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Home > Research Department  > Supplement Articles > Silica
    Supplement Articles  
SILICA
Articles by a Naturopathic Doctor ( N.D.)

Silica is beneficial for your skin, lungs and blood vessels and more ...

SILICA

Horsetail grass is an excellent source of bioavailable silica.

Silicon is the second most abundant element on earth and is considered an essential trace mineral for human health.  It forms structural components of bone and connective tissue, such as collagen.  It is especially needed during the early phase of bone mineralization and is found in high concentrations in the bony growth plates. It also forms elastin, a connective tissue that is responsible for the elasticity of connective tissue found in the skin, lungs and blood vessels. 

Silicon is recommended by natural health care practitioners for osteoporosis, atherosclerosis and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. 

Silicon vs Silica?
Not to be confused with silicone (the breast implant material), silicon is the inorganic mineral form of this atom, which is the type found in the soil.  Silicon is commonly found bonded to oxygen in plants and animals, which is a form called silica or silicon dioxide.  This is the organic and supplemental form that is available to our bodies. 

Strengthens Hair and Nails
Supplementation and even topical application of silica in creams and gels have been shown to benefits hair and nail strength.  Supplementation thickens both hair and nails, and can be a simple way to solve problems with brittle growth.  Unfortunately, if a deficiency was not the cause of the brittle hair and nails, silicon supplementation will not make a huge difference.  If you do not see results in a few weeks, consult with your healthcare practitioner for other options.

Bone Formation
During our late teens and early 20’s, supplementing with silica can help to promote the synthesis of stronger bones.  Unfortunately, this effect is only seen in growing bones, so there is less of an effect on bone health with silica supplementation in our later years.

Protection from Dementia and Aging

Silicon is thought to protect the body from aluminum accumulation.  Silicon levels decline with age and a deficiency of silica may lead to degeneration of the vessels, bones and connective tissue that is commonly seen in the elderly.  One 2008 study found that higher silica levels in water helped to reduce the risk of dementia by 11%. 

 

Silicon and Wound Healing

There has been some recent research into the use of silicon gels in the treatment of wounds and burns to prevent excess scarring.  The research is not conclusive, but this is an interesting area for further research.

 

How can I get more Silica?

It can be taken as a liquid or in capsules.  Encapsulated silica supplements are usually made from the Horsetail herb, which naturally concentrates silica from the soil.  Silicon is naturally abundant in the husks of grains and other high fibre foods but is lost from foods during the refining process.  Because this is only a trace mineral in the body, high doses are not necessary and may even cause problems.  Stay within the recommended dosages.

Silicon – QUICK FACTS

FOOD SOURCES

·  Alfalfa, beets, brown rice, bell pepper, soybeans, leafy green vegetables, whole grains and the herb, horsetail.

DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS

·  Growth retardation, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease.

OPTIMUM DOSAGE

·  50 mg elemental silicon daily.  (Clinical doses may be higher as recommended by your practitioner.

WORKS WELL WITH

· Boron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

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·  Silicon has no known toxicity.

For informational purposes only.  Please consult your health care practitioner before taking natural health care products. Click here for full disclaimer.


All articles copyright National Nutrition 2001 - 2015.  For educational purposes only.  Please note that while National Nutrition supports your right to use natural health care products for any therapeutic purpose that you see fit, that the information on this website should not be considered as a claim or as a substitute for medical advice.

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