Clay As A Toxin Binder
Aluminosilicate Clays And What To Expect From Them
Clay binders are used to assist removal of most polar types of toxins/biotoxins such as polar mycotoxins that individuals with "Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS) due to water-damaged buildings", also called "Mold Related Illness" have trouble removing from their body.
People with mycotoxin/mold related illness are often unable to remove the mold toxins from their body due to improper antigen presentation or antigen acceptance by immune system cells/or other biotransformational/detox varients. The immune system of the CIRS individual or person with Mold Related Illness, is unable to remove these toxins and is the instigator of an inflammatory response. Aluminosilicate clays bind to some types of mycotoxins, or other biotoxins that cause CIRS allowing them to be eliminated via the feces. This only works for toxins that go through the enterohepatic circulation and end up in the bile. Some of all aluminosilicate clays may bind to bile acids, and help remove toxins attached to those bile acids, or they may bind directly to the toxin, but this is not known at this time. It is known that they do indeed bind and remove some mycotoxins in in vivo studies. The biotoxins must be removed from the body of the person with CIRS or they often to not get well. Once they are removed, the inflammatory process started by the biotoxins also needs to be addressed.
Let Them Eat Clay
Clay has been ingested through-out antiquity. Geophagia is the name for consumption of soil, earth or clay. The deliberate consumption of soil, but specifically soil high in clay minerals with, or without food is well known through-out history. Pregnant women have been more prone to this than other individuals as have people with anemia. This is also seen widely through-out animal populations. Besides clay providing minerals, this may decrease absorption of toxic materials in food and water.
There is nothing new about people or animals feeling compelled to eat clay. You will find historical mention of it in various cultures. It has been noted that the soil people most often tend to eat is often clay. Red clay is a common one people eat. It is red from the iron in it, and one of the groups of people who often eat it are iron deficient, anemic women. Clay contains a variety of minerals and can give the clay different properties.
The eating of clay is likely to be due to the need for toxin binding. However, some clays may also be providing missing minerals to people. I myself as a child ate charcoal and dirt. No surprise since I was a child with a mold susceptibility. My mother tells me I ate charcoal out of the fireplace until she bought me a bag of clean charcoal as directed by a wise physician. I remember eating dirt sometimes, but found I preferred certain types of dirt over others, eating it in small amounts. It tasted really good to me. I assume that the dirt I preferred had more clay in it. I think that children eating clay, and charcoal are probably self-medicating by supplying binders to toxins that their bodies are dealing with. The body has much wisdom if we would only listen to it.
So, to reiterate, clay contains various minerals which might be needed by the person ingesting them. They also act as binders to bind toxins from food being eaten or from toxins circulating through the enterohepatic circulation. You can read more about binders and the recirculation of toxins in bile here.
Clay and zeolites are often added to animal feed. However this may or may not be helpful in various situations. One study showed clinoptilolite (a zeolite) added to aflatoxin B1 contaminated diet caused severe liver damage in pregnant rats that did not take place when they were given aflatoxin B1 alone. We also know that some adsorbants can decrease nutrient availability when given in large amounts. Kaolin given at 20% of the diet in pregnant rats caused the rats to be anemic and their pups to be born with lower birth weights. This makes sense as clays might grab onto mineral metals in your body the same way they grab onto them in other situations. Some research has shown clays to be fairly safe as far as being an antinutritive, but there are a few studies that make you believe it is wise to be careful with using clay on a continual basis. We still need more studies at this point. I consider all binders to have possible antinutrient qualities since the research shows both safety and antinutritive activity. I like to error on the side of caution.
Calcium montmorillonite clays such as NovaSil have been shown to tightly bind and inactivate aflotoxin B1 in the gastrointestinal tract of a variety of animals when it is added to their food at 0.05% NSP. The clay at 1% of the feed also reduced aflotoxin M1 levels in milk without causing nutritional issues or any noticed toxicity.
The same clay from NovaSil has been shown to be ineffective for binding diacetoscirpenol, ochratoxin A, T-2 Toxin and deoxynivalenol in various animals, but has shown some ability to bind fumonisins.
Aluminosilicates refer to a group of water containing clay minerals that make up much of the clay part of the soils. The properties that determine the composition of these clay minerals are derived from their molecular makeup, and arrangement of atoms and ions, and the electrical forces that bind them all together. These clays are a base of alumina and silica as the name suggests. They all are made up of a network of interconnected cavities that are a porous structure with a huge surface area to volume ratio. The cavities, or pores may be occupied by large metal cations (positively charged ion) and water molecules. Cations end up in these cavities as they are attracted to the clays negative charge. The aluminosilicates are divided into subclasses based on their structure.
Confusion Around Clays
When I first started to read about clays, I noticed that I found conflicting information everywhere I turned. Even in some of the research papers. I have carefully weeded this information out, and attempted to make it clear as mud for you. Okay, that was a really bad dirt joke, but I could not help but say that.
Clay categories can be confusing to people as they are mixes of a variety of different substances, many of the different named clays sharing common substances amongst them. For instance montmorillinate is a type of "clay" and is a large part of what you find in bentonites, while it is a minor part of kalonites often. All of them are aluminosilicates which are sheets of silica and alumina. To make matters more confusing, the sellers of clay materials may label clays by names that are not technically correct. For instance, the name bentonite is applied commercially to any plastic (moldability), colloidal and swelling clay. There is also a nomenclature issue around the names when you read the research. I realized an additional issue when I read that some clays are hard to tell the difference between them, even when viewed under a scanning electron microscope such as comparing kaolin, and bentonite.
Another general idea I would like to address regarding clays is that modification of clays is common place in the market. They are modified to enhance adsorption ability. For example, the surface properties are modified by washing with acid or other materials. This creates a semi-synthetic property, but you might not realize it is such.
Aluminosilicates - sheets of silica and alumina
kaolinite subgroup: 1:1 phyllosilicate (1:1 layer minerals contain one tetrahedral and one octahedral sheet in their basic structural unit)
smectites: 2:1 phyllosilicate - Dioctohedral smectites (The joining of two tetrahedral sheets (one from each side)to one octahedral sheet produces a three-sheet mineraltype, which is called 2:1 )
- talc (be aware - usually in association with asbestos)
micas: 1:1 phyllosilicate - dioctahedral micas
Aliminosilicates are the biggest group of mycotoxin binders. There is more research on these adsorbent agents than other binders. The ability of these clays to act as binders has in large part to do with their cation exchange capacity. Keep in mind that clay-based mycotoxin binders fail to show broad-spectrum activity though. Their efficacy is usually limited to so-called polar mycotoxins such as aflatoxins.
