Do you have high cholesterol? Unfortunately, eating a bowl of cheerios for breakfast isn’t quite enough to make a big impact. But fitness experts and enthusiasts around the nation are finding drastic results in lowering cholesterol by a supplement that literally comes from dirt. It’s called diatomaceous earth and we’ve got the latest on why it’s so effective.
Diatomaceous earth is natural sediment of chalky appearance. It’s made up of dead diatoms of silica-based cells. It’s also known as diatomite. The food grade diatomaceous earth offers many health benefits which include; decrease in joint and ligament pain, strengthening of teeth and gums, detoxification of body, improvement in osteoarthritis, reduced acne and skin rashes, improved bowel movements which helps in relieving constipation, anti-parasitic effect, soothing of burns and wounds, improved gastrointestinal functions, faster metabolism, better sleeping patterns, and decreased blood cholesterol levels .
We’ve formulated a research-based analysis of diatomaceous earth regarding its role as a blood cholesterol lowering agent.
Diatomaceous Earth – A Potential Lipid-Lowering Agent
According to a research study published in ‘European Journal of Medical Research’, diatomaceous earth is useful in lowering the cholesterol levels of individuals suffering from cholesterol-related problems like obesity and hyperlipidemia. The study was conducted on 19 test subjects who were suffering from moderate hyperlipidemia i.e. increased blood cholesterol level. These test subjects were treated with 250mg of diatomaceous earth via oral route three times a day. The subjects received this treatment for a period of eight weeks .
The serum concentrations of triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) i.e. good cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) i.e. bad cholesterol of these individuals were measured before they entered this study. Once these individuals entered the study, the same measurements of serum concentrations were taken after every second week of the treatment and four weeks after the test subjects stopped the intake of diatomaceous earth. It was observed from the study that the serum cholesterol level of every test subject decreased significantly during the course of the treatment and it reached the lowest level on the 6th week of the treatment. Also, there was appreciable decrease in the levels of low-density lipoprotein. It was also observed that the lowered levels of LDL and triglycerides didn’t increase even after four weeks of treatment discontinuation. In fact, the levels of HDL i.e. good cholesterol increased significantly after the complete course of the treatment.
Hence, it was concluded from the study that diatomaceous earth is highly capable of decreasing the blood cholesterol levels of hyperlipidemic individuals as it enhances the lipid-metabolizing processes in the body.
According to the diatomaceous earth organization, diatomaceous earth plays a beneficial role in reducing the cholesterol levels, it’s also helpful in preventing the cholesterol-related cardiovascular disorders like atherosclerosis, hypertension, myocardial infarction i.e. heart attack, stroke, angina, and heart failure. This is because when the blood cholesterol levels become high, this cholesterol starts getting deposited in the inner walls of the blood vessels which leads to atherosclerosis i.e. hardening of the blood vessels. This atherosclerosis increases the arterial pressure which causes massive strain on the arteries and leads to hypertension i.e. increased blood pressure. Atherosclerosis also leads to deficiency of oxygenated blood in the cardiac tissues; this increases the workload of the cardiac muscles which can lead to the damage of cardiac tissues, thereby causing angina and heart attack.
Potential Adverse Effects of Diatomaceous Earth
Consumption of diatomaceous earth can lead to adverse effects on the respiratory system, especially in those individuals who’re already suffering from a respiratory tract infection. A person can suffer from irritated and bleeding nose, pain in the throat, excessive coughing and sneezing, and breathing difficulties. Therefore, diatomaceous earth is prohibited for use in patients suffering from any kind of lung disease which includes; Asthma and COPD i.e. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder. Also, smokers shouldn’t consume diatomaceous earth as it can deteriorate their lung condition.
At extremely high temperature, diatomaceous earth is converted into crystalline silica which can lead to extremely harmful effects on the alveoli of lungs, leading to lung failure or respiratory failure. However, this kind of exposure with crystalline silica is not common under normal circumstances. It’s more of an occupational hazard which means that workers of silica-producing factories are prone to this exposure.
Intake of diatomaceous earth is not recommended for use in pregnant and breastfeeding women. This is because diatomaceous earth can cross the placental barrier and it can cause harmful respiratory adverse effects in the fetus which can even lead to the death of the fetus because of respiratory failure. Similarly, this substance can adversely affect the infants by entering their blood through the mother’s milk.
Proper Consumption Technique of Diatomaceous Earth
It’s important to consume diatomaceous earth in the correct manner otherwise it can lead to diatomaceous-toxicity in the body.
First of all, always consume diatomaceous earth after mixing it in either juice or water. It’s recommended to pour around 8-10 ounces of water or juice in a glass and then add half teaspoon of diatomaceous earth into it. Stir the mixture for some time but don’t wait for the dissolution of diatomaceous earth as this substance is insoluble in water. However, it will remain suspended in particulate form in the liquid. It’s important to drink this solution as soon as you’ve stopped stirring, otherwise diatomaceous earth will settle down and form sediment at the bottom of the glass.
It’s advisable to drink this mixture before meal. Also, limit the daily consumption of this substance to less than 1 tablespoon\day; otherwise it can get accumulated in the patient’s blood and lead to toxicity.
For those people who’re just starting the diatomaceous earth therapy, it’s highly recommended to begin the consumption with low doses like half a teaspoon per day, and then increase its amount gradually. This is important to ensure the safety of the patient as some people can be allergic to diatomaceous earth so sudden consumption of this substance in high amount can lead to extremely harmful or even lethal adverse effects in the body, like alveolar dysfunction and respiratory failure.
What Can We Conclude?
It can be concluded that diatomaceous earth can be consumed by obese and hyperlipidemic individuals for effective decrease in the blood cholesterol levels. However, self-medication can prove to be harmful and this substance should only be consumed after prescription from a certified medical practitioner to ensure maximum safety of the patient.
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