe to what some guy has written in a book.

I will gladly change my mind about what is written in medical texts when the evidence comes in that overturns what has been previously stated. But let that evidence come from credible sources that have themselves been through peer review. Until then, I’ll take whatever you and Dr. Anderson say with a grain of salt.

Grant Herndon, Fort Worth, TX
June 25, 2008 7:55pm


First, thank you for your insights. I really don't understand why people distrust the medical community so much. I mean, if your plan was to be a charlatan, then 10 years of schooling and residency is hardly the quickest route.

While part of me is glad you got the last word on this thread / flame (at least for now), it's probably best not to even engage people like Mr. Shmoe. He's clearly go the time to waste spouting nonsense and promoting his blog. The the fewer posts he has to respond to, the less "airtime" he gets. can't spell ignorant without ignor(e)...

Erik Davis, Toronto
July 17, 2008 11:02am

Grant Herndon, those medical journals I gave are peer reviewed and they contradict what the skeptics say. It is sad that your only recourse is to just accept what people say. I agree with Erik Davis. It will be best for you to not engage in any debate which requires critical thinking skills. It will only make MDs look feeble minded and conditioned.

Why do people distrust the medical community so much you ask? Well Erik, maybe it has something to do with the fact that the MD community, which joined together with industry to form the American Council on Science and Health (, puts so much time and energy into promoting fast food burgers, trans-fat fries, cupcakes, double-layer cheese pizza, and sodas as being JUST AS HEALTHY as fresh fruits and vegetables and promoting chewing tobacco use as a HEALTHIER alternative to smoking tobacco.

You MD worshipers are stupid.

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
July 18, 2008 7:18pm

Joe, who do you think writes and peer-reviews those medical journal articles? Most are MDs. You demonize the very people you use to try to support your argument. You seem to be keen on taking what the MDs say with confidence so long as they agree with what you already believe while ignoring and bashing those who don't. Seems a bit like confirmation bias to me.

Maybe it's just me, but I have no problem "just accepting what people say" when "people" in this instance is defined as the majority of the medical community drawing the most appropriate conclusions given the available evidence.

Grant Herndon, Fort Worth, TX
July 24, 2008 7:33pm

I ignore those who disagree? Lets see here. . .

Edward Uthman, M.D. says: “I have seen several thousand intestinal biopsies and have never seen any [thick mucus-like substance].This is a complete fabrication with no anatomic basis.”

However, this published medical journal says: “Excess mucus covering the mucosal surface: Situations such as the one mentioned above are encountered quite often and, because of the lack of appreciation of surface details with the light microscope, are ascribed to so-called patchy lesions. . .Indeed, in such instances, the mucosal surface is covered with a rather thick layer of mucus.” --- Scanning Microscopy v5 n4 1991 p1040.

Paul Lee says that stool resembling mucoid plaque is “only found in users of bowel cleansing products.”

However, in the conventional source “Color Atlas of the Digestive System” (1989) on page 155, there is a full color photograph of it from a non-user.

Remember what I said about you having poor observation skills? As everyone can see, I certainly don’t ignore those who disagree. Its just that I find scientific evidence using sophisticated scientific tools more convincing than someone’s opinion.

Your appeal to the majority is a classic logical fallacy often used by people with poor critical thinking skills. What makes your argument particularly stupid is that it does not add any insight into alternative medicine, which is ALREADY DEFINED as medicine not accepted by the majority of the medical community.

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
July 28, 2008 5:10am

Well you may not know what you are talking about because 14 rubbery things came out of my body and with NO PILLS or anything else added or any type of colon therapy. All I have done is eat beyond healthy and eliminate chemicals/toxins over the last 3 years.
4 years ago I became very sick and could not figure out why. I was becoming allergic to everything, having convulsions and my overhealth was very poor. I began eliminating all outside factors that could be contributing and 5 weeks ago, out of no where, I became VERY sick and then released tons of mucoid plaque or what I suspected to be parasites. I understand there is a lot of garbage out there now days but to blog about something that has not happened to you is not fair to others. There are people like me who are very sick from these strange things and cleaning the colon might be benificial. I am actually considering it now that this happened to me and I was looking for info when I found this sad site...

heather, california
July 30, 2008 3:00pm


My situation is similiar to yours. THANK YOU for sharing your sentiment, which I also have, about how callous these bloggers are.

If you are looking for THE BEST information on this topic, read the books "Cleanse & Purify
Thyself Book 2" and "Cleanse & Purify Thyself Book 1" by Richard Anderson. For THE BEST cleansing program, go to Dr. Richard Anderson is the FOREMOST expert on this topic. If you do Richard Anderson's cleansing program, MAKE SURE you take cayenne capsules with the herb capsules. Contact them and ask them about it.

Interestingly, in the conventional medical book titled “Color Atlas of the Digestive System” (1989 Pounder, Allison, and Dhillon) on page 155, there is a full color photograph of what looks like mucoid plaque. The caption next to the photograph reads: “A particularly bizarre stool, from a young woman with the irritable bowel syndrome.” Dr. Richard Anderson pointed this out as an example of mucoid plaque. Apparently, in certain rare situations like yours, mucoid plaque can come out without even taking any cleansers.

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
July 30, 2008 6:47pm

I, too recently passed 2 "mucoid ropes" after being on a semi-strict diet for two weeks. I wasn't taking any bentonite (I never have) but began eating lots of cooked beets and juicing cabbage and carrots because I heard these were good for the colon. In addition I eliminated dairy, reduced meat and increased fruits and veggies. I am excited to remain on my natural diet, not using anyone's product and see how much more stuff comes out of me.This is a true test to me. I tend to be skeptical, and listen to both sides of the story, but have had so much success using natural methods, I just can't fault it anymore. You do what works for you, and medical doctors haven't done a thing for me.

Heidi, Logan, Utah
August 1, 2008 1:53pm

Heidi - What condition were you seeing the medical doctors for?

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
August 1, 2008 1:57pm

After the birth of my third child I suddenly changed and was no longer myself. I had chronic fatigue, muscle weakness, depression, constipation, dry skin, low basal temperature, hormonal difficulties, mood swings, and the list goes on. I had been under a lot of stress and suspected my adrenal glands or my thryoid as acting up, but no medical doctor was even interested in discussing my adrenal glands. They ran a test on my thyroid and said it was fine. "You look normal," they said. Hmmmmmm, well I didn't feel normal. Something was definitely wrong with me. And it wasn't that I was just tired from having a baby. This was four months later and I had never felt so awful. I was so discouraged! So I began seeing a couple of "naturapaths" and within months I felt so much better. I am so glad now that the normal dr didn't find something wrong and put me on a drug that would make my thyroid dependent for life. I have begun educating myself and love the new knowledge I have about nutrition, etc. Next time I have a problem, natural/alternative medicine will be my first stop.

Heidi, Logan, Utah
August 1, 2008 2:25pm

So a doctor told you that those symptoms were caused by a THYROID problem (guess he'd never seen a post partum mom before), and recommended LIFETIME thyroid drugs????? What drug, if I might ask?

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
August 1, 2008 2:32pm

No, if you read my last post again, my doctor said my thyroid test came out fine and didn't recommend anything--no, not anything for post-partum either (my depression was very mild--it was one of the least of my concerns). He was completely stumped, other than thinking I would bounce back eventually. Sorry, but my baby was four months old at this point and I actually felt terrific when she was six weeks old. I was getting WORSE. Bouncing back wasn't the issue, and I knew that. Something weird was going on with my body. But my dr. just didn't have a clue. I actually really like the guy and still take my kids to him, but he just didn't have the answers I needed at that point. Hence, my discouragement with medical MDs. But I'm grateful now, because it forced me to take a different route, one I am very happy I did! It set me on a path of educating myself about my body and about alternative health practices which actually do work. (I agree some stuff out there is a little weird). But I have to say, the ones I have tried have gotten me the results I wanted, so I know there is a lot of truth to many of them.

Heidi, Logan, Utah
August 1, 2008 3:10pm

Sorry, I misread, sounded like you were saying you were glad the medical doctor didn't make you drug dependent for life. I guess I assumed that meant the doctor was going to prescribe lifetime thyroid drugs for your post partum symptoms -- which definitely sounded unusual!! I guess I just wondered what you felt needed to be treated, your symptoms sound like what my wife and every mom I've ever known went through after childbirth.

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
August 1, 2008 3:19pm

Sorry, but this "article" is not a very well researched bit of writing. In fact, not much better than some of the crazy claims made for some of the products out there.

A quick Google search would show that there *is* a lot of scientific information available on how to detox without resorting to the more "esoteric" and how to support the liver's normal function.

Of course this is essentially just another religious stance - the religion of science going up against the "quacks". After all, scientists are pure and never, ever falsify test reports, omit inconvenient data, publish totally bogus studies or anything of that nature, do they? Oh no, scientists have every right to make rude remarks about anything heretical.. err.. unscientific.

The poor arguments presented here and the stringing together of such weak logic are worthy of a D in any class on reasoning (which is, of course, just another religion.)

Joe, Ottawa
August 5, 2008 6:59pm


Why don't you provide some evidence for your claims? Show me one peer review, double blind, placebo-controleed study that clearly demonstrates a) what exact toxin(s) people are inundated with (in the form of a blood test) and then b) blood tests AFTER the said "detox" plan that clearly demonstrate the removal of those toxins that are said to be interfering with our health.

Funny, when I do a "google" search on toxins, it's page after page of scientifically untenable marketing and deception. Please steer me in the right direction.

I'll be waiting, but won't be holding my breath.

Mike, Vancouver
August 9, 2008 1:42pm

Here is an imitation of Mike:

Duuuuuh. Those astronomers are stupid. They claim to know the distance between the Earth and the moon, but they didn't even use a tape measure!

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
August 14, 2008 4:10am

Joe, it is very apparent that you are running out of good arguments when you mock people, much less when you mock them and then make a terrible analogy. There is a big difference between toxins and the distance to the moon, and I will prove it.

If I asked an astronomer what the distance from the Earth to the Moon was, the astronomer would tell me a number. I could then ask for proof and the astronomer could go into great detail about how the calculations were done and how they were checked.

If I asked a naturopath what would remove toxins from my body, he/she could give me an answer. This answer would differ from person to person (unlike the astronomers answer). If I then asked for proof that this worked, no studies could be quoted, because no successful studies have been done. The explanation would probably wander into New Age babble and maybe even bring in quantum mechanics. The explanations of how the treatment works would almost certainly vary even more than the initial suggestion. This is hardly enough to convince me.

Show me any hard evidence that these vague "toxins" are plaguing my body. Is there a blood test that looks for them? a screening? anything reliable? Then I need evidence that the remedy in question can actually successfully treat the "toxins". All you have provided is a picture of a diseased intestinal wall which a soon to be MD easily explained.

Steve Loeffelholz, LeClaire, IA
August 14, 2008 10:35am

Joe Ottawa,

You must be dumber than Hannibal's foot stool to spout your comments. You must be one of the quack snake oil salesmen selling or promoting these questionable products

Pete Ciccolino, Dublin, CA
August 16, 2008 8:07am

In the conventional textbook "Review of Medical Physiology" (7th edition, 1975, p375) it says "A number of amines, including such potentially toxic substances as histamine and tyramine, are formed in the colon by bacterial enzymes which decarboxylate amino acids. . .Ammonia is also produced in the colon and absorbed. When the liver is diseased, the ammonia is not removed from the blood and severe neurologic symptoms result." The controversy surrounding this autointoxication theory has never been about whether these toxins exists but about whether they are the etiology of symptoms or disease, you stupid idiot.

You, Steve Loeffelholz, LIED when you said “all you have provided is a picture of a diseased intestinal wall.” You already know that in my very first post I provided two medical journals and a pathology Atlas to prove the existence of mucoid plaque. Stephen Barrett lies about the autointoxication theory when he says “no such ‘toxins’ have ever been found” when a simple look into the conventional medical literature shows that the autointoxication controversy has never even been about whether these toxins exist or not. No amount of “peer review, double blind, placebo-controleed” studies are ever going to prove anything because liars like you and Stephen Barrett will simply deny or ignore them.

The astronomy analogy, which you are too stupid to get, demonstrates that facts can be acquired indirectly using deductive reasoning rather than directly.

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
August 16, 2008 8:59am

You have to remember that that there are stil many illnesses that are incurable or whose only treatment is a rather pallitive masking of symptoms. Examples are certain types of cancers, some cases of severe IBS, M.E/CFIDS, Schleroderma, Unresponsive Chrohns desease, etc etc... The reason people go through these awful alternative things is that they are desperate and in pain and their conventional medicine doctor can not give give them enough help. Therefore please don't be so dismissive of people who do get sucked in by these ads. Nevertherless I still enjoyed reading your article.

Rachel Leah, Israel
August 19, 2008 11:46am

Joe, instead of throwing around lame insults like a four year old, how about we have this conversation like adults.

First, the liver is fully capable of getting rid of the chemicals that you mentioned in your post. It even states that the liver has to be diseased in order for problems to arise. That is why the substances are only potentially harmful, not an instant sign of the end of the world.

Second, I would not classify histamine, tyramine, and ammonia as toxins since they are chemicals that naturally occur in the body. If their regulation is off and homeostasis is disturbed, they can cause problems, but so can every other naturally occurring chemical in the body. Are you trying to say that any chemical in the body that could potentially cause harm is a toxin?

Third, none of the products that naturopaths and detox enthusiasts use actually claim to reduce the bodies levels of these three chemicals. They all talk about the vague buzzword "toxin". The reason that none of them make specific claims about certain chemicals is that those claims are testable and easily falsifiable. They stick to "removes toxins" and "improves wellness" because these claims are vague enough to be untestable. They stick to ground where they can't be proven wrong or right.

Lastly, I didn't lie in my previous post. I was summarizing your argument in order to prove the point that you have not provided sufficient evidence to make a convincing argument.

Steve Loeffelholz, LeClaire, IA
August 20, 2008 1:44pm

I did Joe's (from Ottawa) quick Google search and EASILY found scientific studies proving that detox herbs REALLY DO detoxify the liver:

Amazingly, you guys actually suggested that he was dumb or deceptive for saying this. Needless to say, you made yourselves look pretty foolish in front of everybody.

Saying that those chemicals aren't toxins because they "naturally" occur in the body is like saying artery plaque is not a toxin because it "naturally" occurs in the body. People "naturally" eat an unhealthy diet. The fact that these chemicals have no useful function and that the liver is forced to detoxify them because they are TOXIC proves that they are toxins and that that bacteria is a parasite. Even if the liver is successful at detoxifying these chemicals, it still puts unnecessary wear and tear on the liver and energy demand on the body.

It is not surprising that MDs brush this off as a "natural" process because they also have lowered their standard a notch as to what they consider to be "naturally" healthy. MDs consider undue fatigue, for example, to be the "normal aches and pains of life."

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
August 23, 2008 5:40pm

Joe, the links in your previous post do not go to scientific studies. One is from an herbalist site (hardly credible) and the other is a WebMD article saying that some small scale studies show a possible benefit (without linking to the actual studies). Neither of these can be considered good, much less conclusive, evidence. Do a search for liver detoxification on PubMed and you will get paper after paper about how the liver detoxes different molecules, not how to detox the liver.

"The fact that these chemicals have no useful function..."

So now your medical expertise has told you that none of these molecules are useful. Perhaps you are not very familiar with the immune system and the critical role that histamine plays in it.

Perhaps you don't realize that the majority of ammonia produced in the human body happens when bacteria breaks down proteins in the intestine. This process is critical to maintaining the body since several amino acids must be acquired through diet. The body evolved to accommodate this fact and the liver has a specific enzyme to convert ammonia into urea.

Tyramine is the only molecule that is not necessary, but it is contained in many foods that are. Once again, the liver comes to the rescue with monoamine oxidase which is specifically designed to rid the body of molecules like tyramine.

This is not unnecessary wear and tear. It is what the liver was designed to do.

Steve Loeffelholz, LeClaire, IA
August 24, 2008 8:52am

Steve Loeffelholz,

Ammonia is produced in the process of destroying amino acids NOT in the process of breaking down protein into useful amino acids:

Didn't they teach you in high school that STOMACH AND PANCREATIC JUICES break down protein into useful amino acids NOT ammonia producing bacteria, which DESTROYS amino acids?!

USEFUL histamine is normally produced by HUMAN cells not by parasitic bacteria cells and is only useful when it is released by THE BODY at the RIGHT PLACE and at the RIGHT TIME. Perhaps you are not very familiar with the critical role that histamine plays in allergy symptoms when the body's immune system unnecessarily releases it. Perhaps also you are not very familiar with scombroid food poisoning, which results when bacteria breaks down one of those useful amino acids you were talking about into the "toxic agent" histamine:

It is very sad that you didn't learn any of this BASIC information in HIGH SCHOOL because that link you gave me, which I can't access, reveals that you must be a "healthcare professional."

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
August 25, 2008 11:41am

Once again your post was full of childish insults and unnecessary caps and lacking in useful information. Please try to keep your comments directed at the topic, not at me.

You are correct, and I did make a mistake. Ammonia is produced in the liver when amino acids are metabolized. The point I made is still valid though. The body has a specific pathway (urea cycle) that is made to eliminate this byproduct because this is a natural process. Unless the liver is diseased or a massive amount of extra ammonia is being produced, the liver and kidneys can handle it.

Scombroid food poisoning is a specific case where fish high in histidine is mishandled or poorly refrigerated. This allows a bacteria on the fish (not in your intestine) to change the histidine in the fist to histamine. The chemical is already on the fish when you eat it, so I fail to see how this is any different than other food poisoning. Also, scombroid food poisoning is rather mild as the symptoms are typically gone a few hours after onset since the body has a method of ridding itself of histamine.

You seem to believe that everything is a toxin. Sugar is a toxin because it can cause diabetes. Cholesterol (a vital component of every cell in the body) is a toxin because it can cause heart disease. Your definition of toxin is so broad that it is useless and something ridding the body of your "toxins" would do more harm than good.

PS: What basic high school class taught you about scombroid food poisoning?

Steve Loeffelholz, LeClaire, IA
September 1, 2008 4:19pm

I found this to be a great article. I found the colon pages while looking for symptoms for intestinal parasites on the web and found it odd that after talking about such parasites, the site immediately recommended colon cleansing without discerning whether you even have them. I immediately became suspicious. (my first reaction to anyone asking me for money)

I too am upset with MDs for curing the pneumonia i got at age 2, and forcing me to live against my will. I found that to be unethical.

Yes, doctors can get stumped. DUH. Yes, people (which includes docs) can try to rip you off. But anyone who claims that MDs hurt you to get more money is a quack. You dont go through med school for that. And they wouldnt get money from it because they have a SALARY. This means that any particular MD has no reason to ever want to see you again. If he mans his shift and noone comes, he STILL GETS PAID. (untill the hospital closes down at least)
The people with a reason to rip you off are the drug companies, who might in the name of money, try to stop a cure so they can keep treating the symptoms.

For you bloggers out there still arguing I'm going to now show you the only way to win an argument on the internet: "You can rant at me all you want cause Im not gonna visit this page again." I hope the rest of you enjoy watching the ones that try.

In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. - Douglas Adams

Nom Carver, Suburbs, USA
September 1, 2008 8:23pm

I agree with parts of your article, especially the parts that have to do with the detox foot baths. However, I am a licensed naturopathic medical doctor in the state of Arizona and I often place patients on detoxification programs that include liver support and a good clean diet. So when you talk about naturopaths you should state that you are referring to the unlicensed ones. They are giving us a bad name.

Toni Vaughan, NMD, Phoenix, AZ
September 2, 2008 12:14pm

Toni - If you wish to be differentiated from other naturopaths, I hope you have some solid foundation for these "detoxifying" prescriptions. What are these toxins you are hoping to remove, and have you confirmed the presence of these toxins with a blood test?

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
September 2, 2008 12:21pm

LOL thank you for this! I was on the fence with the whole colon cleanse idea, I started looking into it because of some issues involving a Peptic Ulcer. The Medication causes horrible constipation and I was looking for some info on Laxitives.

Anyway, I stumbled on to some of these sites. I knew that these couldn't be parasites like one site suggested, but the term mucoid plaque had me going for a minute.

Good heaven's Cat litter! LOL That explains why I kept thinking, "Its like the poor guy pooped his intestins!"

You rock! How on earth did you find that out?

Julia, Denver, CO
September 9, 2008 10:36pm

Unfortunately, your claims are very alarmist.. similar to the claims these detox companies make, yours are just at the other end of the spectrum.

While I think you make good points in your claims, they are still unscientifically found.

What you should point out as evidence, to further support your claims, is the ingredients used in these Colon Cleansing Products.

Such as Cascara Sagrada & Senna... Both of which can be very detrimental to the intestinal tract when used for extended periods of time. Usually, longer than 7 days can cause your intestines to become addicted to them... and products like Colonix have Senna in them and require you take it FOR 90 DAYS!!!

I've used a few detox products and felt that I got a few benefits from them, but you make it sound like they are kill everybody that takes them. When, people die from asprin and viagra more often than they do from colon cleansing products.

JP Richardson, California
September 20, 2008 8:59am

This clarified a lot of things for me regarding the foot patches. I was seriously thinking of getting a box to try out. I saw them a local Walgreens store and that really convinced me to get some. After all, why would a huge chain like Walgreens pick up a product that was totally fraudulent?? But I decided to hold off anyway...they were selling them for $20 for a box of 14. My boyfriend also made a good point that just because Walgreens picked them up, didn't mean anything. I also thought at one point, before having this idea verified by your article, that the brown color on the pads was a result of sweat...Well they won't be getting my money after all...Thanks!

Nora Melendez, Menlo Park, Ca
September 22, 2008 2:59pm

You can't skeptoidify my detoxification system: The SINONASAL ROTO FALANGE ATOXINIZER (SRFA). Instructions: 1.Place hemeopathic SRFA fabric over first finger. 2. Insert treated finger deeply into nostril. 3. Rotate finger. 4. Remove finger. After SRFA treatment respirations will be easier.
You want observable, scientific proof: THE PROOF IS ON THE FINGER.

Frank the Crank, Philly PA
October 2, 2008 10:55pm

You can produce the result of those pictures with straight psyllium husk powder which costs pennies per serving and can be purchased at any grocery store.

Grace, Austin/TX
October 4, 2008 8:06am

Not all detoxs are false. There are such things as toxins in our body, most of which come from all the unatural 'food' we eat. If you can put the toxin in yer body, then surely there is a way to get it out. Some detoxes have been proven to work, while others are just plain bogus. (like the snake-intestine thing) Just think, if medicine was the only answer, everyone would be cured and the big drug companies would no longer exist.

marc, marshall tx
October 9, 2008 11:19pm

From the infomercial on Comedy Central this morning at 5:00 am
"Westminster Abbey was built in 170 AD, and inside its dark-grey stone walls are the graves of some of the most famous kings and statesmen who ever lived. One of the smallest burial places is the final resting place of one of the oldest men to ever live. His name was Thomas Parr. It's accurately documented that he was born in 1483 AD, and he died at the age of 152! After his death, and English doctor named William Harvey was hired by King Charles to perform and autopsy to find out why he lived so long. The autopsy was written in latin, and it's been preserved to this very day that Parr's organs were in perfect condition, and his colon was as clean and healthy as that of a child!
The moral of this true story is: Keep your colon clean, and you may live a long and healthy life!"

Dan the Man, Omaha, NE
October 10, 2008 4:10am

I have been saying these DETOX and Body cleansing things have been bogus all along, and this was a great article about it. I love how the health spas have NO, as in Zero, None, Nada, proof about what toxins they are taking out. And one of the comments on this page was classic "Not ALL of the detoxes are false..." there's always one guy that can't admit they were fooled, so it's THEIR whacky system that is the TRUE one, and the OTHERS are bogus. Hah!

I'll be going on a cruise in March, and I'll be sure to be lectured on "detoxifying" my body with seaweed because it will suck out all the alcohol and fesces from my body. And after 150 bucks later, apparently i'll be able to hit the pool and drink it back in. What a joke.

Alex, Wilmington, DE
October 23, 2008 5:38pm

As hoaxy as many natural "cures" can seem, I think the author puts a bit too much faith in conventional medicine. It's important to remember that conventional medicine is basically controlled by drug companies. It's much easier and more profitable for a physician to write a prescription for a pill than to spend some time looking for a natural cure for your ailment. When I'm feeling sick, the only solution they EVER offer is antibiotics, or some pharmaceutical that I later found an effective food alternative. Conventional doctors are only now realizing the damage they've done in pumping us all up with antibiotics when we have the sniffles. It's made mutant strands of staph that are resistant to antibiotics that are killing people. My mother's boss and his son were in the ICU because their case got so bad.

Deciphering the real deal from the scams is no easy task; it takes rational thought and thorough research, but natural medicine is not to be written off.

Devon, Austin, Texas
October 27, 2008 10:20pm

That evidence based medicine is "controlled by pharmaceutical companies" does not validate non-evidence based medicine. Those unapproved, untested drugs are "controlled" by the companies that manufacture them too. What's your point?

The validity of a treatment is determined by whether or not it works, not by who controls it.

Nobody "writes off" natural medicine. The vast majority of drugs on the market are derived from natural compounds.

Robert Houghton, San Diego, CA
October 27, 2008 10:50pm

My point is that no matter who you go to, it's important to remember that someone is making a dime off of you; conventional medicine should receive the same scrutiny as natural medicines and vice-versa.

Of course validity of treatment is determined by whether or not it works. The problem is that many natural treatments are gladly passed up in favor of more profitable, even more dangerous synthetic treatments. This problem is made worse when doctors don't consider the conflict of interest when they read drug company sponsored studies heralding a new miracle drug.

For a quick example, look up studies on statin drugs versus blueberries. In studies NOT sponsored by drug companies, blueberries typically win as more safe and effective at lowering cholesterol. Is that not evidence? Drug companies can market drugs on TV so you know what to ask for when you visit the doctor, but if a supplement company writes on a bottle of blueberry extract "studies have shown that X amount of blueberries per day help lower cholesterol," that company would be taken to court by the FDA quicker than you can say heart attack. Read up on some cases they're currently involved in and you'll see what I mean.

See the problem yet?

There are too many politics at work for something as basic as health care, which inevitably makes people more susceptible to nonsense on both sides of the medical aisle.

And yes, people do write off natural medicine, just look at some of the comments before you.

Devon, Austin, Texas
October 28, 2008 6:51pm

Devon,I absolutely agree that straight to consumer advertising by drug companies(ie drug commercials on TV)should not be allowed. Oddly enough,it is for the exact same reason that you said. People go to their doctor not only hoping to get,but expecting to get the drug that they want. Where I differ from you is where I place the blame. It is not the doctor's fault because they have their hands tied when a person comes in demanding a drug. It is not the pharmaceutical company's fault because they are just trying to increase profits(something every company in existence does). The blame goes to government leaders for not making such advertising illegal,and partly to people like us who are not doing more to change the current laws.

I am a bit skeptical of your claim about blueberries and statins. A quick search on PubMed gave no results for studies involving statins and blueberries. I did find a few articles on natural supplement websites,but that is hardly an authoritative source. If you could, please link to the study that you are referring to. On the other hand,there are several peer reviewed studies showing the efficacy of statins.

I don't believe that the medical community writes off natural medicine,seeing that many drugs are modified versions of natural compounds. Even the statins mentioned above are a derivative of red yeast rice. The difference is that the medical community is more focused on showing efficacy under controlled conditions.

Steve Loeffelholz, LeClaire, IA
October 29, 2008 12:29pm

Steve, a MODIFIED version of a natural compound is not a natural compound. You are just using silly doublespeak to attempt to confuse the issue. The main reason they modify natural compounds is so they can get a PATENT on it. This is why they are not interested in natural compounds.

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
October 29, 2008 3:29pm

"a MODIFIED version of a natural compound is not a natural compound."

This is true, it is a derivative of a natural compound. That isn't to say that no completely natural compounds are used in medicine. Lovastatin, the original statin, is the exact molecule that is found in red yeast rice. Quinine, the original treatment for malaria, is a naturally occurring molecule in the bark of the cinchona tree. This is exactly why the medical community still has interest in natural medicine. Once in a while, a natural cure displays measurable efficacy and finding out what causes that effect could advance medicine.

"The main reason they modify natural compounds is so they can get a PATENT on it."

False. The main reason that they modify the natural compounds is to change their activity. Replacing a hydrogen with a fluorine can shift electron distribution in the molecule making it more active (look into fluroquinolones). Altering the molecule can allow it to pass the blood/brain barrier, making it effective on the central nervous system (or allow it to better target any tissue for that matter). Changing structure can also help to alleviate harmful side effects (like changing salicylic acid into acetylsalicylic acid). As for getting a patent, why not patent a drug after spending tons of money and man hours on development and testing? A pharmaceutical company, like every other company on Earth, is trying to turn a profit. Just so happens they advance medicine while doing so.

Steve Loeffelholz, LeClaire, IA
October 29, 2008 4:15pm

The study was in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, March 2006 edition. tipped me off to it.

The author mentioned psyllium, but failed to mention that it is just a wheat-like plant, not just some random indusrty by-product. The husks are what many people use as a fiber supplement (it's got 10g of dietary fiber per 2 Tablespoons), myself included. My doctor had me on an IBS drug until, with the discovery of that website, I tried a few table spoons of psyllium husks in some apple juice per day, and I've been perfectly IBS free since, without expensive medication.

All in all, to each his own, I just thought felt compelled provide an alternative perspective on the issue.

Devon, Austin, Texas
October 29, 2008 6:53pm

If pharmaceutical companies are trying to turn a profit, then any natural compound or technique that they are not able to patent will be ignored in favor of a compound that they can patent even though the unpatentable natural compound or technique my be superior.

I like how you say that the blame goes to Congress rather than the pharmaceutical companies for not resisting the lobbying efforts of the pharmaceutical companies to block advertising reform. Oh ya Steve, that makes alot of sense.

Medical doctors and pharmaceutical companies are not interested in preventing diseases. That is why they have joined forces to form the “American Council on Science and Health” ( to promote fast food burgers, trans-fat fries, cupcakes, double-layer cheese pizza, and sodas as being JUST AS HEALTHY as fresh fruits and vegetables and to promote chewing tobacco use as a HEALTHIER alternative to smoking tobacco. Note that Steven Barrett, M.D. from is a scientific advisor to this “American Council on Science and Health.”

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
October 29, 2008 7:45pm

Boy have you misread their website Joe Schmoe.

Well, yeah fast food is healthy for you, provided you do not over do it. If you eat one or two hamburgers a day, you are within the safe bounds of eating. If you sit there and eat 5 of them in a day, you give yourself problems. Conversely, if you eat nothing but bananas in one day, you will make yourself sick. You will give yourself something called potassium poisining.

They advocate a balanced diet of meats, veggies and fruits. They do not claim that eating nothing but fast food is healthy for you. You were implying this with your BOLD FACE remarks.

They do advocate smokeless tobacco only if the person is tryin to quit. From their facts and fears website:
"ACSH encourages the use of smokeless products only for smokers who are trying to quit and have not succeeded with other quit aides. 'We're highlighting products that could save people's lives if they switched to them instead of smoking cigarettes,' Dr. Whelan says."

In other words, they do not advocate this product all the time. They are for it ONLY when the user is quitting smoking. Hardly an all the time thing like you are implying Joe.

Also, not all doctors are supporting this group. This is one group of doctors. The only way that all doctors support them is that this group practices good science.

Jake Ambrose, Holtville, Ca
October 29, 2008 8:25pm

First about the study, it is interesting but has many problems. First, the sample size is very small (n=34) making the results rather insignificant. Second, the drug used was lovastatin, which is not the most effective statin (it was the first one ever discovered). Third, the people placed on the statin did not alter their diets at all while the other group had their diets radically altered (they did not just add blueberries).

These are problems for two main reasons. First, no doctor worth his salt will ever prescribe a statin without recommending diet change (albeit not as severe as that in the study). They don't give you the drug and claim you can eat whatever you want. Second, the vast majority of people are not willing to alter their diet in the manner that was done in the study. Check out what they had to eat to see just how extreme it was.

Thank you Jake for your rational response to Joe's overstated remarks. I would like to add that natural compounds can be patented. Lovastatin, the naturally occurring compound in red yeast rice, is patented and sold under the name Mevacor. The reason that it is no longer the statin of choice is because other statins have been shown to be more effective (Lipitor and Crestor come to mind).

Also, is it really unreasonable of me to want congressmen to be influenced by the wants and needs of their constituency instead of by the gifts of lobbyists? That is how it is supposed to work.

Steve Loeffelholz, LeClaire, IA
October 31, 2008 10:54am


First of all, it is not true that ACSH advocates moderation in eating. They call the concern over the obesity epidemic “hysteria” (1), advocate against consumers knowing the calorie or fat content of any American food product (2), and advocate AGAINST calorie reduction (3).

Second, it is not true that they advocate a balanced diet. Their definition of a “balanced diet” INCLUDES moderate amounts of sodas, Ho-Hos, and bourbon (4), they advocate kids eating NOTHING BUT traditional junk food INSTEAD OF something “new” like veggies and fruit (5), and they make VERY frivolous complaints about any plan to get people to eat more fruits and vegetables (6).

Third, type in “trans fats” and you will see that they scoff at ANY plan to eliminate ANY trans fats from the food supply. They THEN advocate eating as many cheezeburgers and fries as you want (3).

Lastly, you misread their tobacco policy as well. If you type in “harm reduction” you will see that they DO advocate smokeless tobacco for people unwilling to ever quit.







Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
October 31, 2008 8:39pm

You need to read the entire article, Jose Schmoe. If you get past the first paragraphs in all fo them, you will see that none of your claims are accurate. In short, all of the articles have a sentence along the lines of "we encourage proper nutrition education." You just scanned the articles looking for the words that you wanted to see, ignored the rest, then said this group is evil. if this was Bible, I might let you get away with it. Since this is not, I have to school you on what some of the articles are actually saying:

Link 3 is about parent accepting part of the blame for their kids weight problem. It is not an advocation of junk food.

link 5 was a rebuttal to a New York Times editorial piece from Harriet Brown. She is the one advocating Junk food, not the ACSH. If you read more of that article, it talks about proper diets, and how blaming specific foods can become obsessive.

link 6 is an attack against, in their eyes, a useless fad. "Proper nutrition will last longer than a season to quote the last line."

I did type in harm reduction like you suggested. I read the first 20. I did not see the words, "We, the members of the ASCH, advocate using, by any means necessary, harm reduction techniques." All of them said, compared to traditional quitting techniques, harm reduction techniques work better."

I repeat my previous assertion. If the scientific community agrees with the ACSH, it is merely because it the group is practicing good science.

Jake Ambrose, Holtville, Ca
October 31, 2008 10:14pm


How noble of them to "encourage proper nutrition education." Did you know also that the goal of the North American Man/Boy Love Association is "educating the general public on the benevolent nature of man/boy love"?

Your analysis is so incredibly delusional. My previous post speaks for itself. It's obvious that a delusional or corrupt person cannot be reasoned with.


The fact that they would put a patent on a naturally occuring compound then advocate the ban of any herb that contains that naturally occuring compound proves how corrupt they are. A sociopathic personality, of course, would not understand this concept. The whole herb itself, however, cannot be patented. A number of active ingredients working together in its original state often works better than one active ingredient that has been isolated and concentrated.

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
November 1, 2008 2:39pm

Joe, I will have to conditionally agree with one portion of your post. Occasionally the cocktail of chemicals appearing in the original plant is more effective than any one isolated chemical (Marinol is a great example of this). The truth is that the majority of the time, there is one chemical in the plant that is causing the beneficial effect, and the rest are just there doing nothing, or not much. This is why it is worth extracting that chemical and purifying/standardizing its dose. It gives the effects of the plant in a more concentrated and controllable manner.

Once a drug is found, they don't automatically ban the substance that the drug was originally found in. They only ban it if the chemical contained within the substance is dangerous when it is not monitored. This is the reason that red yeast rice supplements were banned in the US. Though statins are effective, it is well known that they can cause kidney and muscle problems if they are not strictly regulated. When you consider that one serving of red yeast rice might have x amount of active ingredient and another serving might have 3x, it is not unreasonable to only allow the drug to be distributed through standardized means.

If anyone posting here is delusional, it would have to be you. You seem to ignore any and all evidence that goes against your way of thinking, and believe that the pharmaceutical companies are out to get you. That is pretty much the definition of delusional.

Steve Loeffelholz, LeClaire, IA
November 1, 2008 4:52pm

I am the delusional one, Joe Schmoe? Please explain why. Is it because I actually read the articles and not fell into the alarmist trap you fell into. But since I showed where your claims are wrong, that mean I must be delusional.

First, I have looked at all of your article you referenced and did not discover any of the alarmist things that you are concerned about. In fact, none of the articles you mentioned dllude to any of your claims whatsoever. None of them did. But I'm delusional because read them, silly me!

Is it really so bad to teach children what they should eat instead of having a prohibition on junk food, fast food or any of the other foods you do not like? Well, I guess you are right since we all know how well the last prohibition worked. But I'm the delusional one because I think education is better than leglislating morality.

Then, when you did not have a snappy comeback, you threw out a red herring about the North American Man/Boy Love Association. Are you really trying to say that these people are not better than pedophiles? But, they are not same because you can actually research the pedophile group and discover their slogan is bullshit. But I must be the delusional one because I did not go Goose-stepping with you.

If you know so much about the ACSH that I am not aware of, why don't you show the evidence. If you cannot show the evidence without name calling or red herrings, then it is just a bunch of hot air.

Jake Ambrose, Holtville, Ca
November 1, 2008 8:22pm

First, I will reality test your delusions in your previous post:

Link 3 advocates that there is no such thing as "bad food" and that “the real message” we should be sending to “fat kids” is that “one could eat as much” “cheeseburgers and fries” “as one wished.” The first law of thermodynamics does not protect one from cholesterol and trans fats.

Link 5 is an AGREEMENT, not a rebuttal, to Harriet Brown’s comment about letting kids eat "soda, cupcakes, ice cream, and second helpings of pizza." The ONLY THING ACSH criticized Harriet Brown about was that "she did not buy fast food or soda for her children."

Now, I will reality test your delusion that "none of the articles you mentioned dllude to any of your claims whatsoever.":

I claimed that "it is not true that ACSH advocates moderation in eating." Link 3 says that
“the real message” we should be sending to “fat kids” is that “one could eat as much” “cheeseburgers and fries” “as one wished and lose weight.” Link 5 calls "childhood obesity" "an alleged health hazard."

I said that "it is not true that they advocate a balanced diet." Link 4 recomends that "there is room" for "soda, [HO-HOs], or bourbon" to be "part of a varied, balanced diet." Link 5 says that "instead of advocating new, more nutrient-dense foods" we should advocate "frenchfries," "cupcakes," "soda," "potatochips," "mayonnaise," "oleomargarine," and "popcorn."

I hope this was therapeutic for you. If not, I recommend anti-psychotics.

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
November 2, 2008 10:08pm

Joe, I just had the time to read your articles and here are my impressions.

Article 1 is about the potential of posted nutritional information in college dining halls promoting eating disorders. This seems to be a valid concern, especially when eating disorders are so prevalent on college campuses.

Article 2 is about the relabeling of food. It contends that the cost of relabeling is large and will be passed on to consumers, while the benefits will be minuscule if any. I would have to agree.

Article 3 is basically saying that lack of exercise and not what a child eats is making them fat. If exercise increases with food intake, you will maintain or even lose weight.

Article 4 talks about vending machines in schools. It argues that under nutrition is not a problem, but over consumption is. Replacing a 110cal soda with a 150cal fruit juice will not make children thinner. The "soda, desserts, bourbon" part is immediately followed by "in moderation with exercise."

Article 5 discusses the benefits of modifying currently popular foods to make them healthier. It also reiterates that specific foods don't make kids fat, just bad overall diets.

Article 6 attacks an obviously flawed program that is supposed to give overpriced organic food to the poor for free.

All of the quotes in your above post are cherry-picked and make perfect sense in context. Your interpretation of these articles is so obviously biased that it makes me wonder if you have even read them in their entirety.

Steve Loeffelholz, LeClaire, IA
November 3, 2008 6:51am

I hate to tell you Joe, but you are cherry picking your sources. Not only is that a violation of the 9th commandment, it is also a crime. (Libel)

Here is your quote: Link 5 IS a rebittal Link 5 says that "instead of advocating new, more nutrient-dense foods" we should advocate "frenchfries," "cupcakes," "soda," "potatochips," "mayonnaise," "oleomargarine," and "popcorn."

Your quotes mean you are taking things out of context. Yes, they were in the article, but you did not quote them properly. That part of the article was referencing to Olestra, you know the "healthy" synthetic oil. Not only that, you pieced together twoseparate parts of the article together. Here are the actual quotes you got your pieces from:

"Instead of just trying in vain to get kids to abandon their favorite snacks, [President Clinton] has pledged to work with food companies and food vendors to reduce the amounts of all forms of dietary fat in the items kids love to eat, including French fries and pizza."

"Olestra has been tested and studied for over thirty years, is both safe and versatile, and can take the place of fat in products such as mayonnaise, salad dressings, oleomargarine, peanut butter, and chocolate."

That paper is advocating a product that has been proven to lower cholsterol. It is not an endorsement of fatty foods.

Try again, but your beliefs about the company are jibing with evidence. Instead of cherry-picking them read the articles completely.

Jakob Ambrose, Holtville Ca
November 3, 2008 8:32am

alot of the stuff they sell to detox your body is just a money maker the only way to keep your self healhy is to eat right work out and watch our carbohydrates. go to the docter for check ups and take your vitamis and eat your veggies.Work out enough to make it not a stress on your body to keep you healthy.

ian h, estacada OR
November 3, 2008 2:05pm

I'm not surprised that on a site all about trashing ideas that the people can't even have a civil discussion - despite the fact that they seem reasonably well educated.
Intelligent people only have knowledge. It's the wise that know how to apply it, and to persuade others.

Shouting louder, especially in words, has NEVER changed a single mind. Both sides on here sound pathetically roid-raged. Gain control over your composure!


While there is no doubt a lot of snake oil salesmanship in the organic and alternative health community it's very misleading to make this article and post it causing people to doubt that you can have toxins within the body.
It's a very well understood concept that there are harmful contaminants stored in fat cells in the body. For example, the FDA warns against over-consumption of sushi due to mercury and other heavy metals STORED IN FISH CELLS. Now if fish can store "toxins" don't you think we might be able to?
It's solely in the fat cells that foreign cont. are stored. However, another very common toxin storage is not actually foreign, it's produced in the body. Urea, acids, and other nitrogenous waste are well known to become lodged in muscle and organ tissues.
So far the best method to detoxify the body is the cheapest: sweat via exercise and drink good sources of water. The water is the substrate for blood to clean and the exercise pumps blood faster. The sweat drains fat cells and pushes waste into blood via osmosis. Simple, easy.

A Careaga, San Diego, CA
November 15, 2008 10:46am

@ Careaga

You start out very well, but then veer wildly into the woo-woo zone.

Yes, fish can store "toxins", but by the quotation marks you yourself put there, you allready show this is not the type of toxin that de-tox people talk about. It's a identifiable, quantifiable substance.

Then, it goes downhill fast.
Urea and nitrogenous waste does not become "lodged in muscle and organ tissues", unless you're doing something very stupid, like not drinking for days on end. Only fat-solluble materials can accumulate in the body, which is most heavy metals, some vitamins etc.

Water solluble compounds, like urea, chlorine, acids and the like cannot accumulate in the body, and will flush out right away.

Unless you have health problems, your kidneys and liver will do an excellent job of getting rid of any urea and other waste. They even filter out the mercury salts in fish, though that takes quite a while (76 day half-life).

Drinking extra water does nothing for the body, except reduce the chance of kidney stones. You don't get rid of more waste just because there's more water.

Sweat barely contributes to waste expulsion, the only reason it contains sodium and potassium is because the blood plasma has those minerals in it, and it's still only measured in grams per liter.

Exercise also does nothing to get rid of waste. Your body only cleans an X ammount of blood per hour, wether that blood flows fast or slow doesn't matter in the slightest.

Marcel, Reykjavik, Iceland
November 17, 2008 4:54pm

Hey look, if I don't want to put stuff in my system that will glue my intestines shut on top of spending a small fortune for the "privilege", that's my fucking perogative. All you anti-"Western Medical Establishment" paranoiacs & politicos don't need to be policticising the issue and making me the "Pro MD Nazi" just because I don't fancy the prospect of gutting out my innards with psyllium, etc. It also strikes me as odd that the site admin here doesn't follow his own rule(as he states): "Discuss the issues - personal attacks...will be deleted". I guess, as always, that's ok as long as you fall on the "left hand side" of any argument online. I just read all this crap, and I wish I had that part of my life back.

John Q., Frozen Shithole, Antarctica
November 20, 2008 5:38pm

Mucoid plaque is not simply the excretion of the psyllium and bentonite shake because MDs have long decribed mucoid plaque in people not ingesting any of it:

"The mucous masses are white, grayish white, or a color due to the mixing of mucus and feces, yellowish brown. . .The mucous masses may be transparent like slime, or opaque like fibrin, of a grayish white, or a dirty color with pigment in it. Sometimes the masses consist of large, wide and thick leathery-like membranes; at other times, long ribbon-like bands or rope-like coils. . .Chemical examination reveals mucin, or mucin-like material, as the chief constituent." -- Byron Robinsona, M.D. The Abdominal Brain and Automatic Visceral Ganglia (1899) p210-213

“When one sees the dirty gray, brown or blackish sheets, strings and rolled up wormlike masses of tough mucus with a rotten or dead-fish odor that are obtained by colon irrigations, one does not wonder that these patients feel ill and that they obtain relief and show improvement as the result of the irrigation.” – Bastedo, M.D. Colonic irrigations: their administration, therapeutic application and dangers JAMA (1932) v98 p736

To drive the point home, it’s a verifiable fact that psyllium and bentonite shakes were not used with colon irrigations until SOMETIME AFTER 1935:

I have verifiable facts whereas you have nothing but emotionally charged assumptions.

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
November 22, 2008 8:13am

The writer is correct in claiming that our kidneys and liver are excellent detoxifying and elimination organs. It is also true, however, that the human body was never designed to deal with the elimination of certain substances (eg: heavy metals). These substances collect in our systems, compromising the effectiveness of our otherwise perfectly capable elimination organs.

There are many pricey and ineffective detoxification systems out there, but it need not be as expensive as the writer seems to suggest. It can also be (somewhat) achieved by practices such as fasting, which requires no expenditure whatsoever.

I personally have never undergone detoxification, but have looked at pictures of mucoid plaque from the Blessed Herbs website. If it is, as the writer claims, simply a mixture of bentonite and psyllium, then all mucoid plaque should be the same colour and texture. However, there seems to be quite a degree of variability between the examples posted on the website.

Shirley, Sydney, Australia
November 24, 2008 8:49pm


I am glad to see that you gave up your tirade against the above mentioned ACSH articles that were ruthlessly cherry-picked. It is not surprising, however, that you are now cherry-picking articles that are over a hundred years old (not exactly current medical understanding) and endorsing outdated practices (colonic irrigations have long been discredited due to their dangerous nature and lack of efficacy). The "verifiable facts" that you bring to the table always fall short of being completely honest. That was shown several posts ago when the MD looked into your previous claims. In order to support your hypothesis, you always need to edit the information that you find in order to make it match your beliefs.

How is this for verifiable proof? In the US more than 15 million colonoscopies are performed annually. Each person getting one of these exams is given a powerful laxative before the procedure (many have said that Go Lightly is quite the misnomer). After voiding, these 15 million Americans find nothing in their toilet except for very loose stools. Shouldn't a large percent of them be finding mucoid plaques?


The muciod plaques produced by the bentonite and psyllium are also mixed with feces. They should vary in color and texture as much as normal feces does, which is quite a bit. What toxin in the body is present in large enough amounts to significantly alter the color of the plaque (for example, mercury at 200ug/L is extremely high)?

Steve Loeffelholz, LeClaire, IA
November 25, 2008 10:49am

First, you refer to that post where that MD set up a "straw man" logical fallacy, falsely claiming that my blog said that MDs think all those endoscopy pictures show healthy or "normal" mucosa. My blog said no such thing as that. Because he was not able to effectively refute the arguments, he had to come up with an imaginary argument to refute.

Concerning the ACSH articles, if you look back you will see that you totally ignored my original argument that set you off on this "cherry picking" accusing tirade. I said that it is not true that ACSH advocates a varied balanced diet (of fruits and vegetables) because link 4 recommends that there is room for soda, [HO-HOs], or bourbon to be part of a varied, balanced diet and link 5 recommends that instead of advocating new, more nutrient-dense foods (a.k.a fruits and vegetables) we should advocate frenchfries, cupcakes, soda, potatochips, mayonnaise, oleomargarine, and popcorn.
I'm sorry Steve, but Olestra, which Jakob is fond of, is not part of a varied balanced diet of fruits and vegetables. Jakob engineered a false accusation of libel as a distraction from the original argument.

Finally, your response that I am now using old sources is pretty lame and weird considering that I intended to prove that MDs have HISTORICALLY LONG AGO described mucoid plaque before psyllium and bentonite shakes were ever used, thus discrediting the "rubbery cast" theory.

This is all dishonesty and manipulation.

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
November 26, 2008 1:09am

Jose Schmoe said:
"I said that it is not true that ACSH advocates a varied balanced diet (of fruits and vegetables) because link 4 recommends that there is room for soda, [HO-HOs], or bourbon to be part of a varied, balanced diet and link 5 recommends that instead of advocating new, more nutrient-dense foods (a.k.a fruits and vegetables) we should advocate frenchfries, cupcakes, soda, potatochips, mayonnaise, oleomargarine, and popcorn."

Why do you think we have short memories? You never said anything that even came close to this. I read those articles too.

Article 1 says nothing about sodas. The underlying message of it is bad nutrition is still better than no nutrition.

Article 2 mentions nothing about advocating anything fatty.

Article 3 has nothing about the items you mention it says it does, but it does have this little tidbit that betrays their position:
"I have a solution. Focus on getting [kids] to turn off the television and take the dog for a long walk. And instead of a Playstation, get them a bike"

Article 4 I discussed the last time, the one that you blatantly ripped apart to get your position.

Article 5 reinforced their original position: fatty foods do not make people fat.

Article 6 has nothing about bad foods. Just anger at misplaced funds.

When I caught you the last time about your claim, you resorted to using an ad hominium by comparing them to pedophiles. You also misquoted them. That's the libel you used to deflect us from topic.

jakob ambrose, holtville ca
November 26, 2008 5:24am

I never said anything that even came close to this?! Click on the show all comments function then do control F to find the phrase "it is not true that they advocate a balanced diet" You will find two of my posts where I said all of that.

You, of course, already know this and the rest of your diatribe is just a continuation of your desperate strategy to spew out crazy nonsense in a lame attempt to confuse people.

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
November 26, 2008 1:39pm

Very nice writeup on detox cleansing. ( I appreciate the in depth review of the topic and the additional information that was not presented previously.

<a href="">Detox Cleansing</a>, Columbus Ohio
December 15, 2008 8:29pm

I will agree with Dunning that, like all areas of consumer interest, deception is involved in health matters, ignorance is exploited with an eye toward profit-making.

However, if you are not a vegetarian or watch your diet extremely closely, it is a guarantee that your lower intestine is full of feces that are often ready to be expelled days before they actually are. Why then does your body hold onto it longer than necessary?

How late in life did you discover good bacteria for the stomach?

Ever give yourself an enema? The first couple times I did, I was horrified at how much CRAP my body was holding onto, for no reason whatsoever.

But after going vegetarian, increasing water intake and regular daily exercise, my monthly enemas showed nearly nothing but clean water.

What Brian should do is write about how malnutrition doesn't show symptoms early enough to correct.

We were killing ourselves as teenagers restricting our food to mostly junk and fast food. But we didn't really notice it, did we?

how the hell do you know whether some period of bad eating habits in your life isn't the reason for having dim vision, depression, lack of energy, etc, in later life?

What clinical trial would test people for 30 years in a controlled setting to see what the LONG TERM EFFECTS of bad diet were?

Do you know how to test for long term effects of bad diet? Or you do you just grab a spudnut and coffee and run out the door, knowing it ain't gonna kill 'ya?

name is irrelevent to argument, but knowing where I live sure makes or breaks my argument, eh?
December 18, 2008 12:38am

Well, because you went anonymous Name is irrelevant, that means we can take your claims with a grain of salt. If you do not have the courage to put your name on this argument, then we do not have to put any weight to it.

"What clinical trial would test people for 30 years in a controlled setting to see what the LONG TERM EFFECTS of bad diet were?"

Well, even though the question is rigged towards a position you think is unanswerable, it took me fifteen minutes to find the answer on Google Scholar.

In other words, nothing in North America because most people in the industrialized world do not suffer from malnutrition.

Enemas are not necessary for life. Eat enough grains and you will be regular.

We hold on to waste longer than needed because of evolution. As a species, humans have developed in such a way that we do not need to constantly eat all the time. Because of that, we have the luxury of holding onto our waste products.

If we developed in such a way that we derive our nutrition from grasses, then we would be constantly pushing wastes through our system.

Joseph Furguson, Brawley Ca
December 22, 2008 8:14am

"If we developed in such a way that we derive our nutrition from grasses, then we would be constantly pushing wastes through our system."-Joseph Furguson, Brawley Ca

Judging from evidence all to apparent, sometimes this is not the case.

Marius vanderLubbe, Nullabour Plain, Australia
December 22, 2008 2:49pm

Dunning did not even come close to discussing all forms of detox, and focused on the extreme con-focused detox methods that are obviously going to be out there. Just like anything else, someone will try to take advantage of the uneducated and the ill-informed and make some money off them.

