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Activated Charcoal


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#1 Spectre

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 11:37 PM


Hey guys,

does anyone here take activated charcoal powder? I've been using it to help cleanse/detox my body and so far I'm definitely enjoying the effects, it seems like a miracle substance. I'm curious to know if this has any nootropic effect, or other positive benefits for your body (I've read that it adsorbs many toxic substances in the body such as mercury). I'm surprised more people don't take this or even talk about it as a potential life-enhancing/longevity supplement. It's been around for thousands of years and have been used throughout history for cleansing the body.

Discuss :)

#2 The Human Meteorite

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 12:47 AM

If I remember correctly, activated charcoal is used in a medical context because it coats the GI tract and thus prevents absorption of ingested substances. Doesn't seem like something I would want to take unless I was ODing on a drug or ate a poison or something of the sort.

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#3 Spectre

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 02:25 AM

Well actually, the carbon chemically binds with toxic substances through a process called adsorption, it attracts the toxic substances to its surface and cleans the impurities out of your body since carbon cannot be digested. This is why activated charcoal is used in water filtration systems, it purifies the water..and does the same thing inside your body (in a sense). Yes, it's used in medical context as a poison/drug overdose antidote, but I don't see why it wouldn't be suitable for a periodic cleansing routine. It doesn't adsorb nutritional substances/vitamins from food (unless it's synthetic), but it can render many medications useless if taken at the same time (since many pharmaceutical drugs are toxic).

I'm currently trying to detoxify my body of heavy metals (notably mercury and lead among other things), as well as detox all the fluoride out of my body and brain (I want to decalcify my pineal gland). I think after I successfully rid my body of all these toxic chemicals I will be much better off not only physically, but mentally as well. From what I've read so far, activated charcoal can also potentially increase overall life span.

"Anti-Aging Properties

Studies show that activated charcoal prevents body tissues from undergoing certain cellular changes associated with aging. The function of the liver, adrenal glands and kidneys are especially affected--often improving with regular use. The average lifespan of the test animals participating in the study was increased by 34 percent."

Am I crazy for thinking this?..or do you think periodically using activated charcoal is a good thing to do?

Edited by Spectre, 10 April 2011 - 02:29 AM.


#4 Spectre

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 02:37 AM

To mods: If you feel this thread should be moved to the regular supplements forum or other section, please feel free to move it.

Here's some more stuff I dug up on activated charcoal:

"Anti-Aging and Life Extension
Dr. V. V. Frolkis, a famous Russian Gerontologist, and his colleagues have discovered that activated charcoal is a potent life-extending agent. Activated charcoal has been found to increase the mean lifespan of older test animals by approximately 40% and their maximum lifespan by approximately 34%.(2)


Activated charcoal decreases the age-related increase in the brains sensitivity to drugs and toxins.
Activated charcoal normalizes cholesterol and lipid metabolism.
The regular use of activated charcoal improves the adaptive functioning of essential organs (the liver, kidneys, and adrenals). That translates into better defense mechanisms.


Microscopic tissue analysis shows that activated charcoal prevents many cellular changes associated with aging-decreased protein synthesis, lower RNA activity, arteriosclerosis, and organ fibrosis. So the cumulative effects from activated charcoal are longer life and improved overall health.(19)

A recommended protocol for anti-aging and life extension benefits is as follows: On two consecutive days each week, take about 30 grams each day of powdered activated charcoal in divided daily doses. Take charcoal in the morning, at midday and before bed on an empty stomach. Avoid excessive calories or unhealthy foods on those days."

Refs:
- V. Frolkis, et al., Enterosorption in prolonging old animal life. Exp. Gerontol. 19; 217-25, 1984.
- Andreichyn MA; Lutsuk OS; Andreichyn SM; Kopcha VS Enterosorption as a method for prolonging life. Fiziol Cheloveka, 22(7-9):131-5 1996 May-Jun.

#5 The Human Meteorite

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 03:59 AM

Their is no such thing as a panacea drug.
Their is no way a substance can only draw "toxins" from the body, and leave everything else intact. You see, all substances are toxic to some degree, even the substances we require for daily life. The calcium you want to draw from a gland, even if possible would end up with you having a decalcifyed gland lesion and dangerously low bone density. If you are really intent on removing heavy metals, buy a chelate, but be warned you will be left with critical hemoglobin levels if you aren't careful, because even they cannot differentiate between different metal ions.
Furthermore, all of those studies make some pretty wild claims, and frankly I see little evidence apart from a few small-scale animal studies to support it.

#6 kismet

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 11:23 AM

Am I crazy for thinking this?..or do you think periodically using activated charcoal is a good thing to do?

More like dangerously and spectacularly wrong. Technically, it's not the same.
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#7 Spectre

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 04:27 PM

Their is no such thing as a panacea drug.
Their is no way a substance can only draw "toxins" from the body, and leave everything else intact. You see, all substances are toxic to some degree, even the substances we require for daily life. The calcium you want to draw from a gland, even if possible would end up with you having a decalcifyed gland lesion and dangerously low bone density. If you are really intent on removing heavy metals, buy a chelate, but be warned you will be left with critical hemoglobin levels if you aren't careful, because even they cannot differentiate between different metal ions.
Furthermore, all of those studies make some pretty wild claims, and frankly I see little evidence apart from a few small-scale animal studies to support it.


Okay..what? The pineal gland is not a bone, it's a part of your brain located directly in the center. Fluoride accumulates in this region of the brain and calcifies it. Not once did I say that it draws calcium away from your bones..it adsorbs (not absorbs) toxins in your body and flushes it out. Fluoride is a toxic substance (contrary to what many idiots believe), and I want it out of my body. We get constant exposure to toxic sodium fluoride (which is used in rat poison by the way) through our water supplies. Do some more research on activated carbon before completely dismissing it as a possibly great thing.

