What is Silica?
Silica, also known as silicon, is a beautifying mineral which offers many incredible health benefits. It is most commonly known as a supplement for healthy skin, hair, and nails but new studies have shown that it contains many more health benefits than ever considered.
Occurring naturally in the earth’s crust and in trace amounts in the body, silica is the second most available mineral in the world, which has already made its impact in the field of technology and cosmetics. Studies have shown that it could even help to treat insomnia, atherosclerosis, tuberculosis, and a wide range of skin conditions.
Food sources such as apples, celery, cabbage, cucumber, carrots, onions, oranges, fish, almonds, and unrefined grains offer small doses of naturally occurring silica but supplementation will help to boost the absorption of vitamins and minerals in the body, which is excellent for improving overall health.
Drinking water also contains differing trace amounts of silica, depending on the richness of the soil and mineral rocks through which it is naturally filtered.
How to know if you need it?
While a deficiency is quite rare, symptoms of low levels of silica include hair loss, wrinkles, brittle nails, and weakened bones, which could cause arthritis, joint pain, and osteoporosis.
As we age, the quantity of silica in our bodies tends to decrease, which is why supplementation is recommended to maintain the health of bones, nails, skin, and many other functions within the body. If you want to naturally look and feel better, silica supplementation could be just the thing that you need to achieve that with minimal effort.
How to Use it?
Silica is one of the most overlooked supplements in health food stores, even though it contains so many amazing health benefits and is crucial for keeping bones strong and healthy.
Supplements can be found in health food stores, pharmacies, and sometimes even in supermarkets. They will usually list the organic sources of silica as bamboo, green vegetables or horsetail, the most beneficial source being horsetail.
It will usually be sold in a little box or jar containing silica capsules, which can be taken daily before or after meals. There are also gels and concentrated drops available, which you can talk to your healthcare professional about taking.
What are the Health Benefits of Silica?
1. Improves Skin Tone
By boosting the production of collagen in the skin tissue, silica helps to improve the elasticity, tone, and color of skin, which is excellent for naturally preventing aging. It also helps to reduce pigmentation, break-outs and can soothe the symptoms of acne.
2. Balances Hormones
Dr. Theresa Dale, the author of “Revitalize Your Hormones”, silica helps to regulate the balance between magnesium and calcium in the body, which is essential for maintaining healthy hormones.
3. Improves Joint Function
By helping to strengthen the connective tissues in bones and joints, silica naturally helps to increase flexibility while preventing the development of arthritis.
As a natural anti-inflammatory, it also helps to reduce any swelling and pain associated with fractures, swelling, and bone-related discomfort. Some studies have suggested that it can speed up the healing process of injuries, which is very useful.
4. Keeps the Heart Healthy
This essential mineral helps to keep arteries and blood vessel walls supple and strong, which keeps the heart in a healthy condition. Research has shown that silica can be associated with reducing the risk of developing heart disease, the number one killer in the world, as well as atherosclerosis, which can cause strokes and heart attacks.
5. Promotes Healthy Digestion
It helps to keep the colon and digestive tract tissues soft and supple, which can help to decrease inflammation and bloating associated with digestive disruptions. Sufficient silica intake can help to relieve the symptoms of constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and any irritation from gluten sensitivity.
Studies have also shown that it helps to boost the absorption of Vitamin D, calcium, and glucosamine, which can significantly improve overall health.
6. Excellent for Hair and Nails
One thing that silica is well known for is its incredible effect on the health of hair and nails, helping to increase the strength and shine of both. It also protects the scalp and nails from fungal infections, which can cause dandruff, hair loss, and nail loss.
7. Strengthens the Immune System
The immune system is at its strongest when the body is in an alkaline state, something which silica supplementation can help to create. Originating from the earth’s rich crust makes it one of the most alkalizing minerals available, excellent for detoxing the body and improving immunity. Research has shown that it also helps to boost the production of the antibodies and antigens that the immune system relies on to fight infections. This facilitates better, faster healing from colds, flu, infection, and illness even when the immune system has been compromised.
What is the Correct Dosage?
There is no official recommended daily amount of silica, although studies have shown that the average healthy diet includes 1-1.5 grams of it per day. If there is not sufficient intake of fresh produce, filtered water or unrefined grains in the diet, silica intake could be found to be insufficient.
Either increasing the amount of silica-rich foods in the diet or supplementing with 5-10 milligrams per day has been found to relieve many of the known symptoms of a deficiency while simultaneously boosting the health of other functions.
What Are the Precautions and Side Effects?
There are no known negative side effects of silica supplementation, although some research has suggested that long-term high dosage could lead to the formation of kidney stones in rare cases.
Diabetic patients must talk to their doctor before supplementing with silica because it could cause a fluctuation in blood sugar levels, even though it is highly unlikely. To minimize any potential risks to your baby, it is not recommended to take during pregnancy. Inhalation of silica powder could cause lung damage and is not recommended.