From teeth whitening to trendy dishes – activated charcoal is taking social media by storm. But recent warnings have highlighted some pretty serious health impacts of the edible.
Activated charcoal has long been used as a natural remedy to flush toxins from the body – reducing bloating and even treating poisoning. It’s quickly become a popular “detoxifying” addition to health foods and products.
But an online petition is calling for warning labels on activated charcoal products, claiming that consuming it can make birth control less effective.
"That black ice cream cone looks totally hardcore and goth and tasty, right? The treat gets its colour from activated charcoal, a new trend that's cropping up in various food and beverages, like lattes and detoxifying lemonade. But activated charcoal can actually make your birth control and other prescription medicines less effective," the petition states.
Pharmacist Roger Hollingsworth told the Daily Dot, “As an adsorbent in the intestinal system, you can imagine it can and does interact with medications. If it’s just one time, then it should be fine, but that being said, the bigger the dose, the more likely to have the negative absorption.”
Research suggests that you would need a large quantity of the stuff to find yourself up the duff post-“goth”-ice-cream, but still...
“I would recommend waiting at least 2 hours [before and after taking medication] to eat that ice cream,” Hollingsworth says.