Silicon is the second most abundant element in the earth’s crust after oxygen. It commonly occurs as silicon-dioxide, also called silica. Silicon is a useful mineral to man. Glass is about 75% silica. Silicon’s semi-conductor property created the electronics revolution. And it’s a component of silicone rubber, famous for its flexibility and heat resistance.
But silica’s most important use to man is as a nutrient.. Silica promotes the synthesis of the proteins collagen (Type 1) and elastin. Collagen is an abundant protein in mammals, making up the majority of connective tissue like cartilage, tendons, ligaments, gums and skin. Elastin is a stretchy protein, important for healthy skin, lungs and arteries (especially the aorta). Silica also promotes stronger thicker hair, stronger nails, and stronger bones. Although silica only makes up a tiny proportion of bone, it’s important for promoting re-calcification of bone and speeding healing of fractures. As we age the silica content of our tissues decreases, especially for post-menopausal women.
Clinical trial results have shown that a silica supplement:
• increased hair diameter by 12.8%
• increased hair strength by 13.1%
• reduced facial wrinkles by 30%
• increased skin elasticity by 89%
• strengthened nails making them more resistant to breaking
• increased collagen formation and mineral density in bones.
Although silica is abundant in the earth, it is less common in our food. Silica is abundant only in grass-related foods such as the bran or hulls of oats, wheat and rice, which is almost entirely eliminated from our foods by processing. There are several different silica supplements formulated to provide this nutrient in an easily absorbable form for your body to use:
• aqueous extracts of horsetail or oatstraw – orthosilicic form of silica
• silica gel – a colloidal solution from quartz crystals
• silicon as orthosilicic acid – probably the most effective form
For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner