Silicon - Nutrition

What is Silicon

Silicon (Si) is a mineral, similar to carbon, whose functions and characteristics represent a fairly recent discovery.

Functions in the body

The scientific evidence of some study groups has brought to light the fundamental importance of silicon in the formation of mucopolysaccharides constituting collagen, a structural protein which is widespread in bones, articular cartilage and connective tissues.

The action of silicon on ossification is (unlike other essential trace elements) completely independent of vitamin D, and the mineralization of the skeleton is directly proportional to the silicon content in the diet.

Silicon also appears to be a constituent of prolinehydroxylase (an enzyme which is also indispensable for the biosynthesis of collagen and bone), glycosaminoglycans and polyuramides, and also plays a predominant role in the metabolism of mitochondria and osteoblasts; recently it has been hypothesized that silicon plays a protective role against cardiovascular diseases.

Absorption

The process of intestinal absorption of silicon is unclear and, most likely, depends on the chemical form at the time of food intake; it is expelled in the form of orthosilicate especially at the urinary level.

Feeder foods

The nutritional importance of silicon is still rather obscure, however, based on the results of the experimental tests conducted, many researchers already consider it an essential nutrient. There are many food sources of silicon, but it is possible to find good quantities of them in the form of silicic acid, especially in cereals and in fruit and vegetable products.

Need, Shortage, Excess

No in-depth studies on the recommended doses of silicon are available, but it is conceivable that 20-30mg / day can effectively prevent deficiency symptoms, namely: weakness of connective tissues, paradontosis, caries and hair loss.

There are still no known toxic effects related to silicon overdosage.

To learn more: Silicon and Silicon Supplements

Bibliography:

  • Menopause and natural therapies - F. Corletto - New techniques - pag 105: 107
  • Treaty of internal medicine, volume 3 - G. Crepaldi, A. Baritussio - Piccin - pag 1430
  • The molecular basis of nutrition. Second edition - G. Arienti - Piccin - pag 528
  • Minerals - P. Hopfenzitz - - page 45
  • EM. Calisle - Silicon an essential element for the chick - Science 1972 - 178: 619-62
  • J. Loeper, et al. - The antiatheromatous action of silicon - Atherosclerosis 1979 - 33: 397-408.

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