toxin

A toxin is something that can kill you or make you very sick or stop your cells from working the way they’re supposed to. It’s toxic. That’s why they call it a toxin. Some examples of toxins are: botulinum, diphtheria, tetanospasmin, and anthrax.

Here’s something people say about toxins: “They are building up in your body and the only way to get rid of them is to drink lemonade with cayenne pepper in it! Or visit a sauna! Or stop eating wheat!” This is a scary thing to say.

When people say scary things about your body, it can be tempting to do whatever they tell you to do, just in case. But next time someone offers to help you flush toxins out of your system, I want you to imagine a doctor rushing into an emergency room to help a patient who has just inhaled six or seven pounds of anthrax powder. “Quick!” yells the imaginary doctor. “Get this man some red-pepper lemonade!”

Or: Ask your friend which toxins are building up in your body. Just ask him or her to name a few. See what happens.