Our suite of mixed metal oxides (MMOs) can be added to a clay containing water-based fluid to enhance its rheological properties. This combination produces a unique thixotropic, shear-thinning fluid that is highly viscous at low shear rates but becomes very thin at high shear rates. These products retain well-bore integrity, especially in high salt-containing and unconsolidated formations, reduce mud loss and prevent loss circulation in highly porous or fractured formations.