Doctor: Eating clay helps cleanse the body - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Doctor: Eating clay helps cleanse the body

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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Eating clay is getting a lot of buzz lately in Hollywood and all around the world.

The practice is covering new ground in the world of eating healthy and organic, and a woman from Norwich who says it's made her feel like she's healthier than ever.

Shailene Woodley, who is an actress in the new movie The Fault in Our Stars, recently admitted to David Letterman that she eats clay and it got a lot of people talking.

"Clay binds to other material in your body and helps your body excrete those materials that are not necessarily the best for you like toxins and heavy metals and what not," Woodley said.

The clay that Woodley and others are eating is not from your backyard. It is something called Bentonite Clay, in powdered form that's mixed with water. Michelle Varase-Frawley has been drinking it every day for almost a year, to help with digestive problems and low energy levels.

"When Doctor (Kendra) Becker recommended it, I thought, really," Varase-Frawley said. "You want me to eat this or drink this? It seemed unusual, but I thought I'm a brave person, I'll give this a try."

Becker said drinking this clay mixture is actually something that's been done for centuries all over the world as a way to remove toxins and heavy metals from your body.

"You use a small amount of clay and a large amount of water, and that's kind of the general idea is that it creates a little bit of a sludge to kind of draw toxins to it," Becker said.

Becker has a warning and said it's definitely not for everyone. She only recommends it along with a specific diet, and you have to be careful not to drink too much of it at one time.

"If you have any kind of food allergies or food sensitivities, you'll have swelling. If you have any kind of constipation or dehydration you'll have swelling," Becker said. "And that will inhibit the body's ability to eliminate these toxins, when that happens, the toxins then get stuck in your gut or your colon and that can cause more problems."

You can't take the clay with food or medications, but for Varase-Frawley it's been a simple way with a teaspoon full with water each night to feel better.

"Definitely an improvement in digestion, my energy levels have been better," Varase-Frawley said. "The great thing about clay too is it has a lot of minerals in it, so it's incredibly good for you."

Clay supplements are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Becker recommends talking to your doctor first. She said make sure the clay powder is a high quality supplement that does not contain any toxic elements.

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