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Are charcoal supplements safe to take?

By Anonymous March 27, 2009 - 11:12pm
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My friends swears by activated charcoal. She buys Nature's Way brand and says that taking one after a meal can help reduce gas and/or bloating. I'm wondering if it can hurt you in any way -- if it really helps with gas relief.

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EmpowHER Guest

I have used charcoal to avoid the flu for years. When we start to feel the first signs of the flu we take 4 capsules and then another 4 hours later if we are still feeling sick. My daughter wound up in the ER for dehydration (she is a college student and didn't listen to her mother :). Two days later the whole family started with the same symptoms and took charcoal. I am happy to say that it worked. I was questioning if the capsules would work on the bronchial flu symptoms- it did! I had that horrible sore throat and a cough that was deep and I took the charcoal immediatly. It took 3 different times of taking the charcoal throughout that day but it did get rid of the symptoms.

November 10, 2009 - 8:26pm
EmpowHER Guest

Activated charcoal is mainly used for the absorption of toxic substances in the human body. Individuals who are poisoned usually go to the hospital and are treated with activated charcoal since it absorbs most of the contaminates in the body before reaching the intestinal tract.

It is also used as a laxative. Activated charcoal is often combined with sorbitol (a substance that stimulates the bowels to move, like a laxative) to shorten the amount of time to move through the system and reduce the possibility of constipation. However, to avoid adverse effects, sorbitol is not given with every dose of activated charcoal.
Since activated charcoal absorbs toxic substances in the body, in turn it also absorbs foods as well as the bodies need for vitamins and minerals. The short term effect from using activated charcoal is not a concern but a prolonged use of the product would be a concern for the absorption of food nutrients. This could also lead to dehydration.
Dies she use the product daily? On occasion? The biggest concern would be abosorption of nutrients.

I hope this helps.

March 28, 2009 - 6:38am
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