Silica, silicon dioxide or quartz, is a mineral that the human body only requires in small doses meaning that silica supplements are rarely necessary. Within the body, the mineral can be found in tissues that connect. This means places such as the hair, tendons, bones, teeth, blood vessels, skin and cartilage.
Although it is not really known what silica does in the body, it is believed to be important for promoting healthy walls in the blood vessels, and to be more specific, within the blood vessels of the heart.
Why would you take silica supplements?
There are many reported benefits to taking silica supplements, although it is important to consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle.
Silica supplements can help improve the health of your skin and hair
Silica can help to work with and support other compounds in the body and just one of these is collagen, essential for keeping the skin plumped up and youthful looking.
It works just the same with your hair, building those connective tissues, improving the strength of your locks as well as the condition.
Silica supplements can help to improve heart health
We’ve already discovered that silica is essential for working on the connective tissues, particular those in the blood vessels of your heart. If your heart isn’t in tip-top condition, you are likely to suffer with other conditions such as high or low blood pressure, heart attacks, heart disease and more.
Silica supplements can help improve your digestive system
Going back to those connective tissues again and silica help with your digestive system by reducing inflammation and irritation in the gut, eliminating gut-related problems such as flatulence, trapped gas, diarrhea, ulcers, constipation, nausea, and more.
Silica supplements can help your joints to work better
The connective tissues we keep mentioning are important to make sure your bones and joints work as they should. When you have none of that connective tissue, or its in bad condition, the bones won’t work in their sockets as they should and you will be more likely to suffer with bone and joint problems.
Not only that but silica can also help to reduce joint AND muscle injuries and their associate symptoms.
What is the recommended daily allowance of silica?
The RDA of silica is 9-14mg per day for a healthy adult aged 19-50.
There is an ‘upper limit’ of silica too, and for a healthy adult aged 19-59, this is 20-30mg per day.
Silica is rarely found in our food although there are some pretty tasty ones which can help you get your recommend allowance of the mineral and these include:
- Bell peppers
- Brown rice
- Flax seeds
Side effects of too much silica
If you consume too many silica supplements, or you’re eating a lot of foods that contain the mineral, you could suffer with an overdose of the supplement. Long-term use can cause kidney problems including irreparable kidney damage. This is especially the case in patients that suffer with existing kidney conditions, or heart conditions too. This is said to be because an overdose of the mineral can causes excessive urination.
Studies have also shown that long-term consumption of silica supplements could cause problems within the body because other nutrients and minerals are unable to be absorbed by the body. One example of this is with the vitamins B1 or thiamine. Silica contains an enzyme called thiaminese and this destroys the B-vitamin before the body can use it. Long term and in severe cases, this can cause paralysis and loss of muscle control.
Who shouldn’t take silica supplements?
There are a number of groups of people who should not take silica supplements, or should consult with a medical professional such as your local doctor before taking them. These include:
- Patients suffering with eodema (fluid retention)
- Breastfeed or pregnant women
- Seniors 65+