When silicon (an element on the periodic table) binds with oxygen, it creates a compound called silicon dioxide (SiO2), often referred to as silica.
Silica is naturally found in the earth, in our body tissues and in our food.
The most common form of crystalline silica is called quartz, which is found in the rocks and sand that make up 90 percent of the Earth’s crust.
In fact, silica has many health benefits.
Silica is used in many different skin care products and vitamin supplements. It is usually created by crushing or milling it from natural sources. It is an excellent anti-caking agent to prevent ingredients from sticking together, making it popular for capsule and tablet formation for pharmaceuticals and vitamin supplements. In fact, both industries have used silica safely for many years.
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is one of our favorite nutritional products loaded with silica. It is an excellent detoxification product that binds up heavy metals and cleanses the gut. Also, DE is useful for cholesterol and lipid modification and reduction.
Silica is known to be beneficial for bone health and the prevention of osteoporosis. Dozens of studies attest to this. It appears to work alongside calcium and enhance the utilization of calcium (hence cardiac benefits- see #2). Deficiency of silica puts you at a higher risk of bone fracture. It also been shown that silica aids in enhancing the healing process of bone fracture and dislocation of joints, helps in improving the flexibility of healthy bones and in maintaining the integrity of connective tissue.
Since silica assist in bone health, it prevents osteoporosis and the release of calcium from bones. Bone loss and calcium mobilization has been thought to be a major risk factor for coronary artery disease. Also, heavy metals such as lead are stored in bones. As bones weaken, lead is released into the blood and linked to an increased risk of coronary artery disease. Thus, silica may be an important nutrient for heart attack prevention and in the prevention and treatment of high blood pressure. Loaded with silica, diatomaceous earth is an effective solution for elevated cholesterol. Finally, silica can bind aluminum, a metal linked to heart disease, high cholesterol, and hypertension.
Silica is great for hair, skin and nails. This is a frequent complaint of many women in our practice. Silica flattens the scales of our hair follicles and thus aids in beautifying and restoring the glow in the hair. Moreover, it is also known that silica helps in keeping the skin elastic, aids in restoring the natural skin glow, prevents cellulite and strengthens the nails. Silica may be beneficial to prevent hair loss and regrowth. Silicon is critical for collagen formation.
One more health benefits of Silica is that it can act as a detox for toxins and heavy metals in the body. One such example is aluminum and aluminum toxicity. Silica binds aluminum, thus preventing the absorption of this metal in the gut. High levels of aluminum are linked to Alzheimer’s disease and associated dementia.
As stated above, strong skin integrity from silica support this organ as an immune barrier. Silica is known to work as an anti-oxidant in people with autoimmune disease.
Silica is known to be essential for our joints. Silicon is known to be beneficial to joints and used in the treatment of osteoarthritis, particularly in men. Silicon is essential for collagen formation and thus healthy cartilage.
Consuming silica allows the respiratory mucosa to restore and play its role in preventing the further entry of infection into the lower respiratory tract which may be more adverse.
Apart from the bones, our teeth also require silica, especially in the calcium utilization which is required for development of strong and healthy teeth.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency placed silicon dioxide in Toxicity Category III, which is the second lowest degree of the toxicity rating scale. Silicon dioxide and silicates have had a history of use in food without detrimental effects. According to the Food and Drug Administration, silicon dioxide and silica gel as food additives are generally recognized as safe (GRAS), meaning that the average consumer will only ingest small enough amounts without adverse health effects.
Although many supplement products contain silica (silicon dioxide), most of ours do not. We have not felt the need to use silica as an anti-caking agent in most of our product. A supplement regimen from The Drs. Wolfson will not contain much silica. That being said, quality water and silica containing foods are a must. Diatomaceous earth is an excellent source of silica with multiple health benefits and is often recommended to our clients.
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