"It's quite amazing really," Dening says.
"I was investigating the capacity of specifically clay materials to improve the
oral delivery and absorption of
, when I noticed that the clay particles
weren't behaving as I'd expected. Instead of breaking down to release drugs,
the clay materials were attracting fat droplets and literally soaking them up.
Not only were the clay materials trapping the fats within their particle
structure, but they were also preventing them from being absorbed by the body,
ensuring that fat simply passed through the digestive system."
The findings of the initial studies
suggest that clay formulations, especially if used in combination with
(with combined effects of both) could
play a key role in weight management and obesity.
‘Clay material formulation found to outperform leading weight loss drug orlistat in initial pre-clinical studies in obesity management.’
"Our processed clay has an unusually high surface area which means it has a huge
capacity to interact with and soak up digested fats and oils present in
the foods we eat," Dening says.
on the other hand, is an enzyme
that blocks up to 30 percent of dietary fat digestion and
absorption, which leads to weight loss, but has unpleasant side effects
such as stomach aches, bloating,
flatulence and diarrhea, which limits its use in weight loss as people choose
to stop using it."
When clay formulations and orlistat are
given in combination, both digestion as well as absorption of fat molecules is
undigested fat molecules are trapped by clay and removed. This could result in
greater weight loss with fewer side effects to the patient.
Scope of the Study and Future Plans
- The exciting findings of the study
have already interested potential investors to carry the research forward
- Since clay material is generally
considered safe and is widely used in food and nutritional supplements,
human clinical trials may start soon
Current Uses of Clay in
The physical and chemical properties of
clay and its minerals have made it a preferred material to prepare specific
drugs. It has the property to adsorb and hold toxic substances and has been
used since a long time in the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders
. In addition, it is a cost-effective
Some of the applications of clay and its minerals
in medicine include the
- Treatment of gastric and duodenal
- Indigestion and bloating sensation
with stomach discomfort
- Food allergy (probably inhibits
release of allergy causing mediators)
- Antidiarrheal/laxative depending on
- Adsorption and elimination of
- Protects digestive tract mucosa
against harmful effects of pesticides
- Skin protecting agent
and cosmetic preparations
- Antibacterial property,
anti-inflammatory effect and a local
- Maintenance of normal cellular
- Various drug delivery systems
In conclusion, clay already has several
useful applications in medicine, including in drug delivery systems. The
potential use of clay formulations as a weight loss option could well be another
game changer in management of obesity.
- The Current State of Obesity - (https://www.learnhowtobecome.org/make-a-difference-careers/obesity/)
- 10 facts on obesity - (http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/obesity/en/)