Charcoal toothpaste, charcoal detox pills, and even charcoal lemonade! People are going charcoal-crazy over the dark stuff. We're not exactly talking about the charcoal you use to grill out with, but rather activated charcoal.
It's the same activated charcoal doctors have been using for detox in the emergency room, but now, it's made its way into mainstream as a diet fad!
One Tampa doctor is warning though, for some, this new way of detox and teeth whitening could be dangerous.
"There is really no medical necessity for activated charcoal," said Dr. Kamal Patel. "And in fact even for teeth, it's been shown to take off some of the enamel from the teeth."
Dr. Patel has done extensive research on the effects of activated charcoal on the human body when taken as a detox supplement and says his findings are quite disturbing, especially for people who are on life-saving medications.
"We found that people that were taking activated charcoal; it was interacting with their prescription medication and that was dangerous."
Dr. Patel isn't convinced and neither is the Food and Drug Administration. The marketing flyers that come with some of these products even warn people should consult with their healthy provider about mixing any supplements with medications.