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Nutritional Supplement

Charcoal

Where to Find It

Charcoal used for health conditions is pure carbon made from wood, bamboo, coconut shells, or other organic material.

How to Use It

In cases of poisoning, 50 to 100 grams is given to adults, while children receive lower doses of 10 to 25 grams.11 However, since some poisons are not effectively adsorbed by activated charcoal, consult with local poison control centers or emergency services to determine whether charcoal should be used. Amounts used for other conditions range from 500 to 1,000 mg per day for preventing intestinal gas to 4 to 32 grams per day for lowering blood cholesterol.

References

1. Krasopoulos JC, De Bari VA, Needle MA. The adsorption of bile salts on activated carbon. Lipids 1980;15:365-70.

2. Tishler PV, Winston SH, Bell SM. Correlative studies of the hypocholesterolemic effect of a highly activated charcoal. Methods Find Exp Clin Pharmacol 1987;9:799-806.

3. Neuvonen PJ, Kuusisto P, Vapaatalo H, Manninen V. Activated charcoal in the treatment of hypercholesterolaemia: dose-response relationships and comparison with cholestyramine. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 1989;37:225-30.

4. Park GD, Spector R, Kitt TM. Superactivated charcoal versus cholestyramine for cholesterol lowering: a randomized cross-over trial. J Clin Pharmacol 1988;28:416-9.

5. Neuvonen PJ, Kuusisto P, Manninen V, et al. The mechanism of the hypocholesterolaemic effect of activated charcoal. Eur J Clin Invest 1989;19:251-4.

6. Hoekstra JB, Erkelens DW. No effect of activated charcoal on hyperlipidaemia. A double-blind prospective trial. Neth J Med 1988;33:209-16.

7. Ohge H, Furne JK, Springfield J, et al. Effectiveness of devices purported to reduce flatus odor. Am J Gastroenterol 2005;100:397-400.

8. Suarez FL, Springfield J, Levitt MD. Identification of gases responsible for the odour of human flatus and evaluation of a device purported to reduce this odour. Gut 1998;43:100-4.

9. Hall RG Jr, Thompson H, Strother A. Effects of orally administered activated charcoal on intestinal gas. Am J Gastroenterol 1981;75:192-6.

10. Suarez FL, Furne J, Springfield J, Levitt MD. Failure of activated charcoal to reduce the release of gases produced by the colonic flora. Am J Gastroenterol 1999;94:208-12.

11. Position statement and practice guidelines on the use of multi-dose activated charcoal in the treatment of acute poisoning. American Academy of Clinical Toxicology; European Association of Poisons Centres and Clinical Toxicologists. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol 1999;37:731-51.

12. Hift RJ, Todd G, Meissner PN, Kirsch RE. Administration of oral activated charcoal in variegate porphyria results in a paradoxical clinical and biochemical deterioration. Br J Dermatol 2003;149:1266-9.

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The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2020.

Copyright © 2020 TraceGains, Inc. All rights reserved.

The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2020.