How Does Redmond Clay Remove Lead If It Has Lead In It?

This is a good question and it’s easy to see why the presence of minute amounts of lead in the chemical analysis of Redmond Clay might confuse some people. The answer hinges on chemistry and how atoms behave differently depending on how they are combined with other atoms. For example, pure hydrogen is dangerous, even toxic, but when you combine it with oxygen in just the right combination you get water, a substance you can’t live without!

The lead atoms in bentonite clay are so tightly bound in a matrix with other atoms that they do not break away from this matrix as the clay travels through your body or interacts with your skin. In fact, these clay molecules have an unusually large surface area with such a strong negative charge, they act like a strong magnet to draw the positively charged lead out of your body. “Opposites attract” as they say, and in this case, these are extremely powerful forces so the attraction is exceptionally strong.

Unlike food molecules, bentonite clay molecules are far too big to pass through the lining of your digestive tract into your blood and other tissues. Therefore, they simply pass through your system, “cleaning house” as they move along, removing lead and other heavy metals from your body.

Evidence From Peer-Reviewed Chicken Research

Broiler chickens raised for food often have elevated levels of toxic lead accumulate in their bones due to food contamination and the conditions under which they are raised. This toxic lead leaches out during food preparation. It also causes a higher chicken mortality rate, decreasing profits for the chicken farmer. Thus, there is a strong vested interest in the chicken industry to find inexpensive ways to lower the lead load in commercial chickens. In one study, scientists found that by adding 0.5 percent montmorillonite (bentonite clay) to the chicken feed, there was a 10 percent drop in the lead in the chicken bones after only 3 weeks! Another study showed that lead is significantly reduced in chicken feces (poultry litter) after adding bentonite clay to the diet.

Please note that the clay significantly decreased the lead load; it did not add to the lead load!

Evidence From Peer-Reviewed Fish Research

Unfortunately, many commercial fish species are contaminated with lead and other heavy metals. Lead levels are almost always higher in farmed fish which are fed an artificial diet contaminated with lead. In fact, one of the principle ingredients in farmed fish food is chicken feces which is notorious for having a heavy lead load. Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the lead in farmed fish. Lead also affects the mortality rate in fish and stunts their growth. Therefore, fish farmers are anxious to find inexpensive ways to reduce the lead load in their fish.

In one experiment, tilapia from a fish farm in Hangzhou, China were picked at random and split into the following 4 groups:

Group 1: Control Group: given standard farm fish diet (commercial fish pellets).
Group 2: 0.5 percent montmorillonite (bentonite clay) added to the standard diet.
Group 3: Lead added to the standard diet.
Group 4: Both lead and montmorillonite added to the standard diet.

After 61 days, all of the fish were anesthetized and their blood and kidneys were analyzed for lead. The results clearly demonstrated the ability of the clay to reduce the lead load significantly. The control group had about twice as much lead in their kidneys on average than Group 2, where clay had added to their diet, i.e. the clay had effectively removed about half of the lead from the fish! Furthermore, even though a significant amount of toxic lead had been added to Group 4’s diet, the clay that had also been added kept the lead levels significantly lower than in Group 3 where only lead had been added.

Please note that the clay significantly decreased the lead load; it did not add to the lead load!

Evidence From Peer-Reviewed Pig Research

Pigs raised for market are often contaminated with significant levels of toxic lead that retard growth and present a food safety issue, thus increasing risk to the consumer and reducing profit to the pig farmer. Various methods have been tried in the past to lower the lead toxicity in commercially raised pigs but these methods have had unwanted side effects. However, in one study, a modified montmorillonite (bentonite clay) was used with remarkable results. Sixty pigs were split into two groups. Half of them were fed a commercially prepared pig diet dominated by corn and soybeans.  The other half were fed the same only with 0.5% of the modified montmorillonite added to their food. After 100 days, the pigs were slaughtered and various tissues were analyzed for lead. The results were quite impressive. The pigs who had eaten food with clay added had significantly lower lead levels in several tissues:

Blood:  59.72% lower in lead
Brain:  46.84% lower in lead
Liver:  48.16% lower in lead
Bone:   34.75% lower in lead
Kidney: 35.02% lower in lead
Hair:   29.67% lower in lead

Please note that the clay significantly decreased the lead load; it did not add to the lead load!


Primary References:

“Adsorption Of Aflatoxin B1 On Montmorillonite.”
Poultry Science, 2005; 84:959–961.

“Use Of Clay Mineral (Montmorillonite) For Reducing Poultry Litter Leachate Toxicity (EC50).”
Journal Of Hazardous Materials. 2005; 118(1-3):81-3.

“Effects Of Montmorillonite On Pb Accumulation, Oxidative Stress, and DNA Damage In Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) Exposed To Dietary Pb.”
Biological Trace Element Research. 2010; 136(1):71-8.

“Effect Of Montmorillonite Superfine Composite On Growth Performance and Tissue Lead Level In Pigs.”
Biological Trace Element Research. 2008; 125(3):229-35.

“Effect Of Quaternary Ammonium Cation Loading and pH On Heavy Metal Sorption To Ca Bentonite and Two Organobentonites”
Journal of Hazardous Materials. 2006; 137(2):1102–1114

“Adsorbent For Adsorption Of Heavy Metals In Waste Water”
Patent Abstract: US 20130037488 A1

“Process For the Removal Of Heavy Metals From Aqueous Systems Using Organoclays”
Patent Abstract: US 5667694 A