Silicon is the second most common element on earth, lead only by oxygen, and is the second-most abundant element in the Earth’s crust, where it is chiefly found in the form of silica or silicon dioxide. Silicon is never present in its original or free form, and hence, it commonly occurs as silicon dioxide (silica). Silicon is necessary for growth and health of the body’s connective tissue. It is necessary for healthy bones, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, skin, hair and nails. Along with calcium and vitamins, silicon dioxide is equally important for proper bone growth, strength and density. Another important health benefit of silicon is that it minimizes aluminum effects on the body, thereby preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
Silicon is an essential mineral for the human body and has a primary function in helping develop and maintain the structural and functional integrity of the connective tissues and the skeletal system. Carbohydrate based compounds known as mucopolysaccharides form much of the “ground” substance or the material matrix of bone and all collagenous tissues in the human body. Most of these compounds and chemical substances contain silicon as an essential component and the presence of this mineral is believed to aid in the formation of all the vital connections between the compounds classed as mucopolysaccharides and the structural proteins. Silicon is thus not only necessary for the formation of the cellular “architecture” that underlies the skeletal system and the connective tissues, but it is essential for the functional strength and stability of the tissues as well. A list of all the tissues in the human body that contain high concentrations of silicon gives an idea of how important silicon is to the maintenance of human health, major tissues in the body such as the skeletal framework, the various blood vessels – the aorta in particular, the heart and musculature, the skin and hair, the cartilage and ligaments, as well as soft tissues like the liver, the lungs and the brain.
There are also other essential functions that silicon fulfills in the human body in combination with mucopolysaccharides such as in the rapid healing of tissues, chemical regulations involving the transfer of nutrients and water in the membranes of the connective tissues as well as embryonic development and growth.
Functions of Silicon in Our Body
- Helps in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and osteoporosis.
- It is also essential for the muscles, skin, nerves, nails, hair, connective tissue, pancreas, tooth enamel, and thymus.
- Silicon is essential for the proper functioning of nerve cells and tissues , and the synthesis of vitamin B1 in the human body.
- Other possible uses of silica or silicon that are under investigation are to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease, to treat arthritis and other joint or cartilage problems, gastric ulcers, and other conditions where tissue repair and healing are needed.
- Silicon is important to bone formation, as it is found in active areas of calcification.
- The Deficiency of silicon can lead to osteoporosis, aging signs, like poor hair nails and bones, and serves sensitivity to cold.
- A silicon deficiency causes weak and malformed bones of the arms, legs and head.
- Rapid aging, tendonitis, bone decalcification, cardiovascular disease, abnormal skeletal formation, artherosclerosis.
- Brittle nails.
Natural Sources of Silicon
Sources of silicon are whole grains, barley, millets, oats, corn; fruits like apple, plum, berries, strawberries, guavas, oranges, raisins, figs, honey, cherries; nuts like almonds, dates, walnuts, sunflower seeds, flaxseed, groundnuts; vegetables; vegetables like alfalfa, kelp, asparagus, beets, cucumber, celery, onions, cabbage, spinach, endives, carrots, turnips, tomatoes, dandelion, lettuce, green leafy vegetable, eggplants, red beets, pumpkin, parsnip, horsetail and nettle.