ArticlePDF Available

Underlying Science for Human Geophagia: A quantitative analysis of elemental iron in soils frequently eaten in Kenya

Authors:

Abstract and Figures

In a previous survey study on geophagy in Kenya, it was realized that human geophagia behaviour has provided a lucrative business in the society. This engraving behaviour, which was found prominent amongst pregnant women and growing children, particularly young girls, is self-evident as one takes a walk in open-air markets and leading supermarkets. We hypothesized the behaviour being both of nutritional and medicinal value other than the previously thought socio-cultural, economic and prestige values. Different soil/clay stone samples were collected across the country and their elemental Iron determined using a flame atomic absorption spectrometer. Taking the case of Murang'a County where on average, a woman could eat the red clay stones mounting to 95g per day that translated to a dose of 148.2 mg of elemental Iron consumed per day, was comparable to doses recommended by physicians during the treatment of Iron deficiency anaemia (IDA). As much as this is being feasible in pharmaceutical industry, issues of hygiene, harvesting, dosage determination, regimen, formulation, storage and packaging remain high on the agenda together with that involving the development of the best health practice guidelines of geophagy. Further research is needed to determine the most cost-effective dosing regimen of various soil/clay stone types for iron supplementation to various age groups in different contexts across the country.
Content may be subject to copyright.
IJEPP 2016, 2 (2), 84-90 Wanzala et al
I J E P P | A p r i l - J u n e 2 0 1 6 | V o l 2 | I s s u e 2
Page 84
ISSN: 2455-5533
(www.ijepp.in)
Research Article
Underlying Science for Human Geophagia: A quantitative
analysis of elemental iron in soils frequently eaten in Kenya
Wycliffe Wanzala1*, Cornelius C. W. Wanjala2, Preston Akeng’a3
1Department of Biological Sciences, School of Science and Information Sciences, Maasai Mara
University, P.O. Box 861 – 20500, Narok, Kenya.
2Department of Chemistry, School of Pure and Applied Sciences, South Eastern Kenya University,
P.O. Box 170 – 90200, Kitui, Kenya.
3Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and
Technology, P.O. Box 62,000 – 00200, Nairobi, Kenya.
*Corresponding author:
Prof. Dr. Wycliffe Wanzala, PhD
Department of Biological Sciences, School of Science and Information Sciences, Maasai Mara
University, P.O. Box 861 – 20500, Narok, Kenya. E-mail:
osundwa1@yahoo.com or wwanzala@mmarau.ac.ke
Abstract
In a previous survey study on geophagy in Kenya, it was realized that human geophagia behaviour has provided a
lucrative business in the society. This engraving behaviour, which was found prominent amongst pregnant women
and growing children, particularly young girls, is self-evident as one takes a walk in open-air markets and leading
supermarkets. We hypothesized the behaviour being both of nutritional and medicinal value other than the
previously thought socio-cultural, economic and prestige values. Different soil/clay stone samples were collected
across the country and their elemental Iron determined using a flame atomic absorption spectrometer. Taking the
case of Murang’a County where on average, a woman could eat the red clay stones mounting to 95g per day that
translated to a dose of 148.2 mg of elemental Iron consumed per day, was comparable to doses recommended by
physicians during the treatment of Iron deficiency anaemia (IDA). As much as this is being feasible in
pharmaceutical industry, issues of hygiene, harvesting, dosage determination, regimen, formulation, storage and
packaging remain high on the agenda together with that involving the development of the best health practice
guidelines of geophagy. Further research is needed to determine the most cost-effective dosing regimen of various
soil/clay stone types for iron supplementation to various age groups in different contexts across the country.
Key words: Elemental iron; Human geophagia; Soil; Health; Pharmaceutical industry
Quick Response Code:
IJEPP 2016, 2 (2), 84-90 Wanzala et al
I J E P P | A p r i l - J u n e 2 0 1 6 | V o l 2 | I s s u e 2
Page 85
INTRODUCTION
In a historical perspective, human geophagia is as
old as human life! In time and space, humans have
used different types of soils in different ways to
improve their livelihoods. Geophagy has evolved
and practiced alongside human civilization for
myriad reasons (Abrahams et al., 2013). The origin
and causes of human geophagy have not been
clearly understood, albeit associated with
nutritional and medicinal effects of iron
deficiencies in the body (Carretero and Pozo,
2010). Over a quarter of the world's population
remains anaemic and about half of this burden is
due to iron deficiency anaemia (IDA), being most
prevalent among preschool children and women
(Table 1) (Kassebaum et al., 2013). Strategies to
prevent, control and manage IDA include daily and
intermittent iron supplementation, home
fortification with micronutrient powders,
fortification of staple foods and condiments, and
activities to improve food security and dietary
diversity (Kassebaum et al., 2013; Pasricha et al.,
2013). The safety of routine iron supplementation
in settings where infectious diseases such as
malaria are endemic remains uncertain and indeed
very challenging. The use of commercial ferrous
iron types and sizes has been associated with
tiredness, breathlessness, palpitations, dizziness
and headache amongst the patients (Pasricha et al.,
2013).
Table 1. Elemental Iron requirements by pregnant women and children, 6-24 months of age and adolescents/
young adults.
Prevalence
of anaemia
Women
Dose
Duration
Dose
Birth-weight
category
Duration
<40%
60 mg iron +
400 µg folic
acid daily
6 months in
pregnancy
12.5 mg iron +
50 µg folic acid
daily
Normal
6-12 months of
age
Low birth weight
(<2500 g)
2-24 months of
age
40%
60 mg iron +
400 µg folic
acid daily
6 months in
pregnancy and
continuing to 3
months
postpartum
12.5 mg iron +
50 µg folic acid
daily
Normal
6-24 months of
age
Low birth weight
(<2500 g)
2-24 months of
age2-24 months
of age
20
-
30 mg iron
N/
A
2
-
5 years
30
-
60 mg iron
N/A
6
-
11 years
60 mg iron
N/A
Adolescents and
adults
N/B. *If 6 months duration cannot be achieved in pregnancy, continue to supplement during the postpartum
period for 6 months or increase the dose to 120 mg iron in pregnancy.
*Where iron supplements containing 400 µg of folic acid are not available, an iron supplement with less
folic acid may be used. Supplementation with less folic acid should be used only if supplements
containing 400 µg are not available.
* Iron dosage increases in severe anaemia conditions.
AS adopted from Stoltzfus, and Dreyfuss, 1998.
IJEPP 2016, 2 (2), 84-90 Wanzala et al
I J E P P | A p r i l - J u n e 2 0 1 6 | V o l 2 | I s s u e 2
Page 86
The management of adults and children with
anaemia due to iron deficiency, including the
relevant diagnostic and therapeutic issues as well as
the choice of iron preparation is indeed a very
complicated medical condition and of great public
health concern in our respective communities
(Schrier and Auerbach, 2014). This has been noted
as the normally associated clinical symptoms
(weakness, headache, pagophagia (ice craving, a
form of pica), restless legs syndrome, irritability,
and varying degrees of fatigue and exercise
intolerance) that go unnoticed in the lives of many
humans.
Treatment of Iron deficiency anaemia (IDA)
The choice of iron preparation (oral, blood
transfusion or intravenous) depends upon the acuity
of illness, as well as the ability of the patient to
tolerate a particular iron preparation. The
commonly recommended oral daily dose for the
treatment of iron deficiency anaemia in adults is in
the range of 150 to 200 mg/day of elemental iron.
As an example, a single 325 mg ferrous sulphate
tablet taken orally three times daily between meals
provides an oral dose of 195 mg of elemental iron
per day (Table 2). Nevertheless, there is no
evidence that one of the above iron preparations is
more effective than another for this purpose (Table
2).
Table 2. Commercially recommended Ferrous Iron types, sizes and the corresponding amount of elemental Iron
in the sample tablet and the application rate.
Type of Iron Supplement Preparation Tablet Size (mg) Elemental Iron per
tablet (mg) Regimen
Ferrous fumarate 325 108 Once a day
Ferrous gluconate 325 28 to 36 3 times a day
Ferrous sulphate (7H20) 325 65 2 or 3 times a day
Ferrous sulphate, anhydrous 200 74 2 or 3 times a day
Ferrous sulphate, exsiccated (1H20) 200 60 2 or 3 times a day
N/B. Be aware that while using these tablets, they can cause tiredness, breathlessness, palpitations, dizziness and
headache as part of anaemia condition. Guidelines for the use of Iron supplements varies a great deal worldwide.
We therefore undertook studies to compare and
contrast commercial ferrous iron types and sizes
available and used in pharmaceutical industry and
that available in consumed/chewed soils in Kenya
in order to partly understand the rationale of human
geophagy situation and the underlying rationale.
Nevertheless, anaemia treatment and management
due to iron deficiency in the body is just complex
and henceforth, the focus of discussion in this short
communication.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Sampling sites for soil/clay stones
The soil/clay stones were collected from Kenyan
Counties indicated by the commercial dealers as
the most preferred sites by their clients (Figure 1).
This represents a wide geographical area.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN
Chemicals and reagents
The reagents used for the experiments were; iron
standard (Fe) stock solution (Fe(NO)3), analytical
grade conc nitric acid, analytical grade conc.
hydrochloric acid all from Sigma Aldrich,
Germany. Distilled water was prepared locally
while Whattman filter paper no. 40, purchased
from Schlecher & Schuel, (England).
IJEPP 2016, 2 (2), 84-90 Wanzala et al
I J E P P | A p r i l - J u n e 2 0 1 6 | V o l 2 | I s s u e 2
Page 87
Figure 1. A map of Kenya showing the Counties from which soil/clay samples were collected for analysis as
indicated by commercial dealers in soil/clay for geophagy. As adopted and modified from Wanjau (2014).
Table 3. Mean concentration of elemental Iron in collected samples of different types of soils, which are
chewed in different parts of the country (mg/kg±SE).
Source of elemental Iron in Kenya Concentration of elemental Iron
(mg/kg±SE)
Region County Type of source of elemental Iron
Central Murang’a Murang’a clay white stones 1290 ± 11.4
Central Murang’a Murang’a clay red stones 1560 ±9.11
Nyanza Migori Migori chewing stones 1310 ± 6.53
Central Kiambu Acacia termite tubes 1650 ± 7.98
Western Bungoma Termite mounds - Bumula 1819 ±6.27
Nairobi Nairobi Roasted clay-Happy supermarkets 540 ±9.35
Nairobi Nairobi Naivas supermarkets 621 ±5.41
Nairobi Nairobi Termite mounds - Kasarani 1800 ±8.96
Nairobi Nairobi Termite tubes - Kasarani 1630 ±15.91
Nairobi Nairobi Farm soil - Kasarani 1260 ±8.97
Nairobi Nairobi Chindawa - Kasarani 1330 ±5.39
Eastern Kitui Termite tubes - Kitui 1670 ±12.87
Photographs of each type of soil/clay are presented in Wanzala et al. (2016). The unique pharmaceutical
potential applications of soils to livelihoods. Indian Journal of Ethno-Phytopharmaceuticals. 2 (1), 13-32.
IJEPP 2016, 2 (2), 84-90 Wanzala et al
I J E P P | A p r i l - J u n e 2 0 1 6 | V o l 2 | I s s u e 2
Page 88
Sample preparation
The large particles including stones and plant
remains were removed manually by hand and then
the soil sample crushed using a pestle and mortar.
Sifting was carried out using a 2 mm sieve. One
gram (1.0 g) of crushed and sifted soil sample was
weighed and put into 50 ml glass beakers. A
modification of EPA method 3050 (Hagedorn,
2008) was used in the digestion of the soil whereby
20 ml of the aqua regia mixture, HNO3: HCl (3:1)
acid was added to the soil sample. Two (2 ml) of
perchloric acid was added to the mixture (a blank
solution was also prepared). The mixture was
gently heated to incipient dryness. Cooling was
allowed to room temperature. Deionised distilled
water was added after which filtration using filter
paper no. 40 was carried out. Lastly, the mixture
was topped up to 100 ml in a 100ml volumetric
flask.
Analysis of elemental Iron in samples of
soils/clay
The samples were analysed for the presence and
concentration of elemental iron using a flame
atomic absorption spectrometer (FAAS) (Buck
scientific 210 VGP). A Hollow cathode lamp was
used as excitation source with resonance lines set at
248.2 nm. Air-acetylene fuel system with a flow
rate of 1.2 L/min was used.
Limits of detection (LOD) and Limits of
quantification (LOQ)
The determination of LOD and LOQ were based on
the standardized calibrated curve according to
Dolan (2009). The LOD was determined using the
International Committee on Harmonization (ICH),
method, that is from the calibration curve. For
instance, in this particular experiment,
= 0.006924 and
S = 0.0042.
Therefore, the formulae for the calculation of
limits of detection (LOD) and Limits of
quantification (LOQ) were:
3.3 0.006924
5.4 /
0.0042
LOD mg Kg
while that of LOQ = (10x0.006924)/0.0042 =
16.48 mg/kg
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Laboratory analysis of soil samples for
elemental Iron content
The soil samples were analyzed in the laboratory in
triplicates and the mean values of the
concentrations of elemental Iron (mg/kg±SE)
calculated and summarized in Table 3. Regardless
of source, the analysis of samples from the termite
tubes and mounds relatively produced the highest
concentration of elemental Iron (Table 3). This type
of soil could be obtained deep down in stratosphere
by aunts, where the elemental Iron is found in
plenty mixed with soil compared to samples
obtained from the soils close to the surface with
less elemental Iron content. Whereas the soil
samples from the supermarkets in Nairobi had
generally the lowest concentration of elemental
Iron (Table 3). This could be attributed to the
source of the clay stones, and the processing
methodology before putting the samples on the
shelf for sale. The subsequent storage and
henceforth packaging mechanisms could also affect
the content of elemental Iron in any sample under
considerations. However, for useful conclusive
remarks to be made, more samples in diverse
environments and social surveys of clients and
dealers need to be comprehensively conducted in a
holistic manner.
Field observations, the case of Murang’a County
In Murang’a County, many people, particularly
pregnant women who chew soils prefer the clay red
stones to the white counterparts. After laboratory
analysis, it was realized that the observed
preference could be due to differences in their
elemental Iron content (Table 3). Comparing and
contrasting of human geophagia behaviour in
Murang’a County with the recommended
IJEPP 2016, 2 (2), 84-90 Wanzala et al
I J E P P | A p r i l - J u n e 2 0 1 6 | V o l 2 | I s s u e 2
Page 89
The formula used to calculate the actual concentration of elemental Iron in any one given soil/clay sample
of interest was:
AAs reading (ppm) Sample volume (100ml) Dilution factor
ACTUAL CONC. IN SAMPLE microgram/gram
Mass of sample (1.0g)
 
commercial ferrous Iron content (Table 2), we
found a lot of relevance between the two and
henceforth the underlying science that could
probably justify the behaviour. For instance on
average, a woman could chew the red stones of
clay up to 95g of soils/stones per day. This
therefore implies that the content of elemental Iron
in 95 g is 95/1000 x 1560 mg = 148.2 mg of
elemental Iron consumed per day. This is indeed
close to the medically recommended range of oral
daily dose for the treatment of iron deficiency
anaemia (IDA) in adults. This is possible if one is
recommended to use, for instance, Ferrous
gluconate tablet size of 325 mg containing
elemental iron of 28 to 36 mg, administered three
times a day (Table 2). This therefore implies that
per day, a patient could have consumed between 84
mg to 108 mg of elemental Iron. This is in fact far
much below the recommended dose per day
ranging from 150 mg to 200 mg. However, a
patient who is recommended to feed on red clay
stones from Murang’a County on daily basis could
be closer to this range as the patient would be able
to achieve a dose of 148.2 mg of elemental Iron per
day. Further, patients above 80 years of age and
require daily doses of 15, 50, or 150 mg of
elemental iron for two months can as well be
recommended to feed on red clay stones from
Murang’a County on daily basis (Rimon et al.,
2005).
CONCLUSION
Human geophagia behaviour appears to be both of
medical and nutritional value. Whether or not is an
inherent human measure to alleviate the burden of
Iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) remains unresolved
in health science cycles. Conversely, human
geophagia should not be ignored by stakeholders as
its issues of hygiene, harvesting, dosage
determination, regimen, formulation, storage and
packaging remain high on the agenda together with
that involving the development of the best health
practice guidelines of geophagy. Further research is
needed to determine the most cost-effective dosing
regimen of various soil/clay stones for iron
supplementation to various age groups in different
contexts across the country.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
We are very grateful for valuable information and
soil collections provided for by Mr. Preston
Akeng’a and the technical staff at the Department
of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Jomo Kenyatta
University of Agriculture and Technology for soil
analysis. We are also indebted to a number of
women from Murang’a County for their
cooperation and collaboration in sharing their
knowledge about human geophagy.
