How does silica improve your health?

How does silica improve your health?

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 [1]. 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 [4]. 

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 [5] and United States authorities [6].

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 [7], silicon absorption from food is generally low [8]. 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 [9]. 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 [14].

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 [26]. Others suggest that silicon may support the stabilization of collagens or similar structural molecules [27]. 

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 [37] and nails [38,39], and support wound healing [40]. 

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

 

 

 

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