Goop’s so-called “detox guide” is promoting coffee enemas, which are exactly what they sound like.
Gwyneth wants you to put what in what? [Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./Getty Images]
Goop has long had this thing with telling people to put things where they don’t belong (remember the jade eggs?). The company, which claims to be “a curated shop of clean beauty, fashion, and home”, has been known to promote expensive products that have dubious and pseudoscientific claims and health benefits. Those products include the so-called “healing stickers”, which come at $120 for a pack of 20, that NASA itself called out for their false claims.
However, it seems that as long as people are buying, Goop will keep on shilling. The latest in a long line of bogus products and lifestyle tips is the coffee enema. The overworked and overtired often joke about setting up an IV drip of coffee, but it seems like Goop is dead serious about the idea of literally injecting coffee up your butt.
The Implant-O-Rama System At-Home Coffee Enema on the Goop website.
Enemas, for those who don’t know, involve the injection of a liquid through the anus and into the lower bowel. This procedure is usually done as a remedy for constipation, or as part of the preparation for a medical procedure.
Goop author and cardiologist Alejandro Junger recommended the use of the Implant-O-Rama System At-Home Coffee Enema, a device that costs $135. It’s part of Goop’s Beauty and Wellness Detox Guide for the new year, because after all, starting 2018 with a considerable expense and a coffee enema is the way to go. According to the site, buying this device is a good way to “Supercharge Your Detox”.
To be fair, however, Dr. Junger does include a caveat that the device should only be used by those who “know what they’re doing”. Goop is also careful to include the reminder that the contents of their guide should not replace professional medical advice.
Coffee doesn't belong in that Implant-O-Rama System At-Home Coffee Enema.
With that in mind, what professional medical advice do experts have regarding coffee enemas?
Experts say that, for one thing, the notion of “detoxing” is already a dubious, pseudoscientific one. According to the National Institutes of Health, “[t]here isn’t any convincing evidence that detox or cleansing programs actually remove toxins from your body or improve your health.” Enemas, a common detoxing method, “may have side effects, some of which can be serious.”
Harvard Medical School also had this to say about the matter: “Like fasting, colonic cleansing carries a risk of dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, impaired bowel function, and disruption of intestinal flora.”
Something to think about before your next juice cleanse.
Amazingly, studies showing that coffee enemas can be dangerous have been around for years. This 2010 study explores the case of a 60-year-old woman who suffered an inflamed rectum due to a coffee enema. (Caveat: that article contains images that may be upsetting.) Another study from 2011, meanwhile, describes various cases in which people have undergone enemas only to suffer negative impacts on their health afterward. According to the research, experts have even condemned enemas as early as 1919.
So why are companies like Goop still promoting “detoxing” as well as potentially harmful detox methods in spite of scientific evidence? It’s likely because the hard science behind the products and methods they promote isn’t high on their list of priorities. At this point, it’s up to consumers to do their own research to guide their decisions.
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