Benefits of Activated Charcoal
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Last year, the goth food trend wave exploded with black ice cream, black burgers, back lattes and every kind of “goth” food imaginable. The main ingredient that gave goth food its “darkness” was activated charcoal.
Activated charcoal was once considered a “universal antidote” and the first line of treatment for poisonings and overdoses over 150 years ago. Today, activated charcoal continues to be used in hospitals in cases of poisonings (not all) and as a staple ingredient in food and non-food items from whitening toothpaste, detox drinks, facemasks, water filters, air purifiers, and hangover concoctions.
What is activated charcoal?
Activated charcoal or activated carbon is made out of coconut shells, peat, coal, olive pits, wood, and other materials. It becomes “activated charcoal” when it’s treated with high temperatures combined with gas or an activating agent to change its structure and increase its adsorptive ability.
Is activated charcoal similar to charcoal briquettes?
No. While both may contain the same base materials, the charcoal you use for your barbecues was not subjected to the “activation” process or to the high temperatures that activated charcoal undergoes. Additionally, charcoal briquettes also pose a danger to your health when ingested.
What are the benefits of activated charcoal?
Benefits of Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal is incredibly porous and has a negative electrical charge which causes it to attract positively charged molecules such as toxins and certain chemicals. It then helps trap these toxins and chemicals in the gut. Because activated charcoal is not absorbed by the body, it exits the body, along with the trapped toxins, as waste.
Its this adsorptive ability that makes activated charcoal such an effective body cleanser. It has been studied as a treatment for many stomach disorders including diarrhea, gas and indigestion.
Intestinal Gas Relief
Not only can activated charcoal absorb toxins and chemicals, it can also bind to gases produced in the intestine. In a small trial, subjects were given a meal comprised of gas-producing foods along with 584 mg capsules of activated charcoal, followed by another 584 mg of activated charcoal after 2 hours. The subjects who took the activated charcoal supplements had less flatulence than the placebo group who had five times more than the group supplemented with activated charcoal.
Another study found that subjects taking 388 mg of activated charcoal two hours after a gas-producing meal showed normalized flatulence after the 4th hour.
In addition to lessening flatulence, studies showed that it could improve bloating and stomach cramps.
In 2011, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) examined the gastrointestinal health claim of activated charcoal and published a report. It considered the various studies that showed activated charcoal’s effect on decreasing intestinal gas accumulation. The panel established a “cause and effect relationship between consumption of activated charcoal and reduction of excessive intestinal gas accumulation”.
Amounts used for preventing intestinal gas range from 500 to 1 g per day. However, the EFSA recommended 1 g of activated charcoal at least 30 minutes before a meal and 1 g after the meal in order to reduce excessive intestinal gas accumulation and bloating.
Another potential benefit that is currently being investigated by researchers is activated charcoal’s ability to support kidney function by reducing the number of waste products that the kidneys have to filter.
Studies suggest that activated charcoal may have the ability to bind to urea and other toxins, and in turn helping the body to eliminate them.
In one study, activated charcoal was shown to improve kidney function in patients with chronic kidney disease.
While another study showed that activated charcoal, along with a low protein diet, lowered blood urea and creatinine levels in elderly patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD).
It is imperative to note that while these results show plenty of promise, these were preliminary stage trials and more research is needed and encouraged on activated charcoal’s potential as an alternative and low cost therapy for patients.
Decrease Blood Cholesterol
In addition to binding to toxins, chemicals and gases, activated charcoal has the ability to adsorb (or bind to) cholesterol and bile acids in the intestine, preventing them from being absorbed. By reducing the body’s ability to absorb bile acids, this results in increased cholesterol breakdown by the liver.
A small study found that activated charcoal decreased patient’s plasma total cholesterol by 25%, LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) by 41%; while HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) increased by 8%.
Amounts used for lowering blood cholesterol range from 4 to 32 grams of activated charcoal per day.
Potentially Prevent Hangover
Animal studies have shown that giving activated charcoal at the same time as alcohol could reduce blood alcohol concentration. However, the limited human studies on the subject have yielded mixed results.
Simply Slender Charcoal Lemonade
Simply Slender Charcoal Lemonade is the first of its kind in the market. Each bottle of Simply Slender Charcoal Lemonade contains 500 mg of activated charcoal to help adsorb toxins, reduce bloating and improve digestion. It also contains green tea extracts - a rich source of a type of natural phenol and antioxidant called Epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG. EGCG helps maintain healthy weight, increases metabolism, promotes fat burning, and reduces inflammation.
Ready to try activated charcoal? Numerous studies have demonstrated the efficacy of activated charcoal and it works. Simply Slender Charcoal Lemonade made with activated charcoal and enriched with EGCG-rich green tea extract is not another fad. It will clean your system in one day! Improve gut health and try Simply Slender Charcoal Lemonade drink today!
IMPORTANT: If you plan to add activated charcoal as a health supplement, please consult a physician or expert medical professional before taking activated charcoal. While activated charcoal is not toxic, you should not take your vitamins or any medications after taking activated charcoal. Wait after 2 hours or more before taking your supplements or medication. The activated charcoal could potentially reduce the effectiveness of the medication or bind to the nutrients in the supplements, food or drinks.
DISCLAIMER: *Legal Disclaimer: This is an advertisement. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products and the information on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Results not typical. Individual results may vary. As with any effective diet cleansing program, best results are obtained when used in conjunction with exercise and a reduced calorie diet. Enjoy light meals, consisting of only fruits and vegetables, at anytime throughout the day. We recommend you do not exceed portion sizes larger than the palm of your hand at any one time. We also recommend you stay away from nicotine, caffeine, large quantities of vitamins, alcohol, drugs and other pollutants or unwanted toxins. The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you read on this page.
"What Is Activated Charcoal Good For? Benefits and Uses" - Healthline, June 29, 2017
"Combination of oral activated charcoal plus low protein diet as a new alternative for handling in the old end-stage renal disease patients." - PubMed, January 21, 2010
"Effect of activated charcoal on hypercholesterolaemia." - PubMed, August 16, 1980
"I Learned What I Expected — Testing Trendy Activated Charcoal Remedies" - healthline, August 25, 2017
"10 Activated Charcoal Benefits & Uses" - Food Matters, December 5, 2017
"Activated Charcoal" – WebMD
"Charcoal" - Michigan Medicine
"Activated Charcoal: Bottom Line Monograph" - Natural Medicine Journal, August, 2013
"Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to activated charcoal and reduction of excessive intestinal gas accumulation (ID 1938) and reduction of bloating (ID 1938) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006" - EFSA Journal, April 8, 2011