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In recent years, activated charcoal has received a lot of press through use in face masks, teeth whitening and body detoxing. It even had a brief stint as an ice cream flavor at some artisan ice cream shops. As a result, activated charcoal has been put under both a literal and metaphorical magnifying glass as recent medical studies delve into its use in every-day products. Learn more about activated charcoal and how alternatives like Polisorb measure up.

Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is the byproduct of wood or other high-carbon materials burned at high temperatures. The resulting high-carbon product is called charcoal, which can be ‘activated’ by chemical treatments that remove impurities. Charcoal has to reach temperatures near 1652°F (900°C) to activate, which is typically accompanied by steam or other gas that cause the charcoal to have many small pores. Some pores are quite large, but a majority of them are microscopic, allowing them to trap small particles it comes into contact with. For this reason, it is often used as an emergency treatment for specific harmful toxins. However, its claim to fame as a “universal antidote” is being called into question.

How Does Activated Charcoal Work:

Charcoal is a natural adsorbent, meaning it traps toxins similar to the Silicon Dioxide used in Polisorb. Adsorption allows molecules to bind together, whereas absorption requires one substance to dissolve or diffuse into the other. This makes it very helpful in face masks or other topical treatments, as it can be applied to skin, attach to irritants, and be removed without your skin absorbing both the irritant and the charcoal.

However, when the hype around Activated Charcoal was at its peak, its uses extended far past facemasks. It was used in everything from supplements to smoothies to pizza crust. In fact, it became famous for its ability to turn food products midnight black, creating a “goth” food trend in many urban centers. In 2018, New York City had to implement a ban on its use in food and drinks since its common use exceeded recommendations by the FDA. These FDA guidelines were put in place years earlier due to the relatively unknown side effects of the substance, while many restaurants using it claimed it to be ‘healthy’. In truth, the external benefits of Activated Charcoal do not necessarily mean it is safe to ingest.

Downsides of Activated Charcoal:

Activated Charcoal, like many treatments, is not without its downsides. Common side effects of internal use of activated charcoal include vomiting and diarrhea. Small quantities of the substance may be harmless, but it can build up over time and lead to issues with digestion later on. These issues can range from mild discomfort to preventing your body from digesting food and nutrients properly or making medications and supplements less effective. This is a risk of many supplements taken too often, which is why doctors recommend spreading out detoxing periods rather than doing one after another.

Perhaps the largest downside to Activated Charcoal is that it is not effective in every-day toxin removal such as alcohol and heavy metals, and is not effective in “relieving diarrhea and intestinal gas.” The main benefit of activated charcoal is helping detox high-risk poisons, in which case the charcoal should be administered by a doctor in a hospital. In short, while external use of activated charcoal for things like face masks and teeth whitening have less of a medical consequence, it may be worthwhile to find an alternative to the internal use of activated charcoal for detoxing at home.

Detoxify Polisorb Digestive Tract Cleanse

Polisorb uses Silicon Dioxide, a naturally occurring compound known as “Silica” that binds to toxins and helps sweep them out of your body without being absorbed itself. Polisorb is an enterosorbent, meaning it is designed to work in the intestines (entero-) to bind with other substances (-sorbent).

Whereas activated charcoal is safest externally or in the hospital, Polisorb is formulated to safely help with internal at-home detoxification. While charcoal is used by doctors to treat heavy toxins and overdoses, the Silicon Dioxide within Polisorb focuses on more day-to-day toxins such as bad food, alcohol, and irritants that cause digestive issues.

How Does Polisorb Work:

The Silicon Dioxide of Polisorb is similar to the adsorbent Activated Charcoal, and is specifically purified to become an enterosorbent to ensure safe internal use for the entire family. Polisorb passes through your body without being absorbed or digested, meaning it exits your body as it went in with any toxins it attached to along the way. In the case of relieving digestive discomfort, Polisorb enters your digestive tract, attaches to the food or liquid causing discomfort, and washes it out of your body. Discomfort can be relieved in as soon as 10-15 minutes!

Uses for Polisorb:

Fast-Acting Situational Relief
Bubbly, gurgling, upset stomach? If it's due to certain foods or toxins you injested recently, Polisorb can help alleviate discomfort by washing out irritants.

Periodic Regular Cleansing
Human beings come into contact with toxins on a day-to-day basis. Polisorb can help refresh your body by cleaning out toxins currently in your intestinal tract.

Learn more about the benefits of Polisorb.