The reality is, people eat a lot of junk, and many detox methods are just a method for removing that junk from your diet for a set amount of time, combined with a herbal laxative to remove waste that may be fermenting in your bowels, to allow your body to heal itself via its natural proceses such as the liver. It does not have to be about weird pills or get-healthy-fast-cure-alls. Also, it is mainly North America that does not view Naturopaths as respected practitioners in addition to medical dcotors. Why? Probably because all we want is a medical doctor to give us a pill to heal us, rather then consider our natural systems and take responsibility for our own health.

Denise, Edmonton, AB
December 29, 2008 5:49pm

So Denise, rather than let my body do its normal thing, you're saying I should buy pills from a naturopath?

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
December 30, 2008 9:25am

Well i was skeptical about mucoid plaque as well.Im 38 year old male.

Over the past 2 days i have been taking Vitamin shoppe "Colon Enhancing powder" and Vitamin Shoppe "Psyllium Husks" powder.

a teaspoon of each for 2 days .And i just had mucoid plaque come out .Not the black ropey looking snake,But the slimey stuff you see in photos when mucoid typed in yahoo.

The stuff "IS" real ,and i suppose if you don't flush it out.It can harden over decades and become like rubber.

I got the picture to prove it,I feel so much better .Also better knowing those toxins aren;t in my body

Jay, West Palm Beach florida
December 30, 2008 1:54pm

Placebos are very effective if you believe in them before you take them. I take Metamucil containing Psillium fiber and regularly expel a similar substance as found in the pictures on these cleansing sites. It's not as dramatic, but I imagine if it contained bentonite as well that it would be. I've also had a colonoscopy and saw the pictures and even though being told by Drs that I suffer from conditions that these products claim to cure, my bowels are pink and shiny and clean.

During my wife's pregnancy, I refrained from alcohol for the full 9 months, during which time much of my symptoms subsided.

So what am I saying? Well, I agree that our overall health and well being can be affected by bad diet or "toxins", but wouldn't it be much easier to just stop ingesting these toxins instead of "dragging" them out with clay on a reular basis?

Once the general public realizes that these products are in fact a hoax and business diminishes at least the manufacturers will have the last laugh in knowing that they made thousands of people play with their own poop and take pictures of it to prove it.

Greg, Janesville, WI
January 3, 2009 3:18pm

conclusion: "snake oil" country! we have to stop and use critical thinking!

alexin007, california
January 5, 2009 12:38am

This article, linked by a member of Sparkpeople, was extremely helpful. I will forward this link to two people I know that are seriously considering doing this. They even got me to thinking it couldn't be that bad and prompted me to start really researching colon cleansing. During my search I found a natural way to cleanse, with something called psyllium. I will do more research on that before I try it. I already eat clean which is one of the things all the colon cleanser mentioned to do. At least for now, I think I have enough ammo to keep my 2 friends from buying the pills/powder from the leading colon cleansing sites.

Thanks for this article!

the_alexis, Baltimore, MD
January 7, 2009 7:26am

It's just sad that a few bad examples make people think that all detoxification programs are bad.

Sure, in a normal world your liver and kidneys would have no problems getting rid of most toxins.

But we are not in a "normal" world anymore. We are in a world full of man made chemicals that we breath, eat, drink and even get injected with.

sources: My, Myself and a healthy body.

I take Glycine and several other nutrients to help my body detoxify.

john the man, Boston
January 12, 2009 12:37am

Wow, I was close to buying one of these natural "colon cleansers". I've been using psyllium for awhile, I like my fiber.
Recently I passed a "mucoid". immediately I assumed that where there's one, there must be more...never realizing that the "mucoid" was comprised of psyllium itself! duh!
great site, thanks!

mr poop, cape cod
January 12, 2009 11:22am

Thanks for the information, my husband and I were thinking of a colon cleanse, now I'm not, hope he won't. Can't believe I almost fell for that one.

Linda Kor, Braggs, Oklahoma
January 16, 2009 6:33am

Have you tried it? Do you know what you talk about? Or are you just one of these "I'm against anything I can't prove?" ... Can you prove the existence of God?

So dear friend, how about you invest these 90 USD - you for sure can spare that money by avoiding to go to a fancy restaurant or reduce on gasoline spending, hm?

I just finished the internal cleansing kit of - and I'm frequently using detox pads and although all claims that you make - me and others having dirty feet - might be correct, you have no clue about the FEELING that occurs when you put the patches on and let them work; neither do you have any clue about the great feeling after cleansing your organs, your colon. You have to try it to know it - or - please be so kind if you did, write us WHICH kit you used so know what exactly you talk about.

My experience is that there was a lot and I mean a LOT coming out of me which was stuck there for a long time. I feel relieved - no - not money wise as you claim - mentally, physically - and if I tell you now that I lost 4kg in 5 weeks while eating normally? and if on top I told you that I'm down 2 sizes while eating normally ... What's the argument now?

What was your point anyway? To make these products look bad or do you have anything else for us?

Thanks for your answer to

Liz, Europe
January 25, 2009 6:05am

I love people like Liz, I should send her and email claiming I am an orphan in Africa and ask for her bank account numbers so I could send her my last dollar. I love suckers!

I actually tried some of these products. Ineffective but I had to know for myself. Great scam for a small business I think I lost a few hundred bucks soaking my feet but the chick was hot I had to go back.

Thomas Zychowski, Winnipeg, Canada
January 28, 2009 10:12pm

Who wouldn't feel better when they see crazy gooey shit coming out of them? It's easy to tell yourself you feel better when you see that stuff. "I must feel better if that crap is coming out" It's also easy to provide a "feeling" while using these wonder foot pads. Put something as simple as peppermint in there and oh look a tingling feeling, it must be working. But don't worry Liz, we won't judge you for wasting money due to sheer gullibility.
This article is right on track. Good work

Celine Poulin, Toronto, Canada
January 31, 2009 10:57am

I think you are totally incorrect. I had a colon cleansing done at a spa, and I saw corn float by the window, which I could see everything coming out of me. Mind you I hadn't eaten corn in over a month. So how come it was still there? Oh may be because it was stuck in me, and needed to come out. So before you judge try it out, and see for yourself. I get one package done every 6 months and it has totally helped me. But then again, you people are probably all just going to think I am a weirdo, so when you die of some cancer, you can be pissed you didn't clean out your body before hand.

Ashley, LA CA
February 2, 2009 11:50am

Water fasting (i.e. 5-9 days water only, no food or juice) without herbs has produced the same effects of strange poo for many people.
The Western diet is largely devoid of fiber and full of stuff that doesn't expel easily, and it should come as no surprise that a build-up might occur.
Cleansing doesn't require buying a bunch of expensive products (try juice and a metamucil for a week), and can certainly help reestablish the ecology of one's body. The issue I see is not in whether or not one ought to fast or cleanse, but rather whether one ought to spend a lot of money in support of those trying to capitalize on something that most people could do on their own.

A Row, Oregon
February 3, 2009 12:40pm

Amen A Row,
Doctors don't practice anything until it can be empirically confirmed which would be incredibly invasive, but that doesn't mean it is ineffective or malarky. And yes, the bentonite does make the rope, but if you tried turning bentonite into that rope outside of the intestine it would not's the result of binding with a plethora of intestinal contents via it's high surface area and electrical charge (which can indisputably be proven to attract certain chemicals in lab tests).
Doctors have resented chiropracters, psychologists and every other healing science that couldn't be absorbed into their practice for as long as there have been doctors. Just because your practitioner does not believe in or support a practice does not mean it's erroneous, especially when they are all taught the AMA approved learning systems (at least in the US). One must always remember and even approach cautiously anything they undertake, with or without a doctor's support, but if a paradigm is effective, use it. The perfect example is caloric heat theory: for a long time scientists didn't understand how heat transferred, but they thought they did and employed their theory effectively until it was disproven. Just like how gravity keeps working and we've never found a graviton.

Rob, Chicago
February 10, 2009 12:02pm

I have tried the foot pads, I know people will stay it does not work or that its all in my head, but after using them for a few weeks I felt better. I slept better, woke up easier, and was in a better mood. I have kindey problems and they hurt often, but didn't hurt when I was using the foot pads, so they had to help at least some.

Brandy, Oklahoma
February 23, 2009 11:13am

Brandy: It's called the placebo effect.
I'll stick with the "all natural" method I was designed with (on which people have been relying for thousands of years): my liver & kidneys.

Bucky, Nashville
February 23, 2009 12:25pm

Hey Bucky, the most important aspect of detox is cleaning out your liver and kidneys, which are in bad shape in most people.

Chris, Vancouver, BC
February 23, 2009 1:50pm

Define "bad shape" and "most people"....

Brenton, New Zealand
February 23, 2009 2:06pm

Whatever! I know the psyllium works but if the doctors aren't getting their cut ofcourse they will argue that it is fake. I feel better even if it is in my head. Atleast better than any meds made me feel. Thank you to all the doctors for signing peoples death cert. with a paycheck. I guess that is why their are more PA's than Doc's. Its funny how the docs prescribe so much medication but won't ever try these meds their self. bad shape and most people doesn't have to be defined.

Debora, Myrtle Beach, SC
February 25, 2009 2:24pm

Debora, you make a compelling argument.

Now, would you just mind rephrasing it so it makes sense...?

"Most people" don't have kidneys or livers in "bad shape" - because "most people" are perfectly healthy and don't need any sort of medical intervention through most of their lives.

Healthy kidneys and livers are pretty much essential to even live - the smallest upset in either organ can lead to quite nasty medical complications. Kidney stones (for example) are intensely painful

As for doctors not using medication, what do you base that on?

Doctors get sick, just like other people. They use medication when appropriate, just like other people.

Brenton, New Zealand
February 25, 2009 2:51pm

First I would like to tell those reading this article that the standard medical community has limited to no idea how to test or treat someone who has been environmental poisend. I have not known one MD who even understands what these toxins do if you can find them in your blood and the correct medical tests to run. But they are out there. Even if they did the symptoms are considered psychotic and you need a drug to fix that. You know your body best and do not let the medical community tell you what to do with your own body. The reality is this is a specialized and growing field in both the medical and natural health community. If you are sick there is help out there. No one cares about you more than you. Do your homework an make sure they know how to test and how to treat you based on science. It takes years to truly detox and get well, but you can get well.

Evironmental Expert, Pittsburgh/PA
February 27, 2009 4:18pm

Couldn't agree with you more, my friend. I recently received a whole box of "as seen on TV" crap as joke gifts for my birthday. Among them were the Kinoki foot pads. I immediately saw they contained vinegar, which as you say, turns brown when it comes into contact with human sweat. The tourmaline, or sand, also reacts to the acids in vinegar, making a funky greenish color, so that even people with super clean and non-sweaty feet will see a gratifying change. The colon cleanse stuff is hilarious as well. Basically a laxative with inert bulking agents so you poop out a shrieking horror. I have a background in renal dialysis (as a tech) and I can tell you that the best way to help your liver and kidneys "detox" your body is to drink a lot of clean water, lay off the booze and/or recreational drugs, eat a low fat/hi-fiber diet, and don't tax your system with boatloads of unneeded homeopathic nostrums or herbal remedies that serve no purpose other than to make your poor liver and kidneys work harder, filtering all that useless crap out of your blood! You can't live on martinis and potato chips and expect Kinoki footpads to save the day, man.

AuntTre, Chicago, IL
February 28, 2009 10:29am

I have used a colon cleansing kit once before and intend to use it again. I can't say that I was entirely convinced of the 'mucoid plaque' argument made by the manufacturers, and your explanations of the rubber 'cast' makes sense. However, the intense, great feeling of cleansing the body following the detox, was worth the money alone.

I have always thought that ridding the body of 'crap' through fruit, veg and water whilst on an occasional, short detox, was the the best way to do it - but doing that never left me feeling as energized as the kit did. I also lost weight (pretty obviously) and whilst I did go back to my old ways somewhat, the weight stayed off, which I didn't think would happen.

As a result of your interesting written explanation, I will get less excited over the gross 'discharges' than I did before, but I will still remain positive about the general feeling of well being that I expect to encounter. Last time, my energy levels were up, I did not catch the colds that were going around (as I normally would have) and whilst on holiday in the back and beyond... I was the only one of 9 people that did not end up sick!

Whether all in the mind, or purely coincidence, I felt it worked for me last time and am starting another one tomorrow and look forward to positive 'outcomes'!

Chris, Buckingham, UK
March 8, 2009 12:31pm

A toxin is defined by common sense as "anything that is toxic".

The difference between alternative and conventional practicioners is that alternative people work with the body, and conventional people do whatever reduces symptoms. Cooperation versus domination, or perhaps even ignorance.

If the psyllium complex is false and mucoid plaque does not exist the way this implies, why is it very few people experience the removal of this plaque right away?

It's a slow, steady process, and for an explanation of how it works, visit for an explanation on exactly what is going on.

So tell me skeptics, what is inside the abdomens of those men out there with skinny legs and giant, swollen bellies? There isn't that much fat on them, yet these people almost look pregnant. What is it inside them that is swelling their stomach that much?

Better yet, what causes those dead-end diagnoses like IBS, Crohn's disease and Leaky Gut Syndrome?

In short, read the linked article.

Jeremy Porter, Chicago, IL
March 9, 2009 9:39pm

If you're referring to the distended abdomens we see in pictures of starving children in developing nations, that's usually caused by parasite infection.

Eric Schulman, Corona, CA
March 10, 2009 11:29am

Another cause is most likely to be a protein deficiency. It is commonly called "kwashiorkor".

And as suggested by Eric, it is a symptom of malnutrition, not over-feeding or retained faeces.

Brenton, New Zealand
March 10, 2009 2:08pm

"There isn't that much fat on them, yet these people almost look pregnant. What is it inside them that is swelling their stomach that much?"

Fat. Just because the fat is preferentially stored in the abdomen does not mean "there isn't much fat"! I assure you, it IS fat.

Steve Johnson, Olathe, KS
March 10, 2009 8:22pm

Rubbery bowel casts sounds like a great idea for a modern art exhibition: "Mucoid Glitterati". Check out an insider's view of Hollywood stars. ;-)

Alan Chambers, Cambridge, England
March 18, 2009 4:19am

I would like to ask you,iwas going to start taking Acai Berry Weight Loss and Colon Cleanse do you think i would lose weight or its bad for health?

josie, Malta
April 2, 2009 2:14pm

No, I don't think it would cause you to lose weight by itself. You may also need to exercise and cut out some other foods.

Yes, a colon cleanse can be a *very* bad idea. There is a real possibility of damage to your bowel if not done properly.

If you are serious about losing weight, consider just doing the exercise and cutting back on the calories.

This is all that you really need to do.

Brenton, New Zealand
April 2, 2009 2:33pm

Uhm, what a load of manure... so to speak. Colon cleanses Do produce results that are Not merely a cast of clay. In fact most bentonite detox plans take a good while to work as it works by passing through your system. If it was swallowed in large amounts and was enough to create a cast of rubber/clay material by itself you would be enduring intense cramping and pain. Also the pills are not as effective as getting it in the liquid form. a tablespoon or two a day at most with a teaspoon of Psyllium powder and mixed up with some purified water and then followed by a daily intake of significant water intake. a huge bottle of the stuff cost me $7 and $3 for the psyllium. so much for $88 myths. there are all kinds of toxins and parasites that live in your digestive tract. Bentonite is not some recent fly by night cure all claim from the extreme tree huggers. It's been around for millions of years and has been widely revered for it's use by many cultures, who incidentally had a much lower incidence of problems in this area of health.
To call the average american's diet perfect and to suggest a lot of the food we consume doesn't have toxins in it is purely an act of ignorance and naive mindset. Weight loss on this stuff? I have no clue as I don't use it as a weight loss agent and don't monitor my weight but I'd say it probably doesn't have any significant applications as a weight loss agent. still many professionals have always said Death starts in the colon for what its worth.

Steve, Akron
April 5, 2009 12:28pm

Toxins: What the EPA goes after. You know, carcinogins, chemical poisons. Toxins.
Imaginary illness: I invite you to drink some Agent Orange (toxin) every day for a couple of months. See how you do.
Mucoid plaque: Found over 40 pounds of it in John Waynes colon.
Self medicating: Over 120,000 people a year die from their prescription drugs. Another 90,000 from secondary infections from hospital stays. Iatrogenic diseases are now the number one killer in America. Passed Heart disease a couple of years ago. 860,000 a year dead. Iatrogenic = caused by the doctor or his treatment. And that's just the tip of the iceburg. Doesn't include the creation of "terminal" and many other things.
So with stats like that you better learn how to take care of yourself.
Better learn HOW to get healthy and stay healthy.

Medical paradigm = no cures.

Natural healing paradigm = getting healthy.

I respectfully suggest you turn your skeptic eye on your beloved medical profession. You won't like what you find. Genocide pure and simple.

Doc Sutter
Chiropractor, Vietnam veteran, Cancer survivor.

Doc Sutter, Rokford, Mi.
April 6, 2009 6:30pm

Medical paradigms that offer no cures: Small pox, Bubonic plague, Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Tetanus, Yellow Fever, Pneumonia, Rheumatoid arthritis and so on.

Medical paradigms that do not offer cures but can improve the quality of life: Well every illness and disease known to man. If you catch them early enough then there is a huge survival rate.

Alternative cures that offer testable benefits: Well there aren't any.

Nice little argument ad absurdium with the Agent Orange thing. And that had what do with medicine.

John Wayne died of Colon Cancer and that has nothing to do with the supposed plaque in the body. The human body does not hold 40 pounds of waste.

It sounds like you are pulling those number out of your ass, they do not match the ones I got.

Okay, turn my skeptical eye towards Medicine what will I see.

I see something that saving the life of my mother right now with her heart failure.

It saved the life of my stepfather with both of his bouts of cancer, with his ruptured ulcer, and with both of his replaced knees.

It is currently keeping my grandmother alive and is preventing what is left of her mind from disappearing thanks to Alzheimer's disease.

Medical science is allowing my cousin to live a relatively normal life and not listening to all the voices in his including one that his long dead wife. Without Zoloft, he would be in a insane asylum.

So yeah, I see the benefits of medical science. The burden of proof was theirs and they met it.

Joseph Furguson, Brawley, Ca
April 6, 2009 6:57pm

Right out of your last paragraph -

""A doctor won't lie to you""

This is the biggest lie of all!!

Don, L.A.
April 6, 2009 8:22pm

Care to quote the entire sentence next time Don?

"A doctor won't lie to you and say that a handful of herbal detoxification pills will cure anything that's wrong with you; but since that's the solution many people want, there's always someone willing to sell it."

What you are doing is called lying you are giving us a half truth. It is the same as lying.

Well he is right. None of my doctors have ever lied to me. I am pretty sure that none of yours lied to you as well.

Now telling me stuff that I do not want to hear, well that is often the case. My doctors have told me a lot of things that I was not aware of going on in my body right now. You probably mistook that for lying all the time.

But hey I am going to give the benefit of the doubt to the ones that have all that fancy equipment to test things like this out with.

Joseph Furguson, Brawley, Ca
April 7, 2009 5:37am

I don't think anyone is truly denying that to a point and more accurately practiced in some areas more than others, western medicine obviously has it's place and has produced amazing results. However doctors and drug companies both also like to make their Mercedes payments and therefore realize theres no money in supporting natural healing which 99% of the time involves use of a non patentable herb or substance found in nature. Not all doctors of course think along those lines but a great many do. Additionally more doctors are also trained to disregard Eastern healing methods as quackary.
There are aspects which obviously support a non synthetic substance as having curative benefits. Unless you have a reason most of the Japanese who tend to drink a ton of green tea have some of the lowest cancer rates. Or even how the French, despite their obvious diet of rich and generally bad for you food still have a shockingly low heart disease rate. Wouldn't have a thing to do with all the red wine they drink or anything.
And like it or not, western medicine does tend to over prescribe meds that are either completely wrong for the ailment or not prescribed correctly resulting in some very unpleasant problems. How many times does a Dr do an MRI or CT scan and if all looks well enough they boot the patient to a shrink to go the rounds with SSRIs? Bet that 'mistake' has only happened a few million times.
To discount mucoid plaque as fiction or that toxins arent in our body is silly

William, Chicago
April 7, 2009 7:05am

"However doctors and drug companies both also like to make their Mercedes payments and therefore realize theres no money in supporting natural healing which 99% of the time involves use of a non patentable herb or substance found in nature."

What is this nonsense about not using natural remedies in western medicine?
Aspirin is derived from a natural cure. Topical pain relievers, like absorbine jr., are derived from arnica plants. Prilosec is based off a chemical found in a plant in the rain forest.

That is the short list. for the long list, go to this address:

What medical science does is take those natural cures and make them safer for more people. Alternative medicine is a hit or miss proposition.

I apply occam's razor to the concept of mucois plaque. Is there another explanation for mucoid plaque? Well yes there are two of them. That natural stuff like cat litter and a gelatin product. Those are more likely than these snakes living in the body.

The liver and the kidneys are very good at what they do and they do not need help.

I had my entire intestinal track videotaped a year ago. It was for a colonoscopy. They did not find seven pounds of anything there.

Joseph Furguson, Brawley, Ca
April 7, 2009 8:47am

Medical Doctors are great!!
I would like to see more of them around so we can have more people on drugs.

Don, L.A.
April 7, 2009 2:57pm

"I see something that saving the life of my mother right now with her heart failure.

It saved the life of my stepfather with both of his bouts of cancer, with his ruptured ulcer, and with both of his replaced knees.

It is currently keeping my grandmother alive and is preventing what is left of her mind from disappearing thanks to Alzheimer's disease.

Medical science is allowing my cousin to live a relatively normal life and not listening to all the voices in his including one that his long dead wife. Without Zoloft, he would be in a insane asylum."

while you are thanking western medicine for all its miracles it is doing for you and your family you never asked youself what might have caused all this suffering in the first place, or?

aesculap, wherever
April 7, 2009 3:00pm

Actually I have asked that question. It is not faith in the medical science. it is stuff that had nothing to do with medical science.

What caused Stepfather's suffering is old age and genetics. His family is prone to getting cancer. It is the dominant trait in his family. He was going to get cancer regardless. The stomach ulcer was caused by stress.

My mom's suffering is caused by relying on her homeopath telling her that eating all these plants and tinctures would make her better. If she stopped taking the woo sooner, she would have been in the situation she is right now. Her reliance on a snake oil salesman caused her to get sicker. So my mom's suffering was caused by a homeopath and not medical science.

What caused my cousin's suffering is a combination of illegal drug use and mental insanity. He lost his mind because his wife died. Again, nothing to do with medical science.

So yeah I have looked into the cause of my families suffering and in all cases, it is not medical science. In my mom's case, it was caused by relying on homeopathy and alternative medicine. Still does not change the fact that my family is saved by the medical science that you want to hate so much.

Joseph Furguson, Brawley, Ca
April 7, 2009 4:45pm

Eastern or Western medicine both have their down sides. No one is suggesting there is perfection on either end. But BOTH have very good elements. and Both can have very bad ones as well. If you mindlessly dose yourself with 20 different herbs without consulting a few Reliable sources then yes, your pretty open to some unpleasant side effects. But the same can be said of taking any number of synthetics which give one a list of a million possible side effects. typically printed in such a small font the average 60 year old couldn't read it if they tried.
So we've determined that both sides have their issues.
Detoxification is not a myth. The large intestine is typically cleaner than the small. If you contend that every colon or intestine is pink and clean then your nuts. Just go to Youtube and check any number of videos out and you can see some pretty gross things when they stick the scope up there. not the least of which is impacted or left behind matter. Mucoid plaque is definitely there. while I am not saying many of these photos on the net that show a string of gross looking pearls arent partly bentonite I can say that they are indeed some nasty matter attaching itself to it and this is the purpose of the cleanse. If our intestines were so peachy clean the stuff surely wouldnt come out looking like it does. Common sense knows many people eat toxic crap. Not all of it leaves the body. simple as that.

William, Chicago
April 7, 2009 5:04pm

My uncle was saved by medical science.
He had some discomfort digesting his food and it was recommended to him that he get some probiotics from the health food store and take that so his digestive abilities would be better.
Fortunately he got to a Dr. and was put him on a "special" diet of cheese and crackers, apparently for its mildness.
Within a week his tract was almost completely blocked up and emergency surgery was performed to remove a good portion of his colon.
Today he lives with a bag hanging outside his body and thanks the Dr.s for doing a clean job of removing all the remains of the cheese and crackers.

Don, L.A.
April 7, 2009 5:17pm

"No one is suggesting there is perfection on either end."

You might not be suggesting it William, but other people before you were suggesting that alternative medicines are better than western medicine. Please do not try a blanket response for all alternative medicine advocates because you are wrong to group them all.

"Common sense knows many people eat toxic crap. Not all of it leaves the body. simple as that."
Common sense is not always reality.
Common sense would dictate that clear water is safe to drink. That might be true in the house, when you out in the woods, you are better off boiling it. That is not common sense.

Common sense also says that you should not drink your own urine, but when you have no option, you can.

Common sense also indicates that you should not use snow to clean yourself off when you are wet. Guess what you can and it can get you drier than using towels as well.

Just because it appears to be common sense does not mean it is. Reality does not work the way you think it does.

Joseph Furguson, Brawley, Ca
April 7, 2009 7:40pm

Well, I just detoxed myself by going on a raw foods diet and drinking solely water. It worked for me! That's the only way to 'cleanse' unless you take laxatives!

Aya, Scottsdale, AZ
April 8, 2009 2:53pm

You can trust your liver to do its function. You can trust the kidneys to do the same thing too.

Heck if you really want to make sure you are detoxed, do not use any alternative cures. Instead, have some dialysis done. That will filter out your blood too.

Ever wondered why your poop smells foul? That is your body getting rid of all the toxins from your food. If your urine is a deep orange, that is your body removing excess nutrients in the body also.

The body does a fine job getting rid of toxins. We should trust it to do its job.

Joseph Furguson, Brawley, Ca
April 8, 2009 3:15pm

By that 'logic' Joe, you suggest that a guy can eat fast food 4 times a day and they can pretty much just let the body do it's job and they'll be just as good off as the others. Even on a great diet things get left behind. the scope doesn't lie. By your logic any person should be able to go in for the scope and all that will be seen is pink and pretty. Obviously this is Not true.
Your leaving yourself open if you think the advise of half the western doctors out there is anywhere near accurate.

Pharm companies have a vested interest in synthetic drugs. Drugs which are far from perfect and often times used for the wrong ailments. Not every natural remedy is used accurately either of course, but there is a profound logic to the use of Eastern medicine if you are to compare the health of society from nation to nation. I think there are extreme tree hugging nut jobs who go way overboard on the granola approach to life. In fact I can't stand the extreme elements of that group. But I am also not going to blindly surrender my health to just any western doctor for many are certifiable pawns of the pharm companies and that is that.

It would be nice if we were all genetically perfect and could expect to live 111 years but that is obviously not the case. Some diseases simply have no effective western cure where Eastern approaches would prevail. By the same token those who buy the herb of the month are also being pawns as well.

William, Chicago
April 8, 2009 4:10pm

The plan behind mainstream medical and medications is to eliminate symptoms.
If you eliminate symptoms then you can fool people into thinking that they are fixed.
They just have to take this pill for the rest of their life.
The bigger part of that plan is to avoid curing anything, because this creates repeat customers.
One of the wonderful things about medications is that since they are basically poison to the body, more problems are created for which there is always a medication for.
This is how the elderly have become such wonderful, faithful customers.
Many I know have a bag full of prescription bottles that are always in need of refilling.

Don, L.A.
April 9, 2009 11:52am

"One of the wonderful things about medications is that since they are basically poison to the body, more problems are created for which there is always a medication for."

Any sources to back up this claim? Besides personal anecdotes?

Joel Bethell, Ottawa, Canada
April 9, 2009 12:04pm

"Drugs which are far from perfect and often times used for the wrong ailments. Not every natural remedy is used accurately either of course, but there is a profound logic to the use of Eastern medicine if you are to compare the health of society from nation to nation."

The fact that drugs are often used for the wrong things has nothing to do with the drugs themselves. Most of the drugs used today are safe for about 95 percent of the people. We do not throw away the product because it has negative side effects in a few people. Everything has risks involved.

The drug being used for the wrong thing has nothing to do with the drug itself. It has everything to do with people making mistakes. You can make mistakes using eastern medicine as well.

The reason why some Asians live to be 111 years old is the same reason that some Europeans live to be 111 years old. It has nothing to do with what types of chemicals they use: it has more to do with the fact that they have genetics.

If you are trying to tell me that Eastern people live longer than Western people because of diet, well the truth is that Western people, with our evil pharmacorps, have 6 people older than 110. In fact the United States has 32 people verified to be older than 100. Japan has 20 and no other Eastern country is on the list.

Joseph Furguson, Brawley, Ca
April 9, 2009 1:26pm

Even Nancy Reagan got it right.

Her slogan regarding drugs, intended to create a generation of people growing up to be drug free - "Just say no".

Don, L.A.
April 9, 2009 5:29pm

She was referring to illegal drugs and you know it.

Joseph Furguson, Brawley, Ca
April 9, 2009 8:08pm

Except for pot, opium, heroin and hashish, almost all illegal street drugs were originally medical drugs including LSD.
Probably all barbiturates fit this category.
Uppers, downers.
Elvis Presley severely abused and killed himself with exactly these drugs which were supplied to him by dentists.
The point of the matter is, drugs are drugs and good ole Nancy got it right.

Don, L.A.
April 9, 2009 8:18pm

You are still taking this quote out of its original context because Nancy Reagan was referring to substances illegal at the time she said it. She did not grandfather in any drugs that were illegal for over 50 years before she started that campaign because they were not the ones that she was referring to in her speech. Once again you know this, so do not attribute this to something she never intended it be.

Joseph Furguson, Brawley, Ca
April 10, 2009 5:45am

Irregardless of any speech that Nancy Reagan made as First Lady of the United States, the slogan she created called "just say no to drugs" is as applicable today as it ever was and ever will be, for drugs are poison to the body.
Do you have drugs in your medicine cabinet that you would like to justify the use of?

Don, L.A.
April 10, 2009 6:01am

Amen Don. If you hadn't noticed, Joseph picks a fight with everyone here and lends his own special 'logic' also known as twisted rationale.
Your words about Nancy were indeed correct. She is a wonderful woman and her late husband brought something good to all our lives.

I agree that detoxing with clay and other herbs is a valid and useful tool. There are many that have simply not known anything else than western medicine, which is of course not all bad, but it's hardly as safe a thing as Americans are led to believe. Good at some things for sure. Terrible at others.

James, Detroit
April 10, 2009 5:57pm

You claim that Joseph has twisted logic, Don and James, but you are applying something said in the 80's to a situation that it was never intended for? Talk about pot calling the kettle Black.

Joseph is correct in calling you out on it. Nancy Reagan was referring to illegal drugs and you know it. What you are doing is applying the statement to something it was never intended for.

It is not twisted logic to tell you that you are using the slogan wrong. It is not twisted logic to tell you how the slogan was used originally and by the people that still use it. It is not applicable to legal drugs because the government has laws that tell us what is legal and illegal.

What you are doing is twisted logic because you are twisting the original meaning to justify your attack on big pharma. The slogan's intent was for illegal drugs regardless of how you feel. It is common sense to use the slogan for its original purpose.

But whatever, if you want to hold onto that slogan to justify your little crusade against big pharma, then be my guest. I will not stop you anymore because only an insane person would realize they are not winning.

Jakob Ambrose, Holtville, Ca
April 10, 2009 6:22pm

What's wrong with an attack on "Big Pharma"?
Are you a part of that monster?

Don, L.A.
April 10, 2009 6:34pm

Read This site:

read the TRUTH!

hilli, Norway
April 11, 2009 3:15am

There is only one way to test the effectiveness of Detox products. You need to conduct a clinical trial on all the common detox cures as well as one group using a placebo and one that is a control. Before the text, draw some blood. After 6 weeks, draw some more blood. If there are an unusual amounts of toxins in the control group, then there is enough evidence to do a longer study.

It cannot be anecdotal because there is no way verify the claims. What works for one person has no merit on how it works for another person. You need a study in order to weed out anecdotal evidence.

John McGee, Imperial
April 11, 2009 7:40am

Absolutely John!
Any health product on the market is basically worthless unless it has undergone a study similar to the requirements by the FDA for a drug.
Probably about a hundred million dollars later.
And due to the availability of studies, we can ignore personal testimonies that something is good and workable.

Don, L.A.
April 11, 2009 8:22am

If the product works like the detox people says it does, then they should subject it to the process.

What is the harm of playing the game that everyone else agreed upon? If the alternative product does the claim it says it does, then they have a test to point to and say see it works.

So far, the only study of alternative medicines comes from Europe and it discovered the only natural products that have any medical value are things that have already been synthesized into medicines.

I can make anecdotal claims all day long. Popcorn has allowed me to lose weight and it improved my out look on life. It works for me, but I do not claim it has any scientific weight to it.

Anecdotes do not make claims true. A real scientific study will be the only way to see if there is any validity to the claims.

John McGee, Imperial
April 11, 2009 12:02pm

""What is the harm of playing the game that everyone else agreed upon?""

For sure.

Of course "the game" was set up to make certain that nobody else can play except big pharma.

If there is something that "everybody" agreed upon regarding this then it clearly was done by force of hand.

Till then, why we'll only take something that has scientific proof behind it - hundred million dollars later.

Don, L.A.
April 11, 2009 2:01pm

There are some pretty intersting blogs here. I think I can simplify things a lot by saying that I have used the colon cleansers and have gotten out 15 pounds of colon mucoid plaque. I did not take 15 pounds of bowel cleanser. So much for the critics of that one. I also have done a parasite cleanse for many months passing about 7 quarts of visible parasites. Probably 90% of parasites are invisible. The idea has been proven that drugs predispose a hunan body to parsasites. I then proceeded to do a revised version of a liver flush. This is a very old remedy for a sick liver. It takes many of these to clean out stones and debris out of the liver. The liver is the body's filter. Junk is packed in there very tight and in finality, stops the liver from functioning. I had diabetes. I do not have it now. So much for disproving natural medicine.

anonymous 4, Waterville, ME
April 11, 2009 6:06pm

That's some great testimonials.
I'll bet no one blew $100,000,000.00 to be sure the products got results through worthless clinical trials.
Your body must be quite younger with all that stuff out of there.

BTW anonymous, I've spent much time in and around Waterville.
A great place.
I remember I use to go to a healthfood store called "The Depot"
Great place.
It was an old train depot if I remember correctly.
Relatives of mine use to own the Morse Memorials on the main road there, close to Oakland.

Don, L.A.
April 11, 2009 7:31pm

Do you want to know why testimonials do not count as science. Because they cannot be independently verified by others.

Besides, you can dismiss them very easily if they do not conform to your preconceived notions. I'll show you with this true account from a friend of mine:

"My mom used to do a lot of detox, namely a brand of colon cleanser. She would use it all the time. She claimed that it was helping her.

"Anyway one day she started clutching her chest in pain. She thought it was gas caused by blockage and used her colon cleanser to get her blockage cleared up. And she felt better. So she thought it was just the blockage that caused the gas.

"From then on, she would use her colon cleanser whenever she had gas. And every time she would get better. Until the last one.

"We rushed her to the hospital soon after that. She had damaged heart so badly that she now needs a pacemaker. It turns out that in women, a heart attack is expressed as severe gas.

"Had my mom just gone to see the doctor the first time and not use her cleanser, she would not have been in this mess. The colon cleanser caused her heart problems AFAIC."

That is a testimonial saying why this stuff does not work. And I have hundreds just like it. If testimony is all I have to go on, then from my sample set, I have proof that it does not work.

If I had a scientific study to read, I can read it free from biases

John McGee, Imperial
April 13, 2009 7:15am

It just simply doesn't work.
Why would anyone think that it would.
Really nothing works unless there is scientific study to back it up.
Pure and simple.

Don, L.A.
April 13, 2009 8:39am

testimonials aren't science... however, thanks to your testimonial i can save 100 million on research and just not use metamucil to treat chest pain.

ed snow, Spring Hill, FL
April 15, 2009 1:22pm

Unfortunately, as long as it takes 3 months and $$$ to get an appointment to see the doc for 15 minutes to discuss "why do I feel so tired and sluggish?" - only to have the doc confirm that there is "nothing wrong with you" - people are going to try snakeoil for a cure. The insurance industry has destroyed the concept of going to your GP for help with preventative care issues. Doctors have 15 minutes to spend with you and you might as well be REALLY sick or they're not going to spend time or money digging for answers. This is why people turn to snakeoil salesmen like these detox products. It offers hope to people. Not that it's right, but I do see how people get suckered in by this stuff. In a perfect world, natural medicine and conventional medicine could be used side-by-side, and preventative care would include sound nutrition guidance, massage therapy, accupuncture, etc.

Aimee L, Boston, MA
April 29, 2009 8:30am

In the case of an emergency, you can call your doctor and get some help. The doctor will take time out of his busy day to do things like this. If you need a script, he will fill one out and you can pick it up and fill it out. In extreme cases, you can go to the hospital. I have done that a lot.

The doctor can help you out, but you need to call them and get some advice.

Joseph Furguson, Brawley, Ca
May 2, 2009 9:24am


Your not a god that I know of are you? Then you wouldn't know if something worked or not for everyone on the planet. Quit thinking, it weakens the nation more than Obama already has. Before the advent of modern medicine and all of it's horror and glory both, people have been ingesting clay for millions of years. I wont pretend to say I know how it would work as a weight loss agent. But go blame the weight loss scammers who market it as such. Not the product for it's proven uses. Bentonite is amazing for me when it comes to food poisoning or potential stomach issues. it clears it up when any western med would fail miserably. I also have no doubt it does pull out toxins. Theres too much history of the stuff being beneficial and not just snake oil. Snake oil by and large was a phrase used in the 1800s and early 1900s for generic cure alls that were basically heavily alcohol based tonics that may or may not have contained herbal additives. basically just booze. But how many of you out there have no problem buying $8 drinks at your favorite trendy watering hole and making some guy rich who laughs at you. One thing we do know. Booze doesnt cleanse your colon. good luck.

Steve, chicago
May 2, 2009 1:45pm

Hmmmmm, very interesting read, some very good points and a good dose of humour. I think we have to take a bit of info and advice from everywhere, generalising in almost every form leaves holes.
But it did bring me back to reality a bit, I was fascinated with the idea of those foot pads!!
I will research it a bit more!
And maybe do a liver cleanse!!


Emma Tucker, Cairns Australia
May 9, 2009 12:38am

I do know that those Kinoki foot pads are a huge scam, but as far as mucoid plaque goes...I am a believer!!
I haven't done a colon cleanse, but recently started a very vigorous workout program. The other day, I couldn't run because I felt really "bogged down". I drank a few glasses of the Target brand metamucil and felt better the next day.
Last night, I went to the bathroom
and as I wiped I saw what looked like those pictures (mucoid plaque) on the toilet paper. I did look in the toilet and there was about a 2 inch piece of what I think was mucoid plaque. I wanted to show my hubby but he was having no part of it. I poked around it with a q-tip, and it was like rubbery rope. I can't describe it, but parts of it looked just like what I saw on the internet.
I haven't take any colon cleansing pills...just the cheap metamucil.

Kim C., Manchester, NH
May 14, 2009 8:33am

I keep reading a strange logical fallacy here. Premise: Real medicine is unafordable. Conclusion: Fake medicine is therefore better than nothing.

But in fact fake medicine is not better than nothing it is equal to nothing. Why not save the money and maybe eventually afford real medicine, or at least a better quality of life?

chef, Hong Kong
May 16, 2009 2:42am


So... you ate metamucil, in which the active ingredient is psyllium seed husks, which become mucilagenous when wet (with thanks to Wikipedia for the details...), which is the *same* thing they put in "colon cleansing pills" and you passed something mucilagenous and you are surprised??



Brenton, New Zealand
May 17, 2009 3:58pm

I recently had a colonoscopy. Now, if this rubbery mucoid plaque was gumming up my innards, don't you think it would have shown up? While some alternative therapies may be "harmless", what about those that are using these therapies to treat such life threatening diseases such as cancer or heart disease? My ex-father-in-law decided to partake of chelation therapy to cleanse his arteries, instead of traditional medicine. He was lucky to survive the heart attack, and subsequent quadruple by-pass.

Michael L, Squamish, Canada
May 18, 2009 12:14pm

I used to go to a Dr (now retired) who told me "Most of what ails people is in their heads,guts and livers." He told me to drink more water, turned out my aches etc were dehydration, and to eat some fibre daily (ie, fruit and vege), and to realise that just by being alive we make our own toxic by-products. My father, after eating cabbage springs to mind. Since then, somehow, I feel better. Yeah, I drink lemon and honey when I have a sore throat, cos it helps, and yeah I take a multi-vitamin daily, can't hurt as far as I know, but all this snake oil crap is really starting to give me the pip. Apparently, this 'detoxing' can also 'cure' autism and other mental disorders. Wow, herbal remedies can fix gene sequences! Whooda thunk? Well, not them.

Kelly, Saint John
May 20, 2009 4:53am

Let us please differentiate between being critical of the product itself and it's legitimate uses and those handful of marketers who sell the stuff with silly claims. Bentonite clay and psyllium both have legit medical uses and benefits to you. I personally don't buy the weight loss marketing part of selling it but I do know that bentonite can quite often get one over a case of food poisoning way better than any pepto bismal or similar 'traditional western' med found at the drug store. It is proven itself as a product that can remove harmful things from your digestive tract. Combined with psyllium it is more effective as it trasnports better. I would certainly be dubious of any claims of curing mental disorders or excess weight loss, but the stuff is a legitimate medicinal substance, like it or not. It's not some black and white thing you can dismiss as quackary or endorse as a cure all. it is neither.
the public in certain areas are so completely brainwashed by the notion that if it isn't a prescription med it is useless is just plain stupid. How many million people took Zithromax last year for a viral infection? How many millions took an SSRI without even needing one. I dare say the makers of Z-Packs and Lexapro are hardly crying about it and praising their marketing techniques which at times are often less moral than the idea of flying a plane into a building.

Steve, Chicago
May 22, 2009 5:03am

On the Detox foot baths myth

It basically comes down to the fact that it is not medically possible to detox through your feet as the skin is not directly involved in the detoxification process but rather through the process of sweating will your body push out whatever toxins are already deposited in the outer dermal layers only.

To relay and expand on an analogy; You would have to sweat continuously from your feet, day and night for over 200 days straight in order to detoxify as much as you would in one urination. So you see the marketing of the detox foot baths is one of this century’s medical fallacies, bordering of fraud and deception. But what is even more frightening is that many medical doctors are actually falling for it.

The only foot bath, or rather full body bath which is what it all started with, that actually works is the Q ENERGYspa®. This is the original invention from Australia in 1996. Furthermore, it has never only been about detoxification but rather an energy supplement for your body, giving your body the energy resources to heal itself and for that purpose the Q ENERGYspa® works extremely well.

For more information on this technology, check out the website or email for more information.

Q The Experience Australia

Ivan Krell Serensen, Toowoomba, QLD Australia
May 24, 2009 5:03pm


I was surprised because I didn't take the "clay", or betonite, that supposedly mixed with psyllum, causes the "rubbery" poop. What came out of me wasn't necessarily was rubbery and did not break apart. I just took the metamucil, and believe me, I can tell the difference between a good ol' Metamucil poop and what I saw in the toilet. I have still been taking Metamucil 2-3 times a day, and nothing like what I saw before has come out since a day after I posted. It happened over the course of a few days, and I have to say, I do feel so much better and my cravings for sweets has greatly diminished.
I really don't know what to say or what to tell you to make you believe me. If it was just from the psyllum, it would have been more gelatinous, and it was not gelationious at all. It was rubbery.
I am not selling anything, so there is really no reason I should care if you believe me or not. I am not crediting just the metamucil I said, I started a very stenous workout regimine which I believe has a lot to do with my body getting rid of the nastiness.
A few years ago, I did get a colonic, and nothing like that came out. Maybe it wasn't from the colon, but maybe from the small intestines???? I don't know...I just know what I saw, and it looked just like the stuff on the internet.

Kim, NH
May 26, 2009 10:42am

Kim, your testimony is certainly believable. The reason is because UNBIASED medical doctors have ALREADY documented mucoid plaque coming out of people who have not taken ANY psyllium nor bentonite. In 1899, Byron Robinsona, M.D. reported what he described as “leathery” mucous masses shaped like “membranes” or “ropes,” which he chemically determined to be "mucin." (1) In 1932, Bastedo, M.D. writes in JAMA: “When one sees the dirty gray, brown or blackish sheets, strings and rolled up wormlike masses of tough mucus with a rotten or dead-fish odor that are obtained by colon irrigations, one does not wonder that these patients feel ill and that they obtain relief and show improvement as the result of the irrigation.” (2) In 1989, a M.D. took a full color photograph of a long, rubbery, shiny, blackish-brown “bizarre stool” removed from a young women.(3)

Furthermore, there is not one study on psyllium describing it coming out like mucoid plaque.

This truly demonstrates that modern MDs and their worshipers lack critical thinking skills. Fashionably, wearing an Einstein T-shirt does not make one a scientific thinker.

1. Robinsona, Byron, M.D. "The Abdominal Brain and Automatic Visceral Ganglia". 1899 pages 210-213.

2. Bastedo, WA. “Colonic irrigations: their administration, therapeutic application and dangers”. JAMA (1932) v98 p736.

3. Pounder, Allison, and Dhillon. “Color Atlas of the Digestive System” 1989 page 155.

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
May 27, 2009 2:16pm

I find that a simple three day juice fast with a daily enema and lots of rest will bring me back to normal after a few months of living in the fast lane.

It's cheap and works effectively without the need to buy a lot complicated equipment. I do remember seeing those pictures of weird black rubber stools at those websites years ago. Amazing.

Dennis Francis

Dennis Francis, Sacramento, CA
June 9, 2009 10:33am

Joe I have noticed that even your most recent ref is 20 years old, and the others are 77 years and 110 years old. Can you provide anything within the last 10 years?

Claire, Melbourne, Australia
July 12, 2009 9:30pm

The comments on this episode have been most enjoyable and informative. It's taken me days to get through them all!

I appreciate being able to read all aspects of this discussion, both the extremes and the more balanced perspectives. For me these comments are more real than much else that I find in the media.

I am on day 7 of the psyllium & bentonite cleanse... no surprises yet. I have no opinion yet whether or not this works or not but I thought it was worth a try. The main thing I wanted to be reasonably sure of was that this product would not cause me physical harm after that it's up to my own experience to judge whether it does anything for me or if i'll just chalk it up to yet another experiment.

Michelle, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
July 13, 2009 1:49pm

Claire, I have noticed that you are missing the point. Brian Dunning, in this blog, says that "in all of medical history" no medical doctor has "ever" recorded mucoid plaque snakes from patients NOT taking any cleansing pill. Let me repeat that again: IN ALL OF MEDICAL HISTORY. Those three sources I gave totally contradict what Brian Dunning says. Instead of acknowledging this, you chose to nit-pick about how anything older than 10 years is outdated. I found those sources haphazardly while surfing the web. There are probably more.

I am curious to see if Brian Dunning is man enough to admit that he was wrong about that. Are you listening Brian?

As an added treat, google this phrase: "Early super- ficial zones of infarction may be covered by a mucoid plaque". You will see that this phrase is from a conventional pathology journal studying Crohn's disease. Interestingly, people with Crohn's disease have reported mucoid plaque coming out without taking and cleansing products:

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
July 20, 2009 11:03pm

Thanks for the very informative article. I always wondered how the foot pads "worked". The bowel movement picture on DrNatura I could have done without :-).

The funny thing is that Google Ads put a DrNatura ad on the page when I read it. Oops.

Art, Florida
July 27, 2009 7:49am

that's gross. funny how they have pics of their face next to pics of their crap. If anything like that ever happened to me, I'd grab my crap and head to my doctor's. thanks for the info.

Loise, Guam
July 29, 2009 11:18am

Get all the facts before you try to turn people away from therapies that may restore their health and wellbeing.

Sandra LaMorgese, New Jersey
July 30, 2009 11:52am

It's arguable that he did Sandra. If you have an example of a safe and effective detox treatment feel free to tell us what it is and the evidence that it works, otherwise your post amounts to nothing more than "oh yeah". In case you haven't read the relevant posts elsewhere on this (on other) site(s) and/or you aren't familiar with the scientific method, anecdotes and/or personal experiences aren't evidence.

Adrian, Brisbane, Australia
July 30, 2009 12:23pm

Joseph Ferguson,

You have been totally brainwashed by Big Pharma and Big Medicine. You remind me of all the sheeple in some members of my family and in-laws and their friends.

Don Sutter is spot on!!

Ever heard of a liver-gallbladder cleanse? Or a parasite cleanse, a cell cleanse, blood cleanse etc.

Most people don't know but there is an order to follow. You must first do a colon cleanse, then a parasite cleanse, kidney , liver-gallbladder and blood cleanse.

Doctors are not necessarily the problem, it's the system... Big Pharma, Big Medicine and the FDA. The FDA is not protecting the public from harm. It is protecting the pharmaceutical companies from effective competition.

Peter, Glendale
August 9, 2009 9:14am

Why are there so many ads on your site for colon cleansing, "new energy" technology, etc.? Seems antithetical.

Sheldon W. Helms, San Ramon, CA
August 10, 2009 2:19pm

Brian would have no say in this matter. The advertisers are only here due to the prevalence of keywords. ie cleansing, detox, energy etc. Perhaps you should support Brian via paypal if this concerns you

Marius vanderLubbe, Nullabour Plain, Australia.
August 10, 2009 2:55pm

Re: You have been totally brainwashed by Big Pharma and Big Medicine

Brian, why aren't you using your massive bribes from your corporate masters to pay for this website, dedicated as it is to preventing people from achieving their spiritual oneness?

As Tim Minchin said: Alternative Medicine is medicine that has either not been proven to work or been proven not to work. Do you know what they call Alternative Medicine that has been proven to work? Medicine!

Let me state again, already mentioned by Adrian (tip o' the hat), ANECDOTES ARE NOT EVIDENCE OF EFFICACY! (AANEOE)

GW Crawford, Toronto, ON
August 11, 2009 8:45am

Dear Marius vanderLubbe,

The answer to my question isn't to PAY MONEY to the man. That was a cheap shot.

It seems to be that anyone who runs a web site where he wants to dissuade people from using certain products shouldn't allow those products to be advertised on his site. I don't know what experience you have with web sites, but I have a few, and it's COMPLETELY within my control whether I allow such adverts.

Sheldon W. Helms, San Ramon, CA
August 19, 2009 5:40pm

Well, Sheldon W. Helms, I suggest that you get in touch with Brian, as the issue seems to be causing you some measure of discomfiture.

Did you notice the disclaimer above the offending advertisements?
Allow me to reproduce it for you.

"Skeptoid is not responsible for the content of the ads below. Supporters help reduce the need for them."

Well done on having control over adverts in your "experience".

Marius vanderLubbe., Nullabour Plain, Australia.
August 20, 2009 12:41am

Thanks Brian for all your excellent work to educate and enlighten the public. Your podcasts are a welcome change from the usual nonsense filling the Internet's series of tubes.

Critical Thinker, Atlanta, GA
August 24, 2009 8:19pm

Thanks for this great informative article. A little common sense will go a long way, and this saved me some money. xD

Jeffrey, Lake Geneva, WI
August 29, 2009 5:54am

My goodness "Marius vanderLubbe." Have you always been a completely sarcastic ass, or is it something you have to work on?

Nice critical thinking, by the way. When someone introduces a professional opinion into the mix, it always serves the greater good to be a smart ass rather than debating like an adult. See, I can be sarcastic, too.

Sheldon Helms, San Ramon, CA
August 30, 2009 5:04pm

Wow, thanks for this great info. Keep up the good work sir! God bless you for enlightening us about those myths.

Carl, Philippines
September 6, 2009 12:08am

Thanks for the creating the awareness. Well-laid-out!

Brian, what do you recommend for detoxification, if there is even the need for such thing at all?

Innocent Tetteh, Atlanta, GA
September 8, 2009 10:04am

I am guessing Brian would recommend the dual treatment of having a liver and at least one working kidney Two would be better though, for detoxification.

Claire, Melbourne, Australia
September 9, 2009 10:32pm


I just wanted to stipulate some points regarding a recent cleanse I am on, from Robert Ferguson 6 day detox drop. I am using Psyllium husks, Aloe Vera juice, Org. Apple juice. Next step is Chlorophyll in water, and two cascara sagrada. It is day 4 of my clease. I have been seeing what you call made up name of mucoid plaque since day two. I have used Dr. Natura 2 times with much slower results. However I am on a stricker diet of fruit and protien smoothies...strawberries, bananas, blueberries, promegranate juice, carrots juice. This stuff is cleaning matter what you may call it. It's being set matter the name and I am so glad. Understand there was no bentonite clay from day one.

Desiree, Chicago, IL
September 26, 2009 11:41pm

I really have to fault your argument because it is filled with GENERALIZATION! Sure some "naturpaths" rip people off by claiming they can rid toxin in non practical or misleading ways, but to say no one has any need for detoxification is ridiculous. There are just as many bad doctors as bad naturpaths. It's a typical bad argument citing a few points for your cause and claiming everyone with that stance is wrong. People are usually wrong everywhere and doing some research and learning a little bit can take you further than just proving your own point.

I suggest you do a master cleanse (cayenne, maple syrup and water) and let me know why your still pooping in day 8 or 9.

