One of the newest products or ideas in the world of supplements is activated charcoal. Activated charcoal has long been used in Emergency Rooms across the world to counteract the effects of drug overdoses. Its use as a supplement has not come in to play until recently. However, there are several issues with this that are cause for concern. As of right now, the studies show that the effects of activated charcoal are limited situations of excess. For example, it has been proven scientifically that it can reduce lead toxicity. The charcoal bonds to the lead and it is then able to be flushed out of the system. Unless you have a job that exposes you to lead, this isn’t going to do much for you. It will not cleanse your body from other toxins so it is ineffectual as an agent to cleanse.
There are some things that activated charcoal has been able to have an effect on. It has been tested and shown to reduce nicotine, marijuana and cocaine cravings. As of now, this has been tested but has not been put into regular use – more testing is needed. It has also been shown to reduce the symptoms of COPD – but does not play a role in healing the lungs. Again, a good start with possible future use. The one solid thing that activated charcoal can bring is an increase in an antioxidant glutathione. This is a great antioxidant but isn’t recommended as a supplement.
All in all, activated charcoal is an expensive supplement that will do very little unless you have high lead exposure, COPD or are addicted to nicotine, marijuana or cocaine.