Product No. P01048

  • Thought to prevent the absobtion of chemicals into the gut
  • Could help to aid stomach troubles
  • Uses in both human and animal care

Activated charcoal or activated coal is a form of carbon that has been processed to make it extremely porous and thus to have a very large surface area available for adsorption or chemical reactions.

Due to its high degree of microporosity, just 1 gram of activated charcoal has a surface area in excess of 500 m2 (about one tenth the size of a football field), as determined typically by nitrogen gas adsorption. 

Activated carbon is used to treat poisonings and overdoses following oral ingestion. It is thought to bind to poison and prevent its absorption by the gastrointestinal tract. In cases of suspected poisoning, medical personnel administer activated charcoal on the scene or at a hospital's emergency department. In rare situations activated charcoal is used in Intensive Care to filter out harmful drugs from the blood stream of poisoned patients. Activated charcoal has become the treatment of choice for many poisonings, and other decontamination methods are now used rarely.

Activated charcoal binds to toxins to prevent stomach and intestinal absorption. Binding is reversible so a cathartic such as sorbitol may be added as well. It interrupts the enterohepatic and enteroenteric circulation of some drugs/toxins and their metabolites

Charcoal biscuits were sold in England starting in the early 19th century, originally as an antidote to flatulence and stomach trouble. Tablets or capsules of activated charcoal are used in many countries as an over-the-counter drug to treat diarrhea, indigestion, and flatulence. There is some evidence of its effectiveness as a treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Activated charcoal is also used for bowel preparation by reducing intestinal gas content before abdominal radiography to visualise bile and pancreatic and renal stones. Charcoal biscuits are also marketed as pet care products.

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