Silica or silicon dioxide is a form of the second most common element on Earth – silicon. Inorganic sources of silicon are mainly found in sand and quartz while the organic sources include certain herbs and foods. Silica is a trace mineral, which means it is essential to humans health, and we need just a small amounts of this element in order to function properly.
Health benefits of silica
Humans need silica in order to maintain healthy bones, cartilage, organs and connective tissues, hair, skin and nails.
Recent studies discovered that calcium and vitamin D, crucial for healthy bones, are not sufficient to maintain proper bone growth, density, firmness and flexibility. Human’s body also needs other mineral compounds, such as silica, in order to produce collagen – a main component of connective tissue responsible for flexible skeleton and joints. Women in post-menstrual phase may especially benefit from silica, because it prevents and helps to prevent osteoporosis and repair the muscular-skeletal system, preventing injuries and speeding the healing of fractures.
Silica is also important for healthy cardio-vascular system. The lack of silica may lead to weakening of the connective tissue on artery walls, causing the increased risk of heart diseases. Scientific investigations found out that the death rate from coronary heart disease in people who drink “hard water” (water saturated with natural minerals) is extremely low. On the other hand, silica was absent from drinking water where coronary heart disease rates were twice as high.
Silica may possess the ability to reduce the amounts of aluminum in the brain lesions. Silicon levels decrease with aging and regular use of silica by the elderly population may prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Silica also has significant cosmetic properties, as it promotes healthy growth of connective tissue. Silica may prevent the effects of aging, by restoring skin’s ability to hold water and remain flexible and smooth. This way silica may fight wrinkles, thinning of the hair and skin, dry and brittle hair… Moreover, the mineral silica is sometimes referred to as "the youth and beauty mineral". Sufficient amounts of silica may also improve the appearance one’s nails.
Sources of silica
Humans need small amounts of silica to maintain good health. There are two main sources of silica: drinking water and plant fiber. Silica may be introduced into the diet by food supplementation sources such as: the herb horsetail, alfalfa, beets, whole grains like oats, and brown rice, bell peppers, soybeans, leafy green land-vegetables, seaweed, and blue-green algae.