Silicon is one of the most common elements on Earth - it occupies the second place after oxygen and is present in most cells, which indicates its necessity for the development of most organisms. Studies in animal models have shown a link between food silicon deficiency and connective and bone tissue growth disorders. Silicon may also be necessary for human health; attention is particularly drawn to its therapeutic potential in the field of orthopedic, as well as cardiological and dermatological diseases. It is believed that silicon may also have anti-diabetic and antiatherosclerotic properties. Silicon is found in all tissues of the body - its content clearly decreases with age, then degenerative processes begin to progress.
For a long time, it was believed that the role of silicon in the human body is marginal, however, the results of research from recent decades indicate that it is so-called "Essential microelement"; its consumption is recommended by various dietary standards.
The highest silicon content in the body was found in connective tissue, bones, kidneys, liver, skin, spleen and lungs. The element is present in all tissues, but its content decreases with age; lower elemental concentrations are also observed in some pathological conditions (e.g. ischemic heart disease).
Silicon probably supports normal bone growth and mineralization. In addition, silica is necessary for the formation of apatite crystals - the basic inorganic component of dental tissues and bone building blocks. There are also reports that indicate that silicon may reduce the levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol in the blood plasma and have antiatherosclerotic effects. The element has the ability to bind heavy metals and reduce their harmful effects, and silicic acid can limit the absorption and toxicity of aluminum.
The biological significance and functions of silicon at the molecular level remain largely unexplained, opening up the field for further research that will better understand the effects of silicon on the skeletal system and other body systems.
It is assumed that the daily dose of silicon for an adult should be 20-30 mg. The average daily intake of silicon in the population is 20–50 mg (Europe and North America), it is higher in China and India (140–200 mg / day), where grains, fruits and vegetables make up the majority of the diet. Interestingly, China and India have the lowest fracture rates compared to all other regions of the world. The results of epidemiological experiments indicate that diets supplying more than 40 mg of silicon per day may have a positive effect on the mineral density of the femur (compared with consumption below 14 mg / d).
Silicates from food in the digestive tract are hydrolysed to easily digestible orthosilicic acid, which goes into the bloodstream and is distributed throughout the body with blood. A large part of the element from food is excreted via the kidneys (with urine), which confirms the thesis of good absorption of silicon from the gastrointestinal tract.
The human body probably has a number of regulatory mechanisms that affect intra-body silicon levels. For example, about 40 percent is excreted in the urine. silicon absorbed from food, yet its plasma concentration is constant.
Good sources of silicon in your diet include:
The absorbable form of silicon is also found in beer and wine.
Silicon is also available in some dietary supplements (with varying bioavailability). It is generally thought that monomeric silicon forms are better absorbed by the body than oligomeric forms, more strongly polymerized.
There is no evidence of silicon toxicity (ingested orally), so healthy subjects (with normal renal function) have a safe maximum daily dose of silicon (oral) of 700-1750 mg.