Bentonite clay is a well-known mineral compound that has been used as a safe detoxifier throughout history. Thanks to more reporting on the abundance of toxins found in air, water, food, household goods and beyond, more people are beginning to understand the need for safe detoxification. Sadly, ”progress” in modern cultures is primarily responsible for this onslaught. It can be overwhelming to consider everything harmful to which we’re exposed and even more baffling on what to do about it.
One approach to processing all of the bad news about toxins in our world is to prioritize them across a spectrum of risk to health and well-being. One end of the spectrum holds relatively harmless elements, while the other end includes those toxins that are deadly. An extremely dangerous toxin found on the high risk end of this toxicity spectrum is aflatoxin. This post describes what aflatoxins are, just how harmful they are and how to protect yourself and your loved ones from them.
What is Aflatoxin?
Aflatoxin is a toxic mold (Aspergillus) that grows on peanuts, corn, rice and other grains. It can occur both before and after grain is harvested and are the deadliest type of mycotoxin (a type of toxic substance produced by microfungi during metabolism). According to Dave Slater of Eastern Iowa Grain Inspection, aflatoxin is a highly carcinogenic toxin. Aflatoxin growth accelerates during warm, humid conditions or during periods of hot, dry weather. It’s become one of the biggest concerns of the agriculture industry as a result of the ongoing drought across much of the United States.
Effect of Aflatoxins
Exposure to aflatoxins can cause aflatoxicosis in both humans and animals. The impact of exposure to this toxic mold ranges from a weakened immune system to severe liver damage and in some cases even death. Even exposure to small amounts over time can negatively impact health. Fortunately, aflatoxicosis is not contagious. Unfortunately, neither drugs nor antibiotics can help.
Aflatoxins have been linked to both liver and cervical cancer. The high rates of liver cancer prompted a study of residents in three San Antonio, Texas zip codes. Twelve percent of the study participants had aflatoxin in their urine. As a result, it is suspected that food consumed by the study participants may – in part – be responsible. People whose blood had aflatoxin also reported eating higher amounts of corn, rice and peanut products.
While the food supply in the United States is extremely safe, this toxic mold is dangerous enough to warrant knowing about if you consume food made with grains or animal products whose diet includes grains. Aflatoxins find their way into the human nutrition chain via milk, eggs, and meat from animals exposed to it. It follows that products made with these ingredients may also contain aflatoxins.According to estimates by The American Food and Agriculture Organization, 25% of the food crops in the world are affected by mycotoxins. Of these, aflatoxins are the most concerning. They are also of greater concern in underdeveloped and developing countries. The following foods are most likely to contain aflatoxins:
- Tree nuts (especially almonds, Brazil nuts, pecans, pistachios and walnuts)
Fortunately, in the United States and other developed countries, grain is tested for mycotoxins. This prevents high levels of aflatoxins in foodstuffs including milk. On the down side, not every kernel of grain is tested and most foods in fact contain small amounts of this deadly toxin. As noted above, there is concern among the scientific and medical community of the impact of long term exposure to aflatoxins even in small amounts.
Protection from Aflatoxins with Calcium Bentonite Clay
It has long been common practice to add clay to animal feed to reduce aflatoxin exposure to the animals that eat said feed. The clay binds aflatoxins to itself during the digestion process and makes the toxin largely unavailable for absorption in the gut. Dr. Timothy Phillips has developed a media containing calcium bentonite clay and sand that has proven effective in removing contaminants by 97%.
More Natural Remedies for Aflatoxin
- Extracts of turmeric, garlic and asafetida considerably inhibited aflatoxin production, according to a 1992 study published in Cancer Letters.
- Rinsing nuts will remove toxins for their surface. Soaking nuts for 5 minutes in ¼ teaspoon vitamin C powder (per pint of water) helps destroy mycotoxins within the nut itself. The nuts can then be dried in a dehydrator or in an oven set at 300° F.
- Add a bit of vitamin C powder to cooking water for pasta and grains.
- Eat foods made with grains grown in the United States or other developed countries that test for mycotoxins.
- Eat carrots and celery to reduce the carcinogenic effects of aflatoxins.
The price paid for advancements in technology and science is sometimes steep. Better information about the world we live in include scary facts about toxins and their potential for harm. Aflatoxins are one of the deadlier toxins worth knowing about. On the plus side, modern science also provides new information about how to avoid and when needed, neutralize toxins naturally. Bentonite clay has been found to counter many damaging toxins, including aflatoxins.