Whatare charcoal pills
Charcoalpills are just that – pills made of charcoal, but of a special formof charcoal, known as activated charcoal. These are used as atreatment for a number of health conditions. The trick behind thesepills is in their chief (and almost sole) ingredient, activecharcoal. This is a form of carbon (what remains after a thoroughcombustion is mostly a carbon skeleton of whatever it was thatcombusted) that is very porous and thus has a high surface to weightratio – a single gram of activated charcoal has a surface of 500square meters (one meter is some three feet). Many chemical reactionsdepend on availability of large surface as reaction grounds and thisproperty of activated charcoal is used to absorb odors, gases andcolors from liquids, and to absorb toxins and impurities found in thedigestive tract. This ability, absorption of toxins and prevention oftheir entry into the organism beyond the digestive tract, is thereason why many people use it and recommend it.
Prosand cons of charcoal pills
Theirability to absorb various toxins and body impurities makes thembeneficial in cases of accidental poisoning. Many people use charcoalpills as a remedy for gases or flatulence. Intestinal gases likemethane and sulfides that cause indigestion are absorbed by activatedcharcoal. Itching caused by kidney dialysis can also be treated bycharcoal pills. Some forms of chemical poisoning and some cases ofdrug overdoses can also be successfully treated with charcoal pills.
Whenspeaking about diarrhea, we must point out that there is littleresearch available about the benefit of diarrhea treatment withcharcoal pills. Charcoal pills are also not officially recommended bythe USFDA.
Manypeople wandered whether charcoal pills are effective againsthangover. This claim is well known, but there are no scientificproofs to back it up. Truly enough, it has been proven thatsweeteners and additives from alcoholic beverages are removed byactivated charcoal, but these do not affect of alcohol but they arenot useful in removal of the congeners.
Useof charcoal pills is questionable or even restricted in some cases.In example, if you are allergic to charcoal or any related drug, youshould not use charcoal pills. Sufferers from kidney disease, liverdisease or any other chronic disease should consult a doctor before taking charcoal pills. Charcoal pills should not be taken with anyother medication that you may be using on a regular basis.
Regularconsumption (meaning that you take them for a prolonged period oftime and in large quantities) of charcoal pills causesgastrointestinal, respiratory, ocular, hematologic and metabolic sideeffects, such as, upset stomach, dark stools, vomiting, bowelobstruction, possible perforation of the GI tract, dehydration, skinrash, and other symptoms.