Feb 22 , 2021
The potential benefits of silica supplements range from improving skin appearance to reducing hair loss and improving bone health.
Silica, or silicon dioxide, is a natural compound made of silicon and oxygen. Some supplements with this compound claim that silica benefits your skin, hair and nails, while other research says it can prevent degenerative diseases, improve immune function and support bone health.
What is Silica?
Silicon dioxide, otherwise known as silica, is a natural compound made of silicon and oxygen that has three main crystalline varieties: quartz, tridymite, and cristobalite. It's frequently used in industrial settings.
Chronic exposure to inhaling crystalline silica dust can lead to a fatal lung disease called silicosis that sometimes happens in people who work in specific industries such as construction, mining and quarrying.
The silica in food products and supplements contains other silica forms that the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) | Australian says is safe to use as a food preservative and anticaking agent, which helps avoid clumping. It's also found naturally in many plant-based foods. Silicon is present in foods derived from plants including, cereals, oats, barley and white wheat flour. Furthermore, silicon levels are lower in animal foods such as meat or dairy products.
Benefits of Silica
The benefits of silica may help improve skin appearance, reducing hair loss and improving bone health. Probably, the most talked-about use of silica supplements is to improve and strengthen skin, hair and nails. That's why you see several supplement companies including silicon as one of the ingredients in a proprietary blend advertised to support hair, nail and skin health.
Silicon is essential for the optimal synthesis of collagen and for activating the hydroxylation enzymes. It helps with the formation of the collagen network, improving skin strength and elasticity. Data shows a significant improvement in the fragility of hair and nails by the participants that took supplements.
Silica may also play a role in the health of your bones. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging found that silicon has a beneficial role in bone formation and bone health. At the time of this study, no silicon-deprivation studies in humans existed. Still, they did mention studies done on laboratory animals that found silica-deficiency symptoms such as skeletal abnormalities and defects. Silicon recognized as an essential nutrient for bone formation and maintenance. More specifically, they discuss how silicon improves bone matrix quality and facilitates bone mineralization.
Silica Supplement Danger
If you decide that silica benefits outweigh any side effects, you might be wondering if there are silica supplement dangers. Silica supplements are available in various forms, such as pills, drops and liquids. The excellent news about silica supplement is that they are minimal to none than the toxicity of inhaling crystalline silica dust.
Since there is silica in food, such as whole grains, leafy green vegetables and beets, you need to consider the amount you are taking in a supplement. There is no recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for silica.
However, the TGA says silicon dioxide added to food cannot exceed two per cent of the food's total weight. Recommended at a maximum range of 700 to 1,750 milligrams per day, which should minimize any adverse effects.
Why Take Silica Supplements?
Silica is a naturally occurring element found in abundance in the Earth's crust, also known as silicon dioxide or silicon, for food products in minimal amounts. Less than 2 per cent of the total weight of a food product can consist of silica.
As a food ingredient, this compound helps prevent caking. It May also used in dietary supplements for a similar purpose. Additionally, many companies offer silica pills and tablets that claim to improve the health of your hair, skin and bones.
A study conducted on over 3,000 women found that silica helped improve bone mineral density by interacting with estrogen in the female body. However, more evidence is needed to fully show just how beneficial silica supplements can be for bone health. Silica may help build stronger nails and prevent hair loss. Silica compound may help with:
- Alzheimer's disease
- Heart disease
- Sprains and strains
- Digestion problems
Natural Foods That Contain Silicon Dioxide
Silicon, a naturally occurring element, is pervasive in the environment and the second-most common element in the Earth's outer crust. This element is beneficial for a variety of health functions. Most silicon exists in an unabsorbable form. However, some foods contain significant quantities of silicon dioxide, a usable form of the element.
Though silicon has not been determined to be an essential nutrient and there is no recommended allowance, the European Food Safety Authority recommends a safe daily limit of 700 mg. The average adult consumes between 20 and 50 mg of silicon per day. In general, plants contain silicon, while the mineral is absent from animal foods. Depending on where you live, your drinking water may constitute a natural silicon source in your diet. Beer also provides ample quantities of silicon, possibly derived from the grains it is made from.
Silicon dioxide helps minimize the damaging effects of aluminium and prevents Alzheimer's disease. Silicon dioxide also contributes to healthy bone formation and slows aging. Your levels of silicon decrease with age, causing your dietary needs for silicon to increase. To ensure sufficient levels, choose a variety of healthy foods that are good sources of silicon dioxide, including alfalfa, beets, brown rice and oats. Bell peppers, soybeans and leafy green vegetables also provide ample amounts of this nutrient. Other food sources for silicon dioxide include asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, parsley, sunflower seeds and grain husks, such as barley, oats, millet and wheat.
Beverages, such as beer, coffee and water, are the primary dietary sources of silicon dioxide for the average person, providing about 55 per cent of daily intake. Grains offer 14 per cent, and vegetables contribute about 8 per cent to the average person's silicon consumption level. Silicon benefits health by holding your tissues together and preventing the aging of your skin and joints; however, modern foods are deficient in silicon dioxide due to soil depletion.
Horsetail and Algae
The herb horsetail provides a rich natural source of silicon dioxide that traditional herbalists recommend for healthy skin, nails and hair. Some forms of algae also contain considerable levels of absorbable silica and are used in the preparation of silicon supplements.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.