Silica Basics

Silicon is the second most abundant element on earth and is essential for living matter.

It is important to point out the difference between silicon dioxide and organic or bioavailable silica (Orthosilicic acid). Silicon dioxide is found in rock crystals and is used to make glass. Your body doesn’t absorb this type and you would not supplement with this. Organic forms of silica that are bodies use are found in seawater, seafood, vegetables and herbs.

By the time we are fully grown we have used up about 80% of our stored silica reserves.

Why Do We Need It?

As we age, the level of silica in our bodies is reduced. Silica helps keep your bones, ligaments and connective tissues strong. It also helps maintain elasticity for your skin, hair, nails and our arteries. Many people who have started supplementing with silica have found that their hair and nails grow faster and in some cases joint pain diminishes or disappears altogether.  Some people even notice a difference in the health of their skin and the reduction in wrinkles.

You may also notice joint pain, bones that aren’t healing (nutrient deficiency), cartilage issues and other conditions where tissue repair and healing are needed. Silica deficiency is no fun. Organic silica also improves your liver function and helps your body eliminate toxins.

Silica works synergistically with vitamin C and bioflavonoids in your body for collagen production. Your body needs silica and other nutrients including vitamins B6, C, D, K and folic acid. Taking silica is also important for minerals such as copper, boron, fluorine, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, strontium and zinc.

Silica is also one of the minerals responsible for helping calcium attach to our bone matrix. It is one of the major materials that they body uses to repair itself. Most people don’t have calcium deficiency. Most of us are getting too much calcium, and not enough of other nutrients to help our body use the calcium. This is why we are seeing people with kidney stones, bone spurs and calcium build-up in their arteries and joints and bone loss. Then they are told by their doctors to take more calcium when they should be taking silica, magnesium, boron and vitamins D&K.

Silica can help the body to eliminate aluminum as well, which has been shown to contribute to brain inflammation and cognitive impairment.

Supporting Research

In 1878 Louis Pasteur declared that in the future silica would become an optimal therapeutic agent. 1939 Nobel Prize Winner Professor Adolf Butenant found that silica is essential to human life. Scientists at Columbia University in 1972 confirmed that silica must be continuously supplied from food sources.

Why are we not told how important silica is to our health?

A leading silica researcher Kalus Kaufman said that silica is the most important antioxidant. Studies done on rabbits with silicon deficient diets had more atherosclerotic arterial plaques. Results of studies on rats with silicon-deficient diets show decreased growth, and deficient bone and tooth structure.

You will find many articles on the internet written by doctors, but often they don’t differentiate between silicon dioxide and bioavailable forms of silica. They lump them all into one category and have decided there is no point in supplementing with silica as it is useless. The fact that there is no RDA for silica is troubling, to say the least. With all the studies and evidence you will still find blogs claiming that there are little to no studies about the benefits of supplementing silica. This is false.

Why don’t we get enough from our diet?

Ideally we should be getting enough from our food sources. Here are some of the reasons why our food does not contain the amounts of silica that it used to:

  • Poor farming techniques that deplete top soil and nutrients (like mono-crops)
  • Failure to rotate crops
  • Use of synthetic fertilizers

Then we process that nutrient deficient food. Commercial processing further depletes the nutritional value. When a grain is milled it only around 2% of original silica remains.

Since the Standard American Diet contains mostly processed foods, it is no wonder we are deficient. At this point when the body gets to a point of severe deficiency, food alone will not cut it. You must supplement. The average person loses about 40mg of silica per day. Most people maybe consume around 5mg in their diet per day. This is why just using diet to correct a severe deficiency does not work.

Our Best Silica Supplements…

There are many great products on the market. We have many very good options that are easy for your body to absorb.

Excellent sources of bioavailable silica, some with other synergistic nutrients. Some in powder form (large amount of herbs and probiotics) to make great smoothie. Others are in liquid or capsule form.

Author: Alicia Passmore