Tyler, Denver
September 27, 2009 4:32pm

For the record, there is a body cleansing elixir that HAS been scientifically proven to detoxify your body!
It's also highly inexpensive! And its available all over the world.

What is this miraculous medicine?, you ask.

Water - drink 3-4 pints a day and you will help clean your liver, your kidneys and your digestive system.

MarkinCA, San Ramon, CA
September 28, 2009 9:59am

I suggest you do a water detox for two days and see if it works. It seems you provide "evidence" without any experience. Maybe you would rather not gather the experience incase it means you have to shatter your current skeptical position.

Mahreen Ferdous, London UK
September 29, 2009 7:54am

Is MarkinCA seriously suggesting people take on the dangerous practice of dihydrogen monoxide therapy?

That's just the kind of solution 'they' would suggest.

Big Pharma won't tell you this, but dihydrogen monoxide can kill you any number of ways - and yet the medical establishment CONTINUES to recommend its use.

Grant, Tulsa, OK
September 30, 2009 4:14am

lots of water, healthy diet, sufficient exercise=best detox.

john, yonkers, ny
October 5, 2009 12:27pm

The reason you dont poop right is because you are dehydrated and eat crappy foods. Drink more water and try eating some fresh vegtables for a while... it works

mike, st. louis
October 10, 2009 1:56am

Is Mahreen serious? Brian's evidence is a result of research, not experience. Maybe you would rather not investigate these detox methods in case it shatters your fanciful view on life.

Very well written article.

I heard the dihydrogen monoxide detox program was a big hit down at Guantanamo Bay. They had some special method that used a board though...

Dan, Fairfax, VA
October 30, 2009 6:20pm

Brian, I suggest you let us make the choice to buy and spend whatever the price to real results.
Anything that is condoned or not by the FDA should be taken with a pinch of salt. They play both sides and certainly DO NOT have your and my health as a priority. Like any cleanse or detox it has benefits and drawbacks. The drawbacks are do your research, spend the money and follow thru'. The benefits are more energy at cellular level, clearer thinking and no more doctor visits.
Brian, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, not intellectual thinking.

Trevor, Johannesburg
November 2, 2009 11:41am

For over five years I had some spots on my forearms and face. Several Dermatologists told me that they were caused by Eczema. They gave me various topical ointments for this problem. None worked.

On a visit to Jamaica, a friend took me to a clinic that offered the detox foot bath. I was very skeptical, however, the treatment was cheap and there were plenty people there so I decided to give it a try.

After a few days, I noticed an improvement in the condition of my forearm and face. After two additional visits, the spots were gone.

Incidentally, after the third visit, the "Doctor" told me that there is no need for a fourth, based on the amount of toxin that was expelled.

This is my first hand experience. Let us compare it with Brian's speculation

Paul S, Atlanta
November 9, 2009 1:14pm

Paul S: Just because you took a foot bath doesn't mean that's what made your eczema clear up. Eczema usually goes away or into remission all by itself.

Steve, Virginia
November 9, 2009 2:31pm


Isn't it strange that it did not go away for five years, even with conventional treatment.

Paul S, Atlanta
November 11, 2009 12:53pm


Not really, the "detoxification" may have worked as a powerful placebo effect or it may have just been a coincidence. There is no evidence (other than anecdotal) that detoxification treatments actually work whereas there is lots of evidence that eczema can come and go.

Andrew, Calgary, Alberta
November 14, 2009 1:39pm

"Exactly where are you running into these doctors that hand out drugs with no recommendations of lifestyle change. I know several doctors that recommend diet change and lifestyle change before even thinking about giving out prescriptions.
I will admit that drugs are prescribed too often, but many times it isn't the doctors fault. People are beginning to assume that there is a magic pill for anything that is wrong with them.

Steve Loeffelholz, Iowa City, IA
February 17, 2008 10:27am

"They don't run in to those doctors, because someone like that would never hang on to their licence.

Alcari, the Netherlands
February 17, 2008 2:17pm


To address these comments, my husband saw his new Dr, who is well established in our area, and gave him a list of the vitamins/supplements he was taking and was told "I'm not big on supplements" He also has drug posters covering the walls in his exam rooms. My husband's bloodwork showed moderately high cholesterol, & the Dr said nothing, and wrote him a prescription for a statin. NOT wanting drugs, he questioned what diet & exercise would do to help, and was told "Nothing, it's heredity." So he said to the Dr, "So I can eat whatever I want and it won't do anything?" The Dr said, "That's not what I said." But that is exactly what he said, because if a good diet won't help cholesterol, a bad diet shouldn't hurt it. Needless to say, the doctor didn't like his "attitude" and we're looking for a new Dr.

Barbara, Southern California
November 16, 2009 8:36am

If someone has a genetic predisposition for high cholesterol, eating less fat etc won't help much because the body will just manufacture it from what you have eaten. If you eat more fat etc, you're dumping extra and the body won't be able to effectively clear it out, so you'll build up extra cholesterol on top of your body's baseline levels.

Joe, Colorado
November 16, 2009 2:37pm

(this is not a personal attack, just pointing out one of the reasons those health myths are perpetrated)

I know your type of reasoning, and it's absurd.

The doctor told you that better diet won't help your husband's high cholesterol, and that exercise won't either, and it is quite clear you didn't want his opinion.

You went there with your high and mighty attitude and ten minute google research "diagnosed" your husband with whatever stuff you found on the internet, and just wanted the doctor to confirm it and tell your husband to eat better and have exercise.

The doctor that actually got to a medical school for god knows how many years told you the truth, which angered you. You started to think of a way to portray it's his fault for not lying to you, so you invented words he didn't say to justify your decision and now you're searching for another doctor.

Good luck with your search, I'm sure you'll find someone who will tell you what you want to hear. I so much hope that helps your husband.

Bono, Bulgaria
November 16, 2009 6:03pm

Joe from Colorado, if eating junk causes "extra cholesterol on top of your body's baseline levels" which "the body won't be able to effectively clear" , how do you then conclude that eating less junk won't at least help? This is disturbed reasoning that does not make any sense.

Bono, you think Barbara invented words Mr. M.D. didn't say? Lets here it directly from The American Council on Science and Health , which consists of a board of 350 physicians.(1) They say that we should be teaching "fat kids" that they can eat as many "cheeseburgers and fries" as they want thanks to the first law of thermodynamics. (2) That wonderful board of 350 physicians also agrees that fast food restaurants should be serving "burgers, fries, and shakes" rather than "fruits, vegetables, and water". (3)

Barbara and hubby, run far away from that medical doctor as you can. I assure you that Mr. M.D. does not care about your health and simply wants to victimize you.




Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
November 18, 2009 1:19pm

I was simply answering 2 posts that don't believe there are actually doctors out there who do not recommend lifestyle change at least in conjunction with meds.

My husband went to this new Dr, not me. When he sees someone new he always gives a list of everything he takes, prescription or otherwise. The list contained both. The Dr only commented on the supplements.

The diagnosis was not the first one to show an elevated cholesterol. It had been 258 at one point, and when my husband was exercising and lost some weight it went down to 242 in about 2 months.

I didn't have any attitude about the Dr. He is the same one that took care of my son when he had a collapsed lung, so I thought it was great when my husband was able to switched to him.

Some doctors simply are not openminded about supplementation, and so he stated that. But to tell my husband that diet and exercise would make no difference doesn't make sense. We already knew it would.

Also how did he conclude that it is it heredity? My mother-in-law is 92 and in good health, and my husband lost his father when he was 9.

My husband is the one who told me what the doctor said. He wouldn't make that up. He was very surprised by it. And it was he who said he wanted another doctor. I simply agree with him.

Barbara, Southern California
November 19, 2009 4:13pm

What "research" has Brian provided? Has he been on a detox? Has he at least sited others who have done research or experiments in this space? He has only made statements. And made fun of the whole thing. It is funny and I find it an interesting and fun read but in terms of evidence,if this is evidence then I the world is flat because I just made that statement.

Mahreen Ferdous, London UK
November 24, 2009 10:17am

Thanks for clearing up the confusion on mucoid plaque. Even a wikipedia search will reveal it has never been proven by a doctor.

Lisa, Dallas, TX
November 30, 2009 10:35pm

This website deals in generalities from the blind distance, from what I can determine -- like flying a commercial jet from the ground. Would you agree to be a passenger on such a flight, technology aside?

kev, Cleveland
December 12, 2009 10:04am

Recently here in South Africa there has been a disturbing upsurge in these so called alternative medical products. They make ridiculous claims and mislead our people and they are dangerous and they do not come come cheap. They infuriate me!

Tshenolo, South Africa
December 13, 2009 11:02pm

Tons of "statements" w/out any evidence cited. I'm going to follow you're own advice and not believe anything you've written until you provide some solid proof and evidence to back up all your "claims."

Just another airbag shooting his mouth off. Not ANY better than health practitioners making outlandish claims with nothing to back it up.

Both sides of this debate need to check themselves, get their facts straight, provided solid evidence, and then maybe there will be some consensus. Until then it's just like a massive "he said/she said" situation.

Rose, CA
December 16, 2009 12:49pm

"Both sides of this debate need to check themselves, get their facts straight, provided solid evidence, and then maybe there will be some consensus. Until then it's just like a massive "he said/she said" situation."

Actually, the burden rests on the proponents of the "alternative" to prove their claims. That's how real science works.

Lewayne, Near Des Moines
December 17, 2009 8:06pm

Bruce N. Ames writes that 99% of all toxins we are exposed to come from mother nature, that our liver is fully capable of detoxing those chemicals provided we keep it healthy by eating lots of vegetables (full of phenol compounds converted to glutathione), complete protein with the sulphur containing amino acids and a high potency multivitamin/mineral to drive the Kreb's cycle and repair mutant DNA. Incidentally, he also writes that organic produce is more toxic than synthetically protected produce.

Thanks for your explanation of why detox is a fraud based on paranoia.

John, Oklahoma City
December 21, 2009 5:54am

I agree that we are exposed to more toxic material in a sheer volume from mother nature, but disagree that it is more dangerous. Our body has evolved to eliminate natural toxins. Many of the new toxins that we produce are potentially 100's of times more dangerous than those that occur 'naturally'. Furthermore, natural ones don't tend to build up in the environment (some exceptions of course) and quickly degrade.

If you eat 5kg of lettuce leaves which naturally have some compounds designed to deter insects from destroying the leaves. You will be fine. Drink 50ml of anti-freeze, you'll probably die. Of course it's not designed for consumption, but some of these compounds will build up in the earth invariably. Of course, detox programs don't really work, I am not defending them.

The best way to detox is to eat a natural diet, drink plenty of water, simple. Actually a topic for discussion that not many people are comfortable with, which helps detoxify the body is the use of the squat posture for defecation. It helps more quickly and completely evacuate stagnant material from the intestines that may leak some toxins. This posture has been shown in a few studies to evacuate more material from the bowels. I use this, and it helps me feel better less bloated. But don't fall for the over-hype, some say it almost completely eliminates colon cancer, this just isn't true. It may help slightly reduce your odds though.

Chadzuka, Aussie
December 24, 2009 3:00pm

The best "detox" is fasting. I do it once every year for 2 weeks and always feel amazing afterwards.

I have come across many people who argue that fasting has no benefits. Coincidentally, none of them have ever tried it for themselves.

Nate, Dallas
December 29, 2009 11:11am

All this article is a bunch is misinformed bs as is the rest of the website, instead of looking at the point you debate other unimportant stuff.

mucoid plaque does exist and you are probably full of it, mostly due to the fact that you believe pesticides herbicides fungicides filled food is more worth your cash than organic.

see mucoid plaque here also notice improvement ppl made on following what could CERTAINLY be called a detox protocol


Max, Montreal
January 10, 2010 4:20pm

"There is no legally sold colon cleansing equipment approved for general well being or detoxification" - this isn't correct there are many home colonic kits. I think that at the end of the day the real problems lie in the crap foods we now have. Eating organic has almost become impossible or a huge chore. We wouldn't need these debates if we focused on the real problem.

Jayne, Australia
January 15, 2010 11:28pm

Occasional use of particular intestinal cleansing 'modalities', from my personal use, have clearly been beneficial to me, - using the same sensibilities I apply to other things in life.

Only with judicious use on occasion, that's it. Like a 'tonic', so to speak, like medicine, but not destructive to the body. Not snake oil or a hoax. Some things may not work for you, some may.

I understand there are the skeptics, they just don't know.

It seems true that if people have unvital excess in the body, it's not just fat.

The lymph system is another issue related to all this, and, mucoid matter that is 'unvital' mucoid matter. I realize the body vitally needs 'healthy n proper' mucous too.

Scott, San Diego
January 27, 2010 8:19am

@Nate: Fasting is also part of atleast eight major lifestyles like Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and many variations of Christianity. I think it's not too far fetched to say that this is partly becaus fasting was found to be beneficial to health.

To make maters worse for "formal" medicine, there are conditions that it does not regonised as possible. In Finland, according to common knowledge, tapeworm in humans is nowadays extremely rare. Unfortunately, and according to studies, this is not the case, but the common supposition is still followed by many licensed medical pratitioners who refuse to even test for tapeworm even if the symptoms match. Even doctors are just humans.

Jani, Finland
January 30, 2010 7:51am

Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and christianity are not 'lifestyles', they are religions...

Lauren Kash, Baltimore, MD
January 31, 2010 7:14pm

Thanks for this topic. I get so aggravated when I hear friends start telling me about their cleansing programs!

If you look at the history of medicine you see a how treatments go in and out of fashion, which really reflects more the societal concerns of the time than any actual disease process. The detox fad is certainly one of these and has a history going back to religious puritanism and the idea that the body and earthly life is inherently impure and must be somehow transcended in order to be 'saved,' i.e. healed.

Here's an excellent summary by herbalist Susun Weed: "Healing in the Heroic tradition focuses on cleansing. According to this tradition, disease arises when toxins (dirt, filth, anger, negativity) accumulate. When we are bad, when we eat the wrong food, think the wrong thought, commit a sin, we sicken and the healer is the savior, offering purification, punishment, and redemption."

Julia, Baltimore, MD
February 1, 2010 5:03am


It actually IS far-fetched to suggest that fasting has persisted due to some hypothetical health benefit. Fasting is just one of MANY religious practices that have endured over the years. Almost none of these are explicitly for health benefit, and only slightly fewer can even be said to IMPLY a health benefit. Those same religions have prescriptions against shellfish, against the mixing of textiles, against bestiality, against the worshipping of other gods. Would it be "not too far-fetched" to claim some kind of health benefit from those too?

Ian Cromwell, Vancouver, BC, Canada
February 2, 2010 5:44pm

How is it, that in millions of years of evolution where "Detoxifying" was not necessary, have we decided in the past 10 years that it is essential?

Our ancestors never needed to stick a tube up their arse and flush out with some ground up twigs and plants...and neither do we.

Andrew Kelly, London, UK
February 5, 2010 3:30am

I'm actually shocked by this article and the responses. I agree with how ridiculous some of the detoxification programs can be but to say that detox is unnecessary or it's something new and hip. I say you should educate yourself before posting any responses.

Ani, Los Angeles, CA
February 6, 2010 10:06pm

The single most important the body does is to concentrate on digesting the available food as it was scarce. The body has not kept up the pace of change with our habits. We eat too often and in large quantities. Hence the body is always trying to digest and store but has no time to eliminate. These by products become toxins and get absorbed into the body causing all health issues as I understand. Imagine fecal matter stuck in the lower intestines and the blood goes and starts absorbing the toxins from it. My brother is a doctor and when he was a student, he did many autopsies on cadavars and used to tell the amount of fecal matter stuck in the lower intestines. He used to drink hot water first thing in the morning to avoid such a situation. However there are people who try to make a buck from other's unfortunate condition but the science of detoxification, even if it means drinking hot water, cannot be discounted in my opinion.

Gandhi, Vancouver
February 7, 2010 1:56pm

Gandhi, your views on the matter are in direct opposition to modern medicine's understanding of the human body. There is no 'extra stuff' in the lower intestines. Of course there will be fecal matter there when someone dies because, spoiler alert, digestion stops when a person dies.

Hot water is brought back to body temperature LONG before it gets to the lower intestines. Yes, water itself will help IF you are dehydrated, but that is a different matter.

Your body doesn't do one thing at a time. It doesn't need extra 'time' to process toxins (any idea what those toxins are, specifically?).

Not all forms of detoxification are scams, but all forms that are not scams are performed by trained medical personal for specific reasons, like dialysis.

Don't eat lead paint, wear a breath mask when painting and such, don't drink contaminated water or fish. If you believe you have an issue with toxins, speak to your doctor. I'm sure there is a test to confirm it.

Brandon, Falconer NY
February 7, 2010 8:09pm

Why bother taking care of your body with diet & exercise, when you can eat crap & lay around the house?

Then when you get sick & tired & fat, you just find a quack remedy & you are good to go again.

Thanks again for being the voice of reason.

Unfortunately, I think a lot of people who want to believe this stuff have their minds made up & that's that.

Linda James, Salt Spring Island
February 11, 2010 7:19am

Interesting article, but extremely biased from the get go.

Yes, there are a lot of garbage "so-called" remedies out there, but to suggest in such simplistic terms that simply going to your doctor and listening only to them is equally ignorant.

"Doctors" are trained to "cure" ailments through the use of medications. Doctors, in general, do not focus on the broader picture of overall health and lifestyle, especially if one has no insurance.

The real key to good health, proper diagnosis of ailments, and remedies is self education.

Doctors are no smarter than we are.

Always "read" between the lines, whether it is a doctor or an "alternative" solution.

WHAT, if anything, are they SELLING?

And they are almost always selling something. Even doctors!

Chris, New England
February 11, 2010 9:15am

yeah because someone whose spent 8-10 years getting his doctorate in college in no way more educated than you, right Chris? He doesn't know anything more than you about the intestinal or vascular system, or whats really in dead bodies after all those dissections and exams right?
What an extremely disrespectful and idiotic comment.

I agree that we should seek knowledge ourselves and trust our intuition, but often our sources are unlegit- which makes everything so much harder for gaining truth. Doctors are taught nationally or internationally reviewed and accepted material I know some doctors are taught to treat and not cure; to keep patients dependent on pharmaceuticals rather than cure they cheaply. However, there are many honest doctors out there. Ensure your sources are reliable, think logically and use wisdom- do you really think there's a miracle cleanser out there that will rid you of all your ailments and cause you to loose fat by only taking the crap? And they sell it to you for 80$ cause they really want you to be healthier? Newsflash- herbs don't cost 80$ a bottle.

Mia, orlando
February 19, 2010 10:29am


Dr. Natura products saved my life. Seriously. I think you are dead wrong about what you said about Dr. Natura, which helps a lot of people. I suffered from chronic candida for 10 years, I tried everything known to man. My life was beyond miserable. It was not until I started using the Dr. Natura Colonix program that I got rid of the problem. I have been taking two cups of their fiber every day for the last 5 years and finally have my life back.

Matt S, Fair Oaks
March 3, 2010 4:45pm

If people only use alt-med therapies because they can't afford health insurance is, at best, a very poor choice. Anecdote: All through my 20's I did not have health insurance and tried to help myself out with various herbal concoctions--to no end. When I got strep throat and an ear infection I was all too happy to spend $125 at the ER, and they let me pay it off in monthly payments with no interest. guess what? the antibiotics they gave me cured me.... Just go to the doctor. You won't be wasting what little money you have.

Shannon, Dallas
March 3, 2010 6:57pm

I guess you have never had something that no one can give you answers for. Try going to the doctor for years and they tell you nothing is wrong. I have started to feel better with the help of homeopathic medicine and dextoxifying with products from blessed herbs. And wow all my symptons are almost gone. Regular doctors did nothing for me except give me medicine that made me worse. These things help alot of people try opening your eyes.

Tracy Zimmerman, Lake Orion, Michigan
March 8, 2010 3:54pm


This is a common error in logic that perpetuates the profit gain of these alternative medicines. Your improved health coming after administration of these products or services does not imply causation. I'm glad you're feeling better, but the issue is giving these products credit for it when there may be no connection between you taking them and feeling better after. One just happened to occur before the other. More likely, it was just your body's time for your body to be better. Modern medicine is really a marvel and the methods and medications are tested exhaustively to the point their efficacy is indisputable. It's not a "one or the other" situation where alternative methods should be given the same credence as modern medicine. If X happens (feel better), it's not always because of Y (alternative medicine), and that is where it's important to be skeptical. We know that antibiotics work. We know pain killers work. We know why they work. "Detoxification" is one of those buzzwords that really gets people going. No one can explain what it really means, but the alternative medicine industry has sure cashed in by convincing people they are somehow suffering from some sort of toxicity that isn't affecting the rest of us.

Tom Wester, San Angelo, TX
March 13, 2010 4:24pm

I tried blessed herbs colon cleansing before. I gues that I was scammed too. I do believe in detoxing the body though what would you recommend as a real alternative?

JTM, Richmond, VA.
March 20, 2010 7:33am

Brian Dunning,
I really wish you'd look into the mainstream medicine and find the skepticism in that. Or is that too easy, since there are tons of medications that kill people, whereas taking supplements does not. Even treatments like chemotherapy don't work as well as they should - because sometimes the specific chemo for that cancer is not effective, but not legal to use a different type of chemo. In other countries there is a thing called a chemosensitivity test, that determines what chemo will KILL the cancer. Not done here..not legal here..why?

Melissa, NY
March 21, 2010 8:32pm

Actually taking the wrong suppliments or too much can kill you. Children who ingest too many multivitamins can die of an iron overdose. Too much vitamin A or D can kill you as it is stored in the fat, and is not water soluble. Many of these "alternative, natural" medications are poorly regulated and poorly manufactured. Some can cause drug reactions with either a prescription med or a different "natural" med. I put bowel cleansing right up there with aromatherapy and iridology in effectiveness. All are a great way to make a lot of money for nothing if you're selling and a great way to lose money if you're not.

Marsha, Niagara Falls
March 22, 2010 12:59am


What I would recommend is simply a healthy diet, with plenty of vegetables and fruit, the amount of protein recommended by dieticians, and such like. The human body has evolved a very efficient system for removal of toxins. Most of the organs in your lower torso are dedicated to that purpose. They do a very good job at it.

There is one type of toxin that the human body fails to adequately rid itself of, and those are called heavy metals. Things such as lead, mercury, and other such things that in some forms accumulate within the body. One way to avoid such toxins is to avoid eating other predator animals, such as shark meat. But, if you are suffering from heavy metal poisoning, you will be extremely unwell, and doctors will be able to work out what is wrong.

Modern medicine has a method of treatment to deal with heavy metal poisoning, but it is a dangerous procedure that should only be undertaken when a diagnosis has been confirmed. Some alt med people are offering such treatments to people based on nothing more than vague feelings of unwellness; a practice which involves far, far more risk than benefit.

Myk Dowling, Canberra, Australia
March 22, 2010 1:56am

I believe that the best "detox", as partially stated in the article, is water. As BD stated, the liver filters out the "toxins" and sends them through the kidneys to be expelled through urine. It only stands to reason that fluids (i.e. water) would aid and/or expedite the process.

Douglas Gilkinson, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
March 23, 2010 8:36pm

Is anyone familiar with "Zeolite"? Does it work at all or have any merit?

David M. Allard, Redondo Beach, CA
April 1, 2010 10:09pm

It is interesting how these people say you have to detox your liver. The funny thing is that detoxing is what your liver does! It can handle a LOT of toxins and, with water, i.e. plain old H2O, it sweeps you clean.
Ditto for kidneys. It is what they do!
You do not need 'treatments' to make them work right, you need a balanced diet and plenty of water.
Not 'harmonically balanced' or 'ionically stabilized' water. Tap water works just fine

GW Crawford, Toronto, ON
April 6, 2010 7:55am

ignorant is all i can say about this article. find some sketchy material and then assume thats a detox. toxins are all around us, in the materials in everything in your home, in the foods you drink and eat whether its an alleged healthy diet or not. the liver and other organs do become overrun. some heavy metals actually impede the chelation process so they do need to be cleansed. yes, 100,000 years ago when you lived a completely natural life and the only poison was the smoke from your fire your body probably handled everything just fine. either way, its your choice, for profit medicine that is proven to be deceptive and in bed w/ FDA or natural treatments for your body. don't be naive about your choice or listen to people w/ closed minds like this site.

ryan mansell, tamp
April 9, 2010 6:54am

hey brian it's great to see you are encouraging people to pierce the veil on medical issues which may or may not be under much scrutiny by the people turning to them - {though i think your choice of targets here so far is pretty weak seeing as they're all basically quackish to the extreme - tell me the ogopogo is not on your todo list) still i've got to wonder (presuming you haven't already and i just can't find it here) when are you going to turn those almighty powers of observation to somebody that really deserves it like the american medical association; or politicians or common cancer treatments? it's the average persons perception of this stuff that could really use some shaking up- not just picking on a couple of sidebar ninnies that don't hurt anyone but themselves really. and hey quantum physics... if you're so smart let's throw some of that in there too!!! imagination is more important than knowledge says einstein! anyone who doesn't have just a little bit of magic in there heart is living with their eyes closed.

david jacquest, salt spring island
April 27, 2010 3:16pm

Not personally a fan of fasting for colon health. Recently I was in hospital for several days following surgery. I fasted, all right! Nil By Mouth for three days and clear liquids only for another day after that. Far from feeling any marvellous health benefits, I was utterly miserable.

It took several days, eating my usual diet (admittedly quite high in grains, water, fruits and veg), and some assistance from prescribed laxatives, to get my digestive system back to normal.

It felt GREAT to 're-tox'!

Obviously I missed out on the placebo benefits of a fast/bowel cleanse. What a pity.

As it is, I can guarantee that from my own humble experience (sample size: 1) I value my bowel and colon most in their natural 'uncleansed' state. There is no way I would like to mess around with that particular bodily function again, unless I absolutely have to. In which case I will go to my trusty MD.

Anybody can have a bad experience with an MD, by the way. Doctors are humans and they have their own specialties and biases, and can make mistakes. My advice, rather than dismiss the entire medical system, is simply to find another doctor you trust and have a good dialogue with.

Leanne, Canberra, Australia
May 6, 2010 11:34pm

1. Not all who practice alternative medicine are quacks. Naturopaths (ND)are certified by a similar process that MD's are. A legit ND has gone through a rigorous undergraduate program, plus 4-5 years of graduate school where they also have the same sort of education (classrooms and clinicals). They are required to sit for the same exam that a general practice MD would to secure a medical license. IN ADDITION, to western therapies they learn other health practices that support the body's natural tendency for healing.
2. There are therapies in allopathic medicine (such as aspirin's main ingredient - salicin - found in willow bark - has been used since the time of hippocrates) that rely on direct precedents in herbal or natural health. Many western medicines are derived from more natural sources -- tumeric is another example. this is why drug companies seek to patent the chemical formulas of plants.
3. In the case of 'detox' it is irresponsible to throw out the idea that a LEGITIMATE ND (one who is properly licensed) may have an insight into therapies, that used in CONJUNCTION WITH allopathic medicine will help to support the body's natural cleansing process.
4. The reason why natural medicine has such a bad rap is because people claim unbelievable effects, others misuse/overuse MEDICINE without the advice of a physician and DIE, and the rest are too unwilling to realize that a pill isn't the answer, although, here in america we want the quick fix, and dr's know it

Analisa, California
May 10, 2010 10:18am

Point 1 is false. Of course they're quacks, they don't have an ounce of evidence.

Point 2: Of course we get medicine from natural sources. It's just too hard to synthesize it on our own. Anyway, medical science continues to refine medication, to make it work better. Naturopathy does not improve.

Point 3: Detox is, of course, bunk.

Point 4: We don't want a quick fix, we want an actual fix.

Your post, Analisa, assumes that a legitimate natural doctor exists. It also assumes that naturopathy has some sort of precedent for being right. It's a cult mentality. Don't buy into it.

Joseph Bozeman, Moore, OK
May 11, 2010 9:00am

Those who say that natural medicine is "bunk" have no idea what they're talking about.

They're just jealous because they don't feel as good as we do.

I detox for 3 days every month (which includes colon irrigation), and I feel amazingly full of vitality, and light as a butterfly.

And I have, on occasion, passed colon plaque. So, yes, it DOES exist. And it's not from any bentonite or other "detox formula." It's from a lack of have fibre.

By the way, I don't spend any money on any supplements or detox programs. Everything I need is in my kitchen!

So basically... don't knock it until you've tried it. You have no idea how good you could feel.

D., Toronto
May 15, 2010 10:06pm

I am on the 2nd day of a 3 day colon cleanse ( and things are moving well. I have been fascinated with the "mucoid plaque" that has already been removed from my large intestine after only 1 day.

I was curious to find out more about its makeup and build up and in the process i have come across a great deal of skepticism, including this site. I am still a believer in the concept but having a hard time finding any scientific findings/evidence that prove its existence. I have been wanting to see its build up in the "average" person online but can only find squeeky clean colons. I was hoping that someone may have some scientific resources of this build up and what its made up of. Does anyone know of any studies that have been conducted that would have that information documented either pro or con?

Thanks for you time.
In Health,

Shawn Hadley, Denver, CO
May 17, 2010 12:42pm

Shawn Hadley, these resources should help you out:

In chapter 3 of his book titled "Cleanse & Purify Thyself Book 2" (not book 1) Richard Anderson, ND points out numerous CONVENTIONAL sources that appear to describe and illustrate mucoid plaque.

Although the full book version of chapter 3 is significantly bigger and better, an abridged sneak preview version of chapter 3 can be found here:

There is a YouTube video showing mucoid plaque INSIDE of people right here:

Do they look like squeeky clean colons to you?

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
May 18, 2010 9:10pm

WWThose who say that natural medicine is "bunk" have no idea what they're talking about.

They're just jealous because they don't feel as good as we do.""

A ridiculous statement. If this was true, I would simply jump over to natural medicine. Why on earth would I stick with modern science if I believe alternative treatments were superior?

""I detox for 3 days every month (which includes colon irrigation), and I feel amazingly full of vitality, and light as a butterfly.

And I have, on occasion, passed colon plaque. So, yes, it DOES exist. And it's not from any bentonite or other "detox formula." It's from a lack of have fibre.""

Okay, fine, then show us a case of someone passing colon plaque without first having gone through a detox treatment.

""So basically... don't knock it until you've tried it. You have no idea how good you could feel.""

We're not discussing brands of ice cream here. Whether or not medicine works is a question that can be tested empirically. If research shows a treatment doesn't work, it doesn't work, and there's no reason for me to try it myself.

Øyvind, Norway
May 21, 2010 9:10am

I'm reminded of a comic on an old prof's door. It had two gun slingers in a shoot-out at noon. One said "Well, I know lead in bullets is not bioavailable, as per so-and-so, 18XX" (paraphrasing). The other said "Ah, but you forget Erp et al., 18XX!"

This relates to this discussion. I KNOW a bullet will harm, and possibly kill, me. I don't need to try it myself--that's why we reference previous studies. Similarly, I don't need to try "natural" remedies, because other people have studied them and concluded that they don't work. If I find a flaw in the study, maybe I'll consider my own (if I were an MD, that is). Otherwise, there's no point. It's a waist of time, effort, and resources, and presents a huge risk with little possibility for gain.

Gregory, Alabama
May 21, 2010 1:06pm

Oyvind, you say: "show us a case of someone passing colon plaque without first having gone through a detox treatment."

I will show you three cases.

In 1899, Byron Robinsona, M.D. reported what he described as “leathery” mucous masses shaped like “membranes” or “ropes,” which he chemically determined to be "mucin," being passed by patients. (1) In 1932, Bastedo, M.D. writes in JAMA: “When one sees the dirty gray, brown or blackish sheets, strings and rolled up wormlike masses of tough mucus with a rotten or dead-fish odor that are obtained by colon irrigations, one does not wonder that these patients feel ill and that they obtain relief and show improvement as the result of the irrigation.” (2) In 1989, a M.D. took a full color photograph of a long, rubbery, shiny, blackish-brown “bizarre stool” removed from a young women. (3)

In none of these above cases were any of the subjects taking any detox agents. In fact, psyllium and bentonite were not even used until sometime after 1935 when Victor Earl Irons first pioneered them for detoxing. (4)

1. Robinsona, Byron, M.D. "The Abdominal Brain and Automatic Visceral Ganglia". 1899 pages 210-213.

2. Bastedo, WA. “Colonic irrigations: their administration, therapeutic application and dangers”. JAMA (1932) v98 p736.

3. Pounder, Allison, and Dhillon. “Color Atlas of the Digestive System” 1989 page 155.


Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
May 22, 2010 7:39am

'Joe Shmoe' is likely the same person who keeps advancing these links on the Wikipedia talk page on the subject and is almost banned because of the rules being broken by let's say 'him'.

If the anonymous name isn't enough to make one question the reliability of the comment, the last link labeled 4. should confirm the very good likelihood of biased information.

Brandon, Falconer
May 22, 2010 6:43pm

LOL. Look everybody. This so-called critical thinker is actually what critical thinkers call "attacking the person rather than attacking the argument."

This obviously means I won the argument.

You see, people like Brandon and Brian Dunning are what are called "pseudo-scientific skeptics" - frauds masquerading as critical thinkers.

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
May 24, 2010 10:30am

The only links that support your claim are the one from 1899 and the one linking to a site SELLING THE FRAUDULENT PRODUCT. The other two are well understood medical problems which are NOT 'mucoid plaque'.

Your claim falls apart on its own when looked into, so I simply pointed out the bloody obvious reasons to be skeptical from the get go.

Call me whatever you like, medical science doesn't care. Reality doesn't change because you dance around proclaiming yourself to be the 'winner'.

Brandon, Falconer
May 24, 2010 1:49pm

Ad homonym is only a fallacy when two criteria are met:

1)The argument relies on the ad homonym (ie, "You smell funny, and your research is faulty" is a poorly phrased argument, but not invalid)

2)The argument isn't warranted (ie, "You have a fraud conviction, therefore we shouldn't believe you" is not a bad argument).

Seems to me Brandon is merely pointing out that you have a history of presenting false and/or erronious data, Joe. Sorry, but that is a perfectly valid concern to raise (it's why scientists are pretty much obsessed with their reputations).

I'd also like to point out that the "detox" concept relies on overturning a great deal of biology, not just modern scientific medicine. Until you can provide a well-documented (meaning, peer-reviewed) mechanism by which detox works, you've got nothing but random datapoints. I'm sure someone, somewhere, ate enough bentonite to produce some result similar to mucoid plaque--the stuff isn't exactly uncommon.

Gregory, Alabama
May 24, 2010 3:11pm

Thanks for saying that link 1 and 4 combined support my claim. Why the heck then are you saying that my "claim falls apart."? This contradiction proves that attacking alternatives has become nothing but an hysterical autonomic response for you.

As for the other links, you claim that they are "well understood medical problems." Yet link 3 (which I have in my hand) actually says "the pathophysiology of this syndrome is POORLY UNDERSTOOD." and identifies the specimen as only a "particularly bizarre stool." How insightful.

Your claim that I "have a history of presenting false and/or erronious data" is another fabrication. Libeling with barrages of baseless accusations are the tools your trade. The idea is that people will believe it because people are saying it. That is why pseudo-doctors like you rely on Wikipedia rather than scientific journals where hysterical mob rule is your idea of peer review.

P.S. Your bizarre ad homonym analysis is an example of how you pseudo-skeptics dazzle people with your labyrinth of logical fallacies. He clearly said "Your comment is unreliable BECAUSE you smell funny" not "You smell funny AND your comment is unreliable" Furthermore, my comments were verifiable facts not anecdotes that depend on any sort of reputation thus your ad homonym analysis number 2 does not apply.

What a joke.

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
May 24, 2010 10:04pm

No, I said we should be skeptical right off the bat, not that you're wrong because of it.

As far as 'well understood', I meant explainable by other medical explinations, not well understood by the link itself. If I said I didn't know what a flower was, and cited my saying that I didn't know what a flower was, is that good evidence that it's a rose from the moon? No. OTHER people know what flower it is. In the same way the bizarre stool isn't an example of mucoid plaque. That a guy in the 1890's couldn't explain something isn't good evidence that it's mucoid plaque either. He didn't know what it was. The last link has a clearly invested commercial interest in the claim, and I'm not going to bother explaining why it should be discounted.

I speculated that you're the same person as the wiki talk pages. That might be irresponsible of me, but that is the only other place I found advancing those exact same sources.

Brandon, Falconer
May 25, 2010 10:53am

"Furthermore, my comments were verifiable facts not anecdotes that depend on any sort of reputation thus your ad homonym analysis number 2 does not apply."

It does. Because "verifiable facts" are not 100% guaranteed to be true. That's the reason we demand reproducibility in science--ANYONE can run the same experiment and get the same answer. If you have a history of lying, odds are I'll run the experiment just to make sure you're actually telling the truth (or wait until someone else does it). Brandon said that you have a history of making false claims, and therefore we should be skeptical of any claim you make. That is a reasonable argument, in that it attempts to assess your credibility, which many will rely on when they read what you write. "I don't believe you because you have a history of lying" is valid; "You're wrong because you smell funny" is not.

If you don't like it, demonstrate the error in the statement.

I'll note that you call my analysis bizarre, without actually critiquing it beyond "It doesn't apply to me!" Either you accept it (in which case you don't find it odd), or you reject it (in which case you're arguing an inconsistent point).

Gregory, Alabama
May 25, 2010 11:59am

I can prove to everyone here you are lying or clueless. You said that guy in the 1890's "didn't know what it was." He DID know (and prove) what it was. Read it:

"The mucous masses are white, grayish white, or a color due to the mixing of mucus and feces, yellowish brown. . .The mucous masses may be transparent like slime, or opaque like fibrin, of a grayish white, or a dirty color with pigment in it. Sometimes the masses consist of large, wide and thick leathery-like membranes. . .Chemical examination reveals mucin, or mucin-like material, as the chief constituent. This may be considered as definitely established, as it is confirmed. . .In the sigmoid the membranes could be torn from the reddened mucosa without loss of substance. . .The microscope demonstrated the mucous masses in the lower colon to consist of mucin, not fibrin. "

You are lying when you say other people have other proven explanations as to what the specimen in link 3 or any other link is.

The fact that Victor Earl Irons first pioneered psyllium and bentonite for detox sometime after 1935 is not a contentious claim that is disputed by ANYBODY AT ALL.

"The error in the statement" is your suggestion that I performed these experiments. You must be drunk.

Your bizarre comments and constant attempts at character assassination indicates you are not able to compete on an intellectual level.

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
May 25, 2010 1:24pm

Passages such as, "Autopisies are so rare on the subjects dying of secretion-neurosis of the colon that no pathological basis is yet definitely established," seem to show that no, he didn't know what he had. Knowing that it is mucin, and trying to figure out why, isn't good evidence of mucoid plaque AS DESCRIBED BY DETOX COMPANIES. Him knowing it was mostly mucin doesn't means he knew what it was. I'm mostly water, that doesn't mean from that you can tell I'm human.

If you thought that people wouldn't actually read and understand your links, especially to the one of a blood clot, you're mistaken.

Brandon, Falconer
May 25, 2010 6:50pm

"Detox companies" describe mucoid plaque specimens as sometimes leathery-like pigmented mucus being chiefly composed of mucin. Claiming that the link is not "good evidence" of mucoid plaque specimens is stupid at best.

You appear to be leading people astray from the original discussion started with the skeptic Øyvind who thought he had a clever way to create doubt by proposing that there is not "a case of someone passing colon plaque without first having gone through a detox treatment." Those three conventional sources I gave prove otherwise. Confusing people with logical circles does not change this fact.

You claim that people can "read" and understand that my links, in actually, describe blood clots. O.k., lets "read" the links. Link 1 says "I have examined quite a number and have never observed fibrin" and "The microscope demonstrated the mucous masses in the lower colon to consist of mucin, not fibrin" and "Chemical examination reveals mucin" as the "chief constituent" and "This may be considered as definitely established" and "as it is confirmed by. . .,a sufficient number of investigators to settle the question." Do you even know what "fibrin" is?! It is the chief component of blood clots!!!!!! Look it up. The other two links do not describe or even remotely suggest that they are blood clots. This definitely proves to everyone that can "read" that either you, a medical doctor, cannot comprehend medical literature or are a manipulative liar.

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
May 26, 2010 2:57am

If these movements from people who have taken the kitty litter pill were really mucin based mucoid plaque, it would be trivially easy to test. You wouldn't need obscure isolated cases if this stuff is in most people's bowels. They would be common in autopsies. That they are not tested is because they would be shown to be mucin covered clay, and the detox scam artists don't want that. They'd have to make up some other lie about how the system works.

I wasn't talking about your first link in regards to fibrin.

Go on telling far out lies to feed your pockets, I'm done. But just know that people aren't nearly as stupid as you think they are and I'll be laughing the day you get sued for making false advertising claims.

Brandon, Falconer
May 26, 2010 8:08am

"The fact that Victor Earl Irons first pioneered psyllium and bentonite for detox sometime after 1935 is not a contentious claim that is disputed by ANYBODY AT ALL."

This is irrelevant to the truth or falsehood of the statement. It could be that you simply haven't found a rebutle yet (not an insult to you--the academic literature isn't nearly as orderly as one would hope). It could be that it got burried under a see of other discoveries and no one paid attention to it. It could be that no one cared enough to dispute it (Mr. Dunning has provided very good reasons for why this could be the acse).

And as I said before, you'll have to demonstrate an entirely new mode of operation for the large intestines before I'll accept mucoid plaque as a problem. Simply put, the large intestines push stuff out of you (among other things)--if they don't, you have a serious medical problem. So there's no plaque left (or very little). And even if there was, it's in an excratory organ, and not likely to go anywhere else. So any toxins (which are never defined) would remain there until expelled.

Gregory, Alabama
May 26, 2010 8:40am

Proving that they are "mucin covered clay" will not disprove mucoid plaque theory. Common sense will tell anyone that if psyllium and/or bentonite helps sweep mucin out, as the proponents say, it will likely be attached to it. I have already proven with those three links that mucin does not need any help looking EXACTLY like mucoid plaque stools. Thank you for demonstrating to everyone here the sloppy science that one will expect from a corrupt medical system eager to disprove a healing system that competes with their livelihood.

Doctors I found on the internet have ALSO specifically claimed toxins are "never defined." That is a blatant lie. In "Review of Medical Physiology" 7th edition on page 375 it says "potentially toxic substances as histamine and tyramine are formed in the colon by bacteria." Literature on autointoxication and candida have long implicated numerous SPECIFIC chemicals given off by these microorganisms. Proving they are problematic is one complicated matter. But when you and doctors repeatedly claim they are "never defined" this proves to everyone here that you and doctors have no intention of engaging in rational discourse about this topic.

Furthermore, refusing to broaden the definition of a toxin as a substance that is problematic is why you ignore the fact that "Scanning Microscopy" Vol. 5 No. 4 1991 page 1040 says that mucin itself "should impair digestion and absorption of macro- and micronutrients, as well as of medications.”

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
May 26, 2010 12:57pm

"Common sense will tell anyone that if psyllium and/or bentonite helps sweep mucin out, as the proponents say, it will likely be attached to it. "

And anyone familiar with bentonite can tell you that this mineral expands like crazy once it becomes wet. Compression and coatings can keep it from expanding until you want it to--for example, if you're filling a geoprobe point, or making a cast of someone's guts.

"Doctors I found on the internet"

We can stop reading that paragraph there.

Gregory, Alabama
May 26, 2010 2:04pm

I am in first year ND school and we are following a rigorous curriculum of human dissection, pathology, embryology, histology, neurophysiology, neuroanatomy(with dissection), and many more classes so that we can pass the basic science boards that all ND's from accredited schools must pass before they can move to the clinical phase of the curriculum. It is the hardest thing I have ever done. I don't think it is the legitamate licensed ND's from accredited schools who make false claims. Unfortunately there are only five schools in the US currently that offer this degree and many other less scientific ways to get a ND degree that will not mean anything when Naturopathic Medicine is restored to its rightful place alongside allopathic medicine. I think that if the AMA would stop monopolizing the medicine in this country we can regulate it better. P.S. they do teach us about evidence based practice. Please don't think that Naturopathic Medicine has nothing to offer. They do teach us about Phase I and II of liver detoxification pathways. We get our share of medical and nutritional biochemistry with an eye towards the enzymatic pathways of the human body and the action by which foods, pharmaceuticals and other supplements effect or are effected by those pathways. We do have a much more philisophical division from allopathic medicine but it mostly is due to our recognition of the dangers of pharmaceuticals and the importance of true concervative care and common sense.

concerned, lombard il
June 1, 2010 11:18pm

Can I heartily recommend Ben Goldacres "Bad Science" book as one of the best sceptical discussions on this subject? One of his articles is on the further reading list, and his blog is found easily if you google BadScience

Tom H, Kent, UK
August 19, 2010 9:55am

I am a gastroenterologist and I agree that this is all indeed "bunk" to use a pejorative. I do believe, however, that a safe colon cleanse is not a bad idea. Most colons are not in optimal shape due to poor diets of processed foods. My recommendation for a good "colon cleanse"? The same as the American Cancer Society - a diet rich in soluble and insoluble fiber and drinking lots of water. These "colon cleansers" are scams. You can purchase their ingredients at a fraction of the cost of the pills ($80 would probably buy you more than a year's supply of these ingredients!). It's not a bad idea, especially if you're starting on a weight loss regimen, to do a fast and cleanse. If done properly, it won't cause any harm and will work wonders at jump starting your weight loss. Even if you aren't looking at losing weight, it's a good idea to do a cleanse - but you need to EAT RIGHT afterwards! And as good as psyllium fiber is, there are better fibers out there. Explore the options with a naturopathic doctor. I believe wholeheartedly in Naturopathic medicine. I regularly refer patients to naturopathic doctors. A well-trained (read:REAL) naturopathic doctor is a perfect addition to a complimentary healthcare regimen. A real naturopathic doctor would (almost) never try to sell you a quack device (there are allopathic doctors that sell quack devices as well). I agree that the ND title needs to be protected to stop the quacks from giving naturopathic medicine a bad name.

Richard Burghoff, Toronto, ON
September 20, 2010 9:48am

I just clicked on one of your links and was HORRIFIED that these snake oil sellers have products for children as well.... OF COURSE emptying out our bowels of the disgusting product of the 'western diet' will make ANYONE feel better... maybe the fools who buy this rubbish should change their diet instead of just 'trying to cleans toxins' by eating kitty litter instead of just EATING A HEALTHY DIET AND DRINKING LOTS OF WATER.... well look at it this way... these idiots are removing themselves from the gene pool (with any luck) when the rubber mould they just made from kitty litter and whatever unwholesome American Fast Food Crap that they have eaten, perforates their bowels.... rally there SHOULD be a law against STUPIDITY (Sadly there's not...hmmmm maybe I could call stupidity a toxin and sell these fools a way to DETOX it from their body)

vincent, cairns australia
September 21, 2010 6:50pm

Thanks for the interesting reading. I find the poop pictures too revealing... and funny !!!!

i do believe in the benefits of fasting and detoxification and having read both sides of this argument, I guess it comes down to - does it work for you or not ?

i.e. Case Study vs Clinical Trial

Shiva, Los Angeles, CA
September 26, 2010 10:04am

In that case Shiva it would be a case of "do you THINK it works for you or not?" Unfortunately I know a fair few people who swore blind that fad diets and "de-tox" diets were having a clear and wonderous effect on their weight or well being, or the god-awful word "wellness", right up to the point that they weighed themselves, or had all the same problems as before. Now the fact they felt better was great, and if telling them that a juice has anti-oxidents in (the benefits of which are questionable) then great. I just wish they wouldn't hang on the every word of Gillian Mc-Whats-her-name and her pseudo science stuffed god awful tv shows which spend way too much time studying poop. I don't want people taking their medical advice from a show that thinks foods oxidise your blood or other nonsensical guff.

Tom H, Kent, UK
September 26, 2010 1:17pm

most nature seekers like me all have this notion that the world around us is screwing with our health and well being. The FDA are invading and modifying the necessities of life like food and water with preservatives and artificial chemicals. I understand that most of these actions like adding preservatives and artificial sweetners is a reaction to the nations overpopulation problem because there are so many people in the world which makes it hard for everyone to make or obtain fresh produce because land is limited and in the end, economically, it is incredibly cheaper to make artificial substances or even to ship out produce form areas that have cheaper/bigger land. What i am trying to say is what if the government genetically modifies our seeds, and fastens the growth of our foods purposely to increase the risk for long term diseases like diabetes and cancer so the government would have control over population and would increase in medical insurance funds. Cancer came into this world when modern humans came and there is no cure.

danie, los angeles, CA
October 6, 2010 7:26pm

You can certainly ask "what if" your government is deliberately giving you cancer and diabetes. But it would be a question completely unsupported byscience,evidence, or common sense. There is good evidence that strongly suggests the only reason cancer appears more common now is that we have a life expectancy long enough for people to develope more obvious symptoms and doctors now have the technology to diagnose earlier stages.

But suppose you are right, what if your food was engineered to give you cancer? Does that make the de-tox methods viable? Nope, they still don't work.

Tom H, Kent, UK
October 7, 2010 1:47am

okay, so you take the most ridiculous de-tox methods and use them to dismiss the whole idea that there could possibly be any toxins in our bodies, and that only a doctor could possibly be of any help for curing any kind of sickness? as if we are totally powerless to help ourselves? this from the guy who also thinks fluoride in the water is good for your teeth? brian dunning, i am extremely skeptical of your whole forum, and encourage others to be the same.

mike, asheville, NC
October 9, 2010 5:53am

So exactly which "toxins" concern you Mike?and which de-tox do you think works? How do you think the de-tox works?

Tom H, Kent, UK
October 9, 2010 10:39am

fluoride's a good place to start, tom. read the MSDS for sodium fluoride, or fluorosilic acid. that's a toxin deliberately put into your water. you absorb it through your skin in the shower, and you concentrate it when you boil water for tea or coffee, etc. food plants are watered with it, and it concentrates in them, along with any pesticides/herbicides used to grow them. so there's a couple toxins for you. a good de-tox? apples! among other properties, apples contain pectin, which removes cholesterol, toxic metals such as lead and mercury, and the residues of radiation. apples are also cleansing for the liver and gallbladder- they can actually soften gallstones. apples are just one example of a non-ridiculous, food based way to de-toxify yourself that's proven,cheap and available to most people, without resorting to doctors, drugs, or ridiculous fantasy-cleansing products. does that answer your question?

mike, asheville, NC
October 9, 2010 12:13pm

Mike, without going into to much detail;

complexing agents such as edta, and pectin (your claim not mine) would have to compete in the serum for free metal ions.

There is a problem with this as pectin is essentially a dietary fibre. Not much (if at all) appears to actually get into serum in comparison to the eventually defecated bolus everytime you eat a pectin laden food (carrots, apples, jelly beans food extracts etc etc).

It may be a simple experiment to mop up any number of metal ions with biological fibre. Its easily done in a beaker and then doing assays. The same goes for any coordination compound.

To test its efficacy you would have to test ingestion versus injection.

If you are worried about heavy metals in your environment, adjust the environment you live in and shop wisely.

Apples, carrots and pectate preparations appears to be a very poor bet for minimising your environmental heavy metal load.

They might be good for minimising dietary heavy metal, but I'd guess that there are a huge amount of dietary fibres that do an identical thing.

Sure, eat apples but please, not to the extent that you have an imbalanced diet.

There's a lot of fructose in them apples Mike..

Henk van der Gaast, Sydney
October 9, 2010 4:28pm

this address at the bottom is about apples.

mike, asheville, NC
October 9, 2010 7:23pm

Mike, i dont really care where the pectin comes from. Its a major polysaccharide of sorts. It doesn't make its way into serum from the gut.

Please, I would prefer you to state what you understand from the document rather than me reading it and assume you take on board some googleformation.

It makes the process much easier.

Henk van der Gaast, Sydney
October 9, 2010 10:03pm

what would make this process easier, henk, is if you would paste the address above into your internet browser and read about apple pectin. there's many more than 1500 words on the subject there, and i don't want to distill it down and leave out important info. i'm not the scientist here, but i'm trying to point you to some who have done their research on this. at least look at it, if you consider yourself a "skeptic"

mike, asheville, NC
October 10, 2010 5:42am

Took a look, and to be frank, doctors say it is rubbish, Bad Science says it is rubbish, chemists seem to say it is rubbish (and seem to be insulted to ask if flouride is dangerous or if pectin from apples help). Your body already has a system for removing toxins from your body and few fad diets or pseudoscience processes help. And don't worry about claiming I am not sceptical of Big Medicine, I am far more sceptical of the need for Detox than the fact they work. Just to be sure I checked up on the COSHH documents for flouride, and the amounts in drinking water or toothpaste are so far bellow the dangerous limit to be laughable. Any your body doesnt use to repair your teeth will be well bellow your bodies tollerence. I see no evidence for accumilation over years, or that boiling water or eating veg will get close to a dangerous concentration. So looking from a simple safety perspective: no evidence of danger, no need to use detox, no signdetox works.

Tom H, Kent, UK
October 10, 2010 12:20pm

I read the articles and refs when you posted them.
a) they mainly tout anti oxidants in the form of what we call "polyphenols" and the like. Your reference (J. Agric. Food Chem., 2003, 51 (6), pp 1676–1683) is in fact an article on anything else but pectin.

In the case of your argument (pectin) it’s clearly recognised that roughage laden diets in a western view are a very good way to promote health.

Brian clearly stated in a previous skeptoid that if you are buying expensive berries for your health, look at the data; an apple a day is cheap and has the same benefit.

b) Your reference (J. Agric. Food Chem., 2003, 51 (6), pp 1676–1683) doesn’t examine the effect of anti oxidants. The researchers investigate the polyphenol contents of apples.

c) Your over arching reference (Nutrition Journal 2004, 3:5) is a review paper. Of all its references only a few report actual measurements. It’s a review of reviews.

