Do you remember how getting some charcoal from Santa meant you were bad? These days, charcoal or, to be more precise, charcoal, is offered in health stores, smoothies and nutritional supplements for a variety of ailments.
Although most cleanse or wean they have no science (primarily because most are afraid and do not bring real health benefits). Activated carbon is of a different nature. There is reason to believe that charcoal can help to cleanse the body, as it is used in emergency situations.
However, bAssume it or not, studies show that occasional amounts of activated carbon can slip into products worse as the miracle of your factory purifies.
Is activated charcoal working?
The rise of activated carbon as a health cure begins in the medical community. It is used in emergency rooms – perhaps I add – quite effectively – to help people fight drug overdoses (often through OTC drugs such as acetaminophen).
Charcoal helps prevent the spread of toxins by overdosing to try to limit the risk to your body. It is great for dangerous and scary situations, but dietary supplement manufacturers have gone one step further and suggested that charcoal can prevent the spread of all the toxins in your body.
Unfortunately, emergency situations do not apply directly to general use. And there are a few reasons why taking activated charcoal would not help to wean your body or get rid of toxins.
When activated charcoal is given in the ER, the usual dose is about 25 to 50 grams. If you look at the most popular activated carbon products on the market, the dose is 250 milligrams. This means you can get around 100x maximum less the amount you need to detox. And usually the dose should be given as soon as possible.
Risks of activated carbon
An article on CNN showed that even if activated carbon does its job, it can be a a very bad thing.
You see, activated carbon works by binding to ingredients (for example when it binds to acetaminophen) and preventing it from spreading in your body. But it is not selective. Charcoal does not know that it is only associated with bad. It just knows how to bind. This means that the coal could be looting with the good nutrients your body needs.
So products that are full of vitamins and minerals and activated carbon is essentially worthless. The reason is that activated carbon binds these vitamins and minerals and prevents them from being absorbed by your body.
Does activated charcoal whiten teeth or reduce odor?
In addition to being a detoxifier, activated charcoal also has various health and well-being claims. It's always your choice if you want to test and see if something works for you, but here's an eye-opening overview of what charcoal research shows.
According to consumer reports, activated carbon does not whiten teeth or work to remove body odor.
“There is, for example, no research on coal used for bleaching; an unpublished experiment presented at a conference of dentists noted that "fine black charcoal powder" could get stuck in tooth cracks or small holes – the opposite of whitening. There is also no study where we have investigated whether activated charcoal, especially oral charcoal, can reduce overall odor (either as a breath freshener or as a deodorant). Studies have shown that activated charcoal can corrode unpleasant odors on skin wounds and ulcers. However, if you have an infected wound or ulcer, you should seek medical advice or advice before trying any form of activated charcoal. "
More importantly, the health risks are quite significant.
- Activated charcoal may be bound to some drugs, including some antidepressants and anti-inflammatory drugs, causing them to be less effective. This may have serious health consequences for some people, but the bottles or packaging where the activated carbon is sold are not explained.
- Activated charcoal binds only those particles that are in your stomach or intestines when it is taken. It works by physical contact with your gut. If you try to use it to detoxify the alcohol and kebabs you had last night, it does nothing because they are already absorbed into your bloodstream.
- Activated charcoal slows down your gut and is known to cause nausea and constipation (and black stools).
Bottom line: although most activated carbon products are likely to offer too low a dose to see results, if you decide to take it, you have more downside than the downside and are probably not worth your money (or leap).
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