what is zeolite

What Is Zeolite? Zeolite Benefits & Side Effects

With a growing interest in natural remedies and alternative forms of healthcare, it's no surprise that more and more people are turning to Zeolite for its health benefits. But what is Zeolite? Is it safe to take? In this blog post, we'll answer all these questions and closely examine the many potential uses of this unique mineral. We'll explore Zeolite's benefits as well as possible side effects associated with its use so you can make an informed decision about whether or not this natural remedy is right for you.

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Overview Of Zeolite

What Is Zeolite?

Zeolite, one of the rare minerals with a natural negative charge, is a naturally occurring mineral found abundantly worldwide. Forming Zeolite takes thousands or even millions of years, as lava and ash combine with water. 

Zeolite

This results in an amorphous, porous material that exhibits properties of both minerals and crystals.

Zeolite has been used for centuries to address health issues, absorb toxins, cleanse the air, and eliminate odors. It is even employed in swimming pools to maintain clean and safe water for swimmers.

Popular types of Zeolite:

  • Clinoptilolite Zeolite: This type of Zeolite is the most common and can be found in a variety of forms. It is used for air purifiers, water filters, and health supplements. 
  • Chabazite Zeolite: This rare form of Zeolite has a very high affinity for water molecules, making it an ideal material for purifying water. 
  • Phillipsite Zeolite: This type of Zeolite is used in soil remediation and wastewater treatment. It also has the ability to absorb heavy metals and other pollutants from soil or water.

Where Does Zeolite Come From?

Zeolite is a unique and versatile mineral with many industrial, medical, environmental, and agricultural uses. But these incredibly useful naturally occurring minerals don't just appear out of thin air! While most zeolites form as a result of volcanic activity in the Earth's crust, some are also formed due to hydrothermal activity from hot springs or geysers.

The process of zeolite formation begins when aluminum and silicates come into contact with high temperatures and pressures, allowing for the formation of an amorphous structure that eventually hardens as it cools. This is known as a "zeolitic tuff" or volcanic glass, which can be found in all kinds of environments worldwide. 

Zeolite Structure And Characteristic

Zeolite Structure

Zeolites are unique minerals that form in a honeycomb-like structure. This structure is made up of tiny pores that play a key role in their many applications. 

These tiny pores allow Zeolite to absorb and trap molecules, making them an effective adsorbent material. On a molecular level, Zeolite also exhibits properties of both crystalline and amorphous solids, making it both strong and flexible.

Due to their unique structure, zeolites have the ability to adsorb a variety of substances from liquids or gasses. This makes them an ideal material for air purifiers, water filters, and soil remediation systems. 

In addition, Zeolite also has a high cation exchange capacity (CEC), meaning it can hold onto positively charged particles, such as toxic metals or other contaminants. 

How Does Zeolite Work for Detox?

Zeolite's unique properties allow it to work as a powerful detoxifying agent. It uses its tiny pores and negatively charged ions to attract positively charged toxins, heavy metals, and other harmful substances. 

Once the molecules are adsorbed onto the Zeolite, they become trapped in its honeycomb-like structure. The trapped molecules can then be easily removed from the body through natural waste elimination. 

In addition, Zeolite can help eliminate toxins from the body by binding to them and preventing their reabsorption. This helps to ensure that all of the toxins are expelled from the body instead of remaining in circulation.

This makes Zeolite a highly effective detoxifying agent for those looking to remove heavy metals, pesticides, and other contaminants from their body. 

Zeolite Benefits

Anti-Cancer

Zeolite's unique structure and detoxifying properties contribute to its potential anti-cancer benefits. It can adsorb harmful substances like heavy metals and toxins, reducing their ability to cause cellular damage and potentially lead to cancer. 

Research suggests that Zeolite may inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells. While preliminary, these findings encourage the exploration of Zeolite in cancer prevention and treatment strategies.

Zeolite's Unique Structure And Detoxifying Properties Contribute To Its Anti-Cancer Benefits

There are several research studies have extolled the anti-cancer benefits of Zeolite: 

A comprehensive review of 53 studies has highlighted the potential of the Zeolite and Zeolitic Imidazolate Framework (ZIF) in enhancing the precision and control of delivering cancer drugs to target tissues and organs. Researchers propose utilizing Zeolite/ZIF alongside cancer drugs to enhance their effectiveness and overcome the limitations of conventional treatments [1].

Additionally, a 2019 study [2] explored various zeolite systems for treating colorectal cancer. It concluded that zeolites like ZSM-5, zeolite A, and faujasite-NaX were excellent choices for controlled drug release in cancer treatment. The effectiveness of these zeolites against the CaCo-2 colon cancer cell line, particularly when loaded with 5-Fu, was remarkable.

