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Activated Charcoal, Should We Consume?

Activated is indeed the most effective substance to deal with the neutralization of toxins inside our bodies. This substance is usually used after someone swallows or absorbs toxic drugs or chemicals into their bodies. Study indicates that activated charcoal is able to reduce more than 60% of a poisonous substance ingested by the body.

activated charcoalActivated charcoal works by absorbing toxins, therefore limiting their toxicity. It is usually administered by a stomach pump to patients who have swallowed lethal. The charcoal itself is a fine, black, odorless, tasteless, nontoxic powder. You should know that that its effectiveness is at the peak when given within a half hour of the patient ingesting a dangerous substance.

Activated charcoal does not irritate the mucous membranes of the GI system. Beyond toxins absorption, activated charcoal may also absorb vitamins, minerals and nutrients. However, this is only acute and not a disadvantage to the patient. The charcoal is said to be “activated” because it is created to have a very small particle size. This expands the total surface area and adsorptive strength of the charcoal. It is produced by combining acid and steam with coal. To put this in perspective, a single regular 50-gram dose of activated charcoal has the surface area of approximately 10 football fields.

It could absorb wide variety of toxins and drugs. Toxic substances bind themselves to the surface of the charcoal and because charcoal is not digested, it travels inside the GI tract (stomach and intestines) and absorbs the toxin until it is eventually passed by the patient. However, once the drug has been absorbed by the GI tract, activated charcoal can no longer retrieve the toxic ingestion. It will only attach to chemicals that are still inside the stomach or intestines.

This substance is sometimes combined with sorbitol (a laxative) to speed up the duration the toxins travel through the system. However, to avoid negative effects, sorbitol will not be added with every dose of activated charcoal. Please note, activated charcoal does not bind effectively with substances such as: Lithium, arsenic, iodine, alcohol and hydrocarbons such as pine oil.

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