The activated carbon is a fine black powder made of peat, petroleum coke, coal, olives or sawdust. It is activated when processed at very high temperatures that changes its internal structure, reduces the size of its pores and increases its surface area; resulting in a more porous carbon than the regular.
The porous texture of this kind of coal is what distinguishes it from other types of charcoal, including the type used for barbecue or grills.
Currently, activated charcoal continues to be promoted as a potent natural treatment, due to a variety of benefits for the body ranging from lowering cholesterol to whitening teeth.
Know how you can benefit from using activated charcoal, and if there are negative effects that can lead to health damage.
Activated carbon guide
1.How does activated carbon work?
Activated carbon works by trapping toxins and chemicals in the intestine, preventing its absorption.
The porous texture has a negative electrical charge, which causes it to attract positively charged molecules, such as toxins and gases. This helps trap toxins in the intestine.
2.Can activated carbon work for poisoning?
Because of its binding properties to the toxin, activated carbon has a variety of medical uses. It is often used in cases of intoxication, as it can be linked to a variety of drugs, reducing their effects.
In people, it has been used as a poisonous antidote since the beginning of the 19th century. It can also be used to treat overdoses of medications including the most common such as aspirin, acetaminophen and sedatives.
Studies show that when you take a single dose of 50-100 grams of activated charcoal, after five minutes of your intake, you can reduce the absorption of the drug by 74% in adults.
It is important to keep in mind that activated carbon is not effective in all cases of poisoning . For example, it seems to have little effect on alcohol, heavy metals, chemical elements such as lithium, potassium, and acid poisonings.
3.Can activated charcoal promote kidney function?
This could be particularly beneficial in patients suffering from chronic kidney disease, a condition in which the kidneys can no longer properly filter waste products.
Healthy kidneys are usually very well equipped to filter the blood without any additional help. However, patients suffering from kidney disease usually have more difficulty in eliminating urea and other toxins from the body.
The activated carbon has the ability to bind to urea and other toxins, helping the body to eliminate. In addition, science has shown that it helps improve kidney function in those who suffer from a disease linked to the kidneys.
4.How does it help in fish odor syndrome?
It can help reduce unpleasant odors in individuals suffering from trimethylaminuria (TMA), also known as fish odor syndrome. It is a genetic condition in which TMA, a compound with an odor similar to that of fish, accumulates in the body.
Studies show that the porous surface of activated carbon can help bind small odorous compounds such as TMA, increasing their excretion.
A small study in patients with this pathology analyzed the effects of supplementing 1.5 grams of charcoal for 10 days. The result is that it reduced the concentrations of TMA in the urine to the levels found in healthy individuals. However, more studies would be needed to confirm that you can support this condition.
5.Can activated charcoal reduce cholesterol?
Activated charcoal can also help reduce cholesterol levels. This is because it can bind to bile acids that contain cholesterol in the intestine, preventing the body from absorbing them.
According to research, taking 24 grams of activated charcoal per day for four weeks lowered total cholesterol by 25% and LDL cholesterol, known as bad cholesterol by 25%. In addition, the level of good cholesterol was also favored by rising by 8%.
6.What other uses does activated carbon have?
The activated carbon is also a home remedy popular with many uses, although it is important to note that not all are supported by science. Among them the following:
- Some studies report that it can help reduce gas production after a meal. However, not all studies observed this benefit.
- Water filtration. It is a popular way to reduce the content of heavy metals in water. But, it does not seem to be effective in the elimination of viruses and bacteria present in it.
- Teeth Whitening. It is said to absorb plaque and other compounds that stain teeth. However, there are no studies to support this claim.
- Skin treatment Applying charcoal to the skin seems to be effective for acne and insect or snake bites. However, there are only anecdotal reports on this subject.
7.Is it safe to ingest activated carbon?
It is considered safe in most cases, and adverse reactions are infrequent and rarely severe. But, it can cause some side effects such as nausea and vomiting. In addition, constipation and black stools are two other commonly reported side effects.
When activated charcoal is used as an emergency antidote to the poison, there is a risk that it can travel to the lungs, instead of the stomach. And because of this risk, it should only be administered to people who are fully aware.
It can also reduce the absorption of certain medications. Therefore, people who take treatments should consult a health professional before ingesting it.
8.What is the recommended amount of activated carbon that should be consumed?
A dose of 50-100 grams can be administered by a medical professional, ideally after one hour of overdose. Children usually receive a lower dose of 10-25 grams.
Doses for other conditions range from 1.5 grams to treat fish odor disease, and from 4 to 32 grams per day to reduce cholesterol and promote kidney function. In the case of drug intoxication, it is important to seek medical help immediately.
The supplements activated carbon can be found in pill or powder. When it is taken as a powder it is recommended to mix with water or non-citrus juice.