A new trend is spreading on TikTok which involves eating kaolin, a type of clay. However, its consumption is dangerous for health!
The latest health trend spotted on Tiktok? Eat dirt! On many videos, we can see young people digging into bags containing small white cubes and chewing them. Their container? Of kaolin, a White clay consisting of kaolinite and aluminum silicate. Kaolin is mainly used in porcelain, in the paper and glass industry, for paints and some cosmetics. Consume it is dangerous to health.
Eating clay is a type of geophagy, a pathological disorder of eating dirt. This practice is relatively widespread in several countries and more particularly in Africa and South America. Kaolin would have physical and therapeutic virtues according to consumers. In small doses,the clay can relieve heartburn and stomach cramps, transit disorders or diarrhea“confirms Dr. Olivier Spatzierer, gastroenterologist at LCI. Clay is also one of the components of certain drugs authorized in France such as sachets of Smecta. But beware misuse that creates many health hazards:
► Digestive disorders (constipation). “Excessive consumption can lead to real blockages in the digestive tract sometimes causing severe bowel obstruction” warns Dr. Spatzierer.
► Kaolin also reduces the absorption of iron And causes deficiencies and anemiaparticularly worrying for pregnant women.
► The consumption of kaolin also exposes ingestion of heavy metals, this clay being extracted from the ground. In 2019, theANSM recommends, moreover, that children under the age of 2 no longer be prescribed clay-based medicines (including Smecta) “because of the possible presence of minute quantity of lead, even if the treatment is of short duration”.
► Finally, eating kaolin exposes to a real risk of addiction. “The consumption of kaolin does much more harm than good. Excessive consumption is dangerous for physical and mental health because it can lead to addiction” warns Stanislas Agbo, general practitioner interviewed by the media Raw.
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