Silicon for the body
Bones that form our skeleton are continuously being regenerated and degraded by the body. In a healthy body the regeneration and the degradation process are in balance, so that always the same amount of bone tissue is regenerated as was degraded (equilibrium of the bone metabolism). Hereby the bone regeneration cells (osteoblasts) are in balance with the bone degradation cells (osteoclasts). If the balance is synchronised same amount of bone tissue is continuously being regenerated as is being degraded. The bones, and thus the skeleton is constantly being renewed and the flexibility and stability maintained. The body can adapt itself to changing environmental influences and we can move without any limitations.
Some important components for the bone metabolism can only be taken into the body in the form of nutrition, because these components are not produced by the organism itself. In this case one speaks of essential components. This includes essential minerals, trace elements and vitamins. For the bone metabolism vitamin D, calcium, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium are, among others, required.
Silicon is a further, essential trace element. The human body contains about 1 to 2 g of silicon. It is thus, after minerals iron and zinc (physiologically important trace elements), the third most frequent trace element in the body. Today it is known that silicon, as a trace element, has a positive effect on the bone metabolism and, in doing so, promotes the absorption and utilisation of other minerals and trace elements. Many studies have been carried out that show that silicon has a positive effect on the synthesis of the bone matrix and stimulates the process, so that an increase of the bone mass can be demonstrated by measuring the bone density. Studies have also shown that a silicon deficiency leads to badly formed bones and a reduced bone mass, which could be compensated by the intake of silicon.
Silicon is involved in the bone formation in the synthesis sector and/or the stabilisation of collagen. Collagen plays an important structural role in the development and the elasticity of bones and connective tissues. Collagen fibres are formed, which are, besides the bone minerals, the main component of the organic part of the bone and give the bone the necessary tensile strength and elasticity.
A further important part of the skeleton are the joints. Besides bones the joints also consist of cartilage tissue. As with the bone metabolism, the cartilage tissue is also in a regulated equilibrium between cartilage regeneration and cartilage degradation. The joint cartilage is firmly fixed to the joint bone and consists of collagen fibres that form a net out of connective tissue.
Collagen are structure proteins (albumen) found in humans and animals. In the areas where collagen are formed for the bones and cartilages, one finds high concentrations of silicon and other minerals that promote the formation. Silicon is already involved in any early stage of the bone, cartilage and connective tissue formation and is important as a trace element. In bones and connective tissue such as hair, vessels and cartilages the highest concentration of silicon could be verified.
Hair is formed from hair roots that are on the scalp. The hair roots are surrounded by hair follicles that supply the hair roots with nutrients. The hair follicles are anchored in the skin (dermis) by collagens and consist of the connective tissue-like hair papilla (papilla pili) and the root sheath. In order that hair remains healthy and no loss of hair occurs, the scalp must be healthy and provided with nutrients.
Silicon is involved in the synthesis and/or the stabilisation of collagen. Silicon promotes the formation of collagens and helps to ensure the tautness, elasticity and a good supply of water to the scalp.
Silicon activates enzymes that promote the interlinking of collagens which improves the elasticity of connective tissues. It accelerates the formation of connective tissue fibres, collagen and elastins which give the skin elasticity and firmness. Another important property of silicon is that can bind a large quantity of water. If the connective tissue has a good supply of silicon, the skin is naturally kept moist and is given a healthy elastic structure..
Toenails and fingernails are formed in the upper layer of the skin, the epidermis. The formation of healthy toenails and fingernails is directly connected to the metabolism of the skin. If the skin is healthy and the interlinking of the collagens functions, a firm and elastic nail structure is formed. Important for this is the correct mineral concentration of silicon that is involved in the formation process and promotes the growth of healthy nails.
As a rule silicon is in food as relatively large silicon modules and compounds. A major part of the silicon from these sources is excreted because it does not have a very good bioavailability and the body cannot utilise it. In order that the body can utilise the silicon it must, first of all, be transformed into a bioavailabe form, or offered to the body in a form that is already utilisable. An optimal intake can take place if the silicon is available in a dissolved and absorbable form. In general the bioavailability increases if the silicon is available in the form of a hydrolysed colloidal compound, because this is absorbed directly by the body. Insoluble forms are only partly transformed into a utilisable form by the organism, the remainder is excreted, so that the greater part of the silicon remains unutilised.
Silicon is an essential trace element can only be taken into the body by eating food. Thereby silicon is mainly contained in vegetables and fruit in the form of bound silicon dioxide (SiO2) which, in this form, cannot be absorbed very well by the organism. The result is that the major part of the silicon intake is excreted.
An unbalanced diet, as a result of, for example, eating industrially processed food can lead to a low silicon intake. In addition, as a result of natural aging, illness or other circumstances the silicon requirement can increase, so that this cannot be covered by the daily intake of food.
A deficiency of silicon can cause physical ailments and visible symptoms.
Indications of a silicon deficiency can be: