Abstract

Natural zeolites have traditionally been used as supplements in animal nutrition with positive effects in terms of either faster growth or reduced incidence of diseases and death. The discovery that natural zeolites may act as drugs or coadjutants in pharmaceutical preparations has greatly enlarged the field of their applications in many sectors of biology and medicine, opening unexpected horizons for either basic or applied research. This review updates the state of the art of research in this sector, focusing on clinoptilolite-rich materials, with two main purposes: (1) trying to rationalize this subject, which is extremely variable and heterogeneous, and (2) raising doubts about unsuitable uses of natural zeolites in the light of their known properties and expected behaviour.

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