Activated Carbon, Healthy or Just a Myth ?

When visiting the cafe or bakery will find one or two menus that all appear to be black, but not for burning. The black color comes from charcoal, but not just any charcoal. Charcoal is said to have health benefits, namely to detox. Likewise in the world of beauty. Currently, the use of this charcoal mask appears to be a trend. What exactly is charcoal in question and does it really have health benefits?

Activated carbon is charcoal which is reheated at a very high temperature. Is called active (activated) because this charcoal through a special process that makes the surface becomes porous, thus expanding the charcoal surface. There are many outstanding health benefits claims, ranging from ridding the body of toxins (detox), reducing bloating, even whitening teeth.

There is not enough research to suggest the superior use of activated carbon. However, in health practitioners, this char is widely used in the management of poisoning. The reason, this is binding drugs and certain toxins, so it can reduce its absorption in the digestive tract into the bloodstream. However, this is not useful for certain cases, such as cyanide poisoning, lithium, alcohol, and iron, as well as toxins that are strong acids and strong bases.

Activated carbon is recommended as bloated management (characterized by excessive gas exhaust), as it proves to reduce excess gas from the gastrointestinal tract. To get this benefit, it is advisable to consume 1 gr of activated carbon 30 minutes before meals and 30 minutes after meal. To date, no other health benefits have been found.

However, the use of activated carbon needs to be wary, because of its absorbing properties. As a result, the treatment is expected to be ineffective, including drugs such as acetaminophen, digoxin, theophylline, and tricyclic antidepressants.

Activated carbon is also not recommended to be consumed in conjunction with laxatives, as it may cause electrolyte imbalances that may be harmful. If the Healthy Gang consume activated carbon, make sure to inform the doctor who handles you, in order to get advice on the use of drugs needed.

In addition to absorbing drugs, activated carbon also absorbs nutrients. So, actually the practice of mixing activated carbon into the diet (let alone fruit juice) is not right. Vitamins and minerals are substances that are very easily lost, because it is absorbed by this charcoal.

The term detox begins to rise in recent years, with the understanding that we need to get rid of ‘toxins that accumulate’ from the body to stay healthy. However, we need to remember that in science, the detox process (the removal of toxins and waste products from metabolism) is done by the body organs (liver, kidneys, skin, and lungs), not from a glass of fruit juice. The best thing we can do is keep the intake balanced and can meet daily needs.