Effect of activated carbon beads on serum lipid levels and fecal bile acid excretion in rats

J Pharmacobiodyn. 1987 Oct;10(10):557-63. doi: 10.1248/bpb1978.10.557.


The effects of oral activated carbon beads on the total serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels and on the fecal bile acid excretion in rats fed a basal or high cholesterol diet containing 5% activated carbon beads for 6 weeks were investigated. The beads appeared to exert little effect on the growth rate of rats and no tendency towards constipation was also observed. Although treatment with activated carbon beads gave little influence on the total serum cholesterol and serum triglyceride levels in rats fed either a basal or high cholesterol diet, the beads did produce a significant rise in the total fecal bile acid excretion. The extra fecal bile acids resulted chiefly from an increase in lithocholic acid. Furthermore, the beads showed a tendency to inhibit absorption of dietary cholesterol from the gastrointestinal tract in rats fed a high cholesterol diet. These results suggested the possibility of activated carbon beads as a hypocholesterolemic agent through binding with bile acids in the intestine.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bile Acids and Salts / metabolism*
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Carbon / pharmacology*
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cholestyramine Resin / pharmacology
  • Feces / analysis
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Lipids
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholestyramine Resin
  • Carbon
  • Cholesterol