The Properties and Benefits of Silica/Silicon

March 1, 2013

An article in Life Extension Magazine lays it all out. Silica is a fundamental, health-critical mineral that is often missing in our foods.

The Value of Silicon

The slow and lengthy process of soil erosion breaks down rocks into clay and loam; eventually the silicates react with water to form soluble silicon molecules. These soluble silicon molecules are called orthosilicic acid or monomer silicic acid. Orthosilicic acid is the natural water soluble compound present in sea water, drinking water and other beverages such as beer. 

However, natural mineral water has extremely low concentration levels of orthosilicic acid (0.1-1.0 parts per million) due to the molecule's limited stability. Attempts to increase the concentration of orthosilicic acid in mineral water result in the linking of several small orthosilicic acid molecules into larger, insoluble polymer-molecules. This so-called polymerization of orthosilicic acid occurs also in plants where the silicon fibers are important for the mechanical strength and flexibility of the plant. Silicon accumulating plants such as bamboo are characterized by a strong but flexible structure, whereas silicon deficiency in soil and plant tissues results in weakened mechanical strength.

Benefits of Silica

Joints

* Silicon was shown to be essential for the formation of articular cartilage.
* Silicon is a cross-linking agent in the glycosaminoglycan network which attracts and hold water in the joint.

Bone

* Silicon acts as a regulating factor in bone mineralization.
* Silicon stimulates DNA synthesis in osteoblast-like bone forming cells.
* Silicon inhibits osteoclast mediated bone reabsorption in vitro.
* The synthesis of collagen, the fibrous protein which is essential for the flexibility of the bone, is decreased by Silicon deficiency.

Tendons and ligaments

* The synthesis of collagen, a major compound in tendons and ligaments, is decreased by Silicon deficiency.
* The activity of prolylhydroxylase, a specific enzyme for collagen synthesis, was shown to be Silicon dependent in vitro.

Heart

* Silicon makes the inner lining of arterial tissue (tunica intima) less permeable. In the case of a high cholesterol diet, Silicon supplementation reduces the occurrence of    artherosclerotic lesions in blood vessels.
* The aorta and the carotid artery of healthy persons contain approximatively 10 times more Silicon compared to atheromatous arteries.

Skin

* Silicon is important for optimal collagen synthesis.
* Silicon is crucial for activating the hydroxylation enzymes for crosslinking collagen, which improves the strength and elasticity of this fibrous protein. Better collagen means better skin, more elasticity and fewer wrinkles.

Hair

* The outer shaft of hair, that provides elasticity and strength, is rich in Silicon. Hair with higher Silicon content tends to fall out less and has more shine and luster.

Nails

* Silicon is one of the predominant minerals in nails. A sign that Silicon may be systematically deficient is brittle and soft nails.
* Silicon improves the nail quality which results in a better protection against nail infections.

Mucosa

* Silicon restores mucosa in the respiratory tract in case of dehydration.

Information provided here is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Only your healthcare provider should diagnose your healthcare problems and prescribe treatment. 

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