Toxicological evaluation and metal bioavailability in pregnant rats following exposure to clay minerals in the diet. Academic Article uri icon


  • Silicate clays are frequently added to animal feeds to bind and reduce the bioavailability of mycotoxins in the gastrointestinal tract. However, the bioavailability of trace metals in these clay feed additives has not been thoroughly investigated. Clays that act nonselectively may interact with nutrients, minerals, and other feedborne chemicals to pose significant hidden risks. In this study, a calcium montmorillonite clay (Novasil Plus, NSP) commonly used as an enterosorbent for aflatoxins and a sodium montmorillonite clay (Swy-2) (Source Clay Minerals Repository, Columbia, MO) were examined. Clays were supplemented in the balanced diet of Sprague-Dawley rats during pregnancy at a level of 2% (w/w). Evaluations of toxicity were performed on gestation d 16 and included maternal body weights, maternal feed intakes, litter weights, and embryonic resorptions. Liver, kidneys, tibia, brain, uterus, pooled placentas, and pooled embryonic mass were collected and weighed. Tissues were lyophilized and neutron activation analysis (NAA) was performed. Elements considered by NAA included Al, Ba, Br, Ca, Ce, Co, Cr, Cs, Cu, Dy, Eu, Fe, Hf, K, La, Lu, Mg, Mn, Na, Nd, Ni, Rb, S, Sb, Sc, Se, Sm, Sr, Ta, Tb, Te, Th, Ti, Tl, U, V, Yb, Zn, and Zr. Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectroscopy further confirmed that Al was below detection limits (<0.5 ppm) in the brain. Animals supplemented with either NSP or Swy-2 were similar to controls with respect to toxicity evaluations and metal analysis, with the exception of decreased brain Rb following clay supplementation. Overall, the results of this study suggest that neither NSP nor Swy-2, at relatively high dietary concentrations, influences mineral uptake or utilization in the pregnant rat.

published proceedings

  • J Toxicol Environ Health A

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Wiles, M., Huebner, H., Afriyie-Gyawu, E., Taylor, R., Bratton, G., & Phillips, T.

citation count

  • 52

complete list of authors

  • Wiles, Melinda||Huebner, Henry||Afriyie-Gyawu, Evans||Taylor, Robert||Bratton, Gerald||Phillips, Timothy

publication date

  • June 2004