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HomeFact CheckDo Foot Detox Patches Eliminate Toxins From Human Body? Here’s What We...

Do Foot Detox Patches Eliminate Toxins From Human Body? Here’s What We Found

Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Claim
Foot detox patches eliminate toxins from the human body, and provide numerous health benefits.

Fact
There is no scientific evidence to substantiate the benefits of foot patches. 

Time and again social media users came across advertisements for “foot detox patches,” which promise to eliminate toxins from the human body by simply applying such pads on the sole of the feet overnight. The sellers of such detox pads further claim that their products have multiple health benefits such as improved metabolism, immunity, digestion, weight loss, and reduced stress among others.

The advertisers claim that the ingredients contained in foot detox patches pull out toxins from the body. It is evident due to change in patch’s colour after overnight application, they argue. Some manufacturers also claim that their foot pads are based on the principle of reflexology.

Links to such posts can be found here, here and here.

But do foot detox patches really work? Newschecker finds out what experts say about the pads ability to “pull out toxins” from the human body .

Also Read: Hot Pineapple Water Will Not Cure Cancer, Viral Claim Is False

Fact Check/Verification

A keyword search for “foot detox patches” led us to articles published in multiple health/wellness websites with experts’ views about the product.

Experts: No Evidence That Detox Pads Work

Associate professor and holistic healthcare practitioner, Debra Rose Wilson told Healthline, “There is no evidence of any bodily response to detox pads. Most claims about these types of products include removing heavy metals, toxins, and even fat from the body. They do not. Other false advertisements include its effectiveness for treating depression, insomnia, diabetes, arthritis, and more.”

Dr Brent A Bauer of Mayo Clinic wrote, “There’s no reliable evidence that detox foot pads work… no scientific studies have been published that show that detox foot pads work or that they’re safe.”

Screengrab from Mayo Clinic website

Byrdie quoted NYC based dermatologist Joshua Zeichner as saying, “To my knowledge, there is no scientific data showing that detox foot masks have any true effect on the body. The only detoxifying organs in the body are the liver and the kidneys, which both filter the blood. While the skin does release sweat, it is not truly a detoxifying organ in the same way.”

Screengrab from Byrdie

Jeffrey H. Alexander, DPM, a podiatrist at Rush University Medical Center told Insider that there is no evidence that detox foot pads work as advertised. And there are no published scientific studies available that prove that detox foot pads work. All supposed benefits are based on purely anecdotal evidence.

Other such articles can be seen here, here and here.

Study: No Evidence To Suggest That Detox Foot Pad Help Promote Elimination Of Toxic Metals

A study published in Journal of Heavy Metal Toxicity and Diseases in 2018 stated, “The study groups of this research were 53 cases from both sexes and with different ages from 18 to 64 years, who applied Detox Foot Pad overnight and removed it in the morning.”

Adding, “From the current research there, no significant difference between pre and post measurement in investigated heavy metals content “(Pb), (Cd), (Hg) (As), (Se), (Ag) and (Sb)” of the detox Pad before and  after overnight application. Except for Antimony (Sb), that showed a statistically significant increase in post-foot pad session than pre-foot pad session (P<0.024). While, there were  statistically significant decreases in the concentration of both lead and cadmium metals in the post-foot pad session when compared with non-used-foot pad (P<0.021 and 0.001respectively).”

It further stated,” This study proof that Detox Foot Pads were not really detoxify the body and remove any metal from itvia dermal route, during overnight Detox Foot Pad application procedure.”

The study concluded, “In this proof-of-principle in the current study we discovered no evidence to suggest that Detox Foot Pad help promote the elimination of toxic metals from the body through the feet. “

An NPR research on the foot patches found the chemical composition of the pads was the same before and after use. The pads blackened when they came into contact with any source of moisture.

Then Why Do Detox Patches Change Colour On Use?

The manufacturers of foot patches claim that the discoloured appearance of the pads reflects the toxins that have been removed from the body. However, experts say that discolouration is likely the result of reaction between the sweat and ingredients of the patches.

 Dr. Murad Alam, vice chair of dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, told USA Today, “There’s some chemicals like vinegar (in the foot pad), and it’s probably just a chemical reaction of moisture affecting the footpad.”

 Dena Westphalen, PharmD, a clinical pharmacist said that the colour that is apparent is likely a reaction of the mixture of sweat and vinegar.

In a 2017 article American neurologist Steven Novella wrote, “ The colour change there is likely due to chemicals contained in the pads which simply oxidise. The changing colour is a simple parlour trick meant to deceive the unwary, and in both cases the water or pad will change colour even if they never go near your feet. You can’t really remove significant toxins through the skin, and most of the chemicals you would want to remove are colourless.”

Screengrab from Science Based Medicine website

Further, some manufacturers claim that these foot patches are based on principles of reflexology. Reflexology involves applying different amounts of pressure to specific points on feet, hands, and ears. It’s based on a theory that these body parts are connected to certain organs and body systems.

Newschecker reached out to Dr Kusum Aggarwal, President of the All India Association of Acupressure Reflexology, who clarified that any such product, “will not give reflexology benefits.”

Conclusion

We can hence conclude that there is no scientific evidence to prove that foot detox pads/patches work and are able to draw out toxins from the human body.

Result: False

Sources

Article By Healthline
Article By Insider, Dated April 16, 2021
Study Published In Journal of Heavy Metal Toxicity and Diseases, Dated April 11, 2018
Report By NPR, Dated August 18, 2008
Report By USA Today, Dated June 14, 2022
Article By Neurologist Steven Novella, Dated January 4, 2017
Telephonic Conversation With Dr Kusum Aggarwal On March 10, 2023


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Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Vasudha Beri
Vasudha Beri
Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

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