Every day we put toxins into our mouths through food and drink, breathe them into our lungs, and track them into our homes without really knowing how much damage they cause.
In fact, in your body right now you’ll find fire-retardant chemicals, toxic metals like, aluminum, cadmium, chromium, iron, mercury, and lead, pesticides, plastic particles and dozens of other scary residues. Of all the environmental toxins we’re exposed to on a daily basis toxic metals seem to be the most destructive. And we are not even talking about nuclear fallout.1,2
The danger is that they quietly accumulate in your body over time and have been linked to many serious health issues such as cancer, reproductive and developmental disorders, neurological problems like Alzheimers, memory loss, mood swings, nerve, joint and muscle disorders, cardiovascular, skeletal, blood, immune, kidney, skin, and hormonal problems… and that’s just the beginning.
Detoxifying the body – the gospel according to New Age practitioners and one of the latest fads amongst Hollywood celebrities, is actually something that has been practiced for centuries by many cultures around the world. Detoxification of the body isn’t about rapid weight loss or what you swear to do on a Sunday after one too many drinks, it’s about cleaning and healing the body from the inside out.
The body is naturally in a state of constant detox thanks to our liver and kidneys. However, due to our modern diet and the toxic chemicals we ingest daily, the body may need a bit of help along the way.
Could Zeolite, commonly known as Clinoptilolite or Aluminum calcium silicate be the answer?
Zeolite is primarily used for water purification and a feed additive and soil amendment in the agriculture industry but thanks to ‘Fukushima fall out hysteria’, Zeolite detoxification has been thrust into the limelight. Found in volcanic rock Zeolite may help to remove toxins from the body such as mercury, lead, arsenic and pesticides, as well as the common radioactive isotopes found in nuclear fallout including iodine131, strontium and even cesium.3-9
It is thought that this negative charge and “honeycomb” structure.acts like a magnet and pulls the positively charged toxins, especially toxic metals into the cells of the honeycomb; the trapped toxins are then allegedly eliminated from the body through urine, sweat, and feces.10
Zeolite may also help balance the body's pH levels. This is important because foreign cells- cancer and viral - apparently don't thrive in pH-balanced environments. Zeolite is also touted as a powerful antioxidant and eliminates free radicals as well as activating the P21 gene which appears to halt the growth of tumors by suppressing growth signals.11
Is Zeolite detox safe?
Zeolite, under the name aluminum calcium silicate, is listed on the FDA's GRAS list (generally recognized as safe) and is widely used in the cosmetic industry. Companies that sell Zeolite for human detoxification state that it is non toxic, safe for children, pets and pregnant and nursing women, but bear in mind there have been no significant human studies and the U.S. FDA has also disputed some of the health claims.12-15
Zeolite comes in two forms, liquid and powder and there continues to be debate about which type is more beneficial. Some say that the powdered form is more safe, retains its crucial honeycomb shape, is 95% pure and is much more concentrated. Whereas the process used to make the liquid form destroys the honeycomb shape making it less effective at trapping toxins. And although the liquid is thought to be more easily absorbed into the body, there is less Zeolite in an entire bottle of liquid Zeolite than in one teaspoon of powdered Zeolite.16-17
Dehydration is supposedly the main side effect but Zeolite may also interfere with consumed food and prescription drugs. As a guideline an adult is supposed to drink 8 glasses of water a day, however, while taking Zeolite you may want to increase this amount by 2-3 glasses per day. Initially you may notice detox symptoms like headache, diarrhea or body aches. These are normal.
Sometimes people feel sleepy while detoxing. If that is the case try to take naps. The body does most of its healing during sleep, so whenever possible try to get eight hours of sleep at night. For most people these detox symptoms are minimal and last only a day or two. If it is bothersome you can experiment with your dosage.18
So, what's the proof that Zeolite works in humans?
Not much. The bulk of the evidence is anecdotal. Human clinical studies are basically non-existent!
Most of the studies have been related primarily to water purification in the agriculture industry, although it has been used in the clean-up of contamination from nuclear facility disasters including Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and most recently at Fukushima.19,20
The published literature is sparse and is limited to in vitro and animal studies. As an example a study from the Ruder Boskovic Institute in Croatia found that, “cancer-stricken dogs and mice given Zeolite experienced an overall improved health status". 21-24
The study that is cited regularly by Zeolite Internet advocates was done in 2005, was preliminary and was done by Lifelink Pharmaceuticals in Ohio. For 14 months 65 people with stage 4 cancer were given high doses of liquid Zeolite and at the end of the study, 51 people were cancer free and six more were alive, but still fighting cancer. However this study apparently has never been officially published nor has there been any official comments on the follow up status of the study group.25
The Bottom Line
Zeolite remains controversial. There isn’t any significant human clinical studies on Zeolite’s potential health benefits. But maybe it’s worth a try “if the impact of nuclear disaster was minimized and future exposure to harmful chemicals might be reduced by the use of raw zeolite".26
Published September 29, 2011, updated July 29, 2012
Stacy Matson, a health enthusiast from Southern California, regularly blogs on Celebrity Health for A Healthier World, as well as contributing to the Best of the Best. Stacy Matson is also on Health Entertainment Network.