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Activated Charcoal

Activated Charcoal

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Activated Charcoal infographic
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Activated charcoal is similar to the charcoal we all know. The difference is that activated carbon has some spaces inside that help absorb chemicals that can be harmful. That's why it's used for different purposes, such as in the case of poisoning.

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Possible Benefits

  • Used for the treatment of some intoxications
  • It helps to treat digestive problems 
  • May help lower cholesterol levels 
  • Helps to reduce flatulence
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Required Equipment

Activated charcoal can be found in tablets, powder, and other presentations.

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How to Do It

It is preferable to consume this product under the supervision of a health professional. If you get a product with activated charcoal, be sure to follow the manufacturer's directions.

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Why it works

  • Being a highly absorbent product, when consumed quickly after intoxication or overdose, it can prevent the body from absorbing substances that could harm it. 
  • Also, when used for other purposes, it has the potential to absorb chemicals that are harmful to health, and then they can be eliminated from the body. 
  • There is not yet a consensus on the use to lower blood cholesterol levels. Some studies claim that it works for that purpose.
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Time Commitment

1-2 minutes 

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Suggested Frequency

According to the specific product.

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Time of Day


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Possible Side Effects

This product is best used under medical supervision

Misuse of this product may cause lung problems 

May decrease the effectiveness of drugs used to cause vomiting



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  • There is still not enough evidence that activated charcoal is effective for weight loss 
  • Some people use it to improve the healing process 
  • Can be consumed with a drink to avoid bad taste
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Supporting Studies and Articles

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  1. Activated Charcoal. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482294/
  2. How useful is activated charcoal? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1676641/
  3. The Use of Activated Charcoal to Treat Intoxications. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6620762/
  4. Activated Charcoal—Past, Present and Future. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1306980/
  5. Single dose activated charcoal for gut decontamination: Application by medical non-professionals -a prospective study on availability and practicability. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5615092/
  6. Activated charcoal significantly reduces the amount of colchicine released from Gloriosa superba in simulated gastric and intestinal media. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5942148/
  7. Studies on the use of activated charcoal and cholestyramine for reducing the body burden of polybrominated biphenyls. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6256148
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