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Article

A New Look at the Purported Health Benefits of Commercial and Natural Clays

1
School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF10 3AX, UK
2
Cardiff Institute for Tissue Engineering and Repair, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF10 3BG, UK
3
School of Dentistry, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF14 4XY, UK
4
School of Sport & Health Sciences, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff CF5 2YB, UK
5
School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF10 3AT, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Biomolecules 2021, 11(1), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010058
Received: 20 December 2020 / Revised: 30 December 2020 / Accepted: 31 December 2020 / Published: 5 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2020 Feature Papers by Biomolecules’ Editorial Board Members)
Clays attributed to have medicinal properties have been used since prehistoric times and are still used today as complementary medicines, which has given rise to unregulated “bioceutical” clays to treat skin conditions. Recently, clays with antibacterial characteristics have been proposed as alternatives to antibiotics, potentially overcoming modern day antibiotic resistance. Clays with suggested antibacterial properties were examined to establish their effects on common wound-infecting bacteria. Geochemical, microscopical, and toxicological characterization of clay particulates, their suspensions and filtered leachates was performed on THP-1 and HaCaT cell lines. Cytoskeletal toxicity, cell proliferation/viability (MTT assays), and migration (scratch wounds) were further evaluated. Clays were assayed for antibacterial efficacy using minimum inhibitory concentration assays. All clays possessed a mineral content with antibacterial potential; however, clay leachates contained insufficient ions to have any antibacterial effects. All clay leachates displayed toxicity towards THP-1 monocytes, while clay suspensions showed less toxicity, suggesting immunogenicity. Reduced clay cytotoxicity on HaCaTs was shown, as many leachates stimulated wound-healing responses. The “Green” clay exhibited antibacterial effects and only in suspension, which was lost upon neutralization. pH and its interaction with clay particle surface charge is more significant than previously understood to emphasize dangers of unregulated marketing and unsubstantiated bioceutical claims. View Full-Text
Keywords: antibiotics; antimicrobial; bacteria; clay; healing; immunogenicity; particles; pH; skin; wound antibiotics; antimicrobial; bacteria; clay; healing; immunogenicity; particles; pH; skin; wound
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MDPI and ACS Style

Incledion, A.; Boseley, M.; Moses, R.L.; Moseley, R.; Hill, K.E.; Thomas, D.W.; Adams, R.A.; Jones, T.P.; BéruBé, K.A. A New Look at the Purported Health Benefits of Commercial and Natural Clays. Biomolecules 2021, 11, 58. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010058

AMA Style

Incledion A, Boseley M, Moses RL, Moseley R, Hill KE, Thomas DW, Adams RA, Jones TP, BéruBé KA. A New Look at the Purported Health Benefits of Commercial and Natural Clays. Biomolecules. 2021; 11(1):58. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010058

Chicago/Turabian Style

Incledion, Alexander, Megan Boseley, Rachael L. Moses, Ryan Moseley, Katja E. Hill, David W. Thomas, Rachel A. Adams, Tim P. Jones, and Kelly A. BéruBé 2021. "A New Look at the Purported Health Benefits of Commercial and Natural Clays" Biomolecules 11, no. 1: 58. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11010058

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