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Zeolites versus Lead Toxicity

Beltcheva M, Metcheva R, Topashka-Ancheva M, Popov N, Teodorova S, Heredia-Rojas JA, Rodríguez-de la Fuente AO and Rodríguez-Flores LE

The workers in metal industry as well as the people inhabiting industrially polluted regions are Health hazard groups regarding the development of chronic heavy metal intoxication. Different means could be used to correct, at least partly, the consequences of such intoxication. However, the best substances for treatment are those that can prevent the metals entering in the blood. In case, metals enter in the organism through the digestive tract, zeolites are the most suitable means for trapping of metal ions. The substantial role of the clinoptilolite as a factor essentially reducing Pb bioaccumulation is considered in an experiment with small mammals chronically exposed to lead. As a feed additive, clinoptilolites have been used so far in poultry and livestock to positively influence feces consistency, reduce diarrhea, bound mycotoxins and aflatoxins, and allow better performance of intestinal microflora. The present work is the first study of the effect of clinoptilolite, used as a food supplement, in conditions of Pb intoxication. Modified clinoptilolite KLS-10-MA was prepared and applied as food-additive in laboratory inbred ICR line mice, chosen as experimental animals. In the experiment the degree of the positive effect of this sorbent in the reduction of Pb bioaccumulation was explored. Evidences that clinoptilolite is practically non-toxic substance were presented. A mathematical model of Pb bioaccumulation in exposed and exposed-supplemented animals was proposed. Such investigations are important for human and veterinary medicine, pharmacy and for the explanation of some biological and chemical problems. The authors hope that the obtained results could help in further efforts to create drugs based on clinoptilolite sorbents. An application of such drugs could be of great importance for human and animals in regions that are industrially polluted with heavy metals, and particularly with Pb, in order to protect the organisms as well as the quality of the environment.