Dr. Henk Hendriks explains how silica improves your health. Go ahead and dive further into this subject if you want to know more about the science behind the GeoSilica products and how they can help improve your health!
What is silica?
Silica is a mineral that is highly abundant in nature. Silica consists of one atom of silicon bound to two oxygen atoms, chemically named silicon dioxide (SiO2). Silicon is neither a metal nor a non-metal: it is a metalloid. As a metalloid, silicon has the properties of both a metal and a non-metal.
The commonly occurring silica mineral usually exists as quartz, an abundant ingredient in sand particles. Silica exists as molecules but mainly as particles of various sizes and forms. It is primarily present as a solid because it poorly dissolves in water.
How is silica best consumed?
Your body uses silicon; it has health benefits . Scientists believe silicon is involved in several important processes in your body and consider it an essential nutrient [2,3].
Some types of particles may, however, be detrimental to your health. Specifically, when you regularly inhale silica particles, and when they are large, these may become deleterious in the long term .
Conversely, orally consumed silica molecules and particles are beneficial. Silica consists of 47% silicon and is a natural constituent of our diet. Dietary silicon consumption mainly occurs as silica dissolved in water and as monosilicic acid in foods. Silica consumption is deemed safe by both the European  and United States authorities .
Why is it good to supplement silica dissolved in a beverage?
Our body gets little silicon from our diet because it contains low quantities of silicon, which is also poorly absorbed in the intestines. Whereas some foods have relatively high silicon concentrations, such as cereals, fruits, vegetables, and some beverages , silicon absorption from food is generally low . Our bodily uptake from our diet (also named bioavailability) varies. It seems that the higher the concentration of silicon in food, the lower its bioavailability.
Beverages, in general, appear to have a high bioavailability of silicon. Silica-containing waters also increase silicon uptake by increasing urinary silicon excretion . In other words: silicon dissolved in beverages is best taken up by the body [10-12].
Does silicon deficiency exist?
Silicon deficiency has not been described for humans. Still, animals that were made silicon deficient have deformities in their skulls and bones, poorly formed joints, reduced cartilage, and a disturbed mineral balance in the bones [3,13]. This suggests that silicon is an essential dietary factor in bone health.
Scientists propose that healthy diets include foods that provide trace elements like silicon in amounts that promote health, even if currently not considered essential. A dietary silica intake of 25 mg/day, corresponding to ~10 mg/day of silicon, would be an adequate intake without adverse effects .
How can supplementation benefit your bone health?
Silicon appears to be important for bone health. Various population studies have supported such a role [15-18]. Supplementation with silicon increased bone volume and bone mineral density in people with osteoporosis [17,19]. Also, studies in cells have shown that silicon stimulates processes essential for healthy bones [20,21]. Animal studies show that supplementation with silicon improves the bone health of mice and rats [22-25]. It is not clear how exactly silicon affects bone health. Scientists suggest that silicon supports collagen production, a protein important for bone and skin structure . Others suggest that silicon may support the stabilization of collagens or similar structural molecules .
Bone implants such as dental implants and surgical bone replacements combined with silicon and silica appear to stimulate new bone growth by increasing collagen production [28,29]. Various forms of silicon are currently being investigated for their possible application as a new fracture healing biomaterial [30,31].
What about other possible health benefits?
Microscopic silica particles are being studied for their antimicrobial effects [32-34]. Silicon may not only improve bone health by stimulating collagen synthesis, but an optimized collagen synthesis thanks to silicon may also improve the structural integrity of skin [35,36], contribute to healthier hair  and nails [38,39], and support wound healing .
Some studies suggest that silica in drinking water and other forms of silicon in beverages may counteract the detrimental effects of aluminum in the diet and may, therefore, help prevent Alzheimer's disease [10,41,42].
GeoSilica products for your daily dose
Although silicon's specific biochemical or physiological roles in the human body are largely unknown, these functions are generally considered to exist. As a result, there is growing interest in the potential therapeutic effects of water-soluble silica on human health.
GeoSilica Iceland products combine silica with other minerals to stimulate various bodily functions, depending on your preference. The silica in all GeoSilica Iceland products provides your daily portion of silicon.
Dr. Henk Hendriks
 Martin, K.R. (2013). Silicon: the health benefits of a metalloid. Metal Ions in Life Sciences 13, 451-473. doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-7500-8_14
 Price, C.T., Langford, J.R. & Liporace, F.A. (2012). Essential nutrients for bone health and a review of their availability in the average North American diet. The Open Orthopaedics Journal 6, 143-149. doi: 10.2174/1874325001206010143
 Carlisle, E.M. (1972). Silicon: an essential element for the chick. Science 178, 619-621. doi: 10.1126/science.178.4061.619
 Steenland, K. & Ward, E. (2014). Silica: a lung carcinogen. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians 64, 63-69, doi: 10.3322/caac.21214
 EFSA (2018). Re-evaluation of silicon dioxide (E 551) as a food additive. EFSA Journal 16, 5088. doi: 10.2903/j.efsa.2018.5088
 FDA (2019). Sec.172.480 Silicon dioxide.
