How does activated carbon work in the human body and when is it needed?

About activated carbon, it is known that it is a universal antidote that will help get rid of the consequences of overeating and alcoholic parties. Previously, it was only possible to buy it in a pharmacy, now it is included in hygiene and cosmetic products, sometimes even in the composition of specialized food. But not everyone who uses this tool knows how activated carbon works in the human body. They just think that the remedy helps with everything, and they drink it just in case. In this article, we will discuss what activated carbon is and how it works. Here you will find related myths that are believed.

First, you should understand the composition of tablets. Contrary to misconceptions, they are not single-component.

What is it?

In addition to the coal itself, the tablets include black salt and an auxiliary substance-starch. Black salt has an adsorbing effect, it strengthens the action of coal, which can be weakened by the presence of starch. You can not do without starch, the tablet will simply crumble into a powder. In some products, sugar is used instead of black salt, they are less effective.

In aggregate, the components perform the same task binding and excretion of harmful substances. The effect extends not only to the human body, if you add a tablet to water, it will bind the impurities present in it. According to this principle, carbon filters work, neutralizing tap water and collected from a natural reservoir.

Why is it used?

The range of applications is very wide. Coal can bind various harmful substances of plant, animal and industrial origin, including toxic gases and heavy metal salts. The drug can be prescribed for people with:

    • food poisoning. After eating something stale, intoxication occurs in the body;


    • digestive disorders. For disorders in the production of gastric juice, flatulence, diarrhea;


    • intoxication due to the use of alkaloids, for example, caffeine or nicotine;


    • for infections of the gastrointestinal tract. These are cholera, dysentery, salmonellosis and others;


    • abnormal liver function associated with cholecystitis or acute stage of pancreatitis.


Most often, the drug is prescribed for poisoning, allergies, preparation for endoscopic examination, after chemotherapy to reduce the negative impact on healthy body tissues. It can be prescribed during pregnancy, since it does not have a harmful effect on the developing fetus. The components act exclusively in the intestines, they are not absorbed into the blood. Despite its relative safety, it is forbidden to take activated charcoal without a doctor’s prescription. It has contraindications and side effects.

Overdose and contraindications

How does activated carbon work in the human body

The list of contraindications includes hypovitaminosis and disorders of absorption of useful substances in the intestine, neoplasms and bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract. It is also contraindicated for ulcerative formations and colitis. These contraindications are not relevant to the sorbents of different origin, with them you can take Enterosgel, POLYSORB and.

Individual intolerance of additional components of the product is possible.

Exceeding the recommended dosage leads to allergic reactions and dyspeptic disorders. If you do not increase the dosage, but take it for longer than necessary, there will be an imbalance in the level of vitamins and hormones. The absorbent slows down the absorption of certain substances, and this affects the work of all body systems. You can study the question in more detail in the article “Do I need to drink activated carbon?”.

Myths about activated carbon

These legends are very common, but none of them are true.

It has a detoxifying effect

How does activated carbon work in the human body

The fame of this drug rests precisely on the detox effect. For us, this still sounds strange, but there are food products with this component on free sale abroad: pizza dough, snacks, lemonades and other drinks. This food is attributed to purifying properties.

In fact, the charcoal binds all the substances, both harmful and useful. It does not allow you to get vitamins and antioxidants, devaluing the nutritional value of the most useful food. It is for this reason that the reception should be limited to the period of time prescribed by the doctor.

Does not interact with other medications

How does activated carbon work in the human body

This misconception is based on the fact that the sorbent is not absorbed into the blood. But at the same time, it reacts with the components of other drugs. When taken together, the effectiveness of anti-inflammatory and antidepressants will be reduced, their effect will be weakened or completely neutralized. If a girl takes oral contraceptives, then you can drink coal either 12 hours before taking it, or three hours after. Otherwise, the effectiveness of contraceptives will decrease, which will lead to an unplanned pregnancy. However, this is used when prescribing adsorbent for poisoning with drugs.

Can cure poisoning

How does activated carbon work in the human body

Interaction occurs only with those components that are located in the stomach or intestines. Taking charcoal in the morning after a noisy party does not make sense, since all the toxins have already been sucked into the bloodstream, where this medicine can not get. To get rid of the symptoms of poisoning, you must take the drug no later than a couple of hours after eating or drinking alcohol. Later reception will be pointless, it will not affect the intoxication in any way.

Normalizes the work of the intestines

How does activated carbon work in the human body

There is no direct connection between the intake of sorbent and the functioning of the intestine. Except for an overdose that caused constipation and nausea. The instructions state that you can take up to eight tablets 3-4 times a day, but people often exceed this amount to make sure that they are cured. As a result, they get impaired absorption of nutrients and metabolism. Absorption of useful substances can cause dysbacteriosis.

Leaves the skin clean

How does activated carbon work in the human body

In recipes for home care products and cosmetics on store shelves, this component is increasingly found. Product manufacturers and recipe writers claim that it cleanses the skin. In theory, this is really possible, the porous structure contributes to this. But in order to clear the skin pores in this way, the composition must be kept on the skin for at least several hours. While most masks are designed to be washed off after a quarter of an hour.

Allows you to drink and not get drunk

How does activated carbon work in the human body

It is a good absorbent, but it is not able to absorb absolutely all the compounds. It practically does not interact with ethanol. Therefore, the advice to take a couple of tablets before drinking alcohol or immediately after it is not effective. Coal will not help even against the toxins that are released when alcohol decays, they are absorbed into the blood too quickly.

Lower cholesterol

How does activated carbon work in the human body

Traditional medicine suggests drinking these black pills to reduce the level of harmful cholesterol and purify blood vessels. Once again, remember that coal is not absorbed into the blood, and the statement will be refuted. As for cholesterol in the gastrointestinal tract, there it is present in compounds with lipids and is practically not absorbed by the adsorbent.

Stimulates weight loss

How does activated carbon work in the human body

During the first two hours after eating, tablets can absorb harmful toxins, but they do not have fat-burning properties. Excess weight appears not because of toxins, but for other reasons. This is a violation of the energy balance, problems with metabolic processes, irrational nutrition. Activated carbon will not help to cope with any of the reasons.

Revitalizes your hair

How does activated carbon work in the human body

It is included in shampoos against dandruff, for restoring the structure and growth of hair. Dandruff is a fungus that needs antifungal agents to get rid of. As for recovery and growth, it requires a whole complex of proteins, amino acids, vitamins and other nutrients. There are no sorbents in this list. Knowing how activated carbon works in the human body, it becomes clear that it cannot stimulate the follicles and restore the structure.

Source :

Shop the New In Autumn And Winter for the latest and Patchwork Pullover Hoodies Shop the New In Autumn And Winter for the latest  and Patchwork Pullover Hoodies

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button