Activated charcoal (AC) is one of the most effective detoxifying agents on Earth.
AC is made from carbon-rich materials; it can be derived from either an inorganic source (e.g., coal, petroleum), or organic sources (e.g., coconut shells, bamboo, wood [oak, maple, and birch] and peat). Coconut shells are typically the best source material due to their low impurity levels.
The production of AC involves heating the mentioned materials without air, leading to their conversion into pure carbon. Subsequently, the carbon undergoes an “activation” process, creating minuscule pores, which render the substance highly absorbent (similar a sponge with lots of holes).
AC is utilized in emergency departments to treat overdoses and poisonings from a range of toxic substances.
AC works through the following mechanisms:
- It binds with toxins in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, preventing their absorption into the bloodstream.
- It adsorbs toxins from the bloodstream through the walls of the intestines, thereby lowering their blood concentrations after they have already been systemically absorbed.
- It prevents the re-absorption of toxins that the liver has metabolized and released into the intestines through bile, restricting their circulation within the body.
AC itself does not get absorbed in the GI tract and exits the body unaltered, carrying with it the toxins it bound to.
In instances of poisonings, AC should be administered within the initial 30 minutes to 1 hour of ingestion of a toxic substance. When the quantity of the ingested toxic substance is known, a ratio of 10 parts charcoal to 1 part toxin is recommended. Otherwise, 1 gram per kilogram of body weight is advised for single doses. If necessary, this can be followed by additional doses of 0.25 to 0.5 grams per killogram of body weight every 1 to 6 hours in adults.
Given its efficacy against a diverse array of toxicants and our constant exposure to harmful chemicals, AC can be taken on a regular basis (a few times per week) to alleviate the impact of the persistent presence of impurities in the body. (1000 mg of AC per dose can be sufficient when used for regular maintenance.)
AC works against various toxic agents, including many drugs and chemicals, harmful gases and vapors (e.g., noxious fumes), pesticides, herbicides, certain heavy metals (e.g., lead, mercury), and alcohol (making it useful in alcohol poisoning). Additionally, AC is effective against mold poisonings as it neutralizes several mycotoxins (toxins produced by mold). Furthermore, AC has a significant impact on reducing cholesterol levels, particularly total and LDL-cholesterol, and positively influences the HDL/LDL-cholesterol ratio. It also helps with digestive issues, such as diarrhea, gas, and bloating.
Taking AC regularly, especially if you reside in a polluted area, has the potential to contribute to considerable lifespan extension. This is because AC effectively functions as an additional filtering/detoxification organ, alleviating a significant portion of the burden on the body’s intrinsic filtering organs (especially the kidneys and liver).
To avoid potential simultaneous adsorption of certain nutrients, it is best to take AC at least two hours after eating or taking medication.
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