Activated Charcoal and Weight Loss: What you need to know

Consuming something that is or made from charcoal doesn't sound pleasant, but in fact, it's very common and even beneficial. Don't go around eating charcoal, that's not the kind of charcoal we are talking about. We will be discussing the importance of activated charcoal and what it can not only do for your body (including help lose weight), but what it can also do for the environment around you.

What is Activated Charcoal?

Activated charcoal is a fine black powder made from bone char, coconut shells, peat, petroleum coke, coal, olive pits or sawdust.

The charcoal is activated by processing it at very high temperatures. The high temperatures change its internal structure, reducing the size of its pores and increasing its surface area

This results in a charcoal that is more porous than regular charcoal.

Activated charcoal shouldn't be confused with charcoal briquettes that are used to light your barbecue. While both can be made from the same base materials, charcoal briquettes have not been activated at high temperatures. Moreover, they contain additional substances that are toxic to humans.

Activated charcoal works by trapping toxins and chemicals in the gut, preventing their absorption

The charcoal's porous texture has a negative electrical charge, which causes it to attract positively charged molecules, such as toxins and gases. This helps it trap toxins and chemicals in the gut

Because activated charcoal is not absorbed by your body, it can carry the toxins bound to its surface out of your body in feces.

Activated charcoal is a form of carbon that has been processed to decrease pore size and increase surface area, along with providing a negative charge on the substance.

Basically, this substance is intended to trap toxins and waste products, without being absorbed or broken down by the body. At that point, the charcoal can pass through the body and be excreted as waste.

It is best to use natural sources of this charcoal, such as coconut shells.

Benefits of Activated Charcoal

It has a variety of proposed benefits, ranging from lowering cholesterol to whitening teeth and curing hangovers.

  • Whitens Teeth
  • Prevents Bloating
  • Boosts Heart Health
  • Antiaging Effects
  • Digestive Aid
  • Lowers Inflammation
  • Emergency Poison Treatment

How Does Activated Charcoal Help With Weight Loss?

Keeps your digestive system on track

Activated charcoal prevents and also effectively reduces gas and bloating.

Activated charcoal can bind or cling to the byproducts of foods that usually cause gas.

Taking activated charcoal tablets half an hour to an hour before mealtime can reduce gas. It would also reduce or prevent bloating.

Activated charcoal tablets can lead to a flushing out of toxins and other unpleasant buildups.

The prevention, reduction or elimination of gas, the lack of bloating and the effective cleansing of activated charcoal will help keep the digestive system on track and can also facilitate weight loss.

Getting rid of the toxins from the gastrointestinal tract can restore normal metabolism.

Absence of gas will smoothen the movement of foods throughout the digestive, absorption and elimination processes.

Normalized bowel movements will flush out the harmful bacteria in the small intestine to the large intestine, where they belong.

How Can I Use Activated Charcoal?

Activated charcoal typically comes in the form of:

  • Powder
  • Pills
  • Tablets
  • Capsules
  • Liquid suspensions

The activated carbon powder can be mixed into any number of products, including toothpaste.

Activated charcoal has many uses and applications. Some of the most popular ones include:

  • Mold cleansing
  • Air purifier
  • Eliminating fish odor syndrome
  • Gas reduction: Some studies report that activated charcoal may help reduce gas production following a gas-producing meal. It may also help improve the odor of gas. However, not all studies observed this benefit
  • Water filtration: Activated charcoal is a popular way to reduce heavy metal and fluoride content in water. However, it doesn't appear to be very effective at removing viruses, bacteria or hard water mineral
  • Tooth whitening: Using activated charcoal to brush your teeth is anecdotally said to whiten them. It's said to do so by absorbing plaque and other teeth-staining compounds. However, no studies could be found to support this claim.
  • Hangover prevention: Activated charcoal is sometimes used as a hangover cure. While consuming it with alcohol may reduce blood alcohol levels, its effects on hangovers haven't been studied ().
  • Skin treatment: Applying this charcoal to the skin is touted as an effective treatment for acne and insect or snake bites. However, only anecdotal reports could be found on this topic.

Activated charcoal not only has many health benefits, but it also contributes to the environment around you.

Commonly Asked Questions

What are the risks of taking activated charcoal?

When you take it by mouth, activated charcoal can cause gastrointestinal blockages. Do not combine activated charcoal with drugs used for constipation. This can cause electrolyte imbalances and other problems.

Should you be taking charcoal pills?

People take activated charcoal to manage a poisoning or overdose. It also is not used to treat poisons with strong acids or bases.

What do you need to know about activated charcoal?

Activated charcoal is a carbon that traps harmful substances.

It's used for a ton of different wellness treatments.

Some say that the charcoal can whiten your teeth, give you shinier hair, and clear up pesky blemishes.

Further Reading