The “Magic” Zeolites
Zeolites fascinate us not just because of their beauty but also because of their structural diversity. Zeolites are another commonly utilised mineral with a variety of applications. Their ability to act at the cellular level by trapping heavy metals and poisons and safely eliminating them from the body is extremely significant. Clinoptilolite, a mineral belonging to the Zeolite group, is renowned as one of the best adsorbers. In a 90-day ecotoxicological experiment with laboratory mice, the clinoptilolite sorbent KLS–10-MA was used. On the basis of natural Bulgarian zeolite, this sorbent was created. As a toxin, lead (Pb) was used. The animals were divided into four groups, each with 60 specimens: Group 1 (control): animals fed conventional small rodent food and water; Group 2: animals fed conventional food + clinosorbent KLS-10-MA and water; Group 3: animals fed conventional food and water + Pb(NO3)2; Group 4: animals fed conventional food + KLS-10-MA and water + Pb(NO3)2; Group 5: animals fed conventional food + KLS-10-MA and water + Pb(NO3)2; Group 6: animals fed conventional food + KLS-10-MA (NO3) 2.
In the Pb-exposed mice, chromosome abnormalities, a decrease in the mitotic index, pathological erythrocytes, a drop in erythropoesis, and a loss of body weight were found as a result of a well-expressed toxicological stress.
In exposed and supplemented mice, dietary inclusion of the clinoptilolite sorbent reduced Pb concentrations in carcass, liver, kidneys, bones, and faeces by 84 percent, 89 percent, 91 percent, 77 percent, and 88 percent, respectively. Pb-exposed and clinoptilolite-supplemented mice had 2.3-fold lower chromosome aberrations frequency, 2.5-fold higher mitotic index, 1.5-fold higher percentage normal erythrocytes, 3.14-fold more proliferating erythrocytes, and 1.3-fold higher body weight on day 90 compared to Pb-exposed and non-supplemented mice. After day 40, the supplemented animals’ mitotic index increased.
The sorbent is practically non-toxic, and its use is neither harmful to animals nor harmful to the environment.
A quantitative approach is also critical for an in-depth investigation of the dynamics of lead bioaccumulation and the organism’s reactions to chronic intoxication.
The general tendencies of Pb kinetics in bones were outlined using a mathematical model. The coefficient of apsorption of Pb by gastrointestinal mucosa in supplemented mice was reported to be = 3.53 percent based on the model. The non-supplemented animals have the same coefficient of = 15%.
A mathematical model for the variation of the mitotic index with time was developed for the first time. This model demonstrates that animal recovery processes occur in tandem with Pb bioaccumulation, and that during the experiment, the susceptibility of the mouse’s organism to Pb load reduces as the pace of genetic apparatus recovery grows.
In fact, zeolites exhibit “magical” properties and define genuine prospects for developing new therapeutic medications in cases of chronic intoxication based on modified natural clinoptilolites.
Svetla E. Teodorova
Research Fellow Physics and Biophysics, Institute for Nuclear Research and Nuclear Energy, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Bulgaria.
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