Furthermore, a study by Noor Azhana Ghazi and her team [3] discovered that Zeolite exhibited a significant inhibitory effect on HeLa, AsPC-1, and 911 cancer cells, indicating its potential as an anti-cancer agent in alternative or complementary therapy.

The anti-cancer efficacy of natural Zeolite Clinoptilolite has also gained recognition. A study involving animals [4], including dogs and mice, with various tumors was found to extend lifespan, reduce tumor size, and improve health. The study suggests that its mechanism may involve suppressing survival signals and activating tumor-suppressing genes in treated cells, thereby curbing cancer growth.

A recent study in 2022 further [5] supports Zeolite's potential in fighting cancer, suggesting that it could be integrated with future therapeutic systems, thus contributing more effectively to cancer therapy and diagnosis. Undoubtedly, future research will continue to shed light on Zeolite's promising role in combating cancer.

Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory Agent

The unique structure of Zeolite also makes it an ideal antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Its inherent ability to bind with toxins helps prevent their accumulation in the body, reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. 

Moreover, some studies have found that Zeolite may also stimulate the production of antioxidant enzymes [9]. This could help protect our organs from damage caused by free radicals and other environmental toxins.

Research indicates that Zeolite has outstanding antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, making it widely applicable from environmental treatment to its use as a functional food supplement for humans [6].

Another critical review regarding the safety and overall effects of Zeolite Clinoptilolite on the human body has recognized its detoxifying properties and antioxidant effects in both humans and animals [7].

The antioxidant effects of natural Zeolite in humans have also been acknowledged in a study by Slavko Ivkovic, MD, in 2004 [8].

Another study on the effects of TMAZ, a natural zeolite, on the human and animal body mentioned that TMAZ can be used as an antioxidant to improve overall health and facilitate quicker patient recovery [9].

Boosting Immune System

Zeolite can also have a beneficial effect on the immune system. Its ability to bind with toxins helps keep the body free of harmful substances, allowing it to focus more energy on fighting illnesses and infections. 

Zeolite Boosts Immune System

In addition to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, research [7] also addresses the regulatory effects of zeolite clinoptilolite, which have been observed to potentially modulate the body's protective mechanisms against ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species).

Furthermore, a study on nitric oxide [10], a highly toxic yet crucial molecule for cardiovascular health, the nervous system, and the human immune system, has found that Zeolite exhibits a binding affinity for NO (Nitric Oxide) and can thus serve as a useful storage device for NO release.

A review article on Nanoscale Zeolite for cancer theranostics [5] also mentions the immune system-enhancing effects, thereby supporting Zeolite's anti-cancer efficacy.

Apart from studies on the effects of Zeolite on immune improvement in humans, these effects are quite prevalent in animals, particularly in poultry. However, more human studies are needed to fully confirm its safety and effectiveness.

Detox Effects

The detoxification properties of Zeolite have garnered significant attention in various studies, largely due to its unique structure and characteristics. 

A review analyzing the safety and effects of Zeolite, particularly its detoxifying abilities, affirmed its effectiveness in this regard. 

One specific case in point is the study that attributes clinoptilolite zeolite's detoxifying effect to its cation-exchange ability, highlighting its capability to bind and eliminate harmful substances from the body [12]. 

Further research has shed light on the broad-spectrum benefits of Zeolite Clinoptilolite (ZC), acknowledging its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and gut-improving properties alongside its notable detoxification characteristics [12]. 

Detox Effects Of Zeolite

Notably, this research aimed not to discover a new drug but to find a dietary supplement capable of enhancing lifestyle and promoting better health [12]. 

These promising results suggest that, given its proven effectiveness and safety, ZC could potentially be considered a functional food. This is especially true in terms of detoxification effects, although further comprehensive research is required to fully understand its potential and implications.

Side Effects & Drug Interaction Of Zeolite

While there are numerous blog posts on zeolite safety and side effects available on the internet, there are limited scientific studies specifically addressing the side effects and medication reactions of Zeolite. 

Nevertheless, the following synthesized research findings are referenced from reviews on the National Library of Medicine concerning both the benefits and potential side effects of Zeolite, and they should be noted.

The basic structure of zeolite clinoptilolite is considered biologically inert and non-toxic. According to the EFSA, the assessment of toxicity in zeolite clinoptilolite in animal feed is at a dose of 10,000 mg/kg [11]. This research conclusion pertains specifically to zeolite clinoptilolite. It's important to note that there are many other types of zeolites.

