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Kinoki Foot Pads
Kinoki Foot Pads are an "As Seen on TV" woo "product" that allegedly removes deadly toxins, parasites, heavy metals, metabolic waste, and other manners of ill shit from your body. This is done through "proven" Japanese reflexology research which dictates that these pads, when worn overnight on your foot, will draw out the toxins through your skin over the course of two weeks. The pads will be pitch black and disgusting after the first night, and will become lighter over time until there are no more toxins left while simultaneously relieving your wallet from dangerously flammable cash.
 Real science
Essentially, the pads are treated with green tea and vinegar, known antioxidants, and will react with moisture in the air or sweat from your foot, rendering the pad a dark color. This is a common theme amongst products that have a "detox" effect - the ingredients themselves will turn black, sludgy or start to smell just by reacting with water. In a similar variant to these pads reviewed by Ben Goldacre in Bad Science, the primary ingredient was "hydrolyzed cellulose" - or in less obfuscatory terms, sugar - so it is little wonder that after a night being exposed to sweat that the pads produce a sticky substance.
A study conducted on the Kinoki pads by an independent laboratory found that used pads contained none of 23 different toxins, metals, etc. that the pad claimed to remove (including a few extras such as toluene and styrene). Following the negative test, the lab exposed a fresh pad to distilled water, demonstrating that it turned black anyway. It is also quite telling that the website no longer functions (go ahead, try it!). And the makers of the product, Xacta 3000, has been charged by the Federal Trade Commission for deceptive marketing practices.
- The advertisement
- MSNBC report
- WikiAnswers - Do Kinoki detox foot pads work? (features a number of comments that make interesting reading)