Zeolite is a naturally occurring mineral that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine and more recently as a dietary supplement. It is shown to have detoxifying properties and is often marketed as a way to remove toxins such as histamine, ammonium and heavy metals from the body. But does zeolite really have the ability to detox the body, and is it safe to use? Let's take a closer look at the science behind zeolite detox.
What is zeolite?
Zeolite is a type of mineral that is made up of silicon, aluminium, and oxygen. It is formed when volcanic ash and lava come into contact with water, and it is commonly found in the form of small, crystalline structures. Zeolite has a porous, sponge-like structure, which gives it the ability to absorb and filter out a variety of substances.
Are there different types of Zeolite?
Zeolites are a type of microporous, aluminosilicate mineral that have many uses including as molecular sieves, catalysts, and adsorbents. They have the ability to exchange cations and have a regular, three-dimensional microporous structure.
Zeolites can be classified based on the size and shape of their pores, chemical composition, and crystal structure.
Four Zeolites which are commonly used:
- Clinoptilolite: is a naturally occurring zeolite with large pores and a high capacity to bind toxins. It is commonly used as an animal feed additive and for water treatment.
- Erionite: is a naturally occurring zeolite with small pores and a fibrous structure that is used as an adsorbent and in the production of catalysts.
- Mordenite: is a naturally occurring zeolite with a framework of silicon and oxygen atoms and small pores that is used as a catalyst in the chemical industry.
- ZSM-5: is a synthetic zeolite with medium-sized pores and a high surface area that is used as a catalyst in the petrochemical industry and in the production of gasoline.
There are many other types of zeolites available, each with its own unique properties and applications. However, it must be noted the only Zeolite that has been proven and has been well-researched now for human consumption is Zeolite Clinoptilolite. Only approved medical grade Zeolite Clinoptilolite that is classed as a medical device are recommended for human consumption. This is because they have proven their safety data and proven that they are clean and can safely bind toxins in the body.
How does zeolite detox work?
Zeolite is often marketed as a way to remove toxins and heavy metals from the body. Some proponents of zeolite detox claim that the mineral's porous structure allows it to bind to and remove toxins from the body, including heavy metals such as lead, mercury and aluminium.
However, a lot of Zeolites have limited scientific evidence to support these claims. While zeolite does have the ability to absorb certain substances, it is not clear whether it is effective at removing toxins from the body. This is why it is important to only consume Zeolite Clinoptilolite which is classed as a medical device and is safe for human consumption.
Is a zeolite detox safe?
There is also limited information available about the safety of using zeolite as a detox supplement. Some studies have suggested that zeolite may have the potential to cause kidney damage, while others have found no adverse effects.
Only Zeolite Clinoptilolite which has been classed as a Medical Device is safe to consume. This is because the companies have a provided evidence to show they are safe for human consumption.
There are Zeolite Clinoptilolite supplements available. However, there is only one that has been approved as a medical device which means they are able to make more specific claims. This is because the products are individually assessed for their safety and test reports to show that they can treat as per their packaging claims. Approved devices also show that the Zeolite Clinoptilolite does not remain in the body. This is important to prevent unwanted side effects.
As with any dietary supplement, it is important to talk to a healthcare professional before using zeolite for detox. A healthcare professional can help you weigh the potential risks and benefits and determine whether zeolite is safe for you.