Silicon is not only the most abundant element on Earth after oxygen, giving its name to Silicon Valley. It was previously thought to be rather useless, but scientists have now fundamentally changed their minds.
We publish in processing an article from Vestnik RANS by Professors Valery Zelenkov and Vladimir Potapov on the modern view of the importance of silicon for mankind.
For many years it was believed in science that silicon compounds are biologically inert, useless and cause only diseases. In the 60’s of the last century in the book “Biological role of trace elements in animals and humans” scientists wrote about silicon: “the only known physiological effect of silicon is harmful and it is very likely that although it is present in the body, its presence is due to accidental consumption”.
From a modern point of view, however, this earlier widespread view of the uselessness of silicon compounds is deeply flawed. This view was due to the fact that no compounds with any physiological effect that could be attributed to the presence of a silicon atom have been found among the organic derivatives of this element.
The importance of silicon for the body
But many studies have shown that the role of silicon in the human body is simply invaluable. This element is necessary for the appearance and further development of connective tissue, represented in our body widely enough – these are the joints, bones, tendons, cartilage, crystalline lens, skin, blood vessels, hair, nails and mucous membranes.
Of all the tissues in our body, only connective tissue is capable of regeneration. Silicon compounds are essential for maintaining the strength and elasticity of connective tissue and epithelial formations. Elasticity of skin, vascular walls and tendons is mainly due to the silicon compounds contained in them.
It is silicon that gives elasticity to skin (and to all tissues of the body such as vessels and tendons).
Biological role of silicon
As far back as Ancient Egypt, women used clay to prepare hair and face masks. Later, clay was used to treat pneumonia, maxillary sinusitis, dysbacteriosis, gout, arthritis, arthrosis, for smoothing facial wrinkles.
Homeopaths used silica (Acidum silicicum amorphum) to restore disturbed silicon metabolism and connective tissue function.
Silica in varying degrees of dilution in water is prescribed for suppurative processes, onychomycosis, panaritis, boils, carbuncles, mastitis. It is used for patients with sensitive skin for ulcers, chronic bronchitis, eye diseases (keratitis, leukoma, corneal opacity), pruritic eczema, oedema, keloids, nail diseases and glandular diseases. It promotes resorption of various skin thickenings and scars, connective tissue adhesions of internal organs.
Increasing the body’s absorption of low-soluble silica is achieved by grinding it into nanoparticles. Silica gel obtained in this way in the treatment of neurodermatitis, psoriasis, allergic and fungal skin lesions is as effective as cortisone, and has no side effects.
Silica gels improve the condition of cancer patients and increase the mental state and stamina of healthy people.
“Nano-silica” cosmetic compositions, by facilitating the transport of silicon-containing particles into the connective tissue structures of the skin, slow down its ageing processes.
Mineral waters rich in soluble silicon compounds have long been used in spa practice. They are suitable for treatment of functional disorders of the stomach and duodenum, chronic colitis, diabetes, and metabolic disorders.
Separately, it should be noted that there is a variety of forms of silicon compounds and scientists are studying exactly the biophilic forms of silicon (which should be better assimilated by the body). However, so far there has been very little research on this subject involving humans, and there are some trials on animals.
“No body can exist without silicon”
Silicon participates in chemical reactions that bind the individual fibres of elastin and collagen, helps normalise skin hydration, strengthens nails and hair, and is a good preventive agent against the formation of wrinkles.
Silicon compounds are necessary to activate the regeneration of connective tissue in the body. In addition, the compounds accelerate metabolic processes in the body, stimulate the growth of skin cells, as well as the production of elastin, glycosaminoglycans, collagen, keratin.
Silicon – a structural antioxidant that blocks the processes of lipid peroxidation and enzymatic oxidation, which in turn increases the protective functions of the epidermis, increasing the resistance of hair and nails to the oxidative effects of free radicals. Since the speed of metabolic processes determines a person’s biological age, the lack of this element will be one of the causes of early aging. Of course, silicon is not the elixir of longevity, but its use will hold back age-related changes in nails, skin, and hair, and improve the overall condition.
Even Academician Vernadsky wrote: “the body cannot exist without silicon”. Silicon plays an important role in the process of assimilation of other elements, such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulphur, potassium, aluminium, sodium and many others. In case of silicon deficiency ¾ of elements are poorly absorbed by the body. Therefore it makes no sense to take large amounts of supplements, minerals and vitamins if the body lacks silicon.
The dangers of silicon deficiency
With injuries and bone fractures the level of silica in the bones increases by a factor of 50 or more compared to a normal, healthy state. Once the bone tissue has healed, the silicon content is unchanged.
Silicon has a structuring effect on water molecules, which helps remove toxins, fungi and harmful bacteria from the body.
In case of silicon deficiency in the vascular walls, their elasticity decreases. Together with this decreases the ability of blood vessels of the brain to narrow and expand. In addition, calcium salts begin to deposit in the wall, which further reduces the elasticity of blood vessels.
Back in the 1960s, French scientists M. Lepger and J. Lepger described facts that confirmed that people suffering from atherosclerosis often have very low levels of silicon in the tissues that form the basis of the vascular wall. Scientists have also experimentally proven that by supplementing the body with silicon compounds, the formation of atherosclerotic plaques is halted, allowing normal vascular function to be maintained over the long term.
Silicon has a unique ability to clean living organisms, organic silicon compounds can form bioelectrically charged systems in the aquatic environment of the human body, “sticking” to themselves hepatitis, influenza, herpes, fungi, pathogens, and deactivating them.
Silicon interacts with vitamins C, A, E and enhances their antioxidant properties of fighting free radicals that initiate the development of cancer.
Silicon oxide interacts in the body with heavy metals (lead) that have toxic properties, forming stable compounds with them that are excreted by the kidneys.
Silicon deficiency can lead to diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, malignant tumours and candidiasis.
Nervous system disorders are manifested by movement coordination disorders, staggering, general weakness, irritability and fear. The gastrointestinal tract shows an increased incidence of inflammatory diseases (gastritis, enteritis).
Silicon deficiency develops not only in cases of insufficient intake, but also in a number of parasitic diseases. The need for this trace element increases during active growth in children, physical overload. Reduced gastric acidity also leads to impaired absorption of silica in the stomach and small intestine.
Vegetables and fruit containing vegetable fibres improve silicon absorption.
Some chondroprotector manufacturers (e.g. JN Hondro) add biophilic silicon compounds to their products….or they produce a separate product for silicon supplementation (pictured: JN Vita). According to the manufacturer “contains silicon in chelated form, preserved by green tea halocatechins in an active state”.
What is in silicon
The maximum amount of silicon is found in unpolished rice, oats and millet. Wheat bran and bread made from coarse flour are also an available source of sufficient silicon. Spinach, onions, celery, carrots, cucumbers, white cabbage, milk, meat, eggs and other animal products are also generous with silicon.
An important peculiarity to note: meat food prevents silicon intake into the body, even though it is itself a good source of this trace element.
Vegetables and fruit, on the other hand, which contain vegetable fibre, improve silicon absorption.
Carbohydrate and refined foods do not improve serum silicon levels.
How much silicon to get per day
It has not yet been conclusively established how much silicon and its compounds should be taken in a day. However, research is underway to determine the importance of silicon to the body and how much of it has beneficial effects. There is evidence (according to foreign scientists) that the daily dose of silicon for adults is 20-50 mg.