You’re already aware of the fact that our body needs a wide spectrum of nutrients to function properly. While some nutrients like minerals such as calcium, zinc, iron and others are usually discussed, we don’t get to hear or read enough about silica and its impact on our health and wellbeing. However, you’ve probably come across silica supplements and didn’t know almost anything about their purpose or whether you really need them or not. This post is going to inform you about silica, its impact on our health, and supplements, so let’s start.
What is Silica?
We’re going to start off by defining silica or silicon dioxide (SiO2). It is a colorless, white chemical compound made of the most common elements on the planet: oxygen and silicon. It is also worth to mention that silica is the most abundant compound in our planet’s crust. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, the mass of Earth’s crust is 59% silica and it is the primary constituent of more than 95% of the known rocks.
It is safe to say that silica is everywhere. You’ll find it in cosmetic products, food, plants, medicine, rocks, toothpaste, and even those tiny gel packs that usually come in shoe boxes and other packages in order to absorb the moisture.
Why should you care about silica? Well, silica is present in nature and basically, everything else and your body isn’t an exception here. Yes, you have silica in your body primarily in the connective tissues. The mineral is essential for the body to create and maintain collagen. The lack of collagen synthesis in the body accelerates the aging process. That is the reason why silica supplements, usually, target women and promise they’ll improve their health as well as skin, hair, nails, you name it.
What are the Benefits of Silica?
Dietary supplements work to deliver recommended daily values of different nutrients to our body in order to improve our health, help manage some condition and so on. While our body doesn’t need high amounts of silica the levels of this mineral decrease as we age. Supplements work to prevent that and, at the same time, help our body experience everything that silica has to offer. So, what is that exactly? What are the benefits of silica?
Bone and Joint Health
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging found that silica plays an important role in bone formation and connective tissue and bone health. Although the underlying mechanisms behind the silicon’s efficacy are unclear, scientists speculate it could be due to its involvement in collagen synthesis.
Skin, Hair, and Nails
Silica is dubbed incredibly beneficial for your skin, hair, and nails. One research showed that skin benefits come as a result of the optimal synthesis of collagen and due to silica’s ability to activate the hydroxylation enzymes, vital in the formation of collagen network.
Regarding the hair, strands with higher silica content have lower falling rate and higher brightness than their counterparts. Since this element is the predominant mineral in the composition of nails, it comes as no wonder why silica supplements benefit nails as well. For example, soft and brittle nails can indicate silicon deficiency.
There are also some indications that silica supplementation may provide these health benefits:
- Heart health
- Stronger immune system
- Stronger and healthier teeth and gums
- Addresses stomach and digestive disorders
- Wound and burn healing
- Prevents Alzheimer’s by playing a part in removal of aluminum
Do I Need “Silica Supplements”?
Silica is naturally present in many foods and although it doesn’t get too much attention, silicon is an important part of a healthy diet. The most abundant source of silica is a plant called horsetail, but you can also find it in green beans, leeks, strawberries, cucumber, garbanzo beans, mango, celery, rhubarb, and asparagus.
Another way of getting silica is through supplements. Do I need them? There is no strictly yes or no answer to this question. At this point, there is no enough scientific info about all benefits that silica supplements may provide. The evidence is lacking which is why scientists debate whether we really need supplements or don’t.
It all comes down to you and your preferences. If you do decide to take silica supplements, then consult your doctor and see whether it’s safe to take them in case you also take medications or suffer from some health conditions.
Since the popularity of silica supplements keeps increasing, you have to do a little bit of research about the brand, efficacy of different products, and other things in order to avoid spending your money on an ineffective product.
Silica is everywhere, in Earth’s crust, rocks, some foods, even our bodies. It is associated with a wide array of health benefits, but at this point, there’s not enough evidence to support those claims. This just means there is a growing need for more research on silica because this compound has a tremendous potential which has to be explored. Whether you should use silica supplements or not is a decision that depends only on you. If you decide to go for it, then take it as your mission to do your best and opt for the reliable and effective product made by a brand with satisfied customers.