One of the most well-known methods of detoxication after excessive use of food or alcohol is the one with the help of activated charcoal. It remains controversial due to its partly unexplored nature that includes possible side effects. However, the people using this type of detoxication do not take into consideration these circumstances and keep believing it to be the best option in all the possible situations when their bodies need to detox. Hence, there is a need for a thorough examination of correspondence of its use to the scientific approach and cases when its use is necessary to overcome such health conditions as detoxication and its consequences. Moreover, the safety of the activated charcoal use should be proven to recommend it as a detoxifier to the patients.
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The selection of the topic stems from the widespread promotion of activated charcoal and other medications containing this substance in the market without prior scientific evidence of its usefulness. Such a cheap material as charcoal is an attractive target for manufacturers, and this situation results in the common misconception of activated charcoal benefits without consideration of its possible negative impact.
The support it receives from media is not enough for making a correct judgment of the product’s qualities and its methods of use. The understanding of activated charcoal effects on the human body would allow to eliminate the risks for health while using it for detoxication.
Many researchers oppose the idea of activated charcoal usefulness for such a wide range of health conditions. The lack of scientific evidence leads to the misconception of this medication and its effects. Caporuscio, in her article, claims that there is a risk of side effects of its widespread use, and it is necessary to explore them first in order to make sure that the product is safe for all the consumers.
It is therefore not recommended to consider activated charcoal as the option for various diseases different from intoxication syndrome due to the lack of information on its safety in terms of its interaction with other medications. Thus, the use of activated charcoal in the case of intoxication should be considered with caution and in strict compliance with the doctor’s prescriptions if there are any until the method is scientifically proven.
This medication’s accessibility due to the low price and its alleged usefulness led to the spreading of the myth that its effect is much more extensive than the use for detoxication. Most people believe it to be a good option for treating infectious diseases, and manufacturers even add it as a component of toothpastes and various cosmetic products. The popularity of this medication led to appearing of doubts in its proper use by people and its correspondence to scientific methods. Therefore, the hypothesis of the paper is the relation of activated charcoal for detoxication to pseudoscience due to the impossibility to determine specified toxins during detox. The lack of support of activated charcoal use in academic articles led to a common misconception of its usefulness.
All of the affordable medical products tend to become extremely popular among people with diseases and health conditions requiring treatment, and activated charcoal is no exception to the rule. The lack of prescription from the doctors does not stop people from using this medication detoxication. Activated charcoal is useful in a row of cases but mistakenly considered by many people as the best possible solution to any condition connected to it. The lack of scientific evidence to the use of this method for various conditions makes it dubious when a doctor does not prescribe it.
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Despite the popularity of activated charcoal for detoxication, the excessive consumption of it implies certain risks for health. Researchers have not proved the positive effects prescribed to this medication, but its use is likely to result in more severe health issues. According to Jampel, its impact in the cases of gastrointestinal distress, skin treatment, weight loss, cholesterol reduction due to detoxication of the body is unclear and not scientifically proven. This circumstance makes the use of activated charcoal unscientific. The only thing the doctors know for sure is that it removes toxins from the stomach. Still, this fact is not enough for justification of activated charcoal use without consideration of its impact on various diseases and health conditions.
In addition to the uncertainty of activated charcoal effect on detoxication of the body, it definitely contains numerous risks for the health of the patients. Jampel states that it can make other drugs necessary for the treatment of various diseases ineffective. Activated charcoal not only detoxifies the body but also has a negative impact on the effects of other prescribed medications. That is why manufacturers of medications containing activated charcoal recommend to avoid taking them together with other drugs. Such food products, for example, black ice-cream containing charcoals, also have an impact on the way the prescribed medications work.
The negative effect of mixing medications with the use of activated charcoal and the products that contain it is also described by Smith in her article. She also claims that the interference of its consumption, together with other drugs stop their work. Therefore, such detoxifier as activated charcoal does not complement the other medications taken by a patient for the necessary treatment of already existing health issues. As absorbing minerals, vitamins, and other substances is a well-known side effect of activated charcoal use for detoxication, its frequent use would make it even harmful for health. The medications that contain activated charcoal eliminate the benefits of other drugs as the treatment of the existing health issues might be prevented by the use of it with the purpose of detoxication.
The results of the research have shown that only the harmful effects of activated charcoal for detoxication of the body have been proved. As there is no scientific evidence to the usefulness of this medication as a detoxifier in combination with some other drugs, this method should be considered as a pseudoscientific approach that does not contribute to the process of detoxification in a safe manner. Together with the fact that it stops the effects of other useful medications prescribed by the doctors in accordance with a patient’s health conditions, activated charcoal should not be used for detoxification.
In spite of the overall popularity of activated charcoal detoxication due to its accessibility, its everyday use without any prescriptions from the doctors might result in worsening of the existing health issues. It absorbs minerals and vitamins, as well as the medications that are taken for the treatment of other problems. The increase in popularity of activated charcoal as a detoxifier is the work of media and marketers, not a scientifically proven method. The researchers only proved that its negative impact on health is prevailing, which makes detoxication with the help of activated charcoal an admittedly unscientific approach.
Caporuscio, Jessica. “Can Activated Charcoal Detox the Body?” Medical News Today. 2019. Web.
Jampel, Sarah. “Activated Charcoal: The Science & the Exaggerations.” MSN, 2017. Web.
Smith, Dana G. “Is Activated Charcoal Messing With Your Medications?” Elemental Medium. 2019. Web.