Some of you may already be clued into the amazing food grade powder that is diatomaceous earth (DE). For everyone else, we’re about to blow your mind because DE is one of the best dietary supplements in existence. What’s even crazier is that DE is essentially crushed up rock, so it’s like eating sand. That sounds unpleasant, but it’s actually a very common practice and there are numerous proven health claims to support this practice.
What Is Diatomaceous Earth?
Food grade diatomaceous earth (DE) is made up of the fossilized remains of diatoms, which are small aquatic organisms. Some of the remains date back anywhere form 100,000 to one million years ago. These small organisms collect the sediment from streams, rivers, oceans, and lakes, and the fossilized remains exist around the world. The deposits collect silica, which contains numerous trace minerals that may benefit heart health, improve immune function, enhance the pancreas’ release of insulin, and nourish the hair, skin, and nails. DE happens to be one of the most concentrated sources of silica.
DE typically comes in the form of a white powder and it has many uses. Some people put it on pets to get rid of fleas, while farmers use it on plants as a natural pesticide. DE also has its place in beauty products, food manufacturing, and water filtering. Food grade DE is available in many health stores, but online retailers sell it as well. There is compelling research and proven studies on the benefits of consuming DE, and we’ve detailed some of them below.
Benefits of Diatomaceous Earth For The Body
Improves Joint Health
The silica in DE works to enhance regular joint function and bone metabolism. A 2007 study found that dietary silicon actually worked to prevent bone loss (osteoporosis) and improved the connective tissue in joints. Since osteoporosis is considered one of the largest “silent epidemics” of the 21st century, improving bone health is paramount these days. The silica in DE helps improve bone density, but it also works to synthesize collagen, which aids with joint formation and healthy connective tissue development.
Works To Fight Parasites
One of the benefits of consuming DE is that it helps to regulate bowel moments. In fact, the silica in DE works to detox the digestive tract and increase collagen production, which can support the digestive tract’s lining. It actually helps the body absorb more nutrients while simultaneously flushing out unnecessary waste. A 2011 study that was published in the Oxford Journal of Poultry Science found that DE is an effective treatment to control internal worms (parasites) in hens. Giving hens DE helped improve egg production and quality, and cleaned out parasites in the process.
Helps Protect The Hair
Did you know that silica is the primary ingredient in many high-quality hair supplements? Many people with thinning hair often use these hair supplements to improve hair growth or prevent hair loss. Several studies examined people who ingested DE every day for several weeks. The results indicated that DE helped to improve fullness and enhanced scalp health.
Many filtration products use DE because of the chemical composition. From water purification to fish tank filters, DE helps to prevent tap water toxicity. The fine powder helps to filter tiny particles that regular paper filters cannot catch. One study found that DE works to kill viruses in drinking water, thereby making the water potable. This is great news when you consider that drinking contaminated water causes viral and bacterial infections. Additionally, another study examined a filter containing DE to see how effective it was at filtering tap water. The results indicated that the DE absorbed 80% of the viruses and heavy metals present in tap water.
Detoxifies The Body
We saved the best benefit for last! As we’ve covered in this article, DE helps to regulate bowel movements and eliminate/kill parasites, which contribute to numerous health conditions. The great thing about DE is that it is inexpensive! It helps to reduce gas and bloating and boosts liver function. Researchers also found that DE works to clean the blood by absorbing harmful toxins that exist in the blood. The silica in DE behaves similarly to antioxidants, fighting free radicals in the body that contribute to oxidative stress. It does so by neutralizing the charge of free radicals and helping the body eliminate them via urine, stool, and sweat. Finally, one study indicated that DE encouraged the elimination of heavy metals from the body.