In general hydrated sodium calcium alumminosilicates have been shown to be effective with respect to aflatoxins but they fail to prevent toxic effects of Fusarium mycotoxins, such as fumonisins, or trichothecenes such as zearalenone. There is a chicken study showing efficacy of using montmorillonite clay adsorbent Calibrin-A (CA) with chickens given zearalenone in their diet. Another montmorillonite clay study in mice given a zearlenone diet actually showed increase uptake of zearalenone and increased toxicity with the clay. This was one of those modified clays. It was a low-pH montmorillonite clay exchanged with alkylammonium compounds. Unfortunately, many of the clays used in the research are modified clays companies are studying in hopes to have something that works great that they can patent. Remember, the labeling can be deceiving on the clays. You may not always know what you are getting unless you are careful about sourcing.
Aluminosilicates do well binding to mycotoxins with polar functional groups. Keep in mind that mineral clay type adsorbents as found on this page exert a lower efficacy against mycotoxins containing less polar functional groups. The addition to the aluminosilicate of long-chain organic acids on the surface of the aluminosilicate will result in an increased hydrophobicity of the clays surface. This increases it's abilty to adsorb non-polar molecules, and reduces the adsorption ability of hydrophilic molecules. This enhances its ability to sequester mycotoxins with low polarity such as OTA, ZEA, and T-2. (Haushild et. al., 2007 and tapia-salazar et al. 2010)
Cation Exchange Capacity Of The Aluminosilicates/Clays In General
All of these clays are negatively charged and therefore attract cations. They can exchange cations too. Generally ions with higher valency will exchange for those of lower valency. For example Al3+>Ca2+>Mg2+>K+=NH4+>Na+. This ability to exchange cations is called the exchange capacity of soil/clay. Cation exchange capacity is the ability of a soil to hold positively charged cations. Soils with more clay tend to have a higher exchange capacity.
Examples of Exchange Capacities of Various Clays
In the book by Sparks 1995, called Environmental Chemistry of Soils the following binders are listed as having these exchange capacities:
- Kaolinite: 2-15 meq/100 gram
- chlorite: 10-40 meq/100gram
- Montmorillonite: 80-150 meq/100gram
- Vermiculite (Tricatahedral): 100-200 meq/100gram
- Vermiculite (Coctahedral): 10-150 meq/100 gram
In addition from clays.org there is the following:
- Clinoptilolite: 160 mmol/100 gram
- Potassium-Bentonite 29-53 mmol/100 gram
- Montigel Bentonite 62 mmol/100 gram - German clay
- Volcay Ventonite 82 mmol/100 gram - Wyoming clay
- SAz-1 Bentonite 120 mmol/100 gram - Arizona clay
Common Clays Used As Binders
Bentonites are technically a creation from volanic ash. As with other phyllosilicates, they are adsorbing agents. They have a layered crystalline microstructure and their compostion varies. Bentonites are usualy made up of impure clay which is largely montmorillonite. Montmorillonite is a clay mineral of the smectite group (Smectites are a group of clay minerals that include montmorillonite, sauconite, saponite, nontronite, beidellite and others.) Bentonite may also contain feldspar, cristobalite, biotite, kaolinite,illite, pyroxine, zircon and crystalline quartz. Bentonite can adsorb a lot of water, and has the ability to form thixotropic gels when mixed with water. A thixotropic material can form a gel or have a thickened viscosity at rest, but become fluid when agitated.
Bentonites have a high cation exchange capacity. This is largely due to the montmorillonite, as montmorillonite has an exchange capacity of 80-150. Bentonites get their properties from this smectite group, which has crystaline alumina layers between two crystaline silica layers. It is the variations in the interstitial water, and exchangeable cations in these layers that affects the properties of the bentonite and is why different types of bentonites may behave differently. The water in the crystal structures of the clay appears to be integral to the the clays physical properties. This hydrated layer can be damaged by extreme cold, or heat and destroy its value as a bentonite adsorbant.
What makes the Bentonite clay such a great adsorbant is it's ability to form layers, it's properties of forming a thixotropic gel with water, high weater absorption and high cation exchange capacity. The adsorption abilities of the different types of bentonites (based on cations - sodium bentonite, calcium bentonite are examples) change slightly depending on the nature of interstitial water and exchangeable cations in the interlayer space.
Layering And Charge
Bentonite has a layered effect. The flat chemical structures of some mycotoxins, such as aflatoxins, fits neatly into the layers of bentonite, as if they are a piece of cheese between two layers of bread. Once inside these layers, the electric force generated by the atoms of both the mycotoxins, and the bentonite helps keep them bound in place. Mycotoxins with less flat structures such as deoxynivalenol (DON), and zearalenone (ZEN) will have decreased adsorption by bentonite.
Bentonite Can Adsorb A Lot
Bentonite can adsorb 12-15 times its volume in water. It's high cation exchange capacity allows it to bind to cations such as caesium, herbicides including diquat and paraquat . It can also bind to biological particles such as rheo-virus and proteins that appear as cations. The more exchangeable cations it has, the more thixotropic it is. Sodium bentonite is the most thixotropic, and potassium and magnesium bentonites are the least.
A clinical intervention study showed that a montmorillonite rich Ca-bentonite (NovaSil-Plus, NS) was effective in reducing aflatoxin biomarkers in serum and urine with negligible nutrient interactions in humans naturally exposed to aflatoxins via contaminated foods (Afriyie-Gyawu et al., 2008b; Wang et al., 2008).
Montmorillonite is the main substance that makes up bentonite, so read about montmorillonite to learn more about bentonite.
Bentonite has been shown to bind zinc in solution.
Consider montmorillonite clay for use with aflatoxins and Gliotoxins. Many studies support use of this clay as an aflatoxin binder in vivo. Calcium-montmorillonite is considered the most effective adsorbent for aflatoxins currently known.
Montmorillonite is one of the most widely ocurring of all mineral materials. It is the main clay in bentonite. The smectite called montmorillonite, is a lyered silicate that can adsorb organic substances externally or within its interlaminar spaces. The basic unit of the montmorillonite crystals is an extended layer composed of an octahedral alumina sheet bwteen two tetrahedral silica sheets. Montmorillonites tend to swell and form thixotropic gels. One analysis of montmorilonite is SiO2 49%, Al2O2 20%, Fe2O2 0.8%, MgO .27%,CaO 1.5% and Na2O/K2O 1.5%, with mostly water making up the rest of it.
Montmorillonite crystals are interrupted at the edges of the layered sheets where the broken bonds compenstate their charge by the specific adsorption of protons and water molecules. This interruption of the periodic structure confers to the edge surface an amphoteric character - ie, a pH-dependent suface charge, and the capacity to react specifically with cations, anions, and organic and inorganic moldules to form chemical bonds.
