a member of the smectite family is a 2:1 clay, meaning that it has 2 tetrahedral sheets sandwiching a central octahedral sheet.  The particles are plate-shaped and extremely small with an average diameter of approximately 1 micrometer.  Montmorillonite’s colloidal nature lends it well to the transport of nutrients and enhanced bioavailability of nutrients. 

1st pie chart


Book Review of and Excerpts from:
Secrets Of The Soil
New Age Solutions for Restoring Our Planet
© 1989 by Peter Tompkins & Christopher Bird
Authors of the Secret Life of Plants
Harper & Row Publishers, NY
Isbn 0-06-015817-4
Lib. Congr. S591.T64


Montmorillonite tetrahedral molecular geometry 



Although traces of Lead, Mercury, Cadmium and Arsenic are found in the mineral, they do not accumulate in the tissue.  Indications show that toxic levels of heavy metals will be reduced when the body is supplied a complete balance of minerals.  A recent blood test on a man who has been taking an average of 4 mineral tablets per day for over 10 years showed the following results:

                                           Test Date 12/05/79

               Arsenic                       Result                      0.3 mcg/ml
               to bio-science            Normal Range      0.0-3.0mcg/ml               Lead                            Result                      15 mcg/dl
               to Smith - Kline         Normal Range      0.0 - 40.0 mcg/dl




    Dr. F. J McClure reported in 1958 that young (immature) rats, fed a ration consisting of 80% non-heat- processed whole wheat, 18% cerelose, 2% liver powder, and supplements of Vitamins A-D-and E, had retarded growth and after 60 days, and a high incidence of smooth surface caries.

    Similar findings were obtained in 1962 by Dr. Ershoff,who reported that “rats fed this diet also were highly susceptible to a ‘paralytic like syndrome’ of the fore and hind limbs, seen when rats were dropped onto a hard surface.”

    Subsequent studies indicated that the long bones of these experimental rats fed this diet, appeared rachitic, and that a “paralytic like syndrome” was associated with newly formed fractures of the cortical bones (Ershoff 1965).

   The McClure diet is deficient in essential nutrients including Calcium  (0.03% level), and Phosphorus (0.2% level).  It contains between 10.8% to 12.8% protein, and is low in the amino acids: lysine, methionine, and threonine.   It also contains only 2% fat.

    Research findings indicated that Montmorillonite clay minerals, when incorporated at levels of 1% to 4% in the diet, caused a highly significant increase in body weight, and prevented the occurrence of pathological changes in the tibia and alveolar bones of rats fed a McClure diet.  The maximal protective effect was obtained at the 4% level of supplementation; although the 2% level was only slightly less active.

    Findings indicate that the growth-promoting effect of mineral clays under conditions of the present experiment, was due in large part, to its Sodium content.  Calcium supplements alone were devoid of growth promoting activity.  These research findings might be interpreted as indications that Sodium could not exert its maximal growth promoting effect until the Calcium deficit of the diet was at least partially corrected.



Research findings indicate that the ingestion of MONTMORILLONITE mineral clays can profoundly affect the nutritional state of an animal, and mineral clays vary greatly in growth promoting activity.  The most active material tested was the Montmorillonite clay mineral, whereas, Kaolin and Hydrobiotite were virtually devoid of growth-promoting activity.  Clay mineral samples that were obtained within one mile of the original mineral clay discovery, were consistently less active in growth-promoting activity.



    “Clays composed of the Montmorillonite group of minerals someday may replace Calcium as a dietary supplement for promoting BONE HEALTH,” according to Dr. Benjamin Ershoff, University of Southern California biochemist.  During a study supported by the Manned Spacecraft Center, Dr. Ershoff discovered that the bones lose large amounts of Calcium under conditions of weightlessness, such as space men endure.   Adding Calcium alone to the diet does not change the situation, but adding clay does.  Montmorillonite clays contain something (trace minerals) besides Calcium that improves the body’s ability to change Calcium into bone.

   The Montmorillonite clays of particular interest, are those which contain many trace elements, 40 or more.  The research of Dr. Ershoff shows again the value of natural products.  We immediately ask ourselves the question, “Are the trace elements found in clay the functional elements in the process of bone formulation?”


    “Tracemin 74 Montmorillonite contains approximately 23% Silicon and 8% Aluminum, and for that reason I want to discuss these two elements in a little more detail.”

    “Silicon is by far the most abundant element in rocks and soils where it is present, largely in the form of quartz and silicate.  With Aluminum, Iron and water, it constitutes the bulk of the colloids, or what we call the clays.  It is invariably found in plants and animals.  The amount of Silicon in different plants and in different parts of the same plant varies greatly, so that no general average, may be given.  The large amounts of Silicon present in many plants led to the early belief that it might be an essential element in the nutrition of plants.  Silicon is also thought to have an effect on Phosphorus availability.  There is evidence to indicate that plants grown in solutions deficient in Silicon, are less resistant to attacks from disease.”

    “All animal tissues that have been examined have been found to contain Silicon in varying amounts.  One or two milligrams per hundred cc are present in the blood serum of farm animals, and a compound of silicon and carbo--hydrate has been found in the urine.

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