Objectives: A tribomechanically activated clinoptilolite (natural aluminosilicate mineral) has been used to increase growth in meat-producing animals, as an adjuvant in cancer therapy, and a heavy metal remover in humans. Because of its unique cation exchanging and chelating properties, we hypothesized that clinoptilolite may be beneficial for the treatment of dyslipidemia in the manner similar to bile acid sequestrants. Thus, specific aims of this pilot study were to orally administer clinoptilolite in different doses and granule size combinations to determine magnitude and time profile of changes in blood lipids.
Design: A phase I/IIa prospective, open-label, uncontrolled, dose/granule size-ranging study (treatment phase 8 weeks, follow-up 6 weeks). Blood lipids were examined every 2 weeks.
Settings: Outpatient clinic of a university-affiliated hospital.
Subjects: Forty-one subjects (all white, mean age 57.6 ± 6.8 years, 17 women) with blood lipids above the normative limits divided into three groups.
Intervention: A tribomechanically activated clinoptilolite was administered in three dose/grind combinations: 6 g/day of fine grind (6gF), 6 g/day of coarse grind (6gC), and 9 g/day of coarse grind (9gC).
Outcome measures: Blood concentrations of total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLc), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLc), and triglycerides (TG).
Results: For the 3 groups combined, all lipid fractions significantly improved after 8 weeks of treatment (20-25%, p < 0.001), which reversed to baseline after 6 weeks of clinoptilolite withdrawal. Early (week 2) and the most pronounced decrease in TC and LDLc was observed in the 6gF group (19% and 23% in week 8, respectively), with no difference in HDLc and TG between the three dose/grind groups. No side effects were reported.
Conclusions: These pilot results suggest that oral administration of clinoptilolite may improve lipid profile in individuals with dyslipidemia, which warrants further investigations.
Keywords: cholesterol; clinoptilolite; dyslipidemia; human; triglycerides; zeolite.