Why You Can’t Really Sweat Out Toxins

Why You Can’t Really Sweat Out Toxins

This episode is sponsored by Child and Teen
Checkups. If you’re in Minnesota, go to Freechildcheckups.com
to learn more. [ ♪ Intro ] If you’ve spent any amount of time on the
Internet, you’ve probably read some weird stuff. We get it. Like, at some point, you’ve probably heard someone claim that there are toxins trapped in your body, and that you need to do something
to help release them. To accomplish this, some people favor juice
cleanses. Others like to sweat in a sauna, hoping to
push toxins out through their pores. But if either of those is your favorite method,
we have some bad news. Juice cleanses don’t actually detox anything. And sweating, as it turns out, doesn’t contribute
much to the cause either. But fortunately, we have built-in organs that
can deal with toxic substances. Strictly speaking, toxins are poisons made
by living things. But usually, people use the word as a vague
catch-all for things that are bad for your body, regardless of where they come from. Admittedly, the human body does have to deal
with a lot of them. From medications and alcohol to the occasional
pesticide, you have to process a lot. And no matter what you do, you can’t avoid
this, because your body also makes plenty of its own waste. Just look at the byproducts of metabolism, which your body makes all day, every day, to stay alive. They include ammonia and urea, which come
from breaking down proteins; bilirubin, which comes from the two million or so red blood cells you recycle every second; and carbon dioxide, which you exhale. At normal concentrations, these things aren’t
harmful, but if they build up, they can cause issues. So there is that bit of truth in the whole
“your body has to get rid of toxins” thing. Still, your body doesn’t rely on sweat to
take care of that. When it comes to getting rid of toxic substances,
the big guns are the liver and kidneys. And they do a thorough job of it. Like, the liver is a detox powerhouse. It chemically modifies toxic metabolic waste
products, like ammonia, and helps convert them into things that are less toxic, like
urea. It also has powerful and versatile enzymes
that turn drugs and other molecules into less harmful things. And for many other kinds of waste, like bilirubin
from red blood cells, the liver dumps things into a fluid called bile that we poop out. Bilirubin is what makes poop brown, by the
way. Other waste from the liver goes into the bloodstream,
and eventually, to the kidneys. And the kidneys are equally impressive. They’re built-in blood filters. They keep most of the useful stuff your body
takes in, like nutrients, and dump the rest into urine. The kidneys filter out metabolic waste like
urea, broken-down molecules from the liver, small amounts of things like hormones and drugs, and trace amounts of an array of toxic substances. They also maintain healthy levels of minerals,
water, and electrolytes in the blood. Because too much of anything can kill you. So really, the liver and kidneys have your
body’s supposed “toxin” situation under control. The idea that sweat is important for filtering
things out might have come from the fact that sweat glands are actually pretty similar to kidneys when it comes to their microscopic structure and abilities. This means that sweat and pee do have a lot
of the same things in them, though pee is significantly more concentrated. Most of what’s dissolved in sweat are salts,
minerals, and metabolic waste products, plus trace amounts of things like heavy metals,
drugs, BPA, and pesticides. And when I say “trace amounts,” I mean
the amounts of toxic substances in sweat are so small that the health benefits of getting
rid of them are negligible. So while sweat might get stinky sometimes,
it’s not because it’s doing hero’s work. The main reason we sweat is to cool down
and, for some reason, when we’re nervous. There are some conditions that cause the skin
to take over part of the kidney’s function, and where you’ll start to sweat out more
of the stuff that normally comes out in pee. But those conditions include kidney failure
and cholera. So if your skin is doing the kidney’s job, you probably have bigger problems
to worry about. Under more typical circumstances, sweating doesn’t rid the body of toxic substances any better than the liver and kidneys do on their own. And whether that person trying to sell you
a sweat-based detox therapy realizes it or not, they’re pushing fear to make money. Saunas, hot yoga, and some other things that
make you sweat may have health benefits, but not because they expel extra toxins. If you have a healthy liver and kidneys, your
body is doing just fine all by itself. Whether these organs are healthy, though,
is a different story, and unfortunately, your personal health isn’t something we can help
you with around here! That’s the whole point of visiting your
doctor for a check-up. Although preventative care is important for
everyone, appointments like this are especially important for children and teenagers, since so much changes about your body
as you get older. And the good news is, if you have a kid, you might be eligible to get this kind of
appointment for free! If you live in Minnesota, you can learn more
at FreeChildCheckups.com. And if you don’t, you can click the link
in the description to learn what kind of benefits might be available for you and your family. In Minnesota alone, over five hundred thousand
kids are eligible for these check-ups, where your doctor will check out hearing, vision,
teeth, and all kinds of other health information. And did we mention that it’s free? [ ♪ Outro ]