Sadly one of the references within (Nutrition Journal 2004, 3:5) even has the temerity to mis-represent a common terms in chem/phys in the title. It’s clear that this term is abused throughout the anti-oxidant set.

I don’t blame you for being so insistent on the matter of apples. The journal literature appears emphatic when the causality and effect is weak.

Henk van der Gaast, Sydney
October 10, 2010 2:51pm

henk, i did some more reading, and it seems, admittedly, that apples' detoifying effect comes more from its roughage- makes you poop more, cleans you out. if i find something concrete to support the pectin argument i read, i'll let you know.

tom, so you're saying that nothing toxic ever accumulates in peoples' bodies because we naturally filter everything out? laugh. as for fluoride, go to and read all the scientific studies done on the toxic and cumulative effects of fluoride, even at the "optimum" levels in our drinking water, done by REAL scientists, not stooges working on behalf of industries that benefit from the disposal of this toxic waste into the public water supply. i'm so sick of all you pro-fluoride people saying there's "no science" to support the claim that fluoride is bad! there's TONS of science!! i mean, take a step back and read the MSDS(material safety data sheet) for sodium fluoride, and fluorosilic acid(used for water fluoridation). it's poisonous, and that should be the end of the debate for any rational person. poison water. going right past your teeth. coming as waste from fertilizer plants. simple decision.

mike, asheville, NC
October 10, 2010 5:54pm

Mike, you aren’t here for the hunting are you?

Fluoridation is one of the best preventatives for circulatory diseases. Its an indirect effect that I will allow you to investigate as you keep referring to scientists in journals. It has saved an astounding number of lives world wide

In high concentrations its deadly and affects the calcium pump.
Fluoride is bad, fluoride is good. Same goes for formaldehyde, cyanide, alcohols etc etc.

The concept of stooges dumping this fluoride information is googlespert junk. I am sorry that I have to point to this predilection for the injudicious data hamsters.

Now finally to the MSDS (material data safety sheets for the uninitiated). Nearly everything used in research and industry requires an MSDS. Look to the LD50 for acute exposure and look at chronic effects levels on the sheets for any compound.

The fact that anything is poisonous may actually be beneficial to folk has escaped you.
What I would go to task about fluoride emissions is; growers near to aluminium producers have their crops slightly affected. Vignerons in particular despise the POSSIBLE quality reduction due to trace atmospheric fluorides.

Please no more brain explosions.

Mercry is toxic. Why would a person with a relatively high Hg serum be considered cardiovascularly fitter than his next door neighbour?

Think about it..

Henk van der Gaast, Sydney
October 10, 2010 6:38pm

the fluoridation of drinking water and use of sodium fluoride in "dental and health" products amounts to the free disposal of, and release of liability for environmental damage by, many industries' toxic waste. you stooges can drink it up, but i'll continue to argue against it until it is resigned to history along with all the other quack "modern medicine" panaceas. "it has saved an astounding number of lives" "high mercury serum level associated with cardio fitness" ha! there's a cornucopia of products out there for stooges like you who believe that nonsense. bottoms up!

mike, asheville, NC
October 10, 2010 7:31pm

Mike, are you a school kid?

You haven't learned the art of reading yet. Its clear you have never dealt with fluoride hazards and have absolutely no idea of what is a real or perceived risk.

Secondly, did I say Hg is good for you? I said "think about it".

I left you with two problems easily solved within 5 minutes using common health data. You refused to solve them yet you continue to ask us to give you information.

Damn you must love being spoon fed.

You certainly show no scientific aptitude or ability to interpret data or journals..

Your comment on roughage surely showed that as well.

I hope your career labelling Jam jars keeps you in good stead.

Henk van der Gaast, Sydney
October 10, 2010 8:04pm

i'm defeated. you have proven your intellectual superiority over me. i'm gonna go eat an organic apple and drink a glass of fluoride free water, because i'm an idiot who just can't get through his thick skull that a little poison every day is good for you! even when presented with an intellect such as yours, my frail, child-like brain just can't absorb your poison-is-good theory.

i hope your career as a yes-man for big inustry and corporations serves the public by convincing them to wake up and drink the poison! i'll never reach that level of genius. keep up the good fight!

mike, asheville, NC
October 10, 2010 9:19pm

a) I am retired.
b) your apple is covered in toxins
c) every breath you take is filled with toxins.

yes, I appreciate your constant brain explosions.

I am not advocating anyone take toxins without medical advise. I certainly wouldnt be seeing a conspiracy nut for toxilogical data either.

When you do understand that pectin is roughage and roughage can pull bad things and good things equally well out of your digestive tract, you'll understand that apples are good but a lot of apples is expensive and probably inadvisable as a sole source of nutrition.

When you understand that fluoride ions rapidly form calcium precipitates (I never thought I would have to spell this out) and are readily eliminated in 1ppm concentrations you will understand that fluoridation doesnt mean the death angel is flying over your roof.

I take it you dont use any form of transport. They are big time risky compared to fluoridation.

Tick off the things you dont do mike
1) eat anything that is labled fast food
2) weigh your food precisely to ensure your allowance is exactly met.
3) consult your grocer what the prevailing wind patterns were at the time of your produce harvest.
4) do not watch commercial TV just in case you get indoctrinated.
5) have vaccinations.
6) talk to scientists, especially those who are experienced in the fields of your interest.

Theres a lot more for your profile. See how you go, Big Pharma will mark it for you.

Henk van der Gaast, Sydney
October 10, 2010 9:37pm

Just don't drink too much of that water Mike, it's toxic you know. Plus, there is cyanide in that apple, better be careful.

The other guys aren't saying that you're intellectually inferior and therefor wrong. They are trying to get you to think critically about your sources and the reasoning you have presented. If you don't wish to go through providing proof of your intellectual prowess, that's fine. It does make your reasoning wrong. Your reasoning IS wrong, but not because of that.

More about that apple, you do know that creates formaldehyde in your system right?

Brandon, Falconer
October 10, 2010 9:39pm

Dammit Brandon, he could mummify a whole rat in that formaldehyde.

TG for pectin and tannins!

Henk van der Gaast, Sydney
October 10, 2010 9:49pm

oh my goodness guys, of course there are toxins in the air, soil,and water, i'm just strongly against the purposeful addition of them to our food and water! i never claimed to be living in a pristine environment, or that i survive on apples alone.

there is a lot of science that seems to suggest that the dosage of fluoride that people receive is impossible to control, due to its pervasiveness in the environment. even if the water concentration is 1ppm(the epa has raised the max to 4ppm now), when you water the ground with it, it gets into everything you eat, not to mention industrial and "natural" sources which enter our bodies daily. some people have acute reactions to fluoride due to over-exposure, so it's unethical to add a drug to the public drinking water, because it's inescapable. if people want to use it for its claimed benefits, let them buy it like any other drug. using water as a drug-delivery platform is a sloppy way to administer any medicine, even you geniuses should agree with that.

mike, asheville, NC
October 11, 2010 6:37am

And at 4ppm the COSHH guidelines show no reason to assume that the "accumilation over time" you were concerned about wont happen. Your body can dispose of that amount of flouride with out a detox regime of any kind. If you were burning an arsnic candle or eating lead paint then you may have a point. But you don't. Why? Well, the toxin you have described wont accumilate to anywhere near a dangerous level in the food chain, or that the apple detox will somehow suck it out your blood. Your theory of a lifetime of flouride compiling into a dangerous is unproven, the proposed counter measure doesnt work how you think it does, and the body has a defense in place. There is little enough viable evidence for people keeling over with flouride poisoning.

So i remain sceptical.

Tom H, Kent, UK
October 11, 2010 10:07am

watch this video, and look at all the studies done on, and don't tell me one more time that there's no evidence for the toxic accumulation of fluoride in human tissue, because that is a lie.

mike, asheville, NC
October 11, 2010 10:27am

I don't believe it - not for a second. Detox. Bah!
Not only THAT I WILL EAT AS MUCH HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP as I desire, thank you. AND FATTY RED BLOOD DRIPPING MEATS, sprinkled with sugar. *Diabetes caused by weight? Whatever! Don't believe it.
Eat your pizzas by the ton, your chocolate donuts. Drink your gallons of beer and colas. There is NO shred of truth to any of the "findings".
Not feeling well? Dr. has vaccine and injections and/or pills that will help you. No conspiracy here folks. Just a minute, while I light up a cig...government says my smoking is ok. Leave me alone!!
People and their silly conspiracies...they should all just go eat something yummy! Like a super sized meal from Macs! Be right back.

MeatEater, Chicagolandarea,IL
October 11, 2010 12:30pm

Ok Mike, I will just tell you that the video is unconvincing and the evidence on flouride alert is flawed. I looked, i disagreed, I don't count flawedevidence as evidence.

Tom H, Kent, UK
October 11, 2010 1:00pm

Mike, on evidence.. googling is not the way to go about it. I certainly do not use Skeptoid for my evidence either.

The net is entertaining but its generally bias driven. You surely don't ascribe to the ridiculous positioning of alt med practitioners theories of nature do you. Frankly, Brian would admit his project is bias driven but he did it to create open and frank discussion.

Lets go to the toxicological data for common things;

a) a few tens of kilos of chocolate is deadly, yet you consume a greater percentage of an acute poisoning dose than fluoriide every time you have a bar. Chocolate is good for you, chocolate is bad for you.
b)the same goes for water.
c) the same goes for lithium.

Albeit that the introduction of fluoride or lithium into the population could not have been done today unless far more studies had been carried out, the observers lucked out. It works with massive benefit and incredibly minor drawback.

So what you have to provide to the skeptics in such an argument is a major concensus based on real data. The skeptic "knows" there is a lot of data supporting the fact that fluoride is causal in the prevention of dental caries and subsequently other disease.

The emphatic data to the contrary doesn't exist.

Fluoro apatites are more resistant to oral environmental attack than hydroxy apatites.

If you can show that epidemiology and material science is incorrect, please present it.

Please, no googlesperts.

Henk van der Gaast, Sydney
October 11, 2010 3:06pm

so you still refuse to look at the studies on the site which i suggested. i give up.

i will continue to fight against water fluoridation until it is a thing of the past. maybe when the govt finally admits how wrong it was, despite all the false industry- funded science supporting it over the years, maybe then you will change your minds. i give up on trying to convince you guys though, because i obviously am beneath your intelligence level. although i think i have something on "meateater"...

mike, asheville, NC
October 11, 2010 5:13pm

I said earlier, what do you take from this? I cant read a lot of stuff and interpret it for your benefit.

Tell me what you think you are arguing from your references. It makes things a lot easier. You have changed your argument 3-4 times now quoting literature you have only read the titles of.

Henk van der Gaast, Sydney
October 11, 2010 5:19pm

look, I've already read the sources and interpreted them for MY benefit, i didn't ask you to interperet them for ME, but for YOUR information. what I take from the pro-fluoride studies i've read is that they:

never mention the source of fluoride for water fluoridation(unrefined fluorosilicates from the wet scrubbers in the smokestacks of phosphate fertilizer plants).

never take into account other sources of fluoride intake in their studies or assesments: food, bathing, swimming, etc.

never account for differences in water intake among different people, as if everyone drinks the same amount of water every day.

are always connected to an industry with a vested interest in fluoridation: dental societies(dentists make more $ in fluoridated ares- quote from the ADA), and the aluminum and phosphate fertilizer industries("pharma-grade" sodium fluoride comes as a waste product from the manufacture of aluminum)

could you be bothered to actually read a study of the ill effects of fluoride and tell me what you take away from it? it's my opinion that the "anti-s" have much more solid evidence than the "pro-s".

you've gotten me on apple pectin, i'll give you that. i won't argue that point anymore.

mike, asheville, NC
October 11, 2010 6:26pm

you havent presented these studies. How can I review them?

You have only presented a cherry picked segment by a bias site from what appears to be a senate select comittee at which two EPA employees are being questioned on fluoridation levels.

That few minutes is and can not be all the studies you suddenly quote.

never mention the source of fluoride;

ans) Does it matter?. I could propose a perfectly good water from sewage purifier on an industrial scale. Try getting folk to drink it.

never take into account other sources of fluoride intake.

ans) my criticism of all the fluorosis studies

never account for differences in water intake

ans) epidemiology is conducted over sample mean vs control mean. Lab studies may be studied on dietary water.

are always connected to an industry

ans) what industry isnt? I take it apples fall from the sky?

it's my opinion that the "anti-s" have much more solid evidence than the "pro-s"

ans) you haven't established opinion, just an askance view. You can't refer to data on this matter.

you've gotten me on apple pectin, i'll give you that. i won't argue that point anymore.

ans) no you got yourself on pectin. Had you known what you were barking about there, you'd know why you are barking here.

Bring on your study and prasae of your references and please, cut the brain explosions. It wastes Dunning space.

Henk van der Gaast, Sydney
October 11, 2010 7:07pm

good grief henk. there is a huge body of evidence out there about the dangers of fluoridation. i didn't do the studies myself, but it's 2010 and a smart guy like yourself can easily find studies online from all manner of organizations, not just "bias" sites.

"does it matter?" sigh, yes, henk it does matter where it comes from. it is toxic waste, which has everything to do with the false science supporting its dental benefits. sigh, every benefit has been debunked by scientists if, sigh, you would just look for the evidence. but you won't, i'm sure.

but if you wanna use your google, try "dangers of fluoridation" or something similar, and you can skip right past all the "conspiracy" sites and find plenty of peer-reviewed, publihed proof that fluoridation is medical folly. i have nothing more to offer.

mike, asheville, NC
October 11, 2010 8:09pm

You have displayed your VIEW on detox, pectin, polyphenyls and fluoridation because you can't quote a single paper you have actually read, would you move on to another skeptoid episode.

good grief henk. there is a huge body of evidence out there about the dangers of fluoridation.

ans) Sure there is. I am trying to see your point when you post a valid one..

"does it matter?" sigh, yes, henk it does matter where it comes from. it is toxic waste,

Ans) Sorry you are bringing up a new point. As far as I can see, papers describing contaminants in fluorides are very hard to find. Your point to date is "fluoride is a toxin at any level". You haven't established that. Saying that fluorides are contaminated is completely different (and you haven't supported that).

but if you wanna use your google, try "dangers of fluoridation".

Ans) no, I dont use google for information. I can't tell if its biased. I have said that over and over again.

I am pretty OK at literature searches. Relying on folk cherry picking papers and quoting single lines our of them is not a great way to prepare for an argument.

Mikes collateral damage;
apples, pectin, review papers, differentiating between tannins and sacccharides, drinking water fluorides toxicity at sub 1ppm (down) and now toxic waste.

Why not Tom, Brandon and you visit me for a week of slap up meals.

Mike, every one is weird! Even Brian. He gets into hot tubs to discuss skepticism!

Next skeptoid please...

Henk van der Gaast, Sydney
October 11, 2010 9:13pm

Just a slight note Hank, but given how the water table works, most the water you flush away will end up back in the drinking water for somebody. It's why sewage plants spend a lot of time cleaning it up.

They also spend a lot of time testing the quality of water, so pre-empting the "flouride will accumilate in rainwater" argument...there is no evidence of that either.

As to the sources of flouride, they may not be pleasant to think of but that does not follow they are contaminated or dangerous. The chemistry is simple and useful. Better "toxic waste" is made into something useful than dumped. If the allegation is true of course. There are doubts that all the sources quoted are accurate, but I have assumed mike will supply good evidence.

You know what I didnt spot? Any evidence that Detox works, or is needed. But we can talk about it more over dinner. I want jelly for pud though. I love the taste of peach and rendered horse and or cow bone byproducts....

Tom H, Kent, UK
October 11, 2010 11:06pm

Chevelle roti et demi glace aioli?

Pomme de terre au eau de fluoride?

Peche creme et caemembert?

Non Non, tarte pomme!

do you really want me to clean up that from stock? seems a bit of a power waste.

Henk van der Gaast, Sydney
October 11, 2010 11:13pm

here's a link to book, for your consideration. i double dog dare you to read it, maybe that'll work...

mike, asheville, NC
October 12, 2010 8:19am

Mike, I dont read your links and tell you how you fail until you give a prasae...

If you cant argue, dont bother.

This is creationist arguing on your behalf. Its basically saying, "i dont know what it means, but this guy says it so I must be right".

No Mike, you haven't said anything that you havent immediately changed or retracted on examination of your links.

Please stop being bone lazy.

So, tell me what you think it says and then I will respond.

How many times do I have to ask you this?

Henk van der Gaast, Sydney
October 12, 2010 5:20pm

the only thing i retracted was the apple pectin statement.

i've pointed you towards plenty of scientists' studies to support my statements. i understand everything i've read.

i have told you what i think, over and over.

since it doesn't match your opinion, your excuse for ignoring the evidence i've pointed you towards is... that i didn't create it myself? weak.

enjoy your fast food and poison water. i suppose if you never consider opposing views, you'll never be wrong. i get it. i don't agree, but i get it.

mike, asheville, NC
October 12, 2010 6:56pm

Sadly Mike, you have never been able to respond with an actual answer.

as I said before;

"lets face it Mike, you are not here for the shooting".

PS one of my other attributes is, I am a food freak as well. I abuse my kids when they buy fast foods because I have taught each one to select and cook high quality food since each was 7. One is a chef nowadays.

As for water, you havent made a single statement to its detriment, all you have done is point out someone elses view (review articles). Any idiot can write a review article. NEJM and JAMA is full of them.

Doesnt mean its science. It just is (hopefully) state of play documents.

Henk van der Gaast, Sydney
October 12, 2010 7:21pm

what's a prasae?

mike, asheville, NC
October 12, 2010 8:29pm


Henk van der Gaast, Sydney
October 12, 2010 10:04pm

You have obviously never been sick and are very full of yourself. You claim that anyone that wants to take charge of their health without getting a blood test only wants to be sick. You have no idea what you are talking about and unless you have been sick and been through countless blood tests where the doctors have not been able to find the problem, you have no business making those claims.

Medical science is an oxymoron. If it were a science, then every person with condition A could be treated with medicine B and receive outcome C. This does not happen. Medicine is an art at best and many times doctors are just guessing.

I am not advocating any particular home rememdy. I am offended by your superior attitude, and that you think you know the thought process of someone who is ill. You do not, and I sincerely hope you get the chance to experience the reason people will try home remedies to relieve problems, and maybe you will be just a little less judgmental in the future.

Until then, you need to stick to subjects that you know about, which doesn't appear to be many from what I have read.

Zame, Detroit, MI
January 4, 2011 7:01pm

Zame, all I see here is "you're wrong you're wrong you're wrong you're wrong" etc etc etc.

If you have something more then vague anecdotes to show how detoxification stands out from the null hypothesis (it provides no benefit), then perhaps you can show that instead of a bunch of vague, aimless statements.

You want to say ppl dont know what they are talking about then be prepared to show precisely how with some good science and well sourced material. Otherwise this is just an offensive, uninformed post.

"Medical science is an oxymoron"? I defy you to show how life expectancy shot up 40 plus years for north americans based on your perspective that docs just guessed their way to it.

Medicine when it became a science is what caused this dramatic jump. Thing is, it works a hell of a lot more often then it does not. Guessing is just random chance and usually what naturopaths do.

You have something better?

Step up and show it.

Cam, Thunder Bay
January 5, 2011 10:44am

Pfft, looks like I have offended the mod again...

Zane, alternative modalities wanted to be called alterntive mediocrity but in that the set the bar too high... There is no alternative research (EB is not research) and alternative science does not exist,

With out a supportng scientific base, alternative modality has nothing but claim.

Ricky Ponting is not a scientist but he could bat once.

Lets just leave alternative modality and Ricky to bat on ad nauseam.

You know for a 7 billion dollar a year industry in australia, you would see just one chemistry paper? Just one physics paper, just one physiology paper that shows science is wrong..

Nope... Zane, Join Ricky in the batting nets, I hear the bucks are good for no apparent performance.

Henk V, Sydney
January 8, 2011 1:08am

So, Detox footbaths can be shown to produce chemicals that are not in a human body, and the same "toxins" are extracted from an empty bath as one with a foot in. Most of the "curative" pills for flushing out foamy "toxins" flush out the foam they PUT INTO a body, and very few (ie none) of the diets that "detox" your body have any noticable effect that passes muster in clinical trials compared to folks on a regular balanced diet. Oh and anti-oxidents increase the risk of cancer instead of reducing it.

But this doesn't matter as long as it gives people false hope and confidence, at their own expense, just in case it "works for some people" (but apparently not in any way that can be tested). Hmmm...

Tom H, Kent, UK
January 8, 2011 1:14pm

Henk, what is happening with this mod? I thought we started to see less of you and you had really become enamored with Pamela Anderson after all and left Skeptoid lol!

We post all the same words you do but never get deleted. Query Brian I say.

Cam, Thunder Bay
January 10, 2011 7:31am

I'm on my 13th day of the Master Cleanse Detox as suggested by Stanley Burroughs. I was scanning th internet today because last night I passed something that caught my attention. By appearance and texture, it was exactly like the photos online of mucoid plaque. I have not taken any pills and have only consumed the maple syrup, lemon, cayenne mixture for the past 13 days, as well as the daily salt water flush. Seems to me that mucoid plaque does exist naturally.

EJ, Istanbul, Turkey
January 13, 2011 11:45pm

Or that the passings from such a disgusting mix may resemble mucoid plaque, once they have been mixed up and digested. (Ignoring the fact you are a fairly anonymous annecdotal evidence source, and not carrying out a clinically controlled test). Your diet there, ONLY consuming those items, for thirteen days, with "salt water flush"? That means all youwill be passing is syrup, lemon and cayen, which if mixed together sounds like it would make a fairly mucoid mix on the way IN. Doesnt sound much like a rounded nutritious mix either...

Tom H, Kent, UK
January 14, 2011 5:26am

EJ, I would suggest you dont stay on that diet. It takes years off your liver man. You can also find that too if you look. Ask a medical doctor about the side effects known to science.

Also anything you do get rid of is going to come back to a pretty large degree as well. Your current system norms are like an elastic band between two points. If you pull that down sharply, it will spring right back up in a very short time and the issues you are trying to solve may in fact be worse for a short while.

Healthy diet, regular good exercise and a normal sleep schedule will work wonders for you. It takes more time to effect changes this way but is far longer lasting. Those three items are basically my life these days and I feel great while improving physically every day.

As for mucoid plaque, we have docs in my clinic, and I had to ask them again. Not one of them has ever seen one in any of their examinations either through tests, exams or post mortem work ever. Your intestines if working even half-ass will pass everything through and leave nothing extra inside. Whatever that was you passed was not it. The stuff doesnt exist outside of the pills.

However damage to your intestines in some cases can produce tarry, blackish, nasty stuff. THAT you should go to a doctor for immediately if thats the case.

Cam, Thunder Bay
January 14, 2011 7:28am

Well regardless if mucoid plaque actually exists or not, I do believe in fasting whether it be a Daniel fast (see the Book of Daniel, ESV or NIV, NKJ), or a liquids fast. Your body is a breather. And you ARE what you eat. I do believe that we are creating harmful foods that your body can't digest hence it never leaves you, such as partially hydrogenated icky stuff...ever notice how it won't dissolve if it's not put in warm liquid?!? Also, most people don't get the right minerals, enzymes and amino acids in their daily diet which is crucial to digestion. My Doctor...yes a REAL doctor of internal medicine requested I do a colon cleanse. Since having started it, I've noticed considerable changes especially on my face. When I'm done with it and start to eat again, I'll be able to determine what foods I've been eating that is causing sebaceous cysts on my face and fatigue. I exercise regularly so you can't get me there, and I eat an very healthy diet. Even still, our bodies need help because of depleted soil and the mass produced junk they put out "FDA" approved. In any case, a fast at least helps you determine if you have more intolerances to food than you realized. I've also had proof that my endocrine system shut down until I started taking Cell Food (its an amazing supplement of minerals, amino acids, and enzymes) proving that my diet was the culprit and it wasn't getting what it needed. Now I've reduced my risk of ovarian cancer by more than 75%. AMEN!

Teresa Smith, Western New York
January 18, 2011 1:15pm

If any major bodily system including your endocrine system was shut down, you'd be dead Teresa. Best to check those facts out a bit more.

Heres a little read I'd like you to do on colon cleansing. Brian himself makes a caveat on how even medical doctors can become involved in peddling baloney, although some medical procedures do require an evacuation of your bowels through medical treatments.

Cam, Thunder Bay
January 18, 2011 3:55pm

Tom Kent, the very fact that you think that maple syrup, lemon juice, cayenne, and salt when mixed and digested forms into rubbery masses discredits you as very stupid or delusional. It doesn't look like that outside the body and all these ingredients are absorbed into the blood stream.

Cam, the reason your docs claim that all they ever see is “pink tissue” and blood vessels is because MDs are incompetent assclowns. The real competent doctors already have a video endoscopy of mucoid plaque in the intestines. See 4:10 through 4:29 of this video:

Also, Cam, the ACSH, which you cited, also encourages “fat kids” to eat as much saturated fat laden “cheeseburgers” and transfat laden “fries” they want because “fat kids”, like everyone else, can simply work out like a gold medal olympic athlete (1), claims that drinks such as soda and bourbon are just as healthy as drinks such as fresh fruit and vegetable juices (2), and claims that the fat in avocadoes is just as harmful as the fat in cheeseburgers and fries (2). The ACSH is a corrupt industry funded organization that uses pseudoscience, deception, and petty arguments to maximize profits for its clients.



Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
January 21, 2011 9:42am

All good :D

Once again, you make the claim you provide the hard proof. And sorry, youtube dosnt cover it.

As for corruption? Whatever. You have science disputing the claims, time to step up and show it.

I love ppl tossing out insults, and then leaving it at that and just expecting us to take it. get real.

Cam, Thunder bay
January 21, 2011 9:50am

"Tom Kent, the very fact that you think that maple syrup, lemon juice, cayenne, and salt when mixed and digested forms into rubbery masses discredits you as very stupid or delusional. It doesn't look like that outside the body and all these ingredients are absorbed into the blood stream."

Ah yes,because when I said it made a "mucoid" mix before you ate it, that was not a joke about the resulting mess looking like mucas at all, it was a serious comment on the consistency of mucoid plaque. You know "mucoid" can be used to describe things that look like mucas right? Or do you blow your nose to find long rubbery lengths of mucoid plaque too?

Ah well, that is before rubbing our chins and saying "so nothing we eat ever changes consistency and texture when we eat it all, ever? Are you SURE about that?" As I have to say, I once swallowed a fish finger whole once, with out chewing, and what I passed was not crispy and golden with a breadcrumb coat.

Not to put a too fine a point on it, but you eat A, which you claim is "all absorbed," then pass B. Now if A was absorbed, there would be nothing to move through your intestines to flush out B. So we can assume your passings are the waste product of A, or they are a substance unkown to medical science and clinical testing, (I note the person claiming 99.9% of doctors are incompetent is not the delusional guy here apparently)outside of that great peer review journal "You Tube". Funny it didn't reach the Lancette. *sigh*

Tom H, Kent, UK
January 21, 2011 10:40am

And I would also suggest Joe that you did not read or perhaps understand the articles you so trashed earlier.

I like how you present them in a way that said "because they say THIS then they must MEAN THIS!!!"

I would suggest you take this info to a dietician who would essentially tell you the same thing but let me guess, they would be incompetent assclowns who dont get their medical advice from youtube as you so reliably do :D I still also like how you shoot medical ppl down then trust the advice of a supposed one on youtube. A tad hypocritical?

Brian has a podcast on the deadly cheeseburger here too on skeptiod. How about you take a listen to that and casually insult him too?

Like it or not, a person can get fat and heart disease and so forth if they have significantly less output then input. You can feed a person a diet of vegetables and fruit and if they lay on their butt all day for years you might as well have killed them with a burger n fries.

But hey keep peddling unsubstantiated reports of corruption, and also dont read articles through :D It makes it far more entertaining to see you rant and make a post full of insults then provide a link which directly contradicts you :D

Cam, Thunder Bay
January 21, 2011 12:05pm

Imagine the scene: "I pooped something unpleasent, and the fools tried to convince me that what came out might be what I put in, and not the stuff I saw on You Tube which *incompetent assclowns (never order assclowns for a kids party by mistake)* says might not be real."

It just does not make sense to assume that despite everything we know and common sense telling us that what we poop is a biproduct of what we eat, we should suddenly decide that in this one case (of a guy writing on here with no apparent reason to take his word at face value) it is infact NOT what he eats that he poops. It is mucoid plaque, a term only recognised by those trying to sell you thier detox method. Which still sounds like self inforced malnutrition which is missing a LOT of the basics your body needs in the few things you can eat. Protein? Fibre? Guess they are overrated...

Tom H, Kent, UK
January 21, 2011 1:44pm

Cam, saying Youtube doesn't cover it makes no sense. It is just a medium for displaying content. By the way, I don't see any pink tissue and blood vessels in those patients.

Tom Kent, your argument is brilliant because it means all those colonoscopies skeptics like to cite performed by conventional doctors don't count either because they have not been published in peer review journals like Lancet.

Tom Kent, its goddamn lemonade, basic ingredients like any other sweet drink and absorbed into the bloodstream like any other sweet drink. Go to a medical doctor and say that lemonade comes out looking like mucus and watch them prescribe antipsychotic medication to you.

Cam, you say that just because acsh SAYS it does not mean they MEAN it? Wow, what a brilliant defense. Lets try this defense on George Alan Rekers. Here goes. . . Just because HE RENTED a boy does not mean HE MEANT TO RENT a boy:

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
January 21, 2011 6:27pm

Joe....okay I suppose I asked in a far too complicated fashion last time so I'll make it simpler in a nice little statement:

"If you are going to shoot somthing or some one down, then show you can do better then they with better evidence please. A Youtube video as evidence of mucoid plaque does not replace current medical knowledge, nor does simply saying doctors are assclowns".

All I see are insults, vague claims and at best, unrelated or misunderstood links.

And how does what Rekers did in any way impact on a scientific discussion? Thats like saying Einstein married his cousin. last I checked that didnt render Relativity incorrect. Rekers contravened laws and also was exposed as terribly hypocritical in public opinion. Once again how does this bear on a discussion on medical matters and science?

Cam, Thunder Bay
January 21, 2011 6:56pm

Actually there is a great record of how and when colonoscopies are useful in a number of peer review sources thanks Joe. Oh, and I followed your advice and checked with a doctor. Apparently if you drink lemonade, anything your body doesn't absorb and use is expelled as poop and pee. But thenlemonade hasa much higherwater content, and has not normally been the sole source of nutrition for thirteen days,that also included "salt flushing". Who would have thought it. What you poop is almost always a waste product of what you eat, and not an entirely new substance unrecognised by science.

And you know what else I discovered? Because you-tube is an open forum, some people put stuff on there with out being entirely honest about the content. Mind you, Joe says it is just as good as reliable peer review journals that have basic standards of evidence quality and research protocol. They guys probably didnt get around to discussing it with real scientists yet. I mean the only evidence we have for the consistency of your poo is yourpost. Hardly unarguable evidence. As you insist it is a substance never before recognised through clinical testing, you could always be as truthful as the videos of talking dogs or babies driving cars blind.

TomH, Kent, UK
January 22, 2011 8:45am

Tom Kent, you visited a doctor within a span of 14 hours just to ask if lemonade comes out of the body looking like mucoid plaque? Your lies are so bloody obvious Tom. No doctor, other than your imaginary friend that sees you within 14 hours, would say such a delusional thing like that.

Chemical analysis aside, Tom, that colonoscopy youtube video proves, quite simply, that the people that say that all that one sees are "pink tissue" and blood vessels are assclowns. One can find endoscopy pictures in conventional textbooks of gastroenterology that look exactly like that youtube video so it makes no sense to deny that that is what the intestines can look like. Chemical analysis is another matter. But how can one take seriously a doctor that says that all that anybody ever sees are "pink tissue" and blood vessels?

And Tom. Rubbery ropes of mucus or mucin combined with cells, bile, other pigments and microorganisms is not an “entirely new substance unrecognised by science” as you claim. Nor is it a product left over after digestion (such as fiber). It has been recognized in conventional sources since 1899 (1).

1. Robinsona, Byron, M.D. The Abdominal Brain and Automatic Visceral Ganglia. 1899 pages 210-213

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
January 22, 2011 10:10am

You know what Joe, want me to wave a red flag when I'm making a joke so you don't waste time arguing with it. Sure, lets assume my "lie" was serious...

Amazing the things you can do in 14 hours. Apparently Mr Bell invented a device where I can communicate with any of my friends, including medical professionals with out having to go there... and in the course of the conversation Ihappened to ask if eating maple syrup would force out mucoid plaque, to which the response was that what comes out is what went in.

Mucoid plaque, like the ether in outerspace, or the humours may once have been considered "real", but there truly is no evidence supporting it. Doctors don't recognise it, pathologists don't recognise it, medical text books put it down as a misidentification, after eating "suppliments" that produce rubbery substances (amazing or what?). If you discoveredit, and were able to prove it in a suitable journal,it would be new to science. Try lookingup the articles on detox in the BadScience columns by Ben Goldacre. An old con trick is still a con. There have been some fine studies showing "mucoid plaque" is not a function of the body alone and is a function of something you swallowed, normally a pill. But if all you ate was syrup (and have thusly starved your body of nutrition) then, despit YouTube bull, your poop came from syrrup.

Oh, and your annectdote still proves nothing, this whole conversation assumes you have been halfway honest describing your poop.

TomH, Kent, UK
January 22, 2011 11:10am

I too have been fooled into purchasing expensive colon cleansers.

With that said I would also like to correct, in my opinion, your statement that these pills create this Mucoid plaque, because in my experience, when beginning a cleanse the Mucoid plaque is there, true, but I cant let you tell people these pills create this Mucoid plaque, because after every dose I took, this Mucoid plaque decreased in size and eventually was non-existent by the end of my cleanse. All of the pills I took were from the same bottle, so if it were true that these pills created my Mucoid plaque, the Mucoid plaque would never have dissipated in the long run.

Someone may be asking why I say I was fooled into buying the expensive product if it worked for me, is simply because, after taking the pills I became more interested in my health and later found how much cheaper it was to just do a iodine free sea salt and distilled water cleanse on a regular basis. I had went a few years without doing a cleanse when I ran into this cheaper method, and guess what . . .

the salt water cleanse evacuated the Mucoid plaque just as well as the expensive products and I hardly think water and salt will produce such an effect as creating a false Mucoid plaque and after regular use of the sea salt water the Mucoid plaque became virtually non-existent.

One last note:
All medical terms are "made up". If the term Mucoid plaque is just a made up name, I am glad to have a name to call it that everyone understands.

Jacksonville Resident, Florida
January 22, 2011 12:28pm

The simple fact is Jacksonville, that the majority of products that claim to treat mucoid plaque, Like those sold by Richard Anderson, (who adopted the term from the kind of old books that Joe was pointing us to) contain bentonite. The clay that is used in cat litter. Now, call me a sceptic but following the "what goes in is what comes out" theory, guess what a well known effect of eating bentonite is? Long rubbery stools. Now on the one hand, that does a great job of stripping out your guts (the reason you saw less with each pill was because there is less stuff in your stomach to bulk out the clay, good or bad)but that is not exactly healthy (though not dangerous as long as it is treated in reason. Unfortunately the one thing it doesn't flush out is Mucoid Plaque.

A Pathologist at the University of Texas (what Joe would call an "Assclown" apparently) said he had:"seen several thousand intestinal biopsies and have never seen any 'mucoid plaque.' This is a complete fabrication with no anatomic basis".(

See also: (Though maybe I should look for a more reliable source, like YOu Tube....)

Tom H, Kent, UK
January 22, 2011 1:04pm

Mucoid Plaque doesnt exist.

Its invented; an imaginary pathology, treatable with a treatment of imagined efficacy.
The mechanism for it doesnt exist. The closest thing would be constipation.

Just been through Digestive System Section of "Human Anatomy and Physiology,6th Ed,International Ed,published by Pearson/Benjamin Cummings." And "Essential Pathology,3rd Ed,Published by Lippincott Williams&Wilkins."

Nothing of the sort in either - of COURSE THERE WOULDNT BE!

The magic quack pills mix with food residue in the intestines, and make the snake thing, which becomes smaller narrower and less, as food residue runs out, due to nothing being eaten. Simple. They got your money. Simple too.

Im in the wrong business I think.

Jon, Auckland,NZ
January 22, 2011 10:59pm

Whilst I am waiting for the conference games.. (today is a rest day for the renovating parent) I must point out that when I used to work in bars, monday clean up meant cleaning drains. The same went for when I worked in meat works.

If one extarapolated what happened in biologically uncontrolled systems to human functions you could infer a mucoid plaque or something very undesirable.

The problem is, things just dont work that way.

Medical models have radically changed in the past 3 decades (salt/lipid/ steroid activities and cholesterol a prime example)yet these are a century ahead of colon waste modelling done by alt mod.

A hose belongs in a bar drain. Medicine is based on science (and yes I regularly criticise modern medical science when Fox Moderator allows). Ald Mod, like relgion, is based on magic.

You want magic? Do not entertain colonic cnacer.

Henk van der Gaast, Sydney, Australia
January 23, 2011 8:30am

Lmao bring up a 100+ year old article and expected us to buy that?

Theres thins thing know in all science.....its called.....advancement.

Medical types have had 111 years since that point to verify its existence. Not one has ever seen the damn "mucoid plaque" if it wasnt initiated by the pill itself. The term itself does not exist in medical science. The fact that you had to go so bloody far back to when medicine was essentially still guesswork is quite telling.

There are medical conditions which can produce tarry nasty business, but thats usually associated with bleeding in the upper end of the GI tract. It is not a mucoid plaque. There is not even any such term recognized by medicine.

Look up the fallacies podcasts here to see if you can recognize what happens when one only picks the tiny and misinterpreted portion that works for them and derides the vast majority of the rest of a known field that doesntthat doesnt. Might be a lesson or 5 on there for you.

Cam, Thunder Bay
January 23, 2011 1:21pm

Henk van der Gaast and Cam, by the radical “advances” that have been made in the conventional medicine profession, perhaps you are referring to the now well established scientific fact that lemonade comes out of the body magically looking like mucoid plaque as Tom Kent REPEATEDLY claims in his posts above. Quite arguably, the “colon waste modelling done by alt mod” are light years ahead of “lemonade comes out like mucoid plaque” delusions.

Cam, Richard Anderson defines mucoid plaque as a mixture of mucin, sloughed off epithelial cells, digested food, bacteria, plasma proteins and concentrated bile. Are you actually stupid enough to say that no one has ever seen these substances in the intestines? Furthermore, Cam, you say that modern medical science, in 111 years since, as never seen that “stuff” that was described in that “100+ year old article”, which says on page 212 that “chemical examination reveals mucin, or mucin-like material, as the chief constituent.” O' really Cam. I did not know that modern science has determined that “mucin” was nothing but a myth.

Cam, as for your irrelevant claim that “there is not even any such TERM recognized by medicine”, Google Scholar shows a gastrointestinal journal (1) that says “Early super- ficial zones of infarction may be covered by a mucoid plaque”.


Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
January 23, 2011 4:24pm

Tell me Joe. once again....did you even bother to read the study attached to this?

First off, the link mentions mucoid plaque sure :D But the paper itself mentions no such thing. It DOES mention an area of superficially infarcted rectal mucosa. An infarction is an area of dead tissue. The mucous would have perhaps hardened into a sort of plaque which faciitated the ulcers he was currently suffering from (in 1973). A doctor used it, but tell me he was describing long rubbery strings of goo you get after eating a pill of kitty litter and clay. I challenge you to locate that in there.

It is NOT a long rubbery string of nastiness excreted from your bowels. Throw us all into the bowels of hell, by gosh one paper use the term once in 1973 so its now standard medical definition? Are you REALLY reaching this hard?

I made an error in not explaining myself more clearly. I should have said it is NOT a medically recognized term. Certainly not recognized in the way naturopathic scammers would have you believe. thank you for giving me that opportunity to clarify. One paper in 1973 used it to describe an entirely different condition related to an infection and heart problems the patient had previously.

Once again Joe, if you are going to post a link, show us you are more then just remarkably lazy and actually read the damned thing so as you can stop embarrassing yourself. Really...this is making you look worse and worse.

Cam, Thunder Bay
January 23, 2011 5:33pm

My wife bought me one of these colon cleaners and I tried it. Got the snake thing happening. I get the skepticism. But I have to say that I tried it because I have "irritable bowel syndrome", which is what doctors tell you when they have no idea why you get the trots periodically. And since using the colon cleaner (3 months ago) I haven't had any issues (this, after years of IBS). So, I understand what Skeptoid is saying, but maybe the kitty litter is actually working? Can someone explain from a medical standpoint why it might have worked in my case? Thanks.

Jph, Minneapolis
January 23, 2011 9:52pm

Yay! Not only has Joe failed to miss my point in the posts I put heree. He missed it REPEATEDLY! So once again, in the simplest possible terms; I have no reason to believe that Joe schmoe really did pass long rubbery poops. Less reason to believe it was a substance that has not been recognised in science outside of Anderson selling cat litter pills. Joe supplied annectdotal evidence that can not be checked. He is an annonymous voice on the internet.

I do however have good evidence of the following;
1) living on syrup and condiments alone for two weeks is not a balanced and healthy diet.
2) lemonade is not "entirely" absorbed into the blood stream.
3) Although the ingredients of "mucoid plaque" are all found in your body, they are not in the form of long rubbery snakes. Amazingly enough pathologists have never found this outside of somebody eating kitty litter. Which appears to help some folks, but only at a rate we would expect from a placebo.

So... IF (note how Im not convinced when I say that Joe?) If you passed a long rubbery arse grape after eating ersatz mucas, it was a product of the food. Not mucoid plaque. And if you think "lemonade" isnt meant to come out of your body like that, seek a real "assclown" doctor for advise. Because what comes out, is what went in, not some imaginary humour of the body. Sheeeeesh. I should have just waved the red flag right?

TomH, Kent, UK
January 23, 2011 10:20pm

Jph, if its one thing that doctors are sure of, its that making a rubbery cast of your intestines does no good, and rubbery snakes are not a medical condition unless putting kitty litter and clay in your gut causes some other damage.

IBS is also related to anxiety as well. It could be a placebo effect. Seeing a dramatic "toxin" coming out of your system may provide the placebo relief you needed. But for sure it is doing no good in there. Dont know for sure but its a reasonable guess.

And Joe....I have to ask....Richard Anderson? Please define for me very carefully which Richrd Anderson make the comment about Mucin. I want to know before I set you up for yet another knockout blow. I was laughing when I looked the name up and what I found almost brought a tear of amusement to my eye :D If this is the guy who "diagnosed" this issue then I am going to have bales of fun with this.

Mucin is a normal product in the system and like anything else comes out in excretion, but nobody has of yet seen it come out in a long rubbery snake of toxins. Mucus is a normal lining of your stomach, in fact it is necessary to move digestion along, facilitate normal digestive process and protect your bowels from the acids in your stomach. Every medico has heard of Mucin and knows what it is.

Mucoid plaque many have heard of as well, and it elicts the proper medical reponse of laughter. You wont find it listed as a condition in ANY reputable, non 100+ year old medical text.

Cam, Thunder Bay
January 24, 2011 7:37am

Jph, conventional doctors will tell you that "the pathophysiology of this syndrome is poorly understood." (1) From the perspective of this mucoid plaque theory, the idea is very simple. The idea is that this mucoid plaque, is either CAUSING IBS by irritating the intestines or is a CONSEQUENCE of IBS itself. It is already a known MODERN (1989) conventional medicine fact that large rubbery blackish/brownish shiny ropes or "snakes" sometimes can come out of IBS patients by themselves (1). Whether it is the cause of IBS or a consequence of IBS, the idea is that cleansing this out can provide either a cure or, if not a cure, then temporary relief. In addition to that MODERN (1989) conventional source (1), you might find this old conventional source (2) interesting, which I spectulate may be describing what we now call IBS. In it, you will find patients getting relief after passing this mucoid plaque.

1. See "Color Atlas of the Digestive System" Pounder, Allison, & Dhillon 1989 page 155. (go to to find library nearest you)

2. Robinsona, Byron, M.D. The Abdominal Brain and Automatic Visceral Ganglia. 1899 pages 210-213

I doubt Tom and Cam will be as informative or helpful to you.

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
January 24, 2011 8:46am

Joe, you have shown that you understood your posted links about as well as your cat does.

I notice every time I speak to one of your points you jump to yet another and claim I was wrong on that new point. Finally deciding to ignore us now? That would do if we still couldnt point out the glaring flaws in your cases. Sadly for you, we can. to a real doctor, one with REAL medical training and see what they say about it. The explanation I gave was based on occams razor, basically a simpler explanation that fits the known data. Might be right, might be wrong, but go ask the people who specialize in the field. Get second opnions in necessary but stay with the field of science medicine. Joes idea of medical incompetence is that all they see is pink tissue. Thats the extent of his medical knowledge of the flaws in medical science.

Joe here is pushing an agenda that he cannot prove, and usually with links hes either providing a misunderstood source, an old source that has no independent backing, or stars like Richard Anderson who cant diagnose a piece of wood, much less a condition in another human being.

Cam, Thunder Bay
January 24, 2011 9:12am

Wow. I whole heartedly recommend you DO read those references from Joe just to see how little resemblence it bares to the "thick rubbery snake" he made such a fuss about before. (You know, when he didn't get the mucoid/mucas joke). On the other hand...

This document: calls it "non-credible concept".

A pathologist ( states the stool could be a blood clot, but refuses to condon the "mucoid plaque" theory.

And when gastroenterologist Douglas Pleskow of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center was asked about waste material sticking to the colon he called it an urban legend. "In reality, most people clear their GI tract within three days." (on the record here:,0,4875078.column)

Most damning is Howard Horchester, of University of New Yorks claim that the websites selling these products are: "abundant, quasi-scientific, and unfortunately convincing to a biologically uneducated public." (

Of course, being actually qualified medical preofessionals, and the last one being a peer review journal, thay are what Joe calls "assclowns".

And see also the two links I posted the other day,(guess they weren't "helpful" to Joe).

Tom H, Kent, UK
January 24, 2011 11:01am

Tom, you said "wow" those two references I just gave bares little resemblence to a "thick rubbery snake". Every one can see that reference 2 says:

"The mucous masses may be transparent like slime, or opaque like fibrin, of a grayish white, or a dirty color with pigment in it. Sometimes the masses consist of large, wide and THICK LEATHERY-like membranes; at other times, LONG ribbon-like bands or ROPE-like coils. . .Chemical examination reveals mucin, or mucin-like material, as the chief constituent.”

Reference 1 has a full color photograph that looks exactly like those pictures of a "thick rubbery snake".

This proves with absolute certainty to everyone here that you can't even make simple observations or you have very poor verbal comprehension skills.

Tom Kent, all the links you gave are nothing but opinions from assclowns. Opinions are not scientific evidence. One link you gave doesn't talk about mucoid plaque at all but rather gives a distorted history about autointoxication. For a balanced and accurate history about autointoxication read:

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
January 24, 2011 5:36pm

Joe if you believe seriously that doctors operate from opinions alone......sigh....I seriously begin to either doubt your intelligence or sanity.

You obviously do not understand how scientific evidence works either and yet have the temerity to present links...which you then misinterpret horribly.

And tell me are NOT going to expect us to once again believe a guy who was born in 1854. Colonic irrigation was a fad back then that by 1910 was dropped by the medical field due to its being unhelpful and in some cases harful or fatal.

They were openly practicing this mucoid business at the time because the science did not know any better Joe. That was over 100 years ago. Get real. Medicine - and i know this is a slight surprise to you - has.... :O .... ADVANCED omg!

Also, stop being a hypocrite and calling doctors assclowns when you depend on the view of one to suport your flawed statement however misinformed he was back then. Due to the lack of knowledge at the time that treatment was like any other, almost total guesswork.

Challenge: I want you to come up with current (I mean within the last 5 years) reputable medical journals stating discussing the existence of mucoid plaque. Technology is so far advanced today that if mucoid plaque exists (and it doesnt) they will have found it. Then I want you to read those articles closely for once. Weight the evidence pro and con. see what happens.

I dare you.

Cam, Thunder Bay
January 24, 2011 6:30pm

So what Joe is saying that as long as you ignore the photograph that we all recognise as the one that has been "debunked" over the last twenty years, and wilfully misinterpret all the "or"s as "ands" then the bookdescribes something that COULD look like what he described. If those "or" were "and", and the pesky "AT OTHER TIMES" had not got in the way...

Dang, my posts offered opinions? What in the two peer review articles I linked to? Including the one that pointed out why colonic cleansing could be a dangerous fad? Im pretty sure that featured irrigation as well. Man the cereal tycoon has a lot to answer for. Still nice to see joe lingering in the years that mercury was used to treat syphilis... that is cutting edge right there.

TomH, Kent, UK
January 24, 2011 10:25pm

You pseudoskeptics have made logical fallacies into an art form.

Cam, you set up a “straw man” argument by falsely claiming that Richard Anderson says that mucin, epithelium cells, bacteria, plasma proteins, and digested food (his definition of mucoid plaque) looks like rubbery snakes on the intestines. He makes himself clear that it changes color, shape and texture when it dislodges from the intestinal wall. Mucus and other substances are known to do that. So you demanding that I show recent scientific evidence of "rubbery snakes" on the intestines rather than simply mucin, epithilium cells, bacteria, plasma proteins, and digested food is childish and simplistic.

Tom, your "or" and "and" etc. grammar analysis is truly over the top pathological nit-picking. Mucoid plaque is said to come in different shapes and textures to begin with. But to obsess over such insignificant grammar is truly psychotic.

You both seem to be big on credentials, yet that colonoscopy video that you mocked (1) was made by Hiromi Shinya, a gastroenterologist with impressive credentials as you can see on wikipedia, etc.. He has been both professor at prominent medical schools as well as pioneer of modern colonoscopic techniques. His credentials surpass the loser gastroenterologists you cited.


Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
January 25, 2011 12:06am

Yes, reading the text as written and not as a description that matches what Joe himself described was the ONLY manifestation of Mucoid Plaque is nit picking. *sigh* So does that mean that mucoid plaque can actually have a mucas like consistency after all? Well I look forwards to the inevitable appology from Joe for his reactions to my previous joke about the "mucoid" consistency of syrup, now he has apparently decided it can be like mucas.

Ah, some more hypocricy. Joe thinks doctors are "ass clowns", except the ones who happen to be selling something. In the case of Dr Shinya, you would be hard pushed to claim his creditentials "eclipse" those of the doctors in my references. Unless his residency at Beth Israeli was somehow better than the other doctors there, like the one I linked to above? So lets dig deeper. Is the science objective? Nope. It's a sales pitch for diets and products. A quack with credentials is still a quack. Does the science outweigh the evidence against? The ample critique of his claims and products is evidence enough that the argument is not convincing.

Ah so we have equally qualified "loser" doctors who apparently know nothing, compared to a doctor who is making a sales pitch on you tube. Not a peer review article, a sales pitch.

TomH, Kent, UK
January 25, 2011 3:12am

Joe, why I was laughing when I saw that name is that the only Anderson I saw commenting on this stuff was the old actor from the bionic man show back in the 80s. The man has zero credentials. He quite literally has no qualifications to diagnose anything. Probably the wrong guy but if it wasnt I will laugh till I cry :D

As for Shiya, why is he not posting this through journals for review? That should have been a warning right there. WORSE hes making a sales pitch for his "special diet"! WORSE hes pushing kangen water! Individual doctors can be as guilty as ANYONE of giving in to selling garbage to make even more $ as anyone. WORSE he didnt indicate what other specifics went into inproving patients colons.

Does it not occur to you why these "treatments" never make it into standard medical practice? Who wouldnt jump at the chance to make billions on effective new treatments if they REALLY worked? They have been tested by science, they do not work, simple. Lone heroes like yourself are just the misunderstood ones hanging onto a genius secret I suppose ;)

And for gods sakes it was 1968 :P That is far from recent. Also this is not a current repot in a reputable medical journal.

I also suggest you read up on what a straw man really is. I did not reframe your argument into something else that cannot defended, I attacked your argument point by point and shown it cannot be defended.

I seriously love how you shoot docs down then use em when it suits you!

Cam, Thunder Bay
January 25, 2011 7:37am

Ah, I think Lee Majors was the Bionic Man, where as Richard (Dean) Anderson was MacGyver, the mulleted one man A-Team.

As for Straw Man falacies (misrepresenting the comments of others to make them into a ludicrous and easily dissembled target), Joe knows full well how they work. He has several of them in his own posts (the most blatant to me being representing obvious jokes in my own posts as comments that can not be credited).

Shinya, despite his work and qualifications, is a quack. I have no doubt he good work that deserves to be recognised in his career, but they should not be mistaken for his sales pitch. I find it hard to believe that while researching the man, through Wiki as Joe suggested or through Google, the sales pitch is right there, with "the enzyme factor" one of only three links on Wiki, and Kangen water on page one of Google. If you are seriously using the guy as a reference, and haven't noticed the sales pitch, or found the critique of Kangen, his diet, and his online "clinic", then one has to wonder how quickly you stopped looking.

It does not inspire the confidence I would hope in the "objective" side of testing. I can't find any sign of clinical testing, journal articles, or what you might call "conventional evidence" for the claims. Just links to people selling stuff with his name on.

Or equally qualified "ass clowns" who disagree, you know, with evidence and pathology...