REFERENCES
1. Abrahams PW, Davies TC, Solomon AO,
Trow AJ, Wragg J. (2013). Human
Geophagia, Calabash Chalk and Undongo:
Mineral Element Nutritional Implications.
PLoS ONE 8(1): e53304.
2. Schrier SL, Auerbach M. (2014). The
management of adults with anaemia due to
iron deficiency. http://www.uptodate.com
as retrieved on Saturday, April 23rd, 2016
at 6:51 PM East Africa Time.
3. Carretero MI, Pozo M. (2010). Clay and
non-clay minerals in the pharmaceutical
and cosmetic industries Part II. Active
ingredients. Applied Clay Science, 47:
171 -181.
4. Pasricha SR, Drakesmith H, Black J,
Hipgrave D, Biggs BA. (2013). Control of
iron deficiency anaemia in low- and
middle-income countries. Blood,
121:2607.
5. Kassebaum NJ, Jasrasaria R, Naghavi M,
Wulf SK, Johns N, Lozano R, Regan M,
Weatherall D, Chou DP, Eisele TP,
Flaxman SR, Pullan RL, Brooker SJ,
IJEPP 2016, 2 (2), 84-90 Wanzala et al
I J E P P | A p r i l - J u n e 2 0 1 6 | V o l 2 | I s s u e 2
Page 90
Murray CJ. (2013). A systematic analysis
of global anemia burden from 1990 to
2010. Blood, 123(5): 615-624.
6. Hagedorn B. (2008). Acid extraction of
sediment, sludges, and soils 3050B,
University of Alaska Anchorage.
7. Dolan J. (2009). The International
Committee on Harmonization, HPLC
Solutions #126: Determining LOD and
LOQ Based on the Calibration Curve. Part
5.
8. Rimon E, Kagansky N, Kagansky M,
Mechnick L, Mashiah T, Namir M, Levy
S, Rimon E, Kagansky N, Kagansky M,
Mechnick L, Mashiah T, Namir M, Levy
S. (2005). Are we giving too much iron?
Low-dose iron therapy is effective in
octogenarians. American Journal of
Medicine, 118:1142.
9. Stoltzfus JR, Dreyfuss LM. (1998).
Guidelines for the Use of Iron
Supplements to Prevent and Treat Iron
Deficiency Anaemia The International
Nutritional Anaemia Consultative Group
(INACG). ISBN 1-57881-020-5 (ISBN-
13: 978-1578811687), International Life
Sciences Institute (ILSI) Press,
Washington, D.C., USA, 39 pp.
http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/
micronutrients/guidelines_for_Iron_supple
mentation.pdf as retrieved on Saturday,
April 23rd, 2016 at 7:38 PM East Africa
Time.
10. Wanzala W, Murimi DM, Wanjala CCW.
(2016). The unique pharmaceutical
potential applications of soils to
livelihoods. Indian Journal of Ethno-
Phytopharmaceuticals. 2 (1): 13-32.
11. Wanjau WS. (2014). Map showing
Counties under the new Kenyan
constitution. From Wikimedia Commons,
the free media repository. Text is available
under the Creative Commons Attribution-
ShareAlike License.
