Charcoal question answered.
Q: Greetings Mr. Dinsley, I plan on using Activated Charcoal. While researching on the web I noticed some people who have bought or used Activated Charcoal were saying that if you use Activated Charcoal keep in mind that it will deplete your iodine. I was wondering if this is true? If it is I would use Lugol’s Iodine if need be, but I just want to find out for sure. Thanks for your time, DeWayne
A: Hello DeWayne
Thank you for contacting us.
Activated charcoal does adsorb Iodine (including radioactive Iodine from nuclear power plants). Iodine adsorption is used to measure the activity level of various activated charcoals.
To what degree activated charcoal adsorbs Iodine from the body or food, to date I have found no research. I suspect the caution referred to in your email is someone’s interpretation of the Iodine levels of various activated charcoals. If you are concerned then Iodine supplements are an option. But again, the question would be, is the AC also adsorbing that Iodine? To date we have not heard of one verified report of Iodine deficiency (or vitamin or mineral deficiency) due to the oral use of activated charcoal.
I found this entry regarding iodine in seaweed in Harvey Wickes Felter, MD, and John Uri Lloyd, Phr M, PhD, Animal Charcoal, King’s 2 American Dispensatory, Ohio Valley Co., Cincinnati, 1898
“On account of the iodine contained in its charcoal, known as Vegetable ethiops, it has been found beneficial in scrofulous enlargements of the [neck] glands; the plant being incinerated in a covered crucible, and the charcoal given in doses of from ten grains to two drachms.”
Apparently, the charcoal captured the iodine from the kelp when it was burned and then liberated the iodine in the digestive track when the charcoal was taken internally. This proved beneficial in the treatment of goiter.
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I hope this is of some help.