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About the Author: John Markowski


  1. This video is brought to you by the Child and Teen Checkups program of the Minnesota Department of Health. If you live in Minnesota, learn more at http://Freechildcheckups.com. If you live somewhere else in the United States go to https://www.medicaid.gov/medicaid/benefits/epsdt/index.html

  2. You're right, "toxins" is not the right term for what we mean when we talk about cleansing and replenishing the body with sweating, juicing, massage, etc. What we're actually talking about is helping the process of metabolic waste removal which you said yourself comes out in sweat. Massage also helps move metabolic waste from tissues since the lymphatic system relies on movement to work. I don't know as much about juicing but I do know that it is a powerful way to get nutrients into your system quickly. I get that you're trying to make a point about toxins being the wrong term used, but while doing so you are casting doubt on all of the benefits of these practices, which are actually numerous. Perception is everything, and by not mentioning any of the benefits of these practices the average person watching will come away from this video unwilling to even try them because they've been "debunked".

  3. myth busting at its finest. Now if only the majority of the population weren't ignorant to these facts knew the reality of all those detox scams, etc

  4. Oh gasp TOXINS! I would love to have a follow up video slam dunk debunking the toxins. like…try and figure out what the scam artists those silly medicine man chiropractery types THINK toxins are. or what they claim to be. like…what do they SAY they are? what "toxins" do they list? and then just shred them on how wrong they are. NileBlue did a fun video about "alkali water" same kind of thing.

  5. My dad drinks apple juice and oil once every six months or so. Shits little green lumps and swears that they're stones that came from his liver. Maybe I should do more to help him out of his dumb ideology.

  6. Kudos to you guys for getting the perfect sponsor for this video and for trying to stamp out the misinformation that is rampant online especially for children and teens. And especially when it comes to health.

  7. Anyone who’s ever been the kind of hungover where your eyes burn and you don’t urinate for a day will tell you that we absolutely sweat out the booze. Your skin wreaks of it the next day.

  8. The confusion lies with toxins vs substances which are toxic to biological systems. There are several toxic substances which are successfully removed via sweating:

    "Arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury may be excreted in appreciable quantities through the skin, and rates of excretion were reported to match or even exceed urinary excretion in a 24-hour period."

  9. If you don't believe that cleanses work, here's your homework assignment:
    Take 2 tables spoons of Apple Cider Vinegar…and stand by…
    Then write a report about it the next day.
    You will be graded.

  10. I have a question(s): Does toothpaste expire? What about the ones you haven’t taken out of the package yet?

  11. I kind of had the feeling this was the case…Every time somebody goes talking about juice cleanses or detoxing, they always seem to take it as fact that detoxing is necessary, like it's not up for debate and the science is settled.

    But the science is not settled, and actually seems very flimsy at best. In reality, I think the idea of "detoxing" just comes from people wanting to feel like they're doing something good for themselves. And when you break it down this way, the idea of detoxing becomes a doctrine, like a relgious doctrine for example, in that it is not based on a disprovable hypothesis but does provide some sense of meaning to those who believe it.

    So…basically what I'm trying to say is, this is why I never got into hot yoga 😆 It seems to me akin to going to church on Sunday, if church service involved calisthenics or some other exercise: It's all about participating in the ritual, and not about actual health benefits gained from participating.

    That is to say: It's about being part of the "in" crowd, who has somehow "figured out" something that the rest of us have not.

    In a word, it's an awful lot like a cult, and that is something nobody should want to be a part of.

  12. i dont want to sound dense.. but what about the gallbladder.

    we need to keep kidneys, liver, gallbladder.. and maybe bladder and other organs healthy so they can detox for us. and then theres… the lacteal systems, and then other systems. i forgot this stuff a long time ago, but its not just kidney and liver. plus it would be good to show how to prevent bringing in toxins in the first place.

