Diatomaceus Earth Info.
We have heard a lot about this product in recent years,
but all from people who sell it, so when we found someone who had researched it
thoroughly for Educational Studies, to use it for one of their core articles
for their coursework, we jumped at the chance to pick their brains, and this
information is the result, coupled with the fact it is a known lung irritant, is why we will no longer stock D.E.
To help you get as ‘Balanced’ a picture as
possible before going ahead and using this product we share, word for word, the info., as it was given to us:
“I do not work with or use DE, but I am studying biological
science and canine nutrition and I am using DE and Coconut Oil (virgin v
refined debate) as some core articles. So I have spent hours upon hours ripping
these theories apart.”
From what I can
gather the reason people consume DE is from the poor translation of a
‘provided’ article not a ‘proved’ article. The article was written in
1972(ish). The opening lines were something along… Life will not go on
without Silica Blah Blah! and we need regular supply every day to support hair
growth, nails our joints and what not etc etc. Then it was published on the
internet and went viral, so most info was badly taken from that.
People must realise that all of
it is designed for external parasites while none are designed for internal use,
even though all that are labelled food grade are (Gras) Generally Considered as
Safe for consumption. Way too much confusion here though. Food grade means it
can be used in practices as filtering beers etc.
Not going to start a debate, but take the one from “xxxx”…. Human
codex grade they say, then refer to as food grade ?
“xxxx” then mentions it high Silica content, of course its high in
Silica after all that’s what DE is made from, with the odd trace mineral
in But, Silica is no use apart from its mechanical properties as
it can not get
absorbed as its inert.
Codex rating / food grade etc. explained (copy and paste)
Products that are labelled Food Chemical Codex Grade have met high standards
and are considered safe however, in the case of diatomaceous earth, this term
does not suggest that the product is safe or registered for human consumption.
Food Chemical Codex Grade diatomaceous earth products may be approved for use
as a filtering and processing aid in the food industry, as long as the substance
is removed from final goods offered for sale. In the United States, FCC
complaint DE products are regulated by each state for use in livestock feed as
an anti-caking agent and flow aid (in amounts not to exceed two percent of
There is also confusion around DE being safe for human consumption due to GRAS
(Generally Recognized as Safe) status. Again, with all FCC DE products, GRAS
only refers to the acceptance of DE being used as a filtering or processing aid
in food. The term GRAS when associated with DE does not refer to human
consumption, as some web-sites may indicate.
In order for a DE product to be sold for human consumption it must undergo
stringent and lengthy testing and be registered with the FDA (US Food and Drug
Administration) or CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) for this purpose. To
date, there are NO diatomaceous earth products that are registered with these
governing bodies for the purpose of human consumption.
Now Silica ‘is
vital’ but yet its ‘only’ a trace element, the older we get the less we store.
We have levels between 1 and 10 PPM in our bodies, dropping as the years get
Yes, as we get
older we store less trace elements, our hair gets thinner, Arthritis sets in,
Nails get thinner and brittle, possible osteoporosis and wrinkles start to
Now search Silica
Deficiency….You will get:
Silicon is essential for the proper functioning of nerve cells and tissues, and
the synthesis of vitamin B1 or thiamine in the human body. It controls the
transmission of nerve impulses. It contributes greatly to the strength and
integrity of bones everywhere in the body. It is also essential for the growth
of hair, nails and teeth, and is therefore, often calls “THE BEAUTY
MINERAL.” It makes the eyes bright and prevents the skin from becoming
“flabby.” It is beneficial in the healing processes and protects the
body against many disease, such as, tuberculosis, irritations in the mucous
membrane, and skin disorders.
deficiency has been associated with the following symptoms or illnesses:
Dry Brittle Hair
Poor Skin Quality
Thinning or Loss
Of course you
will get the same symptoms…. By getting old you store less Silica and end up
with a few things on that list, sorry but its old age 🙁 (if your 20 and got
those symptoms its not normal and there would be cause for concern and need to
see a doctor not eat fossilised dirt)But it does not
matter how much Silica your going to consume you will not replace any more than
what your body will allow.
If we do need
more silica what are our choices?
Diatomaceous Earth (fossils), Pears (the grittiness of pears is the Silica)
Beans, Beer, Beets ,peppers, Brown rice, Fruits (especially dried), Leafy green
vegetables, Peas, Root vegetables, Seafood, Soy beans, Whole grains.
We are designed for all on that list bar one. I sure know what I would
Choose…. Beer ;o)
There are well
conducted theories that consuming large amounts of DE will act like almost like
scrubbing agent and as its passing and getting warmer its then it becomes
negatively charged. Most free radicals such as viruses bad bacteria are
positively charged so will be attracted to the negative charge of DE resulting
in a detox. Once detox has taken place, just as Julie mentioned above we are
then able to take on board more nutrients which makes us feel much better.