#8 Spectre

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 04:30 PM

Am I crazy for thinking this?..or do you think periodically using activated charcoal is a good thing to do?

More like dangerously and spectacularly wrong. Technically, it's not the same.


Very insightful post, I appreciate your effort in insulting my intelligence.

#9 chrono

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 08:02 PM

I think I will move this to the main supps forum, as there is likely to be little direct relevance to cognition, I think :)

I think the point that Human Meteorite was trying to make is a good one: activated carbon will not bind selectively to toxins, so you'll probably also be getting rid of some things that you want. For instance, though it can be used to filter water, it also binds some of the water.

Also, as far as fluoride goes, I think you're out of luck. From the wikipedia: "Activated carbon does not bind well to certain chemicals, including alcohols, glycols, strong acids and bases, metals and most inorganics, such as lithium, sodium, iron, lead, arsenic, fluorine, and boric acid."

There were a few studies in the 80s showing lifespan extension (all the same author):


Enterosorption in prolonging old animal lifespan.
Frolkis VV, Nikolaev VG, Bogatskaya LN, Stupina AS, Shcherbitskaya EV, Kovtun AI, Paramonova GI, Sabko VE, Shaposhnikov VM, Rushkevich YuE, et al.

The effect of repeated courses of enterosorption upon the mean and maximal lifespan and some functional and metabolic indices was determined in 28-month-old Wistar rats. Significant increase of mean and maximal lifespan of old rats was noted at certain regimens of enterosorption. The experimental animals demonstrated less marked age-related structural and ultrastructural changes in the liver, kidneys, myocardium, intestines, pancreas, as compared with control animals. Enterosorption leads to a reduction of pentobarbital-induced sleep, decrease of content of cytochrome P-450, blood cholesterol and triglycerides, cardiac and cerebral tissue cholesterol, total lipids, liver cholesterol and triglycerides. Enterosorption was found to increase the RNA and protein biosynthesis in the liver, kidneys and adrenals of old animals.

PMID: 6499964 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


[Enterosorption as a method of prolongation of life of aged animals].

[Article in Russian]

Frol'kis VV, Nikolaev VG, Bogatskaia LN, Stupina AS, Kovtun AI.

PMID: 6705952 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


Effect of enterosorption on animal lifespan.
Frolkis VV, Nikolaev VG, Paramonova GI, Shchorbitskaya EV, Bogatskaya LN, Stupina AS, Kovtun AI, Sabko VE, Shaposhnikov VM, Muradian KK, et al.

Experiments were performed on Wistar male rats, starting from the 28th month of age. The effect of dietary sorbent (non coated nitrogen-containing carbon administered as 10 day courses at 1 month intervals in dosage of 10 ml/kg) on lifespan and a number of biological indices were studied. Enterosorption resulted in the increase of mean and maximal lifespan by 43 and 34% respectively. Analysis of the effect of enterosorption on activity of microsomal enzymes, intensity of total RNA and protein biosynthesis, lipid metabolism, formation of free radicals etc. showed that it produced a positive influence on the functional state of the studied systems and increased the organism's adaptive capacities. Enterosorption was found to delay the rate of onset of age-related structural changes in the organs and tissues.

PMID: 2479433 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]



And even with the single doses used in ER, adverse reactions can occur; for reviews, please see [1] [2]. I couldn't find any papers suggesting chronic usage is safe, but found a case report about melanosis lesions. Given these possibilities, lack of safety data, and the somewhat old and slim data suggesting life extension, I don't think I'd be comfortable taking this. But the possibility is present.

Edited by chrono, 12 April 2011 - 08:03 PM.

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#10 Lufega

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 03:19 AM

Whenever I have mixed tequila and vodka all in the same night, the charcoal does a great job of settling that stomach when it goes sour. I only use this on occasion from time to time.

#11 kismet

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 09:52 AM

Am I crazy for thinking this?..or do you think periodically using activated charcoal is a good thing to do?

More like dangerously and spectacularly wrong. Technically, it's not the same.


Very insightful post, I appreciate your effort in insulting my intelligence.

Even intelligent people do (very) stupid things sometimes. Swallow your pride, trust regulars like me some more. Your suggestion to take a toxic drug was somewhat ill conceived, to put it nicely.

(who is taking bets the studies are crypto-CR or otherwise flawed? spindler & independently MR have basically reviewed every putative LE paper and found most of them wanting)
http://www.longecity...lifespan-study/

Edited by kismet, 13 April 2011 - 10:01 AM.


#12 Thorsten

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 08:22 AM

I don't know a lot about charcoal, but what are the best options for removing toxins from the body? I've heard many things mentioned from NAC to chorella.

#13 InquilineKea

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Posted 28 May 2011 - 06:12 AM

WOW - I have a thought - can activated charcoal block (or blunt) glucose absorption? Or not?

What about Pepto-Bismol?

#14 Destiny's Equation

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 04:56 PM

In terms of extending lifespan what is activated charcoal's dose-response curve?

I am going to guess that taking a low enough dose will have more benefits than side-effects.

Edited by Destiny's Equation, 29 May 2011 - 04:57 PM.


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#15 Logic

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 02:05 PM

Activated Charcoal is great for purifying the air you breathe and as one of the filters in water purification.

Its also VERY worthy of more research as daily suppliment as a type of pre-filter to take a load of the kidneys and liver and also to remove toxins that our kidneys and liver never evolved to handle.

http://www.google.co...iw=1093&bih=430
NB the link on AGE absorbtion!

http://scholar.googl...s_ylo=&as_vis=0

http://informahealth...731199009119633

One worries that it may filter out usefull and wanted nutrients, suppliments, vitamins and minerals however.
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