Examples of Use
- Food additive for health and stamina
- Antibacterial activity
- Sorbent for nonionic, anionic, and cationic dyes
- As catalyst in organic synthesis, and so on
- Toxin binder
Sodium montmorillonite has been studied as the product NovaSil. NovaSil has been shown to slightly lower zinc levels in male rats and raise sodium, and vit. E in both male, and female rats at both low and high doses. This did not create an overt toxicity, or deficit, but should be noted. Novasil was studied in 2008 with over 600 Ghanaians at high risk for aflatoxicosis due to moldy food. They were given capsules of Novasil clay prior to meals at 1.5 grams per day and 3 grams per day. (3 grams per day is about 1/2 rounded teaspoon) At one month they were the same, but after 3 months both groups had significant decrease in albumin adducts (associated with cancer) in serum samples and levels of aflatoxin M1 in the urine was significantly decreased in both groups with the 3 gram per day group decreased up to 58%. Another human study in 2008 with Ghanaians showed no significant effects of changes in 15 nutrieint, and 15 non-nutrient minerals when the same trademarked clay called Novasil was ingested at 1.5 and 3 grams per day for 3 months. They did however find strontium significantly increased.
NovaSil Plus (at concentration between 0.5 and 2.0% w/w in the diet) has been shown to reduce aflatoxin M1 concentrations in milk from dairy cows without altering the nutritional quality or causing overt toxicity
Smectite clays have demonstrated the potential to shift the population of intestinal flora from a pathological to a balanced state which is interesting to note since mycotoxins create an inflammed gastrointestinal tract, and we know that healthy gut bacteria are helpful in removal of some mycotoxins in animal research.
Consider this clay for use with aflatoxins. Many studies support use of this clay as an aflatoxin binder in vivo.
Consider this clay for use with sterigmatocystin. Similar toxin as aflatoxin and shows in vitro to bind, and in vivo shown to be efficaceous in fish.
I am including data that is listed for the use of calcium montmorillonite clay called Novasil™ Plus in farm animals. I am not associated with this company, nor am I telling you to go purchase their product. I do however feel this is useful information. Research does support their use of this clay for removing a large percentage of aflatoxins and some fumonisins. There is a lot of research on this modified clay.
Dosage and Application: 0.1 to 0.5% (or 1 to 5 kg/tonne of feed), depending on aflatoxin levels and animals
0.1% when Aflatoxin level is 80–100 ppb
0.25% when Aflatoxin level is up to 3,750 ppb
0.5% when Afltoxin level is up to 7,500 ppb
Young animals and breeders: start from 2 kg/tonne
Dairy cows: start from 2 kg/tonne
Application: Add to mineral premix or Mix it in feed with other ingredients
Non Sulphurated Plasteline = NSP clay
Calcium montmorillonite clays such as NovaSil Plus, NSP have been studied and found to tightly bind and inactivate aflatoxins in the gastrointestinal tract of multiple animal species. Animals studies have also shown this type of clay to be relatively safe to use. Sodium bentonite clay has been shown in animal research to bind aflatoxins well also.
The sodium montmorilonite clay Novasil has been frequently studied. One study showed Novasil clay bound aflatoxins with high affinity and high capacity in the gastrointestinal tract, resulting in a notable reduction in the bioavailability of these toxins without interfering with the utilization of vitamins and other micronutrients. A human study where individuals were at high risk for aflatoxicosis indicated that Novasil (at a dose level of 0.25% of food intake) is effective in decreasing biomarkers of aflatoxin exposure and does not interfere with the levels of serum vitamins A and E, and iron and zinc.
Clinical intervention studies indicate that refined NS can significantly reduce biomarkers of exposure for AFB1 as well as FB1 (Phillips et al., 2008; Robinson et al., 2012, Mitchell et al., 2014). The molecular mechanism for sorption of aflatoxin onto the surfaces of NS is thought to involve chemisorption of toxin onto interlamellar surfaces of the clay with the planar orientation of the aflatoxin molecule as the most stable configuration. The results also indicate a good correlation between the magnitude of partial positive charges on carbons C11 and C1 of the β-dicarbonyl system and the strength of adsorption of planar ligands. Other potential mechanisms of AFB1 sorption to NS surfaces may involve the chelation of interlayer cations (especially Ca2+) and various edge-site metals and/or the interaction with water molecules in the interlayer (Grant and Phillips, 1998; Phillips, 1999; Deng et al., 2010). NovaSil is a processed calcium montmorillonite clay. Its discovery as a high affinity and high capacity enterosorbent for aflatoxin, its chemical composition, and its sorption mechanism of aflatoxin at interlayer surfaces have been described in numerous publications in the scientific literature (Phillips et al., 2008; Robinson et al., 2012, Mitchell et al., 2014). NovaSil contains more calcium than sodium, and swells less than sodium clay, hence it has restricted delamination upon hydration. This is thought to be one of the reasons for the preferential sorption of compounds such as aflatoxin. More recent studies have confirmed the ability of aflatoxin to be tightly adsorbed onto “dioctahedral smectite” clay surfaces (Phillips et al., 2002; Kannewischer et al., 2006; Marroquín-Cardona et al., 2009; Deng et al., 2010). This is not the case for other clay groups, such as kaolinites, attapulgites, zeolites, mica, alumina, and sand. (Prevalence and effects of mycotoxins on poultry health and performance, and recent development in mycotoxin counterating strategies, G. R. Murugesan et al, Poultry Science, 8/31/2014)
The use of calcium montmorillonite (Nova Sil clay type) in human diet can diminish health- harming effects of aflatoxin-contaminated food. The study was based on a clinical trial of selected volunteers in the age range of 20–45 years. It included 23 males and 27 females. The volunteers received calcium montmorillonite low dose (1.5 g/day) and high dose (3 g/day) for weeks. The compliance to study trial by the volunteers was indicated as 99.1%.
Laboratory analysis of blood and urine samples was performed prior and after trial. Hematology, liver and kidney function, electrolytes, vitamins A and E, and minerals were not significantly changed in any study group. The study indicated the protection of participant from adverse effects of aflatoxins.
Research has shown it to show good aflatoxin sorption, generally has tolerable levels of hazardous contaminants (strontium was significantly raised when used at 3 grams per day for 3 months), is safe and efficacious in multiple animal species, and in long-term studies, and appears to have negligible interactions with vitamins, iron and zinc and other micronutrients at 3 grams per day for 3 months.