 Pennington, J.A. (1991). Silicon in foods and diets. Food Additives & Contaminants 8, 97-118. doi: 10.1080/02652039109373959
 Robberecht, H., Van Cauwenbergh, R., Van Vlaslaer, V. & Hermans, N. (2009). Dietary silicon intake in Belgium: Sources, availability from foods, and human serum levels. The Science of the Total Environment 407, 4777-4782. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2009.05.019
 Li, Z., Karp, H., Zerlin, A., Lee, T.Y.A. & Heber, D. (2010). Absorption of silicon from artesian aquifer water and its impact on bone health in postmenopausal women: a 12 week pilot study. Nutrition Journal 9, 44. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-9-44
 Gonzalez-Munoz, M.J., Garcimartan, A., Meseguer, I., et al. (2017). Silicic acid and beer consumption reverses the metal imbalance and the prooxidant status induced by aluminum nitrate in mouse brain. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease 56, 917-927. doi: 10.3233/jad-160972
 Sanchez-Muniz, F.J., Macho-Gonzalez, A., Garcimartin, A., et al. (2019). The nutritional components of beer and its relationship with neurodegeneration and Alzheimer's disease. Nutrients 11, 1558. doi: 10.3390/nu11071558
 Sripanyakorn, S., Jugdaohsingh, R., Dissayabutr, W., et al. (2009). The comparative absorption of silicon from different foods and food supplements. The British Journal of Nutrition 102, 825-834. doi: 10.1017/s0007114509311757
 Schwarz, K. & Milne, D.B. (1972). Growth-promoting effects of silicon in rats. Nature 239, 333-334, doi: 10.1038/239333a0
 Martin, K.R. (2018). Dietary silicon: is biofortification essential? Journal of Nutrition and Food Science Forecast 1, 1006.
 Jugdaohsingh, R., Tucker, K.L, Qiao, N., et al. (2004). Dietary silicon intake is positively associated with bone mineral density in men and premenopausal women of the Framingham Offspring cohort. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 19, 297-307. doi: 10.1359/jbmr.0301225
 Macdonald, H.M., Hardcastle, A.C., Jugdaohsingh, R., et al. (2012). Dietary silicon interacts with oestrogen to influence bone health: evidence from the Aberdeen Prospective Osteoporosis Screening Study. Bone 50, 681-687. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2011.11.020
 Eisinger, J. & Clairet, D. (1993). Effects of silicon, fluoride, etidronate and magnesium on bone mineral density: a retrospective study. Magnesium Research 6, 247-249.
 Choi, M.K. & Kim, M.H. (2017). Dietary silicon intake of Korean young adult males and its relation to their bone status. Biological Trace Element Research 176, 89-104. doi: 10.1007/s12011-016-0817-x
 Schiano, A., Eisinger, F., Detolle, P., et al. (1979). [Silicon, bone tissue and immunity]. Revue du rhumatisme et des maladies osteo-articulaires 46, 483-486.
