Zeolites are naturally occurring crystalline minerals that were formed over millions of years by the process of volcanic ash being crystallized after submerging in the sea or in fresh water lakes. These mineral compounds, which are mined in numerous places around the world, have been commonly used in traditional Asian remedies for over a thousand years.
In modern times zeolites are used as food additives, to purify water, and by in various industrial processes including the pharmaceutical sector. Zeolites were used extensively to clean up radiation after the Chernobylnuclear power station disaster.
Zeolites are now the subject of an increasing amount of research into their health benefits because of their remarkable ability to bind to toxins in the body, taking these same toxic particles out of the body through natural excretion. There are many types of zeolite, some of which would be dangerous to ingest. Asbestos is one type of zeolite that is highly dangerous when taken into the lungs because of its sharp edges. Another class of zeolite called Clinoptilolite – the name is derived from the Greek words klino (“oblique”), ptylon (“feather”), and lithos (“stone”) – is recognised as safe to ingest. In fact the FDA [Federal Drug Administration of theUS government] has granted it GRAS status – “Generally Recognized as Safe”.
Traditionally zeolite has been used in powdered form for human consumption. More recently zeolite products have been provided in liquid format as colloidal suspensions.
A US-based company called Waiora has been producing its Natural Cellular Defense (“NCD”) liquid zeolite product since around 2004. NCD activated liquid zeolite been endorsed by health guru Dr. Gabriel Cousens, Founding Director of the Tree of Life Center in USA. It is also recommended as part of the daily protocol for visitors to the Tree of Life Centre – as it also is at the world-renowned Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida.
NCD was a breakthrough product because of its liquid format and the activation process used in micronising the zeolite particles. Waiora state that there are four main reasons behind NCD Liquid Zeolite’s ability to absorb toxins from all parts of the body:
- its strongly negative charge, which attracts heavy metals and other positively charged substances;
- its honeycomb-like molecular structure which, if properly cleansed (or “activated” – see below), has a huge amount of surface area in a very small space, and is therefore able to trap a very large number of toxic ions (in an “ion-exchange process”), helping to safely remove them from the body;
- its extremely small particle size – below 5 microns average – which is small enough to allow the zeolite to enter the blood stream, unlike most powdered zeolite products which typically remain in the digestive tract; and
- the thorough cleaning out of the tiny pores or cages within the honeycomb structure which, thanks to Waiora’s proprietary manufacturing process, fully activates the zeolite’s ability to trap large quantities of toxic molecules.
Since the launch of NCD several other liquid zeolite products have been marketed, some of them with added ingredients that have been claimed to ‘enhance’ their effectiveness. However, there is considerable doubt as to the amount of zeolite included in these ‘me-too’ products, and – just as importantly – as to the particle size and quality of the zeolite ingredients.
We have been cautious about the various competing products, as tests have shown many to be of doubtful quality and value. But we are impressed with a newly launched supplement, AlphaClear, which combines Alpha-lipoic acid with a generous quantity of micronised Zeolite. Compared with an average of about 2.75 gm of zeolite per 15mL bottle of Waiora’s original NCD, AlphaClear contains about 15 gms in a 47 mL bottle – yet this larger bottle is of comparable cost to NCD. Meanwhile Waiora have introduced NCD2 which comes in a glass bottle with a dropper and has a far greater concentration of zeolite – approximately 27.5 gm per 15 mL bottle.
The makers of AlphaClear make no claims like Waiora as to efficacy of the cleansing action of their activation process. They use a process called Tribo Mechanical Micronisation to produce zeolite with a median particle size of about 2 -3 micron – i.e. comparable to NCD. It is difficult to compare the efficacy of the two products without further testing, though it does appear that the amount of zeolite in AlphaClear gives very good value when combined with the extra benefits of Alpha-lipoic acid .
The additional benefits of Alpha-lipoic acid are included with AlphaClear, whereas NCD is a straight suspension of zeolite in water. To read more about Alpha-lipoic acid, see our separate page here.