Silicon

General Info

Absorption

Dietary silicon is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract in humans.

Dietary Origins

The best food sources of silicon are bran, brown rice, and white rice. Dietary silicon is also available in other unrefined grain products and high fiber vegetables. Beer contains a high concentration of easily absorbable silicon.

Overview

Silicon is an ultra trace element and the second most abundant mineral found in the earths crust. The largest concentrations of silicon can be found in the skin and cartilage, which also occurs in the aorta, bone, connective tissue, lungs, lymph nodes, tendons, and trachea. Inhalation of silicon from the environment is partially responsible for its high occurrence in lung tissue. The discovery of silicon's role as an essential nutrient is quite recent, and very little work has been done regarding its metabolic activity and optimal dosage ranges. Recent research suggests that silicon is required for the formation of bone, and that men and women who have a high dietary intake of silicon may have reduced risk of osteoporosis.

Toxicities & Precautions

General

Silicon is considered safe and non-toxic.

Functions in the Body

Atherosclerosis

Silicon may be associated with a decreased risk in the development of plaque buildup on the inner lining of arterial walls, also known as atherosclerosis.

Bones and Teeth

Silicon helps in building the organic matrix for the proper mineralization of bones and teeth.

Collagen

A component of connective tissues in collagen, which provides strength, rigidity, and flexibility to bones, teeth, tendons, ligaments, cell walls and membranes, nails, and skin. Also may stimulate the production of collagen.

Symptoms & Causes of Deficiency

Silicon is so abundant in the environment that deficiencies are rare. However based on what is known about silicon it could be speculated that a deficiency could result in weakened immunity, bone deformation, and increased risk for osteoporosis.