Silicon: How To Compensate For A Silicon Deficiency

Silicon is THE trace element for our skin, hair, and nails. But did you also know that silicon is always there where the bone tissue is regenerating and silicon is therefore indispensable for healthy bones and joints? However, only a few foods contain silicon. At the same time, the bioavailability of silicon from these foods is very limited. Silicon deficiency is therefore the order of the day these days. The silicon deficiency could be remedied with dietary supplements. But which preparation do you choose?

Silicon is an indispensable trace element

Silicon is one of the many elements that make up our earth. It is the second most common element in the earth’s crust, right after oxygen. There it is mainly found in various types of rock, where it is present in connection with oxygen as silicon dioxide (SiO2). Although silicon is one of the trace elements and is therefore only required in small amounts in the human organism, it is not always easy to absorb these small amounts.

Little attention is paid to the relevance of silicon

The scientist Hugo Schulz was among the first to realize that there is not a single human tissue that is not found in silicon. Consequently, silicon must play a very important role in maintaining the health of the whole body.

This discovery by Schulz is now about 40 years ago and yet it is still not part of general medical education. This is strange because if silicon is found everywhere in the body, it is reasonable to assume that a corresponding deficiency could also have health effects in all areas of the body.

Silicon for a strong connective tissue

Do you know the horsetail? A plant with one of the highest levels of silicon in the plant world. Try tearing the horsetail stalks. It is not possible. These are not only extremely flexible but at the same time so stable and indestructible that they seem indestructible.

Silicon has very similar tasks in the human body. It gives the connective tissue – including the skin, bones, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments – its elastic stability by promoting the formation of the connective tissue fibers elastin and collagen.

As the name suggests, elastin keeps the connective tissue elastic and collagen gives it its strength. If there is a lack of silicon in the connective tissue, it loses both stability and elasticity.

Weak connective tissue or sticky connective tissue (sticky fascia) not only produces the cellulite that women fear most because it has other important tasks to maintain health in addition to structuring. On the one hand, these consist of ensuring the supply of nutrients to every single body cell and, on the other hand, ensuring the disposal of cell toxins.

A lack of silicon in the area of ​​the connective tissue can therefore lead to nutrient deficiencies as well as contribute to a toxin load in the body. The secondary diseases that a silicon deficiency can contribute to the development of can, therefore, be correspondingly diverse.

Silicon as a water reservoir

Another important property of silicon is its ability to bind up to 300 times its own weight in water. It supports the body in maintaining its water balance, without which a well-functioning metabolism would not be possible.

The water-binding capacity of silicon is also of great importance for the elasticity of the skin as well as that of the cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. The consequences of a silicon deficiency – together with a lack of micronutrients and antioxidants – can cause premature skin aging, weakness of ligaments and tendons, and degenerative changes in the joints (e.g. arthrosis).

Strong bones thanks to silicon

Silicon is the main element of bone-forming cells. In its function as a means of transport, silicon accelerates the storage of calcium in the bones. With a sufficient supply of silicon, the body can also increase the production of collagen fibers. Silicon is thus significantly involved both in the structure and in the stability of the bones.

However, the bones should not only be stable but also have a certain elasticity. Otherwise, they would break pretty quickly. To prevent this from happening, the presence of elastin is just as necessary as that of collagen.

Elastin is made up of various proteins linked together that give it flexibility and resilience. These properties are just as indispensable for a healthy bone structure as stability. How handy that silicon also increases elastin production.

Silicon – An important component of blood vessel walls

Just as silicon gives the connective tissue strength and elasticity, it also ensures healthy flexibility in the blood vessels. A lack of silicon can lead to inflexible vessel walls in which the blood can flow less well. This impairs the entire blood circulation so that an adequate supply of nutrients and oxygen to the body is no longer guaranteed.

In addition, disturbed blood flow can lead to diseases of the cardiovascular system, which are associated with various symptoms such as high blood pressure, angina pectoris, arteriosclerosis, etc.

Silicon mobilizes the immune system

Silicon is also required to support the immune system because it activates the formation of both specific defense cells (lymphocytes) and scavenger cells (phagocytes). These important immune cells are always needed in large numbers when microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, viruses, etc.) have penetrated the body or when defective body cells have to be eliminated.

An all-around good supply of silicon in this area can therefore have extremely positive effects on the body’s own defenses.

This list of the effects of a silicon deficiency on health, which is certainly not exhaustive, makes it clear why the body cannot do without this important trace element.