Kaolin, which is also called china clay is a mixture of different minerals. It mainly consists of kaolinite. It may also contain quartz, feldspar, mica, illite and montmorillonite. It is composed of thin layers of crystals with pseudoheagonal morphology. It is formed by rock weathering. It has some cation exchange capacity but nothing like bentonites do. It's exchange capacity is 2-15 meq/100 gram. If it has more montmorillonite it will have the higher exchange capacity. Kaolin may contain 10-95% of the mineral kaolinite and generally is babout 85-95% kaolnite. It can also contain quartz and mica and less often feldspar, illite, ilmenite, montmorillonite and others. The struture o f kaolinite is a tetrahedra silica sheet alternating with an octahedral alumina sheet. The molecular formula for kaolinite that is common is Al2Si2O5(OH)4.
Kaolinite adsorbs small molecular substances such as lecithin, quinoline, parquat and diquat as well as proteins, polyacrylonitrile , bacteria, and viruses. The adsorbed toxins can be easily removed from the particles because adsorption is limited to the surface of the particles (planes, edges) unlike the case with montmorillonite, where the adsorbed molecules are also bound between the silicate/alumina layers. This is an important point for using this binder. Kaolins with more montmorillonite will be better at removing toxins.
Zeolites (means boiling stones) are a tectorsilicate rather than a phyloscilicate, but still a division of the aluminosilicates. Zeolites are hydrated crystalline aluminosilicates, and depending on the source may or may not have dissolved mineral salts. Zeolite is a natural mineral rock formed from volcanic ash that fell into wetland type areas. Over a long period of time the volcanic ash compressed, and like other porous clays became a hard rock with a honeycomb-type structure that has a huge surface area to volume ratio. Zeolites are listed as having the formula M2/n:Al2O3:xSiO2:yH2O. M can be one of a variety of metals (cations). N stands for the valence of the metal cation and y for the number of water molcues in the structure. Zeolites are considered an importnat inorganic cation exchanger, and used in many applications from medical binders to waste water treatment. There are currently about 140 types of natural and 150 synthetic zeolites for a variety of uses. Clinoptilolite is a natural zeolite that is used in medicine.
The various applications of zeolites are due to the various porous structures. The pores create negatively charged openings of different sizes which are then occupied with possitively charged metals such as sodium, potassium, calcium, hydroxyl groups or water molecules. Each of them can be exchanged for other molecules and cations in the environment. This is similar to the other clays. The amount of silica, aluminum, and the size of the pores, and other various metals can change how the zeolite acts as a binder.
Natural zeolites can adsorb molecules quickly, slowly or not at all depending on the size of the openings, which function as sieves, adsorbing molecules of specific sizes while not adsorbing those that are too large for the pores. Their ability to absorb is also affected by the electrical charge or polarity of the toxin molecules.
Natural zeolites are stable in aqueous (water) solutions at various pH levels, both in strong acid or basic media. However, they have small pore size and low surface area, and include some impurities when compared to the synthetic zeolites.
Toxins Zeolite Can Bind to
Flouride, radioactive materials, mycotoxins, viruses, heavy metals, bacteria.
Cation Exchange Capacity Of Zeolites
All of these Zeolite clays are negatively charged and therefore attract cations. They can exchange cations too. Generally ions with higher valency will exchange for those of lower valency. For example in Sandra Kraljevic Pavelics et. al review on zeolite, the following cation exchange preferences of zeolite were given: "Selectivity alignments of the zeolite clinoptilolite cation exchange have been given as Ba2+> Cu2+, Zn2+> Cd2+, Sr2+> Co2+ by Blanchard et al. (1984), as Pb2+> Cd2+> Cs+> Cu2+> Co2+> Cr3+> Zn2+> Ni2+> Hg2+ by Zamzow et al. (1990), or as Co2+> Cu2+> Zn2+> Mn2+ by Erdem et al. (2004)."
The zeolite most commonly used internally in medicine is Clinoptilolite tuff but mordenite tuff has also been studied. Clinoptilolite has tetrahedra arranged in a way that they form large amounts of pore space in the crystals.
Zeolite is commonly modified to make it more adsorbant by washing it with aicd to increase pore surface size or heating to 200-400 centigrade for 2-3 hours in a vacuum system or 5-6 hour in open space to evaporate water trapped in the pores, to open the pore space and increase surface area. If you purchase an activated natural zeolite, it usually has been heated. The natural zeolite that has been acid washed has a higher exhcange rate than the natural zeolite that has been physically activated with heat. The difference being 901.495 cmol (+)/kg and 181.9036 cmol (+)/kg
Examples of Use
Zeolites have been used in support of animal nutrition since the 1960s. They have been shown to improve, general health of the animals, as well as average daily gain in weight, enhance feed conversion in various animals, and increase milk yield in cows, and egg production in hens, as well as improve the quality of the eggs. There are different types of zeolites and they show various effects.
In a 2015 review of research articles, Laurino and Palmieri found that in zoothechnology, and veterinary medicine zeolite has been shown to improve "pet fitness" and remove aflatoxins, radioactive elements, and other poisons. They found that the studies supported it in its use as an antioxidant, hemostatic and antidiarrheal.
Clinoptilolite, a natural zeolite has high adsorption indexes in vitro (outside of body), more than 80% for aflatoxin B1 and G2 where most is absorbed in the first few minutes. However another study showed lack of in vitro adsorption. Remember, in vitro adsorption often does not related to in vivo adsorption any way.
The in vivo efficacy of zeolites to ameliorate the consequences of aflatoxicosis in poultry, has also been verified in many cases .
Many of the zeolites on the market are synthetic rather than natural zeolites, due to the purity of crystalline products and the uniformity of particle sizes. You should be aware of this in purchasing zeolite. The preparation of synthetic zeolites from silica, and alumina chemical sources are expensive, so cheaper raw materials, such as clay minerals, natural zeolites, coal ash, municipal solid waste incineration ashes and industrial slags, are used as starting materials for zeolite synthesis. While this may take care of hazardous materials in the environment to recycle them into zeolite, I don't think people using binders internally want a synthetic zeolite that may have heavy metals or ammonium used as material to make it. So, buyer beware. Manufacturers are also working on creation of zeolites from kaolin, bentonite, montmorillonite, illite and smectite. If you want to look up a type of zeolite that is made, or mined, you can go to this article and they are listed alphabetically. For Clinoptilotlite, this article says, "the cation content is highly variable. Ca-, Na-, and K-dominant compositions are known, and Sr, Ba,and Mg are in some cases substantial. Fe2+ and Fe3+ arepossible constituents. In Pirsson’s (1890) analysis, K is the most abundant single cation by a small margin." Other types of natural Clinoptilolite you will see on the market are Clinoptilolite-Na (sodium) and Clinoptilolite-Ca (calcium).
