Joining a long line of phony-baloney approaches to health and fitness (a legacy that includes leeches, vibrating slimming belts, oxygen bars, and the Shake Weight) are five more recent trends that we call “bullshit” on.

We call them Bogus Health Trends because our lawyers would not let us call them worse. You may call them whatever you wish, depending upon the company present, but you might not want to call any of these your own.

Activated Charcoal

Believers claim ingesting activated charcoal scrubs your innards and purifies your blood. But in truth? It doesn’t do shit. You’d have to swallow an ungodly amount for it to create any gut action, and it doesn’t even circulate in your blood. Doctors do administer mega-doses if someone swallows poison or too much of a drug, but you don’t want to go that route. For one thing, you’d be constipated for a week.

Just Silly: Gluten-Free Diet

Gluten avoiders can talk your ear off about what ridding their diet of wheat has done for them. But for anyone not suffering from celiac disease, or from gluten sensitivity (maybe five percent of us), avoiding gluten makes no sense and can actually hurt. For the vast majority of humans who tolerate gluten just fine, we need not fear the G. Gluten-free products (a $5-billion industry) are often fattier, saltier, more sugary, and regrettably low in fiber.

Unbelievable Bogus Health Trends: Extreme Fasting

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey eats once a day during the week, and fasts all weekend. Believing it’s a “biohack,” he claims it enhances focus and sleep quality. Health pros say Dorsey’s routine could expose practitioners to dizziness, headaches, and fatigue, with possible liver and kidney damage. Experts also suggest Dorsey might have an eating disorder. He and his Silicon Valley bros may want to rethink the starvation lifestyle.

Potentially Dangerous Bogus Health Trends: Detoxing

The wellness industry promotes the lucrative myth that we need to rid ourselves of “toxins.” Its representatives extol juice cleanses and having a water-blasting tube stuck up your ass. Want to purify? Keep hydrated, exercise, sleep, and eat foods with fiber. Our livers filter a liter of blood per minute, the kidneys work their own detoxing magic, and fiber naturally scrubs the gut.

Worst of the Bogus Health Trends: Copper-Infused Sportswear

Brett Favre and Jerry Rice are pitchmen for copper-infused compression sleeves for your joints, and a belt for your back. Montel Williams, who suffers from MS, has pitched for a different copper-touting clothing company, claiming, “Tommy Copper truly is pain relief without a pill.” Well, Tommy Copper recently settled a lawsuit with the FTC for exaggerating what its garments do. In reality, these products don’t offer special health benefits. They add some warmth, a bit of support, but no more.

[Yep. Somebody call the Coppers. (Apologies. -Ed.)]

Bogus Health Example

Have Something to Add?