Did you know there’s a substance that can show people how healthy and vibrant you are, just by looking at your face?
Did you know that same substance can help prevent injuries and bone deterioration in racehorses?
What we’re talking about is silicon, one of nature’s most abundant elements and one that our bodies need for good health.
What is Silicon?
Silicon is everywhere! You can find it in water, plants, and animals. It is present in most organic tissues such as bone tissue and connective tissue.
Silicon is a chemical element (Si) that is usually found linked up with a pair of oxygen molecules as silicon dioxide, otherwise known as silica. Silicon is a naturally occurring chemical element and it should not be confused with silicone, which is a synthetic polymer with very different properties.
Silicon Early Research
As early as 1878, the famous food scientist Louis Pasteur became interested in the health properties of silicon, and believed it "would prove to be an important therapeutic substance for many diseases." Noting this, The Cambridge World History of Food declares, "ample evidence exists to suggest that silicon is an essential nutrient for higher animals, including humans."
Since then, pioneer scientist, Edith Carlisle, from the UCLA School of Public Health, studied the health benefits of silicon on mice and chickens from the 1970’s through the 90’s. Her 20 years of research proved that silicon was essential for proper growth and development, as well as the fact that when withheld from normal nutrition, silicon deficiency led to skeletal deformities and malformed joints.
This research paved the way for the Department of Animal Science, Michigan State University, to test silicon by adding it to the diet of racehorses in the hopes of reducing their injury rates. Since a racehorse’s athletic performance slowly declines through the years due to ageing, bone deterioration, and skeletal injuries, the results of this research were important in proving that silicon drastically reduced the number of injuries, as well as bone and cartilage deterioration.
Science Reveals Six Benefits
While animal research showed the undeniable necessity of silicon for growth and bone formation, human research has shown that silicon is beneficial on a much wider spectrum such as digestive disorders, Alzheimer’s prevention, cardiovascular support, and many other therapeutic applications.
Science has revealed six ways silicon provides us with surprising health benefits from head to toe (and everything in between!). Read on and see how many of the six are important to you – we think all of them!
Benefit #1: Skin, Hair, Nails
Silicon is an important element for the synthesis of collagen which leads to improving skin strength and elasticity. A study referenced in the Official publication of the Brazilian Society of Dermatology, which was conducted with people between the ages of 40 and 65 with clear signs of facial ageing, showed there was significant and visible improvement in the skin surface of the people who took supplements that contained silicon. This same study observed an improvement in the fragility of nails and hair. Another study by the College of Pharmacy, University of Cincinnati, showed that stands of hair that have higher silicon levels show more brightness and a lower rate of hair loss.
Higher levels of silicon also protect nails against infections, and since silicon is one of the predominant minerals in the composition of nails, soft brittle nails could be a sign of silicon deficiency.
Benefit #2: Stomach and Digestive Health
According to studies conducted at the Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University, and published in the journal Gastroenterology, silicon helps rebuild and maintain digestive tract tissue. The studies' findings suggested that, "collagen production by human intestinal smooth muscle cells has a role in the repair… of the gastrointestinal tract."
In other words, collagen helps build new muscle cells to heal the stomach lining and intestinal wall. Most gastro-intestinal problems occur due to the degradation of the lining of the G.I. tract. Since silicon is an essential component for the synthesis of collagen, it can play a key role in rebuilding this lining and having a healthy gut.
Another surprising benefit of silicon is that it can help relieve constipation. Silicon absorbs a great number of toxins that slow down the digestive system. Silicon may even help to reverse food intolerances and help reduce flatulence.
Benefit #3: Bone Strengthening
Silicon has a direct result in the rate of the calcification in bones. A high silicon diet has proven to maximize bone mineralization much quicker. Since silicon is the essential component that makes up the collagen matrix upon which calcium is deposited, it is truly impossible to form bone without calcium and silicon.
Benefit #4: Cardiovascular Support
A study published in Lancet found that arteriosclerotic artery walls showed lower than normal levels of silicon, and an excessive amount of calcium. This study noted that “silicon is essential for growth. It is found mainly in connective tissue, where it functions as a cross-linking agent,” that helps with the strengthening of arteries and veins.
Benefit #5: Immune System Enhancement
Silicon helps keep our skin tissue healthy. Since our skin is the main shield of protection against bacteria and viruses, silicon plays a key role in keeping our immune system in optimum condition.
Benefit #6: Alzheimer’s Prevention
James F Balch, M.D. And Phyllis A. Balch, C. N. C. pointed out on their book “Prescription For Nutritional Healing” (1997), that silicon counteracts the effects of aluminum on the body and that this can play a key role in the prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease and osteoporosis.
To Supplement or Not?
The health benefits should be clear; but since silicon is found in so many things, why do we need to supplement? It boils down to two main reasons:
1) As we age, the level of silicon present in our bodies decreases significantly. This deficiency can lead to degenerative diseases of the G.I. tract, as well as Alzheimer’s and osteoporosis.
2) Silicon isn’t present in sufficient amount when it comes to food sources. While oats, barley, wheat, millet and potatoes have high levels of silicon, in the average North American diet these foods are refined to a point where they lose all or most of their silicon components.
How Can I Get The Daily Amount of Silicon My Body Needs?
Among the many options for supplementing your silicon intake, one easy and effective way is Fowler’s Digestive Tonic, a soothing and refreshing liquid formulation that can be taken as a natural every-day digestive aid. Fowler’s Tonic combines the power of plant-based silicon, extracted from horsetail, with the benefits of peppermint to help stimulate digestion and the flow of bile, which helps relieve bloating, gas, nausea and vomiting.
Taking Fowler’s Digestive Tonic each day will do wonders for your digestive system, and the added silicon will help supplement your body’s natural requirements, so you can start enjoying all the health benefits and better quality of life that comes with silicon.
How many of the six benefits are important to you? Are there benefits we haven’t mentioned? Let us know in the comments below.
Sources cited in this article:1. The Cambridge World History of Food