Our skin tends to lose its shine over time. Our nails become brittle, and our hair gets frizzy. Must we resign ourselves to look worse with each passing day? Or can we grow old without losing our beauty and charm? If you are worried about these questions, you have come to the right place.
Silicon is a mineral that many people don't know leading. This trace element may be related to the formation of collagen, improving our appearance. Some people also believe that silicon supplements can contribute to relieving joint discomfort. If you want to distinguish fact from fiction, keep reading out guide.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Key Facts
- 3 Our Selection: The Best Silicon Supplements
- 4 Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Silicon
- 5 Buyer's Guide
- 6 Summary
- Silicon is a trace element that may be linked to the synthesis of collagen.
- There is no recommended daily allowance set for this mineral. The maximum limit our body can withstand is 700 milligrams per day.
- There are various important factors to keep in mind when you purchase silicon supplements. These include their safety for the body and compatibility with potential dietary restrictions, as well as the presence of other ingredients.
Our Selection: The Best Silicon Supplements
These products are considered safe as long as you consume them carefully and responsibly. In the following section, you will discover our very own selection of the most popular silicon supplements currently available out there. All of them are made with top-quality ingredients and have received high ratings from past users. We hope their descriptions help you find the product that best suits your needs.
Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Silicon
Silicon is a mineral that is part of our hair, skin, and nails. Its levels and bioavailability in the human body decrease over time. Many scientists are wondering if this compound could be involved in the synthesis of collagen, helping to keep our tissues in good condition. In the section below, we have answered the most frequently asked questions regarding this trace element.
What is silicon exactly?
Some formulations are purely designed for industrial use, such as silicone or crystalline silica (the latter being a potential carcinogen). Orthosilicic acid (OSA) and monomethylsilanetriol (MMST), on the other hand, are compounds used in the field of supplementation (3, 4).
Silicon appears to play a major role in the human body to mineralize bones and produce collagen. This protein provides the elasticity and resistance our skin, tendons, and joints need. We have summed up the main functions of silicon on the table below (1):
|Zone||Possible function of silicon|
|Skin||Stimulation of collagen synthesis and regeneration of lost collagen|
|Hair||Stimulation of keratin synthesis|
|Nails||Stimulation of keratin synthesis|
|Bones|| Bone formation and mineralization of bone tissue
Repair of fractures
|Endocrine system||Regulation of hormone production|
|Cartilage||Formation of connective tissue|
|Cardiovascular system||Integrity of the vessel wall|
What are the consequences of silicon deficiency?
- Defects in bone mineralization (5): Silicon deficiency in test animals caused abnormalities in mineral deposition on bone tissue. As a result, their shinbones showed significant deformities.
- Lower levels of collagen in bone (6): The difficulty in depositing collagen may lead to weak bones.
- Reduced collagen formation on wounds (6): Silicon deficiency has a negative influence on collagen synthesis. This finding could indicate an increased difficulty in wound healing induced by silicon deficiency.
The results of these studies may have implications for the importance of silicon in humans. According to unofficial sources (7), an insufficient amount of this mineral may cause deterioration of hair, skin, nails, cartilage, and bone. However, please keep in mind that these statements need to be confirmed with human trials.
What are the benefits of silicon supplements?
- Strengthening your bones: In men and pre-menopausal women, we have observed that silicon supplementation promotes bone mineralization and increases bone density. Unfortunately, this would not be the case in postmenopausal women (the leading group affected by bone loss) (8).
- Improving your skin texture: A small clinical trial found an improvement in skin texture by giving 10 milligrams of OSA silicon to middle-aged people with signs of skin aging (4).
- Strengthening your hair: An improvement in hair quality was observed after administering 10 milligrams of OSA silicon for nine months. People who took the supplement benefited had more tensile hair than those using the placebo (4).
- Preventing brittle nails: Silicon seems to be able to interact with the keratin present in hair and nails. By supplementing with 10 milligrams of this trace element, the nails of the volunteers became more resistant to wear.
In addition, many have tried to link the consumption of silicon supplements to a series of other benefits. These include a lower prevalence of atherosclerosis, prevention against Alzheimer's disease, and antibacterial properties. Unfortunately, these promising effects have not been verified by trials of acceptable quality.
In short, silicon supplements may help you if you're looking to increase the durability and vitality of your hair, skin, and nails. While the mechanisms behind this are still unclear, it is believed that this mineral promotes the synthesis of collagen and is involved in keratin formation. Both compounds give strength and elasticity to your tissues.
How should I use silicon supplements?
- Manufacturer's instructions: These will depend on the raw material used to obtain the silicon, the excipients, and the dosage form of the product. Always follow the brand's instructions and avoid taking doses higher than those advised on the supplement.
- Minimum dose: Since there is no RDA for silicon, this minimum dose can vary significantly from one product to the next. A good practice for supplementation is to start with the minimum that produces the desired effects. Remember that the positive actions of silicon have occurred with doses as low as 10 mg/day in clinical trials.
- Maximum dose: Silicon is considered safe up to 700 mg/day in healthy people. Exceeding this amount is virtually impossible if you use supplements consciously and carefully (10).
