Diatomaceus Earth Info.

We have heard a lot about this product in recent years, but all from people who sell it, so when we found someone who had researched it thoroughly for Educational Studies, to use it for one of their core articles for their coursework, we jumped at the chance to pick their brains, and this information is the result, coupled with the fact it is a known lung irritant, is why we will no longer stock D.E.
To help you get as 'Balanced' a picture as possible before going ahead and using this product we share, word for word, the info., as it was given to us:

“I do not work with or use DE, but I am studying biological science and canine nutrition and I am using DE and Coconut Oil (virgin v refined debate) as some core articles. So I have spent hours upon hours ripping these theories apart.”

From what I can gather the reason people consume DE is from the poor translation of a 'provided' article not a 'proved' article. The article was written in 1972(ish). The opening lines were something along... Life will not go on without Silica Blah Blah! and we need regular supply every day to support hair growth, nails our joints and what not etc etc. Then it was published on the internet and went viral, so most info was badly taken from that.

People must realise that all of it is designed for external parasites while none are designed for internal use, even though all that are labelled food grade are (Gras) Generally Considered as Safe for consumption. Way too much confusion here though. Food grade means it can be used in practices as filtering beers etc.

Not going to start a debate, but take the one from "xxxx".... Human codex grade they say, then refer to as food grade ?      
"xxxx" then mentions it high Silica content, of course its high in Silica after all that’s what DE is made from, with the odd trace mineral
thrown in But, Silica is no use apart from its mechanical properties as
it can not get absorbed as its inert.

Codex rating / food grade etc. explained (copy and paste)
Products that are labelled Food Chemical Codex Grade have met high standards and are considered safe however, in the case of diatomaceous earth, this term does not suggest that the product is safe or registered for human consumption. Food Chemical Codex Grade diatomaceous earth products may be approved for use as a filtering and processing aid in the food industry, as long as the substance is removed from final goods offered for sale. In the United States, FCC complaint DE products are regulated by each state for use in livestock feed as an anti-caking agent and flow aid (in amounts not to exceed two percent of total diet).
There is also confusion around DE being safe for human consumption due to GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status. Again, with all FCC DE products, GRAS only refers to the acceptance of DE being used as a filtering or processing aid in food. The term GRAS when associated with DE does not refer to human consumption, as some web-sites may indicate.
In order for a DE product to be sold for human consumption it must undergo stringent and lengthy testing and be registered with the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) or CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) for this purpose. To date, there are NO diatomaceous earth products that are registered with these governing bodies for the purpose of human consumption.

Now Silica 'is vital' but yet its 'only' a trace element, the older we get the less we store. We have levels between 1 and 10 PPM in our bodies, dropping as the years get on.

Yes, as we get older we store less trace elements, our hair gets thinner, Arthritis sets in, Nails get thinner and brittle, possible osteoporosis and wrinkles start to appear.

Now search Silica Deficiency....You will get:
Silicon is essential for the proper functioning of nerve cells and tissues, and the synthesis of vitamin B1 or thiamine in the human body. It controls the transmission of nerve impulses. It contributes greatly to the strength and integrity of bones everywhere in the body. It is also essential for the growth of hair, nails and teeth, and is therefore, often calls "THE BEAUTY MINERAL." It makes the eyes bright and prevents the skin from becoming "flabby." It is beneficial in the healing processes and protects the body against many disease, such as, tuberculosis, irritations in the mucous membrane, and skin disorders.

Silicon deficiency has been associated with the following symptoms or illnesses:

Brittle Fingernails

Dry Brittle Hair

Poor Calcium Utilization

Arterial Wall Strength Problems

Poor Skin Quality

Abnormal Bone Development


Thinning or Loss of Hair

Sensitivity to Cold


Of course you will get the same symptoms.... By getting old you store less Silica and end up with a few things on that list, sorry but its old age :( (if your 20 and got those symptoms its not normal and there would be cause for concern and need to see a doctor not eat fossilised dirt)
But it does not matter how much Silica your going to consume you will not replace any more than what your body will allow.

If we do need more silica what are our choices?
Diatomaceous Earth (fossils), Pears (the grittiness of pears is the Silica) Beans, Beer, Beets ,peppers, Brown rice, Fruits (especially dried), Leafy green vegetables, Peas, Root vegetables, Seafood, Soy beans, Whole grains.
We are designed for all on that list bar one.  I sure know what I would Choose.... Beer  ;o)

There are well conducted theories that consuming large amounts of DE will act like almost like scrubbing agent and as its passing and getting warmer its then it becomes negatively charged. Most free radicals such as viruses bad bacteria are positively charged so will be attracted to the negative charge of DE resulting in a detox. Once detox has taken place, just as Julie mentioned above we are then able to take on board more nutrients which makes us feel much better.

