Silicon is a trace mineral that is required by the human body in very small amounts and is used to build many types of tissues in the body.
Silicon is used by the body to build certain proteins for connective tissues. Connective tissue is strong, structural material that contains small fibres and specialised proteins. Silicon is important for forming the connective tissue that is found in the aorta (the main artery leading away from the heart), trachea (windpipe), tendons, bone and skin. Silicon may help prevent atherosclerosis (the formation of fat deposits on the artery walls) Silicon decreases the absorption of aluminium, which is a mineral that may be involved in the development of dementia. Silicon enters the food chain from the soil and is found at the highest concentrations in certain plants. Refining and processing fruits and vegetables decreases the levels of Silicon in these foods. High doses of dietary Silicon do not cause toxicity, but a long-term, high Silicon intake may cause kidney stones. Inhalation of Silicon particles can cause a serious lung disease called silicosis. Silicon is used in homoeopathic practise to promote the discharge of wastes from the body.
Deficiencies in dietary Silicon have been studies in animals. Silicon deficiency causes abnormal connective tissue and bone formation, poorly formed joints and abnormal bone growth.
The highest levels of Silica are found in unprocessed grains and high fibre cereals. Silica can be found in brown rice, oats, organ meats (liver, heart and kidney), root vegetables and unrefined grains and cereals.
DOSAGEThere is no recommended dietary intake for Silicon, but it is thought that the healthy daily intake of Silicon ranges from 5 to 10 mg.