Indeed, another review suggests that not all zeolites are safe. Specifically, it has been found that zeolite erionite is associated with lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma [12]. Furthermore, exposure to erionite fiber dust has been linked to fatalities in a village in Turkey [12].

A Research Found That Zeolite Erionite Is Associated With Lung Cancer

Research also mentions natural zeolite type ZC, a potential therapeutic application. Although it is non-toxic, it is important to consider potential side effects, such as ZC's ability to reduce the survival of DNA-synthesizing cells and increase the self-destruction process of cells in an in vitro model [12].

Therefore, when using Zeolite, especially for therapeutic or health supplementation purposes, paying attention to dosage and the specific type of Zeolite you are using is essential.

How To Take Zeolite And The Suitable Dosage?

Zeolite has been used in various forms, including capsules, tablets, powders, and liquid solutions. The dosage should be discussed with a healthcare professional or nutritionist who specializes in natural remedies. 

The recommended dose for Zeolite is between 3-10 grams per day taken with meals. It is also important to note that Zeolite's absorption rate can vary depending on its formulation. Studies suggest that the best way to take Zeolite is through liquid solutions or gel capsules. 

What Is Zeolite Detox?

Zeolite Detox refers to the process of using Zeolite to detoxify our bodies of harmful toxins.

As we mentioned before, Zeolite has a unique honeycomb-like structure that enables it to attract and bind to toxins, heavy metals, and other harmful substances, effectively trapping them. 

Once bound, these toxins can be safely and naturally removed from our bodies, promoting overall health. 

The detoxification process aids in enhancing our immune system's functionality, reducing inflammation, and improving overall well-being. 

It's important to note that while zeolite detox has benefited many, further research is required to fully understand its potential and provide comprehensive guidelines for its use in human health.

FAQs

Can Zeolite Help Kidneys?

Zeolite can potentially aid kidney health. It can act as a detoxifying agent, helping to remove toxins that may harm the kidneys. However, more research is needed to conclusively establish the benefits of Zeolite to kidney health.

Does Zeolite Clear Skin?

While there isn't extensive research on Zeolite's direct effects on skin, its detoxifying properties may potentially contribute to healthier skin. By helping to remove toxins from the body, Zeolite could reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, both of which can affect skin health. However, more research is needed to fully understand this relationship.

Does Zeolite Have Zinc?

Zeolite, in its natural form, does not contain zinc. However, it has the capacity to absorb various minerals, including zinc, from its surroundings. This means that zeolite products may contain zinc if it was present in the environment where the Zeolite was harvested or processed.

Is Zeolite Acidic or Alkaline?

Zeolite is inherently alkaline due to its high mineral content. It is often used in agriculture to neutralize acidic soil and can similarly help balance pH levels in the body when used as a supplement.

Can Zeolite Cause Blood Clots?

While there is no direct evidence linking Zeolite to blood clot formation, it is always wise to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen. This is especially important for individuals with pre-existing health conditions or those taking other medications.

Does Zeolite Contain Magnesium?

Zeolite does contain magnesium, as well as several other beneficial minerals. However, the exact mineral content may vary depending on the specific type of Zeolite and its source.

Is Zeolite Natural?

Zeolite is indeed a natural mineral. It is formed over millions of years through the chemical reaction of volcanic ash with salt water. However, the quality and composition can vary significantly depending on its geographical source.

What's the Most Common Zeolite?

The most common type of Zeolite is Clinoptilolite. It is often used in industrial applications, healthcare and dietary supplements due to its unique molecular structure and exceptional ion-exchange capacity.

How Many Zeolite Types Exist?

Over 40 naturally occurring zeolite types and more than 150 synthetic types exist. However, not all zeolites are suitable for human consumption or therapeutic use. The most commonly used dietary supplement is Clinoptilolite.

What Are Other Names For Zeolite?

Zeolite is known by a variety of other names, including Clinoptilolite, chabazite, and mordenite, among others. These names often refer to specific types of Zeolite. It's also referred to by its general chemical composition – hydrated aluminosilicate minerals.

Are Zeolites Expensive?

The cost of zeolites can vary greatly depending on factors such as type, source, and treatment process. While some forms can be quite affordable, others, especially high-purity or specially-treated zeolites used for specific industrial or medical applications, may be more expensive. As with most commodities, buying in bulk often results in a lower cost per unit.

Conclusion

In conclusion, natural Zeolite has potential beneficial effects on the human and animal bodies as an antioxidant, immune system enhancer, and heavy metal detoxifier. Although further research is needed to confirm its efficacy for humans, current research supports its safety and effectiveness in animals. When considering taking Zeolite, it's important to pay attention to dosages and the specific type of Zeolite used. 