A lack of silicon heralds the aging process

It has also been scientifically proven for a long time that the silicon content in the body decreases with age. This development is a gradual process that begins in adolescence and finally becomes physically noticeable and visible from around the age of 40.

The first degenerative diseases become noticeable and the external appearance of the skin changes – the aging process has begun.

Of course, nobody can prevent aging, but the speed of this process can certainly be influenced. For this, however, the body must be supplied with sufficient amounts of silicon so that it can activate its own regeneration mechanisms and thus counteract accelerated aging. Only under these conditions does the longed-for anti-aging effect take effect. How can a proper silicon supply best be implemented?

Three ways to compensate for a silicon deficiency

There are three ways to prevent or remedy a silicon deficiency:

  1. Eat lots of silicon-rich foods.
  2. Take silicon-rich supplements.
  3. Use silicon-rich medicinal plants.

The silicon molecules in plant foods are relatively large, so they often cannot be used effectively by the human organism. Therefore, only a small part of the supplied amount of silicon is actually utilized by the body. The rest is excreted unused via the kidneys and intestines.

Our present-day intensive agriculture makes things even more difficult. It means that the plants are generally less able to absorb nutrients and vital substances – and thus less silicon – from the soil.

Silicon-rich foods

The industrial processing of the food further reduces the silicon content. This becomes particularly clear with the example of grain. Like many other vital substances, silicon is primarily found in the surface layers of the grain. If this part is removed during processing, the grain (white flour products) contains almost no more silicon.

For this reason, it is important to eat whole foods, i.e. to choose whole grain products, especially oats are a good source of silicon. However, millet and potatoes also provide certain amounts of silicon.

Brown millet contains a lot of silicon, but you only take two to three tablespoons of it a day in ground form, e.g. B. in muesli or as an ingredient in bread dough. You can read how much silicon is actually contained in millet, brown millet, and oats in our article on brown millet.

Silicon-rich supplements

When it comes to silicon-rich dietary supplements, there are various products such as colloidal forms of silicon, e.g. B. the colloidal silicon from Iceland by GeoSilica, which has a very high bioavailability and – depending on requirements – is available with magnesium, with manganese, with zinc and copper or simply pure. A daily dose of this silicon supplement provides 200 mg of silicon.

Products made from bamboo extract also provide a lot of silicon, where the higher silicon content compensates for the possibly poorer bioavailability.

The Schuessler Salt No. 11 (Silicea D12) can be taken as support. It does not provide silicon itself but promotes the uptake of silicon into cells and tissues.

Silicon-rich medicinal plants for silicon deficiency

Medicinal plants rich in silicon can also help to meet silicon requirements, e.g. B. the stinging nettle or horsetail (= the field horsetail mentioned above).

The nettle can be used very well as a vegetable. If you can’t get around to picking fresh nettles and preparing them accordingly, you can easily use nettle leaf powder. You mix this into your smoothie, stir it into juices, mix it into homemade spreads or directly into bread dough – and in doing so you get an extra portion of silicon and many other valuable plant substances.

The horsetail, on the other hand, can only be enjoyed as tea. But a “normal” horsetail tea is very low in silicon. A special preparation method is therefore required to transport as much silicon as possible from the horsetail into the tea. A so-called maceration decoction is prepared for this purpose. Only then does the silicon release from the plant, get into the water, and can now be drunk.

To do this, soak the horsetail in cold water overnight and then, after soaking for at least 12 hours, boil it for 10 to 30 minutes.

However, if a silicon deficiency or an aluminum load is suspected (silicon inhibits the absorption of aluminum, it is worth taking a high-quality silicon preparation, as this is the only way to ensure targeted, guaranteed quantities of silicon. Because the silicon content in tea or in food cannot be determined with certainty.

The silicon cure

If you would like to take silicon as a dietary supplement, then it is advisable to do this as part of treatment over a period of 3 to 6 months. Only then do the effects of the optimized silicon supply become noticeable.

The visible effects of a good silicon supply include a smooth complexion, healthy toenails, and fingernails as well as strong and shiny hair. Accelerated hair regrowth is also one of the many well-known results of using silicon both internally (drops) and externally (hair tonic).

Measure silicon deficiency

Determining a silicon deficiency is subject to the diagnosis of an experienced doctor. He can have the silicon status measured by means of whole blood analysis in a specialized laboratory and thus assess the current supply situation in concrete terms. In contrast to the usual blood tests, the determination of the silicon in the whole blood analysis is not only measured in the serum, but also in the blood cells. Therefore, this blood analysis is considered to be particularly meaningful.

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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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