Disclaimer: I’m brand-spanking-new to the concept of raw food eating. I’m still reading, learning, experimenting and exploring so you will have to be patient. I am working towards a raw food lifestyle.
One casual observation I have made is that whenever ailments or illnesses are brought on raw food forums, a chorus of people always seem to bring up the “probably detox symptoms” line of reasoning. This seems to be especially true whenever newbies mention problems. I have to say that the theory of “detox” is the only stumbling block I’ve come across in my research of the raw food lifestyle. I think part of the problem is semantics. For example, a raw foodist who suddenly quits caffeine may notice withdrawal-like symptoms, sometimes even severe enough to be consistent with mild narcotic addiction (nausea, migraines, dry mouth, and dizziness). Withdrawal is medically, categorically different than detoxification. In the case of caffeine withdrawal we know that the body isn’t actually expelling or cleansing itself of anything, the body is having a physical response to the denial of an addictive stimulant. Recent research has now reconfirmed the addictive properties of two very common, potent, potential health-destroyers: sugar and fat (particularly in the mainstream diet). In fact, even casein protein (dairy) has been shown to have a mild, narcotic like addictive effect (as published by Dr. Neal Barnard / Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine). Some of the â€œdetoxâ€ symptoms often ascribed to ailments could simply be withdrawal. This isnâ€™t finger-pointing or pontificating, but it seems the â€œit must be detoxâ€ line of reasoning is often overused or used in a knee-jerk, catch-all sort of way in raw food / vegan forums. Even here in this forum, recently, weâ€™ve seen the detox defense used to suggest-away the absence of a menstrual cycle and explain the presence of worms. Itâ€™s troubling.
On the issue of real detoxification itself I am skeptical. Iâ€™ve noticed that in most of my reading, advocates of dietary detoxification almost exclusively provide observational evidence. No real-world, empirical studies have shown that homeopathic cocktails do the job better than your kidneys can. Iâ€™m NOT an undying believer in the tenets of modern, Western medicine. I am a skeptic. I was actually surprised by the lack of practical empirical evidence concerning dietary detoxification. Iâ€™ve found that most raw food, vegetarian and vegan web sites donâ€™t even bother to define what detoxification is or how and why particular dietary supplements could even facilitate or encourage expulsion of hidden toxins. I have NOT tried a detox diet, or even fasted. I think thatâ€™s important to mention. I have no first hand experience.
Iâ€™m just throwing this out there. Iâ€™m curious to hear what yaâ€™ll think.