Can clay consumption help you lose weight? It’s possible. Internal consumption of clay certainly offers several other important health benefits:
- Clay is an important mineral supplement.
- It can help to regulate digestion and elimination, preventing both diarrhea and constipation.
- It may be the best means of detoxification, since the negatively charged clay draws positively charged toxins, bacteria, and parasites, then carries them out of the body.
Weight loss is another possibility, since clay fills the stomach and eases hunger pangs. In fact, poor people in Haiti eat small clay cakes for this purpose, because they can’t afford even the most basic foods. A recent article by Jonathan M. Katz in National Geographic reported that with a dramatic rise in food prices, the poorest Haitians have resorted to eating ‘cookies’ made of clay, water, vegetable oil, and salt. For hundreds of years, Haitians have valued clay as an antacid and a calcium supplement, especially for children and pregnant women. It is only with shortages and/or high prices for food, though, that it has become a dietary staple.
It may seem ironic that in more affluent countries, eating clay is more common among people in the upper income levels. Besides detoxification and mineral supplementation, clay is often a tool for weight loss among the affluent, since as we noted, it can help to make the stomach feel full. One prominent clay eater is Elle MacPherson, one of the most famous fashion models of the last two decades.
We give this use of clay a conditional endorsement. First, we caution you to be careful about any weight loss program. Carried too far, weight loss can lead to atrophied muscle, chronic fatigue, nervous disorders, and malnutrition. We believe that diet and exercise should revolve around building health, not becoming as small as possible. If you are at your healthiest, you will look your best.
Secondly, you need to use the right clay, especially for detoxification, weight loss, or other internal use. On this point, a cautionary note was sounded by Lydia Smith in the International Business Times:
Concerned by increasing popularity of the diet, the Food Standard Agency** watchdog has issued a warning about the dangers of ingesting clay-based products. Dangerously high levels of arsenic and lead can trigger kidney damage, nerve damage, anemia, and liver failure. Skin, lung, and bladder are just some of the cancers linked to ingesting clay- for some women, this is a price worth paying to be slim.”
Lydia Smith is English, and she is not familiar enough with the different types of therapeutic clays to distinguish them from each other. She lumps them all together, if you will forgive the pun. Still, if you can read between the lines, she offers a valuable warning.
Many clays contain lead, cadmium, trace amounts of arsenic, and several carcinogens. Sodium bentonite is one such clay, It is not the only one.
Great American Clay is 100% pure all natural calcium bentonite clay. It is the only clay approved by the Food and Drug Administration for internal use, and it contains no lead, cadmium, arsenic, nor any other toxic elements. Our clay deposit was sealed by a zeolite cap for forty-three million years, absolutely untouched by any pollutants, contaminants, or toxins.
Some clay providers skirt the law, if they don’t actually break it. They strongly imply that their clays are safe for internal use, even if they don’t dare to state it outright. Some sources ignore California’s Proposition 65 warning label requirements.
Ours is the only clay whose labels can legally state: Safe For Internal Consumption.
Again, we urge caution with any weight loss program. If you are going to use clay for this purpose, though, make sure it is the only one approved by the FDA for internal use.
(**The Food Standard Agency is the United Kingdom’s counterpart to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.)