Activated charcoal for detox: Fact or fiction?

Curious about the recent trend in food, health, and beauty?

Activated charcoal is used in emergency rooms as an antidote for some drug overdoses and poisons. Now, some activated charcoal supplements claim to remove toxins in a similar way, but they’re not necessary removing toxins because the body detoxes itself.

The body already has organs such as the kidneys and liver to filter out impurities.

Although activated charcoal in small doses has no known significant risks, supplements are regulated much more loosely than FDA-approved drugs and they don’t necessarily contain what’s advertised on the label.

Recently, other charcoal products have come on the market – face washes, soaps, and masks – but there’s little published scientific evidence to suggest that activated charcoal helps these products work any better.

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2017 Consumer Reports, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumer.org.

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