Clinoptilolite has a very similar structure to the zeolite called heulandite. The only difference is that Clinoptilolite has a higher silicon to aluminum ration in favor of silicon. Clinoptilolite also holds up better under high heat situations. It turns out that low silica zeolites are unstable in acids. Since our stomach has a high acid content, this would be an issue. Zeolites such as clinoptilolite that have higher amounts of silica to aluminum are stable in acids.
Clinoptilolite Possible Uses
Organic compounds - organophposphate poisoning - significantly increased cholinesterase activity in organs of intoxicated rats at 1g/kg using zeolite tuff containing 61% clinoptilolite and used 5 min prior to intoxication.
Antidarrheal when due to pathogens such as microbes.
Enhancement of intestinal wall health and intestinal microflora.
Immunomodulating effect in the gut.
Clioptilolite contains at least 80 % clinoptilolite (hydrated calcium aluminosilicate) and a maximum of 20 % clay minerals.
Clioptilolite appears to be binding bile acids similar to the negatively charged Cholestyramine.
Zeolite And Zonulin In Human Trial
A research study in humans found twelve weeks of zeolite supplementation exerted beneficial effects on intestinal wall integrity as indicated via decreased concentrations of the tight junction modulator zonulin. This was accompanied by mild anti-inflammatory effects in this cohort of aerobically trained subjects.
Safety: From European Food Safety Authority - "The FEEDAP Panel concluded that 10,000 mg clinoptilolite/kg complete feed could be considered to be safe for all animal species. Clinoptilolite is essentially not absorbed and is excreted with the faeces. There is no evidence that clinoptilolite will be degraded during its passage through the gastrointestinal tract of target animals. The consumer is therefore not exposed to clinoptilolite as a result of its use in animal nutrition; consequently, no risk for the consumer will arise. With regard to the high dusting potential of the additive, and in the absence of data on its irritation and sensitisation potential, the FEEDAP Panel considers it prudent to treat the additive as an irritant to the skin and eyes, a dermal sensitiser and an inhalation toxicant. The use of clinoptilolite in animal nutrition does not pose a risk for the environment."
Clinoptilolite has shown enhancement of good microflora in the guts of poultry, improved their health, improved egg levels of omega-3-fatty acid levels, showed improvement in antioxidant capacity of broilers, specifically showing increased activities of glutathione peroxidase, catalase, and super oxide disumtase. In a study using 1.5-2.5% Clinoptilolite in broilers with aflatoxicosis, was shown to moderately to significantly protect them from damage to their organs on a macroscopic, and microscopic level as well as decrease the number of broilers effected. In another chicken study, clinoptilolite and modified clinoptilolite increased lactobacillus acidophilus counts by almost doubling them, showed healthier intestinal wall linings, increased the antioxidant enzyme activities in intestine mucosa and decreased free radical nitric oxide content and inducible nitric oxide synthase activity in the serum. Both clinoptilolite materials increased the activities of glutathione peroxidase, catalase, total SOD, and the total antioxidant capacity.
Since clinoptilolite has evidence of acting an an antioxidant, it was studied in athletes. The researchers gave 1.85 grams of clinoptilolite daily but did not see any affect on redox markers in the blood. However, the men and women who had slightly increase stool zonulin concentrations did have a significant decrease in stool zonulin in the supplemented group.
In a study with partial liver removal in rats, there was a derease in oxidative markers, and increase in antioxidant mechanisms when they were given chlionptilolite.In another study in rats with the neurotoxin flouride, clinoptilolite restored antioxidant protection and protected them from flouride damage.
A research review of clioptilolite theorized that this antioxidant support of this clay was due to detoxifying affects on the intestine, immunomodulatory affects, antimicrobial/antiviral affects and the release of physiologically-relevant cations such as calcium manganeese, zinc and magnesium which could act as nutrieints to support the antioxidant mechanism of the body.
In a 6-8 week study with 61 patients being treated for immunodeficiency disorder, they were given clinoptilolite in doses of 1.2 gram (Lycopenomin) and 3.6 grams (Megamin) along with their usual treatment. "Megamin administration resulted in significantly increased CD4+, CD19+, and HLA-DR+ lymphocyte counts and a significantly decreased CD56+ cell count. Lycopenomin was associated with an increased CD3+ cell count and a decreased CD56+ lymphocyte count. No adverse reactions to the treatments were observed."
Interestingly high aflatoxin levels in 64 study participants who had high AFB1 (aflatoxin B1) levels were associated wtih significantly lower percentages of CD3+ and CD19+ cells that showed the CD69+ activation marker (CD3+CD69+ and CD19+CD69+). It has also been noted that HIV patients who are chronically exposed to aflatoxin in their diets have lower levels of CD4+ T reglatory cells as well as low levels of CD3+CD69+ and CD19+CD69+ cells.
Low CD4+CD25+ is commonly seen in people with CIRS due to water-damaged buildings and is measured by some practitioners. The fact that clinoptilolite has been shown to normalize many T regulatory values is exciting and encouraging as far as use of this zeolite. I am assuming these levels are normalizing due to mycoxin binding. Just as with the montmorillinites/bentonite it appears zeolites may be very beneficial in removing aflatoxins.
Research has shown that Andrés zeolite binds remarkable amounts of histamine which are nearly irreversible under acidic and neutral conditions. The San Andrés sample may soon be applied as a medical product due to its excellent binding capacity for histamine. Other types of zeolite have also been used to bind intestinal histamine. Diamine oxidase (DAO) enzyme alters histamines in the intestinal tract so they will not be absorbed into the body. Sometimes there is not enough DAO made or there is too much histamine being made or consumed and the body can't keep up with the demand. Zeolite can bind the histamine and take it out with the stool during a bowel movement. It can only bind the histmaine in the digestive tract though and does not act on the histamine in the rest of your body. If someone takes zeolite within 30 minutes of a histamine meal, it will be able to bind much of the histamine and help tremendously.
Hydrochloric acid present in the stomach may change clinoptilolite's properties, and has been proven to enhance the clinoptilolite ion-exchange capacity in a research solution. In industrial applications there is de-alumination of clinoptilolite on it's surface. It may also happen in vivo since the acid concentration of the stomach is low enough to possibly release some amount of aluminum species. So far, I have only found in vitro studies on this even though some reviews list in vivo research, when I go to the link, I have only found in vitro research.
