Activated charcoal is apparently just another health myth we waste money on

1 min read

Money down the drain.

The health industry is full of rogue, ‘natural’, ‘unconventional’, products and strategies to sell us that sometimes have very little to no scientific evidence backing them up.

The use of ‘activated charcoal’ for consumption and teeth whitening and what not has been one of those things the food, beauty and supplement industries marketed to us as some kind of magic fix.

But according to Tech Insider, the science behind it does not agree. It even might be doing more harm than good, so it might be time to cut the morning charcoal pills from your routine.

Basically, activated charcoal is marketed as something that will bind with toxins and flush them out of your system. But the video explains how the charcoal does not discriminate, and can also soak up good things like vitamins and antioxidants.

So having the activated charcoal with a meal can mean you absorb less nutrients than you otherwise would.

What’s most worrying is that the video claims activated charcoal can also prevent medications like anti-depressants and the contraceptive pill from working effectively.

The contestation of the health benefits of charcoal is a good reminder to be wary of the new-age health products that are constantly being sold to us without sufficient science backing them up.

It’s part of the same health movement that delineates some foods as ‘clean’ and others as ‘dirty’, with the power to ruin an entire meal or diet. It’s part of the same health movement that has prompted brands far and wide to slap the world ‘SUPERFOOD’ on their packaging, when there’s actually no law regulating the labelling of superfoods.

The video cites that the global market for activated charcoal is projected to reach an impressive $6.2 billion (nearly AU$9 billion) by 2022, but it sounds like it’s worth listening to what science actually has to say on the matter before we buy in too deeply to what we see on Instagram.

Image: Getty / VladimirFLoyd

Written By Sophie Giles