Charcoal is not just for your barbecue. A specific form of charcoal, not the one you use to cook, can actually deliver some important health benefits. Activated charcoal has been used for medicinal purposes in cultures all around the world.
Giving you beauty through whiter teeth all the way to promoting heart health by lowering cholesterol, it would be advantageous to start looking at charcoal in a whole new light.
What Is Activated Charcoal?
Activated charcoal is not to be confused with the briquettes you use for grilling. It is a much more porous version that is made from bone char, coconut shells, pet, coal, olive pits, or sawdust.
It is activated by high temperatures that increase its surface area, giving it a different appearance and different properties.
The method by which activated charcoal works within your body lies in its ability to trap toxins in your gut, thereby preventing absorption. The negative charge provided by its porous surface attracts the positive charge given off by toxins and chemicals.
Since the activated charcoal is not absorbed into your system, the toxins attached to it cannot be absorbed either.
The ability to trap toxins and prevent them from entering the bloodstream makes activated charcoal an advanced treatment in cases of poisoning. Whether you ingest something accidentally or overdose on prescription medications, activated charcoal can attract the toxins and keep them from causing harm.
If taken within five minutes of drug consumption, patients have a 74-percent chance of reducing absorption into the bloodstream. Not all cases of poisoning will benefit from activated charcoal consumption, so it should be used on a case-by-case basis. Alcohol and heavy metal poisoning seem to be unaffected by its presence.
Health Benefits of Activated Charcoal
The removal of toxins not only can reverse the dangers of poisoning, but it can benefit the function of organs and contribute to overall health. Toxins can come from the environment, our food, and even as byproducts to our metabolic processes. Having an antidote like activated charcoal on hand can help in the event too many toxins are invading our system.
Enhanced kidney function: Your kidneys are the filtration system of your body, removing toxins through your urine all day long. Activated charcoal supports kidney function by limiting the amount of toxins they have to filter.
This would especially benefit those with limited kidney function or kidney disease, so they do not have to work as hard.
The charcoal can bind to toxins and urea, which is the collection of waste from your blood. By helping to more efficiently remove toxins and urea, blood is cleaner and your kidneys can function more effectively.
Reduces cholesterol: Just as it binds with toxins, activated charcoal binds to cholesterol and cholesterol-containing bile acids. These remain in the gut for expulsion rather than getting absorbed into the blood.
Just 24 grams of activated charcoal per day reduced bad cholesterol levels in patients by 25 percent. Lowering cholesterol provides protection from high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and several cardiovascular diseases.
Beating the bloat: Activated charcoal seems to have an impact on the production of gas, which means it may prove to be a more natural and effective alternative to antacids or gas-relieving medications. If you are prone to getting gas after your meals, you are all to aware of the discomfort and pain, so try daily doses of activated charcoal to soothe your digestive troubles and keep bloating and gas to a minimum.
Helps with fish odor syndrome: Also known as trimethylaminuria (TMAU), fish odor syndrome is not very common but is very unpleasant. The result of this condition is a fish-like odor that is excreted from the body through skin, urine, and breath.
The body makes a specific enzyme that converts this into a non-smelly compound before excretion, however those with TMAU are missing the enzyme. Activated charcoal helps to bind the smelly compounds, therefore expediting their removal and reducing the smell you emit.
Anti-aging benefits: While getting older is an unavoidable part of life, there are things we do that speed the process up. Toxin overload can bog down your kidneys and liver, which can lead to premature aging.
Activated charcoal binds toxins effectively, thereby reducing the amount of work your filtration and detoxification systems need to do. With a daily dose, you can protect your health, promote efficient organ function, and age as you are supposed to.
Digestive cleanse: By removing toxins, activated charcoal promotes healthy function and absorption within your gut. Compounds that cause allergies and oxidative damage are removed, which cleanses your digestive tract and promotes wellness and health. A two-day cleanse with activated charcoal and a diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, will get rid of any harmful toxins, promote gut health and balance, and reinforce the strength of your intestines, to prevent future damage.
Activated charcoal is thought to be relatively safe, and any adverse reactions recorded so far have been mild. By effectively grabbing toxic compounds and removing them from your body, you can avoid serious health problems.
Supplements are easy to come by, and, so long as you follow the directions, activated charcoal can keep you safe and healthy. Next time you feel like cleaning up your life, grab some activated charcoal for your health.