Silica is abundantly found in our body and is also a mineral that we need the most.
The average adult body contains around 7 grams of silica, mostly found in tissues, like the bones, joints, eyes, skin, and teeth, along with outer structures of our organs.
Not just in our body but silica makes up almost a quarter of the Earth’s crust and is found in rocks, clay, and sand.
In this article, we’ll be discussing what silica is and how it helps us, while also understanding which supplement works best.
What Is Silica?
Silica or “silicon dioxide” is a rich compound made of oxygen and silicon particles. Although it has widespread use in the textile and mechanical industries, its benefits for the human body aren’t known to many.
Sources of Silica
There are many foods that are good sources of silica. These range from fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Some of these are:
- Leafy greens
The herbs rich in silica are nettle leaf, rose hips, oat straw, and horsetail. Of these, nettle leaf reigns as a potent source of silica and can be consumed as a natural supplement in tea or orally.
Benefits of Silica
Silica is most commonly known for its bone-strengthening quality. But, there are other advantages too that it provides for our skeletal system. Here are the top 5 benefits of silica.
Silica is fundamental in combining calcium into and out of our bones, depending on the health of the bones. Both human and animal experiments have proved that silica supplements improve the strength of bones, and reduce brittleness. It also supports osteoblast development. Osteoblasts are the bone cells responsible for spreading out new bone tissue during bone metabolism.
Glowing Skin and Hair
Collagen is crucial for maintaining the elasticity and stability of connective tissues, including the skin. A study by Sao Paulo University in 2016 concluded that silica is needed for collagen synthesis and the production of elastin, a skin-rich protein, keratin, which is present in hair follicles.
Silica also binds glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), another protein that can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water. When bound to water molecules, GAGs help to speed up skin hydration. Experiments have proved that oral or topical use of silica, has improved skin (elasticity, texture, and hydration) and has diminished signs of photoaging.
CAGs also play the role of greasing the joints. Since silica balances out the presence of GAG throughout the body, including the joints, then combining both silica and glucosamine can reduce friction and inflammation in the joint tissue and promoting proper lubrication of the joints (synovial liquid). This might altogether reduce the possibility of joint degeneration due to a decrease in joints rubbing against each other. Additionally, natural supplement is known to hasten the healing period for those suffering from ligament or tissue damage.
Restricts Absorption of Excessive Metals
Silica’s electrical charge ties it to certain excessive metals that gather over tissues with time. Aluminum is found copiously in the Earth’s surface, and excessive exposure can cause a build-up in soft tissues especially in the brain. High levels of aluminum in the brain can lead to cognitive decline. Studies have shown that silica can bind aluminum, thereby restricting its absorption in the digestive system.
Maintains Healthy Heart and Arteries
Silica provides various advantages for the heart. The aorta is the main artery that supplies oxygenated blood from the heart to other organs including tissues like collagen and elastin. Silica also prevents damage to arteries due to high cholesterol levels. By adjusting the rate of fat oxidation, it enhances the thickness of the aorta, silica might be an excellent addition to a healthy diet.
What is the Best Silica Supplement?
If you wonder what silica supplements do, they are excellent substitutes for silica. Apart from the food sources of silica, there are some natural supplements that can offer an added value. Some of the best silica supplements are-
1. Living Silica
Living silica is available in Orgono G5 Siliplant, a silica-based oral supplement. Living silica can be easily absorbed by the body. It is beneficial for bones, tendons, skin, hair, and teeth.
Megahydrate is a silica supplement in powder form. It is a strong antioxidant and facilitates hydration in the body.
3. Nettle Leaf Tea or Capsules
Nettle leaf is a rich supplement for bone-building silica. It also contains nearly 40 trace minerals in their most bioactive states. Nettle leaf is available in the form of tea, tincture, or capsules.
4. Bamboo Silica
Bamboo is the richest source of silica of all plants. It contains almost 70% natural silica. Bamboo silica impedes the aging process as it quickens the network of collagen.
Often people ask, “can silica supplements be harmful?”. There have been no concrete evidence to prove silica supplements having negative side effects.
Is Bamboo Silica Safe to Take?
Bamboo silica with biotin is absolutely safe to consume in the form of natural powders or extracts. Bamboo has the highest amount of natural silica. It helps in reducing visible signs of aging, increases joint flexibility and maintains healthy hair and skin.
Can Silica Damage Your Kidneys?
Silica dust is produced by cutting and grinding concrete and masonry. It is the main component of sand. Over-exposure to silica dust can lead to chronic illnesses like kidney damage or kidney failure.
Silica is like the all-rounder mineral that our bodies need. It has unbeatable benefits for the bones, heart, arteries, and tissues. Silica reduces arterial blockage due to high cholesterol. It is also very helpful in maintaining healthy skin, hair, and nails.