Activated charcoal has many uses from whitening your teeth to curing hangovers.
What is activated charcoal?
Activated charcoal is the byproduct from burning bone char, coconut shells, peat, petroleum coke, coal, olive pits or sawdust leaving a fine black powder.
Activated charcoal becomes "activated" when burned at higher temperatures. Therefor regular charcoal from a grill or fire pit is not the same and would be more harmful than good.
By burning these substances at high temperatures the structure is changed while the surface area increases and the size of the pores decrease allowing the residing activated charcoal to absorb more. activated-charcoal-benefits-1
How does activated charcoal help the body?
Activated charcoal helps prevent the absorption of toxic substances in the gut. The porous nature of activated charcoal allows it to trap toxic substances in your gut and carry them out as the activated charcoal is also not absorbed by the body. activated-charcoal-benefits-2
Activated charcoal and kidney support
The toxic removal properties of activated charcoal may aid the kidneys in overall less toxic removal work. The kidneys are responsible for cleaning the blood of harmful toxins and those with kidney ailments may have a harder time doing this. Ingesting activated charcoal may be a beneficial way to lighten up the load of work the kidneys have to do. activated-charcoal-benefits-3
Some studies on the benefits of activated charcoal in those with kidney disease found that the activated charcoal did in fact ease the load on the kidneys and improved overall kidney function. activated-charcoal-benefits-4
Activated charcoal and ingested poison
When poison is ingested there is a small window to stop the toxins from being absorbed and dispersed throughout the body. Dating back to the 1800's and even used currently, activated charcoal has shown the ability to reduce the toxins absorbed from many poisons. This makes it an effective emergency treatment even today. activated-charcoal-benefits-5
Activated charcoal and cholesterol
Activated charcoal may be able to reduce the cholesterol levels in the body. This is because activated charcoal has the ability to bind to cholesterol containing substances in the gut. Therefor stopping the body from absorbing these cholesterol's. activated-charcoal-benefits-6
One study found that consuming 24 grams of activated charcoal each day lead to a 25% lower total cholesterol, 25% lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and an 8% increase in HDL (good) cholesterol. activated-charcoal-benefits-7
Some other studies found that even larger doses (up to 32 grams daily) of activated charcoal lead to an even higher reduction in total and bad cholesterol up to 41%. activated-charcoal-benefits-8
Other uses of activated charcoal
Some other uses that activated charcoal could have are filtering water as it acts as an effective way to remove heavy metals and fluoride from water. activated-charcoal-benefits-9
Activated charcoal may be able to whiten your teeth by removing teeth staining substances. There needs to be more studies done on this particular benefit.
Hangover prevention may be aided by activated charcoal but this needs to be done in studies as well. activated-charcoal-benefits-10
Activated charcoal may be a beneficial skin treatment to remove blackheads and impurities but again more studies are needed on this use.
Activated charcoal side effects/safety
Activated charcoal is relatively safe with little side effects although there may be special cases. It's important to note than when using activated charcoal as an emergency poison control the person needs to be conscious to take it otherwise complications can occur. activated-charcoal-benefits-11
Always consult your doctor and medical professionals before taking or administering activated charcoal.
Activated charcoal has many different uses. Incorporating this substance into your life has many benefits but should be used on a case by case basis.
It may be beneficial in skin treatments, teeth whitening, body detox, lowering cholesterol and much more.
Always consult your doctor before taking any supplements as they could interfere with certain medications.
To learn more about cleansing the body and detox, read about the health benefits of lemon water.
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