Activated Charcoal: 5 Common Myths Debunked
While activated charcoal products have been receiving worldwide acclamation lately, many people are still skeptical and unwilling to try these products.
This is mainly due to certain myths that are going around about activated charcoal and its side effects. For your convenience, we have compiled some common myths about activated charcoal and the truth behind the matter:
Myth 1: Activated Charcoal Powder Contains Carcinogens
Truth: If you are resisting using charcoal teeth whitening powder because you are worried that it contains carcinogens, you really need to know this.
According to researchers, when meat is cooked over charcoal, the fat from the meat drops on to the heated charcoal blocks. This leads to their searing and formation of carcinogens such as benzopyrene and HCAs.
Thus, the risk of carcinogens with charcoal only applies to meat cooked over charcoal and not with any activated charcoal products.
Myth 2: Activated Charcoal Powder Damages Teeth Enamel
The common misconception is that activated charcoal whitens teeth through abrasion. In fact, the whitening power of activated charcoal comes from its ability to bind to toxins and other impurities; not from the abrasiveness.
The American Dental Association uses a procedure called RDA testing (Relative Dentin Abrasivity) to measure the effects of abrasive products on teeth dentin. This test is required for all toothpaste makers to get an FDA certification.
So, how does activated charcoal powder score on the RDA test? Studies have found that it is in the 70-90 range, which is considered a “mid-range abrasive”. In comparison, a tube of Colgate Total has an RDA score of 70.
Long story short, brushing your teeth with activated charcoal powder is safe if you follow the instructions and brush gently. We cover this topic more in detail in this article.
Myth 2: Activated Charcoal Absorbs Nutrients From The Food We Eat
Truth: This has been a constant subject of debate, with most of the people actually believing the myth. In fact, many of the websites suggest not having activated charcoal with your food for this reason.
However, according to researchers, activated charcoal absorbs all types of toxins – organic, inorganic and synthetic – before they react with oxygen. As a result, they are flushed out effectively.
According to a practical experiment by Dr. David Cooney, a chemical engineer at the University Wyoming, activated charcoal was added to the diet of a sheep for six months, but this never led to any loss of nutrients.
Thus, it was concluded that activated charcoal powder taken with food or drinks does not affect the nutritional value of the meal.
Myth 3: Activated Charcoal Leads To Constipation
Truth: Activated charcoal will never normally lead to constipation. In fact, according to research, if a constipated person drinks activated charcoal powder mixed with water, it would actually help him/her get relief from diarrhea etc. However, do not forget consulting your physician for this.
Myth 4: Activated Charcoal Can Absorb Alcohol Particles To Cure Hangovers
Truth: Have you heard the assertion that activated charcoal capsules can be effective to cure a hangover by absorbing the alcohol?
Well, first of all, there is no scientific evidences to prove this. Secondly, if you do so, you might get relief from your hangover, but not due to the alcohol being absorbed by the activated charcoal.
However, activated charcoal absorbs other toxins which react with the alcohol and thus helps cures your hangover symptoms. Still, researches are still to prove this fact and this currently is only a theory based on practical experiments.
These are the most common myths associated with activated charcoal products. In reality, activated charcoal products are one of nature’s greatest gifts for natural health care.
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