One of the earths best-kept secret is Diatomaceous Earth, also known as DE. First off, how is it pronounced?
[dahy-uh-tuh-mey-shuh s] Cool; almost sounds prehistoric. And it should because it is. Diatomaceous earth is the fossilized shells of microscopic water-dwelling organisms known as diatoms. Diatoms are one-celled plants (algae or phytoplankton) that are the primary food source for marine life. These plants have been part of the earth's ecology since prehistoric times, yet their species still exists today in both salty and fresh waters all over the world.
What Does Diatomaceous Earth Do?
It might be better to ask what it doesn’t do as the list of what it does do is huge. There are clinical studies too numerous to count that show that silica, the active mineral found in DE is critical for our well-being and plays a key role in many body functions.
Some of the most recent studies show that it can ~
- Strengthen bones and joints.
- Prevent osteoporosis.
- Restore bone health if you already have osteoporosis.
- Boost the immune system.
- Ward off Alzheimer’s.
- Prevent premature aging and wrinkling of the skin.
- Strengthen the arterial walls to maintain good heart health.
- Destroys bad fats in the body.
- Used as a daily treatment, diatomaceous earth can alleviate the potentially deadly risks of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity.
- Be highly effective anti-inflammatory and internal cleansing agent for the body.
- Remove intestinal bacteria, parasites, e-coli, viruses, pesticides, heavy metals, and other toxins.
- Assist with vertigo, headaches, tinnitus, and insomnia.
What is Diatomaceous Earth?
Diatoms use soluble silica (sand) from their environment to make their shells or exoskeletons. As diatoms die, their shells fall to the bottom of the bodies of water in which they live. It’s believed that over time, these diatoms piled up to form thick beds of chalky fossilized sediments. They were discovered after the waters receded.Today, hundreds of large deposits of diatomaceous earth occur all over the world. Some are still underwater and some are found in ancient dried lake bottoms. It has been estimated that one cubic inch of diatomaceous earth may contain as many as 400 million shells, that’s how small diatoms are!
It’s All About The Silica
As I mentioned earlier, the shells of diatoms are made up mostly of silica (known by chemists as silicon dioxide). Silica is one of the most abundant minerals on the planet, but most of it is in a form that is unabsorbable by humans, and there are limited numbers of foods that contain an adequate amount of the absorbable form to supply the quantity our body needs. Silica is the most important trace mineral for human health. It plays an important role in many body functions and has a direct relationship to mineral absorption. For optimal health, the average human body needs to hold approximately seven grams of silica, a quantity far exceeding the figures for other important minerals such as iron and calcium.
Silica can be found in such foods as alfalfa, beets, brown rice and oats. Bell peppers and leafy green vegetables also provide silica, while asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, parsley, sunflower seeds and grain husks, such as barley, millet, and wheat contain smaller amounts.
Years ago, the silica found in our foods was adequate, but with today’s depleted soils, only about one-third of the silica needed by our body is supplied in our food.
In our youth, our tissues absorb and maintain high levels of silica— enabling our bodies to remain flexible, resilient, and energetic— but as we age, and as our dietary sources of silica are not meeting our needs, our silica levels steadily decline until they become almost non-existent. In fact, 80% of all of our body’s silica is used up by the time we become adults.
Our bodies need silica regardless of our age and even when diet is not the primary factor in cases of deficiencies, we often become deficient in this essential trace element simply thorough the aging process. The effect of this steady decrease in silica levels is a progressive decline in health, increasing fatigue and acceleration of the aging process.
Diatomaceous earth, which is very high in the absorbable form of silica, can replenish silica levels in the body, which can vastly improve your health and reverse many chronic problems. Studies show that high levels of silica can:
Improve Bone Health and Stop Osteoporosis: Calcium and vitamin D alone are not sufficient for bone growth, density, strength, and flexibility. In fact, the body cannot absorb and use calcium without the presence of silica. Recent data suggests that instead of promoting healing, calcium supplements actually speed up the leeching away of bone calcium and accelerate the degenerative process of osteoporosis and similar diseases that affect the connective tissues in the human body!
