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Although detox is primarily thought of as a treatment for alcohol or drug dependence, the term is also used to refer to a program of diet, herbs, and other methods of removing environmental and dietary toxins from the body.
There are many different types of detox diets. Generally, a detox diet is a short-term diet that:
Minimizes the amount of chemicals ingested (for example, by eating organic food).
Emphasizes foods that provide the vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants that the body needs for detoxification.
Contains foods, such as high fiber foods and water, that draw out and eliminate toxins by increasing the frequency of bowel movements and urination.
Detoxification (detox for short) is the physiological or medicinal removal of toxic substances from a living organism, including, but not limited to, the human body, which is mainly carried out by the liver. Additionally, it can refer to the period of withdrawal during which an organism returns to homeostasis after long-term use of an addictive substance. In medicine, detoxification can be achieved by decontamination of poison ingestion and the use of antidotes as well as techniques such as dialysis and (in a limited number of cases) chelation therapy.
Many alternative medicine practitioners promote various types of detoxification such as detoxification diets. Scientists have described these as a "waste of time and money". Sense About Science, a UK-based charitable trust determined that most such dietary "detox" claims lack any supporting evidence.