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Adsorption vs. Absorption in Activated Charcoal

Written by Dr. Group, DC Founder
A picture of charcoal in a spoon.


If you’ve heard of activated charcoal, you’re probably familiar with the numerous health benefits it can offer, especially when used daily as part of your wellness routine. From supporting natural detoxification and improving digestion to promoting kidney function and helping to maintain healthy cholesterol levels, activated charcoal is a health powerhouse.

This is especially true when the activated charcoal is exposed to ozone, which dramatically enhances its effectiveness (up to 10X).

However, while many people understand how taking activated charcoal can help them live a healthier life, the way the charcoal works is often misunderstood, with most believing the charcoal uses absorption to sweep toxins from the body.

In this article, we’ll explore the real answers to how activated charcoal is able to deliver on its health benefits, through a process known as adsorption. We’ll also take a look at what ozonation is and how it can unlock a new level of activated charcoal effectiveness.

Why take activated charcoal

But before we get started, let’s do a quick review of how activated charcoal can be used to support your wellness goals.

As we mentioned, activated charcoal is often used to support healthy detoxification. By binding to irritation impurities and toxins in the gut, it is capable of promoting the body’s normal detox process and minimizing the number of toxins the body absorbs. And when fewer toxins are absorbed by the body, there are fewer to do the body harm.

Second, because activated charcoal is able to bind to substances in the gut that produce gas, it can help ease digestive complaints, such as bloating and flatulence. And by eliminating irritating substances, it also supports overall digestive health.

The kidneys can also benefit from the use of activated charcoal daily. That’s because the urea and waste products that the kidneys must filter every hour of the day diffuse into the gut, where the activated charcoal can go to work to minimize them, easing the strain on the kidneys.

Finally, cholesterol and cholesterol-binding substances also pass through the gut. So when the activated charcoal is there waiting to bind them, it can help maintain cholesterol levels in the normal range.

Talk about a lot of benefits from a single supplement!

How activated charcoal works

So how does activated charcoal deliver on its promises?

Well, while most people believe the charcoal works through absorption (by absorbing toxins), it actually uses a process known as adsorption. And while the words are similar, the processes themselves are vastly different.

Here’s what you need to know…

What is absorption?

Absorption is a process in which one substance, like liquid or a gas, is actually taken into another substance. It’s a process that must work on both the molecular and atomic level because the atoms and molecules of the two substances must combine. To be absorbed into another substance, the first one must either dissolve or diffuse.

What is adsorption?

Adsorption on the other hand does not involve the taking in of one substance into another. Rather than atoms and molecules of two substances combining, one substance simply gathers another onto its surface. It’s a process of adherence (or sticking), not dissolving or diffusing.

Activated charcoal and adsorption

The second process, or adsorption, is what activated charcoal uses. It’s the reason that the charcoal is so powerfully effective at supporting detoxification. With activated charcoal, impurities or toxins adhere to the charcoal’s surface.

Because the activated charcoal has an incredibly large surface area, a massive number of impurities can adsorb to its surface and thus boost their filtration from the body. In fact, the surface area of activated charcoal is so large that a single teaspoon has more surface area than an entire football field!

Activated carbon’s pore structure is negatively charged. This allows it to pull in positively charged substances, such as impurities and gas-causing substances. Once they adhere to the surface, they are not absorbed by the body.

Unlocking 10X effectiveness of activated charcoal

However, as incredible as activated charcoal is, there is a way to greatly enhance its effectiveness for even better health benefits. It involves a process known as ozonation.

When activated charcoal is exposed to a continuous flow of ozone for a long period, it becomes known as ozonated activated charcoal.

This ozonation actually alters the surface of the carbon in the charcoal, increasing its adsorption capabilities by an incredible 10X. By making the charcoal more adsorbent, it becomes more effective at removing toxins and guarding your body from their negative health effects.

So for those looking for a more effective and efficient way to achieve the health benefits of activated charcoal, choosing an ozonated formula is the way to go.


Activated charcoal offers powerful health benefits that cannot be denied, including detoxification support, improved digestion, less flatulence and bloating, and support for kidney function and healthy cholesterol levels. This occurs via the process of adsorption, where impurities and toxins adhere to the surface of the charcoal, so that your body can naturally remove them. To get the most from your activated charcoal regimen, daily use of an ozonated activated charcoal formula can offer 10X the effectiveness to help you achieve your wellness goals.

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†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.


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