Tom H, Kent, UK
January 25, 2011 9:16am

Tom and Cam, "peer reviewed" conventional medicine journals are full of PATENTED drug advertisements. Google this: "Another study that they discuss was printed in the Wall Street Journal in 1992. It revealed that 60% of drug advertisements in medical journals actually violated FDA guidelines, yet the FDA did nothing about those violations." O' yes, a truly “objective” source that is not trying to sell anything. Wouldn't you say?

Cam, I like how you say he is promoting "diet" and "water" as if he has some sort of patent on fruits and vegetables (like GE corn from Monsanto) and water which can only be bought from him. Do you understand how stupid that sounds?

Tom, if you insist on not saving face. . .You said that the “syrup, lemon and cayen” mix looks “mucoid” on the way “IN” and resembles “mucoid plaque” when “passing” out of the intestines. Tom, its called lemonade. The amount of sugar in it is not any more than any other sweet drink. Everyone can see that lemonade drinks don't look “mucoid” and that it is DELUSIONAL, by conventional medicine standards, to think that any sweet drink comes out looking like mucoid plaque. It is true that what you said is an “obvious joke” but there is no pun to indicate that you were “obviously joking” especially when you are still SUGGESTING that lemonade “can be like mucas”. Do you want me to apologize for claiming that your belief is delusional or apologize for not getting your knock knock joke?

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
January 25, 2011 11:38am

You are engaging in a logical fallacy called "the red herring" :D

They said in the video specifically "Dr Shiyas diet" and "Kangen Water". Those arent general proucts, but specific products. He designed a specific diet and is promoting it specifically as well as Kangen in this video. He made this point, I elaborated on it, and you make like I said something neither I or the video said. Nice try but do better.

Do you realize how stupid it sounds when you either dont listen or misinterpret stuff over and over again? :D

And drug advertisements, whatever. You can read the podcast on science magazines and save me some time.

I notice yet again you cant meet the challenge and once again engage in insults and derision without stepping up to the plate and showing current scientific evidence backing your claim. Still waiting...

Cam, Thunder Bay
January 25, 2011 12:49pm

"Tom, if you insist on not saving face. . ." Not at all mate. Feel free to drop the joke I made ages ago any time you like.
"“syrup, lemon and cayen” mix (which is what you described in your first post) looks “mucoid” on the way IN" yes, note you didnt say "Lemonade" or even give an indication of the ratio between syrup and pepper.You didn't mention water, just syrup (a transparent slime like substance). Maple syrup and some pepper mixed in? Sounds like a slimey semi solid to me to me.
" and resembles “mucoid plaque” when “passing” out of the intestines." Nope, I said it MAY resemble Mucoid Plaque out the other side. Now did you not post that mucoid plaque could look like:"transparent like slime", oh yeah, you did on the 24th of Jan. So how is it delusional to think something that you describe being made from syrup (which looks like slime) might resemble "transparent slime" on the way out?... I'm sorry Joe, but it's not my fault you were under the impression that mucoid plaque had only been described one way back then. But alas I was already aware of other descriptions. As you didn't specify WHICH photgraphs, I see no reason why you could not have meant ones of the slimey poop plaque instead of the rubbery kind.
"ou are still SUGGESTING that lemonade “can be like mucas”. " No, as you didn't say "I drunk a lot of lemonade" you said you "have only consumed the maple syrup, lemon, cayenne mixture for the past 13 days". ONLY those. Not water or lemonade.

Tom H, Kent, UK
January 25, 2011 1:25pm

You apparently want me to continue responding to your repeated blatant lies, repeated irrelevant comments, repeated bizarre nit picking and repeated disturbed logic. At first I thought you were serious about what you say but now it is obvious that I have been suckered into conversing with a couple of what are called "internet trolls" looking for some kicks.

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
January 25, 2011 3:22pm

Feel free to not provide solid backing for your claims Joe. You present erroneous infomation willfully here, you will get called on it.

Colonic irrigation and mucoid plaque is a farce long discredited by medical science. As of yet you have not even been able to present evidence that does not fall apart with minor scepticism, much less anything that withstands seriously rigorous analysis.

Seems you have to fully resort to personal attacks now. I assume this is about as far as you can go :D

Cam, Thunder Bay
January 25, 2011 4:16pm

Ah yes.My blatant lies and trolling. That would be when I said a gooey mix of lemon, pepper and syrup could not possibly look like mucas, on the way in or out? Or when I changed my mind and said it lemonade (you know... a liquid! As I somehow forgot to mention that before)? Or that "lemonade" is entirely absorbed into the bloodstream? Or that 14 whole hours is not long enough to as a 10 second question of a medical professional i may happen to know? Or wait, here is the best one, when I insisted somebody is delusional because they said what you poop is what you eat, and annectdotal evidence from an annonymous claim on the internet is pretty much worthless... thos "blatant lies and nitpicking"? But YOU said all that Joe. Not me. I was happy to drop the subject when I pointed out you were missing the purely humourous point.

I don't expect or want you to keep returning to the mucas thing. I even said so repeatedly; it was a joke you missedthe point of. I have no reason to believe any story of your poop as it is an annecdote you have no evidence for. But, given a common description of M-P was a transparent like substance, hey we can apply occams razor and assume some truth. We can also apply basic logic: If your colon was blocked by a rubber snake you would not be able to pass at all. There would be no room for food waste to shuffle past the blockage. Ergo, there is a limited timespan when the "blockage" formed, so it must be something you ate, and not a longterm build up.

TomH, Kent, UK
January 25, 2011 9:57pm

Sorry that wasnt the bionic man himself Richard Anderson, it was Lee Majors boss in the movie. Still hilarious to use him in a medical discussion.

Cam, Thunder Bay
January 26, 2011 7:35am

Joe Schmoes amazing moving goalposts are actually kind of amusing. Take this from one of his earlier posts:
"MDs are incompetent assclowns." Ah, all very clear, but wait:"Hiromi Shinya, a gastroenterologist with impressive credentials as you can see on wikipedia," So, MDs are incompetent assclowns, but we should all acknowledge Shinyas authority as Doctor. Of Medicine. He has gone from calling doctors Assclowns to playing Top Trumps with qualifications.

Then there is the (many) posts when I am dilusional, stupid, and so forth for thinking mucoid plaque can look like anything other than "rubbery mass", "rubber ropes" and so forth. Until he posts "evidence" that lists several forms this supposed ailment can take:"The mucous masses may be transparent like slime, or opaque like fibrin, of a grayish white, or a dirty color with pigment in it. Sometimes the masses consist of large, wide and THICK LEATHERY-like membranes; at other times, LONG ribbon-like bands or ROPE-like coils. . .Chemical examination reveals mucin, or mucin-like material, as the chief constituent.” Right, so it is rubber ropes, except when it isn't. Oh wait, yes it is it "changes form" when it leaves the wall of the intestine. So, er, it really is ONLY in the form of rubbery snakes EVEN THOUGH HIS OWN EVIDENCE SAID OTHERWISE.

And now an experiment: Mix syrup and pepper and a lemon in a bowl. Looks like lemonade? Nope. Mine looks like syrup with some lemon in, and flecks of pepper. Like mucas infact. LOL.

Tom H, Kent, UK
January 26, 2011 9:20am

Tom, you claimed that my 1989 source and 1899 source have both been “debunked.” This is a lie. No critic has ever even mentioned these sources let alone disproved or explain them scientifically. This proves that you do not even know what disproving or “debunking” means.

Gaast claims that conventional “waste modelling” has advanced soooo much yet you cannot provide one scientific study published anywhere ever of psyllium, fiber, or sweet drinks coming out looking like mucoid plaque despite literally thousands of studies published on these substances. Either it is not true or conventional medicine is not really advanced enough to make a judgement about the mucoid plaque theory.

That youtube video is confirmation that all those conventional doctors that say that all they ever see are “pink tissue” are careless or disingenuous and is a demonstration of how it is possible for “all those doctors” to be not trustworthy enough to “see” it. Your very bizarre nit-picking about that 1899 source is further confirmation of how it is possible for conventional doctors to be too incompetent or disingenuous to even visually recognize mucoid plaque in its classic dramatic form.

And Tom, thank you for pointing out that one should not trust sources that are making a “sales pitch” because all those “peer review” journals you like to worship are loaded with drug advertisements.

P.S. The “master cleanse” has lots of water in it with no more sugar than any other sweet drink. So stop lying.

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
January 26, 2011 12:29pm

Joe :D You lavishly accuse others of what you have miserably failed to do yourself. How about walking the walk before talking the talk?

Current evidence from medical journals....still waiting for them....

Cam, Thunder Bay
January 26, 2011 12:37pm

Master Cleanse may have any amount of water in it. But that doesnt change what Joe claimed to have consumed: "only" syrup, lemon and cayenne pepper for thirteen days. Apparently I should not have believed his statement.

That he thinks the claims have not been debunked or disproven means joe didn't read any of the links I posted. Most notably the peer review article on dubious old medical practices, such colonic cleansing. Neither has he consulted current pathological texts (as Cam challenges him to do constantly) or read many of the pop-science books covering such subjects. Bad Science by Ben Goldacre features a look at Mucoid Plaque, andits lack of supporting science, as well as testing some colon cleansing products under clinical conditions. What Joe obviously means is nobody happened to mention those two books imparticular. Nope. They mentioned the science and "evidence" those sources were based on instead. The primary sources. Why would research disprove a colour atlas of the gut, instead of the theories simplified in such a book? Guess what; Debunked. All those pathologists who have never found evidence of mucoid plaque? That is a primary source. It is looking at actual biopsies. A few minutes on google, following credible sources, shows the science has truly been debunked. Disproven. Found to be flawed. "An urban myth" as the doctor said. No i think it is safe to say the lancet or Bmj were listed in the bibliography of the tests above a textbook...

TomH, Kent, UK
January 26, 2011 2:36pm

Tom, you lied when you said your “links” have scientifically disproven the existance of mucoid plaque.

Tom, google scholar shows a gastrointestinal journal that says “Early super- ficial zones of infarction may be covered by a mucoid plaque”. Is this what you meant by spending a few minutes on google?

Cam, you lied when you said “the link mentions mucoid plaque” but “the paper itself mentions no such thing”. Cam, you were looking at just the sample page 537. That quote is on another page of the journal.

Cam, you said “the mucous would have perhaps hardened into a sort of plaque which faciitated the ulcers [or “dead tissue”] he was currently suffering from.” Thank you Cam. You just described a mucoid plaque on the intestinal walls facilitating a health problem. One of your favorite assclown pathologists from said that “[mucus] does not form into any type of plaque” and is a “complete fabrication with no anatomic basis.”

Cam, Dr. Richard Anderson, N.D. says that it does not look like “long rubbery strings of goo” until it dislodges from the intestinal wall. You are setting up a “straw man” by saying it does. It is a well known fact that bodily substances, including mucin, undergo chemical and mechanical changes. Blood clots don't look like blood for example.

Tom, the person you are referring to is “EJ, Istanbul” not “Joe” and you are jumping on an obvious typo because he/she refers to Burroughs's master cleanse. You are manipulative.

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
January 27, 2011 11:33am are drawing medical opinions from a N.D.? Thats all I needed to hear. Naturopaths have zero medical training and are known to often cause as much harm as they do placebo effects for people. They are quite simply a joke talking about internal medicine when they have no relevant training.

Far more ppl die or suffer harm as a result of N.D. treatment then any by real medicine.

And I made a conjecture based on what the article hinted at but did not say. Last I checked mucoid plaque by the scammers definition was the long ropy goop of intestinal toxins.

The doctors in the 1973 article used the term only as a descrption of a space of deadened tissue in the colon which had nothing to do with leftover fecal matter or other such "toxic substance". The cause by their own words was due to a heart condition affecting other bodily systems. Once again you are reading stuff into what I said that wasnt there. Very bad habit to get into and I will call you on your attempts to lie and scam every time.

Why are you being so utterly hypocritical by saying doctors are assclowns, then depending on their words? Also you are taking what they say and reframing it into something you want to hear. That is the definition of straw man. I suggest you re-read the fallacies podcasts and become better informed.

So once again, where are the current medical sources? Having a bit of trouble finding them are we?

Cam, Thunder Bay
January 27, 2011 11:58am

Cam, you lied again when you said "far more ppl die or suffer harm as a result of N.D. treatment then any by [conventional treatment]." The statistics show just the opposite, Cam.

Cam, you lied again when you said they used "mucoid plaque" to mean "deadened tissue". It says "infarction", which you have already previously admitted means dead tissue, is "COVERED BY A" mucoid plaque. The word "infarction" is the term they use for deadened tissue not "mucoid" which has a different definition.

Cam, you lied again when you said "the cause [of the deadened tissue] by their own words was due to a heart condition affecting other bodily systems." It says no such thing, Cam.

Cam, you are repeating the lie that Dr. Richard Anderson, N.D. says that mucoid plaque looks like “long rubbery strings of goo” when it is on the intestinal wall.

All this proves that you are a liar and you can't comprehend medical literature.

Joe Shmoe, Portland, Maine
January 27, 2011 12:46pm

Cam lied eh? The statistics say the opposite? How strange:

Just the first, of many papers I could find that state a simple fact:Patients who use alternative cancer treatments have a poorer survival time, even after controlling for type and stage of disease.

Oh look this paper also disagrees with Joes statement: Apparently individuals who spend large amounts of time and money on ineffective treatments may be left with precious little of either, and may forfeit the opportunity to obtain treatments that could be more helpful. In short, even innocuous treatments can indirectly produce negative outcomes.

And here is one that says hose who have experienced or perceived success with one alternative therapy for a minor ailment may be convinced of its efficacy and persuaded to extrapolate that success to some other alternative therapy for a more serious, possibly life-threatening illness:

So Cam "lied" by doing some research and giving a balanced summary of easily established facts. Then he lied again by quoting accurately from Joes own sources. Because yes, what Cam says was in the linked document, was.

What a funny definition of the word "lie" Joe seems to have.Perhaps if Joe had read the article on Google Scholar, he would have seen the definition of their "mucoid plaque" differs from the one he advocates.

Tom H, Kent, UK
January 27, 2011 1:22pm

Joe read the post right below your last little tirade to see the stats. Tom, nicely concise.

Then once again accuse me of lying :D

Another tip, Joe if you accuse somebody of lying, also have evidence to back that up. So far almost your entire string of posts are nothing but vagie insults, vague and varying descriptions of this mucoid plaque, and misunderstood and misinterpreted links.

At least in your last post you could have provided something....anything to support your CAM YOU LIED post. But instead once again you didnt.

Still waiting on those current journals supporting your plaque business from reputable medical science sources.

Cam, Thunder Bay
January 27, 2011 1:52pm

It seems strange that Joe would make his statement about finding a paper on Google Scholar that happens to include the words "mucoid plaque" and assume that is an automatic vindication of the theory he advocates. Lots of papers happen to describe something as "mucoid plaque", it just bares little resemblance to the substance or science Anderson describes.

Look back at the "colur atlas" description. He accused me of over analysing words like "or" and "at other times" by reading them. You have to do an injustice to the authors and assume they meant a lot of "ands" to make joes description fit. Yet he is sure it must support him.

There is no clinical evidence for the "rubber snake" being. Formed from anything but kitty litter. Mucin is a substance any doctor able to perform a biopsy both recognises and understands. That there is no observable evidence of it transforming from snot to cavity wall foam, even in the you tube videos, or that it is currently recognised by doctors (with you colon self cleansing in three days) and with mucin excreted elsewhere from the body with out expanding its volume many fold, and with anderson being a naturopath (making his credentials dubious in the game top trumps Joe was playing)... we can afford to be overly generous to joe and say "even if future studies accept mucoid plaque as a possibility it is different from the model of condition you advocate".

TomH, Kent, UK
January 27, 2011 10:04pm

Acuped thermal pads offer natural detoxification and help with heavy metal removal...use Detox Foot Pads and stay healthy

Detox Foot Pads, usa
January 29, 2011 3:09am

So, when you say they help with heavy metal removal you are suggesting that when I suffer from a life threatening ailment that is thankfully incredibly rare, and is normally helped only by a life threatening tratment like chelation those pads will help then? And that will help me stay healthy?

Do you know what "heavy metal removal" or "healthy" or, er, "natural" mean? Or were those words thrown together based on what gets the most google hits?

TomH, Kent, UK
January 29, 2011 3:33am

I have a sneaking suspicion that was a troll Tom :D They read the podcast and then say this as an adverstisement?

Cam, Thunder Bay
January 29, 2011 4:41pm

Your article is nothing more than an anti marketing agent - in my opinion you're article is no better than the very thing your debunking.

More lies and unfounded statements to cure lies and unfounded statements.

Go back to school and learn something and then write an INFORMATIVE something or other you feel like with some respect and without emotion.

Chris, Eindhoven
February 1, 2011 8:18am

And in my opinion, getting people to look at the science behind the marketing and ask if it has been proven effect by suitable clinical trials is what is needed. I notice Chris hasn't pointed out which statements are "Lies and unfounded statements", so lets assume Mr Dunning did go back to school. What would an informative "something or other you feel like" would sound like?

Well,at school, in Science class, the only topic that applies here, we would learn the importance of clinical trials and evidence. We would learn to place the products under basic experimental trials to see how they would act. (Oh look, Ben Goldacre did just that in one of the listed sources. How very like him...)And what do those trials show? Cat Litter pills produce rubber snake poop in any given colon, and have nothing to do with mucoid plaque. Footpads turn brown and "detox" anything moist, and don't absorb toxins.Salt water baths "work" if your feet are in them or not. (Seriously, you can try these at home if you think they are "lies").

So by pointing out things that DONT WORK erm, dont work, Brian D, who charges nothing for his podcast is "worse" than people who do charge for things that don't work....

I have to say I completely disagree.

Tom H, Kent, UK
February 1, 2011 8:32am

"Acuped thermal pads offer natural detoxification and help with heavy metal removal"

Why don't they use them on people with Argyria (irreversible skin condition)caused by Colloidal Silver.

They could really use some detoxification and heavy metal removal.

Using quackery to solve quackery
How ironic.

I actually knew someone who actually used to drink Colloidal Silver

I thought it was the dumbest thing I ever did see, and that was when I was naive

justin white, Perth / Australia
February 2, 2011 6:47am

Oh... The PSV supporter is mine...

Whilst I have been giving Brian a bit of a bashing lately over (my) percieved double standards, you cannot accuse him of ignorance when it comes to scam artists, rippoff artists or make believe medicine.

If ANY dutch person has learned that alterntive medicine or malpractice is acceptable, s/he would not have learned that at school. The dutch eduation ystem rocks... the dutch gullibility and pragmatism sucks. Some times a few get left behind.

I must admit, my former countryfolk have a percentage of gullible dolts that display a level of stoic ignorance that is amasing... far more impresive than the creationists or the apologists of the USA bent.

The fact is, not a single alt modality claim has ever been shown to work (yada yada... how often do I have to say this) NCCAMs cannot claim one.

The sad thing is, what appears to be alt med can only be verified by science.

You choose; science based medicine or magic.

Wat de boer niet ken, fretter net!

Tom, playing the EBM card is almost a logical fallacy. You can make homeopathy look good given the right trial. Please be a bit more circumspect in your argument. EBM uses great stat and mostly gets poor stats (ask any med math).

The amusing thing is, SGU argues this as a point of convenience on a regular basis. Its only that (drool) Rebecca who gets it in perspective. I think she has a super computer in her head at times.

Henk van der Gaast, Sydney, Australia
February 8, 2011 8:36am

Skepticblog had a great write up on that very thing Henk. The nature of research means there will always be a few which lean towards the questionable stuff, and a lot of scams tend to ignore the vast majority of dissenting studies and pick those few that seem to suggest as vindication of their scam. A lot of ppl thus get fooled by seeing homeopathy supported by a study. They end up not looking at the aggregate of studies which almost entirely lean on the "no effect" side of the matter.

Cam, Thunder Bay
February 8, 2011 10:52am

If you mix psyllium husk powder with bentonite clay put it in a colon cleanse with a few other herbs the results are the rope like "so called" mucoid plaque as seen in photographs on the Internet.

It is a scam, people are actually believing this is what comes out of them. If you check the ingredients the cleanse have psyllium and bentonite in them.

To test this for yourself simple put a few teaspoonfuls of psyllium husk powder into water, leave for half an hour and spoon it out. Same effect. Except it has not gone through a digestive system.

Psyllium is a wonderful fiber if taken with lots and lots of water (if not you can get very constipated with it) Bentonite Clay is wonderful to, especially for drawing out toxins. But please not together in a colon cleanse.

We have been assisting people for the last 15 years with colon health. We make up our own colon cleanse and get great results, but we would never add psyllium! Wake up people!

Sarah Cooper, NSW Australia
February 14, 2011 3:38am

"Bentonite Clay is wonderful to, especially for drawing out toxins".

After everything we have went through in this forum, reading the podcast above, and even discussing this issue with various MDs, I want to just hang my head and cry after reading this yet again :P

There is no "drawing out toxins" that a cleanse will do for you.

Cam, Thunder Bay
February 14, 2011 8:13am

Especially when you have just admitted the same effect on which this theory is based, is a con that gives the same effect with or with out the presence of gastric juices which apparently contain the toxins.

The key meechanism, the presence of the "toxins" to be drawn out, and the evidence of toxins having been drawn out, are still severly lacking.

A good example is the thing Mike was saying some time ago about the peptin in an apple heavy diet helping remove toxic fluoride. (Sorry Mike mangled your example a little there to simplify, not intending any insult). If this were true, and the peptin aided the release of fluoride in either urine or stool, we should be able to test for it. people who eat a set number of apples should have more fluoride in their passings than the control group.

I have been able to find no evidence of this, or other common examples for footpads, colon cleansing, colonic irrigation, or what ever. No clinical evidence that people had less toxins in their urine, blood, sweat, or other testable mediums before the detox than after.

So how can we claim any toxins were removed?

Tom H, Kent, UK
February 14, 2011 10:07am

I knew a nurse who swore by this stuff. She told me all about the toxins it removed. And how much healthier and weller she was.

Pity it didn't remove fat, she was also obese

justin white, Perth / Australia
February 16, 2011 5:26am

And there are doctors that will tell you Homeopathy is a valid medicine, it does not change the testable evidence. As long as they didn't offer advice on detox as part of their clinical work does it matter?

Tom H, Kent, UK
February 16, 2011 8:32am

Even though a "true believer" won't accept what I say, I try to dissuade people from wasting their time, money and perhaps health on nonsense such as "detox" and "reflexology." Your article has given me some additional talking points; thanks.
I sometimes tell True Believers that at least the program can create the illusion that they're doing something that might be helpful, and this illusion can help to relieve stress and thereby make them feel better (at least for the moment), but that I can get the same effect by petting a cat or taking a warm shower, and these activities don't cost me $50 a pop.

jackie runyan, Ames, Iowa
February 18, 2011 11:25am

BUT.. I watched a show (The Spa of Embaressing Illnesses, UK show) and after a detox diet of only liquids and enemas for 3 days, the patients were passing this plaque substance.

serena, ireland
February 27, 2011 5:03am

a diet of "only" liquid enemas? They ATE through an enema?

And passing something you are told is "plaque", and actually passing "mucoid plaque" are two very different things. You would expect some bulky poops after irregation, you are washing out things that are mid way through digestion.

Tom H, Kent, UK
February 27, 2011 7:00am

What about the fact that a study commissioned in 2004 by the EWG found 232 Toxic Chemicals in babies umbilical cords?

John Hopkins study completed 2/06 conducted over a 5 month period found 298 out 300 babies tested for PFOA

since ww2 - 85,000 new chemicals have been released in the environment - none of which are tested on children- half of which have been tested on adults.

Spend some time on the website -

of course there are shotty products and practitioners out there- but that goes with everything in life. The fact remains - joking about an issue and saying that the body can handle it- is a lie.

Mark, Melbourne
March 1, 2011 4:31pm

Mark thats known as a Red Herring. Nice try but you have to be a tad more subtle then that to make it work.

Cam, Thunder Bay
March 1, 2011 5:45pm

Nice non sequitor mark. Even if you proved toxins were dangerously high in any given proof that has no baring on the effectiveness of any removal method.

TomH, Kent, UK
March 2, 2011 5:38am

The Artilce by Brian above must be the most silly and idiotic article ever. Obviously, he has no idea wha he is talking about. Of course detox works. And of course our bodies are filled with harmful chemicals from the air, the food, etc, that we consume. And the pads do work especially those from a reutale manufacturer. If you want to write something, please do proper research first. At the very least, try the pads first.

Dr. John Chong, MD, Arizona
March 2, 2011 10:57pm

So Dr Chong, can you refer me to the clinical trials that show the pads work?

Tom H, Kent, UK
March 3, 2011 5:06am

Yes actually an actual physician would have known to provide evidence of a claim. I have to call bullsh*t on this one.

Brian descibes the mechanism by which the pads work, if you have something better "Dr." Chong then put up or drop the baloney medical title.

Cam, Thunder Bay
March 3, 2011 5:40am

I would have thought an MD to know we don't "consume" air or particles from the air. But still, if Chong wants to back his claims up with clinical evidence (as I am sure they don't like malpractice out in Arizona) he is welcome to.

Tom H, Kent, UK
March 5, 2011 11:07am

"If you want to write something, please do proper research first. At the very least, try the pads first."

Okay. Why don't you start? A doctor should know more about biology--specifically, "the dose makes the poison" and that there is no mechanism for pulling toxins out via the feet. Why don't you provide us with some medical reason why these pads work, rather than simply declaring them to be effective?

And as for the "At least try it first" argument, as a doctor you should certainly know better. A treatment needs some basis before one can even consider human trials. As a scientist you should know that we need a valid theoretical framework before we begin experimentation.

You calling Mr. Dunning's work silly and idiotic, while ignoring the basic principles of the dicipline you say you're part of, is just sad.

Gregory, Alabama
March 8, 2011 8:47am

Of course, you have never done a detox so you don't know the benefits, nor do you understand the bottom line of the medical industry or what a doctor's job is... sell prescription drugs to make a profit from it, or "find" something so that you need to come back and spend more money on overpriced medical treatment. "Medicine" in an INDUSTRY run buy corporations and the goal is to keep people sick, not to cure them. I for one would never go to a MD for any illness, herbal plants and medicines are all that is needed, what the natural earth produces. If you want to detox your body, stop putting toxins into it.

Bob shaw, Los Angeles
March 9, 2011 1:26am

Bob, I dare you to show the medical mechanisms of how these "toxins" work, and what in fact these "toxins" are from those deadly MDs.

I challenge you to step up and show us clearly, unambiguously and without a doubt why we should remove from the null hypothesis on this topic.

And cots make a profit from selling medication? Jeez I didnt know they were supposed to live like priests in enclaves doing stuff for free. Pray tell why do you work your job? make a living?

I fully agree the US medical system is badly broken, but docs like the rest of us are there to make money AND heal people like we all make money for doing our jobs to help others. So thats a moot point.

Glad to be in Canada though. We have longer wait times but by Joe Pesci the costs are minimal to none no matter what the type of care needed. And my health and well being has been maintained on the advice and care of my physician. Not sure what yours was doing.

Cam, Thunder Bay
March 9, 2011 7:00am

I do love the way that people talk about the medical industry as though the entire world follows the same Health Insurance model America (when there is of course, a wide variety of health service models out there). And as though it has any baring on the clinical data itself.

Oh and stop "putting toxins in it" is a great way to detox your body. Especially as the vast majority of the detox treatments "remove" toxins that were not in your body at any point.

Tom H, Kent, UK
March 9, 2011 8:10am

Like consuming raw meat is likely to be a cause of serious illness, raw skepticism is a certain cause of serious ignorance.

Detoxification is part of the normal life cycle. Science, still a human creation safe from the skeptical scalpel, is looking for ways to control and improve this otherwise automatic waste removal process.

Science does not necessarily mean mainstream pharmaceutical industry or Dr. House skeptically correct medicine, both of which believe in brute-force molecular healing. Yes, it works for brute-force bacterial annihilation, thanks God it does.

Fasting is the best detox strategy. It should be done under medical supervision, that is, if you find an MD who knows about it...

Alex, Argentina
March 13, 2011 6:40am

Many people I know who have done a detox claim that they feel many times better when they are on it. They will often claim that the herbs are responsible. The problem is that the detox program also requires them to alter their diet. Hard to determine which treatment is then responsible for the effect.

I'm willing to bet if they would just continue to eat healthier they would get the same benefit without the costly herbal treatments.

Todd, Canada
March 14, 2011 8:33am

Fasting is the best detox strategy?

Who told you that?

Who, in this entire discussion has the claim that any detox other than medical interference is verifiably good for anyone? I only see the rantings of the obsessed.

As far as I know, passing waste products is the best form of "detox".

What Brian said originally is correct. the concept of "detox" is laughable. Who said you had to detox?? What is "detox" and why is detox better than "lifestyle".

I can sell you a "detox" product right now..I know I will make great money from it because folk are suckers for their own views.

Its homeopathic as well!!

I will add that for each breath you take you could possibly you could add .3 if that entire breath in CO@. If you held your breath you could shift your blood pH.

Surely you wouldnt believe that twaddle and then buy medical oxygen to flush out your dissolved gases in your blood.

Detox is alt mod at its very very worse.

If sick, see a doctor.

But for the OCD'rs amongst us..I have naturopathic organic and psychic kidney in a capsule..

Duchess von Zeppelin was reported to have said, "four screaming monkeys will not bear my proud name".

Can you Imagine how Madame du Science feels about alt med?

Whole lotta love..nrrrrr

Henk van der Gaast, sydney, Australia
March 19, 2011 9:38pm

I believe the body has a limit of capability of how much toxins could be eliminated during a period of time. Unhealthy food may create toxin buildups which the body cannot get rid of quickly. When the in and out of toxins are not balanced, extra effort needs to be given as to force the elimination of excess toxins. I'm not talking about detox supplement whatsoever. I'm talking about detox in a very natural way, which is consuming less food and improving the quality of it.

Redian, Jakarta, Indonesia
March 20, 2011 12:14am

Here are some of the toxins the average person has in them. Next time, try and grab the tiniest little clue before speaking.

Anyone with a clue would only care about getting these poisons OUT, not ANALyzing them to death with a doctor who will only then give then MORE poisonous chemicals to swallow.

Your ignorance is astounding. Let's hope you wake up soon.

Someone with a BRAIN, Here
March 20, 2011 12:16pm

"Your ignorance is astounding. Let's hope you wake up soon."

Yeah, lets ask who needs a clue.

Clue 1: That list doesn't prove any Detox method works.

Clue 2: If you cared about getting poisons out you would make sure the method of detox WORKED before you said anything.

Lets assume for a second that was a reliable study. It indicates there are toxins, in statistically insignificant values, in umbilical chords. Now where is the bit where it goes on to prove any method of Detox works. Oh there isn't one. Wow. Evidence of the problem does not prove the pseudo-cure.

If you had a clue you would know that. You would also wonder where the doctors giving you "poisonous chemicals" comes into it.

Never mind, I am sure your vastly superior intellect doesn't need meer facts or figures...

Tom H, Kent, UK
March 20, 2011 2:05pm

There are two common detox methods that have been used for decades and seem to have validity. One is to drink milk after working with hydrocarbons and chemicals in such items as paint, especially spray paint

The other is to drink large amounts of fresh orange juice when giving up smoking

I have heard water is quite useful for clearing out toxins from the body. But its evil looking stuff even if you put an olive or a cherry in it as WCFields suggested. In Australia nature always provides water in the wrong quantity - far too much or far too little

It is very off-putting

Phi, Sydney
March 20, 2011 2:45pm

Phiona, orange juice has methanol in it..and formalfehyde..Oh dear? (not a problem for me tho, I love the additional fructose..Its M, M, MM tasty!)

Its your body that removes cellular waste products in an extremely efficient manner. Its your body that removes digestive waste products in an extremely efficient manner.

Doing something odd or getting a disease or condition will result in something going wrong.

Phiona et al still can't present a condition where a detox regime of a normal human will increase or decrease by taking a planned dose of detox woo.

They can talk about it all they like and place Google links or misinterpreted introductions to EBM articles (with "selective veracity"), but they have to show a series of thought, measurement and experiment that supports any case they present.

Brian really should write a skeptoid appendix on "How to read EB literature for reasonable Skeptoid debate".

Adopting the woo is akin to adopting the Dalai Llama's philosophy on daily life. It sounds good until you read the comments section.

As to Australian climate and water?

Phiona, could it possibly, remotely and consequentially be.. we just expect far too much from the Australian climate and geography? Window watching climate is not an advisable method in science.

Discuss elsewhere toots, this is a detox debate. I see very little supported debate by the pro detox community. Science is everything in their lives. they should use it in such discussion.

Henk van der Gaast, sydney, Australia
March 20, 2011 4:18pm

The problem with the methods Phi suggests is that the evidence they actually remove toxins from your body. Prevention of absorption, in this case, is not removal. But even then the evidence I have seen is some what dubious. By that I mean "Not entirely convincing at all based on the trite studies I could find". No better than the "eat apples for the peptin" talk elsewhere on this thread, nice idea, shame trials don't show any real effect, other than a placebo-esque "feeling better".No increase of toxins expelled in urine, or found in blood.No nice "science" to support the "seems to". The sun seems to move around the earth. It doesn't. The moon seems to stand still. It doesn't.

Water does not "remove" toxins. It keeps your body alive so those clever little internal organs of yours can do it for you.Flushing more water in, does not mean toxins are diluted and flushed out any quicker.

illuminatus, He's behind you!
March 21, 2011 2:53pm

I don't think milk and orange juice are particularly controversial, Illy - but I do agree that pure water is a bit drastic.

I prefer to dilute mine with an appropriate toxin and a dash of ice. Sometimes I throw out the water and it works even better.

I used to live in a a duty free zone. We used London Dry Gin in the windscreen washer fluid reservoir. It was superb for getting the toxic gunk off windscreens although the car used to have trouble keeping a straight course at times

Simpler times - and then some bastard scientist invented the breathalyser and I had children I had to show a good example to.

Phi, Sydney
March 24, 2011 8:12pm

Well I will just say this, I just started using one of these fraudulent items for my colon cleansing. I will continue to use it though since I was gooped into buying a kit for $59. So for the next 30 days call me a science experimental subject. But of course if my results are reported as positive then it was all just "in my head".

Mike R, Gadsden Al
March 25, 2011 7:31pm

Nope Mike, they will be statistically insignificant because there was no control group, and a sample size of one.

Tom H, Kent, UK
March 26, 2011 7:27am

People should look to simple, natural sources for things like detoxing. Here is a great article I came across that is all about the toxins in everyday products and how to naturally detox, it has 3 parts:




<3 & light, Gaia
April 2, 2011 8:08am

Alternatively people could realise that none of these products have a viable method for "detoxing", and no viable evidence. Natural or otherwise.

Tom H, Kent, UK.
April 2, 2011 1:05pm

One could Tom but that might be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. We do have a toxin problem however and it is not surprising desperate people do try to tackle it as a possibility, especially if they just can't seem to get well.

When I was a child we painted using lead paints, our fillings were all mercury amalgams. We built using asbestos sheeting and asbestos cement. I had lead toy soldiers and my cot was painted with lead paint. Many of those toxins are still there. You will still find arsenic in a very old house if you look for it - and then there were the ant and termite insecticides and animal washes since banned

It is very difficult to buy food that does not have a possible poison residue from farming chemicals - some being systemic. Almost no one abides by withdrawal periods or correct use instructions, and all to rarely is food tested and people prosecuted

Remember the days when they pumped growth hormones into cattle and sheep and gave chickens special feeds? They aren't all over yet

So, Tom, I really would not mock peoples disquiet - it reflects the fact that many of us have our lives spoilt by feeling ill day after day. When such people seek treatment they are told they are costing the Health System too much money in its failures to diagnose their illness

You seem to be attacking an attitude - fair enough - but what is your solution for the fact that vastly increasing numbers of people are genuinely ill, seeking treatment and getting NOTHING

Phi, Sydney
April 6, 2011 4:01pm

"When I was a child we painted using lead paints, our fillings were all mercury amalgams. We built using asbestos sheeting and asbestos cement. I had lead toy soldiers and my cot was painted with lead paint. Many of those toxins are still there. You will still find arsenic in a very old house if you look for it - and then there were the ant and termite insecticides and animal washes since banned"

None of which are removed from the body by any detox method advertised for public consumptions or a change of diet.

"You seem to be attacking an attitude - fair enough - but what is your solution for the fact that vastly increasing numbers of people are genuinely ill, seeking treatment and getting NOTHING"

The same advise that should always be given to those who are ill: Seek advise from your doctor.

I am not offering a solution, I am discussing if there is any evidence that any of these detox products work, as claimed or otherwise.

There is not.

"So, Tom, I really would not mock peoples disquiet " I have not mocked anybody. I have suggested that they should realise the evidence behind these products are highly flawed. Please do not make strawmen arguments.

Tom H, Kent UK
April 8, 2011 10:08am

Tom the lead question on this thread is "Everyone wants to "detoxify" their bodies. Is this for real?"

Taking the leader question as starting point the question itself can be taken as "is this demand for detoxification real? does it work?"

My answer is that it is a very real problem and people are in fact quite desperate because millions of people feel constantly ill. Many also react badly to some of all foods. Here in Australia we have the worst percentage of allergy and food sensitive children in the developed world. Asthma here is on the rampage - people seek answers. Toxins is an idea they fix on because of the sheer burden of chemical crap they ingest

it is a a little hard to get medical answers when some medical F-wit decides a patient is too hard (or too poor) to treat, and hives them off to a psychologist with little or no medical training - who thereby gets a patient who is particularly profitable because he or she is "incurable " through psychology or counselling and pay become a "permanent client". Its a racket and people are finally seeing through it- Which is why I upset a few people with vested interest here!

Desperate people often seek desperate solutions - that is why they turn to what quite probably ARE fraudulent methods

The core of the problem is that the practice of medicine is a shambles. You need private insurance often to get any treatment

The situation is a disgrace. And psychology and psychiatry often make it worse!

Phi, Sydney
April 8, 2011 2:35pm

The demand for "detox" is real. The idea of "detox" is a marketing fantasy. None of the consumer products or life styles marketed as detox can be shown to work, and most can not even give a viable mechanism for how they would work.

Your political agenda is way off topic. As usual you have decided you know better than doctors, psychologists, or anybody else. And as usual youi have decided that anybody who disagrees here has a vested interest.

You really should try to put your personal agenda to one side and stick to the topic as stated.

Illuminatus, the land of reason.
April 8, 2011 10:35pm

Now let's have a look for the grounds for your rudeness Illy in my post. In your first paragraph you are actually agreeing with me that the demand is real. Since I have not claimed the products referred to work there is no disagreement in the second sentence

In my post I told you from bitter personal experience just how badly the clients on which psychologists and psychiatrists depend, feel about how they are being treated - especially by those with no formal preceding physical medical qualification. To put it bluntly (since you are setting the level of rudeness Illy) many of them are behaving like parasites on the sick and on the health budget and like exorcists do more harm than good. That is how we FEEL

Psychologists do even more damage elsewhere with their involvement in the recruiting, disciplining and in some cases advising (if you can call it that ) of the work force . In this role they are often management whores justifying appalling wages and conditions and lack of opportunity.

The problem of psychology is that it has lost its progressive roots and become just another area of class exploitation. In a previous generation they were at the forefront of the fight against Fascism - Freud lost three sisters in the gas chambers. He and his daughter were arrested and his books burned. A brave and mighty profession has fallen into disrepute. Shame - for shame!

As to personal agenda Illy you attack - I only respond

Phi, Sydney
April 8, 2011 11:32pm

Let's see just how much the concept of detoxification is a "marketing fantasy" as Illy calls it.

In fact the term has long been in use in drug and alcohol abuse treatment alone - let alone elsewhere. "Detox centres" exist in Australia and in America in many large cities for the purpose of harm minimalisation. It is a MEDICAL term from traditional medicine!

Detox is in fact the first step for many people to getting proper physical treatment for both substance abuse and physical illness. If that to the psychology supporters is a marketing fantasy so be it - but just for a moment take a look at the rubbish the psychosomatic lobby in medicine puts out and just how much harm "psychosomatic" garbage caused Agent Orange Sufferers, Gulf War Syndrome sufferers and CFS/CFIDS/FM sufferers - granting an excuse for physical treatment to be denied - thousands of loyal veterans have committed suicide for lack of proper treatment

The IAIYH lobby should be very ashamed of their own unscientific attitudes which often seem to be about poaching patients and making a good living for themselves

I've stirred the possum on this and I am not sorry - I have seen the damage being done

Time a few things on the medical looney fringe were indeed put in order! Start with psychosomatic medicine in the hands of only psychologists who really are only partially qualified physical medicos (or not at all!

Ray Wilson, outer mongolia
April 9, 2011 9:06pm

None of which proves that any of these detox products work. You can list as many toxins, scare words and references to agent orange as you like; detox is not a medical term, and none of these products work.

When you have finished spewing ill informed rants, and wish to post some evidence let me know.

Illuminatus, reptoid mountain
April 10, 2011 3:42am

Disciplinary problem Illy - I don’t want to drag out the longer Oxford Dictionary complete with magnifying glass but the word detox is an abbreviation of “detoxification” a noun derived from the verb detoxify. This word was in use in 1905

Detoxify is an adjustment made to the former term - with identical meaning - which is “detoxicate”

This word was in use between 1865 and 1870, so it was indeed a medical term not a modern commercial product term

The “ill informed rant” (Illy’s term) - as usual, I’m afraid is from Illy himself, who directed the following at a fellow poster who does not share his opinion “When you have finished spewing ill informed rants...”

Since this is the umpteenth personal attack directed at the same person (as Phi informed the line immediately Ray IS Phi) I call for Illuminatus to be suspended temporarily from this list for consistently breaching the rules related to personal attacks

No Sceptics line can survive the constant attacks on its purpose and undermining of its forum. I had hoped this behavioural problem could have been dealt with through direct replies from the victims of the abuse but this bullying online is getting worse to the point of sabotage

I think I have made the point clearly enough that there is a severe security and moderating problem here. We can’t have astroturfing and bullying. I think I have demonstrated that and I can close the file on that and leave it to the lines moderators to fix. Monbiot has similar problems

Phi, Sydney
April 10, 2011 4:47pm

Dear Illy

i think we can safely say that you and I will get this line moderated one way or another.

It doesn't matter if it's me that moderated first or you, together we will have achieved a good result! Be proud

I think one of the major problems in medicine is the move from describing a person as having a problem that is psychosomatic to using the term "Somatoform disorder". I think the editors of Manuals such as "The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association" need to go back and take a close look at how this idea of "Somatoform disorder" is being utilised outside of fully qualified medical practice and especially in the field of non medically qualified psychology

Psychology carved out a new empire of patients moving from life counselling to what is effectively diagnosis. The clients don't realise that the Psychologist isn't actually qualified to diagnose

The call for detoxification is a call for help with a physical problem. Desribing it as "somatotorm disorder" is simply crap medicine and needs to be stopped, by getting patients back to having their health care monitored by properly qualified doctors instead of by psychologists and exorcists.

Somatoform disorder is a cover up for something being definitely wrong in the patient or the environment.. IAIYH is bosh of the highest order.

Thanks again Illy for helping bringing the Skeptoid lines problem to the urgent attention of their IT and moderator staff.

Phi, Australia
April 10, 2011 5:40pm

1None of which is relevant Phi. You have not shown that there is any viable mechanism for, or recognised medical use for the term "detox". Either as yourself or as "ray".

The subject has no connection to your personal views on psychology. Either the term has medical recognition or it does not. In the manner described by the podcast and popular conception, it does not. In medicine the term is redundant as if you are having a toxin removed it will be through a specific method with its own recognised term.

Tom H, Kent, UK
April 10, 2011 11:38pm

Relevant to what Tom???

If you want to dispute the medical use of the terms detox, detoxify and detoxicate you will have to argue with those using them medically since at least 1870

I believe Canterbury (just up the road) has a detox centre for drug and alcohol abusers- maybe you could drop in there and check if it is a medical term

Short of a lobotomy I can't actually see how I can get anything into or out of your head, Tom, mate. I try but there seems to be a comprehension barrier

Maybe its too much Plato

Its hard work being a sceptic and standing up for scientific truth - and progress. As the lady hedgehog put it "much as I love you all there are just too many pricks at times"

Phi, Sydney
April 11, 2011 4:06am

Well technically what Canterbury has is an addiction rehabilitation centre. But even if it were a "detox" centre, that would only prove the point Tom made that the word is not used in the manner described by the podcast.

Lobotomies are used for removing things from the brain Phi. The term means removal of a lobe, and is for restricting brain function. If this is the height of your medical knowledge it may explain why you have trouble understanding what was actually said. Or you are making a straw man argument. Neither is flattering for you.

Clinics such as the Priory are not about removing toxins from the body, they are about treating the effects of addiction. Two entirely different beasts. Even then the term detox does not seem to be the term recognised by medical authorities for the process.

I would suggest that, once again, "aunty" Phi is going to great lengths to deliberately not understand the statements being made by other posters. Oh and Phi, your personal attack would be noted if any body gave a frig.

Illuminatus, reptoid mountain
April 11, 2011 7:03am

Phi would seem to be ignoring the disambiguation intentionally. A detoxification clinic of the kind she describes will not perscribe "detox" products, but will perscribe set regimes; chelation, dialisis, antedotes and anti venoms. It is however not going to do so for idealogical reasons of "what people are screaming out for".

The key difference being that a detoxification process has to prove it meets medical standards, where as "detox" regardless of the origins of the word, is not subject to control. It is, as i said a fantasy of marketing, and the distinction is key.

Few of the processes Phi describes and advocates are comparable to the medical use of detoxification. Those with tangental claims, such as hydrotherapy resorts, fell into the private alt-med band long ago. Dietry change rarely changes the detoxification process from what a body is capable of alone.

Recognising a disambiguation of the term does not suddenly, magically, make cat litter pills, fad diets, footbaths or any consumer product effective by association. Nor does it validate an ideaology about what constitutes a healthy origin of a vegtable.

Tom H, kent uk
April 12, 2011 5:26am

Now suddenly detox IS a scientific term, Tom. Oh well at least I got something into someones head without recourse to a brace and bit

Oh and Illy I came across the use of detoxification in relation to the centre up the road from Tom by putting words into Google. I generally find it best to check even those things I know to be true

Of course you could apologise for you attacks on me (this time caused by ignorance of the English language)

But I won't hold my breath even in anticipation of the next personal attack from the paranoid psych lobby


Phi, Sydney
April 12, 2011 3:16pm

No phi "detox" is not "detoxification" is. I was quite clear on the disambiguation. If you need it made clearer, fine;

A product claiming to offer detoxification as a medical term has to meet standards.

A product using the term "detox" must not.
You will note i said "detox" was meaningless to medical science. As far as I can tell, it is. The detoxification clinic at canterbury uses the word "detoxification" not "detox".

If ignorance of the english language is to blame perhaps it is at the hands of Phi who seems to continually miss the disambiguation. Oh and fails to recognise that although one word may stem from another it is possible for the new word to be adopted into common parlance with a subtly altered meaning.

I repeated the google experiment myself and even typing "detox canterbury" into the search engine all links to the NHS facility were termed "detoxification". Links to "detox" tended to be to the chinese medicine place on New Dover road.

I hope I have not given Phi too much credit by assuming she meant the one that does not use the term "detox" and prescribes set treatments with their own terms.

Tom H, kent uk
April 12, 2011 10:32pm

Argue with the Oxford English Dictionary Tom not me.

You say here "You will note i said "detox" was meaningless to medical science. As far as I can tell, it is." - So in this you stubbornly CONFIRM your error - instead of simply saying "I was wrong" The next stage to refusing to admit "I was wrong" historically has been to claim "I was following orders" it becomes simply ridiculous

I have taken people to "detox centres" operated by major hospitals here in Australia. - As I suggested before why don't you do some Googling before saying something patently silly?

The passage that set you off this time was when I wrote:

"The call for detoxification is a call for help with a physical problem. Desribing it as "somatotorm disorder" is simply crap medicine and needs to be stopped, by getting patients back to having their health care monitored by properly qualified doctors instead of by psychologists and exorcists."

People who have been desperately ill, sometimes for decades, have been denied treatment by being shoved off into a pseudo scientific psychosomatic backwater policed by psychologists. The call for detoxification is often an expression of loss of faith in bullshit and a demand for physical treatment of real physical illness that has been denied.

The GWS scandal has run its course. War veterans, CFS sufferers, and others caught up in this creation of an unscientific modern profession, now only loosely linked with its honourable medical past, have turned the tables

Phi, Sydney
April 12, 2011 11:02pm

Phi I also made it clear I meant. Detox "in the sense discussed in the podcast". It was not "set off" by your post, as I believe I made it entirely clear I found your ill informed opinion of psychologists irrelevant. The term "detox" as used by the products being discussed is meaningless to medical science.

Unless you are about to prove that the fad diets, foot baths, pills, potions or lotions, are able to meet the standards for "detoxification" of the medical disambiguation, that they have clinical evidence supporting their claims, or that the "detox clinics" use these products, then I think it is entirely possible you have not understood what myself and Lumis were discussing.

You are clear that the same word can have many disambiguations and meanings? That a concise dictionary may not use the disambiguations associated with particular fields of science or medicine? Or for that matter casual ambiguations being adopted by pop culture or popular parlence?

It seems as though you are more interested in proving yourself "right" than bothering to understand what others have said, or how it may apply to the subject at hand. Medical detoxification, fo chelation, antitoxins, antevenoms, dialisis, addiction etc are not likely to be applied to the build up of "toxins" from everyday life, many of which (flouride etc) can not be shown to be accumilating to the levels being claimed. Bad Science should be prime reading here.

Tom H, kent uk
April 12, 2011 11:51pm

I notice that the discussion about people "fobbed off" onto psychologists has little to do with the matter of detoxification in either meaning. Phi does little to suggest how any recognised detoxification method will help patients with mental health issues. There is a clear determination to hammer yet another subject to meet the political views of Phi instead of looking at the evidence.

The only "link" I can find is for those advocating chelation as a cure for autism, or aspergers (a syndrome that phi does not even recognise, having claimed it was"invented" by psychologists).

As to the entirely political point about GWS, that appears, at least in part, to be informed by politics alone. It oversimplifies a complex issue to justify a political view. Phi seems less willing to comment on the far larger number of servicemen who have benefited from psychological treatment of PTDD, which is, by numbers alone, the true "gulf war syndrome".

Perhaps phi would care to explain how footpads or detox tea might cure either affliction? Or to kindly stop disrupting discussions with irrelevant posts about unrelated fields based on (deliberately it seems) uninformed opinions?

Illuminatus, under your bed
April 13, 2011 3:34am

Sorry Illy but now you are heading off topic too far. The basic question of the thread is "Everyone wants to "detoxify" their bodies. Is this for real?"

My answer is that the desire is indeed real and is based on a dis-satisfaction with the substitution of poorly based psychosomatic conclusions for genuine qualified physical medical diagnosis and treatment - and in addition in the existence of poor quality physical medical services as a result of the demand by the filthy rich in the US that ordinary people be denied proper health care unless they can pay for it.

The bottom line is that a vast number of people receiving psychological treatment at a diagnostic as against life counselling level think it is unscientific crap. Where the problem is psychosomatic you can statistically do just as well talking to the cleaner or the barman or taking the dog for a walk. In fact in the case of the cleaner and the barman you stand far better chance of referral to an actually appropriate physical doctor.

I believe you are in the business as they say. Credentials please.

Phi, Sydney
April 13, 2011 5:12am

Phi, the hilarious thing is you accuse others of spouting baseless crap, when in fact you have done NOTHING else for probably the last two months. Nobody here is making any claim out of the claims that cannot be easily checked up on easily. You however are making claims that do not fit the known facts, and are shouting them from the rooftops with zero evidence.

Not a good start I must say. You are one of the dangerous types of pseudoscientific spouters. You tend to come across to the credulous as if you did know what you were talking about.

Except you havent a clue what you are talking about and present nothing to back your case in any of these forums. Talk about breaking all the rules yet calling yourself a good sceptic. I should think there is a bit of hypocrisy being shown here :D

It is against people like yourself why this website and others like it exist.

Cam, Thunder Bay
April 13, 2011 6:38am

People may well wish for detox, but that neither means they NEED it, nor that the products the podcast discusses use recognised methods of detoxification, nor your unproven claims about psychology.

Nor does it in any way prove you understand the clear disambiguation Tom referred to.

The bottom line is that it doesnt matter if the people receiving the counciling believe if it is scientific or unscientific. It matters if it can be shown to work through good quality research and trials. Recognised psychological and psychiatric practices can.

The vast majority of "detox" products can not, and actively avoid such testing, and recognition by medical practitioners, because they would be held to standards.

If your doctor tells you that you need sdetoxification it is not because of everyday "toxins" from normal life. It is because of an exceptional life threatening danger. Because no medical detoxification process is with out serious risk of awful side effects.

Most "casual" uses of the word medically fell into alt-med circles (claims made by hydrotherapy resorts or spas calling themselves "hospitals") around the mid 20th centurary for good reasons.

So what are your qualifications Phi? An ex city worker? I dont remember making a claim to authority. Are you making one?

Illuminatus, under your bed
April 13, 2011 8:21am

I'm merely addressing the thread question Cam: "Everyone wants to "detoxify" their bodies. Is this for real?"

The question is "is this for real" - the question is slightly ambiguous - Does the crucial word "this" refer to the noun "everyone" or to the desire to "detoxify "or to the "nature of detoxification" especially as described relating to commercial products?

