Detoxification foot pads

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Detoxification foot pads are adhesive foot pads or patches that manufacturers claim can dramatically improve health when placed under the feet during sleep. Some of these pads may contain ingredients such as "distilled bamboo vinegar" that allegedly pull toxins from the body, but critics have shown that the process is not scientifically viable.[1][2]

On January 3, 2008, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released an urgent warning[3] regarding the potential dangers of many imported pharmaceutical substances including several brands of detox foot patches. In April 2008, in response to questions from the Associated Press, an FDA spokeswoman said regarding the agency's investigation of the claims made for Kinoki foot pads that "basically, when we open up a case it means that the violation might be in terms of the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act, such as when (product makers) make false, misleading claims."[4]

In August 2008, National Public Radio commissioned a laboratory test to look for heavy metals in used pads, which Kinoki claims are extracted from the body. The test found none. NPR also discovered that the pads change from white to grey when they are exposed to moisture, including sweat, and not necessarily because they are absorbing other substances.[5]

The Japanese company Kenrico claim that their pads have a positive effect on the health of the users,[6] and that they remove heavy metals from the body.[7] There is no evidence that these products work and although the skin is one of the bodies largest organs of detoxification, there is no proposed mechanism as to why these patches would increase the detoxification rate above baseline.


While the detoxification foot pads seem to be popular among young populations in some regions, the effect of the pads remains unclear. "Removing heavy metals from the body" seems to be good for health, however, human body needs certain amount of heavy metals such as zinc, iron, copper, etc. Excessive amount of heavy metal can cause disease.[8] Although absorption through skin is one of the ways for human body to take in heavy metals, it is not clear if the heavy metal molecules can be pulled out of the body through skin. The circadian rhythm is not proven to be related to the heavy metal detox, either. There is no evidence proving that bamboo vinegar has the function of attracting heavy metals. On the other hand, detoxification foot pads can not accurately control how much heavy metal to be “detoxicated” from the body. The pads have no evidence of identifying what they claim to remove, or the way of measuring its level in body.[9] No studies have been done to measure the amount of accumulated heavy metal on the pad after it's been left overnight. The Japanese company Kinoki claimed their foot pad to be able to cause weight loss by removing toxins, metabolic wastes, heavy metals and chemical from the body. Kinoki also claimed that the pads can treat varies kinds of disease including headaches, depression, even a weakened immune system. It was proven by the U.S District Court for the District of New Jersey that those claims were unsupported.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Can Kinoki Detox Foot Pads Save Your Sole?". 2008-01-10.
  2. ^ Ridding Yourself of Toxins, or Money?, ABC News 11 April 2008, retrieved 17 July 2014
  3. ^ FDA warning, January 3, 2008
  4. ^ FDA launches Kinoki Foot Pad inquiry, Associated Press, 14 April 2008, retrieved 16 July 2014
  5. ^ Japanese Foot Pad Is Latest Health Fad by Sarah Varney. NPR, All Things Considered, 18 August 2008.
  6. ^ "Phase 4 Clinical Study of TRMX-3 ® in Boosting Mental & Physical Health". Kenrico Research & Peer Review Studies. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  7. ^ "Heavy Metals Research (January 18th, 2005)". Kenrico Research & Peer Review Studies. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  8. ^ Singh, Reena; Gautam, Neetu; Mishra, Anurag; Gupta, Rajiv (2011). "Heavy metals and living systems: An overview". Indian Journal of Pharmacology. 43 (3): 246–253. doi:10.4103/0253-7613.81505. PMC 3113373. PMID 21713085.
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