Tanya Dening, Ph.D. from the University of South Australia, made the discovery when she investigated the ability of clay particles to improve the delivery and absorption of antipsychotic drugs in laboratory animals. With the drugs, nothing worked, but the side effect was the clay's ability to absorb fat. Moreover, it even prevented the body from absorbing it, allowing fat to pass through the digestive system without being absorbed.
Dening conducted an experiment with four groups of experimental rats, which were assigned a high-fat diet. The first group was mixed with crushed clay mineral montmorillonite, the second group was given synthetic laponite clay, the third was forced to eat the slimming drug orlistat. The fourth group of rats served as a control.
After two weeks, the rodents from the third group expectedly lost weight, but the rats with the clay diet lost even more! And they had no side effects like flatulence and diarrhea. Inspired by the result, the researchers are now preparing a new experiment in which a mixture of clay and orlistat will be added to food. Since the second substance blocks enzymes for processing fat, and clay binds it at the physical level, there is a chance to achieve a double effect, when the fat is, as it were, rejected by the body.
Dening and her colleagues are very hopeful that research will not reveal new side effects, and that the drugs will be reversible. This will then pave the way for human research and, quite possibly, an extremely effective weight loss product.