 Keeting, P.E., Oursler, M.J., Wiegand, K.E., et al. (1992). Zeolite A increases proliferation, differentiation, and transforming growth factor beta production in normal adult human osteoblast-like cells in vitro. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 7, 1281-1289. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.5650071107
 Reffitt, D.M., Ogston, N., Jugdaohsingh, R., et al. (2003). Orthosilicic acid stimulates collagen type 1 synthesis and osteoblastic differentiation in human osteoblast-like cells in vitro. Bone 32, 127-135. doi: 10.1016/s8756-3282(02)00950-x
 Maehira, F., Miyagi, I. & Eguchi, Y. (2009). Effects of calcium sources and soluble silicate on bone metabolism and the related gene expression in mice. Nutrition 25, 581-589. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2008.10.023
 Jugdaohsingh, R., Watson, A.I., Bhattacharya, P., van Lenthe, G.H. & Powell, J.J. (2015). Positive association between serum silicon levels and bone mineral density in female rats following oral silicon supplementation with monomethylsilanetriol. Osteoporosis International 26, 1405-1415. doi: 10.1007/s00198-014-3016-7
 Hott, M., de Pollak, C., Modrowski, D. & Marie, P.J. (1993). Short-term effects of organic silicon on trabecular bone in mature ovariectomized rats. Calcified Tissue international 53, 174-179. doi: 10.1007/bf01321834
 Rico, H., Gallego-Lago, J.L., Hernandez, E.R., et al. (2000). Effect of silicon supplement on osteopenia induced by ovariectomy in rats. Calcified tissue international 66, 53-55. doi: 10.1007/s002230050010
 Kivirikko, K.I. & Myllyla, R. (1985). Post-translational processing of procollagens. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 460, 187-201. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1985.tb51167.x
 Schwarz, K. (1973). A bound form of silicon in glycosaminoglycans and polyuronides. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 70, 1608-1612. doi: 10.1073/pnas.70.5.1608
 Fielding, G. & Bose, S. (2013). SiO2 and ZnO dopants in three-dimensionally printed tricalcium phosphate bone tissue engineering scaffolds enhance osteogenesis and angiogenesis in vivo. Acta Biomaterialia 9, 9137-9148. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2013.07.009
 Fielding, G.A., Sarkar, N., Vahabzadeh, S. & Bose, S. (2019). Regulation of osteogenic markers at late stage of osteoblast differentiation in silicon and zinc doped porous TCP. Journal of Functional Biomaterials 10, 48. doi: 10.3390/jfb10040048
 Ilyas, A., Odatsu, T., Shah, A., et al. (2016). Amorphous silica: a new antioxidant role for rapid critical-sized bone defect healing. Advanced Healthcare Materials 5, 2199-2213. doi: 10.1002/adhm.201600203
 Jiao, K., Niu, L., Li, Q., et al. (2015). Biphasic silica/apatite co-mineralized collagen scaffolds stimulate osteogenesis and inhibit RANKL-mediated osteoclastogenesis. Acta Biomaterialia 19, 23-32. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2015.03.012
 Shevchenko, S.N., Burkhardt, M., Sheval, E.V., et al. (2017). Antimicrobial effect of biocompatible silicon nanoparticles activated using therapeutic ultrasound. Langmuir 33, 2603-2609. doi: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.6b04303
 Croissant, J.G., Fatieiev, Y., Almalik, A. & Khashab, N.M. (2018). Mesoporous silica and organosilica nanoparticles: physical chemistry, biosafety, delivery strategies, and biomedical applications. Advanced Healthcare Materials 7, 1700831. doi: 10.1002/adhm.201700831
 Drago, L., Toscano, M. & Bottagisio, M. (2018). Recent evidence on bioactive glass antimicrobial and antibiofilm activity: a mini-review. Materials 11, 326. doi: 10.3390/ma11020326
 Araujo, L. A., Addor, F. & Campos, P. M. (2016). Use of silicon for skin and hair care: an approach of chemical forms available and efficacy. Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia 91, 331-335. doi: 10.1590/abd1806-4841.20163986
 Herreros, F.O., Cintra, M.L., Adam, R.L., de Moraes, A.M. & Metze, K. (2007). Remodeling of the human dermis after application of salicylate silanol. Archives of dermatological research 299, 41-45. doi: 10.1007/s00403-007-0739-8
 Wickett, R.R., Kossmann, E., Barel, A., et al. (2007). Effect of oral intake of choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid on hair tensile strength and morphology in women with fine hair. Archives of Dermatological Research 299, 499-505. doi: 10.1007/s00403-007-0796-z
 Barel, A., Calomme, M., Timchenko, A., et al. (2005). Effect of oral intake of choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid on skin, nails and hair in women with photodamaged skin. Archives of Dermatological Research 297, 147-153. doi: 10.1007/s00403-005-0584-6
 Lassus, A. (1993). Colloidal silicic acid for oral and topical treatment of aged skin, fragile hair and brittle nails in females. Journal of International Medicine Research 21, 209-215. doi: 10.1177/030006059302100406
 Quignard, S., Coradin, T., Powell, J.J. & Jugdaohsingh, R. (2017). Silica nanoparticles as sources of silicic acid favoring wound healing in vitro. Colloids and Surfaces B Biointerfaces 155, 530-537. doi: 10.1016/j.colsurfb.2017.04.049
 Rondeau, V., Jacqmin-Gadda, H., Commenges, D., Helmer, C. & Dartigues, J.F. (2009). Aluminum and silica in drinking water and the risk of Alzheimer's disease or cognitive decline: findings from 15-year follow-up of the PAQUID cohort. American Journal of Epidemiology 169, 489-496. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwn348
 Glick, J.L. & McMillan, P.A. (2016). A multipronged, nutritional-based strategy for managing Alzheimer's disease. Medical Hypotheses 91, 98-102. Doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2016.04.007