Could activated charcoal be affecting your pill?

Sarah Carty

We’ve heard of activated charcoal toothpaste, hotdogs and even fish and chips, but now it’s being claimed that it might not be as good for us as we initially thought.

Instagrammers have been endorsing the jet-black products for months now however a petition has been set up in an effort to get a warning label on the items.

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Much like goji berries and quinoa before it, activated charcoal has been almost given a superfood status by health worshipers, with many claiming it can remove unwanted toxins from your body.

It's been claimed activated charcoal can wreak havoc with your pill. Photo: Instagram

For years activated charcoal has given to people who overdose due to it’s highly absorbing agents.

The charcoal stops the drugs or alcohol from becoming as effective as it would in the body.

And now a petition on Care2 Petitions, is calling for warning labels to be added to charcoal products, to let people know they should wait for two hours after taking medication to consume their charcoal treat.

Activated charcoal ice-creams are massive on the hipster scene. Photo: Instagram

"That black ice cream cone looks totally hardcore and goth and tasty, right? The treat gets its color 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 claims.

“If you eat activated charcoal shortly after taking a hormonal contraceptive, you could wind up pregnant.

“I would totally nom on some of this black ice cream, but in the interest of informed consent, ice cream shops should let their customers know the risk.”

Since it was uploaded, the petition has nearly been signed 20,000 times by concerned activated charcoal consumers.

Speaking to Women’s Health magazine, gastroenterologist Patricia Raymond, M.D., also said activated charcoal could wreak havoc with your contraceptive pill.

“If you’re drinking it and you also are on any meds, even birth control pills, the charcoal is likely to absorb the drugs. So you risk having them become ineffective,” she said.

Her comments are obvioulsy aimed at people who drink a lot of it and studies have proved that a moderate amount of activated charcoal shouldn't affect your body in a negative way.

In fact, it's been claimed that activated charcoal can help relieve gas and because it isn't absorbed by the body, it removes unwanted substances in the form of faeces.

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