For many, charcoal is only related to barbecuing; but, there is a form of charcoal that can be ingested and is said to be good for health. Would you be interested in taking charcoal pills along with your daily supplements if experts say that they can benefit your health?
Is Activated Charcoal Beneficial?
Activated charcoal has been getting a lot of publicity over the past few years and is being incorporated into toothpastes, deodorants, shampoos and edible products like ice creams, cocktails and detox drinks. But, what is activated charcoal?
It is a processed form of charcoal that is more porous than the type used in barbecues and may have some health benefits according to experts. Some say that it may help with various aspects of health like cholesterol, body odor, discolored teeth and maybe even hangovers.
The porous nature of activated charcoal and its negative electrical charge might help absorb positively charged toxins that we ingest and keep them from getting into our system. And, since the body does not synthesize this form of charcoal, it simply eliminates it, toxins and all.
This property of activated charcoal is probably why it was used as an antidote for venom even in the 1800s. In recent times, it has also been used in individuals experiencing drug overdoses because the charcoal might absorb some of the components of the drugs to reduce their impact on the body.
Some studies even corroborate this by showing that when taken within five minutes of a drug overdose, activated charcoal can reduce the absorption of the drug by nearly 74 percent.
Activated charcoal may also support kidney health, especially in those suffering from chronic kidney disease where one or both kidneys have lost their functionality. The charcoal may help reduce the workload of the kidneys by absorbing some of the waste, like urea, that the kidneys typically process.
Apart from supporting kidney health, it may also help lower cholesterol levels by preventing the cholesterol molecules from reaching the bloodstream. A study shows that individuals given 24 grams of activated charcoal every day for four weeks saw a 25 percent reduction in overall cholesterol levels, a 25 percent reduction in the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol and an 8 percent increase in the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol.
Some other possible benefits of consuming activated charcoal include teeth whitening, as it may help destroy plaque and restore the teeth’s natural color. It may also be useful for skin care and has been popping up in various brands of face masks and creams. You could also make your own with all-natural ingredients. Apart from these, activated charcoal may also help reduce flatulence, filter out metals and fluoride from water and help overcome a hangover.
You may find edible activated charcoal in the form of capsules, powders, ice creams and detox water, and if you do decide to give it a try, make sure you try it in small amounts, because consuming large quantities of activated charcoal may cause constipation.
Whether you decide to ingest it or use it on your body, do some research, find good quality products and test out the new trend of using activated charcoal.
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Blanton, K. (2018, October 01). Why Are So Many People Taking Activated Charcoal Pills? Retrieved from https://www.menshealth.com/health/a23547192/charcoal-pills/
Activated Charcoal. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/activated-charcoal-uses-risks#1