To re-mineralize and repair damaged bones, it is now advised that a sufficient silica supplement is taken daily because bones are composed of mainly of the minerals phosphorus, magnesium and calcium; however, these minerals need the presence of silica to be deposited into the bones, especially calcium. Silica hastens the healing of fractures and also diminishes scarring at the location of a fracture. A great deal of research evidence indicates that silica has the ability to “morph” itself into calcium through a transmutation process. Yes, silica actually has the ability to be turned into calcium when there is a calcium deficiency and the body needs it!
Ward Off Alzheimer’s: Scientists and researchers have long hypothesized that Alzheimer’s disease is linked to a build-up of aluminum in the brain, and links between aluminum in drinking water supplies and Alzheimer’s have now been ascertained. A factor that had been overlooked is that silica reduces the accumulation of aluminum. When researchers added silica to aluminum-laced water supplies, it inhibited the aluminum from being absorbed. It also caused a proliferation in the excretion of aluminum in urine and lowered aluminum concentrations in the brain, liver, bone, spleen and kidneys. Silica, therefore, may be important in supporting neurological health.
Improve Heart and Lung Health: Silica can hinder the effects of coronary disease by fortifying blood vessels. Studies confirm that with age, silica disappears from the aorta, the heart's key blood vessel— thus weakening its critical connective tissue, and resulting in a greater cardiac risk. Studies have shown diatomaceous earth to significantly lower cholesterol by removing plaque and keeping arteries and veins supple. It also helps to regulate blood pressure. Silica also aids in the repair and maintenance of vital lung tissues and defending them from pollution.
Stop Premature Wrinkling and Sagging Skin: Silica is excellent for supporting bones and connective tissue. Your body needs healthy connective tissue for internal organs and the largest organ which is your skin. And you probably know that degrading connective tissue, with age is why wrinkles appear and skin begins to sag. Perhaps it is not age, but rather not enough silica that makes this happen.
Collagen, which is mostly made up of silica, is the glue that holds us together. Collagen accounts for up to 75% of the weight of the dermis and is responsible for the resilience and elasticity of the skin. Our connective tissues consist of collagen, elastin, mucopolysaccharides and mucous carbohydrates which aid in moisture retention. Their capacity to hold on to moisture keeps the connective tissue resilient and has apparent importance in the prevention of premature aging. All these valuable molecules house large quantities of silica. Also, many people with advanced arthritis suffer from bone deformation when tendons and ligaments in the joints lose flexibility due to loss of collagen. Tendons and ligaments need silica for health and flexibility.
Boost the Immune System: Silica may play an important role in the immune system and its biological response to harmful stimuli. Silica is necessary for the body to produce antibodies that fight off viruses, bacteria, allergens and other invaders that the body views as foreign.
Where To Find It and How To Use It
Not all Diatomaceous Earth is the same. There is a pool grade (it’s used for pool filters and other industrial uses) and a food grade. The food grade DE is a very fine powder and is very light due to its high porosity. It mixes easily into liquids and foods. Most people take a teaspoon or a tablespoon two or three times a day (up to a total of one-quarter cup per day) for best results. Mix it into water, juice, smoothies or other foods.
Silica is water soluble; hence, once you get it into your body it easily absorbed via the intestinal wall and is also rapidly excreted. It does not accumulate in the body, so consistent daily supplementation is important.
Being approved by the FDA, Diatomaceous Earth has absolutely no dangerous side effects. It can be used by anyone, as long as the person doesn't suffer from a serious illness. As with any other health supplement, talk to a doctor before using DE. You might have some intolerance to it, so it's advisable to not risk your health. Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers can use it as long as their doctor has agreed.
And the best part of this whole thing is, its dirt cheap! Pun intended. If you took one teaspoon per day years supply would cost you around $30. So bring it on. Let’s get back to the earth and it’s wonderful healing it gives us.