Debunking the Detox Pads

Although I will not dispute the existence of toxins in our diet, environment and water supply, I do feel the need to dispute the health benefits of these pads which are reported to pull toxins out through the bottom of the feet. The pads are supposedly based on the theory that the bottom of the feet are a bed of nerves and blood vessels that allow toxins to be removed from circulation. There is likely another reason for the placement of these pads on the feet, I’ll explain that reason later.

This may not be a popular position to take, but there is absolutely no evidence that supports these wild claims that these pads improve energy, remove heavy metals and increase circulation. A search of PubMed, medicine’s most comprehensive database of publish research, presents no results, zilch, zero…not one study.

“But the pads turn black!”
This is the argument presented by the makers of the detoxifying foot pads and people who are adamant supporters of these detox pads. The advertisements are visually powerful, showing a white pad before and disgusting brown mess after use. Because we associate toxicity with this disgusting brown mess, it is easy to get emotionally caught up in the imagery and lose sight of the complete lack of scientific support. There can be many reasons why these pads turn a different color while you sleep at night. Remember that I mentioned that these pads are placed on the feet? The makers of the pads state that this is an ideal place for detoxification, however, there is likely a more strategic and logical reason why the feet makes for a good placement for these pads. The feet run hotter than other areas of the body and sweat more profusely because of this higher temperature. Sweat then can act as a reagent for a chemical reaction with the saps and vinegars within the pads.

Don’t believe me?
Recently a reporter named Sarah Varney purchased the Kinoki foot pads to put them to the test. She and her husband wore them to bed and woke up the next morning to the brown, discolored mess that you see in the advertisements. They then took the pads to a laboratory to evaluate them for the presence of toxins. The lab could find no indication of toxins in the pads, in fact, the used pads were virtually identical to the unused pads in chemical composition. (

Still not convinced?
Further study found that the pads turned a disgusting brown color when they were simply held over boiling water. Was the steam from the water toxic? Run your own experiment; place the pads over boiling water to test whether or not the pads discolor. You can also mix up your own simulated sweat by adding some salt to hot water and then adding a little of this solution to the pads.

It would be quite nice if detox was as simple as sticking a little pad on our feet and going to bed. It appears, however, that this overly simplistic approach just does not seem to work. The body has three main elimination organs, the liver, kidneys and skin. I believe that there are many ways to support these detox systems naturally; however, they are often much more involved than just wearing a pad to bed. They often involve fasting and using herbs and nutritionals that can support various detoxification pathways. I won’t get into them in this article, for now I just wanted to get into the debunking of these pads. With all this said, if you feel better wearing the pads at night, then there is likely no harm to doing so. All that I ask is that these pads do not prevent you from pursing other more proven techniques for promoting health and vitality.

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