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About the ingredient Silica

Si = Silicon: the forgotten trace element

Silicon is the second most abundant element in the earth’s crust. Although abundant it is never found in free form. Silicon is all around us, but little is in a form that we can assimilate and use. It is non toxic and a mineral which is naturally apparent in our bodies. Silicon is a key support element for life. It is important to the strength of the structures of our blood vessels, organs, skin, hair and bones.

Human studies in 1979 showed that Silicon supplementation increased bone volume. In 1990, it was shown that Silicon had a positive effect on osteoporosis. Additional human studies in 1993, 1998, and 2000 showed that Silicon supplementation improved bone mineral density.

 

Silicon is a trace mineral required for the formation of healthy connective tissue, bone, skin, hair and nails. Silicon is essential for collagen formation, healthy arteries and regulates calcium deposition in bones. Studies at The American University UCL and other research centres have proven that Silicon is essential to the growth and development as well as general integrity of bones, joints, cartilage and connective tissues.

Silicon intake is associated with higher bone mineral density (BMD) in men and pre-menopausal women. Silicon promotes bone materialisation.

Bones: Silicon is essential to collagen formation and bone calcification in tissue (bone mineralization). Anyone suffering from a Silicon deficiency will also have lower concentrations of collagen, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and glycosaminoglycans in the bones and cartilage tissue (Carlisle 1970).

Joints: Silicon plays an essential part in the development and maintenance of joint cartilage as a means of guaranteeing joint and ligament integrity. If we do not assimilate enough Silicon from our diet then joint development is likely to be affected. Joints may be stunted or malformed and the overall volume of the joint cartilage is reduced.

Aorta and other arteries: Silicon can help to maintain the resistance and integrity of the tunica intima, the innermost layer of an artery. A healthy cardiovascular system needs Silicon to make elastin, a tissue forming part of the inner layer of arteries and capillaries. Unhealthy arteries are often caused by lack of Silicon.

While our skeleton is the basic foundation of support and protection, the bones that make up this organ system are not a lifeless collection of minerals stuck together. Essentially, bone is a dynamic organ system composed of both hard and soft tissue. Additionally, bone is an integral part of the human metabolism, not an isolated mechanical structure, and it affects many bodily systems and functions.

 

 

It has been proven that as we age the levels of Silicon in our bodies decline. In our youth, our tissues absorb and maintain high levels of Silicon and simultaneously our bodies remain flexible and resilient. Subsequently, as we age our Silicon levels decrease and we begin to exhibit signs of aging such as stiff or sore joints, weaker bones and lack of energy.

If we maintain a regular supply of a Silicon supplement as we age this could help maintain a more youthful state and to enable us to live our lives in minimal pain. Weakness in bones, joints and connective tissues is one of the most significant causes of muscle pain and illnesses.

Research has shown that adding Silicon, Selenium and Zinc to the daily diet improves resistance and elasticity within the body. This could help humans in terms of suffering fewer diseases and bone related and connective tissue injuries.

Until 20th Century there was no Silicon deficiency. Intensive farming practices and application of chemical fertilizers have depleted the amount of Silicon available to plants in the soil, and thus to animals and humans. Studies have shown that whilst other elements are restored through fertilisation, Silicon is not.


 

 

Over 1.14 million postmenopausal women have been diagnosed with osteoporosis in England and Wales. Osteoporosis is responsible for 20,000 fractures a year in the UK (20% in men) – the cost to the NHS is £1 billion. One third of women (35%) will sustain fractures as a result of osteoporosis.

Silicon is an important dietary supplement to help fight osteoporosis. Silicon may be useful as a preventive or therapeutic agent against osteoporosis in combination with Ipriflavone² , Calcium and vitamin D.

In a recent study³, a positive correlation was shown between dietary Silicon intake and bone mineral density (BMD) at the hip in men and pre-menopausal women, suggesting that higher Silicon intake may have a beneficial effect on cortical bone health.


 

 

 

Silicon is readily bio available in beer and as a result, Dr JJ Powell (King’s College London) suggests that “beer’s alcoholic content and unique Silicon content are responsible for promoting bone health”. Beer intake has been associated with higher BMD.

A few foods contain levels of Silicon; these include beer, bananas, string beans, white bread, beans/lentils, coffee and dark bread. Absorption varies depending on whether you are male or female. For men the top 3 are: beer, bananas, and white bread. For women the top 3 are: bananas, string beans and white bread.

(Jugdaohsingh et al - AJCN 2002; 75:887-93)


 

 

A clinical study in 2005 showed that in just 20 weeks, shallow wrinkles improved by up to 30% and skin elasticity improved by 55%, as well as a significant reduction of brittleness in nails and hair. A 20-week double-blind study took place using 50 women, ages 40 to 65, who had clear signs of sun-damaged or prematurely aging skin. Half of the women received 10 mg of biologically active Silicon in the form of choline-stabilized OSA, the other half were given a placebo.

(Barel et al. (2004) Effect of oral intake of choline-stabilized Silicic acid on skin, nails and hair in women with photo-damaged facial skin, Skin Research and Technology, 10: 1.)


 

 

osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA), which is also known as osteoarthrosis or degenerative joint disease (DJD), is a progressive disorder of the joints caused by gradual loss of cartilage and resulting in the development of bony spurs and cysts at the margins of the joints. The name osteoarthritis comes from three Greek words meaning bone, joint, and inflammation. – Medical dictionary

Osteoarthritis is a condition that affects the joints. It is the most common type of arthritis in the UK. Around 1 million people see their GP about it and the NHS in England and Wales perform over 140,000 hip and knee replacement operations every year.

Three key characteristics of osteoarthritis are:

  • mild inflammation of the tissues in and around the joints
  • damage to cartilage, the strong, smooth surface that lines the bones and allows joints to move easily and without friction
  • bony growths that develop around the edge of the joints

Osteoarthritis mostly occurs in the knees, hips and small joints of the hands and base of the big toe. However, almost any joint can be affected. (NHS Choices online)

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and it is not confined to the older generations, as many believe. Young people can also develop it, often as a result of a sports injury or excessive exercise leading to wear and tear on joints.

OA is also surprisingly common among athletes. In the UK alone there are 27,000 people under the age of 25 suffering from arthritis.