Diatomaceous earth is a special kind of sand that has fossilized algae. It has been mined mainly for industrial use but since recent, people have been using it as a dietary supplement. Read on to know its effects on our health.
Diatomaceous earth occurs naturally and consists of skeletons of algae, known as diatoms, which are tiny and are visible using a microscope. The diatoms present in this sand are mostly made up of silica. There are two types of diatomaceous earth- food grade (it is edible, contains 0.5-2% silica, and mostly used as an insecticide) and filter grade (it is inedible, contains more than 60% silica, and has industrial use).
The food grade diatomaceous earth is also used as a dietary supplement as it has been claimed to benefit our health in the following ways.
Cleanse digestive system and supports digestion
Improves cholesterol levels and benefits heart health
Provides trace minerals to the body
Improves bone health
Promotes hair growth
Leads to healthy skin and stronger nails
However, most of these claims are not backed by any scientific research and are theoretical and anecdotal.
Even though food grade diatomaceous earth is safe to consume, its effectiveness in improving the health is still questionable. It is also important to note that one must not inhale diatomaceous earth as it could irritate the lungs and presence of silica in it makes it extremely harmful.