“What do you know about that liquid zeolite stuff my sister-in-law is selling?”
I’m not a geologist but zeolite is a type of crystal. Or, as Stanford’s piece titled Zeolites puts it, “a zeolite is a crystalline aluminosilicate with a cage structure.”
So why in the world are we talking about rocks on a natural health site?
If it seems odd to talk about volcanic rocks on a natural health site, sit tight for just a second. You see, “zeolite” and products supposedly made from these amazing rocks are some of the hottest new things in multi-level-marketed remedies.
According to various web sites hawking ground-up zeolite, this product “works at the cellular level” and traps and holds heavy metals so that they can be passed through the digestive tract. This process is supposed to “detoxify” you, improve your immunity and so on.
Some of the claims being made are absolutely ridiculous. ZeoliteDepot.com calls their zeolite product “100% bioavailable” and claims that it “remineralizes”. But the whole purpose of ground-up zeolite is to grab onto toxins and let those toxins pass through your system. How can something your body is “passing right through” be “bioavailable” or “remineralize” you?
And, of course, there are more than a few entries on web sites, forums and blogs claiming that zeolite cured someone (or someone’s mother or father or sibling) of cancer.
Could Zeolite Actually CAUSE Cancer?
Like most health products marketed through your friendly neighborhood MLMer, or multi-level-marketer, zeolite probably has at least a kernel of truth to it somewhere. Zeolite is used to remove toxins from water. But when inhaled, zeolite particles are also known causes of one of the deadliest forms of lung cancer—mesothelioma.
My Opinion of Zeolite
I have a real problem with anything marketed through multi-level-marketing channels. If ground-up zeolites worked for cancer, wouldn’t they be available at your local pharmacy? And with all the money there is in cancer research, wouldn’t some enterprising young researcher have found proof that zeolite works?
The bottom line is, zeolite is interesting but certainly not anything I’d recommend. But it’s your health. What do you think?
Abbey Newsletter. (2004). Zeolites. Retrieved from
www.palimpsest.stanford.edu/byorg/abbey/an/an20/an20-7/an20-702.html on January 7, 2008.
Zeolite.com. (2007). Retrieved from www.zeolite.com on January 7, 2008.
ZeoliteDepot.com. (2007). Retrieved from www.zeolitedepot.com on January 7, 2008.
Bertino, P., et al. (2007). Erionite and asbestos differently cause transformation of human mesothelial cells.