Spray Dried Smectite Clay Particles as a Novel Treatment against Obesity
Publications | April 10, 2019

CBNS member Ms Tahnee Dening, of CBNS CI Professor Clive Prestidge’s group at UniSA, has published a paper investigating the effects of montmorillonite – a natural clay material, purified from dirt and laponite (a synthetic clay) in rats fed a high-fat diet, comparing against placebo and a leading weight-loss drug – orlistat. Monitoring over a two-week period, Tahnee found that while both the engineered clay formulations and orlistat delivered weight loss effects, the clay material outperformed the drug. The findings offer new insights for obesity and weight-management, particularly when used in combination with the commercial drug, where there is potential for synergy.

The results concluded that spray dried smectite clay particles (SD-MMT and SD-LAP) with significant adsorptive capacities for dietary lipids and digestion products were successfully fabricated. These particles may be developed as novel anti-obesity treatments with fewer adverse effects than currently marketed treatment options.

The paper titled Spray Dried Smectite Clay Particles as a Novel Treatment against Obesity is co-authored by CBNS member Dr Paul Joyce, CBNS alumni Dr Miia Kovalainen, CBNS member Dr Hanna Gustafson and CBNS CI Professor Clive Prestidge.

 

Abstract

Purpose
To explore the feasibility of spray dried smectite clay particles fabricated from montmorillonite or laponite materials for adsorbing dietary lipids and reducing rodent weight gain in vivo.

Methods
Spray dried montmorillonite (SD-MMT) and spray dried laponite (SD-LAP) particles were prepared via spray drying. Particle morphology, surface area and redispersion/aggregation properties in aqueous media were characterized. The ability of SD-MMT and SD-LAP particles to inhibit lipid digestion kinetics and adsorb lipid species from solution was assessed during in vitro lipolysis using proton nuclear magnetic resonance analysis. SD-MMT and SD-LAP particles were dosed to rodents fed a high-fat diet and their effect on body weight gain was evaluated.

Results
Both SD-MMT and SD-LAP particles adsorbed significant quantities of medium chain triglycerides and lipolytic products from solution during in vitro lipolysis. At a concentration of 50% w/w relative to lipid content, SD-MMT and SD-LAP particles adsorbed 42% and 94% of all lipid species, respectively. SD-MMT and SD-LAP particles also reduced the extent of rodent weight gain relative to the negative control treatment group and performed similarly to orlistat via an alternate mechanism of action.

Conclusions
Spray dried smectite clay particles (SD-MMT and SD-LAP) with significant adsorptive capacities for dietary lipids and digestion products were successfully fabricated. These particles may be developed as novel anti-obesity treatments with fewer adverse effects than currently marketed treatment options.