Heartening news! Study finds diatomaceous earth lowers blood cholesterol concentrations

March 26, 2022

Heartening news! Study finds diatomaceous earth lowers blood cholesterol concentrations

Here at Supercharged Food we strive to provide information backed by research and science (along with lovely, nutritious recipes of course). We’re led by Lee Holmes, a qualified Clinical Nutritionist so it’s vital to us we’re focused on the real and wary of the spurious. So when new claims come into our orbit, especially for an ingredient we’ve been using and recommending, and for a big health concern like cholesterol, we go slowly in the direction of science.

Low to high levels of cholesterol

Supercharged Food launched its Love Your Gut diatomaceous earth powder eight years ago. Before that, Lee Holmes, founder, Clinical Nutritionist and author was taking and researching diatomaceous earth for a number of years, having been introduced to it by a Naturopath friend in The States to help her autoimmune condition. It goes without saying that we know a lot about diatomaceous earth but it never ceases to reveal even more of its healthy properties.

We’ve previously received a good amount of anecdotal evidence citing diatomaceous earth’s success with lowering cholesterol. This came from our own experience, the many people sharing their cholesterol lowering experiences and feedback from a number of naturopathic and nutritionist colleagues. But as heartening as those stories were, we were quick and sure not to claim it as scientific fact.

However, this week someone in our community (thanks lovely Meg!) shared a clinical trial study excerpt published on PubMed.gov from the National Center for Biological Information (USA) citing just that - diatomaceous earth lowers blood cholesterol concentrations.

The extract states: “Diatomaceous earth intake was associated with a significant reduction of serum cholesterol at any time point…. Also low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides levels decreased.”

Diatomaceous earth under the microscope

Heart-friendly foods

We’re always looking for diet-based ways to help with health conditions and it’s no different with cholesterol. Here are some of the foods that can play a more positive role in cholesterol management. (Having said that, according to The Harvard Medical School, ​​”For people at high risk of heart disease, dietary efforts don't come close to lowering cholesterol enough”. If you are in this category or think you may be, you should be consulting a medical professional for your cholesterol treatment).

Again, we go to The Harvard Medical School for their advice on 11 cholesterol-friendly foods.

1. Oats. For their soluble fibre.

2. Barley and other whole grains. For their soluble fibre.

3. Beans. Beans are especially rich in soluble fibre.

4. Eggplant and okra. Low calorie and rich in soluble fibre.

5. Nuts. Eating 2 ounces of nuts a day can slightly lower LDL, on the order of 5%!

6. Vegetable oils. Heart healthier alternatives to animal fats.

7. Apples, grapes, strawberries, citrus fruits. Rich in pectin, as soluble fibre.

8. Foods fortified with sterols and stanols. Lessen the body's ability to absorb cholesterol from food.

9. Soy. While it has a modest positive impact on cholesterol, for some people who are lactose intolerant, it’s an alternative to dairy milk.

10. Fatty fish. As if we need other reasons to enjoy salmon! It’s a much heart healthier meat source than red meat. Try our Tray Baked Salmon with Pumpkin + Avocado Mash recipe here.

11. Fibre supplements. We, generally, need more fibre in our diets. Always go for natural fibre from fruits and vegetables but supplements are a good way to ensure you're getting enough. You can read more about the benefits of fibre and our ^ tips to add more fibre to your diet here plus a great supplement is our Love Your Gut Synbiotic which is a prebiotic, probiotic, dietary fibre and digestive enzyme supplement for all round good gut health.

Now we can add diatomaceous earth to this list of heart healthy foods (Love Your Gut diatomaceous earth is approved by Food Standards Australia New Zealand).

Heart Healthy recipe:

Crispy Salmon with Saffron, Aioli and Smashed Green Peas

Full of anti-inflammatory salmon, antioxidant-rich herbs and veggies, this quick and fresh meal is one that will make your heart happy. Oh, and your mouth water, too.  

Ingredients

  • 4 salmon fillets, skin on
  • sea salt, for rubbing
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon, sliced and roasted, to serve (optional)
  • chives and edible flowers, to serve (optional)

Saffron aioli

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • pinch of saffron threads, soaked in a little lemon juice
  • 375 ml (13 fl oz/1 ½ cups) extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Smashed peas

  • 200 g (7 oz) frozen peas
  • 50 ml (13/4 fl oz) vegetable stock or filtered water
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 30 g (1 oz) butter
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • handful mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon snipped chives

Method:

  • To make the saffron aioli, whiz the garlic, lemon juice, salt, egg yolks and mustard in a food processor.
  • Add the saffron and process again.
  • With the motor still running, very slowly drizzle in the olive oil. The mixture will emulsify to a mayonnaise-like consistency. Season to taste.
  • To make the smashed peas, put the peas and stock in a medium saucepan, season with salt and cook over medium–high heat, stirring occasionally, until the peas are tender. Remove from the heat, strain and stir in the butter.
  • Gently mash the peas with a fork, then stir in the lemon juice and black pepper. Mix in the olive oil a little at a time, until the peas have the desired consistency. Fold in the herbs.
  • Pat the salmon dry with paper towel and rub salt into the skin. Heat a large frying pan over medium–high heat, then add the olive oil and heat until the oil shimmers.
  • Place the salmon fillets in the pan, skin side down, and press on them with a spatula to ensure all of the skin is in contact with the pan. Cook for 4–5 minutes, until the skin is crispy and the salmon is still pink inside. Turn over with a spatula, turn off the heat and let the fish sit in the pan for no more than 1 minute.
  • Divide the smashed peas between four serving plates and top with the salmon and the roasted lemon slices, if using. Garnish with chives and edible flowers, if using, and serve with the aioli on the side.

Sources and resources

[1] Diatomaceous earth lowers blood cholesterol concentrations  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9533930/




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