I take it as principally speaking about the wish to detoxify, whether this is really happening, "the wish", and why detoxification is being sought. In this I have some experience first having worked with poisons as in the case of pesticides, secondly having been brought up in houses with lead paint and asbestos - I live in a fibro house. Thirdly I have had chelation therapy for possible lead and mercury residues, as I have had a diagnosed problem with multiple chemical sensitivities as part of a CFS diagnosis.

For the record this diagnosis was given by the highest scientific level (professorial) for that diagnosis available in Australia, and confirmed by two other senior practitioners. It has remitted somewhat after thirty years

From the patient end where the question seems addressed - yes I know what I am talking about. For Illy - I am long retired after some 30 different jobs in three countries. To explain all would take more than 1500 words. I have worked in Courts, markets, schools. an oil company, military bases, shops. media companies, stockbrokers, hospitals, and economic data networks and many more

phi, Sydney
April 13, 2011 1:56pm

So you aren't an expert on psychology then. You have been a patient. I have been a patient of many doctors, yet amazingly I dont consider myself an expert in peadiatric care. Mostly because being a patient is not enough to give you any claim to authority or any weight to your argument.

And perhaps if you read the transcript of the podcast beyond the strap line you would not have stuggled with the ambiguity. Not that it explains your utter refusal to comprehend Toms post, or your completely off topic rant against Psychology.

If you want to make a claim of authority in a subject, especially when supplying no evidence to support your claims, you may want to have some authority to claim.

As an acredited health and safety rep recognised by the TUC and trained in COSHH regulations Tom could happily claim a level on authority on dealing with the "toxins" and if any of the methods in the podcast are effective. They are not.

Oh and by the way, people wanting, needing, and qualifying for actual detoxification processes are entirely different things. You may "need" to get rid of your aesbestos, but it is latched to your lungs for life (and a considerable time after). There is simple NO method to remove it. Least of all any of the methods mentioned in the podcast.

They remain bull.

Illuminatus, under your bed
April 13, 2011 2:44pm

On the Annaliese thread Illy you say "It may amaze you to know you can look at discuss a subject with out "being involved with it".

So here you appear to be saying you are an outsider to the profession and all your claims as to internal understanding of its workings from the practitioner's side in that case are bogus - are they? - Please clarify

My experiences from the consumer end are not bogus. I have found some counsellors extremely useful and helpful to people. I have found this from personal and support group experience. I have also experienced some vastly overstepping the mark into the practice of medicine seeking to reclassify patients and even whole diagnoses as belonging to the somatoform disorders (psychosomatic) camp

One trick has been to seek to defacto diagnose clients using weak amended criteria- another to effectively create "psychological diagnoses'

A rational science really demands this mess be cleared up by proper re-regulation of the profession, setting clearer boundaries as to what particular individuals are entitled to do

Now you appear to be redefining the original question of the thread. However the format here on Skeptoid is always that a question is posed and the lead article write provides the first opinion on the forum in relation to that question. It is ultimately the question one should in normal debate be addressing - or discussing points in the lead article relevant to the question

I have explained my approach to the question


phi, Sydney
April 13, 2011 3:10pm

Thankyou for the clarification Illy. I'd appreciate Tom doing the same. I have been very careful to put my personal experience clearly from the patients viewpoint despite having friends and family in the psychology field.

Beyond that the argument is theoretical and unavoidably ideological. I tend to the view that at an overall perspective psychology is about worldview and not science. Only areas conducted and researched directly by medical scientists (in which I include MDs) and in accordance with scientific methodology, are science. To me that is glaringly obvious

It would be "nice" if boundaries were clearly definable, but in medicine they are not, which is why no treatment for illness should be out of the monitoring of a physical medicine doctor. I would like to see ALL doctors given more training in psychiatry and psychology, so that psychology maintains a standard of correct application

So what has this to do with detoxification as publicly perceived.\? It is that people feel and indeed are physically ill, in large numbers. Their call is for physical help not some bulldust about how their mind works, drawn out of right wing ideology and someone else's reading cult. GWS was the swansong of the IAIYH (its all in your head) lobby. Psychology returns to being part of physical medicine or it is condemned to the redundancy of religion and philosophy - an academic curiosity of triumphs and follies passed into the history of understanding human consciousness.

phi, Sydney
April 13, 2011 7:58pm

What claims of an insiders point of view? It has been made clear several times that the understanding Lumis has is limited from research into the subject. You have made a claim of authority Phi, which does not stand up. And you claimed that authority over at least on poster who is a practitioner in the field.

You have yet to supply any evidence that the majority, or any substantial portion of psychiatric patients or those seeking therapy from a psychologist have a physiological ailment, or that these ailments require detoxification.

You are making elaborate claims with no apparent evidnce from any recognised journal, peer review study, or tangible evidence. All you have given us is a claim to authority having been a (statistically insignificant) patient, and vague references to GWS, which could make a very good skeptoid episode itself seeing as how much misconception and misinformation still circulates as "fact" in the popular conception.

As one of your claims seems to be that aspergers is not a real condition as it was "invented" by psychologists, any hope that your claims will be supported by evidence are some what unlikely and of dubious ethical implication.

Tom H, Kent, UK
April 13, 2011 10:55pm

In the end Phi....its a simple request.

If you want to make an extraordinary claim, you must provide extraordinary proof.

Absoltuely if you have been a patient who has had a bad practitioner I feel for you, but in no way does this make you an expert on the field.

Have you ever, for instance heard of the practice of metacommunication? As you read this, I can assure that you have not until you wiki it or wherever you can find it, yet every knowledgable practitioner out there uses it to enormous and beneficial effect.

Theres plenty that goes on to assist the client that they mostly never see. Some ask whats involved or how we do things and I am happy to tell them how its done, but for most they engage in the process and work it through without needing to be cognizant of every step the practitioner makes, unless they specifically request it. And many like myself will show them precisely how its done. And you know what? Aside from this podcast I have never experienced fear from ppl for it, only a wonder and fascination and a deeper engagement when they learn about some of the science behind the practice.

Find a reputable therapist. If they have any scruples, they will have no problem telling you everything you want to know. My psychoeducation groups receive a lot of good reviews because they inform clients of effects of what they suffer that they had not previously understood before. They gain direct and immediate benefit. Its good science Phi.

Cam, Thunder Bay
April 14, 2011 8:38am

"Beyond that the argument is theoretical and unavoidably ideological."

Yes, which is why it is a flawed argument. It is based on your ideology, not on evidence.

"I tend to the view that at an overall perspective psychology is about worldview and not science."

Again, that is where you are wrong. Psychologists have wildly differing worldviews, as do biologists, chemists, phycisists, and any other scientist.

"Only areas conducted and researched directly by medical scientists (in which I include MDs) and in accordance with scientific methodology, are science. To me that is glaringly obvious"

So only MEDICAL proffessionals can study SCIENCE? Cosmologists, phycistists, climatalogists, geologists, anthropologists, and many others are not scientists to you then?

Even assuming you meant "medical science" then Psychology fits the bill. It is a highly specialised area, with little crossover with other medical fields, but by a strict definition it follows the scientific method, is subject to the same controls and standards, and is a science, making those who practice it medical scientists.

You have yet to even attempt to prove otherwise. Or to successfully connect the dots between "people want to be detoxed" and "its all the fault of psychologists".

Illuminatus, Where the Yahoos are.
April 14, 2011 11:02am

We better tell Stephen Hawking he cant do any more books or research there Lumis!


I'll tell my MD he has to start on his physics research pronto!

Phi...this is what you get for being bloody vague and not providing anything to back your statements. I have been trying to stay away from pointing out the foolishly absurd holes in your arguments here but Lumis has frankly done a hell of a good and funny job of it anyways :D

I do mean it.

ASSUME we are lying.

Dont believe a word here.

Go look at the literature.

Go do a wide ranging review of the fields.

You claim you supprt the scientific philosophy then dont be so lazy and actually go find the facts. Stop being such a lazy and uninformed hypocrite.

The nice part of this is the science speaks for the field of psychology as well as it does for psychiatry. It doesnt need my defense or any others from the uninformed, but I have been trying to point out stuff that would bolster you at least taking this tangent of yours in a useful direction. So far no luck yet.

But if you wont do that and insist on spouting garbage on here, we will keep on calling you on it just to make sure other readers less informed will not jump to unsupported conclusions.

All it takes is a little effort, and a little education on your part.

And once again, if you make an extraordinary claim, you must provide extraordinary evidence.

Cam, Thunder Bay
April 14, 2011 12:10pm

There are of course people with physical diseases who are directed to psych-therapists of varying descriptions. The question we have to ask when we look at these numbers is: "Are they sent to a psych ward to cure the physical disease?"

Nope. They are reffered because of the stress of dealing with serious injury or ailment.

Now we ask another question. Does Phis claim that mental health issues are in fact physiological issues stand up? There have been some cases when this is true. But they are in no way the overwhelming majority. Or even just the marginal majority. We can also observe the inverse is true: There are those falsely treated for physiological issues when the root cause was psychological.

So even if there was evidence of malpractice and massive misdiagnosis would "Detox" be the answer? Is there a connection between toxins and mental health issues? Again, there are some cases, but there is no evidence to suggest it is the majority let alone the rule.

I would say far from making Phi an expert, his experience as a patient has made him a biased observer, unwilling to take an impartial review of the evidence.

Illuminatus, Where the Yahoos are.
April 14, 2011 12:44pm

Aspergers as a diagnosis is already apparently sinking so one can leave that to the doctors to sort that out,Tom. Incidentally no credentials from you, I note, in response to my request for clarification

With regard to material questioning the entire framework of psychology - challenging its scientific nature, there are thousands of such pages on the internet with detailed articles -1500 words from me would not begin to scratch the surface - I trust some people might now look those up

I think the danger has come especially since the late 1960s as a modern Holism took hold. This was seized upon to cross the analytical tool boundary between physical and mental illness in the wrong direction. Somatoform/phsychosomatic answers were concocted to explain patients illness and for many patients physical treatment went out the window

We need to pull this back - There is very little evidence that most talk therapies do any more good than chatting in groups in a pub or to the cleaner, that psychology graded exercise is any more useful that a far cheaper gym workout and exercise program, or that a psychologists "explanations" to a patient are really any better than those of anyone else who has read the "right books"

Useful in its counselling place does not make of part of medicine - nor does it make it science. In its present incarnation it served a questionable purpose in the understanding of the operation of the brain and the nervous system - but it is perhaps time to move on.

Phi, Sydney
April 14, 2011 4:02pm

Internet detailed articles?

You......are kidding right?



PsychLit and PubMed I guess fall under those too then. Lets dismiss all scientific literature because they are surpassed but internet detailed articles....whatever the hell those.

I do have credentials kiddo, Masters of Applied Health Psychology, 2008 class. My specialization when I move to PhD level will be in Neuropsychology and Psychometrics. However anything in the field an be discovered by doing 15 mins of basic research Phi. Thats because its science and open for review to anybody who actually wants to discover facts, not spread unfounded lies.

Apparently you are not one of those people.

And "internet detailed articles" dont count as a literature review. Nice try but you arent getting off that easily.

Try again.

Cam, Thunder Bay
April 14, 2011 7:59pm

Virtually any article dealing with the core problems of a profession will be found outside of it, Cam. After all one hardly expects the oil industry to criticise itself. Just look on the net and follow down into a large number of internet publishing journals and universities - You'll find the material - maybe you are so close up you haven't seen it. Just follow the links

So to credentials. How much training, Cam did you receive any training in disease diagnosis for example - including, in view of the amount of modern travel, tropical diseases? How much training did you receive in diagnosing immune system disorders cancers, blood diseases, gastro intestinal illness? What training do you personally have in selecting, applying and interpreting the blood tests range used by GPs in diagnosing physical illness? What is the full extent of your training in areas such as poisoning (toxicity), allergy, sensitivity ? deficiency, poor absorption, nutrition, virology, bacteriology?

Before taking a step into classifying a patient as a psychology patient ALL of these areas and many more need to be checked by a physical doctor- anything less is pure negligence

Psychologists quickly point to lack of psychological training and psychiatric training for MD's but I am afraid physical medical training for psychologists is often ZERO.

in a medically supervised multidisciplinary team they have their place,like the chaplain But the core leadership MUST be physical medicine ALWAYS

Phi, Sydney
April 14, 2011 9:28pm

Aaaaahhhh hahhahahhahahahahhah!

Omg I needed a good laugh :D You gave it to me :D

I seriously wonder how far we can all push you to see what kind of baloney you can push out trying to defend your illusory ship of crap.

I had said a while back that a MD will rule out all physical causes before a psychological diagnosis is made. That is the FIRST criteria to be met by ALL diagnostic assessments: can this malady be better explained by a physical cause? If a MD rules not, then the psychological procedures ensue.

I had stated this a few times, but apparently you dont read very well either Phi ;)

All it would have took was 5 mins with a DSM-IV-TR Phi. Even a wiki search. Are you REALLY this lazy?

Kepe em coming. The string of lies you are putting together is getting highly creative, and thus extremely amusing :D But still really easy to pick off! Come on, if you are going to try to pull the wool over my eyes, or even the rest of the posters (who with 10 mins of research on their own already state correct facts) you gotta do better then this :D

Waiting for the next softball!

Cam, Thunder Bay
April 14, 2011 10:16pm

There is one commanding statistic in all this and that is that there is NO shortage of physically ill patients. A halfway decent doctor will always have a full patient list. Passing a troublesome patient on is no loss to him. Indeed a chronically ill patient that a doctor cannot cure takes up time he needs to see anything up to four faster and more fixable patients

And there is a background financial incentive too. Remuneration is often on a per-patient basis. Thus if you see a specialist for ten minutes and the charge is 170 dollars your doctors earning capacity is over a thousand dollars per hour

A troublesome patient is one who is clearly ill but that you cannot fix. like it or not he’ll be back pleading for help. How do you get rid of him - If you can’t dump him on a specialist you refer him on to those more grateful to have him and more concerned about maintenance than cure. Enter the physical doctor’s friend - the psychologist. He’s even off the hook blame wise

So your physically ill patient is now with the IAIYH head lobby who - as actually admitted in this forum will HUMOUR him excusing that as “helping him within his belief system”

Millions of sick people have been sent down this often futile path. The psych is happy he gets a patient - the referrer is happy he gets rid of a difficult one

Only the sufferer suffers - but at least he gets someone to talk to - even if they don’t actually listen and can’t help him

Science? Medicine? I don’t think so .

Phi, Sydney
April 14, 2011 10:19pm

Thats what they call a giant red herring Phi ;)

Not gonna work either.

Waiting for the next lie to knock down ;)

"If you can’t dump him on a specialist you refer him on to those more grateful to have him and more concerned about maintenance than cure. Enter the physical doctor’s friend - the psychologist. He’s even off the hook blame wise"

Once again off to the conspiracy theories are we? Dammit where is my cheque for taking ppl the docs just dont know what to do with, but should since medical physiological science is THE ONLY THING that can treat any mental disorders according to your last several posts....or wait did you just refute your own theory? Did you eben make any sense there? Not sure but then with you nobody ever is ;)

Come now you can do better then this :D

Hell of a way to spend a late night at the clinic :D

Keep the soft pitches coming! This is too easy :D

Cam, Thunder Bay
April 14, 2011 10:47pm

The problem is compounded by the concepts of “health screening” and “over-servicing” - these are Government scams to restrict the Health budget. If a doctor cannot diagnose a patient then more tests may become relevant - if in the calculations of an administrator in a Health fund or a Health department he asks for “too many” they call it “health screening” and “over-servicing”

A physical doctor doing his job properly with chronically ill patients that are hard to diagnose can hardly avoid more tests to the point of being accused of over-servicing most especially in that if he is a doctor having success with difficult to diagnose patients - other desperate physically ill patients will beat a path to his surgery door

Thus again there is an incentive to be a BAD doctor and dump difficult patients. That is what happened to GWS and Agent Orange sufferers - it happens daily with CFS sufferers - and it happens with child health.

We need more physical doctors with greater leeway in servicing options. There is no such thing as AIYH (all in your head). As soon as you spot that path - by all means co-operate but get another doctor too for a second or third physical opinion too.

Don’t be afraid to ask the Psych to refer you back to physical medicine if you feel that is appropriate. If he refuses - leave and don’t pay them - He is your servant - you aren’t his.

Phi, Sydney
April 14, 2011 11:00pm

Now you are talking about "conspiracies" Any conspiracy is in your head not mine here, Cam. I am talking about the referral system to psychosomatic/psychological treatment of clearly sick patients a doctor has signally failed to treat. That it keeps both ends happy - everyone except the patient often - does not mean there is a conspiracy. Whatever gave you that idea?

In fact it operates BECAUSE there isn’t one - what exists is simple negligent practice - bad medicine - and most of us at some time have experienced that. That is why we get second opinions.

When it comes down to the causes and treatment of mental disorders I tend to accept certain basic World Health Organisation concepts that include social factors. You might like to refresh your mind that these are indeed policy. You see you are quite wrong when you say I have claimed only one path to be valid - I have said more paths are relevant than even you accept - including alienation arising from class systems and poverty.

You see Cam the one thing I don’t think you should ever do is lie to a patient and going along with them in the hope that will fix them is lying as well as bad science.

I blame a lot of it on overspill from AA’s rather hackneyed “Fundamentalist-style” concepts - good in their day but eventually having rather bad social side effects.

Phi, Woollongong (mobile)
April 15, 2011 12:33am

So there are still no statistical data, peer review documents, meta-studies or solid data to support Phis claims?

No actual study to show that any of these mental health issues are physiological in nature, that they are related to the "need" to detoxify, or that psychological methods that may or may not involve a "lie" are bad science? Just out of interest there are a lot of psychological effects that are entirely based on lying and are very good science. The "electro shock" experiment that measures how far people will follow the orders of authority figures with out question. The famous "you can eat three sweets now or get a whole plate later" experiments that show how quickly kids take to telling and spotting lies,

All good science. All based on lies. All irrelivent to the detox issue.

Illuminatus, where the yahoos are.
April 15, 2011 2:28am

"I am talking about the referral system to psychosomatic/psychological treatment". No you are not. You have not presented any clear indication you know how the system in even your own country works. Yet another vague statement. Psychosomatic issues are a subset of disorders but the way, not a system of "psychosomatic/psychological treatment".

Once again Phi, ;) if you make unfounded assumptions, or expect anecdotes to be taken as fact, we will call you out on it :D

By the way watching you twist this in various new fashions is fascinating :D

BUT looking at all this you would have failed first year university much less even a basic second or third year research methods class with these types of answers ;)

Although it may help your case to one day take a course or two and learn about these things.

Talking in more and more convoluted circles is still only bewildering only to you Phi. Its pretty clear to the rest of us you are lying even more :D

Try harder, this is still too easy.

Cam, Thunder Bay
April 15, 2011 6:55am

Oh, and just something that has nagged me since Phi mentioned it in some thread or othe. The controversy is not if Aspergers exists or not. The controversy is if it should be considered a branch of autism or diagnosed as a seperate unique condition.Taking away the "diagnosis" is not the correct term for what is being discussed. "Agreeing on the exact nature of the diagnosis", is more apt.

The condition was classified by, not "invented" by psychologists. I'm sure Phi doesnt mean to misrepresent the information, but never mind. That is why basic research beyond a few factoids is essential it would seem.

Illuminatus, Where the Yahoos are.
April 15, 2011 1:31pm

Illy writes concerning Aspergers _ "The controversy is if it should be considered a branch of autism or diagnosed as a seperate unique condition.Taking away the "diagnosis" is not the correct term for what is being discussed. "Agreeing on the exact nature of the diagnosis" is more apt"

There is a lot I would agree with there.

In fact one psychologist I dealt with, in relation to whether my own child could be classified as having it, was very responsible in drawing my attention to the controversy surrounding its real existence - and said that mostly she wanted to draw our attention to the features of the "condition" - under whatever name - and to see if we thought there was something relevant and useful we could apply

You see Illy I don't dismiss psychology as "useless" I regard it as a sometimes useful "worldview" (Weltanscauung) but not a science. As such it is open to questioning at all times on ideological and class lines etc. It is an essentially middle class worldview that too often tries to isolate the condition as being in the patient and not in his environment. In my view much of psychology is a false interpretation of how an individual reacts to circumstance.

The literature on Aspergers - a silly name because Asperger had nothing to do with it - almost entirely stems from the psychological profession not the medical or scientific professions. I find it safer to remain within the medical boundares of ADD and autism and I note most doctors tend now to agree

Phi, Sydney
April 15, 2011 5:36pm

So now you are doubling back. Again. Something you said actually meant something entirely different. Shame you still insist on Psychology as a world view, and can not seperate the politics of a practitioner from the field of study. A middle class worldview to boot.

Perhaps you would like to show which studies were biased by being "too middle class". Show us the flaw in the research. Or where the methodology of each study fails to be scientific.

Show us the "psychological" world view even exists. Show us a particular political leaning is a requirement of the field. Give us facts and figures and links to peer review articles instead of your opinion.

Prove your words.

Tom H, Kent, UK
April 16, 2011 2:08am

But you aren't a psychologist, Tom

So how can I convince what? Time and life will do that for me. I can say that with confidence having travelled the same path. Go back and reread your own evidence with your eyes open to an alternate view


Phi, Sydney
April 16, 2011 5:18am

How? Simple Phi. By supplying evidence. Post a link to any kind of peer reviewed data to support your theories.

It could be a meta-study of patient records to suggest that X percentage of psychological patients were misdiagnosed physiological patients, as per your key conceit, but I am open to any of the following:
Controlled experiments, field experiments, archival evidence, case studies, clinical trials, any recognised psychophysiological evidence, retrospective studies, cross sectional studies, from any recognised peer review source.

Anything that looks like this:

Or this:

Or even this:

Tom H, Kent UK
April 16, 2011 10:52am

Phi, not only is it astoundingly obvious you have zero mental health training, but you are in fact making claims with no backing evidence. No data. No meta-analyses reporting the effects are not seperable from the null or is even in fact doing harm. No alternate hypotheses of your own with supprting research from the medical field.

Not even a single post stating you even know the mechanics of the therapies or disorders you are trying to deride.

How can somebody be taken seriously criticizing something they so obviously dont know anything about?

Display just a little knowledge and effort beyond blowing hot air will ya? I have refuting research at hand when you get it. Certainly research that is 4 years or less in date not nearly 20 as in the one study you did try to post, without even showing you understood.

"So how can I convince what? Time and life will do that for me".

What, more anecdotal reports and a heavy dash of confirmation bias will prove it to you?

Step no father, you have lived by those two principles at least on this website so far Phi.

Like I said many times now, either stop lying or at least do a better job of it :D

Cam, Thunder Bay
April 16, 2011 10:53am

By the way, all those methods I stated? They are just some of the basic procedures used not only in the field of psychology, but any field of science or study that requires statistical evidence.

You might want to ponder them a while before declaring something is "not science". As for the assumed "Middle class" ahem "worldview" of psychology, that would require a meta-study of psychological research to show a consistant middle class bias in methodology. If it is true I am sure one of the trade journals for pee review would have mentioned it. Of course, your problem will be that there is not one "worldview" middle class or otherwise, characterised by any particular field of research.

If you dont have the supporting data, then your claims are, by definition, not supported by evidence. Or "unable to be shown to be true".

Tom H, Kent UK
April 16, 2011 11:46am

The bottom line is that psychology is often useful. I used a book on cognitive psychology for teachers to devise a methodology to teach my ADD child to read applying their interpretation of the reading stages. At six he could read at the level of "The Lord of The Rings" I taught him over six months then he did the rest himself. I used a psychologist to help me get through a neighbour as problem - as well as a fencer.

But none of that makes it science. Having been quite seriously ill with CFS my advice to any sick person is do not stop until you have a proper physical diagnosis - until all relevant physical tests have been done. Recognise that in both physical medicine and in psychiatry your health fund will limit testing just as much as the public health system will. Get answers that the doctor will commit to on paper and do not stop until they do

Consult psychologists ONLY in an illness matter so long as a physical doctor is also monitoring your health and if the illness appears to you to get worse, do not be dissuaded from demanding more examination. If you have a lawyer friend or a family solicitor make sure that any doctor giving you difficulty knows it. Often saying - I'm going to have to run that past my lawyer will do it

Demand allergy and sensitivity testing if you think you may have them - testing for at least 100 items is the rule. Never consult nutritionists who do not have medical qualifications and never use elimination diets except under a doctor

Phi, Sydney
April 16, 2011 4:49pm

Phi that statment ignores most of your earlier posts about why people are sent to the psych ward. It also assumes people will go to the psychologist for clearly physical symptoms, or that the majority of psychologists would not say "have you had that checked by a doctor".

So, unless you can supply statistics to show the numbers of misdiagnosis, that your concerns are based on the current practice and not just your issolated experience, you have still made heavy claims earlier in the thread that you have not proven.

Tom H, Kent, UK
April 16, 2011 9:40pm

I don't have to do that at all. Tom - I'm advocating direct action - the patient empowering himself to reverse his relationship with the psychologist - demanding proper service and if he as patient considers his physical problem has not been addressed demanding referral back to physical medicine or NO payment of fees.

A mass walkout from IAIYH (it's all in your head) nonsense would revolutionise medicine

Throw the crap back

Phi, Sydney
April 17, 2011 1:52pm

Yes! Geyt people to walk away from the most effective treatments for many of their problems! Unite because phi doesn't like it. Not because Phi has proven anything, not because of the high standard of evidence! Not because Phi has shown us that any, let alone a statistically significant number, are actually suffering from allergies or toxins...

You are quite right phi. You don't "have" to supply evidence. But a refusal to supply evidence is best taken as admission your claims are unsupported by any.

I am dubious about anybody who wants people to turn their back on clinical aid of any discipline, especially now you are touting direct action, with out evidence. I dont want people to suffer for your politics.

So I will join the chorus;


Who would of thought it. Sceptics demanding evidence? Its almost like that is exactly what skeptics do... oh wait. It is. Why one earth would you assume we might make an exception and take your claims for granted with out due scrutiny?

illuminatus, somewhere nice
April 17, 2011 9:56pm

"The bottom line is that psychology is often useful. I used a book on cognitive psychology for teachers to devise a methodology to teach my ADD child to read applying their interpretation of the reading stages. At six he could read at the level of "The Lord of The Rings" I taught him over six months then he did the rest himself. I used a psychologist to help me get through a neighbour as problem - as well as a fencer".

We may be getting through to him guys.

Yet another backtrack, another self-refutation that a MD didnt have to medically handle this issue. What surprises may yet come?

Now he just has to do those pesky reviews of the literature to see the science....because he didnt realize that science was used to help his son address his ADHD issue. I mean, its not like they did studies to track how the disorder worked and then performed further studies to find out what the most effective treatments were. I mean we have only to see "But none of that makes it science" from Phi to discount all that work right? :D

God forbid!! (Had to say it, because it Phi can directly contradict himself calling himself a sceptic, then i can do the same as an agnostic lol)

Cam, Thunder Bay
April 18, 2011 8:45am

Yes, as i would like to know which of the research techniques applied by psychologists does not fit the scientifical model.

I would also like to see sociological evidence of the political and ethical stance Phi applies to psychologists in various threads.

illuminatus, somewhere nice
April 18, 2011 11:08am

Or that e numbers cause ADD, that homegrown or organic veg is nutritionally different from that grown in big farms, irradiated veg, etc. Or... well... pretty much any claim Phi makes.

If you want to be a sceptic, and claim that others are enlightened (sorry Henk) then proof of concept through evidence is a good start.

I did a little research into food additives causing ADD, and found little to support the idea. I did however find some psychological studies that were interesting. That parents are more likely to percieve their kids normal levels of activity as hyperactivity if the kid had been drinking fizzy drinks (or a placebo of sparkling water with a colour added). That sitting down for a family meal has a beneficial effect on attention span compared to eating infront of the telly, regardless of what the meal is.

It is worth noting it was the parents perception, not the activity of the kid, that changed. Asked to review tapes of the kids the parents could not tell when the kids had drunk fizzy pop, placebos or water.

Ah, but alas, such studies are apparently not science.

Tom H, Kent, UK
April 19, 2011 5:25am

That was an interesting study Tom, I saw it too.

They determined the perception of the parents counts significantly, and Brian touched on it himself when talking about sugar and so forth in one of the episoes here.

One of the major issues with ADHD is that teachers for example are give a lot of weight in determining whether or not a child has ADHD as well, and that doctors have been remiss in their responsibilities regarding it as well and thus a number of children have been misdiagnosed with ADHD when in fact they were just active children. The difficulty with MDs diagnosing disorders is that they dont have a specialization in the field as do psychiatrists yet still have all the same priviledges. A crack that has been worked at in the canadian system with many such as our clinic working hard to improve referral services and psychoeducation.

Damned if I can recall those stories and the studies but I'll look around for it and see if I can post them.

Once again the science in mental health is only as good as the practitioner.

Cam, Thunder Bay
April 19, 2011 9:33am

This appears to be the one:

Further debunking of the ADD/Sugar link is here:

And here.

Or a finding of no statistical significance:

When you get the hang of it finding the right papers to back up a discussion is kind of fun and very easy.

Tom H, Kent UK
April 19, 2011 1:50pm

Food additives CAUSING ADD - that is a straw man attack again - and I really think these need moderating. What there is a mountain of evidence for is that in some children with ADD the severity is greatly increased without careful nutrition Research in a number of countries points in many cases to food additives. I think the question of sugar per se is an open one. I tend to think from my observation that the amount of sugar does have an effect but causative - I earnestly doubt it.

I agree there is a problem with teachers de facto diagnosing ADD and "Aspergers" - This is inherited from non medically qualified psychologists doing the same. We took our son to a multidisciplinary assessment clinic and then to a Sydney specialist. Teacher's are generally responsible and only suggest the child be taken first to a GP. Diagnosis for us began with a top paediatrician

ADD can show itself, in my understanding, in a measurable inbalance between the frontal lobes of the brain. Hence the use of EEGs. It can correct itself over time - my son's did - and the main problem - apart from day to day disruption and vagueness - is to get the child through the education system. Mine went to a private school and University and graduated in computer science. We were told by psychologists that he might never read and might end up in jail

So I taught him to read and I taught him maths to high school level in combination with an excellent private maths course that used to operate in Sydney.

phi, Sydney
April 19, 2011 2:57pm

"What there is a mountain of evidence for is that in some children with ADD the severity is greatly increased without careful nutrition Research..."

Yet another of many claims made without a single shred of supporting evidence provided.

Come on Phi, this cant be THAT hard can it? Tom and Lumis are taking 10-15 mins out of their time to provide stuff you cant seem to do.

"I agree there is a problem with teachers de facto diagnosing ADD and "Aspergers" - This is inherited from non medically qualified psychologists doing the same".

It wasnt psychologists doing the misdiagnosis there champ, it was the MDs not doing a thorough assessment.

Nice try to put words in my mouth that werent there but you are going to have to do beter then that to fool me :D

"ADD can show itself, in my understanding, in a measurable inbalance between the frontal lobes of the brain. Hence the use of EEGs"

EEGs are only one of many indicators of ADHD, and the activity occurs across the system. One of the reasons ritalin works is because it is a legal form of "speed" which has an effect on those self same frontal lobes making concentration easier but not removing the overactivity itself. Coping methods can be taught to kids and parents to help them manage this difficult time.

A psychologist gave you an incorrect prognosis? BY GOD LETS TOSS EM ALL OUT!!!!

Pray tell whats that logical fallacy called again when you take one or two incidents as representative again? ;)

Cam, Thunder Bay
April 19, 2011 5:41pm

Gosh, I misunderstood Phis post that implied a causal link between ADHD and diet to a symptom link between ADHD and diet.

Still, if Phi had bothered to link to the research that would not have happened. Oh and despite admitting aspergers was real and the argument being if it is a seperate condition or a manifestation of a known condition, Phi is back to putting it in inverted commas, while heavvily implying diagnosis of the syndrome to be invalid if the diagnosis comes from psychollogists. (Those would be psychologists who use, and developed the same battery of tests that MDs use, what with there being a distinct lack of physiological symptoms). Well done for consistency there Phi.

Of course "the growing mountain of evidence" may need looking at again. If the link between e-numbers and ADHD was based on parental observation for example, and we have seen parents percieve more trouble when they expect there to be some because of a diet...

Tom H, Kent, UK
April 19, 2011 10:29pm

Ironic that the person asking for actual evidence is portrayed by Phi as a fantasist. Ignoring assumptions of politics, why has Phi taken a request for proof as a personal insult and felt the need to cry politics? This is science, it is evidence led.

There are good reasons we don't use annecdotal evidence. For a start it would be unvarifiable: Phi is as annonymous as the people who advocate Kangan water or wheatgrass. Then there is the implication that Phis experiences alone are worth listening to, by virtue of differingly vastly from the other families and sufferers of ADHD I have met. The ones who benefited much more from psychological effects than a change of diet by the way.

Next we have to ask if Phi has actually connected a cause and effect, or if it is only a correlation. Personal experience is not a good grounds on which to establish this. The sample size is too small, there is no control measure,and all we have is a subjective opinion of when a person was performing better or worse. Again, the same reasons we can't accept evidence here are the ones we use discussing any pseudo science claim, because we do not run a double standard. Phis is as open to confirmation bias as any other person. Annecdotes are not good evidence.

So, where does that leave us? With a "fantasy", or with a question. The question being; where is the evidence?

Tom H, Kent, UK
April 20, 2011 4:13am

Phi, please dont resort to personal attacks. Especially when you are so far wide of the mark about my politics, my upbringing and pretty much everything.

You have made statements. You can try and justify them any way you want, but there is only one that should matter, the evidence. For you wider claims of psychology patients needing physiological treatment and for precise claims like the ones about ADHD. If you want to walk by and not partake in the discussion feel free, you are under no obligation to continue. If you choose to continue put your politics to one side, stop making silly claims about how anybody else sees the world and supply objective evidence.

Its the first fundament of science; adopt an impartial view and consider only the evidence.

Tom H, Kent, UK
April 20, 2011 6:04am

Whats the old saying?

"That which can be presented without evidence can be dismissed without evidence"?

This sums up the entirety of your posts Phi.

Want us to take them seriously and stop using your posts for target practice? Start providing the evidence.

Cam, Thunder Bay
April 20, 2011 6:26am

Ah, I didn't get the chance to post before Phis attack was removed. Personal politics has nothing to do with the validity of statements however, and assumptions of character, based on the limited evidence of thread posts are dangerous. For another fine example go see how Phi reacted in the St Helens thread when Tom obviously got bored of Phi being wrong about the influence of greek classics on science and asked a Phis opinion on something even close to the thread topic.

We have no reason to assume Cam is honest about his job, or Phis possition on any branch of science (if psychology is not science, and MDs are the only real scientists why are we meant to assume Phi thinks either way about carbon dating from waffle on an unrelated tangent?) In turn Phi has no reason to assume the politics or class of Tom. Which may explain why Phi is wrong with such hilarious results.

It goes someway to disprove the "classist" argument Phi falls upon so many times that a lad from a notoriously dodgy school seems to have learned more about philosophy, psychology, the classics, and the scientific method than Phi, who has stated before he worked in the city and his brother was classically (in the etonian sense) educated at a private school (to use the americanism, public school here to confuse people). If it is an upper class conspiracy why was it Tom "three of my school bullies are Murderers" H who was taught the "myths".

Put assumptions aside and show us facts.

Illuminatus, somewhere hot
April 20, 2011 11:27am

Good statement Lumis!

In fact there is no need to have anyone declare anything here and risk being nailed with an appeal to authority! Been guilty of that myself in a couple posts here (I KNOW BETTER CAUSE I DO TEH JOB!! and all that drivel). Its better to let the science speak for itself.

Also nobody here but Phi is making any extraordinary claims. The general consensus is: Psychology generally does what it says it is supposed to do, and the effects the field has uncovered can explain most to all aspects of exorcism.

Then we demonstrated several ways how this works.

Phi is making the extraodrinary claim: psychology is false and merely an exploitation for a billion dollar industry. This is a step away from the null which is there is nothing untoward happening. Thus evidence must be provided FOR that claim in order for it to be taken seriously.

So far we have none from Phi yet. Plenty of poetic yet nonsensical posts, but not proof of claim.

So we are waiting Phi. You seem to describe yourself as somebody fluent in the practice of science and scepticism, so we are asking you to prove it.

Step up, or step off :D

Cam, Thunder Bay
April 20, 2011 12:07pm

Just a few of the methods used in psychology can be found here:

Or here:

The (apparently non medical) training can be read about here:

And a basic overview of the science here:

You will have to excuse Lumis talking about my social class. He thinks that calling tomato ketchup "red sauce" and driving a white van makes me a commoner. I will just remind posters of the ability to discuss subjects academically with out supporting or condoning. I can discuss religion, I am not religious. I can discuss philosophy but I am not a philosopher and do not follow any particular philosophy.

Any personal bias must be put aside in any discussion of science, or scepticism to make way for evidence.

Tom H, Kent UK
April 20, 2011 12:50pm

Once again I am not prepared to go any further along a path of ever decreasing circles creating a new subjective/objective, baby punching debate and empowering disruption

This is not about who has read what book - It is about who has experienced what, personally, and how that adds to the volume of conflicting information, shedding light on aspects of it

Pschology has involved itself in a number of fields for which it isn't really qualified - in some like political lobbying and advertising it has been quite successful playing on the gullibility of its target. It has crept in as part of the vocabulary of many fields of academia to the point where it is time to say "hang on what's going on here"

It involves itself in industrial relations - always on the side of management and its aims of paying the lowest wages it can get away with- and it involves itself in medicine, pretending it can diagnose and even recommend medication. In medicine it relies on a very shonky psychosomatic theory of the origin of symptoms thereby creating a dustbin for physical medicine's "hard" cases and an actual block on further relevant research into why people individual and collectively are ill (remember "ill" anyone?)

As an individual confronted with such a mess the best thing is to challenge or walk away immediately one has qualms that counselling isn't relevant to you.

On the macro scale well there is the example of Jesus who seeing the temple exploited turned the tables and said "NO"

Phi, Sydney
April 20, 2011 2:32pm

A list of a few studies in clinical psychology for your review ;)

Akila, R., Muller, K., Kaukiainen, A., & Saino, M. (2006). Memory performance profile in occupational chronic solvent encephalopathy suggests working memory dysfunction. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 28(8), 1307-1326.

Armstrong, C., (1995). Longitudinal neuropsychological effects of n-hexane exposure: neurotoxic effects versus depression. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 10(1), 1-19.

Beck, A. T., Brown, G., & Steer, R. A. (1996). Beck depression inventory II. San Antonio, TX: The Psychological Corporation

Best, D., Manning, V., Gossop, M., Witton, J., Floyd, K., & Rawaf, S. et al. (2004). Adolescent psychological health problems and delinquency among volatile substance users in a school sample in south London. Drugs: Education, Prevention & Policy, 11(6), 473-482. Retrieved September 22, 2005, from PsycINFO (1840-Current) database.

Brouette, T., & Anton, R. (2001). Clinical review of inhalants. American Journal on Addictions, 10(1), 79-94 (an excellent but a bit older review of the literature)

Cairney, S., Maruff, P., Burns, C. B., Currie, J., & Currie, B. J. (2004). Neurological and cognitive impairment associated with leaded gasoline encephalopathy. Drug & Alcohol Dependence, 73(2), 183-188

Ericksson, P. S., Perfilieva, E., Bjork-Ericksson, T., et al. (1998). Neurogenesis in the adult human hippocampus. Nature Medicine, 4, 1313-1317.

Lets see your proof Phi ;)

Cam, Thunder Bay
April 20, 2011 2:39pm

No Phi, this about science. Which means what you have experienced personally is irrelevant. What you lay claim to is irrelevant.

What you can prove is all that matters.

Sidetracking thw conversation, far off topic with your personal anti-psychology dogma is dissruptive. It has little to do with the topic of the consumer "detox" products working or not.

Illuminatus, somewhere hot
April 20, 2011 10:00pm

Oh dear we really are in a mess aren't we

I think you are looking for a book club IIly

By the way it is me that keeps calling us back to the lead article and lead question and you that keeps heading off on tangents. I keep saying this is too far off topic and that I think certain threads have run their course

This all began with arrant nonsense from your camp on subjective and objective baby punching on the Moral centre thread I think

Regards - The revolution will happen without any of us:-)

ps I just love this from a wannabe psychologist "Which means what you have experienced personally is irrelevant."

Puts it in a nutshell - don't it ? The theory has nothing to do with personal experience and that makes it science? - ptah!

Weird idea of science you have there.

phi, Sydney
April 20, 2011 10:19pm

Why attack Lumis there Phi? He never once claimed he wanted to be a psychologist, nor did Tom. They merely spent 15 minutes on the web to see if they could find literature to review and became educated on the issue.

"Puts it in a nutshell - don't it ? The theory has nothing to do with personal experience and that makes it science? - ptah!"

The theories of psychology are based on studies that can and do in fact measure human experience objectively. You only have to look at the BDI study I posted somewhere around here to see a very easy example of how its done. Hypotheses, statistical methods, trials, metrics, data for and against, reviews by professionals, etc. It is in fact science at its best in a simple tool.

Why are you so afraid to dig into the literature?

Why cant you attack the material I posted?

:D I welcome a challenging post that is in-depth and educated. Such posts help me learn even more and especially help young readers or those who dont know about the field learn more.

What you are posting right now is pure anecdotal garbage and of 0 benefit to anybody. Worse you are placing uninformed readers at risk by expounding erroneous information time and again just to keep your sand castle up.

If you have supporting science that backs your view and refutes mine believe it or not we all welcome it, myself especially. The science helps us learn and grow. Unsupported drivel does not.

Get good evidence, then we shall talk seriously.

Cam, Thunder Bay
April 21, 2011 7:06am

Weird idea of science? Oh you mean the kind that is defined by carefully controlled experiments with in defined parameters to prove causal effects?

What makes it so hard to believe it is a science? Even if Phi were right, and "its all in your head", does that stop it being a science? Thoughts are a measurable phenomona like any other. They happen. We can study them. They have cause and effect, they form patterns, they happen for reasons. That can be studied. We can hypothosise the effects of stimuli (exactly like we do with pharmaceeutical testing) and blind the results. We can observe patterns and discern causes.

It is, by the purest definition of the word, a science.

But I am talking about ACTUAL psychology, not the entirely different entity Phi seems to have been trumpeting loudly about for a long time now.

Tom H, Kent, UK
April 21, 2011 8:00am

I have to wonder Tom, if an old quote from one of the pioneers of the field might be spot on in this case:

""An inflated consciousness is always egocentric and conscious of nothing but its own existence. It is incapable of learning from the past, incapable of understanding contemporary events, and incapable of drawing right conclusions about the future. It is hypnotized by itself and therefore cannot be argued with." – Dr Carl Jung

We can present all the evidence we want, we can poke all the holes we want, yet we cannot get through.

Those old psychoanalysts occasionally got something right.

Cam, Thunder Bay
April 22, 2011 9:09am

Well, what Phi is demonstrating is an old trick normally utilised by merchants of Woo or religions. It goes like this: You state your view, then keep repeating it. When asked to supply evidence tell others to go and see for themselves or do their own research. When people say "I have gone and done research, you are wrong," it is then assumed you can just say they obviously have not done enough research, or have not stumbled on the right facts.

We can see the same tactics Phi uses if we go looking at Detox merchants (right down to the annectdotal evidence). We can see the same tactic of implying that if you argue against the facts you must also be arguing against the ethics or principles. (I recognise the Translation movement happened, and don't think Phis fiscal "moral" ideas are practicable, so I MUST be a right wing elitist. I am tolerant of religion so I must support a religious elitist world view. I look at the facts of psychology, and don't see a unified world view or agenda of (politicaly neutral) science, so I am on the side what ever it is psychologists are meant to work for.

It could of course be that I am a left of centre liberal who endorses freedom of belief, has a passing interest in the history of science, and disagrees that there is significant evidence that organic veg are nutritionaly different from those grown in a big farm.

But that would mean a discussion instead of dictation. Detox products rely on dictation to sell woo.

Tom H, Kent UK
April 22, 2011 10:40am

Phi, new labour may have shifted its political leanings, but one party in one country does not change the scale by which politics is viewed universally. What we call the Bismark Horseshoe, after the arrangement of tables in germany where the terms "left wing" and "right wing" originate.

So enough unrelated guff. Who your family are (claim to authority), where your family comes from (claim to lack of authority, aka the humble country chicken ruse), and your flawed principle of only paraphrasing evidence (while having the gall to tell others what is or is not science) all bare a remarkable resemblance to alt-med pitches telling us what is ethical, natural, and traditional while offering nothing to show the product works.

Its also utterly irrelevant to the claims you made. Dont be silly enough to think your opinion proves anything with out evidence, and dont belittle those who retain the sceptical standard of proof.

Tom H, Kent, UK
April 22, 2011 10:26pm

So, again, the same political views repeated, with no supporting evidence. You may feel it is important if political parties have, or have not, been "corrupted", but that is still an opinion that does not substitute evidence. And that does not make it relevant to the issues of what are, or are not effective treatments or accurate diagnosises.

As to personal attacks, and my "claims" to brilliance or culture; i have not made any. I have pointed out opinions and annecdotes arent evidence.

Go on Phi. Act like a real scerptic for once and cough up some evidence.

Tom H, Kent, UK
April 23, 2011 12:00am

"Ah your reading - that which you place your claims to brilliance and culture on -"

At best you have severly missed the point there Phi. Mopre likely you are pretending somebody claimed to be brilliant to make a straw man attack, and dicredit the need for evidence.

Nobody claimed to be brilliant. Three of us have made the claim that you haven't supported your claims with evidence, and frankly, if you are suggesting that evidence is a BAD thing for your argument to be based on, what kind of Sceptic ae you?

where is the evidence for: "People are physically ill, and traumatised by a brutal class based inegalitarian environment. Those at the top pay the price of their own brutalisation as repressers and oppressors of the people."

And how can this:"It's them that have the psychological problem" Be true if this:"Even psychiatric problems are mostly recognised these days as having a physical and not psychic[sic] cause" is true? Surely those statements taken together mean that the former is a physical disease that can be cured?

So... Where's the evidence Phi? Where is the study? The research? The peer review?

Or are you just making this up?

Illuminatus, Real World
April 23, 2011 3:16am

I see Tom posted three times in a row. Was Phi removed, or did you get that little trick of multiple posts down Tom?

Lumis and Tom, excellent points as always, and indeed you both demonstrate better patience then I do :D

I do agree Tom about Phi using the steady repetition of ones point and ignoring the data to try to get said point across. Its Charlie and Mike from Asheville and Joe Bealdreault all over again.

Cam, Thunder Bay
April 23, 2011 9:16am

Phi was removed as far as i can tell. To be honest I am not sure how somebody can claim to be a sceptic then expect annecdotal evidence alone be enough to justify an argument, and belittle research papers, or studies that offer actual evidence as just books people have read.

How exactly is it thought peer review science works? Fields of study develope? And if they are "just books", why not share the titles of the ones that apparently give a "worldview" so we can look to see if it is real or not?

Tom H, Kent, UK
April 23, 2011 9:52am

Tom - please try and grasp it - I don't see any point in a battle of book titles or in an argument with an ultra conservative masquerading as "centre left" in that peculiar manner known to the British since Thatcher, and who has no connection with the profession discussed. Some people leave uni educated - others leave it arrogant

i left it alone. I think I have posted quite enough here to empower those dealing with Psychologists to answer back and demand their return to physical medical treatment - As for those there for counselling - they may well find the worldview as helpful as it is quaint. Just identify the moment when they suggest your situation is your own fault - ask yourself is it? and if not say "so-long baby - send your bill and i'll send you what your advice was worth."

How fair can you get?

You are right security on this line is dreadful. I emailed Brian with details long ago

Phi and Rob, Sydney and Outer Mongolia
April 23, 2011 2:16pm

Phi, its simple....

Try this tact okay?:

"You know, this is just what I think guys. I have no evidence but this is my idea of whats going on" then talk about your piece.

That way it is made clear you are not making a claim, thus you are not required to provide evidence.

When you DO make definite claims and dont provide evidence you will be called on it.

When you reply with "don't see any point in a battle of book titles or in an argument with an ultra conservative masquerading as..."

Thats basically saying you CANT provide evidence of your claim.

You know I also do apologize for calling you an idiot earlier. Thats me getting personal. You are too smart to not get what we are demonstrating, judging by your typing, so the avoidance of proof is in fact an intentional act on your part.

You want to attack the field you have to deal with the established science, not me...not tom...not lumis or anyone else.

Disprove the literature. Nobody is interested in blowing hot air along with you. Either justify and support your point with literature or dont be taken seriously.

We all welcome good evidence here. If you have it even I will consider it. As I said I enjoy being educated and informed when I am given a sound, well-supported argument.

So far you have neither given a sound or a well supported argument. We hav told you how it can be done. So do it. You can stop lying anytime.

Cam, Thunder Bay
April 23, 2011 2:46pm

Ah yes phi "empowered" people to answer back.

And offering supporting evidence is a "battle of book titles".

Well here's an idea. Let's empower people to ask for evidence! After all, of mental health, like any kindof health is an important issue, wouldn't it be nice if people were making informed decisions?

So Phi. Hey you! Where's the proof?

Tom H, Kent, UK
April 23, 2011 10:05pm

Seeing through the fog of a society structured to benefit one group and to pass that benefit on to generation after generation through "inheritance" is never easy. In fact one attraction of people classified as belonging to lower classes is that their one inheritance is often the ability through nurture to see through the smokescreen. Sadly many of them find life so hard they simply give up.

But occasionally people do get through and see things not as they are meant to seem but as they are. That is when one separates a structured class society from conspiracy theories and sees that the only real "conspiracy" is the class structure itself.

We have a structure that has defined the nature of activity according to class. It has defined the level of possession and remuneration according to class, together with the target and aims for law and the morality of religion

Previous centuries, because of the restricted franchise did not need to conceal class nature - They merely hung drew and quartered enough opponents to the status quo to terrorise the rest. It is only under democracy that terror is less available to be used (albeit America imprisons an amazing proportion of its population)

We live in an ordered Scheinwelt with parameters set by a controlled media in the hands of our masters. Perception in such a false world, as in science is what reveals the truth. Evidence will not cure your blindness Tom for you select it to reinforce your inability to see. Most people do

phi, sydney
April 25, 2011 5:24pm

Phi, I dont care about your politics. Provide evidence for your claims.

Tom H, Kent, UK
April 25, 2011 9:49pm

My goodness Phi that red herring made absolutely no sense at all.

Are you hoping that becoming more obfuscatory will hide the fact that you cant SHOW ME THE EVIDENCE of your claims on psychology?

Wheres the detailed discussion of the literature? The refutation of my own proofs?

Show the evidence Phi. You arent fooling anybody but yourself. You are so proud of your age, but lets see if you have any common sense that developed with those 65 years you like to toss around.

Cam, Thunder Bay
April 26, 2011 6:13am

So Phi offers her world view as evidence of the psychological world view being corrupt? And how is that any different from what religions do?

Illuminatus, fantasy island
April 26, 2011 11:00am

What pathological hypocrites you pseudoskeptics are. You keep hammering Phi for evidence (in the form of peer-reviewed quadruple blinded published studies, yada yada) to support his/her claim yet never provide any evidence for your bizarre claim that psyllium comes out of the hinder parts looking like mucoid plaque. And no, a book written by a pathological pseudoskeptic who claims he did an experiement in his basement (or whatever) does not count.

Joe, USA
April 26, 2011 12:33pm

I assume you mean Ben Goldacre as the "psuedosceptic", who wrote up the experiment in his "Bad Science Book." He by the way is a fully qualified Medical Doctor and Psychiatric Registar. The experiment (if you want to believe he did it in his basement or what ever go right on ahead) fulfills all requirements to be peer review science.

The evidence that was indeed listed AGAINST mucoid plaque (scroll up to find it) includes it being called "a non credible concept" here:

As well as being dismissed by the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre here:,0,4875078.column

The best evidence against it is found here:

Oh, and you are misunderstanding the burden of evidence. it is for advocates of Mucoid Plaque to prove their claims, by overcoming the null hypothosis. Not for sceptics to prove a negative.

Perhaps you didn';t notice those links before. Or perhaps you are a pathological hypocrite.

Illuminatus, The land of reason
April 26, 2011 12:52pm

Look Brian. Your fellow pseudoskeptic is now lying by saying that a book written by an MD has been peer reviewed before being allowed to be published and then quickly throws a red herring. This proves to everyone how much you and the MD profession is a fraud. You thinking that you are some high and mighty scientific thinker is nothing but a creepy nerd fantasy:

Joe, USA
April 26, 2011 2:02pm

No I said the experiment qualified as peer review science before being written about in a book.

Why not read it for yourself? Its easily accessible in the Guardian Website, the Bad Science website, or the book, which is available and in print.

So Joe, you were mistaken about no evidence being offered, then mistaken about the experiment. I would say "untruthful", but that would make you a hypoctie, calling other frauds with no real evidence.

If you have any peer review evidence, clinical trials, pathological evidence, etc, feel free to post it for meaningful discussion.

Illuminatus, fantasy island
April 26, 2011 2:20pm

The volume of literature relating to the operation of the human brain is colossal and contradictory. In the psychological Weltanschauung (worldview) there are hundreds of thousands of relevant volumes

The same applies to any worldview. Communism has a vast literature , Christianity has a vast literature. Democracy has a vast literature. If one chooses one can "prove" any point - or disprove that same point.

