Activated charcoal is currently one of the most popular ingredients used in the cosmetic and health industry.
This black, flavorless, and odorless carbon powder has been around for a while and is said to have many amazing properties. Although, most of these claims have not been proven scientifically. But it’s been used for centuries to treat different illnesses and also used as an anti-poison medicine.
However for people using this substance, it’s natural to want to know what the actual effects of using activated charcoal is on the body. As well as the effects of taking activated charcoal before bed.
But First: What Is Activated Charcoal?
Activated charcoal is a heated and powdered form of materials rich in carbon. Materials like wood, sawdust, coal, petroleum, or coconut shells.
These materials are heated at a very high temperature in the presence of a gas. This makes the materials develop into a powder form – activated charcoal – which has lots of small internal pores which can help trap toxins and chemicals.
Activated charcoal is now formulated into many products including skin care products, face masks, toothpaste, ice creams, and more. It is also available as a pharmaceutical product in the form of supplements.
Taking Activated Charcoal Before Bed: The EFFECTS
One of the main and scientifically proven properties of activated charcoal is its ability to draw out toxins and other harmful chemicals.
Its high surface area and small pores help it adsorb these toxins into itself. Since activated charcoal itself can’t be absorbed by the body during digestion, it bypasses the gastrointestinal tract with all the toxins it has absorbed and discharges them directly outside of the body.
That amazing property is one of the reasons taking activated charcoal before bed may be a good idea.
Studies show that if left untreated and they accumulate, bacterial toxins can lead to inflammation of different organs, including the brain.
This can in turn lead to ineffective communication of the signal that tells the body to sleep.
Taking activated charcoal can actually help absorb harmful bacteria toxins in the body, thus, preventing inflammation of the brain. The knock on effect of that, is that it can prevent insomnia.
Activated charcoal has also been said to have properties that can help prevent and reduce flatulence and other gastrointestinal tract disturbances.
This can come in handy if you suffer such issues. Taking an activated charcoal enhanced product might then help you get rid of any excess gas that might have accumulated, making you feel more comfortable and relaxed during sleep.
The EFFECTS OF ACTIVATED CHARCOAL ON THE BODY: The SEven Things You Should Be Aware Of
Activated charcoal is said to have many amazing benefits and uses. However, most of these claims have not been scientifically proven and many of them are based on decades-old research.
Also, it is advised that medical advice and assistance should be sought before taking activated charcoal as an anti-poison or overdose treatment.
That said, below are some of the potential effects and benefits of activated charcoal on the body.
1. Anti Poison Treatment
This is one of the scientifically proven and accepted uses of activated charcoal. In fact, it has been approved by The World Health Organization as an emergency anti-poison or overdose treatment.
Activated charcoal’s tiny pores, large surface area, and high adsorbent properties make it one of the best anti-poison treatments.
However, it is advised that medical advice be sought before it is used.
2. Reduce/Prevent Flatulence
Although research in this area is still somewhat limited, a panel of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) says that there is enough evidence to prove that activated charcoal can help to reduce excessive gas accumulation.
A study carried out in 2017 further helped buttress this, a number of people were given 45mg of simethicone and 140mg of activated charcoal three times daily.
After 10 days, all the people in the study reported that there was a noticeable reduction in abdominal pains.
This ability to reduce intestinal gas is based on the fact that the pore spaces in activated charcoal are very small, this can allow passage of gas and liquid, when this happens, they may become neutralized.
3. Lowering Cholesterol Levels
This is one of the benefits of activated charcoal which currently does not have enough conclusive evidence to support it.
However, old research does suggest that activated charcoal can get attached to some cholesterol receptors in the body and adsorb them, thus lowering the level of cholesterol in the body.
4. It May Trap Helpful Nutrients
Although adverse reactions to activated charcoal are very rare, activated charcoal can also negatively affect the body
In a bid to adsorb and remove harmful toxins from the body, the powder may also absorb useful nutrients, leading to deficiencies that could lead to some health complications.
5. Prevent Absorption of Medication
Activated charcoal prevents the absorption of some medication after use. This is one of the reasons it is important to consult with your doctor or health practitioner before making any decision.
6. Oral Benefits
Activated charcoal is now being formulated into many oral products.
It is claimed that it fortifies these products with antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties.
Although, there are no conclusive evidence to back these claims up as of yet.
7. Draw Toxins Out of the Skin
There are many skincare products containing activated charcoal. It can be found in facial masks, soaps, shampoos, and even sponges.
It’s claimed that the effect of the activated charcoal in these products can help adsorb and draw out toxins from inside the skin taking it to the outer surface where it can be scraped off easily.
Taking Activated Charcoal Before Bed: Our Final Thoughts
Many of the benefits and effects of activated charcoal do not have enough scientific evidence. However its ability to absorb toxins and reduce excessive gases in the stomach have enough backing to be considered true.
Regardless, it is advised that before taking activated charcoal before bed, or at any time, medical advice should be sought.