Water with activated carbon: use, harm and why it is not detox
In her goofstyle blog Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow said that lemonade based on activated carbon is the best detox from all existing. But we remember her “wonderful” stickers for everything in the world , and also the coffee enema promoted by Paltrow, and therefore we understand that at least in matters of health, the actress is not something that can be trusted.
On the other hand, not only Gwyneth, but many other influenzers actively consume products with activated charcoal, arguing that a simpler and more effective method of purifying the body is difficult to imagine. But what’s really hard to imagine is that a black burger , for example, will cleanse your body of toxins, right?
Safe, if not for four “but”
Some manufacturers of black and black products are convinced that activated carbon can increase energy potential, improve the skin condition , reduce the risks associated with digestive disorders, and eliminate bloating if the problem is familiar to you firsthand. The main promise, however, is always connected with the rather vague but so promising word “detox”.
It is easy to understand why the detox properties of activated carbon are put here in the first place: we all know perfectly well that in urgent medicine coal is used to reduce the toxic load on the body. Due to its absorbing properties, coal binds to poison or toxin in the digestive tract, first preventing its absorption into the bloodstream, and then allowing the dangerous substance to leave the body in a natural way.
Nevertheless, the promises of a large detox with the consumption of water or something else with activated charcoal are nothing more than a marketing ploy based on a misinterpretation of medical recommendations. Experts at The Conversation know for at least four reasons why you should avoid detox products with coal:
- Activated carbon binds to all kinds of substances, including some vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in your food. Therefore, when coal is added to fruit and vegetable juices, and then sold under the guise of a detox drink, in fact you get all the same juice, but – alas! – much less useful than usual.
- Activated carbon can also bind to certain drugs, including antidepressants and anti-inflammatory drugs, making them less effective. Such an approach can have serious health consequences for some people who must take such drugs at strictly defined times and in strictly defined quantities. But this, unfortunately, is never written on the packaging of products with the addition of activated carbon.
- Activated charcoal will only bind to those particles in your stomach or intestines that have got there with it. Because it works by entering into physical contact with the contents of the intestine. If you try to use it for detoxification from alcohol or fatty foods that you consumed the day before, then you will not succeed.
- Activated charcoal slows the work of the intestines, so it can provoke nausea and constipation, which you obviously did not expect.
Old and new research
In the 1980s, several studies have concluded that activated carbon can bind to gases formed during digestion, reducing heartburn and bloating. In particular, it was found that if a person first eats something that causes a swelling, and then takes activated charcoal, then this reduces the amount of gases that are produced in the body. However, more recent studies have shown that consumption of activated charcoal does not do any good if it is taken by a person with a normal diet .
And although activated carbon can actually reduce gas formation under certain circumstances, this conditionally positive effect can not be compared with the negative effect that it exerts on the body, interfering with the absorption of nutrients. In addition, if you are worried about bloating, there are many other ways to cope with it: from reducing carbohydrates in the diet and consuming probiotics to special drugs prescribed by your doctor.
In conclusion, let’s say that the modern detox-market is huge, so that even the most savvy of us, it can be misleading. But choosing a product that will help you get rid of “everything superfluous”, do not forget that a healthy person with a task is excellent in coping with liver and kidneys.