But that is not my approach - I am concerned with two points - firstly does the Psychological view really have a secure base in the science of physical(sic) medicine and science generally? And Is its application under present procedures appropriate in the context of illness

My answer to both is no. Psychology by its very nature cannot apply the objective standards Science requires. It's effects are always anecdotal by virtue of the fact they are mind operation based. It is a way of looking at behaviour and emotion etc it does not define and explain their sources. It also works within the framework of the surrounding culture and environment forming in fact part of that culture. It is an artefact. It is useful in counselling but isn't objective science

I do not think its use is appropriate in medicine unless a physical doctor has clearly signed off on the question of whether a person has a psychosomatic disorder - a decision so important to health and treatment he should be held accountable if wrong. Only then can one be sure all the tests have been done

Phi, Sydney
April 26, 2011 2:46pm

"The volume of literature relating to the operation of the human brain is colossal and contradictory. In the psychological Weltanschauung (worldview) there are hundreds of thousands of relevant volumes"

Because you dont understand academic lingo I'll clear up a minor blurb Phi. "Literature" refers to peer reviewed articles and journals.

Nice try for another red herring to make your point attempt to keep standing but you'll have to do better then that.

No evidence of your own yet?

Thats called "blowing hot air".

"But that is not my approach - I am concerned with two points - firstly does the Psychological view really have a secure base in the science of physical(sic) medicine and science generally? And Is its application under present procedures appropriate in the context of illness"

First you deride the available literature (articles and journals) then you say you are concerned with the science of the field....which can be determined from the articles and journals?

Contradiction yet again?

For you Phi science appears to be nothing more then a philosophical concept to be discussed over cookies. Sadly the standards of science are higher then you are proposing here. This is why you arent getting it.


"My answer to both is no. Psychology by its very nature cannot apply the objective standards Science requires"

You have convincingly shown you do not understand what those objective stanadrds are. Thats called hypocrisy.

Cam, Thunder Bay
April 26, 2011 3:35pm

Afraid not Cam "literature" refers to all written works Live with it

In the case of the matters in dispute peer review is not appropriate where conducted within the questioned profession

I have been very careful to keep out of INTERNAL matters because they are matters of self regulation - I refer to and continue to refer to the appropriateness of application of this worldview in relation to actual illness and not in relation to life counselling.

Even there a good psychologist will however make an assessment such as senility and refer a client to physical medicine for further examination. This is entirely about that interface with physical medicine and arises from the fact that Psychology cannot be regarded as a pure science verifiable through objective testing. It is far more related to cultural worldview than science.

Psychology is a Worldview and a business - I don't think the two are properly reconciled, which results in psychosomatic diagnosis having a financial incentive

Not acceptable then for the treating clinic to MAKE that diagnosis

Phi, Sydney
April 26, 2011 4:58pm

You lied Illuminatus. I saw that article by Goldacre on the Guardian Website and it does not cite any peer reviewed experiment on psyllium. It does not even mention any type of fiber at all.

This proves to everyone here that you pseudoskeptics are pathological liars.

Joe, USA
April 26, 2011 8:32pm

I am sure Joe meant to say that Lumis has confused his sources, as over many editions of the Bad Science column Goldacre (and his hilariously qualified dietician cat) have debunked every other major "detox" product. No doubt Joe intended to politely ask if anybody was aware of some primary sources, as opposed to the secondary source. So let's start by asking what is the bentonite/psyllium mix for?

The answer is to make a "malleable surface material".

So clearly it will react like "mucoid plaque" if you eat it or not. Unless of course regular tap water has mucoid placque.

Psyllium as a "bulking" laxitive has been studied considerably since 1957 here:

And how psyllium and bentonite work as "bulking" laxitives (regardless of "mucoid plaque") are mentioned here:

Any other health warnings?

OK.. So that enough evidence Joe? Want to supply some the detox works?

Tom H, Kent UK
April 26, 2011 10:48pm

Tom, those sources do not describe mucoid plaque.

On 1/24/11, to the following, you claimed "wow" the following has "little resemblence" to mucoid plaque:

"The mucous masses may be transparent like slime, or opaque like fibrin, of a grayish white, or a dirty color with pigment in it. Sometimes the masses consist of large, wide and THICK LEATHERY-like membranes; at other times, LONG ribbon-like bands or ROPE-like coils. . .Chemical examination reveals mucin, or mucin-like material, as the chief constituent.”

But strangely claim that the adjectives "bulking" or "malleable", when describing psyllium, has an amazing resemblence to mucoid plaque.

This proves to everyone here how you pseudoskeptics are frauds.

Joe, USA
April 27, 2011 6:19am

Joe, it seems if you do not get what you want then everything else is a fraud. You have links from medical types. Lemme provide another one for you, this one from a highly experienced pathologist. If you claim hes a fraud too then I suggest you demonstrate better credentials and experience then he has:

I say take a bit of time if this is so important to you, and talk to a MD and get their opinion as well. You can question the opinions and research of ppl who arent MDs, and none of us here are that I know of, so go to see your Doc and see what he/she says.

You are free to call your GP a fraud too if you want :D

Cam, Thunder Bay
April 27, 2011 7:28am

"Tom, those sources do not describe mucoid plaque."
No they describe the effects of the bentonite psyllium mix. And the specific claims of the experiment you said were missing from Lumis' post. (These are the primary sources Lumis mistakenly thought goldacre referred to. The "experiment in his basement" by the way, was an experiment with a footbath, fulfilled under clinical conditions, by Goldacre, but you can repeat it at home if you like).

The other sources in his post quite clearly dispell mucoid plaque as pharmaceutical concern. My evidence proves that the pills take a cast of your innards and make the "rubber snake" for reasons that do not involve mucoid plaque.

The patent even shows you don't need to EAT the stuff. The stuff is used as a rubbery surface outside of the body, for building work.

Oh and Phi, not only did you bring the subject of psychology into several threads, you have diverted the topic BACK to it every time we try to move on. Even after you stated no further interest in many topics and asked for threads to be closed. Just a thought.

Tom H, Kent UK
April 27, 2011 8:40am

You are just using scare tactics, Tom. It is a scientific fact that psyllium does not do that INSIDE the body regardless of what it does OUTSIDE the body. Furthermore, meat, cheeze, pasta, fruits and vegetables will all dehydrate and turn rubbery if you leave them out too long. But no one suggests they comes out rubbery after you eat them. There is no scientific evidence to support your claim in vivo.

Cam, if you want to set yourself up yet again, I will oblige. Dr. Hiromi Shinya is an MD gastroenterologist with much much much better credentials. Wikipedia says that "he pioneered modern colonoscopic techniques, and invented the electrosurgical polypectomy snare now common on colonoscopes." He pioneered modern colonoscopy, etc.!!!!! And by the way, he says he sees this toxic material on the intestines and he demonstrates its existance:

You can now cut the @#$% with the credentials business.

Joe, USA
April 27, 2011 10:46am

Much better credentials? Why thendoes he disagree with the beth israeli clinic where (according to one of the many articles on shinya that a google provides) he used to work? Why is his "proof" on you tube videos and pop science books instead of peer review journals?

Why does shinyas name only appear on sites selling his products?

Why did you not read the articles on phyllium as a laxative, and thus realise that it is a scientifically proven (what with us providing proof, and you not providing proof) that a phyllium besonite clay mix acts EXACTLY THAT WAY inyour body. (Ohand pasta does not dehydrate when mixed with liquids inyour body? How astute. And irrelevant. As we are talking about something reacting to a liquid,in a bodily function that mixes it with liquids).

Wheres some decent evidence joe. Ifyou want to call something a scientific fact, back it up, with some facts from science. Where are the clinical trials? Pathological evidence? Where are the autopsies and biopsies giving evidence? Why are the you tube videos declared bunk by every other gastric specialist in the field?

Or are you going to be hypocritcal and not supply any joe?

Illuminatus, fantasy island
April 27, 2011 11:56am

You picked a doc who sold out and went into alt the 70s?

While I do commend you for coming up with a MD this the best current medical research you can do? Like Lumis said, what Shinya says goes against the known medical literature voiced by the pathologist I linked to you. Shinya even advocates Kangen Water for goodness sake which has a terrible reuptation and goes against known chemistry much lss medical science. Indeed we both should not be name dropping but depending on the current research which completely discounts the existence of mucoid plage toxins supposedly removed by a pill full of clay and kitty litter.

Check out PubMed if you like for a good start:

Cam, Thunder Bay
April 27, 2011 12:18pm

As I am sure has pointed out here before, Shinya saying "This must be true because I am an MD" is not the same as saying "This must be true and here is the evidence that supports it."

It has been stated by other doctors that the reason he released videos from a probe to the intestines showing "Mucoid plaque" on you-tube rather than the lancet, is because the people who would read the lancet are going to know it is NOT mucoid plaque the endoscope shows.

Casual viewers of Youtube may not have the same qualifications and may take Shinya at his word. He may even have believed it himself, which makes it even more bizzare that he did not Peer Review it: That is the kind of discovery that, if backed up by clinical evidence, would revolutionise medicine in health systems across the world.

There are holes in the theory: No evidence that mucoid plaque exists, no evidence that if it did a bulking laxative would be the correct treatment, and no evidence that the poop produced after a bulking laxative is a sign of mucoid plaque and not just the effects of a bulking laxative.

That would be simple to prove: Get a bunch of folks to have 'scope exams before and after popping a pill (either the cleanser or the placebo) and retain the poops. If ONLY the people who had plaque AND the cleanser produce rubbery poops you have proof. If the cleansers produce rubbery poop with or with out what you call "plaque" you know you have been conned.

Tom H, Kent UK
April 27, 2011 1:32pm

Yep, I forgot to mention that youtube videos are not the same as scholarly research. I like saying 'literature' but i know thats going to confuse at least one poster so i shall be clear on the term.

Cam, Thunder Bay
April 27, 2011 1:36pm

I am no expert at all in the matter currently being discussed relating to colonoscopy but I am going to pick up on one derogatory remark made by Cam:

"You picked a doc who sold out and went into alt the 70s?"

The sad reality is that thousands of doctors have been forced out of the medical establishment in order to properly service their patients in accordance with their conscience and the oath of their profession. Currently the dominating ethos is one of a limited spectrum of physical illness which in a patient is examined for, and if his illness lies outside the categories tested then it is likely to be regarded as "too rare to test for" and the patient placed in the convenient basket of psychosomatic disorder - This gets the patient off the doctors hands, and even arguably out of medicine into "psychology" where he is fleeced of his money in talk therapies and overpriced exercise programmes (CBT).

Having not agreed with his captors the patient will be categorised as not cooperating with treatment. It is actually a form of fascist thinking

Those doctors who actually try harder with new methods are despised by their own profession for not fitting in. My personal experience was with orthomolecular treatment which got me through a potentially fatal health crisis. Many doctors quietly now use such methods but cannot do it openly for fear of being hounded by their own profession

Many of these doctors Cam slights as "sold out" cure people - that is their sin!

Phi, Sydney
April 27, 2011 3:12pm

Lies yet again Phi.

Wheres the supporting data?

I have some for my end :D

Miklowitz DJ, Richards JA, George EL, Frank E, Suddath RL, Powell KB, Sacher JA. Integrated family and individual therapy for bipolar disorder: results of a treatment development study. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 2003 Feb;64(2): 182-191.

Rea MM, Tompson MC, Miklowitz DJ, Goldstein MJ, Hwang S, Mintz J. Family-focused treatment versus individual treatment for bipolar disorder: results of a randomized clinical trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 2003 Jun;71(3):482-492.

Miklowitz DJ, Otto MW, Frank E, Reilly-Harrington NA, Wisniewski SR, Kogan JN, Nierenberg AA, Calabrese JR, Marangell LB, Gyulai L, Araga M, Gonzalez JM, Shirley ER, Thase ME, Sach GS. Psychosocial treatments for bipolar depression: a 1-year randomized trial from the Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program. Archives of General Psychiatry. Apr 2007; 164 (4):419-426.

Perlick DA, Rosenheck RA, Miklowitz DJ, Chessick C, Wolff N, Kaczynski R, Ostacher M, Patel J, Desai R, STEP-BD Family Experience Collaborative Study Group. Prevalence and correlates of burden among caregivers of patients with bipolar disorder enrolled in the Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program for Bipolar Disorder. Bipolar Disorders. 2007 May; 9(3): 262-273.

I have dozens more articles for review :D Hundreds actually I can access. And thats only a tiny portion of the body of evidence.

Lie some more Phi. Allows me to post more truth.

Cam, Thunder Bay
April 27, 2011 3:32pm

You are referring Cam to the internal workings of a self enclosed system of thinking in Psychology. I am not

What I am referring to is the role of Psychology as a treatment in medicine. in relation to this I see Psychology as a whole as a worldview in which some of its members progress into counselling. Others head off in entirely different directions. You'll find them in Industrial relations, advertising, school counselling for both parents and children, assisting in mediation, including in the context of community justice centres and so on

Outside of the "Clinical Psychology" area I suspect few would be regarding themselves as part of medical science, and to many the question of whether it is a science at all never occurs. They just get on with their job. So the scientific component of "Clinical Psychology" is not Psychology per se!

The question then is how the interface operates where a Psychologist does not have full physical medical training. I argue that such counselling cannot be regarded as part of the scientific area of medicine - As such it should never diagnose or work in medicine except under full medical supervision - And there should be matters of liability involved

This would stop physical medicine avoiding ITS responsibilities by duck shoving difficult cases into psychology to get rid of them. This would totally revise the current view of the relationship between physical illness and psychological and psychiatric phenomena. That needs to be done!

Phi, Sydney
April 27, 2011 4:09pm

So in other words you cant contradict the science?

You could have just said "I cant tackle the science to see its strengths and flaws and weigh them objectively".

Not too surprising since you cant understand even basic research methodology and certainly nothing with statistical analysis. I established that by laying out basic processes for you and you completely misunderstood them (this too is all for the moderator to realize this isnt another personal attack, I actually established that several posts up :D).

I would have welcomed an in depth review. Psychology as an effective theory is always improving and like any other science there are gaps in the knowledge. Those capable of discussing this issue are capable of elucidating those gaps in a meanigful and supported way (in the evidentiary sense) and I am the better for it.

If you can tackle the science in an informed way I will still welcome it, as for now you are incapable and it seems utterly unwilling.

From this point on Phi I cant take you seriously in any sense of the word until you become educated. I even gave you literature you could have used to discuss gaps and you still didnt take it.

Cam, Thunder Bay
April 28, 2011 7:40am

Also, making unsupported claims that an unspecified number of doctors were "forced out" does not add any validation to the mucoid plaque diagnosis or treatment.

Even proving Phis claims of the forcing of doctors to leave regulated practice would not prove this was the case with Shinya. (The available evidence instead suggests he left his practice to make more money selling alt-med remedies).

Alt-med advocates may not welcome a claimed motive knowing it brings with it unwelcome comparrisons to Wakefield and the MMR hoax.

Still any time Phi wants to prove psychology is self enclosed and not a science i am sure we all look carefully at the evidence...

tom h, kent
April 28, 2011 9:26am

I can only agree and reiterate that as soon as you want to present a reasoned case that is both educated on the topic and supported by a body of evidence that we all will be glad to consider it Phi.

As for now the rest of us including a specialist in the field itself has presented litrature which supports the view of psychological efficacy which you havent even been willing to consider. The burden of proof is on you Phi.

So until that point I am done trying to help out and will continue calling your baloney for what it is.

I'd like to point out a few of your errors Phi, perhaps you can read up the appropriate podcast after and maybe see some other errors there:

1. Does the claim meet the qualifications of a theory?

You have zero supporting evidence

5. Do the claimants state that their claim is being suppressed by authorities?

You claim all the research posted is all in supprt of some multi billion dollar industry which hurts its clients and that real medical ppl have to lose their jobs to treat others

6. Does the claim sound far fetched, or too good to be true?

You have presented zilch.

11. How good is the quality of data supporting the claim?

Once again you have supplied none whatsoever

13. Do the claimants state that there's something wrong with the norm?

You did just that when i spoke of test norms.

15. Does the claim have support that is political, ideological, or cultural?

Your claims have been entirely ideological so far.

Cam, Thunder Bay
April 28, 2011 10:26am

Illuminatus, you are absolutely hilarious. The only IN VIVO description of psyllium and/or bentonite from any of your sources is that it "give[s] the contents a soft consistency which does not irritate the intestine mechanically.", which is totally at odds with your fantasy that it forms a rubbery cast of the intestines in vivo. LOL. You are hilarious.

However, it has already long been documented in conventional literature that mucin forms a leathery cast of the intestines, which can be “torn”, as they put it, from the mucosa:

"The mucous masses may be transparent like slime, or opaque like fibrin, of a grayish white, or a dirty color with pigment in it. Sometimes the masses consist of large, wide and THICK LEATHERY-like membranes; at other times, LONG ribbon-like bands or ROPE-like coils. . .Chemical examination reveals mucin, or mucin-like material, as the chief constituent. . .In the sigmoid the membranes could be torn from the reddened mucosa without loss of substance.” Robinsona, Byron, M.D. The Abdominal Brain and Automatic Visceral Ganglia. 1899 pages 210-213 I

Mucoid plaque is defined as a mixture of mucin, sloughed off epithelial cells, bacteria, digested food, plasma proteins, digestive enzymes, secretory IgA and bile. It is hilarious, Illuminatus, to watch you claim that there is no modern scientific evidence for the existance of these substances on the intestines. LOL.

Joe, USA
April 28, 2011 11:15am are taking something from 1899 if I read that right?

Why are you using an article over 113 years or so old to justify your point of view? Little useful was known about medical science back then.

I thought you were going to fund something MORE current, not less.

You have links to medical research, put it to use and come up with current research please, we'd all be happy to consider it.

Cam, Thunder Bay
April 28, 2011 11:47am

So here's an idea, take this:

"colloidal, hydrated aluminum silicate that, when added to water, swells to approximately 12 times its dry size. It is used as a bulk laxative and as a base for skin care preparations."

Then add this:

"The seeds of this plant, widely used as a mild bulk laxative and sometimes added to foods as a dietary source of soluble fiber."
"The mucilloid portion of the seeds of P. ovata is used to make psyllium hydrophilic mucilloid which is a bulk aperient to relieve constipation caused by a low residue diet."

Note that psyllium is a source of this:
"soluble fiber that with an affinity for water, either dissolving or swelling to form a gel; it includes gums, pectins, mucilages, and some hemicelluloses, and is primarily found in fruits, vegetables, oats, barley, legumes, and seaweed."

We have two laxatives. One of which vastly swells the mass of your poo, one is used to produce "Mucilages". Neither of which require mucoid plaque to do so. Look at the description Joe posted, and check off how many can be produced by the known properties of the ingredients.

Oh and Joe seemed to miss the meaning of these words in other posts:
"bulk laxative , bulk-forming laxative one promoting bowel evacuation by increasing fecal volume"

Tom H, Kent
April 28, 2011 1:13pm

If you have failed to produce evidence yourself in this matter Cam it is that anybody suffering from illness should go anywhere near a psychologist or do anything but doubt the ability and competence of a doctor referring them to one, without first making a physical diagnosis that clearly identifies the problem - and committing himself clearly to that diagnosis in terms which he can be held liable for any error caused by inadequate testing.

life counselling is one thing - physical medicine is another - don't confuse the two. What this forum has demonstrated to me is that the situation is far WORSE than I thought it was - the rot has got right into medicine and needs to be purged. Physical medicine needs to reclaim its territory from a mountain of psychosomatic bulldust.

In the meantime the individual patient can do it for themselves. Don't pay for this rubbish as medicine - use it for lifestyle counselling - in which it is very useful - only. If you think you are ill then don't stop until you have a committed diagnosis, and if you find out later that something was missed through a test not carried out that should have been, talk to your lawyer. At very least ask for the redemption of the amount of fees paid for psychological treatment that was not appropriate.

phi, Sydney
April 28, 2011 2:59pm

Failed to produce evidence himself?

Er, he has produced ample evidence of how psychology works, you have produced nothing to sway us from the null or the norm.

Try harder Phi.

"In the meantime the individual patient can do it for themselves. Don't pay for this rubbish as medicine"
Oh look, something else for Phi to prove...

"If you think you are ill then don't stop until you have a committed diagnosis," Please clarify, are you suggesting people who think they are physically ill will go to a psychologist first? Or that mentally ill people are physically ill? Either way, produce evidence it has happened or is happening.

"life counselling is one thing - physical medicine is another "
And mental health yet another. Please supply evidence that psychologgists believe these are interchangable, or your argument is somewhat redundant.

Illuminatus, Reptoid Retreat
April 28, 2011 3:34pm

Challenge the science Phi.

You are trying to make this between you and me, and you know I supplied information about the interla workings of the field and it wasnt up to your exacting (hehe sarcasm) standards. I was under no obligatio since the burden of proof is on you, but I obliged anyways.

So, I provided evidence in the forms of scholarly reviews and journal articles.

Apparently you are still even too good for this ;) In fact you refused to even look at the supplied information.

Except you are demonstrating hypocrisy of the highest order and an intellectual cowardice unmatched so far by refusing to show evidence for your views to this great degree. Its frankly amazing :D

It doesnt bother me a whit. I know I have the science behind me and so far you havent even tried to delve into it :D This isnt my issue so stop trying to make it mine.

Stop lying Phi. Tackle the science of the field. Show some courage for once. Actually show any effort to become informed about the issue you are trying to attack...just once! I welcome an informed discussion. Until then I will call out your actions for what they are: attempts at obfuscation, lying, willful disinformation and so forth.

The opportunity for you to act from the facts is there. All you have to do is stop this baloney and delve into the literature. Easy.

Cam, Thunder Bay
April 28, 2011 3:38pm

"Those who wish to call something baloney with out evidence are no different from those who want to call crystals medicine with out evidence."
As a smarter man than I said, if you can't be sceptical of your own thoughts and be prepared to prove it with evidence, you are in no possition to be sceptical of others.

Evidence has been offered for the status quo, all we have supporting the opinion of Phi is the opinion of Phi.

Frankly, I'm sceptical about that...

Illuminatus, Reptoid Retreat
April 28, 2011 4:02pm

Ah a gliimmer of light at last Illy!

I am giving my personal experiences - the one thing you cannot take away from me, or snow job away with your trolling.

I leave the book views etc for the internal consumption of the discipline

Something wrong in that?

it is for the person within a discipline to personally evaluate the internal parameters.

The outsiders area is how that worldview operates when it is taken out of its academic context and given practical application. My experience there is that as a servant of medicine, as a concurrent view it can be very useful - But as diagnosis of what is really happening - as a symbol of reality - Nope

I speak about how I have found it best to deal with the situation that psychology in its often bastardised modern form tends to be a conservative status quo enforcing worldview and how it can be dealt with if it is used against you especially to terminate necessary physical medical treatmen

phi, sydney
April 29, 2011 5:26pm

I'd like to quote mine here :D I mean to do so for yet another attempt to help Phi see where he has been drastically falling short these last several months.

To paraphrase Dr. Lawrence Krauss:

"To know something is nothing. We must test our knowledge".

You can have all the personal experiences you want Phi. Thats called anecdotal evidence. However one must take an additional step and test it against whats known to find out its validity.

"I leave the book views etc for the internal consumption of the discipline"

Reviews of the relevant joural articles are one of the only ways you can gain a broad and deep knowledge of the field you wish to discuss. Without such knowledge of a field of science, you cannot intelligently discuss, or test the veracity of your views of said field. In fact you have repeatedly revealed how woefully little you know of may not be embarrassed but I am for you believe it or not.

Get informed please.

"I speak about how I have found it best to deal with the situation that psychology in its often bastardised modern form tends to be a conservative status quo enforcing worldview and how it can be dealt with if it is used against you especially to terminate necessary physical medical treatmen..."

This is drivel without supporting data Phi. You may have gone over this thought in your head a great dealbut you have never measured or examined it in context of the field and the known science.

Start doing so for your benefit please.

Cam, Thunder Bay
April 29, 2011 6:20pm

I don’t have to test my EXPERIENCES and that is what I base my posts on, Cam - not on a reading list deliberately assembled to validate my prejudices. I am saying “this I know because I have witnessed it”

All Psychological evidence is based on “anecdotal interpretation” - there are no objective ways of examining Psychological phenomena. The mind is too complex for that. The fact that you can string them together linguistically to give the appearance of consistency does not prove very much except your linguistic ability to shape a worldview. Ideologies WORK - that is why men formulate them. But we are still entitled to dispute them in part, in entirety, and in application. And on that level of dispute it is experience that counts not the internal workings of a self enclosed cosmos.

Internal professional journals are unlikely to give you the area I am discussing because I am speaking about overall application - whether a patient sent down the psychological path should take what has happened at face value and value it as a continuum of his medical treatment. GWS and CFS sufferers are perhaps amongst the first to realise that it is not

It is one thing to say a CFS or GWS sufferer is depressed, another to say CFS IS depression for example. So if the CFS patient is referred on solely for CBT that is crap medicine. He won’t get well unless he was misdiagnosed in the first place - all too common because of the conceptual mess made of CFS

Be a little less arrogant, Cam!

phi, sydney
April 29, 2011 8:15pm

Again, to show the other types of evidence psychology uses other than "annecdotal evidence", see previous posts.

That Ph continues with this claim inspite of contradicting evidence some what flaws the argument that follows.

That Phi thinks personal experience is more important than objective evidence, orthat the experience of Phi is enough to convince others, seems somewhat more arrogant than anything Cam said.

We have no evidence in support of the claims of phi, and many reasons to be sceptical. Not least of which is the refusal to use evidence to support any claims, and a determination to make false claims of straw man attacks when none have been made.

If Phi knows what is "crap medicine" why not just show us the study that proves it? If it is good medicine it would be trialled and regulated, so where's the evidence?

Tom H, Kent, UK
April 29, 2011 11:41pm

"On this forum Tom dear we exchange personal experience ."
Do we? Perhaps you could explain where exactly that is stated as a rule? As that appears to be what YOU do Phi, not what WE do.

"But I have not seen any actual hands on experience from you at all."

No, because personal experience is not a good base for scientific or sceptical reasoning. Evidence is.

"If I want to read theory I'll go to the books not a discussion forum"
Perhaps you shouldn't feel the need to limit yourself to just one or the other. Otherwise, please don't dictate what other people can or can't post here.

"Bully someone who is interested"
Disagreeing with you it not the same as bullying. You have made claims that are not supported by evidence, and claims that are not supported by evidence, and some which are disproven by evidence. (Making such accustaions, and false cries of "straw man", or trollish claims about the politics of others could be seen as bullying though, so feel free to be ashamed of many of your own posts).

So lets be clear again: When Phi states psychology is ONLY based on annectdotale evidence, this can be easily be proven to be FACTUALLY incorrect. It is not true.

The list of evidence gathering methods includes, but is not limited to:
Neuroimagaing, Computational Modeling, Content anaylisis, Meta anylisis, psychophysiological methods, surveys, archival data, and varying methoeds of experiment (all of which fit the remit for peer review science).

Tom H, Kent
April 30, 2011 7:43am

"I don’t have to test my EXPERIENCES and that is what I base my posts on, Cam - not on a reading list deliberately assembled to validate my prejudices. I am saying “this I know because I have witnessed"

Once again you are attempting to absolve yourself from one of the primary responibilities of virtually every serious and principled investigator who actually wishes to prove a claim.

You are trying...rather say you dont have to prove your EXPERIENCES with evidence. Sorry champ that just wont fly.

We can prove our claims to the null. We take the responsibility to provide backing of our claims because we have the integrity to do so.

Who was it who said "that which can be presented without evidence may be dismissed without evidence:?

Phi you are begging us to dismiss every claim you make when you present it without evidence.

Anything I say can be checked, verified, falsified.

You are trying to remove your claims from the realm of falsifiability which is a primary component of pseudoscience.

You can stop this farce anytime.

Make a claim? Present supporting evidence for review.

We all did it. Your turn.

Cam, Thunder Bay
April 30, 2011 6:40pm

Ah well, if we can't argue with experience we will just have to accept that people were abducted by aliens, met angels, visited by ghosts, cured of HIV by faith healers, cured of cancer by filtered water, had their life energy redirected by crystals, their mucoid plaque removed by cat litter pills, and that they saw the thin guy looming in the shadows of every disaster.

Or we could state that personal testemony is of limited value while making a sclaim of what does, or does not work scientifically, and is subject to all kinds of issues like miscorellation or confirmation bias.

Then we could go further and state that although it is possible to make any claim you want with out evidence. Sceptics tend to be sceptical by nature, and point out the lack of evidence supporting claims.

If you repeat the claims it is likely it will be pointed out, repeatedly.

And if you are going to dismiss psychology as not being a science because it is based, in your opinion, entirely on subjective opinion, perhaps your own subjective opinion is not evidence enough. It somewhat implies it is wrong for psychology, but ok for you.

Where as psychology has ample evidence it does not rely on annectdotes alone.

Tom H, Kent, UK
May 1, 2011 12:05am

You actually are reinforcing what I am staying. Instead of an open view you are displaying an entirely closed one - it is almost as if you think you have found the Holy Grail.

This you surround with worship as if you somehow think that validates it. And you persecute anyone who dares speak against it. That the worship of the Grail may make you feel better is easily explained by your own concepts - It is all self enclosing. Serving the Grail creates hierarchies and positions and access to money and some power over people or delusion thereof. And many do in fact respond to such systems - both stalinism and Fascism made many feel secure. But that did not validate them as social forms

And then someone Downunder says quite sincerely "What a load of rubbish" - But you have too much invested in this falsehood and the structure that worships it. "Give us evidence that this is false from our own studies" you cry

Never mind that the Grail has no real power - that it comforts misery in some but does not cure the cause. It is an ideology that's all - a more subtle one than hitherto and far more useful than most - but it comes no closer to explaining reality than any other. But you can't see that

Science has to get beyond all this dross from the past. A flawed hypothesis can still bring us forward to the point where we can perceive an error. Remember alchemy and Phlogiston?

From doctor to prophet - then only prophet and profit - the decay of Freuds ideas.

Ein Holzweg, Sigmund!

Phi, Sydney
May 4, 2011 5:27pm

"From doctor to prophet - then only prophet and profit - the decay of Freuds ideas.

Ein Holzweg, Sigmund!"

Aaah hahahhahahahahahhahahahah!!

Sorry Moderator, I have to mock this a little bit.

What did I tell you earlier Phi? The whole basis of science can be summed up simply:

The know the truth is nothing. To TEST your knowledge is everything.

Freud was a pioneer of the field, but he proposed a great many untestable ideas, and those that were testable wer almost to a whole disproven.

BUT he gave the field a starting point. Because of the introduction of science from the 40s through the 80s to a position where only evidence based therapies would be used, it grew from there.

"Instead of an open view you are displaying an entirely closed one - it is almost as if you think you have found the Holy Grail".

Say this to the mirror three times champ.

The rest of us are willing to test our ideas against the known science, and our minds change as the present best facts change and grow. We ask what does the science lead us to, and we subscribe to it.

None of us here started out with a conclusion and then sat on it despite the evidence. YOU did.

You have ignored all calls to seek for and provide any supporting evidence of your claims except a fricking nazi political speech.

Stop being a hypocrite. I will continue to point out those giant holes in your posts. Keep em coming, this is incredibly easy.

Cam, Thunder Bay
May 5, 2011 8:55am

And then somebody Down under says "what a load of rubbish", and instead of waffling on about the Holy Grail, and profit, and utter unrelated b*ll*cks I say; where is the proof?

Because if you want to talk science, then talk like a follower of science and give us proof. Not opinion, not your amazing failure to understand Mort d'Arthur and the holy grail, or even politics. How about some evidence. Because frankly, if you actually gave a damn about what helped people you would take the time to look at the evidence and ask why so many people actually benefit from something, instead of telling them (some what dangerously) to ignore the doctor who recommended them to psych treatment, and go looking for a physical cure to mental health issues.

The thing to remember about morded is he was not evil. He believed the quest for the grail a folly, and drove the peasents away from arthur even seeing how it restored the land. You Phi are mordred, any thought you had for the good others is long forgotton and now your only concern is being right.

Nobody else cares about the politics or the morality. We look at the knowledge and the science. You have none. And thus, you are doomed.

Yes. A working class lad at a crud school in a humble trade paid attention in English Lit as well as science. Let the personal attacks and claims of classism begin so i can busy myself ignoring them.

Tom H, Kent, UK
May 5, 2011 12:51pm

Ah but you don't ignore them do you Tom And that is because the whole field of handling mental illness and the human mind is in big trouble. Again do your own research. The internet has given people a voice and that voice is saying "What on earth is happening in medicine" . Where ARE the health services our taxes should pay for?

How come we have built this monstrous empire of profit and self interest that fails so often - and even refuses at times to serve the people? How come we have so few doctors prepared to be fully unselfish - why in a set of professions so few heroes? I'm sorry but it is that bad. The medical professions are demanding what in many cases is ludicrous remuneration

In all this selfish mess micro empires, many on the pseudo medical and charlatan fringe, spring up Psychology, being but one in its present profit seeking incarnation. The whole is a mess - People in desperation respond to all this by looking "elsewhere"

Western medicine needs complete restructuring - it's condition is symptomatic of the state of society generally. it is malfunctioning. If Physical medicine were operating properly there would be less recourse to talk therapies that have no hope of fixing physical problems

That which has evolved in society is not necessarily the desirable "end form". Selfish interest limits the application of the discoveries of science - even limiting their use through draconian patent laws - at times even preventing such application

phillip Clarke, sydney
May 5, 2011 3:25pm

The field of mental health is in trouble? Doesn't seem to be, where's the evidence?

A monstrous profit seeking empire that fails? Based on what evidence? You have never supplied a single poiece of evidence for this "failure". And profit seeking? Nope, sorry, conclusively blew that out of the water ages ago. Compared to other medical fields psychology is bargain basement.

Western Medicine is malfunctioning? Again, no evidence to support this. The opposite in fact, life expectancy and standardof living increases dramatically as western medicine is introduced to developing nations.

And again, you talk of psychology having "no hope of fixing physical problems", any time you want to back that up with facts go ahead.

Where is your evidence phi? You can repeat your claims as often as you like, but each time you churn them out they sound more and more like rants. Where is the evidence? The data to support such sweeping statements?

Tom H, Kent, UK
May 5, 2011 9:19pm

I suppose it may not matter to you, but I can state without reservation and in all good conscience that you are wrong in your assessment of bowel cleansing theory and (one) currently marketed product. I had a long career as a nurse; I've handled, well, let's see how to phrase this nicely: "Lots of bedpans with loads of...stuff" in them" and also have used one of these maligned products with great benefit. Frankly, I don't care what any organization or individual views as "truth." I prefer personal experience to someone else's opinion. I've long since lost 99% of my respect for:
1. The FDA
2. The pharmacy industry
3. The AMA
4. The medical schools that have allowed the pharmacy industry to subvert scholarship and science by funding the research done at such schools. I equate it to intellectual prostitution.
I have a team of wonderful physicians: primary: DO; rheumatologist, DO; ortho surgeon, MD; general surgeon, MD. I respect and trust each of them. They ALL have agreed that I am more healthy since adopting a wellness plan that cut back on synthetic chemical treatment (prescription meds) and employed more 'natural' nutritionally supported (herbs,duh) AND bowel cleanse. You're just wrong this time, but I will also say that all 'bowel cleanse' programs are not equal; the first I tried was completely ineffective and a waste of money. The second program I tried (years later) was everything it claimed to be, did everything it said it would, and was worth every penny.

Naomi Bigelow, Michigan USA
May 9, 2011 3:17pm

Is there not a contradiction in stating that medical science is not to be trusted, then including a claim that practitioners or medical science endorse your wellness plan?

And what exactly does "nutritionally supportesd" mean? Any medicine supported by a balanced diet can make the same claims. Presecription meds are "nutritionally supported" if they expect you to eat at any point while using them.

And lets be specific; exactly which perscription medication are you claiming can be replaced by herbs and bowel cleansing. What disease will it cure?

Tom H, Kent, UK
May 10, 2011 5:14am

"Western medicine needs complete restructuring - it's condition is symptomatic of the state of society generally. it is malfunctioning. If Physical medicine were operating properly there would be less recourse to talk therapies that have no hope of fixing physical problems"

Yet you claim that only physical medicine should handle any and all issues, even mental health issues where properly trained MDs have ruled out known physical causes.

Phi, will you quite contradicting yourself?

And if you must lie, at least stick to one. You havent spoken a single word of truth yet, but at least practice some consistency with the types of baloney you attempt to serve for dinner.

Once again, feel free at any time to get educated about these fields before commenting on them.

Who was it who once said "better to be thought a fool and keep your mouth shut then to open it and remove all doubt"?

@ Naomi, if you have MDs supporting non medically induced bowel cleansing, I suggest you find new MDs.

Aside from that, what doctor doesnt appreciate his or her patients living simply, exercising, not smoking, sleeping and eating healthy? Many many ways to do that.

As for bowel clease you put yourself at risk every single time you do it, for no medical benefit.

Cam, Thunder Bay
May 10, 2011 5:12pm

Issue could also be taken between the terms of distinction Naomi chooses to use to distinguish the different kinds of medicine. On the one hand we have "synthetic" regular medicine on the other hand we have "natural" and "herbs, duh".

Well, first up we have to ask if alternative medicines are any less processed or "natural" than the regular kind? The chances are you have not strolled out into the country side and picked elder flowers or st johns wart yourself. You are probably taking something that has been processed and distilled into a pill or capsule. Just like regular pharmaceutical companies have with the raw ingredients to make their pill.Oh sure, some people will say, chemistry has been done, but sooner or later the key ingredients came from mother earth. Yeah, short of divine god like powers, that is true of ALL materials... So the distinction between "natural" and "synthetic" medicine is one of marketing in 99.99% of products.

Worse, we are talking a bowl cleansing pill.So even if your "natural" descriptor is for the psyllium husk fibres, that does not explain the processed and treated bentonite clay. It is "natural" kitty litter. In a processed pill or add-to-water compound.

The bits of "natural" medicine that worked became "medicine", or "synthetic" medicine if you insist on calling it that. Those are the bits that can be proven to work with evidence.Bowl cleansing is not one of them.

Tom H, Kent
May 11, 2011 8:44am

There are actually also "Liver flushes" available. It's quite a complicated procedure, but it was shown by scientists that these, also, produce the sort of thing they are claiming to rid you of in the first place.

Lagerbaer, Vancouver
June 3, 2011 5:09pm

well as for me i patially agree with you in your explanation"Are they bacteria? Chemical pollutants? Trans fats? Heavy metals? To avoid being tested, they leave this pretty vague. Actual medical treatments will tell you exactly what they do and how they do it. Alternative detoxification therapies don't do either one. They pretty much leave it up to the imagination of the patient to invent their own toxins. Most people who seek alternative therapy believe themselves to be afflicted by some kind of self-diagnosed poison; be it industrial chemicals, McDonald's cheeseburgers, or fluoridated water. If the marketers leave their claims vague, a broader spectrum of patients will believe that the product will help them. And, of course, the word "toxin" is sufficiently scientific-sounding that it's convincing enough by itself to many people" but then its educative., Lagos
June 21, 2011 7:35am


I agree with much of what you've stated here. I feel urged to comment on this:

"Is it ironic that the only people who will help you manage this all-natural option are the medical doctors? Certainly your naturopath won't. He wants to sell you some klunky half-legal hardware.

Why is it that so many people are more comfortable self-medicating for conditions that exist only in advertisements, than they are simply taking their doctor's advice? "
Because it's obvious to myself and many other members of the younger generation that MANY medical practitioners don't take the time to properly diagnose people; and they are vested in selling them drugs they don't actually need. These partnerships formed with big pharma also often lead to misdiagnosis. People are losing trust in their doctors. I've worked in the medical industry as a programmer and I've seen first hand, while spending countless hours behind the scenes in clinics, pharmaceutical reps bringing 'up-scale' catered meals to the whole office with contracts in hand. Also the flawed system of reimbursement for procedures has created an underlying air of apathy in MANY medical offices and hospitals. The insurance companies are refusing to pay doctors if one tiny mistake is found on their CMS submissions. The whole system is flaky at best. So you can't blame people's desire to self diagnose or medicate solely on their lack of scientific understanding or mild hypochondria.

Patrick Bennett, Atlanta
July 2, 2011 9:01am

The only real detoxifier is water. (and your liver ;) )

Canis, Fargo, ND
July 3, 2011 1:23pm

This was a most interesting read. I am a physician, and I speak for my colleagues that are strong enough to speak up... Our first two years of medical school are learning the basic sciences and out last two years are learning pathologies and the drug used to treat each pathology...and "when in doubt, cut it out" is a sad mantra in many medical schools... Big Pharma and Insurance companies have taken over medicine as it stands today... I am beginning to think Naturopaths have it right. Any good Naturopath who is actually board certified (only a few 4 yr schools in the country so most NDs are quacks) will lab test appropriately.. we dont have headaches bc we are deficient in tylenol and we dont have high blood pressure bc we are difficient in a beta blocker... We have it all wrong in medicine today... You article gives me a chuckle at best. And my colleagues will say the same thing. Good luck to you.

Ashley, Scottsdale, AZ
July 12, 2011 12:03pm

Ashley - It is just as meaningful for a naturopath to be board certified as it is for a duck. Theirs is not a recognized medical field, and so they have made up their own certification boards. They have no legitimacy outside of their own circles.

Brian Dunning, Laguna Niguel, CA
July 12, 2011 1:53pm

Brian Dunning, you, as usually, are a sociopathic liar:

You say Naturopathy is not a recognized medical field outside of their own circles yet Wikipedia says that many US jurisdictions regulate or license naturopathy and permit access to prescription drugs and minor surgery.

You say that the medical doctor profession DOES NOT make up their own certification boards yet this site

says that MD board certifification "is designed and administered by specialists in the specific area of medicine".

Joe, Maine
July 14, 2011 6:44am

Naturopath "credentials" are purchased online based on absolutely no meaningful qualifications.

Ben Goldacres dead cat is a fully qualified Naturopath.

Joe, assuming you are atleast trying to be truthful, perhaps you should have fact checked Wikipedia against some actual medical boards.

TomH, Kent
July 14, 2011 12:17pm

Tom, your comments are incoherent and do not address what I said.

Brian said that Naturopathy is "not a recognized medical field". This is a stupid lie. Many US jurisdictions regulate or license naturopathy.

Brian argues that Naturopathy is not legitimate because they make up "their own certification boards". This is a stupid statement because the MD profession ALSO makes up their own
certification boards.

This proves that Brian is both stupid and a liar.

Joe, USA
July 14, 2011 1:09pm

"Brian said that Naturopathy is "not a recognized medical field". This is a stupid lie. Many US jurisdictions regulate or license naturopathy."

Licensing by a government does not mean that the medical professionals (you know, those "peers" in "peer review") recognize the field as valid. It merely means that the government considers the practice dangerous enough to require authorization to perform that action.

"Brian argues that Naturopathy is not legitimate because they make up "their own certification boards". This is a stupid statement because the MD profession ALSO makes up their own
certification boards."

There's a difference between making stuff up and recognizing the requirements necessary to perform a task. You're confusing "pulling things out of thin air" with "understanding that one needs to demonstrate competance in the field."

Gregory, Alabama
July 15, 2011 11:04am

"Licensing by a government does not mean that the medical professionals recognize the field as valid."

Gregory, licensing by a government means the government recognizes it as valid just like the MD profession, which is also licensed by the government. You are being manipulative.

"It merely means that the government considers the practice dangerous enough to require authorization to perform that action."

Gregory, the government also license the MD profession. I guess that means they are dangerous quacks also. Your argument is stupid.

Gregory, your last paragraph is irrelevant. Brian Dunning said:

"Theirs is not a recognized medical field, and so they have made up their own certification boards. They have no legitimacy outside of their own circles."

Brian Dunning is saying that MD certification boards are regulated by fellow professionals on the "outside" thus helping to ensuring quality.

I already proved that he lied. The web says that MD board certifification "is designed and administered by specialists in the specific area of medicine".

Joe, USA
July 15, 2011 12:19pm

Joe you ignorant slut (Man, I wish his name would have been Jane)... Yes, being an MD is a very dangerous field and a simple mistake can cause numerous people their lives, so what?

Govt licensing something in no way puts it an the same "level" as anything else... other than maybe the level that as Gregory said, because they are both "dangerous" to some degree at a level the Govt feels they should "keep an eye on it".

Being recognized doesn't mean that a user (possibly one licensed in the "field" we are speaking of) based input website mentions it as being recognized. It means it is ACTUALLY recognized by the people who count: the medical "peers" and board.

You have proved nothing more than your lack of research & ignorance on the topic.

John V., Sterling, IL
July 15, 2011 10:08pm

If you people on here are so confident about your products then why don't you test them. See that's the thing with FDA approved drugs. They go through double blind tests and measure results.

Some natural things work. Most do not. Stop treating these made up illnesses like they are the root of all diseases.

Trust me, if a drug company could make a drug that worked for 3 cents and sell it for $50 they would be doing it. It's not a conspiracy. Their stuff just has to work for them to sell it.

Joshua, OK
July 18, 2011 9:34am

Joshua, I'm not a seller. I am just a customer.

They don't ask the FDA to test them because if it is proven to work then it will be labeled as a drug and subject to control by medical doctors. Why would they want to turn over control of THEIR product to MDs who they believe are too stupid to prescribe and regulate it properly? There are no naturopathic doctors on the FDA panel.

Drug companies, like most corporations, are only interested in maximizing profits. The best way to maximize profits is to patent drugs that the patient needs to stay on. Its not a conspiracy. Its just capitalistic pig philosophy that conservatives accept as moral.

Mucoid plaque is not a made up illness. Its just that most MDs are too stupid and narcissistic to appreciate it.

Joe, USA
July 18, 2011 2:29pm

"They don't ask the FDA to test them because if it is proven to work then it will be labeled as a drug and subject to control by medical doctors. Why would they want to turn over control of THEIR product to MDs who they believe are too stupid to prescribe and regulate it properly? There are no naturopathic doctors on the FDA panel"

No naturopathic doctors on the FDA? Probably because they demand that their members are medically qualified. (Yeah, make me reference you to Ben Goldacres cat again...I dare you!)

I think you will find the reason it isn't tested to meet medical standards is much more simple: It wont work.

"Mucoid plaque is not a made up illness. Its just that most MDs are too stupid and narcissistic to appreciate it."
And yet there is no evidence it exists. So you want me to take the word of a CUSTOMER that it is real? A CUSTOMER WHO DOESN'T WANT THE PRODUCT TESTED?

No. How some evidence? Real evidence? So far we have had people show us that SOME doctors used to think it was real (yet did not match the apparent syptoms the product claims) who ignore the fact that the product reacts exactly the same WITHOUT the made up disease?

Psssh. I got some old plaster and rubbery husk fluid that cures you of arse monkeys. You haven't heard of arse monkeys? Better buy some! It's real and you probably have it! I can't prove it though, the doctors don't believe me and my unqualified cobbler-peddlers.

Illuminatus, ReptoidWorld
August 18, 2011 12:58pm


Edward Uthman from says that there is absolutely no such thing as “a thick mucus-like substance that builds up on the intestinal walls as the body attempts to protect itself from various toxic substances”. Yet a simple search completely debunks his delusion:

“Adherent mucus does not appear to offer much protection against exogenous damaging agents, e.g. alcohol and aspirin. . .The subsequent epithelial repair process is protected by a gelatinous coat over ten times thicker and distinct from the normal adherent mucus layer. Our recent studies show this gelatinous coat to be primarily a fibrin-based gel with mucus and necrotic cells.”

“In vivo [mucin] forms a loose gel, with the complexity and thickness of the meshwork increasing as the volume of secreted mucin increases. . .in vivo, a situation of lowered intestinal pH and/or increased luminal serum proteins might cause normal mucins to undergo a pathological transformation into either a viscous gel or an insoluble precipitate. . .These findings suggest that mucin secretion may be a physiologic mechanism by which harmful toxins or immune complexes are cleared from the intestinal surface." --- Forstner, JF. “Intestinal mucins in health and disease.” Digestion 1978 17(3) 234-63.

Edward Uthman is a medically unqualified assclown unlike Hiromi Shinya, who pioneered modern colonoscopic techniques:

Joe, Maine
August 22, 2011 8:07am

Joe, assuming you couldn't be bothered to read the lengthy discussion above about those very sources, I will save you the effort:

Research since 1978 has simply proven that such substances do not have time to build up in the intestinal tract. As discussed by such "unqualified ass clowns" as Ben Goldacre (yes, a scientist) and more importantly by Dr Doug Pleskow gasteroenterologist at the Beth Israel Deconease centre. The same centre Hiromi Shinya worked for when he was a real doctor, and before he started to make ludicrous claims unsupported peer review science and intended to sell his bowl cleansing products (gee, coincidence there...)

Or how about the Pathologist at the University of Texas? Who called it a "myth" and noted there was no biopsy evidence. Or Pathologist Edward Feidlander? Are they all unqualified ass clowns Joe? Did you find them in your "simple search"?

The simple truth is that mucas, plaque, or anything else is either cleared from your intestinal tract in three days, or forms a recognised complaint. Either way the detox pills wont help.

Shinya could have claimed anything he like, his qualifications mean diddly squat if he forgets to supply evidence and follow the peer review process. Did he forget to publish his findings in the Lancett? Did he accidently go on You Tube with a video of perfectly normal gastric juices and tell people they were mucoid plaque? Despite not being long rubber snakes? How remiss of him!

Tom H, Kent
August 23, 2011 9:07am

To the author of this article.
I just hate it when someone writes an article and has never gone through a detox. Just try 40 drops of ionic minerals twice daily and 1 scoop of green vibrance twice a day. Even with eating food, within 4 days you will feel like absolute crap because of all the toxins in your blood stream. It couldnt possibly be the minerals, nor can it be the green vibrance as these are contained in a healthy diet, causing the flu like symptoms. Go ahead, make my day!!!!!!! Then come back and post on your experience. "There is 1 principle that will keep a man in everlasting ignorance. That sir is contempt prior to investigation.

Steve, Hot Springs, Arkansas
September 21, 2011 5:33pm


Had you ever thought that it might BE the flu or a cold, just because you come down with these symptoms after taking this stuff doesn't mean it works. If you really want to detox, drink lots and lots of water, this is something my PT recommends after treatment as well, a trained professional. It also has side benefit of being free!

I knew this detox stuff was a myth "before" this episode. The human body is a marvelous piece of work, able to purge it's own "toxins" and keep a balance. If you are happy forking over money and it makes you "feel" better , obviously not as you suffer flu like symptoms, then go ahead.

One use for vinegar I remember as a child was a mix of vinegar and water to help with fever and help you feel cooler. Is this bogus as well? I don't know but I do know I "felt cooler" and I was about 6 or 7. This was before they had air-conditioning in most homes.

Kingsley, Perth WA
September 27, 2011 7:38pm

Did anybody try the cleanse or know someone personally that tried it and it did not work? Or are you just non-believers?

John, Boston
September 29, 2011 2:35pm

Are you saying that we do not need to detox? We are the largest experiment that has ever occurred, with the world's population being subjected to the over 80,000 chemicals that were not around 100 years ago. I don't think our livers were ever designed for this magnitude of toxic cocktail. Please read the President's Report on Toxin's and cancer:
or David Ewing Duncan's National Geographic article outlining his journey of discovering the toxins in his own body :
And we wonder why everyone is so sick.
I am not saying what works and what doesn't, but more that we need to find solutions to this ever growing public health problem. If you can't help, get out of the way. Skeptic that !

Raleigh, Berkeley, CA
October 4, 2011 5:29pm

And yet the only way our body can detox is through the organs Brian described.

Perhaps the world was a better place back more than 1oo years ago, when he life expectancy was lower and more people were sick. Is that what you meant raleigh?

Tom H, Kent
October 4, 2011 6:39pm

The world probably wasnt a cleaner place for urban individuals a century ago.

Henk V., Sin City, Oz
October 12, 2011 9:57pm

I do ioncleansing (foot baths) and colonincs & hot yoga regularily. You skeptics can say what you like, I detox on a regular basis because of the noticeable improvements in my health, spine, body, skin and energy level.I have seen some pretty scary stuff eliminated. But I will keep that to myself.

Seattle Girl, Seattle
October 30, 2011 1:04pm

While I agree with the skepticism over the "detoxification" methods mentioned in this podcast, there are others that are not addressed.

The liver, while being remarkably effective at its job, can't deal with every possible toxin. Some of them accumulate over time, and may eventually cause a disease that the average doctor may not be able to figure out.

A blood test won't detect mercury poisoning except in a short period of time after some significant exposure, which is useless for detecting chronic poisoning. It will detect some aluminum, but not accurately since it accumulates much more in other tissues. The same is true of fluoride, which mostly accumulates in the bones and possibly pineal gland.

Samples of these other tissues are usually not taken during regular checkups, unless I've been living under a rock all this time, and I would think that the average person would be a bit fearful of getting a bone or brain tissue sample taken anyway.

I feel that Brian's labeling of fluoridated water as a self-diagnosed poison is rather contemptuous and highly misleading. It's not extraordinarily difficult to figure out one's daily exposure to fluoride with reasonable accuracy, and it's also not difficult to notice more severe chronic fluoride exposure - just look at your teeth. Fluoride is a pretty big problem if you're getting >10 mg from tap water each day or 20 mg from each cup of tea. Obviously it's not going to show immediately, but after even a few years...

Jonathan S., Toronto
October 30, 2011 6:01pm

Um that would be the liver cleansing fad diet hypothesis Jonathon.

What is the level of physiological "chronic" Hg poisoning that you allude to? I may be able to comment.

Brian (sadly) is correct on the matter of fluoridation. Its been done to death.

Do the experiment at school and report back. You have indicated that your teacher is a very good sport.

Muddie, Sutherland BatCave, Oz
November 2, 2011 9:21pm

@1: incorrectly lumping me together with other groups again. I don't support liver cleansing techniques at this time.