  13. This isn't 100% true. When patients are in the hospital often they are on NPO meaning nil per os. Pts are either given IV food or a clear fluid diet. Often times patients feel better. Research says this is in some ways due to the body detoxing. Its basically giving your GI a break from all the things it has to do for food and diverts energy into cleaning out the cells toxins.

  14. Where are the studies that prove each of the individual ingredients in vaccines (e.g. mercury aluminium, thimerosal, polysorbate 80, MSG, formaldehyde, human DNA strands, monkey kidney cells, neomycin, lactose, squalene, octoxynol-10, hydrocortisone, egg protein, E. coli, human albumin, postassium chloride, phenol) are safe to inject, and at what levels? https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/appendices/B/excipient-table-2.pdf To the misinformed and to the people purposefully trying to trick people they will tell you there is no difference between injecting and ingesting. "you know a can of tuna has about the same amount of mercury in it that a vaccine does." Or about aluminum, ‘breastmilk has as much aluminum as a vaccine containing aluminum’. First of all, anyone with a basic knowledge of biology should know the difference between injection and ingestion, one goes to the bloodstream, the other to the GI Tract. Biologically they are much different, and that should end the argument right there with just simple biological logic.

    When ingested, most of the mercury in tuna does not enter the body, but passes out in the stool. The mercury that does absorb is metabolized as methylmercury (meHG). Absorbing through the gut, first through the liver. This is called “First Pass”. The mercury going through the liver is conjugated by glutathione, then that conjugated glutathione is passed out in bile and then the stool. When injected it is metabolized (converted) into the more toxic and harmful methylmercury. Because it is injected, it avoids the ‘first pass’ through the liver where it could be filtered, instead it circulates throughout all the other tissues and organs. Mercury has a high affinity (binds well with) certain tissues, including neurological tissue, brain, kidneys, etc. So, in short then, the most harmful, long-term-toxic mercury is retained in the bodily tissue.

    Further, “(mercury) injection is distributed primarily in the central nervous system, kidneys, liver, and skin. Mercury crosses the blood brain barrier and the placenta; infants and the fetus are the most at risk for toxicity to occur. Mercury exposure by expecting mothers has been shown to cause neurological abnormalities. Infants exposed in utero to mercury have shown developmental delays. In addition, the possibility of a link between mercury exposure and neurological disorders such as autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder has been shown.

    Injected aluminum does not enter the body or leave the body in the same way as environmental aluminum. It doesn’t come into the same mechanism of excretion, and that’s the whole point of adjuvants, they are meant to stick around and allow that antigen to be presented over and over again. It can’t be excreted because it must provide that prolonged exposure of the antigen to your immune system

    If it’s not being excreted by the body, then where does it go? A fairly recent study published in Frontiers of Neurology explains how this biopersistence demonstrated by its “capacity to migrate in lymphoid organs and then disseminate throughout the body within monocyte-lineage cells and progressively accumulate in the brain."

    So the next time someone tells you ingesting is the same as injecting shown them you're a thinker and slap the stupid out of them with a truth tsumani that will send them back into whatever dark hole they crawled out of

  15. "occasional pesticide" um aren't chemicals and drugs pretty much ubiquitous thanks to the power and influence of the chemical industry? …. And yeah whenever something sounds too good to be true it probably is….

  16. Question: I know the liver is involved with cleaning alcohol from the bloodstream. This is why heavy drinkers can have damage to their livers.

    However, I'm pretty sure that after a significant amount of drink, you can detect alcohol in someone's sweat. This is why drunk people "smell" of alcohol.

    So do the sweat glands also play a part in removing alcohol from the bloodstream? Or is there another mechanism involved? It also stands to reason that other drugs would have similar behavior, though my experience with such is limited (or nonexistent).

  17. Request: Does anyone know a link to a place where the molecular details of how the liver cells metabolize toxins are explained?

  18. read me some weird stuff what do you mean do you accusing me of reading hentai I would never read hentai what are you saying no no I'm not panicking very rude to say such a hurtful thing I could never.