https://opendata.go.ke/facet/counties. as
retrieved on Wednesday, April 27th, 2016
at 12:50 PM East Africa Time.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Article
Full-text available
Soil is a natural resource and a mixture of many varied abiotic and biotic components, which give it its true identity and value as the main component of the earth's ecosystem and a precious “skin of the earth” with interfaces between the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere. The concept of “medicinal soil” is well recognized since pre-historic times. Nevertheless, full potential value of soil in the mainstream of either traditional or conventional sense has not been realized, may be due to lack of evidence-based research results. It supports, holistically, all kinds of earthly livelihoods, either directly and/or indirectly. The value of soil to livelihoods is comprehensively evaluated with focus on its raw active ingredients applicable in pharmaceutical, agricultural, health and cosmetic industries. In this manuscript, medicinal value of soil and its influence to human life is reviewed with special emphasis of author’s experiences from Kenya. To comprehensively understand the full potential of soils to human livelihood, interdisciplinary research collaborations and networks are greatly needed to discover the underlying science and spearhead the subsequent discussions with a focus on impacts of climate change and contaminate wastes such as e-wastes, heavy metals, chemicals and radioactive/hazardous materials on soils and their composition. Keywords: Soils and uses, Microorganisms and minerals, Geophagy and nutraceuticals, Therapy and pharmaceuticals, Human livelihood
Article
Full-text available
Previous studies of anemia epidemiology have been geographically limited with little detail about severity or etiology. Using publicly available data, we estimated mild, moderate, and severe anemia from 1990 to 2010 for 187 countries, both sexes, and 20 age groups. We then performed cause-specific attribution to 17 conditions using data from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factors (GBD) 2010 Study. Global anemia prevalence in 2010 was 32.9%, causing 68.36 (95% uncertainty interval [UI], 40.98 to 107.54) million years lived with disability (8.8% of total for all conditions [95% UI, 6.3% to 11.7%]). Prevalence dropped for both sexes from 1990 to 2010, although more for males. Prevalence in females was higher in most regions and age groups. South Asia and Central, West, and East sub-Saharan Africa had the highest burden, while East, Southeast, and South Asia saw the greatest reductions. Iron-deficiency anemia was the top cause globally, although 10 different conditions were among the top 3 in regional rankings. Malaria, schistosomiasis, and chronic kidney disease-related anemia were the only conditions to increase in prevalence. Hemoglobinopathies made significant contributions in most populations. Burden was highest in children under age 5, the only age groups with negative trends from 1990 to 2010.
Article
Full-text available
Despite worldwide economic and scientific development, over a quarter of the world's population remains anemic; about half of this burden is due to iron deficiency anemia (IDA). IDA is most prevalent among preschool children and women. Among women, iron supplementation improves physical and cognitive performance, work productivity and wellbeing and iron during pregnancy improves maternal, neonatal, infant and even long-term child outcomes. Among children, iron may improve cognitive, psychomotor and physical development, but the evidence is more limited. Strategies to control IDA include daily and intermittent iron supplementation, home fortification with micronutrient powders, fortification of staple foods and condiments, and activities to improve food security and dietary diversity. The safety of routine iron supplementation in settings where infectious diseases, particularly malaria, are endemic, remains uncertain. The World Health Organization is revising global guidelines for controlling IDA. Implementation of anemia control programs in developing countries requires careful baseline epidemiologic evaluation, selection of appropriate interventions that suit the population, and ongoing monitoring to ensure safety and effectiveness. This review provides an overview and an approach for implementation of public health interventions for controlling IDA in low and middle-income countries with an emphasis on current evidence-based recommendations.
Article
Full-text available
The prime aim of our work is to report and comment on the bioaccessible concentrations - i.e., the soluble content of chemical elements in the gastrointestinal environment that is available for absorption - of a number of essential mineral nutrients and potentially harmful elements (PHEs) associated with the deliberate ingestion of African geophagical materials, namely Calabash chalk and Undongo. The pseudo-total concentrations of 13 mineral nutrients/PHEs were quantified following a nitric-perchloric acid digestion of nine different Calabash chalk samples, and bioaccessible contents of eight of these chemical elements were determined in simulated saliva/gastric and intestinal solutions obtained via use of the Fed ORganic Estimation human Simulation Test (FOREhST) in vitro procedure. The Calabash chalk pseudo-total content of the chemical elements is often below what may be regarded as average for soils/shales, and no concentration is excessively high. The in vitro leachate solutions had concentrations that were often lower than those of the blanks used in our experimental procedure, indicative of effective adsorption: lead, a PHE about which concern has been previously raised in connection with the consumption of Calabash chalk, was one such chemical element where this was evident. However, some concentrations in the leachate solutions are suggestive that Calabash chalk can be a source of chemical elements to humans in bioaccessible form, although generally the materials appear to be only a modest supplier: this applies even to iron, a mineral nutrient that has often been linked to the benefits of geophagia in previous academic literature. Our investigations indicate that at the reported rates of ingestion, Calabash chalk on the whole is not an important source of mineral nutrients or PHEs to humans. Similarly, although Undongo contains elevated pseudo-total concentrations of chromium and nickel, this soil is not a significant source to humans for any of the bioaccessible elements investigated.
