Among the qualities attributed to this bread made with flour and charcoal are those to improve digestion making bread is much easier to digest than the traditional and avoid gas and uncomfortable flatulence.
Experts disagree with this type of therapeutic action and insist on the negative aspects of consuming this bread on a daily basis. Yes it is true that in part they have a favorable role for health, but in its right measure and if it is taken only once in a while.
You always have to think the pros and cons of things. You may have noticed that in supermarkets and ovens there is very dark, black bread. It is made by combining the traditional bread dough made from flour and charcoal yeast, generally used as a natural supplement to deflate the stomach and promote digestion.
This product promises to all people that do not digest well more or less the same advantages as the integral. But is it really that good for health? Alessandro Targhetta, surgeon, homeopath and expert in food allergies explains that:
“The fashion of black bread comes from the fact that for many people bread is not very digestible. Heaviness, fullness and bloating of the stomach filled with air or flatulence after eating are very common disorders. It was thought that the addition of charcoal to the wheat mixture would make the bread more digestible. “
The fashion of this charcoal bread comes from the needs of many people suffering from constipation and bloating due to consumption of baked goods.
The key point, however, is undoubtedly another: does this bread really do what it promises? First let’s understand how this natural remedy can help to make digestion and deflate the abdomen.
The benefits in the medical field are related to its porosity and absorbing capacity of this powder. Innumerable microscopic pores capture liquids, gases, bacteria, viruses and toxins present in the gastrointestinal tract. It is used for example in the treatment of acute intoxication to counteract the absorption of the substance ingested or in case of meteorism to contain the formation of gas in the intestine.
The amounts used as an additive in foods are so small that they cannot be compared and classified as a functional food; therefore it is not effective as a solution to the problems mentioned above.
Dr. Targhetta is not convinced of the efficacy of digestion disorders and flatulence of bread: “Very little is the amount of charcoal present in the wheat dough to make bread more digestible and less to deflate the belly. The use of post-meal carbon supplements, as needed, remains the only effective remedy to reduce abdominal swelling, flatulence, and constipation. “
Natural remedies are often taken lightly which, as such, are mistakenly regarded as harmless or free of side effects. Everything should be taken with caution, when it is well known, only when necessary and how it should be done.
What’s more, daily consumption of charcoal bread can reduce the effectiveness of many drugs, such as contraceptive hormones, diabetes and thyroid medicines, from malabsorption, as carbon binds with these drugs. It can also reduce the absorption of certain vitamins and nutrients, with the risk of scarcity, especially in children. In short, the benefits are scarce compared to the risks of eating this bread daily.
There is another risk related to coal, the presence of benzopyrene. In the United States the use of charcoal (E153) in bread has also been banned because it contains benzopyrene, a carcinogen derived from firewood.