Consumer Reports: Activated charcoal health and beauty trend check

CRTV charcoal detox 

Curious about the recent trend in food, health and beauty? It’s called activated charcoal. It’s used in emergency rooms as an antidote for some drug overdoses and poisons, but now some activated charcoal supplements claim to remove toxins in a similar way, but they’re not necessary 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, as Consumer Reports has previously reported, supplements are regulated much more loosely than FDA-approved drugs, and they don’t necessarily contain what’s advertised on the label.

Recently, other consumer 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 better than products without.

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