Research conducted in the development of the Natural Cellular Defense found that there were two major obstacles in using natural clinoptilolite as a dietary supplement and oral chelator.
- First, the average particle size of mined clinoptilolite is 40-250 microns. Particles in this size range are far too large to allow for absorption from the digestive tract into the bloodstream. Therefore, every zeolite that had been used previously would be primarily a digestive cleanser. In order to utilize the zeolite as a systemic detoxifier, the crystals would have to be reduced in size to less than 2 microns.
- The second issue is one of activity. Natural zeolites act as filters in nature, absorbing a variety of toxins that surround the minesite. Clinoptilolite analyzed from the minesite contains heavy metals, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other high-affinity toxins that, in essence, take up space in the crystal – thus limiting its potential to detoxify by reducing its available surface area.
To remedy these issues, the product is manufactured in two distinct steps: Micronization and Activation.
The zeolite mineral used in NCD is reduced in size mechanically, prior to the activation process, to a size of 0.39 to 5 microns. This does not destroy the properties of the molecule. To the contrary, reducing the particle size increases access to the charged “cages” that would otherwise be unusable. For instance, a micron-sized particle has millions of “pores” available to bind heavy metals and other toxins. The small size of the particle permits diffusion deep within itself, allowing access to the inner “cages” that would be inaccessible in a larger particle due to limitations in diffusion distance. Most importantly, the structure of the individual “cages”, and therefore the ability to sequester heavy metals and other toxins, is unaffected.
Consider this: If a five-carat diamond is broken into five one-carat diamonds, the structure of each one-carat diamond is exactly like that of the original five-carat diamond, only smaller. And if that one-carat diamond were pulverized into dust, each resulting, tiny piece of diamond would have the same structure and properties of the original five-carat diamond. The Silicon-Oxygen bonds in the zeolite are even more thermodynamically stable, i.e. are stronger, than the Carbon-Carbon bonds of the diamond. It would take a concerted effort and extreme amounts of energy to reduce the zeolite to particles that no longer possessed the characteristic “cage” structure and therefore the ability to sequester toxic metal ions. Nature required over 1000oC and tremendous pressures to create a zeolite. The conditions used to activate Clinoptilolite, the zeolite used in NCD, are insufficient to dehydrate the mineral or alter its physical characteristics.
Micronization of the zeolite also allows for uptake into the bloodstream from the digestive tract.
Many compounds (minerals and pharmaceuticals/nutraceuticals) are absorbed in the gut that are in this size range. For example: sucrose molecules greater that 2 microns are absorbed through the gut; several sugar-coated proteins (biopharma oral preparations designed to prevent digestion in the stomach prior to absorption) are in the 3-5 micron range and are easily absorbed; albuterol sulfate has an average particle size of 4 microns and is absorbed through the lung mucosa (which has similar permeability to the gut mucosa); pharmaceutical preparations of the immunosuppressant, cyclosporin, consist of particles 2-4 microns in size. In short, the concept of absorbing a particle that is sub-0.5 to 5 microns is generally well established. Additionally, preliminary studies done on human volunteers taking the Natural Cellular Defense chronically have demonstrated the presence of clinoptilolite in the serum at concentrations greater than 1ng/dL.
The Natural Cellular Defense is manufactured under a closely-guarded, proprietary process. The primary goal of this process is to remove the toxins naturally present in the mineral. Just as it does in the body, zeolite absorbs metal ions and other toxins that filter through it as it sits in the ground waiting to be mined. The toxins that the mineral absorbs prior to being mined do not make it dangerous, per se, as zeolite sequesters these toxins very well. The zeolite is simply less effective. For instance, if the particle has ten thousand “cages” and five thousand are already full before it is mined, the particle will not be as effective when introduced as a supplement as a particle with all ten thousand “cages” available. The Natural Cellular Defense undergoes an ‘activation process’ that forces the removal of all these toxins. This process removes all extraneous metals and empties out the zeolite cage – therefore removing any toxins that were found with the zeolite and ‘activating’ the molecule to be at its most effective. Understand that the zeolite molecule is, for all practical purposes, indestructible.
Heat up to 900º Fahrenheit will not crack the molecule and it can be frozen in solution and defrosted without any change in activity. It is also amphoteric – meaning that it exists just as well in an acidic or a basic environment. The zeolite is activated in a very weak acid under high temperature conditions. This does not break the zeolite down; it simply forces the evacuation of stored toxins in the zeolite cage. For purposes of activation, heat is added to the system only to increase the bond resonance within the structure of the cage, effectively “loosening the grip” of the zeolite, promoting a more complete exchange of the naturally occurring toxic metal ions with more beneficial ones. Being positively charged and thus absorbed by the zeolite, Calcium and Magnesium are used to exchange for the toxins.
These healthy metals migrate back into the zeolite and help stabilize the molecule. After ingestion, they easily undergo cationic exchange with metals that are higher in the affinity scale of the zeolite (i.e. Mercury, Lead, Cadmium, etc..). Without this process, other zeolite products must contain toxins and heavy metals as part of the zeolite cage. Additionally, without a heat process or some preservative, they must contain bacterial and fungal contamination.
The Natural Cellular Defense is the only zeolite formulation that is micronized and activated.