The Benefits of Activated Charcoal for Your Gut and Other Things

Activated charcoal is known to be a fine, odorless, black powder that is often used to treat overdoses. It has toxin-absorbing properties that has multiple cosmetic and medicinal uses but some of them aren't scientifically proven.

Activated charcoal is produced by superheating natural sources of carbon like wood. It can help the stomach avoid absorbing harmful toxins by binding to them. Our bodies aren't capable of absorbing charcoal so those toxins that are bound to it can only leave the body through the feces.

Basically, activated charcoal has no equivalence to the substances that are normally found in charcoal bricks or burnt pieces of food. The way it's manufactured makes it really absorbent thus allowing it to bind to atoms, ions, and molecules. Through this process, it can remove these from dissolved substances.

The 'activation' process allows the charcoal to be stripped off previously absorbed molecules then frees up the bonding sites again. It will also reduce the pores' size in the charcoal which will create more holes in the molecule thus increasing the overall surface area.


The many uses of activated charcoal

Authorities have given approval on the use of activated charcoal during an emergency treatment for an overdose or poisoning. But due to its effective toxin-clearing properties, there are some people who use it for various conditions. However, some of the research put into these aren't that sufficiently conclusive especially on its benefits. There are several over-the-counter (OTC) medications that rely on the basic chemical principles of activated charcoal to back up their benefit claims. These are some of the best uses of activated charcoal that have some evidence on its effects:

  1. Intestinal gas - Activated charcoal powder can aide in disrupting intestinal gas but some researchers are still puzzled on how this works. The gases and liquids that are trapped in the intestine will pass through the tiny holes in the activated charcoal which in turn neutralizes them. During a 2012 study, a small group of people who are suffering from excessive gas in their intestines were advised to take 448 mg of activated charcoal 3 times a day for 2 days before undergoing intestinal ultrasound exams. On the morning of the exam, they took an additional 672 mg. The results allowed the medical examiners to see some parts of the organs they intended to identify using the ultrasound wherein they used to be obscured by the intestinal gas before the treatment was induced.
  2. Kidney health - Kidney function was improved by activated charcoal as it helps filter out the undigested drugs and toxins. It seems that it is most effective in removing the toxins from the urea which is the main byproduct of protein digestion. Additional research is required yet animal studies show that it has improved their kidney function and reduce gastrointestinal inflammation and damage for those who have chronic kidney disease.
  3. Diarrhea - Since activated charcoal is effective in being a gastrointestinal absorbent in poisonings and overdoses, some people believe that it can also serve as a treatment for diarrhea. In a 2019 review of recent studies pertaining to the usage of activated charcoal on diarrhea, it shows that it might be able to prevent drugs and bacteria that causes diarrhea from being absorbed into the body by capturing them on its textured, porous surface. Since it has been noted as a suitable treatment for diarrhea, researchers have pointed out that it has fewer side effects compared to the usual antidiarrheal medications.
  4. Water filtration - Activated charcoal is commonly used as a natural water filter. It can interact with and absorb a wide range of bacteria, chemicals, drugs, fungus, toxins, and viruses that are normally found in water. In commercial settings, operators sometimes use activated carbon granules as a part of the filtration process. There are also several water filtration products that are made for home use in which they utilize carbon cartridges to purify the water from impurities and toxins. It has been found out that water filtration systems that uses carbon are able to remove nearly 100% of the fluoride in 32 unfiltered water samples 6 months after it was installed.
  5. Skin infection - Majority of the traditional medicine practitioners use activated charcoal powder that are made from coconut shells to heal soft tissue conditions like skin infections. It is believed that they an antibacterial effect since it absorbs harmful microbes from wounds. Several of these are available commercially.

 

Monday
8:00am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 6:00pm


Tuesday
8:00am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 6:00pm


Wednesday
8:00am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 6:00pm


Thursday
8:00am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 6:00pm


Friday
8:00am - 12:00pm
2:00pm - 6:00pm


Saturday
Closed

Absolute Family Chiropractic
1490 Alamo Drive Suite B
Vacaville, CA 95687
(707) 474-5688