This clay is not listed above. It is a is a hydrous magnesium silicate having the chemical formula Mg4Si6O15(OH)2·6H2O. When first extracted it is very soft. However, it hardens when exposed to heat from the sun or dried in a warm room. It occurs as a secondary mineral associated with serpentine. It can also be associated with dolomite and opal. Unfortunately, it also may contain asbestos and they are hard to tell appart. X-ray diffraction is used to tell the two apart. I mention Sepiolite as a manufacturer named Kemin is selling it in a product called Toxfin Supreme which is sold for animal use and is claimed to be a proven broad spectrum mycotxoins binder. It is possible we will be hearing more about this clay in the future. It is currently used for things like cat litter and in making smoking pipes.
Warnings For Clays!!!
Be careful not to breath in these clays into your lungs and nose as they are known to cause physical damage in the respiratory tract. Those with higher quartz appear to be the most hazardous, causing inflammation, as well as fibrosis, silicosis and lung cancer in some cases. They have been shown to penetrate the alveolar and capillary barrier.
Clays can be contaminated with heavy metals and dioxins. This is something else we have to be aware of.
I have always been concerned about possible aluminum absorption from these clays. Below you will find a research article where hens fed Zeolite had some of the aluminum show up in their urine. I personally have concerns about the internal use of clay due to the high aluminum content in all of them, and the possibility of the low ph of the stomach releasing the aluminum or activities by gut flora releasing it. However, in practice it does seem to be helpful for many toxin removals, and research studies show lowering of some types of mycotoxins with its use but not all of them. We need more research, so we know which clays bind which mycotoxins, and which mycotoxins are not bound at all or very little with any clay. We also need more safety research.
So far studies show that clinoptilolite does not affect the homeostasis of trace elements, and micronutrients, but acts rather selectively on heavy-metals and toxicants. We don't have enough data available to know this for sure though. When supplemented at 1.25% and 2.5% clinoptilolite in cows for 6-8 months there was no significant affect on the serum levels of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium or sodium. In another study with dairy goats given 2.5% clinoptilolite for 9-11 months there were no changes in the levels of fat-soluble vitamins, macroelements, and trace elements or hepatic enzymes. There was however a significant increase in milk fat, microbial quality of milk and brith weights of kids versus the controls.
A variety of chicken studies showed phosphorus is affected by various aluminosilicates at 1-1.5%
A couple studies showed that giving 3% sodium bentonite and zeolite also at 3% noticeably decreased the yolks color in eggs.
Another study using .5-1% showed that HSCAS had no effect on manganesse, vitamin A, or riboflavin in chickens, but zinc utilization was reduced at higher levels of HSCAS in the diet.
There are a variety of studies besides what I have listed here that run the gambit from no nutrient changes to a variety of nutrient changes when adding aluminosilicates (mostly zeolite, bentonite and montmorillonite) to animals diets. Therefore, until more research is undertaken, I would suggest caution regarding when these clays are ingested, how often they are ingested and they should be taken seperately from medications, nutrients and supplments.
Specific Amounts Of Clays Added To Diets And Results
Amounts added to diet: 1.5% clinoptilolite in broiler diet reduced thrombocyte counts caused by AF.
Amounts added to diet: 2% clinoptilolite in broiler dietwith AF alleviated servierity of lesions in liver of broilers
Amounts added to diet: 1.5-2% clinoptilolite in broiler diet partially relieved incidence and severity of lesions in chick organs.
At 0.5% bentonite decreased serum albumin significantly relieved.
0.3% bentonite in broiler diet in multiple serum indices.
0.5%01% sodium bentonite to broiler diet with AFB1 showed no impact on serum indices.
Organ damage seen with aflatoxicosis ameliorated wtih 0.3% bentonite.
.3% reduced incidence and severity of liver changes seen with aflatoxicos.
Kubena et al. (20) demonstrated that HSCAS can provide protection against the toxicity of AF in young broiler chicks. In addition, HSCAS in chick diets at levels up to 4 mg/kg completely prevented the reduction in performance and changes in organ weights, serum chemistry, and gross pathology observed in chicks fed AFB1 (21)https://academic.oup.com/ps/article/78/2/204/1490752
Research On Aluminosilicates
2018 Clioptilolite Review
For an extensive review on clinoptilolites I suggest this review.
This article is about tight junctions and zonulin reactions to zeolite. There is other research showing clays can decrease GI inflammation and support healthy gut flora.
J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015 Oct 20;12:40. doi: 10.1186/s12970-015-0101-z. eCollection 2015.
Effects of zeolite supplementation on parameters of intestinal barrier integrity, inflammation, redoxbiology and performance in aerobically trained subjects.
Lamprecht M1, Bogner S2, Steinbauer K3, Schuetz B4, Greilberger JF5, Leber B6, Wagner B7, Zinser E7, Petek T8, Wallner-Liebmann S9, Oberwinkler T10, Bachl N11, Schippinger G3.
Zeolites are crystalline compounds with microporous structures of Si-tetrahedrons. In the gut, these silicates could act as adsorbents, ion-exchangers, catalysts, detergents or anti-diarrheic agents. This study evaluated whether zeolite supplementation affects biomarkers of intestinal wall permeability and parameters of oxidation and inflammation in aerobically trained individuals, and whether it could improve their performance.
In a randomized, double-blinded, placebo controlled trial, 52 endurance trained men and women, similar in body fat, non-smokers, 20-50 years, received 1.85 g of zeolite per day for 12 weeks. Stool samples for determination of intestinal wall integrity biomarkers were collected. From blood, markers of redox biology, inflammation, and DNA damage were determined at the beginning and the end of the study. In addition, VO2max and maximum performance were evaluated at baseline and after 12 weeks of treatment. For statistical analyses a 2-factor ANOVA was used.
At baseline both groups showed slightly increased stool zonulin concentrations above normal. After 12 weeks with zeolite zonulin was significantly (p < 0.05) decreased in the supplemented group. IL-10 increased tendentially (p < 0.1) in the zeolite group. There were no significant changes observed in the other measured parameters.
Twelve weeks of zeolite supplementation exerted beneficial effects on intestinal wall integrity as indicated via decreased concentrations of the tight junction modulator zonulin. This was accompanied by mild anti-inflammatory effects in this cohort of aerobically trained subjects. Further research is needed to explore mechanistic explanations for the observations in this study.
Free PMC Article
Mycopathologia. 2012 Sep;174(3):247-54. doi: 10.1007/s11046-012-9534-y. Epub 2012 Mar 7.
Evaluation of pathological effects in broilers during fumonisins and clays exposure.
Vizcarra-Olvera JE1, Astiazarán-García H, Burgos-Hernández A, Parra-Vergara NV, Cinco-Moroyoqui FJ, Sánchez-Mariñez RI, Quintana-Obregón EA, Cortez-Rocha MO.