  19. To the almost 300 people who disliked the video, I say this.

    1. You're denying science
    2. You're denying the Divine nature of the Goddess Olivia Gordon

  20. I'm going to throw this out there and I know this will catch flak, however in this metabolic toxin argument you focused primarily on external toxic chemicals and personal metabolic wastes which is valid, however that is only half the story. What you missed are parasitic and symbiotic microbes, which, to your credit, you managed to scratch the surface of, with the mention of Cholera. I understand and even empathize with the mislabeling of things that comes from non-scientific attempts at metabolic wellness however not everything they bring to the table is simply bunk. When you eat a certain set types of food consistently or excessively, especially high concentrations of purified sugar or alcohol, this encourages the overgrowth of of several microbes such as yeast, that while in small numbers, the liver and kidneys are well within their realm of being able to handle, but you also failed to mention that the liver itself in the process of destroying or altering those more harmful chems tends to destroy itself by doing so, resulting in a condition known as sclerosis. This is "normally" countered by the literal prolific rate at which the liver regenerates itself, however this regeneration has its limits as well as drawbacks and this is where disease and disorder come in. And the argument towards sauna's does the same though to an admittedly smaller degree, and a different approach towards handling them. The pores and hair follicles of your skin are host and home to a wide variety of organisms that eat the very things excreted by our bodies, and when human's fail to bathe and/or sweat regularly, these also can build up, or even in the case of bathing they can form biofilms in order to cling to the pore walls that only a concentrated amount of solvents and salt can even get close to cutting, and as most modern Americans live in excessively air conditioned environments the "normal" method of sweating these parasites off of you is stymied extensively….. These microbes will then build up and will cause no end of issues such as irritation, acne, ulcers, and eventually cancer, disease, or death via compromised external barriers which allow more dangerous secondary infections. If your metabolism is dealing with excessively large amounts of sugar, the sweat glands will also jump on this bandwagon of excretion and then provide literal direct food to the microbes already squatting there, which only makes the matter worse. Simply changing what you eat does WONDERS in this department, and while I do not subscribe to such things directly helping "detox" your liver and kidneys, it does step down the amount and type of toxins produced and absorbed by your intestines, btw look up a chemical called canditoxin, its a fascinating read on brain neurological malfunction via gut yeast… Changing your diet affects the amount and type of parasites you harbor, and by default the amount of waste products they create, and cutting these off the list your liver and kidneys have to deal with helps cut down the wear and tear of their own tissues, this is where detoxing diets actually do work, but not for the reasons the seller is touting, and often get wrong, especially if their "flush" has excessive purified sugars in it…. Even in this, if you spend one week (Cough) detoxing and then go right back to the same diet you were consuming, the net gain is quite literally zero.
    In short, everything you mentioned in example is absolutely correct, its the omissions that are annoying if not outright misleading. And this lack of knowledge is due largely to Science, until recently, completely dismissing gut and skin microbes as anything worth looking at despite the fact that those parasites outnumber our own cells by a factor of 100 to 1…. Its a whole new world in there, that we are only beginning to even think we need to understand….

  21. Carbon dioxide isn’t a toxin, it’s actually required for our cells to absorb oxygen. Or something. I read it in a book.

  22. TFW you have Gilbert's so your liver occasionally goes on strike and that bilirubin makes you look like a banana :/

  23. 3:31 “…and for some reason when we’re nervous.” That’s because it triggers the same fight-or-flight response.

  24. I adore this channel but please for the love of voice actors everywhere can you stop with the upward inflection at the end of every sentence? Are you telling me something or asking a question?

  25. Maybe not toxins, but I'm living proof that you can sweat your sins out and perspire problems away. I promise to send you my book,Sweating for Psychos absolutely free of charge! email me at [email protected]
    Please send $29.99 to cover S&H to – PO Box #667 Station A. Podunk, NY.

  26. Im really tired of chicks that ARNT cheer leaders…. its like why are there so many plain janes with no friends and tattoos? Or just have friends with more tattoos at coffee shops where no one is original. Ugh

  27. Yea i know that sweating doesn't help getting "toxins" out, but sweating after long night out works for me. I have noticed that sweat is more mmm… consentrated after drinking, that might be just follow up of dehydration, but it helps when i get rid of that "bad"sweat.

