Continued from page 1

Adds Jacqui Lowdon, spokeswoman for the British Dietetic Association, “since when were celebrities qualified to talk about health and nutrition?”

One curious entrant in the detox sweepstakes this year is something called “oxygenated” water — curious because water, chemical formula H2O, already contains oxygen, one atom’s worth to every two atoms of hydrogen.

Mr. Wadge is big on water, but even with water, there can be too much of a good thing.

According to a report in the Christmas edition of the British Medical Journal, two doctors in the United States have found that “drinking excess amounts … can be dangerous, resulting in water intoxication, hypenatraemia [low salt levels] and even death.”

Research by the two — Dr. Rachael Vreeman of the University of Indiana and Dr. Aaron Carroll, a professor of pediatrics — says the popularly held belief over the past 60 years or so that everyone should drink eight glasses of water a day is a myth, and a possibly dangerous one at that.