Activated Charcoal in Gout: Is it SAFE or Not?

Short Answer: Activated charcoal is bad for gout because it has ash and fiber that can increase or decrease your uric acid levels, respectively.

Gout is a condition that affects your joints, especially the big toe, but also the ankles, knees, elbows, wrists and fingers.

In gout, your body produces too much uric acid or your kidneys excrete too little uric acid.

This causes uric acid to build up in your blood and form sharp crystals in and around your joints.

These crystals cause pain, inflammation and swelling during a gout attack.

One of the key factors in managing gout is diet.

What you consume can affect your uric acid levels, which can impact your gout symptoms and overall health.

To effectively manage gout, you should consume foods rich in vitamin C like oranges, strawberries and bell peppers, and foods rich in fiber like oats, beans and nuts.

You should also drink plenty of water to help flush out uric acid from your body.

You should avoid foods rich in purines like red meat, organ meats, shellfish and beer.

Purines are substances that break down into uric acid in your body.

Now, activated charcoal is a form of carbon that has been processed to have many tiny pores that can trap chemicals and toxins.

People usually take activated charcoal capsules or powder as a supplement for detoxification, gas relief or teeth whitening.

Activated charcoal is bad for gout because it contains ash and impurities that can increase your uric acid levels.

Activated charcoal may also interfere with the absorption of some medications that are used to treat gout, such as allopurinol or colchicine.

One capsule of activated charcoal can give you about 250 milligrams of ash and 0.5 grams of fiber (2% of your daily needs).

Ash can raise your uric acid levels by making your blood more acidic.

Fiber can lower your uric acid levels by binding to it in your gut and excreting it in stool.

Activated charcoal is a supplement, and supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for safety or effectiveness.

Because of this, there is no standard dosage or quality control for activated charcoal products.

That’s why I suggest you limit your activated charcoal intake to avoid worsening your gout condition.

Stick to no more than one capsule per day and only take it when needed. More than that can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, constipation, black stools and dehydration.

Also, you shouldn’t take activated charcoal if you have kidney disease or intestinal obstruction to prevent further complications.

Because activated charcoal can reduce the function of your kidneys by blocking the blood flow to them.

It can also cause a blockage in your intestines by forming a hard mass with other substances.

You can buy activated charcoal online as well as offline.

To buy it online, there are many brands and marketplace to choose from.

But as a nutritionist, I recommend Nature’s Way Activated Charcoal from Amazon.com:

Because it is made from coconut shells, which are cleaner and more porous than other sources of charcoal.

Buy Nature’s Way Activated Charcoal

Finally, remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management and essential medical care is key to managing gout effectively.

I always recommend my gout patients to follow a gout-friendly diet to improve their overall well-being and enjoy a longer and healthier life.

About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutrition coach with over 7 years of experience in the field of nutrition.

He holds a Bachelor's (B.Sc.) and Master's (M.Sc.) degree in Biochemistry from The University of Burdwan, India. He was also involved with a research project about genetic variations in the CYP11A gene among PCOS and Metabolic Syndrome patients.

He has completed the following online courses: Stanford Introduction to Food and Health by Stanford University (US) through Coursera, Certificate in Nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc. (US), Lose Weight and Keep It Off certificate course from Harvard Medical School (US), and Nutrition and Disease Prevention by Taipei Medical University (Taiwan) through FutureLearn.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

Leave a Comment