Thursday, August 7, 2014

5 Benefits of Diatomaceous Earth

5 Benefits of Diatomaceous Earth

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5 Benefits of Diatomaceous Earth

Posted: 06 Aug 2014 08:00 AM PDT


Diatomaceous earth is a naturally-formed sedimentary mineral rock that may aid in the cleansing process, and research also suggests that this natural tool may help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, remove toxic metals, and fight harmful intestinal organisms. Diatomaceous earth is derived from the remains of diatoms, or oceanic unicellular algae. [1] Diatoms are over 30 million years old and are formed from the cementation of microscopic algae-like plant remains into the earth’s surface. These clay-like, chalky remains are usually found in the form of a thick, white, siliceous powder known as diatomaceous earth. [2]

Health Benefits

The use of diatomaceous earth knows no bounds, and its many applications in the cosmetic, agriculture, and cleansing industries have been extensively investigated by researchers for years. Here are some of the many researched benefits of diatomaceous earth.

1. Natural Source of Silica

Food-grade diatomaceous earth is composed of approximately 85% silica. [3] This important trace mineral is required by tendons, cartilage, blood vessels, and bones. [4] The nutrient even contributes to almost every vital organ, including the heart, liver, and lungs. Food was the primary source of naturally-occurring silica in the past, yet modern farming practices have depleted the soil of this vital nutrient. It is suggested, but not scientifically substantiated, that only 1/3 of the silica we need is available in natural, plant-based foods.

2. Beauty

Because diatomaceous earth is a strong abrasive, it is often used as a toothpaste and facial exfoliator. The process of exfoliation is important in skin care as it helps to remove dead skin cells that may give the appearance of tired, worn-out skin. The product's natural silica content is also necessary for healthy skin, teeth, hair, and nails, and the product is often touted as a potent beauty mineral.

3. Reduces Heart Disease Risk

Research has also shown that oral intake of food-grade diatomaceous earth significantly lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels in humans, reducing the risk of heart disease. [5] Nutrients such as silicon, calcium, sodium, magnesium, iron, and other trace minerals are available in diatomaceous earth, giving rise to a practically endless supply of health benefits. Most of these nutrients aid in the building and repair of muscles and bones and also support proper energy levels.

4. Natural Pesticide

One of the most commonly employed uses for diatomaceous earth include its effectiveness as a natural insecticide. Studies indicate that this clay-like powder can kill harmful insects that threaten crops and home life. [6] Due to the incessant use of pesticides in conventional agricultural, many insects have become resistant to chemical insect deterrents. This organic pest control method is helpful for reducing the amount of environmental toxins you and your family are exposed to on a daily basis.

5. Internal Cleanser

Diatomaceous earth acts as a mild abrasive topically as well as internally, helping to remove intestinal invaders and other harmful organisms from the digestive tract. As an internal cleanser, diatomaceous earth may aid cleansing by supporting regularity and may also assist in removing heavy metals. [7] In animal models, studies and general observations have shown diatomaceous earth to be very successful in ridding animals of harmful organisms. Food-grade and untreated/unheated diatomaceous earth can be placed in the feed of livestock to help discourage fleas and other harmful parasites. [8] Make sure that all diatomaceous earth is labeled “food grade” and has been untreated and unheated.

What are your favorite uses for diatomaceous earth? Let us know your experience with this powerful product by sharing with us in the comments!

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM


  1. Armbrust EV, Berges JA, Bowler C, Green BR, Martinez D, Putnam NH, Zhou S, Allen AE, Apt KE, Bechner M, Brzezinski MA, Chaal BK, Chiovitti A, Davis AK, Demarest MS, Detter JC, Glavina T, Goodstein D, Hadi MZ, Hellsten U, Hildebrand M, Jenkins BD, Jurka J, Kapitonov VV, Kroger N, Lau WW, Lane TW, Larimer FW, Lippmeier JC, Lucas S, Medina M, Montsant A, Obornik M, Parker MS, Palenik B, Pazour GJ, Richardson PM, Rynearson TA, Saito MA, Schwartz DC, Thamatrakoln K, Valentin K, Vardi A, Wilkerson FP, Rokhsar DS. The genome of the diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana: ecology, evolution, and metabolism. Science. 2004 October 1;306(5693):79-86.
  2. Enrico C. Vigliani and Giacomo Mottura. Diatomaceous Earth Silicosis. British Journal of Industrial Medicine. July 1948; 5(3): 148-160.
  3. Lloyd E. Antonides. Diatomite. USGS Mineral Resources Program.
  4. Martin KR. The chemistry of silica and its potential health benefits. The Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging. 2007 March-April;11(2):94-7.
  5. Wachter H, Lechleitner M, Artner-Dworzak E, Hausen A, Jarosch E, Widner B, Patsch J, Pfeiffer K, Fuchs D. Diatomaceous earth lowers blood cholesterol concentrations. European Journal of Medical Research. 1998 April 8;3(4):211-5.
  6. Korunic Z, Mackay A. Grain surface-layer treatment of diatomaceous earth for insect control. Archives of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology. 2000 March;51(1):1-11.
  7. Danil de Namor AF, El Gamouz A, Frangie S, Martinez V, Valiente L, Webb OA. Turning the volume down on heavy metals using tuned diatomite. A review of diatomite and modified diatomite for the extraction of heavy metals from water. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 2012 November 30;241-242:14-31. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2012.09.030.
  8. Bennett DC, Yee A, Rhee YJ, Cheng KM. Effect of diatomaceous earth on parasite load, egg production, and egg quality of free-range organic laying hens. Poultry Science. 2011 July;90(7):1416-26. doi: 10.3382/ps.2010-01256.

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