Silicas role in enhancing overall optimal bodily function has been recognized for quite some time. Its the second-most-common element on the earths crust, surpassed only by oxygen, and yet we still cannot seem to get enough from our diets. Its role in maintaining overall health cannot be understated as many of the diseases of aging are the result of the collagen-based breakdown of our tissues. Silica is absolutely essential as the foundational matrix for the formation of collagen, the primary connective tissue of the human body. Yet this simple element is often missing from most anti-aging protocols.
Here is what we know:
- The average human body holds approximately 7 grams of silica, which is far in excess of other important minerals like iron, yet we hear far more about iron deficiency.
- When we are young, silica levels in our bodies are high and coincidentally, we enjoy having strong, flexible bones and joints, along with healthy wrinkle-free skin.
- As we age, silica levels decline and without adequate tissue levels of silica, we manifest many of the symptoms of aging. Effects and symptoms include osteoporosis along with the subsequent impaired ability to heal and repair wounds, loss of mobility, increased aging of the skin, hair and nails, declining arterial integrity (the aortas of healthy individuals contain 10 times the amount of silica of those with diseased aortas). In short, just about any condition where connective tissue is involved.
- It appears to displace the absorption of aluminium in the body, perhaps making it a crucial element in preventing Alzheimers disease, which many have linked to the element aluminium.
What foods contain silica?
Theoretically, we should be able to get enough silica from our diets, including readily available foods like oats, rice, barley, wheat and potatoes. However, modern processing often removes most of whatever silica there was to begin with.
Also the silica from these foods cannot be directly absorbed from the gastro-intestinal tract without first being made soluble through stomach secretions, causing the production of orthosilicic acid, the form of silica the body actually uses.
Through age or condition, many individuals do not make sufficient stomach acid to absorb silica and other nutrients. In light of its many benefits, you may want to consider adding silica to any anti-aging or health regimen you may already do.
How much silica are we getting?
Current estimates are that we are getting somewhere between 20 and 60 milligrams of silica in our daily diet (less if we are heavy meat eaters).
When compared with the much higher doses (e.g. 300+ mg) seen to produce therapeutic benefits, it clearly demonstrates that our requirements are not being met.
On a final note, if you suffer from impaired digestion, try the orthosilicic form of silica. This type of silica will raise tissue concentrations much more effectively than the herbal or colloidal forms.