Activated Charcoal: Myths & Facts – The Clubhouse – a blog by Menlo House

Activated charcoal has been trending for years as a big health craze but does it really benefit us? You’ve probably heard that it detoxes your body, renews your skin, and is perfect for dieting, but are these claims true?  We’re breaking down myths about activated charcoal being used in everything from food, skincare and supplements.

1. Toothpaste

Myth: Activated charcoal can whiten your teeth.

Fact: Activated charcoal toothpaste does not whiten the surface of your teeth but effectively removes stains on the enamel that come from coffee, red wine, tobacco, and dark colored food and drinks. Teeth whitening can only come from bleaching treatments that reach below the outer surface.

2. Skin Care Products

Myth: Masks, cleansers and deodorants with activated charcoal remove toxins from your skin.

Fact: While activated charcoal skin care products remove dirt, sebum, dead skin cells and accumulated particulate matter, they do not go deep into your pores enough to reboot your skin. Dermatologists explain that skin care brands take the benefits of supplements and apply them to beauty products, but the ingredients are not nearly as effective when applied topically.

3. Drinks

Myth: Drinking activated charcoal can lead to weight loss.

Fact: There is no evidence-based research that shows its effectiveness for weight loss.

4. Food 

Myth: Eating foods incorporated with activated charcoal can detox your body.

Fact: According to Dr Angie Sadeghi, a board certified Gastroenterologist and Internist, activated charcoal will bind with the nutrients in the food that you’re meant to be digesting, therefore, putting it in food is not beneficial.

5. Supplements

Myth: Activated charcoal can help with hangovers.

Fact: Activated charcoal does not absorb alcohol to help with hangover symptoms as it does not bind well to ethanol and alcohol due to the chemical structure.

This Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have.

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Photo credit: Johnny Swet

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