Are you ready to eat some charcoal?

It was only a matter of time before fans of body detoxing got a hold of activated charcoal. The product is used in the medical industry to prevent poison from being absorbed into the body, but modern medical practices have shied away from activated charcoal, stating it isn’t as beneficial as once thought. The fact that it is used to prevent toxins from entering the body, however, has made it a target in the health and fitness world. SEE ALSO: Detox diet: Effective ways to cleanse and energize your body People are now taking activated charcoal pills daily–sometimes multiple times a day. The theory behind the practice is that, since activated charcoal binds to toxins and allows them to pass harmlessly through the system, it must be beneficial as a detox tool. The fact that activated charcoal is primarily natural and benign also increases its allure. But experts aren’t sold on the new fad, and some say taking too much activated charcoal could have negative health effects. What’s more, the Mayo Clinic indicates activated charcoal isn’t a ‘cure-all,’ and shouldn’t be used in certain cases because it doesn’t bind to every kind of toxin. It’s best at binding with medications during an overdose and does nothing for poisons like acids, iron, boric acid, lithium, or petroleum products. “It does a great job of absorbing medications that aren’t meant to be there,” said Dr. Pat Raymond, a fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology, to Health.  Raymond added that activated charcoal also absorbs gas in the digestive system, though it may not be as beneficial for gastrointestinal issues as many believe. In fact, digestive aids are one of the reasons why people are jumping on the activated charcoal train, but experts warn there is no large-scale evidence to support the use of activated charcoal in this manner. “[People] should be wary of articles on the Internet which suggest activated charcoal can treat colitis, inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Our case report suggests activated charcoal can actually cause inflammation of the colon known as colitis,” said Dr. Jessica Davis, from George Washington University. “Patients should be aware that if they are taking over-the-counter or herbal supplements, they may cause more harm than benefit.” In addition to colitis, individuals who start taking activated charcoal, especially daily as a supplement may experience constipation, another reason why doctors have slowly gotten away from using the product in clinics. “We used to use it (activated charcoal) many years ago, but in my experience, a lot of patients used to get constipated on it,” Frank Lipman, MD, told Yahoo Health. ” “So, I’m wary of adding it to drinks and of it becoming a fad. Especially if you’re looking to detox, constipation not exactly the effect you want to achieve.” SEE ALSO: Looking for an easy way to detox your home? Most experts agree that activated charcoal can be a beneficial product to relieve flatulence; however, detox is not something they are willing to add to the list of product uses. Even chronic use for bloating and gas is not recommended, and individuals are advised to always speak with their physicians before taking activated charcoal. “Our bodies already have the necessary tools to detox. It’s what the liver does everyday, ” said Keri Gans, MS, RD. “Feed your body right, with adequate hydration, and it’ll do its job.”The post Are you ready to eat some charcoal? appeared first on Voxxi.

People are taking activated charcoal as a way of detoxing the body. (shutterstock)

It was only a matter of time before fans of body detoxing got a hold of activated charcoal.

The product is used in the medical industry to prevent poison from being absorbed into the body, but modern medical practices have shied away from activated charcoal, stating it isn’t as beneficial as once thought. The fact that it is used to prevent toxins from entering the body, however, has made it a target in the health and fitness world.

SEE ALSO: Detox diet: Effective ways to cleanse and energize your body

People are now taking activated charcoal pills daily–sometimes multiple times a day. The theory behind the practice is that, since activated charcoal binds to toxins and allows them to pass harmlessly through the system, it must be beneficial as a detox tool. The fact that activated charcoal is primarily natural and benign also increases its allure.

But experts aren’t sold on the new fad, and some say taking too much activated charcoal could have negative health effects. What’s more, the Mayo Clinic indicates activated charcoal isn’t a ‘cure-all,’ and shouldn’t be used in certain cases because it doesn’t bind to every kind of toxin. It’s best at binding with medications during an overdose and does nothing for poisons like acids, iron, boric acid, lithium, or petroleum products.

“It does a great job of absorbing medications that aren’t meant to be there,” said Dr. Pat Raymond, a fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology, to Health.  Raymond added that activated charcoal also absorbs gas in the digestive system, though it may not be as beneficial for gastrointestinal issues as many believe.

In fact, digestive aids are one of the reasons why people are jumping on the activated charcoal train, but experts warn there is no large-scale evidence to support the use of activated charcoal in this manner. “[People] should be wary of articles on the Internet which suggest activated charcoal can treat colitis, inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Our case report suggests activated charcoal can actually cause inflammation of the colon known as colitis,” said Dr. Jessica Davis, from George Washington University. “Patients should be aware that if they are taking over-the-counter or herbal supplements, they may cause more harm than benefit.”

Charcoal pills are an emergency substance
Doctors say there is no evidence to support the use of activated charcoal as a detox tool. (Shutterstock)

In addition to colitis, individuals who start taking activated charcoal, especially daily as a supplement may experience constipation, another reason why doctors have slowly gotten away from using the product in clinics.

“We used to use it (activated charcoal) many years ago, but in my experience, a lot of patients used to get constipated on it,” Frank Lipman, MD, told Yahoo Health. ” “So, I’m wary of adding it to drinks and of it becoming a fad. Especially if you’re looking to detox, constipation not exactly the effect you want to achieve.”

SEE ALSO: Looking for an easy way to detox your home?

Most experts agree that activated charcoal can be a beneficial product to relieve flatulence; however, detox is not something they are willing to add to the list of product uses. Even chronic use for bloating and gas is not recommended, and individuals are advised to always speak with their physicians before taking activated charcoal.

“Our bodies already have the necessary tools to detox. It’s what the liver does everyday, ” said Keri Gans, MS, RD. “Feed your body right, with adequate hydration, and it’ll do its job.”

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The post Are you ready to eat some charcoal? appeared first on Voxxi.