Activated Charcoal seems to be everywhere. It’s in toothpaste, beauty products, beverages and supplements. Even ice cream contains it. Activated Charcoal is being used more often in the hopes of benefiting from its detoxifying properties. But should you eat it? This guide will explain the health benefits and risks of activated carbon, as well as how to use it safely.
What is activated Charcoal?
Activated charcoal details) is a byproduct of burning materials such as wood, coconut shells, or peat at high temperatures. Carbon sources such as wood burn to produce small particles with a high surface area. This superfine-activated carbon can bind and adsorb chemicals, heavy metals, and other toxins due to its large surface. Activated Charcoal can be applied topically to a porous area, such as the skin, or internally via the digestive system.
What are the uses of activated Charcoal?
Humans have used activated charcoal for hundreds of centuries because it can detoxify the human body. Activated Charcoal has been used by doctors to treat drug poisoning and overdose, as well as to alleviate symptoms like diarrhea. It is no surprise that activated carbon has made a strong comeback as companies and people find new ways to market and use it. “New” benefits of activated Charcoal include acne treatment, detoxification, and water filtering. Also, it can be used to treat bug bites and hangovers.
Is activated Charcoal effective?
Many people wonder if activated charcoal works. Is it so popular due to its effectiveness or good marketing? No doubt, a great marketing campaign is powerful. However, many studies have shown how activated Charcoal can help treat certain health problems. Here are some activated charcoal health benefits that have been medically proven.
Activated Charcoal works by trapping toxins and stopping them from being absorbed. The activated Charcoal remains in the body until it is passed out in stools with all the toxins that it has clung to.
Staff in hospitals and emergency rooms use activated carbon to counteract overdoses of drugs and poisonings. Activated Charcoal is effective if the toxic substance hasn’t entered the bloodstream. Many people who become hospitalized after ingesting toxic substances will absorb the toxin before they are admitted.
Activated Charcoal is also effective in treating diarrhea, as it prevents bacteria from being absorbed into the body. Some people claim activated Charcoal helps with weight loss. However, it’s not a weight-loss drug and should never be used for that purpose.
Even intestinal gas, bloating, and abdominal cramps can be reduced by activated Charcoal. In a study, Charcoal beat a placebo to reduce symptoms of flatulence and abdominal cramps.
Carrie Lam, MD, a fellow in Anti-Aging, Metabolic, and Functional Medicine and co-founder of Lam Clinic, says, “You have a couple of options for relieving bloating and indigestion.” “Activated Charcoal is available in powder, liquid, or capsule form. It can also be mixed with a non-acidic drink of your choice. The capsule and tablet forms are often the most affordable and the best investments.”
It has been proven that consuming activated Charcoal can help people with high levels of cholesterol. This is because it lowers LDL cholesterol. Dr. Lam claims that studies around the globe have shown the benefits of activated carbon are comparable to prescription cholesterol medication. Dr. Lam says that activated Charcoal can increase good cholesterol and decrease bad cholesterol by 25 percent in only four weeks.
Chronic kidney disease
The National Center for Biotechnology Information ( NCBI) published a study showing how activated Charcoal combined with a low-protein diet can treat kidney disease. Many patients saw a drop in their blood urea levels and creatinine after using activated carbon for almost a full year.
Activated Charcoal is a great health supplement. The degree of effectiveness will vary depending on the individual. The best way to determine if a drug or accessory is right for you is to speak with your doctor.
Is activated Charcoal Safe?
As with any medication or supplement, there are always possible side effects. You should be aware that activated charcoal consumption can have side effects. You can expect to experience some side effects when you take activated Charcoal.
- Black stools
- Stomach pain
Consuming activated carbon may cause even more serious side effects. Aspiration is a condition that can be caused by activated Charcoal. It occurs when a person inhales foreign substances, such as liquids or mucus, into their lungs. This is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention.
Activated Charcoal may also lead to electrolyte imbalances and dehydration. Avoid dehydration by drinking a full glass or two of water after taking an activated-charcoal pill, capsule, or tablet.
Additionally, activated carbon can prevent the body from taking prescription drugs that it requires. Activated Charcoal can react with certain medications, including:
- Tricyclic antidepressants
This list is not exhaustive. You can ask a healthcare professional if taking activated carbon is a good thing based on your current medications.
How to use activated carbon
Activated Charcoal is now available in a variety of forms, including pills, powders, and liquids.
When applied topically, activated Charcoal can be beneficial. Charcoal works by binding dead skin cells, bacteria, and dirt on the surface. Activated Charcoal is used in many skincare products, including face washes and masks. It can also be found in toothpaste and deodorant. Charcoal toothpaste helps remove plaque and bacteria, while deodorant charcoal can eliminate odors. Activated charcoal products are easily available because of the trend.
Consuming activated Charcoal poses a greater risk than applying it topically. All supplements are not created equal or of the same high quality. It is crucial to purchase and consume high-quality activated carbon powder, capsules, or tablets. Some products contain additives with harmful chemicals. Find activated Charcoal that is made from coconut shells and bamboo.