It’s also worth
noting that DE is an almost insoluble fibre. Insoluble fibres can cause
intestinal hurry, so food will exit before its digested…. maybe this is why
weight loss is noted
The parasites that
it was originally used for were external. The word parasite was taken out of
context and got people thinking that it meant all parasites including internal.
This reason why you will find many more websites saying how good it is, than
websites saying different, its a massive market.
Almost all the fantastic write ups are by the companies selling it. But as I
enjoy ripping things apart for my Animal Biology / Nutrition studies (need
those extra points) here is a quick run down of DE
We need to
understand that DE works mechanically by getting trapped in between the
exoskeleton and literally cuts open the creature which then bleeds to death.
DE can be used wet or dry, but dry DE speeds up death by absorbing the blood Internal
parasites do not have an exoskeleton, so DE will not work this way. Some argue
that as internal worms have thinner skin and the DE acts like sandpaper on
them, De is not as abrasive as the fiber we or our pets ingest from everyday
food, so again that theory is blown out of the water. It is also marketed as
when ingested it dehydrates the worm, DE would absorb moisture from the moment
it gets mixed with feed, enters mouth and on its downward journey to the
stomach. Now if you poured a few tablespoons over a slug in the garden… yes
it would work by dehydration.
Again its marketed as having major health benefits from its high Silica
content. OK to a degree, a small amount will get dissolved, but Silica is very
poorly absorbed. Lab tests have been conducted with humans and urine samples
were taken and tested for Silica content, then monitored over a period of a
week. The trial showed by consuming DE there was no increase in Silica levels
what so ever.
Now DE containing
Calcium Bentonite is the better wormer
Calcium Bentonite is used to so called ‘bleach’ (which is an industry term for
filtering) Coconut Oil.. But that is another story
This is where people probably say they have had success with DE. Calcium
Bentonite eradicates internal parasites in a few ways.
1. Calcium Bentonite stimulates the gall bladder resulting in more bile,
parasites struggle to live in such bilious conditions.
2. Internal parasites are clay eaters themselves, so will follow this source of
new food right to the point of no return, any eggs that are left behind hatch
and then also end up at the point of no return. The cycle soon come to an end.
Need to think of
how an animal out in the wild would get their wormers…
fact… Earthworm farmers use DE to control pests such as mites and ants, the
worms actually ingest the DE
Trouble is DE
itself is not able to be copyrighted so not much money is being invested in any
useful studies which allows all these people to market it as they feel free.
noted is all manufacturers and major suppliers all have disclaimers on their
websites about consuming the stuff.
Many thanks, this gives us all a much more balanced understanding of not only How D.E. works, but the pros and cons of using it.
Of course, not mentioned in this reply to me because I already knew about it and did not ask about it, but something you also
to know, is that you and your pets Must Not breathe in the dust that
puffs up from the finer powdered form of D.E. known as ‘food grade’ or
‘human grade’ (which title does NOT mean it is approved for ingesting,
as explained above) as it is very dangerous for the lungs and acts in
the same way as breathing in asbestos. Ask
people in the building trade, they will have had to learn about it and
provide safety-wear for their workers to protect them not only from the
dust, but also they will be able to tell you how an invisible layers of
it ‘hang’ in the air and are breathed in for hours afterwards………..
bulletin has been put out by the Veterinary Poisons Information Service:Diatomaceous
Earth, also known as DE or diatomite, is a fine flour-like powder
derived from the microscopic remains of fossilized diatoms; a type of
algae. The diatom cell wall is primarily made up of silica (silicon
dioxide).Inert dusts such as DE have also been used for thousands of
years as an effective form of pest control against insects. Fleas and
other insects with an exoskeleton are susceptible to the glass-like,
sharp edges of the microscopic diatoms, which can penetrate and cause
death through dehydration. This rapid kill effect works mechanically and
is effective for as long as the product is applied.DE in its natural
state is considered to be of low toxicity and relatively safe for most
animals. There is no evidence that this form is particular hazardous.
However, DE does contain small levels of crystalline silica. When
inhaled, this may result in silicosis, a potentially life-threatening
lung disorder. The severity of silicosis is largely dependent on the
concentration of silica in the air and the duration of exposure.We were
contacted regarding a fatal case in a cat, which highlights the
potential risk of DE when inhaled. A 1 year old, 3kg DSH cat presented
to the veterinary practice with hyperthermia, dyspnoea, and pale mucous
membranes. The owners had coated the cat with DE and had sprinkled it
sporadically around the house and garden several times. The cat later
developed life threatening pneumonia and respiratory distress, which
resulted in death less than 24 hours post presentation. It was
discovered that this cat had indeed suffered from silicosis. In this
case, chronic exposure had resulted in respiratory failure.VPIS can only
recommend the use of DE as an insecticide where the product has been
approved for use around pets and is used as directed by the manufacturer