@2: Given the lack of information on beneficial uses of mercury and the wealth of information on toxic effects of mercury, I would assume that any non-zero level of mercury exposure would represent poisoning. Chronic poisoning would simply be any non-zero amount that is encountered frequently and is low enough that it does not cause noticeable symptoms within a period of days, maybe weeks.

@3: You're telling me that fluoride has no potential for harm when ingested? That's not new, and quite ridiculous. Care to revisit the issue?

Jonathan S., Toronto
November 3, 2011 6:16pm

Biran, you are quick to judge those who turn to alternative medicine and those who practice it. I wish you would turn your same scathing skepticism on traditional western medicine as well.

There are just as many "snake-oil" salesmen practicing traditional medicine in doctors offices and hospitals in this country. What's worse is they have the stamp of approval from gov't, to journalists, to bloggers like you. Western doctors over medicate millions of people every year that probably would benefit from simple or not-so-simple lifestyle changes.

But drugs and expensive procedures are the answer to all our woes in this country. The doctors word is law, even though he is being paid off by a pharmaceutical companies to say what they want him to say or prescribe what they want him to prescribe.

I am sorry, Brian, but you aren't skeptical enough! You're just regurgitating the party line and touting the status quo.


Melanie, Colorado, USA
November 9, 2011 10:05am

It is True that some doctors will over prescribe, but touting this as fact for all doctors isn't necessarily true.

Most of the highest filled prescriptions are for conditions that are due to poor lifestyle changes which can no longer be controlled by just making life style changes.

In addition, most physicians will try to educate their patients and refer them to see a nutritionist, rehabilitation specialist or registered dietition, but at the end of the day the responsibility falls on the patient to learn about their disease and make those life style changes.

You can't keep going to your physician expecting different news when patients aren't making the changes themselves.

Doctors are their to help you fix what is broken, literally or figurtively, but you are responsible for making sure you don't break yourself in the first place.

If a doctors advice is falling on deaf ears, then why keep talking?

Rob, Toronto
November 14, 2011 6:44pm

I have thought about this detox of mucoid plaque and think it is a hoax but on the positive side, and there nearly always is one, with people consuming bentonite clay which acts as an absorbent it is probably taking something out with it. After all it is used for bouts of food poisoning. A 5 day treatment costs $88.00 which is about what 5 days of food would cost anyway! It then can be seen as another type of fasting.(fasting every now and then is probably beneficial in some way)
So, saying it is a complete waste of money is overly negative. I am disapointed though that they use pictures of fake mucoid plaque to seel their idea.

Gary, Perth WA.
January 14, 2012 6:23am

There is no evidence that fasting is beneficial if you have a balanced diet, and even if it were so fasting for five days is not comaparible to stripping your intestines clean with a cast.

Unless prescribed for a specific ailment, such as food poisoning (not a practice I can find refence to anyway) it should not be something considered lightly, or possitive with out evidence.

Stating there is no evidence of benefit is not "overly negative", it is precise. There is either evidence, or not. In this case not.

Tom H, Kent
January 22, 2012 1:29pm

As a person who has been in the "detox" ward of a reputable hospital (alcohol poisoning), I can attest that it is not woo. I was, however, not treated with any agent of detoxification, other than my own body's means. Vitamins and food were supplied to support my body's process of healing, and (in the beginning), certain drugs helped keep me from dying from the effects of the poisoning and the withdrawal, and helped me pass some time in sleep while my body worked things out.

Max Jacob, Seattle
February 12, 2012 9:38am

This is the most rediculous post. Detox is the answer to all sickness we face in this world. ohhhh ignorance

logan, chicago
February 26, 2012 8:42am

You put way too much faith in what you refer to as 'medical science'. Keep in mind this is the same medical science that does everything except cure disease. Ask yourself why diseases, NEW diseases are popping out of the woodwork? Ask any older generation if their classmates had diabetes or lupus or MS and on and on and on. We didnt have MS 30 years ago. or Lupus. All western medicine wants is to keep you just well(sick) enough to keep buying their drugs, and in the dark about our ability to heal ourselves with plants and plant based foods. Your entire post reeks of misinfo and things that you obviously just made up entirely.

Ted, Chicago
February 27, 2012 12:25am

Lupus and MS both have detailed study going back to the 1800s, and probable cases described going all the way back to the middle ages. Diabetes is one of the oldest documented diseases known, with symptoms described in ancient Egyptian manuscripts.

Your entire post reeks of misinfo and things that you obviously just made up entirely.

Cthulhu, R'lyeh
March 1, 2012 3:03pm

Realize that physicians are aligned with the pharmaceutical companies whose sole purpose is to make a profit. Why would the medical industry provide truth about the benefits of detox cleanses if it would cut the value of their stock. Wake up and take control of your health and you life.

Nicole, Atlanta
March 9, 2012 5:02am

it was fun reading the article but he comments...some are just ridiculous....personally i like to try some traditional medicine BEFORE i go to medical doctors...there are so many regions in the world like the amazon where they don't rely on medical doctors and people live a good life, the hunzas etc people in remote regions and yes they do rely on food and herbs to heal themselves and seriously lets not be blinded...much as modern medicine has been marvelous at diagnosis and treating some has its shortfalls father-in-law died as a result of chemotherapy from his colon cancer..a very painful death but that was what was supposed to cure many cases like that go untold much as we hear of cases in remission and some of them the cancers do come back anyways even if its 10+ years later...also we shouldn't forget more people in America die from modern medicine than traditional medicine...i believe some cases do need modern treatments but lets not praise it and put it so far up on a pedestal like its some kind of miracle after all if it was we wouldn't have any diseases at big pharma wouldn't be so rich..but to sum it all up..all the modern medicine is made from TRADITIONAL herbs and stuff ..they just change the chemical mixture and vary traditional medicine will always be the backbone for modern medicine..

mashuna, newyork
March 13, 2012 8:35am

For a start...what traditional medicines could you possibly taking...list please..

If you are going to promote unscientific claptrap do it amongst your own group of friends.

Science is science, and for very many reasons, medicines can fail. We are lucky that for most situations, we get better without the need for medicine.

Modern medicine is not all made from traditional herbs and I have no Idea where you would get that understanding. The modern fashion to attend the wall of supplements supplied by modern chemical companies is...throroughly modern.

If what Mashuna refers to traditional medicines comprises the junk proliferating at the supplements stand, he is sadly mistaken.

A list of "natural medicines" can be gleaned from a very large site called NCCAM's. None have a scientifically valid study associated and attesting their efficacy.

If it aint science, its religion either that or bad history. Naturopathy, acupuncture, homeopathy, chiropracty etc ect are not and never have been traditional medicines. They just claim it as another big porkie...

I'd pray over the salt shaker next flu..

What natural medicines "mashuna" takes in their "natural form as by traditional all in his imagination.

Mud, Sin City, NSW, Oz
March 17, 2012 10:54pm

i have done liver cleanses and felt much better after,full of energy,and only realized months later when the inflamation did come back that i had been without pain for months so there!

Rheal Goguen, moncton canada
March 25, 2012 6:15pm

I have to respond to a couple of these posts. Re:Mashuna's comment that many people in remote regions live a good life without using medical doctors, healing themselves with food and herbs.She didn't say this applies to all such peoples, but I still want to tell about a remote place I visited 42 years ago. My sister and I stayed with her anthropologist friend who was living with the Tarajumara natives, who live most of the year at a high altitude in the Sierra Madre. The area is now popular with eco-tourists, but at that time white people were infrequent visitors and access to medical care was very limited. Their health had, however, been studied. They had been living with untreated TB for generations, partially exacerbated by their large lung volume. That they probably were infected by Europeans doesn't change the fact they had been unable to treat their disease. It wasn't until the Mexican government began a concerted effort to supply them with Western medical care (unfortunately only in the last few decades), that the rate of TB started to lessen. TB has been successfully treated with Western antibiotics since 1944.

Wendy A., Capitola CA USA
March 31, 2012 6:02pm

Honestly, I was not sure about these pads, however, I did not wear them at night as suggested but through out the day. My pad was never brown.. it was more of a greenish color. I wore them everyday and with each day they were lighter than the previous days' pad. the adhesive that you are talking about is no where near the pad that is changing color. I ran under water as suggested by someone else and it did not change color. Good luck.

lissa, phoenix, az
April 7, 2012 1:01pm

I am a pharmacy technician who deals with prescription drugs all day, as well as the patients prescribed them. I will say that I went into pharmacy thinking that there were deals with doctors and pharmaceutical companies, and have been shown otherwise. While that may happen on occasion, most doctors are not influenced heavily by these sales reps. Also, they do not receive monetary perks of any kind, or if they do then they are breaking the law. Most doctors write scripts based off of their knowledge of what works best. Also, while I agree that there are many scams out there, I don't discredit the use of natural medicine either. I believe that, if anything, natural herbs can be used in maintaining health which can PREVENT disease etc. Modern medicine, however, is much more potent than these herbs and should typically be used when curing serious health concerns. As far as detoxification goes, I think it is a good thing to detox your body the natural way. These kits that are used for weight loss, or ridding your body of imaginary toxins are definitely a scam, but there is nothing wrong with a healthy detox method. Spend a few days drinking tons of water, eating lots of fruit and taking some applicable vitamins and supplements. You will definitely detox your body, though you may not lose weight like these scams promise you.

Jessica, Phoenix, Arizona
April 23, 2012 2:58pm

Jessica, diet and exercise is about the only thing you can do to prevent disease..that and not being a boy racer in a hot car or bike..

Herbalism isnt about disease prevention. Herbalism is in fact a very ancient version of science and just a bit out dated by science as it stands now.

Alt mods has nothing to do with science.

When I turned twenty (many decades ago) I realised that if you could choose your parents you could do a lot better. I went to the opera house and chose two.

I have since found out that stalking geriatrics does very little for your self worth. For all the hassle i should have stuck with the short fat parents I was lumped with so long ago..

Mind you, I know every police rank there is in this part of Oz..

Mud, nearly on the road again...Oz
May 16, 2012 6:29am

Man, more specifically the GREED of man has brought upon many of the diseases we are plagued with today. Notice that I wrote "many". If we did not eat processed man made foods which are manufactured for profit and not health and rather ate the natural foods and herbs blessed to us,than it is very likely that we would not be creating and treating ourselves with traditional man made medicines. I know that your body can and will heal itself if you give yourself the nutrients that it is deficient of.
I believe in Emergency Medical Intervention in an attempt to save a life. Beyond that...ITS A SHAM to go to a perfect stranger and believe that popping some pills and continuing to sit on your lazy butt and eat hotdogs and drink soda will do anything. DAMN!!! I need to get off this soap box. Thanks for reading.

March, Flint, MI
May 16, 2012 11:10am

There have alway been 'snake oil' salesmen. But herbals are not to be dismissed out of hand either. There is a difference. I don't claim to know details but anything that is graphic in presentation just reeks of carnival sensationalism to me. Much more work is needed to understand what herbals can and can't do, and they must be taken seriously as some can have potent unintended effects.
People look more and more to taking care of themsleves. This can be delusional and looking for a quick fix as you describe the the piece. But it might be sincere. Medical doctors do not (maybe cannot) take the time and effort to really hone in on all the things bothering us as we age. We need to take responsibility and this includes exercise and eating right but it may also include intelligently persuing herbal or non-prescrription supplements, not as magic cures but as small positive gains. The trick is always that you may never know whether feeling better is solely the result of exercide and eating better or whether that herbal really helped things along. Especially with the suspicion that our food is not as healthful and possibly more toxic than it once was. (Another topic to bust myths on maybe?)

NB, Calgary
May 27, 2012 8:03am

Imaginary toxins? Ha, you're a fool and a slave to the modern way of treating disease (prolonging illness) rather than treating wellness... treating people for their health. Speaking of imagination, if only you knew how powerful imagination was! Powerful enough to create dis-ease in the body in addition to the multiple ways your imagination and thoughts create your reality (be it negative or positive). Perhaps you should do a little more research before you mislead people. If you cared about people you would encourage them to do their own research!! The ways of the alternative practitioner have healed and been around aeons longer than the western medicine you trust so much, which is truly a MOCKERY of what healing and medicine is supposed to be. I truly feel sorry for you and your miseducation. Love and Light!

HealthPromoter, Dallas
June 1, 2012 11:57am

Hey Bro,

Should do your research before you write posts and get your facts straight!

They cured most diseases and even cancer hundreds of years ago via food. Interesting huh!

They problem is our Medical Science in the U.S. is not about healing or health, it is about keeping people sick. How does the Medical Industry make money? Nobody is sick, no money of for the Medical Industry.

Plus, the Pharmaceutical Industry along with the USDA, Meat Industry, and Dairy Industry Control the FDA and Medical Industry.

Most studies and research and experimental groups are even funded by the Pharmaceutical Industry.

Furthermore, the U.S. has the worst food chain. In other countries, most diseases do not exist, for example Asia--heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, and so on, are non-existent. Even ADD and ADHD do not exist. But the U,S. is supposed to be superior, we are behind my friend.

Chad, Los Angeles
June 2, 2012 1:46am

For Chad "Bro",

If you're going to talk about facts and research, perhaps you should do some of your own:

I'll trust Reuters and the World Health Organization, thanks.

Drew, Atlanta
June 11, 2012 9:07am

Wow, so my Crohn's disease is all made up! I mean, not that there's any genetic basis at ALL, but because I ate McDonald's sometimes when I was a kid?

Ugh, give me a break. Switching my diet is not going to change the fact that my immune system is attacking my own body. I never eat fast food, I don't eat greasy foods, stay away from soda and high fructose corn syrup, and I even buy organic when I can afford it. I'm still a pretty sick person. But I guess the people spouting nonsense about how any disease can be cured by diet have the luxury and wonderful fortune to not be burdened by a chronic illness.

Catherine, Illinois
June 19, 2012 11:49am

I see both sides of the coin here. I believe that the body has been designed to run in a certain way... and to run in that certain way it needs to be provided with the vitamins and minerals it needs.

Take the oil out of a car and fill it with a substance say... half oil, half water or whatever, and after a while it starts to run like junk. We need the proper pieces and the body will heal itself. Remember the nastiest cut/scrape you got as a kid? The body repairs... inside and out.

Eat right, which seems hard to do in this god awful processed food era... it takes a little time to master... but then again isn't something thats going to add years to your life worth a little time to master? Huh? Yeah you reading this post out of boredom or half interest.... master eating proper!!!!!

Here's the other half. I believe in modern medicine, both for those people who... when getting proper nutrition still need help... and for those who through laziness, bad information, or handicap desire/need it.

I think detoxing the body is real but only because the body has the means to detox it through proper nutrition.

But don't forget to drink good water.... hell we are 70% of it!!!! Exercise... stretch.. (you'll be happy you did when you get older), elevate your legs every night for 5 min... sleep 7-8 hours... and folks... Laugh a little! Life can suck but nothing lasts forever... sorry both good and bad. May your god bless you. :)

JoeMac1976, Wenatche
June 24, 2012 10:24pm

I was ill for a great long while owing to a medical misdiagnosis, when you are a member of an HMO no doctor will want to tell you that another doctor goofed especially if you have been sick for awhile so you will remain sick as long as you go along with their program. Alternative medicine made me well. I thank G_D for the providers of alternative care. My primary physician at my HMO was really upset about the idea of me visiting someone from the alternative field, like he was worried and alarmed and when I saw that I figured I really had better go. When I told him how I had gotten well he knew immediately what had been wrong with me and he named the illness and then he literally whimpered like he was upset! He wasn't happy at all that I was well and he was basically mocking me!!! I took the HMO through arbitration. The HMO's attorneys are the ones who put together the membership documents that you sign when you join. Administrative staff at the HMO will try to mislead you if you request their help because it is a business and they are looking after their own self interests. The way I look at it now is like this, the longer your illness goes on the more they can charge you in premiums and any other HMO or health plan you might want to go with is going to look at your record of a chronic condition so it will be hard to leave your provider. If you remain ill for a long while that will tax your body and immune system...

Harry, San Francisco
July 5, 2012 6:01pm

I think alternative medicine is perfect for you Harry.

You'd be one of the few I would say this to as well.

Mud, Out to pasture, Oz
July 5, 2012 10:35pm

I agree that these products are total BS. I was wondering if there is any research on the effects of a standard fasting, without any stupid products or cocktails?

I was told once that the reason fasting helps is that you stop putting more substances and toxins in your body via food thus allowing your body to focus on the toxin buildup in your body. Toxins in this case being situated in your liver and colon.

Is there any evidence for this?

andrew, toronto
July 6, 2012 7:45am

I doubt it. When you stop eating, your body begins shutting down various systems to conserve energy.

Brian Dunning, Laguna Niguel, CA
July 6, 2012 1:05pm

Great article Brian. I particularly like the paragraph about colon cleansing herbs. What an absolute appalling con this is. There should be laws to protect the gullible and naive from being exploited like this.



Simon Loveland, Brighton, United Kingdom
July 7, 2012 7:46am

Extremely unlikely. When you fast, your body reduces its energy expenditure to compensate, and many systems slow or stop. Digestion, reproduction, etc.

Brian Dunning, Laguna Niguel, CA
July 8, 2012 2:43pm

I truly believe in detoxification! I would go so far as to say that throughout the years Iv become addicted to the detoxification regiment. For nearly 61 years Iv been detoxifying each and every morning. It's a process that Im willing to share with those of you that perhaps may be confused regarding this subject. Each and every morning I get up, drink coffee and within ten or so minutes have to urge to detoxify. Basically I grab a magazine, sit on the special detoxification seat,and detoxify to my hearts content. Sometimes the beer consumed the night before allows me to detox at a much faster rate then I expected. Throughout the day I continue to detox via the penis.

Rick, Seattle
July 9, 2012 11:58pm

My girlfriends are always trying to "detoxify" themselves, and even though they are very SMART women, they believe that drinking apple cider mixed with cayenne pepper or whatever for 7 days will flush out toxins. They get zits, feel exhausted and they think it's "toxins" escaping. I mean, once your stomach is empty, WHY keep fasting for days? It's empty, there's nothing more to do! Hey - remember Ear Candling? What a crock that was too. I wonder if people still fall for that one.

Chloe Rose, Boston, MA USA
August 1, 2012 10:40am

This article paints a clear picture of the close minded and arrogant nature of the author. It is in my opinion a deceitful one sided argument that attempts to convey a sense of scientific foundation simultaneously lumping everyone who disagrees with the principles and practices of the allopathic medical establishment as practitioner of pseudoscience. It is little more than propaganda and it sickens me when I run across such "debunking" attempts. I would really like to know if they are the result of ignorance or disinformation.
Now that I've vented a bit, here are the facts. The body is a very complex machine as we are well aware. To assume that the many systems working in unison, 24/7, within our bodies never encounter compounds that are unnecessary, unneeded, or counter-productive to function (I.E. toxic) is an exercise in ignorance. Naturally, the body's systems have the means to deal with these accumulations built in. The problem is that in today's world, we have increased the exposure to toxic compounds exponentially while simultaneously inhibiting the tools these systems use (gained through nutrition) by degrading our diets. How this occurs is beyond the scope of this rebuttal, but is easily found in research.
Given the many factors affecting the homeostasis of the body, the critical thinker will confidently note that there are many valid ways in which one can aid the body's systems in maintaining balance in our unbalanced world. Think critically and openly

John M, Birmingham Al
August 13, 2012 2:48pm

John, No Brian wrote an article on the fraudulent nature of Industry Mysterious. He was bang on.

But by the use of your "allopathic" its clear that you have been seduced by the farce.

Allopathic medicine is an insult termed by Hahneman when he invented a fraud called homeopathy. Sure the medicine of the time was atrocious but in no way describes medicine of the past 150 years.

Allopathic as described by Hahneman was a medicine very similar to the acupuncture practiced when it was brought to the west in a travellers tale in the 20's.

John, I think you are in the wrong century!

Mud, At virtually missing point, NSW, OZ,
September 5, 2012 12:00am

You should do a little more research than just skimming the top of these subjects. While you are correct in saying there are methods that do not work, and are completely useless, short of sapping your finances. There are methods that have been proven to work via stool samples, and blood tests. The first step of detox is to stop loading yourself up with chemicals (non-organic food, pills, tap water, etc). The detox products out there that actually do benefit are mostly vitamins and minerals that the body should be receiving from nature, that it is not. These help the body to function better in all aspects (energy, detoxification, mental clarity, etc). To all the people that read things like this and consider them fact, please do your own research, and form your own opinions. Thank you for reading.

Tim, Minneapolis
September 10, 2012 8:12am

I have done a detox fast numerous times now. The regimen involves fresh juiced vegetable juices, wheatgrass & some barley green drinks. I do use psyllium but have never used bentonite. I have eliminated numerous so called mucoid plagues. Over the last few fasts, these have become much less frequent as I have cleaned up my diet considerably. Also, Brian I had suffered migraine headaches for years and treated unsuccessfully with numerous physicians. If was after traditional medicine had failed me that I tried this route. I feel and look better than I did 20 years ago and have experienced marked decrease in freguency of headaches.

Sherri, Montana
September 12, 2012 6:21pm


I take issue with this line:

"Any responsible person will go to a medical doctor for a blood test"

Many responsible people do not have health insurance or the funds to pay for tests like this. Minimum wage is still well below living cost.

These people (myself included until recently)still need to address their health issues so going online and looking for answers that wont cost an arm and a leg is the option open to them.

I (as i am sure many other uninsured prople) do not believe everything I read and do disregard many herbal, home-remedies, and detox methods as bunk. Mainly because they are unsupported and sound pretty silly.

However, there are many home remedies that seem to work for things that are ailing us. For example, I've successfully treated a persistent digestive issue with garlic, various herbal teas, and cabbage juice. weird, i know, but the directions, documentation and positive testimonials were persuasive enough for me to try it. Besides my other option was to do nothing and hope it got better on it's own.

Granted, this wasn't a marketed pill. I didn't have to order anything (I got everything needed from the grocery store. And yes, there's a lot of bunk out there. I'm just dismayed that people who try stuff outside of(unaffordable) medical treatments are characterized as irresponsible. In fact, doing nothing is irresponsible. Many people who use 'alternative' treatments believe in science but do not have access to actual medical help.

Anon, north america
September 17, 2012 9:55am

I have no issue with your suggestion of quackery for profit in the area of detox, but it begs the question of the same amount of quackery posited as science with the immence amounts of drugs the big phars and their dealers the medical community have unloaded on us. The US is the least healthiest nation in the world (do your own research or walk in any public place)and we've fallen for the allure of the medical community being the end all...such as you seem to do. So tell me why, if they are so exceptional, does our country continue to slide into further unhealthiness. Perhaps you should turn your finger toward yourself when you discuss misleading practioners.

Robert Selby, Franklin TN.
September 28, 2012 6:48pm


Please cite references and sources for your claims that:

"To assume that the many systems working in unison, 24/7, within our bodies never encounter compounds that are unnecessary, unneeded, or counter-productive to function (I.E. toxic) is an exercise in ignorance. Naturally, the body's systems have the means to deal with these accumulations built in. The problem is that in today's world, we have increased the exposure to toxic compounds exponentially while simultaneously inhibiting the tools these systems use (gained through nutrition) by degrading our diets. How this occurs is beyond the scope of this rebuttal, but is easily found in research."

Taylor, KC MO
October 9, 2012 9:37am

I just came across detox foot spas online and found this site when trying to establish if they really worked or not.

You say that the water turns brown even when your feet are not in the water.

But what happens when your feet ARE in the water?

The websites selling these products acknowledge that the water turns brown as a matter of course but maintain that extra substances will accumulate in the water when you have your feet soaking there for 30 mins - as borne out by several of the product reviews. So if you have brown water without feet, but brown gunky slimy water with feet, then what would that mean? I would dearly like to know.

It is disappointing that you do not seem to have tried this out. You are skeptic, but there is no point being skeptic unless you are going to approach this scientifically otherwise you are as bad as the people you are trying to knock down.

I hope you will try this simple experiment and report back.

Sophie, London
October 12, 2012 7:40am

Sophie, Maybe its dead skin. Hm.

For all those who believe in detoxing, have you ever actually had a colonoscopy? As someone who actually has & who does nothing but put the worst substances known to man into my body, every part of my digestive system is pink and gleaming clean after 24 hours of over the counter laxatives required prior to the procedure. None of those hidden build ups in tiny crevases I always hear about from my woo believing friends.

Plus, I constantly hear people talking about how awful the pollution, food, stress, etc of the 21st century changes everything to an unknowable degree but I would be really interested in how they can quantify that statement.In human history, exposure to toxins that are actually dangerous as well as diet, etc have been extremely varied. Its not as if we had a static history until the advent of farming and domesticated husbandry. We do not nor have we ever lived in a vaccume, at least not that I've heard.

But by all means, be "open minded", I mean we're all entitled to our "opinions" right? And these things can be accurately determined by personal opinions and gut instinct and if you don't abide by the status quo you're probably right because scientists and researchers are in a conspiracy to lie to you unlike the alternative medicine industry who are all a bunch of saints who aren't in business to make money.

As for not being able to go to the doc because you don't have insurance, it costs me more to go to a homeopathic doc.

Lee, Dallas
October 15, 2012 2:39pm

The moral is, no one will ever *know* truth, because even if your right, there will be a line-up of people just waiting to swear your wrong.

Jimmy, Canada
October 16, 2012 3:03pm

Lee, the difference between the real colonoscopic style doc and those who practice magic such as the homeopaths and acupuncturists is the former may see some, the latter two sell it for their benefit only.

After hearing vitalogistic gargle in the family for 50 years, I assure you it gets very boring.

They get so offended when faced with science!

Mud, At virtually missing point, NSW, OZ,
October 17, 2012 9:21pm

Thanks for the good info here. I know there are a lot of scam products out there.

But you know the reason people don't always go to doctors is that you can't trust all of them. Doctors are people too and it isn't easy finding a doctor who will actually do a thorough check up. Most doctors will just talk to you about your symptoms for 10 minutes then write up a prescription for some drugs. I feel like most of their day consists of just telling people to take drugs to see IF it helps.

I feel like I can't explain myself clearly and add to that where you know the doctor can only see you for 10 minutes because they have lots of other patients to see. Health costs are just too high with not enough affordable health care available. You can see why most people would rather try to self medicate.

Jack, US
October 22, 2012 1:24pm

Ancient Chinese Medicine was aimed at the prevention of disease. The father of Chinese Medicine, Huang Ti, stated that superior doctors heal at the early signs of disease.

Sue Kerr, Mooloolah Valley
October 26, 2012 4:21am

@ Lee

Re "As someone who actually has & who does nothing but put the worst substances known to man into my body, every part of my digestive system is pink and gleaming clean after 24 hours of over the counter laxatives required prior to the procedure. "

Just thought I'd share my experience, since I actually did pass one of these directly following a colonoscopy. I had no idea what it was. I was so freaked out!

I too had a colonoscopy after being in pretty poor health for years. When I received the results, it said that the quality of my cleansing was 'poor.' I was miffed because I followed the cleanse directions to the miserable letter for 24 hours prior, fasting and drinking every drop of the dang liquid they give you.

A few weeks later, I passed a so called "mucoid plaque" though I had never heard the term. I was terrified, at first fearing it was a humongous worm (I was young and dumb). Only years later did I stumble upon an image somewhere on the web. I assumed that the thing must have had something to do with the colonoscopy. I did take 1 tsp of psyllium per day, as was my custom. It is my belief that the psyllium creates the texture and shape of the thing, but perhaps it pulls some yuck out with it. I've taken much more psyllium than that since, and never had another rope of horror. I was very ill at the time it occurred.

November 2, 2012 8:44pm

You say "Any responsible person will go to a medical doctor for a blood test to find out for certain whether they have such poisoning", but it is unlikely that a NHS doctor in the UK would recognize the symptoms of chronic lead or cadmium poisoning from occupational exposure. I did present my symptoms to a doctor when I accidentally caused myself lead poisoning, but I cannot tell a doctor how to do his job. It is up to the doctor to decide what, if any, blood test is appropriate. My doctor thought that the cramps in my abdomen could be due to an infection in my bladder or urethera so that is what the blood test was intended to look for.

Eventually, I figured out that stainless steel can contain lead, but when I suggested the possibility that lead poisoning could be the problem he dismissed it as impossible. He later told me he could not discover what was wrong with me and I should take paracetamol for relief of the symptoms.

I had no alternative but to get a blood test for lead at a private clinic, but the level in my blood would normally be considered too low for treatment, so I tried to fix the problem myself with success, but caused myself more problems.

Maurice, London
November 24, 2012 2:58pm

Maurice, lead in stainless steel? exactly what grade/type of stainless steel are you talking about?
And also what process are you subjecting it to? welding, plasma cutting, laser cutting, oxy acetylene cutting?

jason, brisbane
December 9, 2012 10:41am

For one, I have suffered from fecal impaction and mucoid plaque as well as having my body completely full of toxins and I can tell you that if you ignore your diet toxins WILL accumulate in your body. I have taken phyllium bentonite shakes for 30 days..I now have regluar bowel movements everyday, my acne has cleared it used to be SEVERE(I was on accutane), my energy levels are better and I feel great about life. The people I believe suffer from this problem are people who have diminished intestinal flora though taking pills, ingesting harsh chemicals/pesticides, and generally eating unhealthy. You claim to eat junk and still have perfectally normal bowl movements, you have a really great immune system and flora in your stomach, that is why. OPTIMAL HEALTH STARTS IN THE STOMACH. So many dieseases today are caused by horrible digestion/diet, which leads to bad toxin removal from the body. Also, BigPharma puts a bad rap on MANY natural cures out there..WHY? because if you can cure and clean your system out preventing sickness and disease by buying a $20 bottle of natural herbs instead of spending 2k a month on meds they lose money. All around the world for CENTURIES people have known health starts in the stomach. MODERN SCIENCE is the only era or try to DISPROVE that because of the hold they have on the pharmacy drugs. They say out body doesn't need cleansing and that our diet has nothing to do with most disorders like acne. Such a load of CRAP!!

mark, central coast, ca
December 12, 2012 4:12am

I'm skeptical about "toxins" as described by the naturopathic community, but some false cases doesn't mean that all are.

I understand and fully agree there are scams out there. It's awesome that you illustate some. But, to imply that your subset of scams apply to all detox techniques is just plain wrong. I do know that some work as I've seen others have good success. How and why I don't know, and hoped you'd share some insights.

Pretty shoddy work, Doctors are not Gods, NDs are not crap. Everyone has their role.

Summary: you had a rant. Fun, I'm sure, but not useful.

Score: C- on this report. Do better.

Colin, Hamilton, Canada
December 20, 2012 11:19am

Sorry Colin, had you reviewed all or any trial involving any sort of dteox in the available literture, you too would find any detox study claim is above their own stats.

The stats are available to any mid year school student.

What is sad is.. nobody remembers their school math!

Even sadder is... the medicos involved in so many studies never remember...

It says a lot about junk studies.. I have been alerting you guys since skeptoid began!

Mud, At virtually missing point, NSW, OZ,
December 22, 2012 12:06am

while i agreed almost all of your post, i have to say that half of last paragraph was not really backed up by any evidence like the rest of the post. not everyone wants to hear what they want. some do, some don't.

Hal, fort wayne, in
January 4, 2013 4:31pm

Hal, the math is simple enough for psychologists to understand. If you write a paper when "n" cannot support the number of samples required for the conclusion, then the study is invalid.

There is a lot of literature amongst the good journals and bad where evidence bsed is not examined by the review staff of journals.

Its a great resource as, anyone reviewing this can immediately spot what doesnt work.

Sometimes I have been caught. Sometimes reviewers are caught (some nifty publications have been caught with their pants down with invent or subjectivity focussed papers).

What ever you rely on for your reality (ie science) you have to consider the level at which it is aimed and the person reviewing the publication and the publication itself. I say this as most folk do not go straight to the paper.

Look, If luminaries of science communication such as Dr Karl will admit he gets caught from time to time and will definitely state that he isnt in a position to comment, then I dont feel so bad making the odd boner (a skeptoid usable term).

You are right, some people are stoic enough to stick to the terms of reference and some are open enough to accept things as wild as we now call "common sense".

Just remember what we call common sense now was profound science fiction in 1980.

Retrospectivity is a cathartic process where we realise that science fiction had it all wrong when we were ten, 20, 30...

Mud, At virtually missing point, NSW, OZ,
January 7, 2013 9:13pm

Dear Author,
As a pharmacist I can assure you that western medicine works. Western medicine works based on evidence, and every drug, every medical procedure and every medical equipment available out there are proven to work. However, every drug and every procedure has side effects that you are forgetting to mention my friend.

You did mention about body's detox system "liver", however, did you know that there are drugs that cannot be eliminated, even by your liver? What about lipid soluble drug that accumulates in your fat cells and never leaves your body? What about drugs that has longer half life that stays in your body for years? What about preservatives in junk food that lingers in your body? What about the chemicals absorbed from the cosmetics that stay in your pores? These are just some form of “TOXINS”.

Moreover, what I am about to reveal might be shocker to you since you seems to have egocentrism towards western medicine. Many western medicines were found from herbs and plants. One good example is “Coumadin” or “Warfarin”, a blood thinner. This drug was derived from the plant “sweet clover” that was used by Native Americans for centuries and we stole it from them.

It is unfair and biased to say that any other medicine other than western medicine is hoax. The truth is there are many herbs and plants out there that work, but the problem is money and time. It would exhaust our economy to study all the herbs and plants. Did you know it cost billions to study one drug

A Patel. Pharm.D, Maryland
January 19, 2013 10:12pm

First of all, to A Patel, the "Pharm. D" anything used by the native Americans would also be considered "western medicine", America is the west. Also, yes, some medications have a long half-life, but hokey, unscientific "detox" kits will not elimate them any faster. I am but a lowly pharm. tech., so I'm a bit frightened at what your superior education has produced.
Also, in regards to the Kinoki foot pads, I have heard that it is the type of vinegar used (bamboo I believe) that causes the colour change, but I'm sure the dead skin helps :)

TwistBarbie, B.C.
January 31, 2013 9:26pm

I think people need to be informed either way. Read as much as you can about conventional and alternative medicines, detoxification, cleansing etc. Doctors are not Gods and neither are their holistic equivalents and everybody wants money. Your health is ultimately in your hands. What we really need are those with hands on experience in both alternative and conventional care who merely help us decide the best way to keep ourselves healthy. Unfortunately that is not the case, most people have the attitude that if they break it the doctor will put them back together, how shocking it must be to realize that for some that is just not the case. The more you know the more you will realize that you have a good amount of control over your long term health.

Christina, Alberta
February 12, 2013 9:08pm

I think people believe too much in what doctors tell them as well, they sell you medication and medical companies makes billions. I´ve had a lot of healthproblems and I found most doctors didn´t bother to even try to find what was causing them, they just wrote a bunch of prescriptions for meds to treat the symptoms, they made my problems worse, always. I´ve realised that I am very sensitive to drugs, even when I say this, doctors don´t seem to understand it, all medications, even regular non-prescription painkillers give me more sideeffects than actual effects. They mess my body up more. Herbal medicine is not very effective, it is just a little bit effective for some problems like indigestion and stress, and they don´t give you sideeffects(unless you take poisoness herbs) but the most important thing I think is to have a holistic viewpoint and find out the original cause of illness. When it comes to toxins there is actually research that show what kind of toxins that accumulate in your bodyfat and stays there, and how it can effect your health, and there is no way to get it out, exept women who give birth actually have less toxins in their bodys than before because they come out within the body of the infant. You get these chemical toxins from food, water and medicines so it´s probably a good thing to eat organic non-processed food.

Tove, varberg
February 19, 2013 2:53am

Oh my, Looks like the skeptoid is not aware that the 2nd cause of death in America is prescriptions correctly prescribed by their doctors. That is a fact! Total Health can only be acheive by natural means (except for emergencies). We are overloaded by toxins and detoxing on a regular basis can extend one's life significantly. The examples are so stupid to discard the whole industry like that. How lame

Isabelle, Victoria, BC
March 10, 2013 6:14pm

Isabelle, exaggeration is an artform you practice but fail..

Without wasting my time or the general skeptoid reader, you are perfectly welcome to write how a "natural" detoxing diet can overcome the monstrous poisoning you have accused doctors in your two continents.

Please get your mum to proof read it so we can hope its intelligible.

Mud, Pho\'s Slave palace, Gerringong the Brave, NSW
March 14, 2013 3:27am

Nope. If it says DETOX on the box, it's a crock and any benefit you're getting from it is either purely in your head or an example of the placebo effect. Sorry, but the whole detox industry IS a scam, it's simple as that. And based on their practices, they know it,

Maybe other natural medicines work and are real and whatever. But detox? Garbage. And not even pseudoscience, just a plain outright scam.

But hey, if the placebo effect is worth a couple hundred bucks or so a month to you, go for it. Whatever floats your boat.

Ray Panner, Regina, SK
April 7, 2013 4:20am

It's pronounced like "KAI-tin". Chittin' sounds like some sort of Cajun food.

Yabeen Sees, Tooleedoo
April 10, 2013 7:32am

I've done several cleanses, mostly using fresh juices. Each of these had amazing effects. My skin became much more supple and clear, my energy was very high, my eyes got bright. At the end of one cleanse, I didn't come off it properly, and ate a hamburger, and my skin broke out with weird stuff for a few days. However, I don't believe in "mucoid plaque", though I used to. I had a colonoscopy, and before such a procedure you have to drink this stuff that cleans you out rapidly in 24-hours. I saw pics of my colon, very clean and healthy, not at all covered in "mucoid plaque". I put out a lot of money on "kits" before I realized all I had to do was make fresh juices and take Smooth Move tea at night. Works as well as any expensive "kit". I do think the Standard American Diet puts a lot of stress on the organs that digest our food and filter our waste, so I try not to eat too much of that. And some herbs help me greatly. Others, not so much.

Espy LaCopa, Chicago
April 18, 2013 9:13am

Cleansing can be performed everyday by eating properly. Fruit, vegetables, grains and protein (pick your poison there folks. I prefer meat) eaten in moderate amounts, prepared simply will do more for you than all the cleanses, dietary supplements, doctors and quacks combined. The occasional glass of wine or malt based beverage won't hurt either.

Chris, Guelph
April 18, 2013 11:48am

The best detoxification is using green vegetable juices & alot of fiber & water. But once your sick, you've got to see a doctor. I still believe even when you see a doctor, basic good supplementation can always be helpful. Never buy all these hokes pokes magic stuff only if they're backed by clinical studies.

Lilly Lowe, New York, NY
April 21, 2013 8:33am

"Detoxification". i.e. getting rid of toxins in your body, is what your liver and kidneys do. My preferred poison/toxin is alcohol, as I get older I seem to "detoxify" more slowly, but as long as those organs are still working and I don't overload them, things clear up. Your body has no way of eliminating real toxins, i.e. poisons, like strychnine, cyanide, chlorine gas ... and such REAL toxins will normally kill you. Often what people seem to refer to when they talk about detoxifying is nothing more than taking a good crap. CRAP is what all this Homo sapiens cum bovine feces "detoxification" is all about. Snake oil and fantasies rule.

Vil Mahouvey, Victoria, BC. Aca Nada
April 29, 2013 10:40am

Detox == liver. Anything else is just a supporting player in an incredibly complex show we call 'life'. Just my opinion.

Rob, Holt, MI
May 17, 2013 12:26am

"The alternative practitioners stay one step ahead of the law."

What a bogus comment, like most of everything in this unfactual, and biased mess.

The fact is, Big Pharma, and the AMA, don't have to worry about staying one step ahead of the law, because they are the largest lobbyist in the corrupt U.S. govt. The directly influence laws, policy and what is "legal". Like all the "vaccines" with squaline, mercury, formaldehyde, and aluminum in various forms.

Get off the net!

Stack Jones, Overseas
June 8, 2013 11:18am

I am a holistic nutritionist and I am educated in the detoxification pathways, such as the liver and kidneys but also in the organs of elimination including the colon. Your article is ver misleading. Just as you can see a naturopathic doctor that tries to cell products and doesn't actually address your concerns, you can see a medical doctor eager to put you on medication.

We are bombarded with toxins in our air, water, food supply, medications, etc. When I say toxins I mean heavy metals, chemicals in plastics, pesticides, fire retardants, allergens, bad bacteria, sugar....

It is my job to educate people about reducing their toxic load and making food choices that put less stress on the system and aid the process of elimination and detoxification. I do not aim to sell any products, just simply to provide education and help people transition to a wholefoods diet that meets their nutritional requirements.

It is very easy to paint western medicine with a broad brush and discount it's value altogether, as you have done with alternative medicine. There are just as many practitioners in the "true" medical system as there are in the alternative system that make choices that are not the best for their patients. People need to make an educated choice and they are welcome to find a new practitioner if they have problems with their current one.

Jaime, Canada
June 10, 2013 8:34am

Please do more research. Your article, although years old now, shows nothing more than that of an uneducated skeptic. I have no problem with being skeptical (it keeps us healthy), but people should do real research instead of take easy jabs at mass marketed products. When is it NEW that mass marketed products turn out to be not the big hype they're advertised to be? I'm a naturalist and have successfully treated several health issues naturally.. AFTER seeing a medical doctor, and AFTER being tested for the illness. Such a generalization of homeopathy just makes me chuckle at the thought of having a conversation with you and the other opinions I'd hear. Have a great day :-)

Heather, Dakotas
July 12, 2013 6:01am

Though I started out in blind agreement with you--and since I've pooh-poohed detox all along--when you got to the impossible claims ("NO gastroenterologist has EVER encountered one in TENS OF MILLIONS of endoscopies, and NO pathologist has EVER found one during an autopsy" [highlights are mine, since no one can possibly know these things]), I decided to experiment with the various foot detoxes. I am now a skeptic who doesn't want to believe what I experienced. Does that make me a believer? I'm starting to see that my scientific fanaticism (like religious righteousness) makes me want to think I'm more right than I am. I reread your article and see it now not so much skeptical as completely closed-minded. There's a huge difference.

Sienna, Massachusetts
July 12, 2013 6:35am

Sienna, the way you put that puts it in a great light..

Science fantacism is a continuing practice here... but foot detox sounds like fun.

Whilst I dont have a hot tub..

Mud, sin city, Oz
August 2, 2013 5:46am


What sources would you have Brian use to help him "do his research?"

Mike R., Pasadena, CA
November 8, 2013 3:33pm

Actually, I prefer 100% Certified Organic raw dark green vegetable juicing, eating, and fresh alkaline water with powerful fresh fruits. A small hint of fresh squeeze lemon juice, in my first glass of water when rising early in the morning is my style. Doing this for one whole week, and following with a balance diet, that include pumpkin seeds, walnut, avocado, pomegranates, watermelon, seeded orange, seeded dark grapes, grapefruit, mango, celery, garlic, heirloom healthy tomatoes, carrots, sweet potato, Lacinato Kale, parsley, Cilantro, okra, apple, pear, peanut butter, greens, spinach, pineapple, kiwi, Romaine lettuce, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, cabbage, squash, gently roasted eggplant, basil, sage, rosemary, organic coconut oil, authentic olive oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil, Swiss Chard, onions, Apricots, seaweed, Hawaiian Spirulina, organic green tea, peppermint tea, dandelion, turmeric, mint, and macadamian oil....

Princess Pearls, USA
November 22, 2013 7:17pm

With so many ailments with no cause, it is any wonder people will try or believe anything. IBS - Idontknowwhatitis Butit Sucks. You go to the Doctor telling them your bowel is irritated and they come back with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Is that any different than going to see the doctor because you have severe pain in your head and get diagnosed with headache.
I guess not really knowing what is going on is big business on both sides. Talk about repeat business. And if it doesn't work, its a healing crisis.

DanP, Texas
December 8, 2013 11:30am

Can I just sit here and highlight the bulk of this comment section?
"The fact is, Big Pharma, and the AMA, don't have to worry about staying one step ahead of the law, because they are the largest lobbyist in the corrupt U.S. govt. The directly influence laws, policy and what is "legal". Like all the "vaccines" with squaline, mercury, formaldehyde, and aluminum in various forms."

Really? A vaccine "truther"?
First of all, Aluminum is the most common element in the universe. There's more of that in 1 of my anti-acid tablets than in all of your vaccines.
Second, there is no squalene* in vaccines.
Third, the vast majority of Thimerosal or the organic compound of mercury in vaccines, has been removed from vaccines. In fact, almost all vaccines do not have this compound.
MEANWHILE, that tuna fish you ate? Yeah, don't eat it again if you're really worried about mercury bro.

Fourth, formaldehyde? Freaking read that FDA link I posted for mercury.

All these "YOU DON'T DO YOUR RESEARCH" people who have never done their own research.
Don't even get me STARTED on homeopathy, the idea that by diluting a medicine that works to the point where there is only the diluent left, somehow makes the medicine stronger.
What a joke.

Galco, USA
December 18, 2013 8:48pm

Dear skeptoid readers

This article is absolute blasphemous drivel. The slander and defaming of the mentioned companies is nonsense and disrespectful. With every product, regardless of wether or not it's use is beneficial, there will always be a snake oil salesmen looking to benefit himself through your ignorance. Then again, everyone's got to eat.

Mr. Skeptoid, you seem to look past the fact that bentonite clay for example is generally recognized as safe and beneficial. Please, be more concise with your arguements and dont blatenly mislead people from a food or substance that may be very profitable to the individual.

Everyone think for yourself and question authority!

Cody from, Vancouver bc
January 9, 2014 1:03am

Cody, you should do the same.

The irony and cognitive dissonance you display in your response tells me, at least, that you've taken up with a shaky, under-scrutinized, over-hyped, anti-science, crystal-gazing, new age crowd that prefers to stroke its collective ego rather than test its own pseudo-medical claims.

Alternative medicine is a huge business, nearly $34 billion is spent by Americans per year, as reported by Would it be correct to assume that a number of products and 'treatments' that are recommended and prescribed within such an industry have little or no medical benefits (i.e. spending 100s of dollars on Vitamin D shots to combat flu vs. a free inoculation at a local clinic)?

Because it isn't recognized by the Standard Medical Community, one of many ways the alt-med field to exist and prosper is to invent its own list of standards and practices, establish its own fields of study and degrees of practice that are loosely tied to traditional models and, above all, to advertise, advertise, advertise.

And I'm sorry, but I have yet to hear of someone calling 9-1-1 screaming for a naturopath. The training programs are seldom more than 4 yrs with only a few hundred hrs of in-field medical care (you've gotta be kidding me!) to earn a degree to practice, compared to the 8-12+ yrs a real MD has to undergo to get his/her license. And is it any wonder why naturopaths (here in Canada, at least) have no hospital rights.

George, Toronto, Ontario
January 11, 2014 4:41pm

Yes great article, I see a lot of anon reaction comments defending the shady business world of new age alternative nonsense. George has send it best, assuming all the fraud is true, no one is calling 911 to get his naturopath of their alternative dr.luck mcduck to come prescribe them clay tablets to watch the shape of poop !

When one is in serious health problems i am pretty sure these big believers will want a real doctor and hospital staff attending to them.

When they are dealing with imaginary issues they will trust there new age Dr. Well its free country if they want to blow their money and time on fraud its their option. As long as no one is dyeing of these questionable treatments.

Raw Foodists and Body Detox are the biggest scam artists in this business. They should be labelled as Cults for the way they treat anyone who doesn't agree with their stupid ideas. Raw Chocolates anyone ? :0) ....

bunoit, toronto, canada
January 13, 2014 8:21am

Wow, what a bunch of uneducated crap. Well most of it. Though the products mentioned might be suspect, detoxification itself is NOT a myth.

How is it that someone can talk about so many subjects he knows so little about.

Please Mr. Skeptic please keep reading other peoples work and commenting on it. So you continue to look lil san idiot.


Try doing some investigating.

Mackle, Seattle
January 17, 2014 5:06pm

The author of this article has clearly never experienced the benefits of doing a "cleanse." I personally have experienced more energy, healed eczema, healed hemorrhoids, no need for caffeine, unhealthy food & sugar cravings...gone, weight loss, improved digestive function, notably increased mental clarity, enhanced sense of well being and ease, emotional integration, better sleep, more energy upon waking, clearer skin...

"Cleansing" is truly a way to empower yourself and take control of your health. You will surely be surprised at the health benefits you receive...I promise you!!! I ask the author and all other "skeptics" to try a reputable and positively reviewed cleansing regimen...and then get back to us and see how your perspective might differ.

Maria, San Diego
January 27, 2014 8:40am

I have a friend using and selling isagenix products. From her conversation it's: a) I'm doing something, and b) social appeal.

Some who join an MLM plan, really quite enjoy the momentum and excitement of the rallies, meetings, and seminars.

I haven't been able to engage her in discussion of any other factors of product plausibility.

Robert Hale, Mesa, AZ, USA
February 20, 2014 11:06pm

The only "cleanse" I have personal experience with is confined to the kitchen, shower, and the ritual expurgation of the bowels required for that fun exam when you turn 50, 60, 70, etc.

That enough.

Swampwitch, Gainesville Fl
March 10, 2014 2:31pm

Wow. Hard to believe all this stuff. It's impossible to take the three days required to read every post here, but I did read quite a few of them. The thing that strikes me is that none of the "pro-detox" people seems to have any idea what they are promoting. What these "toxins" are or how what they propose will have any impact on them.

There was one guy who called himself a "holistic naturopath" or something like that who at least tried to identify some toxins, like plastics and pesticides and a few other things, but then when he described his "treatment," it was essentially "eat healthy." How is it that eating vegetables (which every real doctor on the planet recommends, so don't try to pretend that eating vegetables is somehow "alternative") is going to detoxify anyone? Of course, it's not. Provide nutrients, yes. Detoxify, whatever that means, no. Almost certainly, when Mr. Holistic gets a victim into his office he's pushing his own $500 special cleansing miracle.

Eat a healthy diet, get enough exercise, and let your body work. Nothing else is needed, or even makes any sense.

Patrick, Dallas, TX
March 10, 2014 7:32pm

Detox is as necessary to humans as a tune up or oil change is to a car. Since we have created cities equivalent to "mine" or a "chemical plant" in most of the major cities because of pollution, the filters of the body are being overworked and under serviced. We age quicker because of this. Our brain and body function decreases, which brings poor performance to the bio-organic super machine we operate in. Our engine service light has been over looked and its time to
Clean, detoxify and reactive dead/dying cells.

Chukwu, Sunrise/FL
March 22, 2014 5:46pm

Cripes our generation needs some sort of major calamity to befall us to bring our existences back into focus. This sort of insane belief was not nearly so prevalent in my grandparents day. This generation has never known real strife and as such crazy junk like New Age detox baloney gains a foothold because the people who buy into it have access to modern medicine, endless food, a functional economy and no one is regularly trying to kill them or conquer the globe. It's a generation of "Causists" - people looking for any crazy idea to latch onto because they have no real worries or strife to overcome so they invent things to be worried about. It's as fascinating as it is sad really. If these so called toxins existed and if these detoxes and rubber-clay shits pills were miracle cures the Surgeon General would be advocating putting it in the water. The reality is that their existence is nothing more than capitalism at work. As the great man Barnum said "There is a sucker born every minute."

Chris Smith, Los Angeles
April 11, 2014 3:49pm

youtube raw food master, Dan The Man aka The Life Regenerator, uses his many years of education, study, and practical experience to explain in scientific terms why everyone who eats cooked food builds up mucoid plaque. It goes something like this: every living cell within our bodies has electrons that spin with a certain "living" frequency that is in harmony with the living vibrational frequency of living raw foods. When we cook these foods, it transforms the living frequency of the food's electrons into dead frequencies, which in term throws our own cells' electrons out of balance when we eat the cooked food. Long story short, the body protests this assault by forming mucoid plaque on the colon walls as a self-defense mechanism, as it must, or else we would die.

sadredman, Chattanooga
June 3, 2014 2:35pm

A toxicant is any toxic substance.Detoxification is something the human body needs help with eating a clean dite with out toxic food gives more energy for the body to heal and detox,toxins enter the skin the lungs and the bowls.lets say the body removes toxins threw the kidneys out the dose it get from say the lungs? it has to travel threw the lymphatic system or blood ither way it must travel.eating clean foods with herbs that help circulation etc are key you can only help the body detox.why do products these days that kids could eat have to be no-toxic because toxins cause issues in the body and a life time exposed to a unnatural toxic environment need to be counteracted with electromagnetic fruits berries and herbs,you could say dose eating dead things give you life force of dose eating living foods give you life force,nature is 1000 times more powerful than science,science just trys to understand nature,yes the whole universe is nature its not limited to biology.Toxins can be small molecules, peptides, or proteins that are capable of causing disease on contact with or absorption by body tissues interacting with biological macromolecules such as enzymes or cellular receptors. Toxins vary greatly in their severity, ranging from usually minor and acute (as in a bee sting) to almost immediately deadly (as in botulinum toxin).

sam, townsville
June 4, 2014 6:27am

Sam from Townsville is the perfect example of why detox promoters continue to make money.

Dan, Bend OR
June 17, 2014 11:14pm

I spent years getting an education in Biology and Immunology. Then a friend suggested I try a vitamin program that was rather expensive. She bought the first months supply for me since I am semi-retired and funds are few.

The vitamins and Gensing made me feel really great. The "cleanse" made me sick, so I only continued with the vitamins and gensing for most of the month.

Then I hit a wall. Ran a high fever and sweated copiously, felt utterly horrible. Now, three weeks later I am still bloated and icky, but am on the mend.

Apparently a good education, plus thirty years working in clinical science did not make me careful. I feel so stupid.


Ollie, Kansas City
June 27, 2014 1:18pm

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