Diatomaceous Earth

Posted 18 February 2016

I have been asked a reader about the therapeutic benefits of Diatomaceous Earth. It is promoted by a few sites as being of therapeutic benefit, e.g., as an “internal cleanser”, “removing toxic metals” and being a detoxifying agent. Some sites (e.g. http://diatomaceous.org) make even more ludicrous claims such as “boosts the healing of fractures”, “slow the degenerative process of ligaments” and “improve your overall health and well being”.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (NMCD) (“Unbiased, Scientific Clinical Information on Complementary, Alternative, and Integrative Therapies”) makes NO mention of therapeutic benefit.

PubMed (“comprises more than 25 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books”) was searched for information. Only ONE single study has evaluated this substance for therapeutic benefit: a single study (1998) demonstrated a cholesterol lowering effect in a small group of individuals, but the study had no control group. No researchers have repeated a similar study. There is no other studies or evidence suggesting any therapeutic benefit, but some evidence for its use in controlling insects. There are many studies suggesting that workers mining this substance are at risk of occupational disease, e.g., pneumoconiosis.

Although Wikipedia is not an authoritative source, they make no mention of its therapeutic potential at all, even from a ‘traditional’ or ‘complementary medicine’ point of view.

It is clear that sites that promote it’s use as an “internal cleanser”, “removing toxic metals” are those promoting other ludicrous treatments. Its claims of being a detoxifying agent are contrary to what science knows extremely well about the process of detoxification. I would suggest that the claims are unfounded, unsubstantiated and unbelievable for it will reinvent our extensive knowledge of physiological principles.

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