What medical use is clinoptilolite?
Zeolites have also been investigated in a broad spectrum of medical uses. Several of these applications take advantage of the adsorption and ion exchange properties of zeolites. A urease-zeolite preparation , for example, to remove urea from the blood in patients with uremia. Zeolites are also used as a filter medium for exchanging NH4 + during hemodialysis and hemoperfusion. They are also used as an antidiarrheic drug. Zeolites that have shown promise in medical applications, clinoptilolite has proved to be an effective and safe antacid for patients with ulcer disease, and gadolinium zeolite has proved useful as a contrast medium that enhances the imaging of the gastrointestinal tract during magnetic resonance imaging. In vitro studies of the synthetic zeolite A revealed the mineral induces the proliferation and differentiation of osteoblast cells and the activation of osteoblast cell function, findings that suggest zeolites may have therapeutic properties in the treatment of osteoporosis. Recently, two clinical studies involving healthy volunteers and patients suffering from malignant disease and diabetes demonstrated that orally administered natural clinoptilolite is a potent antioxidant. When applied externally in powder form, zeolite has also been found to quicken the healing of wounds and surgical incisions; in Cuba, clinoptilolite is commonly used to treat topical wounds in horses and livestock.1 As proven bactericides and fungicides, zeolites have been used to control urinary tract infection and dental plaque formation. It is well known that silica particles prevent almost completely the onset of spontaneous diabetes in young BB rats and the destruction of β cells in nonobese mice given cyclophosphamide. In mice with alloxan-induced diabetes, natural clinoptilolite has been shown to avert or diminish some late sequelae of the disorder, such as polyneuropathy.
Accumulating evidence has suggested that zeolites may significantly affect the regulation of the immune system.
The significant immunostimulatory properties of natural zeolites, in vitro and animal studies, suggest that zeolite may provide clinical benefits as an oral dietary supplement. This study is the first to evaluate the impact of dietary supplements containing the natural zeolite clinoptilolite on the immune system of patients who demonstrate immunodeficiency.
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