This study was conducted to evaluate the possible protector effect of bentonite and zeolite in Bovans chicks fed a diet containing 59 mg kg(-1) of fumonisin B1 (FB1) during 3 weeks. A total of 200 one-day-old male chicks were treated varying the amount of bentonite and zeolite. Chick weight was registered weekly. At the end of the experiment, all the chicks were killed, and the livers were analyzed for gross examination and histopathological changes. Plasmatic activity of alanine amino transferase and aspartate amino transferase (AST) were also determined. Sphinganine and the sphinganine-to-sphingosine ratio in serum were evaluated. Both, bentonite and zeolite showed a protector effect against FB1 adsorption in the digestive tract of chicks. Chicks fed with FB1-contaminated feed, amended either with zeolite or bentonite, were heavier, and no macroscopic lesions were observed in the livers. AST activity might be considered as an indicator for FB1 exposition because AST levels were affected when only FB1 was present in the basal diet. These results indicate that both, zeolite and bentonite can be added into feed to diminish the effects of FB1.
Mycotoxin Res. 2008 Sep;24(3):124-9. doi: 10.1007/BF03032338.
In vitro evaluation of the capacity of zeolite and bentonite to adsorb aflatoxin B1 in simulated gastrointestinal fluids.
Thieu NQ1, Pettersson H.
Anin vitro study using single concentration and isotherm adsorption was carried out to evaluate the capacity of Vietnamese produced zeolite and bentonite to adsorb aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) in simulated gastrointestinal fluids (SGFs), and a commercial sorbent hydrated sodium calcium aluminosilicate (HSCAS) was used as reference. In this study, AFB1 solution was mixed with sorbents (0.3, 0.4 and 0.5% w/v) in SGFs at pH 3 and pH 7 and shaken for 8 h, centrifuged and the supernatant measured by Vicam fluorometer. Adsorption of AFB1 onto zeolite and bentonite varied according to the pH of SGFs and was lower than HSCAS. Linearity between the increased amount of AFB1 adsorbed on sorbents and the decrease of sorbent concentration was observed for bentonite and HSCAS, except for zeolite in SGFs at pH 7. The observed maximum amounts of AFB1 adsorbed on bentonite and HSCAS were 1.54 and 1.56 mg/g, respectively. The adsorption capacities of bentonite and HSCAS for AFB1 were 12.7 and 13.1 mg/g, respectively, from fitting the data to the Freundlich isotherm equation. Improvement in processing and purification for bentonite is needed to enhance the surface area, which would probably result in better adsorptive capacity for this sorbent.
Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 1980 Nov;58(11):1251-5.
Effect of dietary protein, alfalfa, and zeolite on excretory patterns of 5',5',7',7'-[3H]zearalenone in rats.
A series of experiments was conducted to determine how dietary protein, alfalfa, or zeolite influence the excretory patterns of zearalenone (Z), a uterotropic mycotoxin synthesized by Fusarium fungi. Rats were fed diets containing 16.3% casein, 40% casein, 11.2% casein + 25% alfalfa, or 25% casein + 25% alfalfa. Also fed were diets containing 0, 1, 2, or 5% anion exchange zeolite. Tracer doses of [3H]Z were administered either as a constituent of the diet or as a topical application on the skin at the base of the skull. When Z was administered orally, no differences were seen in the fraction of the dose excreted in urine or feces as a result of varying dietary levels of alfalfa and protein. Topical doses resulted in rats fed 25% casein + 25% alfalfa or 40% casein excreting more Z in urine than those fed 25% alfalfa or 16.3% casein. Fecal excretion of Z was greatest for rats fed 25% casein + 25% alfalfa whereas rats fed 40% casein excreted more fecal Z than those fed 16.3% casein. Feeding Z to rats receiving dietary zeolite resulted in a positive correlation between dietary zeolite and fecal excretion of Z but a negative correlation with urinary excretion of Z. Topical administration of Z produced a positive correlation between dietary zeolite and fecal Z excretion but no effect on urinary excretion. It may be concluded that protein and alfalfa treatments alleviate Z toxicosis through increased metabolism whereas zeolite binds Z in the digestive tract to prevent absorption.
Aluminum in zeolite absorbed by hens
This is something I have always been concerned about with all alumno-silicilate clays. I talked to a lot of "experts" in the US about this 15 years ago. More recently found evidence it probably was absorbed to some degree.
Poultry Sci. 1993 Mar;72(3):447-55.
Evidence for absorption of silicon and aluminum by hens fed sodium zeolite A.
Roland DA Sr1, Rabon HW Jr, Rao KS, Smith RC, Miller JW, Barnes DG, Laurent SM.
The mechanism of action of zeolite A (ZA) on eggshell quality could be related either to its ion-exchange properties or to individual ZA elements (Al or Si). Two experiments were conducted to determine 1) whether any ZA passes through the digestive system in its original form; and 2) whether any Al and Si absorption occurs. In Experiment 1, unfed hens were intubated with either 0 or 5 g ZA at oviposition. In Experiment 2, fed and unfed hens were intubated at oviposition with 0, 1, or 2 g ZA. At the subsequent oviposition, liver and kidney tissues, excreta, urine, bile, and plasma were collected and analyzed for Al, Si, Na, K, and P. The results indicated that approximately 7% of the intubated ZA passed through the digestive system in its original form (Experiment 1). As the intubated level of ZA increased, excreta Al and Si (P < .0001), urine Si (P < .005), and urine Al (P < .07) also increased (Experiment 2). Aluminum recovery from excreta ranged from 75 to 93% of the quantity intubated in all treatments. Corresponding values of Si from excreta of unfed and fed hens ranged from 76 to 81% and 58 to 60%, respectively. The P content of excreta was not influenced by ZA. However, excreta P was greater (P < .0001) in unfed than in fed hens. Neither plasma electrolytes (Na, K, and P) nor Al or Si levels in either liver or kidney were influenced by ZA.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
The amelioration of aflatoxicosis in broiler chickens was examined by feeding two concentrations of natural zeolite (clinoptilolite). Clinoptilolite (ClI), incorporated into the diet at 1.5 and 2.5 per cent, was evaluated for the ability to reduce the deleterious effects of 2.5 mg total aflatoxin (AF) kg(-1)diet on growing broiler chicks from 1 to 21 days of age. A total of 360 broiler chicks were divided into six treatment groups [Control, AF, CLI (1.5 per cent), AF plus CLI (1.5 per cent), CLI (2.5 per cent), and AF plus CLI (2.5 per cent)] each consisting of 60 chicks. Compared to controls, the AF consuming chicks showed increases in the relative weights of liver and kidney; and gross-histopathologic hepatic lesions such as paleness, friability, diffuse hydropic degeneration and/or fatty change, bile-duct hyperplasia and periportal fibrosis. Glomerular hypertrophy, increases in the number of mesengial cells and hydropic degeneration of tubuler epithelium in kidneys of chicks fed diet AF alone were also observed. Atrophy and lymphoid depletion were seen in the thymuses and bursa of Fabricius from the chicks fed AF alone. The additions of CLI (1.5 and 2.5 per cent) to the AF -containing diet moderately (significantly in some cases) decreased the number of affected broilers and/or the severity of lesions. The addition of CLI to the AF-free diet did not produce any significant changes compared with the controls. These results suggest that CLI was effective for the protection of AF-toxication in broilers and it could contribute to a solution of the AF problem in poultry production.
