Montmorillonite clay is a natural ingredient often used in human health foods and sometimes also found in natural pet foods. It is the primary component of a volcanic ash known as betonite, which has been deposited into inland sea waters. Montmorillonite clay is used in some natural pet foods for a very specific purpose.
Pet food manufacturers add anti-caking agents to their formulas, to adsorb excess moisture and help keep the food from clumping. There are two types of anti-caking agents: Man-made or natural. Most anti-caking agents are man-made and come from synthetic substances, such as silicon dioxide or magnesium and calcium stearates (solid saturated fatty acids).
However, montmorillonite clay is a natural anti-caking agent. It comes from natural sources and is not made from chemicals like the others. It is a natural, safe alternative to using man-made chemicals for this purpose. Further, using montmorillonite clay as a natural anti-caking ingredient has the additional advantage of providing health benefits, which have been substantiated over many years of using the natural clay.
Montmorillonite is a natural source of minerals. It has been reported to contain at least 67 different minerals, including calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and manganese, as well as necessary trace elements. Minerals are essential for a pet’s good health and those in montmorillonite exist in their natural colloidal form, making them easily assimilated by the pet’s body. The montmorillonite used in Nature’s Logic foods is approved for inclusion into USDA Organic Certified products. Montmorillonite clay also acts as a detoxifying agent. By attracting and binding with unwanted wastes and toxins, the clay helps eliminate them from the body.
Veterinarians are also beginning to recognize the health benefits of montmorillonite clay, and even prescribe it to help dogs with diarrhea caused by cancer treatments (radiation and chemotherapy). In a study published in the International Journal of Applied Research in Veterinary Medicine, Vol. 6, No. 3, 2008, the clay, also known as calcium alluminosilicate, proved that the clay can be an effective anti-diarrheal and an alternative to other agents which can have serious side-effects. In the study, most dogs had normal stools within 48 hours of being administered the clay. To see the published study, you may go to http://www.natureslogic.com/pdf/HahnVol6Iss3181-184.pdf.
In summary, montmorillonite clay is used in some natural pet foods as a natural anti-caking agent. It allows high-quality pet foods to remain free of man-made and chemical agents for this purpose. In addition, it may bring with it added health benefits to pets.