Odds & Ends - Old & New
These entries represent some of the discoveries we stumble upon while researching online, usually for unrelated material. I include these for those who would like to follow up on specific research.

Cholesterol

Superactivated* charcoal versus cholestyramine for cholesterol lowering: a randomized cross-over trial

Researchers:

   1. GD Park

   2. R Spector

   3. TM Kitt

Abstract

To evaluate the relative abilities of superactivated charcoal (20 g twice daily) and cholestyramine (8 g twice daily) to lower plasma cholesterol concentrations acutely, six hypercholesterolemic patients were studied using a randomized cross-over design. After a 1-week dietary control period, each subject received 3 weeks of each treatment regimen on separate occasions. Superactivated charcoal and cholestyramine reduced total plasma cholesterol by 21.8 +/- 3.8% and 16.2 +/- 2.4%, respectively. Side effects were mild and similar for both treatments. At the dosage regimens studied, superactivated charcoal and cholestyramine have comparable ability to lower plasma cholesterol concentrations.

J Clin Pharmacol  May 1, 1988   vol. 28  no. 5  416-419

*"Superactivated charcoal" here mentioned is probably referring to many USP activated charcoals with surface areas ranging from 1100 to 1400 m2/g

Cocochar demand drives price increases.

Xylose, a natural plant sugar, is the raw material for xylitol, the additive used in confectioneries, sweeteners and chewing gum. Because coconut shells are one source that is both plentiful and cheap, coconut sugar producers in the Philippines and other Asian countries are scrambling to buy up as much of the leftover raw coconut shells as they can. That has resulted in increased prices for coconut shell used in the coconut activated charcoal industry. Consequently world prices for coconut activated charcoal have also been gaining throughout the second half of 2011 and so far show no signs of leveling off.

Porphyria

In my book CharcoalRemedies.com I mention the only condition that has shown some reaction to activated charcoal is a variation of porphyria. The mechanism is not understood. Here is a link to a recent testimony on Activated Charcoal use in Treatment for Porphyria.

Biochar in Vineyards

Claudio Niggli und Hans-Peter Schmidt

With soil depletion in vineyards often reaching extreme dimensions, the use of biochar seems a very promising way forward. Two years ago the Delinat Institute started the first large-scale biochar experiment in Europe. The results come not only as a surprise for skeptics, but also far exceed the expectations of optimists. Click for PDF file

Effects of charcoal as a soil conditioner on citrus growth and vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal development

Submitted by:

The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Research Information Technology Center (Japan)

Summary:

Effects of several kinds of charcoal applied to soil on citrus growth and vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal (VAM) development were investigated. Satsuma mandarin (Citrus unshiu Marc.) trees on trifoliate orange (Poncirus trifoliata Raf.) rootstocks were transplanted to root boxes using the soil mixed with charcoal derived from rice husk, citrus juice sediment or western spruce bark. The trees were inoculated with the spores of Glomus fasciculatum (Thaxter) Gerdemann and Trappe emend. Walker and Koske. Elongation of the roots in the charcoal treatments was more vigorous than that in the charcoal-free control. The fresh weights of the root, shoot and the whole tree increased in response to charcoal application. The intensity of VAM infection in any charcoal treatment was higher than that in the control. In particular, the percentage of the infection in the rice husk charcoal plot was 41.5 and P concentration in the leaf exceeded that of the control. In a Citrus iyo orchard, the percentage of VAM infection was 52% in the rice husk charcoal plot, the highest among plots. The intensity in the Bahia grass (Paspalum notatum Fluegge.) plot was next, followed by the third highest rate found in the abandoned plot which had not been cultivated in recent years. The lowest percentage of VAM infection was in a clean-culture plot.

Journal of the Japanese Society for Horticultural Science; Vol. No.v. 63(3) p. 529-535, Dec 1994