Does Activated Charcoal Make You Lose Weight?

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Activated charcoal has become a popular ingredient in health and beauty products over the past few years. From face masks to toothpaste, it seems like there’s nothing activated charcoal can’t do. But one of the most common claims is that it can help with weight loss. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the evidence behind this claim.

What is Activated Charcoal?

Activated charcoal is a form of carbon that has been treated with oxygen to make it highly porous. This creates a large surface area that can trap toxins and impurities. It’s often used in hospitals to treat drug overdoses and poisonings because of its ability to absorb toxins.

How Does Activated Charcoal Help with Weight Loss?

There are two main claims about how activated charcoal can help with weight loss. The first is that it can reduce bloating and gas. Activated charcoal is said to absorb gas in the digestive system, which can help to reduce bloating and make the stomach appear flatter.

The second claim is that activated charcoal can bind to fat and prevent it from being absorbed by the body. However, there is little scientific evidence to support this claim.

What Does the Science Say?

There have been some studies on the use of activated charcoal for weight loss, but the results are inconclusive. One study found that taking activated charcoal reduced gas and bloating, but did not lead to any significant weight loss.

Another study found that activated charcoal supplements did not affect body weight or body fat percentage in overweight adults.

Are There Any Risks?

While activated charcoal is generally considered safe, there are some potential risks. It can interfere with the absorption of medications and nutrients, so it should not be taken with other supplements or medications.

It’s also important to note that activated charcoal can cause constipation if taken in large doses. It’s best to start with a small dose and gradually increase it if needed.


While there are some claims that activated charcoal can help with weight loss, the evidence is not strong. It may be helpful for reducing bloating and gas, but it’s unlikely to lead to significant weight loss on its own. As with any supplement, it’s important to talk to your doctor before taking activated charcoal, especially if you are taking any medications.

If you’re looking to lose weight, the best approach is to focus on a healthy diet and exercise plan that is sustainable in the long term.