It’s also worth noting that DE is an almost insoluble fibre. Insoluble fibres can cause intestinal hurry, so food will exit before its digested.... maybe this is why weight loss is noted

The parasites that it was originally used for were external. The word parasite was taken out of context and got people thinking that it meant all parasites including internal. This reason why you will find many more websites saying how good it is, than websites saying different, its a massive market.
Almost all the fantastic write ups are by the companies selling it. But as I enjoy ripping things apart for my Animal Biology / Nutrition studies (need those extra points) here is a quick run down of DE

We need to understand that DE works mechanically by getting trapped in between the exoskeleton and literally cuts open the creature which then bleeds to death.
DE can be used wet or dry, but dry DE speeds up death by absorbing the blood Internal parasites do not have an exoskeleton, so DE will not work this way. Some argue that as internal worms have thinner skin and the DE acts like sandpaper on them, De is not as abrasive as the fiber we or our pets ingest from everyday food, so again that theory is blown out of the water. It is also marketed as when ingested it dehydrates the worm, DE would absorb moisture from the moment it gets mixed with feed, enters mouth and on its downward journey to the stomach. Now if you poured a few tablespoons over a slug in the garden... yes it would work by dehydration.
Again its marketed as having major health benefits from its high Silica content. OK to a degree, a small amount will get dissolved, but Silica is very poorly absorbed. Lab tests have been conducted with humans and urine samples were taken and tested for Silica content, then monitored over a period of a week. The trial showed by consuming DE there was no increase in Silica levels what so ever.

Now DE containing Calcium Bentonite is the better wormer
Calcium Bentonite is used to so called 'bleach' (which is an industry term for filtering) Coconut Oil.. But that is another story
This is where people probably say they have had success with DE. Calcium Bentonite eradicates internal parasites in a few ways.
1. Calcium Bentonite stimulates the gall bladder resulting in more bile, parasites struggle to live in such bilious conditions.
2. Internal parasites are clay eaters themselves, so will follow this source of new food right to the point of no return, any eggs that are left behind hatch and then also end up at the point of no return. The cycle soon come to an end.

Need to think of how an animal out in the wild would get their wormers…
  • Interesting fact... Earthworm farmers use DE to control pests such as mites and ants, the worms actually ingest the DE    

Trouble is DE itself is not able to be copyrighted so not much money is being invested in any useful studies which allows all these people to market it as they feel free.

Another thing noted is all manufacturers and major suppliers all have disclaimers on their websites about consuming the stuff.

Many thanks, this gives us all a much more balanced understanding of not only How D.E. works, but the pros and cons of using it.

Of course, not mentioned in this reply to me because I already knew about it and did not ask about it, but something you also
need to know, is that you and your pets Must Not breathe in the dust that puffs up from the finer powdered form of D.E. known as 'food grade' or 'human grade' (which title does NOT mean it is approved for ingesting, as explained above) as it is very dangerous for the lungs and acts in the same way as breathing in asbestos.
Ask people in the building trade, they will have had to learn about it and provide safety-wear for their workers to protect them not only from the dust, but also they will be able to tell you how an invisible layers of it 'hang' in the air and are breathed in for hours afterwards...........

This bulletin has been put out by the Veterinary Poisons Information Service:
Diatomaceous Earth, also known as DE or diatomite, is a fine flour-like powder derived from the microscopic remains of fossilized diatoms; a type of algae.
The diatom cell wall is primarily made up of silica (silicon dioxide).
Inert dusts such as DE have also been used for thousands of years as an effective form of pest control against insects. Fleas and other insects with an exoskeleton are susceptible to the glass-like, sharp edges of the microscopic diatoms, which can penetrate and cause death through dehydration. This rapid kill effect works mechanically and is effective for as long as the product is applied.DE in its natural state is considered to be of low toxicity and relatively safe for most animals.
There is no evidence that this form is particular hazardous.
However, DE does contain small levels of crystalline silica.
When inhaled, this may result in silicosis, a potentially life-threatening lung disorder. The severity of silicosis is largely dependent on the concentration of silica in the air and the duration of exposure.
We were contacted regarding a fatal case in a cat, which highlights the potential risk of DE when inhaled.
A 1 year old, 3kg DSH cat presented to the veterinary practice with hyperthermia, dyspnoea, and pale mucous membranes.
The owners had coated the cat with DE and had sprinkled it sporadically around the house and garden several times.
The cat later developed life threatening pneumonia and respiratory distress, which resulted in death less than 24 hours post presentation.
It was discovered that this cat had indeed suffered from silicosis.
In this case, chronic exposure had resulted in respiratory failure.
VPIS can only recommend the use of DE as an insecticide where the product has been approved for use around pets and is used as directed by the manufacturer guidelines.

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