Silicon

Chemical Symbol

Si


Overview

Silicon is the most abundant mineral in the earth’s crust and because of its abundance it is a vital compound found in plants and soil. Before 1972, silicon was considered to be a non-essential trace mineral but research now shows that silicon is essential for the formation of bones and collagen.


Function

The effects of silicon on the body are still being looked at by researchers, but from what they have seen so far silicon appears to have an essential role in the formation of bone and collagen fibers. Since silicon has elastic properties it has been found in high amounts in the lining of our arteries, which appears to make them flexible as well as in our hair, nails and skin. In the early stages of bone formation silicon works with calcium to ensure that it is readily absorbed by the bones to ensure they are properly formed.


Forms Available


Recommended Intake

Recommended intake levels for adults are 20-50 mg per day.  With more animal-based diets, less is needed; plant-based diets require more.  Silicon supplements come in sodium metasilicate and silicic acid.


Deficiency

As we age we begin to see a decline in silicon in the arterial vessels, skin and the aorta. Since these levels decline it may be necessary for the elderly to increase their intake of this mineral to prevent any deficiency. Although there is a decline in the elderly we are still unsure of what a deficiency of silicon does to the body. In studies done on baby chicks and rats they have seen a decline in growth and improper skull formations, however it is uncertain if this reaction will occur in humans.


Sources in the Diet

Some of the best ways to intake silicon are by eating cereal grains that are high in fiber or fruit high in pectin, a soluble fiber found in mostly in fruits or vegetables. Some fruits high in pectin are apples, citrus fruits, berries, peaches and apricots.


Recent Studies and Articles

Silicon and beer

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100208091922.htm

Silicon intake and absorption

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/75/5/887.full

Benefits of dietary silica gel

http://www.livestrong.com/article/448335-what-are-the-benefits-of-dietary-silica-gel/


Challenges Presented


Watson Products


Sources

  1. [0] – http://djarn.edublogs.org/files/2011/01/periodic-table-2jh1745.gif
  2. [] – 8. Cichoke, A. Sillicon. Total Health. 2005; 17 (3), p106-107. http://web.b.ebscohost.com.unh-proxy01.newhaven.edu:2048/scirc/detail/detail?vid=1&sid=5e7d6a24-4b3e-4aa7-a836-7b54cb9d80e2%40sessionmgr114&hid=101&bdata=JnNpdGU9c2NpcmMtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=sch&AN=9506012100. Accessed June 17, 2015.
  3. [0] – The New Encyclopedia of Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements, and Herbs