Copyright 2001 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.
This study was conducted to evaluate the pathological changes in broilers fed a diet containing low-levels of aflatoxin (AF) and clinoptilolite (CLI) until 42 days of age. A total of 576 one-day-old Ross-308 type broiler chicks were treated with varying levels of AF and CLI (15 g kg(-1)). The gross and histopathological changes in the liver, kidneys, spleen, thymus and bursa of Fabricius were investigated and relative organ weights were calculated. Compared to controls, significant changes (P<0.05), such as slight to moderate hydropic degeneration and/or fatty change (8 cases of 10), bile-duct hyperplasia (7 of 10) and periportal fibrosis (5 of 10), were found in chicks fed 100 ppb AF-containing diet. No gross-pathological changes were observed in any treatments. The addition of CLI to the 100 ppb AF-containing diet significantly decreased the number of affected broilers and/or the severity of lesions (hydropic degeneration and bile-duct hyperplasia) in the livers (P<0.05). The addition of CLI to the AF-free diet did not produce any significant lesions compared with the controls.
Br Poult Sci. 2013;54(4):515-23. doi: 10.1080/00071668.2013.798627. Epub 2013 Jul 2.
In vitro and in vivo protective effects of three mycotoxin adsorbents against ochratoxin A in broiler chickens.
Trailovig JN1, Stefanovig S, Trailovig SM.
The objective of this study was to investigate in vitro and in vivo (in broiler chickens) ochratoxin A (OTA) adsorption efficiency of three different adsorbents: inorganic (modified zeolite); organic (esterified glucomannans) and mixed (inorganic and organic components plus enzymes). 2. The aim of the study was to investigate which of these adsorbents provided the best protection against the presence of residues of OTA in the pectoral muscle and liver of broilers given an OTA-contaminated diet. In addition, it was important to test and compare the results of adsorbent efficiency using two different in vitro methods. 3. The results from classical in vitro investigations carried out in the artificial intestinal fluid, showed that the inorganic adsorbent (Mz), exhibited the highest adsorption, having adsorbed 80.86 ± 1.85% of OTA, whereas average in vitro adsorption abilities of organic (30.52 ± 3.50%) and mixed (32.00 ± 2.60%) adsorbents were significantly lower. 4. In the investigation of absorption in everted sacs of broiler duodenal segments (Everted Duodenal Sacs Procedure), higher OTA adsorption in gut was exhibited by organic adsorbent, 74.26 ± 4.48%. Furthermore, the mean adsorption efficiency of mixed and inorganic adsorbent was 65.26 ± 4.76% and 45.75 ± 7.14%, respectively. 5. In the in vivo investigation, broilers were fed for 21 d on diets containing 2 mg/kg of OTA and supplemented with inorganic (Mz), organic (Ms) or mixed adsorbent (Mf) at the recommended concentration of 2 g/kg of feed. All three adsorbents significantly decreased OTA residue concentrations in the pectoral muscle and livers, but the order of effectiveness was mixed > organic > inorganic. The most efficient was the mixed adsorbent which decreased residue concentration by 72.50% in pectoral muscle and 94.47% in livers. 6. The Everted Duodenal Sac in vitro method provided results similar to those obtained in the in vivo study. However, further studies are required to investigate the efficiencies of adsorbents against various mycotoxins using this method.
In vitro and in vivo studies to assess the effectiveness of cholestyramine as a binding agent for fumonisins.
Solfrizzo M1, Visconti A, Avantaggiato G, Torres A, Chulze S.
Several adsorbent materials were tested at I mg/ml for their in vitro capacity to adsorb fumonisin B1(FB1) from aqueous solutions. Cholestyramine showed the best adsorption capacity (85% from a solution containing 200 microg/ml FB1) followed by activated carbon (62% FB1). Bentonite adsorbed only 12% of the toxin from a solution containing 13 microg/ml FB1, while celite was not effective even at the lowest tested FB1 concentration (3.2 microg/ml). Cholestyramine was tested in vivo to evaluate its capacity to reduce the bioavailability of fumonisins (FBs) in rats fed diet contaminated with toxigenic Fusarium verticillioides culture material. Rats were exposed for one week to FBs-free diet, FBs-contaminated diet containing 6 or 20 microg/g FB1 + FB2 and the same FBs-contaminated diet added of 20 mg/g cholestyramine. The increase of sphinganine/sphingosine (SA/SO) ratio in urine and kidney of treated rats was used as specific and sensitive biomarker of fumonisin exposure. The addition of cholestyramine to the FBs-contaminated diets consistently reduced the effect of FBs by reducing significantly (P < 0.05) both urinary and renal SA/SO ratios.
Dietary supplementation with the tribomechanically activated zeolite clinoptilolite in immunodeficiency: effects on the immune system.
Natural zeolites are crystalline aluminosilicates with unique adsorption, cation-exchange, and catalytic properties that have multiple uses in industry and agriculture. TMAZ, a natural zeolite clinoptilolite with enhanced physicochemical properties, is the basis of the dietary supplements Megamin and Lycopenomin, which have demonstrated antioxidant activity in humans. The aim of this prospective, open, and controlled parallel-group study was to investigate the effects of supplementation with TMAZ on the cellular immune system in patients undergoing treatment for immunodeficiency disorder. A total of 61 patients were administered daily TMAZ doses of 1.2 g (Lycopenomin) and 3.6 g (Megamin) for 6 to 8 weeks, during which the patients' primary medical therapy was continued unchanged. Blood and lymphocyte counts were performed at baseline and at the end of the study. Blood count parameters were not relevantly affected in either of the two treatment groups. Megamin administration resulted in significantly increased CD4+, CD19+, and HLA-DR+ lymphocyte counts and a significantly decreased CD56+ cell count. Lycopenomin was associated with an increased CD3+ cell count and a decreased CD56+ lymphocyte count. No adverse reactions to the treatments were observed.
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