Not since the green smoothie or the cronut have we seen a food trend take off as quickly as activated charcoal.
The ingredient is being used in everything from ice cream to bread to lemonade—and is touted as a fun and very Instagram-able way to “detox” your body.
But it turns out there could be a dark side (pun most definitely intended) to the latest food craze: Consuming activated charcoal can decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills and other medications.
According to Eater, food-grade activated charcoal is produced by heating coconut shells to extremely high temperatures. The ash is then “processed with steam or hot air…to produce a ‘microporous structure.'”
That structure then acts like a sponge, absorbing and soaking up all the molecules and toxins in its path.