One of the hottest new health supplement trends can be found in your grill. Well, that’s not exactly the case. Activated charcoal isn’t the same kind of charcoal you use to grill food, but the effects of it are just as delicious. But it’s important to note that you should not consume your backyard charcoal, as this is generally filled with dangerous chemicals. Activated charcoal, also known as activated carbon, differs from regular charcoal because it contains extra oxygen that increases the porosity of the surface area. In fact, it’s used to remove toxins, chemicals, and gases in water filtration systems. Even hospitals will use activated charcoal to stop the effects of drug overdoses and poisoning in their patients. Studies show that it works better than pumping the stomach, in some cases. So, what else can it do?
In short, activated charcoal has a lot of different benefits. From weight loss to teeth whitening, the benefits keep growing day to day. This potent, yet natural treatment can make you healthier by flushing toxins out of the body, instead of absorbing them. Activated carbon can be made of different types of carbon-based material. However, health nuts usually recommend activated charcoal made from coconut shells for purity. In this article, we’ll cover the basics, while also explaining any side effects and things to keep in mind.
How Does Activated Charcoal Work?
Activated charcoal is most well-known for its porosity. It’s created from extra oxygen that is added to the molecules through a heating process. This porousness translates to a larger surface area, giving activated charcoal better adsorption. The millions of tiny pores on the surface of activated charcoal traps in everything, from chemicals, toxins, and even nutrients. This stops them from getting into the bloodstream. Many people think that the activated charcoal absorbs elements, but in fact, it actually adsorbs them. I know, that may look like a typo, but adsorbing is different that absorbing. Adsorbing occurs when elements bind to a surface. As opposed to soaking up elements, like absorption suggests.
Can You Lose Weight With Activated Charcoal?
The internet is abuzz with activated charcoal cleanses. But, do they actually work? The idea behind this cleanse is that, your body is loaded with stored toxins. These toxins can cause bloating, gas, and digestive problems that cause you to hold onto undigested food. Ever wonder why you can’t get rid of that belly fat? Well, the answer may be because it’s not actually fat. Impacted food is the leading cause of stomach issues. And some people could be holding up to 40 pounds of rotting food in their digestive systems. Basically, activated charcoal adsorbs all of these toxic leaks, while encouraging your body to remove the food.
Nutritionists claim that ingesting activated charcoal regularly is not that great for your body. Since it’s made to adsorb literally everything in its path, it will also adsorb healthy and beneficial nutrients. If you do try the activated charcoal cleanse, keep the time to a minimum. Weight loss is not worth dealing with nutrient deficiency or even charcoal deposits in your abdominal wall. However, there is some good news. Activated charcoal has other studied benefits that may treat other problems. And there are thousands of other diet plans to research and check out.
Activated Charcoal Benefits:
- Removes stains and whitens teeth
- Stops gas and bloating
- Works as a hangover cure
- Treats body odor
- Reduces acne and pimples
- Prevents aging skin
- Decreases high cholesterol
Activated Charcoal Side Effects
Although activated carbon can be used to treat drug overdoses and poisoning, it can be fatal in the long term. Basically, if you take activated carbon too often, it can lead to charcoal build up on your intestinal walls. Plus, the charcoal will remove all of the beneficial nutrients you eat day to day. Other side effects from activated charcoal include:
- Gastrointestinal blockage
- Black stools
It’s important to mention that these side effects have been recorded only from long term use of activated charcoal. In fact, activated charcoal is safe to use even for pregnant and nursing women in the short term. But you should always speak with your doctor before adding any supplements into your diet.