Eating activated charcoal
andasea/Shutterstock Activated charcoal has been making big waves on social media recently. People have been using the black, ultra-absorbent powder as a tooth whitener, skin mask, and natural deodorant, among other things. And while it may help for those purposes there is one use you should skip: Eating it. Proponents say popping a few capsules full of charcoal can reduce IBS, improve skin, help with weight loss, slow down aging, and “detox”—but it doesn’t work that way and may have terrible unintended consequences. “None of these claims are backed by credible science,” says Kim Melton, RD, owner of Nutrition Pro Consulting. “We don’t need to ‘detox’ our bodies because we have a liver that does that for us. Plus, charcoal can actually cause constipation and/or diarrhea. It will also absorb other substances in your gut, both good and bad, and if you’re taking medication it can hinder its absorption.” Which happens to be just one of 34 things that pharmacists wish you knew about your medication. Instead, she recommends skipping the capsules and spending your time and money on improving your diet, getting adequate sleep, and exercising.
Jacob Lund/Shutterstock Dozens of Hollywood A-listers have gushed online and in interviews about sitting in a below-freezing tank. Cryotherapy, the practice of using ultra-cold temperatures on the skin, has some legitimate medical uses, but recently it’s catching fire (ha) as an anti-aging and beauty treatment. Save yourself the cash and the shivers, says David Hitt, CEO of Ted’s Pain Cream. “While it’s not new, it has recently become very trendy with many celebrities trying it for themselves,” he explains. “But the FDA has recently issued a warning about Cryotherapy, saying its purported benefits lack scientific evidence and could pose health risks.”