  28. Sauna is useless???

    Oh, that's why finns, russians, and other northern european nations, and peoples, used it for literally THOUSANDS of years, and showed robust health!


  29. I had an argument with my parents and girlfriend the other day because they said that working out in a heated environment was better because you lose fat and toxins through sweating. I'm like 99% sure that a cooler workout environment is better because it gives your body a wider window to convert calories into heat before overheating.

    But I was 'wrong', because there's no way 3 people could be wrong and 1 person could be right, right?

  30. Uhh. Guess covering best case scenarios is what you get in 5:14 vlog. Liver and kidneys are all ya need cause ya don't live in Flint.
    Lead, mercury, PFOS, dioxin, PCBs & drug side effects? Liver & kidney failures & cancers up?
    The Science gives & The Science taketh away. Instead of dismissive say "we DON'T have time to explain what we know and how much we don't know".

  31. And if you live in Canada, not only a child and teen can get free checkups, but all adults also.
    Just contact your provincial health department or insurance board.
    For Quebec (in English): http://www.ramq.gouv.qc.ca/en
    Just sayin’… 😜🍁

  32. While I agree with everything in this video, I would mention (at least I have been told), that losing fat helps to detox because toxins are stored there, to protect the other organs.

  33. WTF kind of oddly targeted ad is this? No one lives in Minnesota! There are only 5 million people in the whole state. That's half the people living in any major metro area in America. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy they're giving you money to keep making videos… but WTF?

  34. The occasional pesticide? Isnt this show produced in America? I would fact check the accuracy of “occasional” pesticide.

  35. For the producers: The lighting makes it look as though she has clown-style dark vertical lines under her eyes. Maybe reposition the light sources.

  36. Despite ambiguous and incomplete information, I would have thought that the juice fast thing worked more by giving your liver and kidneys a break for a day by not introducing drugs and chemicals into the system (such as alcohol, ibuprofen, food preservatives, and the such like) and allowing them to clear out any back log. Either way there's nothing bad about giving your organs a bit of a break. Chances are that they may be over worked if you habitually consume substances that can't be properly metabolized on a regular basis. And that can damage the kidneys and liver over time.

  37. I'm surprised by this episode because, actually, your body can and does sweat out toxins (heavy metals to be precise), and it doesn't have anything to do with "fear." I've noticed this in several episodes in which SciShow glides over evidence of x,y or z, claiming it to be bunk. Here is the evidence, oldest to newest:









  38. Kidneys are even more awesome than you describe: They throw out essentially everything that is small enough to fit through the pores (which is most things that aren't broken down by the liver). Then they resorb all the useful stuff back into the bloodstream before declaring the remainder urine. That way the kidneys can filter stuff that they have never encountered before, harmful or not.

  39. @scishow I'm a little disappointed with your interpretation of "Sweat it out", I believe you've taken too literally what is really a figure of speech. I would like to see a video about how increased heart rate, metabolism, and increased cycling of fluids, sugars, and electrolytes, affects a person's kidneys and liver, and the rate at which they process "toxins".

  40. It baffles me that this channel correctly refers to organs, tissues, and assorted waste, chemicals but not to feces or urine.

  41. As a Canadian its really weird to hear an ad for regular checkups being free because, like, of course it is?? But in all seriousness I do hope that program helps people get the childhood checkups they need to grow up healthy. Also Thank you for this detox video, I'll pull it out next time someone in my office tries to push for a cleanse as a "team building exercise". Any chance you could do one on this trend of oils everyone is smearing on themselves? I don't trust them, but I wouldn't mind being wrong.

  42. Incorrect. Plenty of studies beg to differ. This study observed 20 adults, comparing heavy metal excretions in sweat and urin. Markedly higher excretion of aluminum (3.75-fold), cadmium (25-fold), cobalt (7-fold), and lead (17-fold) was observed in sweat versus urin. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00244-010-9611-5

  43. So that one dude that use to live in my neighborhood used to smell like urine when he sweats might have something wrong with his body.

  44. @SciShow: Sweating actually helps to remove "toxins": https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3312275/

  45. Scishow logic: Your skin is designed to protect you from cold, therefore as long as you've got a healthy skin, putting on clothes before stepping into an arctic blizzard is just a money making scam.

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