- Supplementing with food: There is no clear indication as to when these dietary products should be taken. However, some people have reported experiencing gastrointestinal discomfort with silicon supplements. If you have a sensitive stomach, you may want to take them with a main meal.
In existing studies, the results of silicon supplementation were noticed after nine months of treatment. This is why you need to be patient if you have started using a silicon product. Consistency is key, so don't give up!
Are silicon supplements safe?
Currently, most authoritative boards recognize monomethylsilanetriol (MMST) (11) and orthosilicic acid (OSA) as safe for consumption (12). These forms of silicon can be consumed in the form of supplements without endangering healthy people. Silicon dioxide can be used as an additive, as long as you do so in limited quantities (13).
The time factor is another critical aspect that you have to take into account. Silicon supplements haven't produced any side effects in treatments lasting less than nine months. Their safety is unknown if they are consumed chronically. We encourage you to consult your physician if you want to extend the duration of your supplementation.
Last but not least, you should use these products cautiously if you are chronically ill or more sensitive to silicon. The following population groups should consult a healthcare professional before starting supplementation (14):
- Minors: Silicon supplements are not recommended for children under the age of 18.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women: The safety of these products in pregnant or breastfeeding women has not been proven yet. In that regard, it is safer to avoid them during these sensitive periods.
- Hypertensive patients: Some silicon supplements include horsetail extract. This plant has diuretic properties that can interfere with antihypertensive medication and lead to dangerous interactions. Patients following this type of treatment should consult their doctor before using silicon supplements.
- People with kidney conditions: Excess silicon is excreted in the urine. Defects in renal clearance could lead to a dangerous accumulation of this mineral in the body. This is why individuals with kidney diseases or failure, as well as anyone suffering from nephrolithiasis (kidney stones), should avoid silicon supplements.
- Diabetics: The consumption of these nutritional products has been linked to the appearance of severe hypoglycemia in people with diabetes.
Choosing the right product is the best way to make the most of silicon supplements. We want to make this easier for you, which is why you can learn more about the key shopping criteria in the following section. They will help you identify the supplements that best suit your needs.
Try to purchase a supplement that indicates the origin of the silicon. The majority of manufacturers choose bamboo or horsetail extract as the raw material. However, you should know that these plant species also produce their own effects.
Horsetail acts as a diuretic and can alter the potassium levels in the blood. Bamboo extract may have a negative influence on fertility and thyroid hormones. In the table below, you can see how each silicon derivative is considered in terms of safety (111, 13, 15):
|Monomethylsilanetriol||MMST||Supplement (safe for healthy people)|
|Orthosilicic acid||OSA||Supplement (safe for healthy people)|
|Silica (silicon dioxide)||SiO2||Additive (safe in limited quantities)|
The raw material used to manufacture silicon supplements is generally of plant origin. However, many laboratories use animal-based gelatin capsules to convey the powder. Fortunately, silicon is readily available in drinkable form. That way, vegan and vegetarian individuals can also supplement with it.
Celiac people and anyone allergic to lactose, shellfish, or soy should also carefully check the label of silicon products.
Certain brands may have traces of these allergens in their supplements. Finally, remember that horsetail extract can be particularly hard to digest.
Silicon supplements are available in four different formats on the market:
- Capsules or tablets: This is the most traditional method of supplementation. Taken with water, they are a convenient and practical option. Some people may have difficulties with swallowing tablets.
- Liquid: Silicon liquid vials or bottles are an exciting alternative if you prefer avoiding the format mentioned above. They are easier to ingest and are naturally free of animal gelatin. Intaking the right dose can be more challenging, however.
- Powder: This is a good midpoint between solid and liquid supplements. Simply dissolve the powder in some water. Lumps in your drink can be annoying, but this format is easy to swallow.
- Topical gel: This is a lesser-known form of silicon supplements. Creams and gels are used to relieve joint pain and ligament injuries, although their actual effectiveness needs to be confirmed with further analysis.
Silicon is often combined with other substances to improve the appearance of skin, hair, and nails. You can also find this trace element with ingredients that aim to strengthen bones and joints. We have listed the most common ones in the following table:
|Magnesium||Strengthening of muscles and joints|
|[Zinc||Improvement of the appearance of skin, hair, and nails|
|Selenium||Improvement of the appearance of skin, hair, and nails|
|Collagen|| Improvement of the appearance of skin, hair, and nails
Strengthening of bones and joints
|Glycine|| Anti-inflammatory effects
|Hyaluronic acid|| Relief of joint pain
Improvement of skin appearance
|Vitamin C|| Antioxidant effect
Improvement of the appearance of the skin
|Group B vitamins||Improvement of the appearance of skin, hair, and nails|
|Vitamin E|| Antioxidant effect
Improvement of skin appearance
|Plant extracts||Antioxidant effects|
Silicon is one of the most neglected and underestimated trace elements in the field of nutrition. Very few clinical trials on human volunteers have allowed us to get a glimpse of the true potential of this mineral. However, we do know that the consumption of a small amount of silicon can improve our overall appearance.
Daily consumption of grains, vegetables, and fruits will help you safely increase your silicon levels. If your lifestyle or dietary preferences prevent you from eating a healthy diet, a silicon supplement may be what you need. Always choose a safe product, follow the manufacturer's instructions, and watch your skin improve day after day!
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