Sap Sheets: A Device for Saps

Stephen Barrett, M.D.

Kenrico Ltd. of Kanaya, Shizuoka, Japan, would like you to believe that its "detox foot pads" can detoxify your body and improve your health. According to the company's Web site:

The site contains a reflexology chart to illustrate how the Sap Sheet supposedly can benefit organs throughout the body:

Incorrect Theories

I do not believe that Sap Sheets will work as advertised. The skin is not a semi-permeable membrane, which means that substances placed on the outside of the foot and substances circulating within the body will not flow freely from one side of the skin to the other. Even if they could, this would not remove "toxins" from the body. Real detoxification takes place in the liver, which modifies the chemical structure of undesirable substances. The modified substances then circulate through the bloodstream to the kidneys, which filter them into the urine. The skin has no involvement in this process and is not an organ of detoxification. Sweat, which contains water and salt, helps to help maintain body temperature but does not play a significant role in toxin removal. Kenrico's reflexology concepts are also incorrect. Most nerves in the body do not end in the foot, and there are no anatomical pathways between the foot and internal organs as depicted in reflexology charts. Moreover, there is no physiologic mechanism whereby stimulating the foot can influence the health of internal organs. In short, Kenrico's explanation for its foot pads combines nonsensical concepts of detoxification with those of reflexology.

Related Information

This article was posted on December 4, 2007.

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