What is Silica?

Silica is a colorless compound made of the most common elements on earth, oxygen and silicon. Although it is often overlooked, it’s the most abundant compound in the earth’s crust and is considered to form the foundation of life.

All life, from insects to humans depends on silica to stand upright. It strengthens the body and ensures its structural integrity. It’s required for tissue formation and for maintaining the thickness, elasticity, resistance and density of our skin, bones, cartilage, hair, nails and blood vessels. It also helps strengthen our vital tissues and organs, such as the heart, and aids in tissue regeneration and healing.

Lack of silica in the body is linked to common ailments associated with aging, such as joint swelling, stiffness and pain, cartilage wear, hardening of the arteries and even digestive issues, such as poor calcium, magnesium and phosphorous absorption. Not having enough silica in the body also contributes to early onset of skin aging, such as wrinkles, fine lines and age spots.

Research indicates that the modern diet has 10 times less silicon than the diets of our ancestors. Luckily, these effects can be reduced by taking silica in minute quantities. However, it is critical that you get your silica from a bioavailable source in order to re-mineralize your body swiftly and feel its effects much faster.

Why Low Silica Levels is a Problem?

There are numerous factors that contribute to low silica levels in people. Each individual is born with 7g of silicon, transferred by the mother, which helps them grow. We also get silica from food sources, primarily fruits and vegetables. However, an increasing number of studies now indicate that only 2 to 3 percent of the silica consumed from food is actually absorbed in the body.

This, coupled with the fact that the modern diet is densely populated with refined foods without enough raw vegetables, legumes, seeds, roots and fruits, increases most individuals’ risk of suffering from issues related to low silica. In fact, several studies show that occidental diets are much poorer in silicon compared to oriental ones.

Unfortunately, even increasing the amount of raw produce in your diet may not up your silicon intake massively. The aggressive horticulture methods and chemicals used today, such as pesticides and chemical fertilizers, often burn the microorganisms in the soil that are vital for solubilizing inorganic silicon. This causes the soil and thus the fruit, vegetables and animals to have less bioavailable silicon inside them.

Furthermore, silicon absorption decreases with age, therefore supplementation is critical to ensure optimum tissue health. The following are some issues associated with low silica levels in the body and how dietary silica can be beneficial:

Osteoporosis

Low bone mass, or osteoporosis, is considered a major silent epidemic today, costing over a billion pounds annually. It’s a leading cause of death among the elderly, but it can be prevented by understanding the factors that affect bone metabolism. According to research published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging, dietary silicon is incredibly beneficial in improving bone and connective tissue health and thus, may help reduce risk of osteoporosis in the future.

Early Onset Skin Aging

Silica is required for the structural integrity and elasticity of the skin. Low silica levels may be associated with premature skin aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles and age spots, and may contribute to redness, scarring and other skin issues. Lack of silica in the diet is also associated with cellulite, varicose veins, acne, brittle hair and hair fall, as well as weak nails.

Taking silica increases collagen production, which helps improve the suppleness and natural glow of your skin. It also prevents hair fall and keeps your nails stronger.

Cardiovascular Issues

Low silica levels are associated with a host of cardiovascular issues, such as high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, artery calcifications and atheroma. Silica helps lowers LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) levels in the body and elevates HDL (good cholesterol) levels in the body. It also prevents artery hardening, thereby improving your blood vessel and heart health.

Other issues associated with low silica intake include digestive issues, nervous system issues, respiratory and lung problems such as emphysema, fibromyalgia, hepatitis, menopausal and postmenopausal symptoms and so on.

Benefits of Silica

The modern diet rich in processed and refined junk and genetically modified food (GMOs) does not allow enough room for bioavailable silica. Although fruits, vegetables and legumes are primary sources of silica – they don’t have enough for optimum health and wellness.

While there are numerous silica supplements drawn from mineral and plant-based sources with varying levels of efficacy, it is highly recommended that you avoid buying any supplement without knowing its bioavailability and whether it is safe to use. Some forms of silica, such as diatomaceous earth made of fossilized remains of tiny aquatic plants and animals may contain traces of crystalline silicone dioxide, which is a smaller particle found in pesticides.

However, taking the right silica supplement backed by credible research can result in a myriad of benefits. Some of which include:

Anti-Aging

Silica can beautify your skin, hair and nails. It helps your skin retain more moisture, making it brighter, plumper, more elastic and less prone to signs of premature aging. Silica also increases the tensile strength of your hair and makes it less susceptible to breakage and split ends.

Repair & Regeneration

Silica enhances your connective tissue health and boosts collagen and elastin production, enhancing cellular regeneration, skin cell turnover, and your overall tissue healing process.

Joint Mobility

Silica helps maintain and repair healthy ligaments, tendons and cartilages, reducing your risk for joint injuries, pain and inflammation.

Antioxidant and
Anti-inflammatory

Silica has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, reducing free radical damage in the body. This helps reduce pain and swelling, thereby lowering your risk of osteoarthritis, arthritis, osteoporosis and other degenerative bone diseases.

Stronger Bones

Silica increases calcium absorption in the body, helping in creating stronger, denser and more flexible bones.

Improved Circulation

Silica fortifies your blood vessels and ensures the structural integrity of your arterial walls. This helps prevent and improve conditions such as hypertension, high cholesterol levels, atheroma and heart disease.

Detoxification

Silica helps remove toxic heavy metals, metabolic waste and other toxins to help clean out of your body at a deeper level. According to a report published in the Frontiers of Neurology, the buildup of aluminum, a potent neurotoxin, may play a key role in contributing to Alzheimer’s disease. Silica can help reduce aluminum buildup in the brain, thus reducing your risk of Alzheimer’s.

Boosts Immune
System Health

Silica strengthens your immune defenses by aiding in the manufacturing of antibodies. It also encourages the conversion of B-Lymphocyte (LB) to T-Lymphocyte (LT) and bolsters your entire immune system function.

Improves Sleep

As you age, your pineal gland can become calcified. The pineal gland produces melatonin – a hormone that helps you sleep. The calcification of your pineal gland can lower its function as you age, causing you to have sleep problems. Silica can help improve your sleep by preventing the calcification of your pineal gland.

Improves Nutrient Absorption
and Gives You More Energy

Silica helps your body absorb several nutrients better by carrying certain elements into your cells. It also has a metabolism-boosting effect, which helps boost energy levels in the body.

Improves Cell Communication
and transport of electrons

Silica is also required for nerve synapse function as it improves cell communication and transportation of electrons. Moreover, it helps maintain healthy pH levels in the body, improves hormonal balance and improves lymphatic system function.

Is Any Silicon Beneficial?

No, as the body cannot absorb inorganic silicon. To become organic, it needs to be processed via microorganisms in the soil or inside the plants. This has been an issue for centuries. The Mayans and Egyptians used mineral silicon with little to no avail, but it wasn’t until Norbert Duffaut and Loïc Le Ribault’s discovery, where they found the most bioavailable form of silicon, monomethylsilanetriol, that humans could really harness the true potency of organic, bioavailable silicon.