Clay 3 _ Medicinal Clay – Trojan Horse
It may sound unappetizing, but for centuries, people have ingested clay for medicinal purposes and clay is now being used for cutting edge work in fighting diseases like cancer. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.
Schroeder: So there’s a long history and not just humans but all animals eating earth materials that often are dominated by clays to help with uptake nutritions and preventing toxins from getting into the body.
Paul Schroeder is a professor of Geology at the University of Georgia.
Schroeder: You may heard of materials like Kaopectate, which has pectin from apples and fruits. And the “Kay” is fram a mineral called kaolinite, which is a common earth clay, which has been used in medicine.
Clays are often being used by the pharmaceutical industry as carriers. They can insert medications or compounds into the clays and then deliver it in the sense that it helps to time release the medicines. And also can act somewhat like a Trojan Horse, where cells may take the clay material in, not realizing what it is, and then once it’s inside, then all of a sudden the cell goes “uh-oh, there’s something else here besides clay”.
In particular cancer treatment is probably one of the most studied fields right now. It’s the idea of delivering cancer drugs. How do you get the cancer drug inside the cancer cell? Cancer cells are pretty clever about what they let in and what they don’t let into their cells. And if you can trick them into taking something in, well then clay delivery is one mechanism for doing that.
Pulse of the Planet is made possible in part by the Center for Earth and Environmental Nanotechnology and the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.