References:

1. Hao, J., Ivana Stavljenić Milašin, Zeynep Batu Eken, Marinka Mravak‐Stipetić, Krešimir Pavelić, & Füsun Özer. (2021). Effects of Zeolite as a Drug Delivery System on Cancer Therapy: A Systematic Review. Molecules, 26(20), 6196–6196. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26206196
2. Abd-Elsatar, A. G., Farag, M. M., Youssef, H., Salih, S. A., Mounier, M. M., & Emad El-Meliegy. (2019). Different zeolite systems for colon cancer therapy: monitoring of ion release, cytotoxicity and drug release behavior. Progress in Biomaterials, 8(2), 101–113. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40204-019-0115-8
3. Noor Azhana Ghazi, Amir, Nizam, A., & Hamdan, S. (2016). The Effects of Zeolite X and Y on Cancer Cell Lines. Journal of Science and Technology, 4(1). https://penerbit.uthm.edu.my/ojs/index.php/JST/article/view/465
4. Jasminka Pavelić, Kralj, M., Maja Herak Bosnar, Sanja Kapitanović, Marija Poljak-Bla, Ranko Stojković, Jurin, M., Subotić, B., & C Miroslav. (2001). Natural zeolite clinoptilolite: new adjuvant in anticancer therapy. Journal of Molecular Medicine, 78(12), 708–720. https://doi.org/10.1007/s001090000176
5. Xie, H., Liu, X., Huang, Z., Xu, L., Bai, R., He, F., Wang, M., Han, L., Bao, Z., Wu, Y., Xie, C., & Gong, Y. (2022). Nanoscale Zeolitic Imidazolate Framework (ZIF)–8 in Cancer Theranostics: Current Challenges and Prospects. Cancers, 14(16), 3935–3935. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14163935
6. Mastinu, A., Kumar, A., Maccarinelli, G., Sara Anna Bonini, Marika Premoli, Aria, F., Gianoncelli, A., & Maurizio Memo. (2019). Zeolite Clinoptilolite: Therapeutic Virtues of an Ancient Mineral. Molecules, 24(8), 1517–1517. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24081517
7. Sandra Kraljević Pavelić, Jasmina Simović Medica, Darko Gumbarević, Filošević, A., Nataša Pržulj, & Krešimir Pavelić. (2018). Critical Review on Zeolite Clinoptilolite Safety and Medical Applications in vivo. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 9. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2018.01350
8. Slavko Ivković, Deutsch, U., Silberbach, A., Walraph, E., & Mannel, M. (2004). Dietary supplementation with the tribomechanically activated zeolite clinoptilolite in immunodeficiency: Effects on the immune system. Advances in Therapy, 21(2), 135–147. https://doi.org/10.1007/bf02850340
9. Giada Dogliotti, Alexis Elias Malavazos, Giacometti, S., Umberto Solimene, Fanelli, M., Corsi, M. M., & Dozio, E. (2012). Natural zeolites chabazite/phillipsite/analcime increase blood levels of antioxidant enzymes. Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, 50(3), 195–198. https://doi.org/10.3164/jcbn.11-63
10. Wheatley, P., Butler, A. R., Crane, M. S., Rossi, A. G., Megson, I. L., & Morris, R. E. (2005). Zeolites for storage and delivery of nitric oxide in human physiology. Studies in Surface Science and Catalysis, 2033–2040. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0167-2991(05)80570-1
11. Sandra Kraljević Pavelić, Jasmina Simović Medica, Darko Gumbarević, Filošević, A., Nataša Pržulj, & Krešimir Pavelić. (2018). Critical Review on Zeolite Clinoptilolite Safety and Medical Applications in vivo. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 9. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2018.01350
12. Mastinu, A., Kumar, A., Maccarinelli, G., Sara Anna Bonini, Marika Premoli, Aria, F., Gianoncelli, A., & Maurizio Memo. (2019). Zeolite Clinoptilolite: Therapeutic Virtues of an Ancient Mineral. Molecules, 24(8), 1517–1517. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24081517
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Author

Ralph S. Albert, with over 10 years of expertise in nutrition and research, now heads the Research division at Vinatura Supplements. His dedication and extensive knowledge ensure top-quality articles on nutrition and health, collaborating with a skilled team. He has successfully completed The VINATURA Expertise Research Training Program, underscoring his commitment to Vinatura's mission. Ralph has also published numerous articles and conducted valuable research in the field, making him a trusted resource for individuals on their wellness journey.

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