Is activated carbon really effective for stomach disease and g

  • Most of the research which has been done on activated charcoal is to see how it adsorbs chemical toxins, such as in drug or medicine overdoses. There hasn’t been much research on human subjects.activated carbon for pharmacy


    However, the research which does exist shows that activated charcoal can be helpful for stomach bugs and GI symptoms. There’s also plenty of anecdotal evidence from people (like myself) who turn to activated charcoal for naturally treating stomach bugs.


    Stomach Infections:

    Just like how activated charcoal binds to toxic chemicals, studies have found that it can also adsorb viruses, bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella, and parasites like Cryptosporidium.



    Activated charcoal is actually often used by farmers to control diarrhea in calves. Human studies also have found that activated charcoal can be effective in controlling diarrhea.


    One study concluded that, AC in combination with rehydration fluids was effective in treating nonspecific diarrhea in adult humans.


    Another study found that AC was effective in preventing diarrhea caused by the anti-cancer drug irinotecan which disrupts gut flora


    Gas and Bloating:

    A cool thing about activated carbon is that it can also bind to gases. As is pointed out by researchers here, this is why AC is often used in pollution face masks.



    Activated charcoal won’t directly help with vomiting. However, by adsorbing the virus causing the stomach bug, it can help you get over vomiting faster. Note that your vomit may be black after using AC. If you vomit out all of the activated charcoal, you may need to repeat the dose. 

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