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Hydrogen Peroxide & Weight Loss

by
author image Melanie Greenwood
Melanie Greenwood has been a freelance writer since 2010. Her work has appeared in "The Denver Post" as well as various online publications. She resides in northern Colorado and she works helping to care for elderly and at-risk individuals. Greenwood holds a Bachelor of Arts in pastoral leadership from Bethany University in California.
Hydrogen Peroxide & Weight Loss
Hydrogen peroxide molecule. Photo Credit ollaweila/iStock/Getty Images

Hydrogen peroxide, available in supermarkets nationwide, is a household cleaner most commonly used to remove blood and other organic stains from clothing and carpet. Recently, self-appointed health "experts" have advocated drinking it. While the idea that a cheap, widely-available product could make the pounds melt off is tempting, there are serious problems with using hydrogen peroxide for weight loss.

Misconceptions

Using hydrogen peroxide for weight loss is based on the common, but flawed, idea that toxins somehow “build up” in the body, causing a wide array of health maladies. The specific concept behind using hydrogen peroxide for weight loss is that “toxins” interfere with your cell's ability to absorb the oxygen they need, causing low oxygen concentrations in your body's fluids. By drinking hydrogen peroxide, which contains oxygen, you are supposedly able to restore your body's natural oxygen balance.

The Facts

Low blood oxygen, also known as hypoxemia, is a medically-recognized condition. Hypoxemia is characterized by shortness of breath and may be the result of any number of serious health conditions including congestive heart failure, pneumonia and lung diseases, all of which require treatment by a physician, not dosing yourself with a household cleaner. However, the idea that your body can't get rid of toxins on its own is simply untrue, according to Dr. Nasir Moloo, a gastroenterologist with Capitol Gastroenterology Consultants Medical Group in Sacramento, quoted by MSNBC.

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Risks

Hydrogen peroxide is highly toxic, especially in large amounts. The Materials Safety Data Sheet for hydrogen peroxide --which federal law requires be made available to workers who may be exposed to this chemical -- states that hydrogen peroxide is corrosive to skin, mucus membranes and eyes. The MSDS also reports ingestion of this chemical can cause stomach upset, fluid buildup in the lungs, and respiratory arrest, the medical term for “not breathing anymore.” While proponents of “hydrogen peroxide therapy” recommend mixing a very small amount with water, one mistake could put you in the emergency room, or worse, the morgue.

Side Effects

Another problem with hydrogen peroxide for weight loss is that proponents instruct you to ignore symptoms that might ordinarily prompt a 911 call or at least a visit to your doctor. For example, one website says that diarrhea, nausea, fever, headaches, colds, and even skin eruptions and boils are natural ways the body releases toxins, won't last long and should go away on their own. Common sense, by contrast, would suggest talking to a medical professional if boils start erupting all over your body.

Healthy Weight Loss

Unfortunately, there isn't any magic formula for weight loss. If you want to drop pounds and keep them off, the only safe way is to eat a healthy, low-calorie diet and exercise, consuming fewer calories than you use, while also making sure to eat enough to keep your body out of starvation mode. If you need help, speak to your doctor or a nutritionist rather than relying on scientifically unsound, potentially dangerous weight-loss methods.

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References

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