There is some evidence to suggest that activated charcoal, as well as other agents, may be helpful in removing harmful toxicants, such as mercury.
The theory is that since charcoal is highly porous, and since charcoal is not digested, it can be used to safely adsorb a variety of drugs and chemicals.
It turns out that activated charcoal in juice is a trend that has started to get momentum.
A recent article in Time Magazine attempted to evaluate the scientific efficacy of activated charcoal as a detoxification agent. In summary: At least the theory is sound, but more long-term research needs to be done.
In the article, Dr. Kent Olson, medical director of the San Francisco Poison Control System and clinical professor of medicine and pharmacy at the University of California, San Francisco, says that anything that can be adsorbed will bind to activated charcoal:
Charcoal’s powerful binding abilities may have an unwanted side effect: “The problem with charcoal is that it’s non-specific. It’ll bind to anything it finds adsorbable,” Olson says. “That could include toxins as well as nutrients.” In fact, you don’t actually want to get rid of all your body’s impurities, he says. “Remember that might include vitamins and amino acids and other things you actually need in your diet,” he says. If you eat charcoal with your kale, you might be unwittingly depriving yourself of its nutrients.
In summary, I think it shows promise. As long as they’ve talked with their doctors about it and gotten it cleared first, I wouldn’t discourage patients from trying charcoal in their juice, and I think it might be of possible benefit before and after an appointment for removal of mercury fillings, in case any trace mercury is ingested during removal.