Activated charcoal not recommended for daily use
Is activated charcoal good to rid the body of toxins? I recently had a friend who accidentally ingested a toxin, and they used charcoal at the emergency room. Is that something to consider on a regular basis? What exactly is activated charcoal?
Since 1813, charcoal has been used for accidental poisoning because of its ability to neutralize drugs and poisons.
When ingested, activated charcoal is designed to absorb and neutralize harmful chemicals in the gastrointestinal tract before it can be absorbed in the body.
Activated charcoal has also been shown to be helpful in providing relief for trapped gas in the lower intestine by some physicians and regulatory agencies.
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, activated charcoal was developed for medical use and is generally prescribed to treat poisoning.
However, taking activated charcoal because of an overdose of cyanide, lithium, alcohol or iron tablets is not effective according to an article onwebmd.com.
While it is effective in treating most acute poisoning and drug overdoses, it is not, meant to be used routinely as a toxin remover.
Daily use of activated charcoal can bind nutrients, prevent absorption of prescribed medicines, and cause constipation.
If taking activated charcoal on a regular basis, I would strongly suggest talking to your doctor, as it needs to be administered in a health care facility.
Activated charcoal, also known as activated carbon, is a manufactured product not found naturally in foods.
In the production of steam activated charcoal, coconut shells are heated to make a char.
This char is then "activated" in a furnace at extremely high temperatures with the use of steam, in the absence of air.
The char is treated to develop an interconnected series of holes or pores inside the carbon that acts as an attractant to absorbing chemicals.
While some may take activated charcoal on a daily basis to help eliminate toxins, I recommend eliminating foods that contain known toxins because the body naturally cleanses itself of excessive toxins on its own accord.
Thought for the week: As I look back on my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being re-directed to something better!
Next free nutrition class at Organic Emporium will be Oct. 12 at 7 p.m.
Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant; email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.
-By Phylis Canion