health-related fact checks

FALSE: Foot pads can detoxify the body, reduce risk of cancer and stroke

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FALSE: Foot pads can detoxify the body, reduce risk of cancer and stroke
There is no evidence that supports the claim that foot pads can detoxify the body or reduce the risk of cancer and stroke
At a glance
  • Claim: Footpads can detoxify the body and reduce the risk of cancer and stroke.
  • Rating: FALSE
  • The facts: There is no evidence that foot pads can detoxify the body or reduce the risk of cancer and stroke.  
  • Why we fact-checked this: A video circulating on social media is marketing detoxifying foot pads. The video has amassed upwards of 1.4 million views, 22,000 reactions, and 3,000 comments.  
Complete details

A video posted on January 10, 2022, by the Facebook page “Menstr Nin” markets “Kiyome Kinoki Cleansing Detox Foot Pads,” claiming that these can remove toxins from the soles of your feet, thereby reducing your risk of getting cancer and stroke.

These claims are false.

The Philippine Food and Drug Administration has issued an advisory for the public to not purchase or use these products. The foot pads in question have not undergone the FDA’s evaluation process and so the agency cannot assure the public of these products’ quality and safety.

For a 2008 report by National Public Radio on these foot pads, they tested them by comparing a used and unused foot pad and sending them to a laboratory for analysis. The results were that there were no significant differences between the used and unused pads, debunking the claim that they were able to remove toxins from the feet. 

The same report theorized that the dark color that occured due to these pads were not the toxins being removed from the feet but instead the result of a chemical change from the contents in the pad being exposed to moisture.

Francisco V. Navarro, a medical doctor and lecturer on traditional Chinese medicine at the Ateneo de Manila University and the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health, stressed that “there is no scientific evidence for these claims.” He added that, although traditional medicine employs the use of “herbal poultices, plasters, and pads…these are meant to add or apply, rather than remove [toxins].” 

Navarro added that even if these plasters were to work, they would remain to be “unprincipled” from the bioethics perspective of traditional Chinese medicine. He said, “If the diagnosis is an excess condition where excesses and toxic [materials] have to be expelled or cleansed, the first step is to stop adding to the excess.” 

Navarro reminded the public to instead pursue lifestyle modification, moderation, and “[maximize] the natural elimination processes of the body through sweating, urination, bowel movement, and breathing, including meditation and counseling for mental excesses.” – Renzo Arceta/

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