Is “Detox” just a marketing con?

Fabiana Matos, Nutritionist at Shine, North London explains that Detox has had a bad reputation due to misleading advertisement of products claiming to ‘clean’ the body, aid weight loss, improve skin, etc.

In reality, the mechanism of detoxification involves many complex processes and requires adequate nutrition to support those processes.

Why should I have to bother if the body is capable of doing so?

Whilst the body is equipped to detox, there are supportive nutrients and enzymes involved in this complex process, which are often depleted in an individual due to poor nutrition and toxic load. 

SH Health fed upWhen the body is overburden by toxins or neglected by lack of nutrients - it creates congestion and gets sluggish, that’s when you see signs and symptoms:

It’s also important to understand that while the liver is the star of the show, there are other organs involved, the digestive tract, skin, kidneys, and lymphatic system each play a significant role.






Signs and symptoms

Brain fog
Sluggish digestion
Skin problems
Headaches /migraines


Is changing my diet enough?

The food we eat plays a role in the entire process; a nutrient rich diet enhances the body’s abilities whereas the toxins overburden the organs. So, eating a ‘clean’ diet can reduce this burden significantly! Variety is also very important as nutrients can induce or inhibit detoxification.

Intake of nutrients that emphasise the function of the primary organs involved is paramount. But there are also other important factors to note, such as:


Prescription drugs
Heavy metal - Dental intervention – amalgam fillings
Infections (tick bite)
Certain health conditions
Environment (xenobiotic exposure)
Age and gender

Factors influencing detoxification:

  • Dysbiosis (bad GUT bugs) 
  • Free radicals
  • Maldigestion
  • Sugar toxicity
  • Stress


  • Alcohol
  • Air pollution
  • Building materials (paint solvents) and furnishings (formaldehyde)
  • Cigarettes (cadmium, etc.)
  • Food chemicals (additives and contaminants)
  • Herbicides (glyphosate)
  • Pesticides
  • Radiation (TV and computers)
  • Traffic fumes
  • Water (Chlorine and fluoride)



SH Health sunny walk

So, what can I do to support my body?

  • Clean up the diet – alcohol, processed food, sugar, toxic products.
  • Increase consumption of fresh veggie and fruits – phytochemicals and phytonutrients rich diet.
  • Good sources of protein.
  • Eat organic whenever possible.
  • Avoid plastic; drinking from plastic vessels and through hot drink plastic lids, microwave safe plastic packaging, meat packaging, etc.
  • Clean up your environment – avoid cooking with Teflon pans, choose cosmetics, makeup, household products, personal care products that are less toxic.
  • Drink filtered water.
  • Address hydration, constipation, food triggers and stress
  • Move your body every day.
  • Sleep – is a restorative healing time – when our brains detoxify.

Once you have minimised the source of toxins, you can then focus on a long-term nutritional support.

If you have a health condition it can influence the detox pathways, likewise doing a detox can impact on the effect of the drugs and health conditions. Hence a personalised plan and guidance from a health professional is important.

Fabiana Matos


Alternatively you can call our Front of House Team on 0207 241 5033 to book your appointment.