Article
Full-text available
Elderly patients are vulnerable to the dose-dependent adverse effects of iron replacement therapy. Our study examines whether low-dose iron therapy can efficiently resolve iron-deficiency anemia in patients over the age of 80 years and reduce adverse effects. Ninety hospitalized patients with iron-deficiency anemia were randomized to receive elemental iron in daily doses of 15 mg or 50 mg as liquid ferrous gluconate or 150 mg of ferrous calcium citrate tablets for 60 days. Thirty control patients without anemia were given 15 mg of iron for 60 days. A 2-hour iron absorption test was performed after the initial dose. Hemoglobin and ferritin levels were measured on day 1, 30, and 60 after initiating therapy. Each patient completed a weekly questionnaire regarding drug-induced adverse effects. Serum iron rose significantly in the anemic patients beginning 15 minutes after the first dose but not in nonanemic patients. Two months of iron treatment significantly increased hemoglobin and ferritin concentrations similarly in all 3 groups of iron-deficiency anemia patients (for example, hemoglobin levels rose from 10.0 g/dL to 11.3 g/dL with 15 mg/d of iron therapy and from 10.2 g/dL to 11.6 g/dL with 150 mg/d). Abdominal discomfort, nausea, vomiting, changes in bowel movements, and black stools were significantly more common at higher iron doses. Low-dose iron treatment is effective in elderly patients with iron-deficiency anemia. It can replace the commonly used higher doses and can significantly reduce adverse effects.
Article
A wide range and variety of minerals are used in the pharmaceutical industry as active ingredients. Such minerals may be administered either orally as antacids, gastrointestinal protectors, antidiarrhoeaics, osmotic oral laxatives, homeostatics, direct emetics, antianemics and mineral supplements, or parenterally as antianemics and homeostatics. They may also be used topically as antiseptics, disinfectants, dermatological protectors, anti-inflammatories, local anesthetics, keratolytic reducers and decongestive eye drops. In all cases the LADME process of the minerals is described. In the cosmetic industry minerals are used as solar protectors as well as in toothpastes, creams, powder and emulsions, bathroom salts and deodorants.The minerals in use belong to the following groups: oxides (rutile, periclase, zincite), carbonates (calcite, magnesite, hydrocincite, smithsonite), sulphates (epsomite, mirabilite, melanterite, chalcanthite, zincosite, goslarite, alum), chlorides (halite, sylvite), hydroxides (brucite, gibbsite, hydrotalcite), elements (sulphur), sulphides (greenockite), phosphates (hydroxyapatite), nitrates (niter), borates (borax) and phyllosilicates (smectite, palygorskite, sepiolite, kaolinite, talc, mica).The therapeutic activity of these minerals is controlled by their physical and physico-chemical properties as well as their chemical composition. The important properties are high sorption capacity, large specific surface area, solubility in water, reactivity toward acids, high refractive index, high heat retention capacity, opacity, low hardness, astringency, and high reflectance.
The International Committee on Harmonization, HPLC Solutions #126: Determining LOD and LOQ Based on the Calibration Curve
  • J Dolan
Dolan J. (2009). The International Committee on Harmonization, HPLC Solutions #126: Determining LOD and LOQ Based on the Calibration Curve. Part 5.
Guidelines for the Use of Iron Supplements to Prevent and Treat Iron Deficiency Anaemia The International Nutritional Anaemia Consultative Group (INACG) ISBN 1-57881-020-5 (ISBN- 13
  • Jr Stoltzfus
  • Lm Dreyfuss
Stoltzfus JR, Dreyfuss LM. (1998). Guidelines for the Use of Iron Supplements to Prevent and Treat Iron Deficiency Anaemia The International Nutritional Anaemia Consultative Group (INACG). ISBN 1-57881-020-5 (ISBN- 13: 978-1578811687), International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) Press, Washington, D.C., USA, 39 pp. http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/ micronutrients/guidelines_for_Iron_supple mentation.pdf as retrieved on Saturday, April 23rd, 2016 at 7:38 PM East Africa Time.
Acid extraction of sediment, sludges, and soils 3050B
  • B Hagedorn
Hagedorn B. (2008). Acid extraction of sediment, sludges, and soils 3050B, University of Alaska Anchorage.
Map showing Counties under the new Kenyan constitution. From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution- ShareAlike License. https://opendata.go.ke/facet/counties. as retrieved on Wednesday
  • Ws Wanjau
Wanjau WS. (2014). Map showing Counties under the new Kenyan constitution. From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution- ShareAlike License. https://opendata.go.ke/facet/counties. as retrieved on Wednesday, April 27th, 2016 at 12:50 PM East Africa Time.