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nutrition and cosmetic

Activated Charcoal the new diet

Activated charcoal or activated carbon is the new buzz in the nutrition and cosmetic industry. It is a fine, black-colored powder, which is prepared from coconut shells or peat. Charcoal is activated with gases at high temperature, which removes previously adsorbed substances and further reduces particle size. This results in an exceptionally porous final product. Charcoal was used as an antidote for the first time in 1811 and no side-effects were observed after consuming charcoal. However, one should not confuse activated charcoal with charcoal briquettes that are used to light your barbeque. Though the base materials for both are the same, charcoal briquettes are not activated at high temperatures. What are the Benefits of Activated Charcoal?

  1. May Reduce Cholesterol Level: Activated carbon is effective in reducing blood cholesterol and triglyceride level. It has the ability to bind the bile acids in the gut and prevent its absorption in the body.
  2. Improves Kidney Function: It acts as a filtering agent and helps in getting rid of the unwanted waste materials present in excess amount in individuals with kidney diseases.
  3. Tooth Whitening Agent: Activated charcoal is a natural tooth-whitening agent. Its high absorbing ability may produce an ion exchange in the mouth, via its fine pores to bind and remove tooth staining agents.
  4. Emergency Poison Treatment: The tremendous surface area of activated charcoal or carbon permits binding of various drugs and toxins in the gastrointestinal lumen and thus reduces their absorption.
  5. Treats Fish Odor Syndrome: The intake of activated charcoal reduced the urinary trimethyamin concentration and increased the concentration of trimethylamin N-oxide.
  6. Water Filtration: The large surface area and porosity of activated carbon helps in the purification of drinking water. These pores trap and lock the water contaminants during the water filtration process. Rain water can also be purified using Activated charcoal.nutrition and cosmetic
  7. Alcohol Poisoning: Hence, it can be used to cure hangovers. However, the alcohol lowering effect of activated charcoal was observed in animals and its effect in humans deserves evaluation.
  8. Reduces Flatulence and Gas: It reduces the production of gas in the colon and further decreases breath hydrogen levels. Intake of  activated charcoal after consuming a gas producing meal reduced the number of flatus events and breath hydrogen levels.
  9. Treats Drug Overdose: Oral activated charcoal is helpful in the treatment of drug overdose and it is simple to administer and safe as compared to other gastrointestinal decontamination methods. Activated charcoal reduces drug absorption when it is administered soon after drug ingestion. It binds to the drugs and causes their excretion in the urine.
  10. Skin Lightening Agent: Activated charcoal is added to various skin care products. It acts as a cleanser and removes excess oil and dead skin cells from your skin. It further helps in skin lightening and cleans the skin pores by killing the bacteria present on the skin. Activated Charcoal Acts as a Cleanser and Removes Excess Oil and Dead Skin Cells from Your Skin