Silicon deficiency is a condition characterized by the decreased level of silicon in the body.
Silicon plays a significant role in the human body.
- It is involved in the development of the collagen and helps form the cartilages and the bones along with calcium. It is believed that silicon allows calcium to be absorbed in the tissues;
- It strengthens the bones and prevents osteoporosis;
- Strengthens the nails and keeps the elasticity of the skin by the synthesis of elastin;
- It helps the skin and mucous membranes to maintain impermeability;
- It helps prevent the dehydration;
- Silicon reduces the pain in osteoarthritis and rheumatism;
- It slows the aging process (helps to prevent the oxidative stress) and protects the cardiovascular system;
- Silicon prevents tuberculosis;
- It prevents aluminium toxicity and Alzheimer’s disease by binding aluminium;
- It is involved in the prevention of kidney stones;
- Silicon slows down the ageing of the body and helps people look healthy and fit;
The daily requirement of silicon for an adult is 20-50 mg. Fiber, molybdenum, magnesium and fluoride increase the requirement of silicon.
- Silicon deficiency occurs usually due to inadequately low dietary intake.
- In developed countries, the most common causes are chronic alcoholism and severe cases of anorexia nervosa.
Pregnant woman and those who are breastfeeding are at risk of developing silicon deficiency. Persons who have a poor diet or suffer from anorexia may develop silicon deficiency as well.
Intake and exposure to antagonists lead to the deficiency of silicon. These include: alcoholic beverages, tobacco (nicotine), cola drinks, most soft drinks (other than natural juices), coffee and tea (caffeinated and decaffeinated), chocolate (cocoa), inorganic mineral water (tap, well, spring), polluted air, refined sugar and refined sugar substitutes, overcooking foods, dairy products, refined and processed foods, polyunsaturated fats, radiation exposure, microwaving foods, synthetic estrogen, birth control pills, most all drug medications.
Silicon deficiency may be detected when the deterioration of the skin, hair and nails occurs.
- The hair becomes brittle, it loses its shine and falls out;
- The nails are brittle;
- The skin becomes thinner;
- The wrinkles occur;
- The person experiences from slower wound healing;
- As silicon acts against the oxidative stress, its deficiency may accelerate the atherosclerosis of the arteries and increase the risk of diseases of the cardiovascular system, especially coronary artery disease;
- Bone metabolism is affected by disrupted mineralization and by osteoporosis. The bones are weaker and they break more easily;
- Fatigue, loss of appetite and mood swings are also observed;
- Silicon bonds aluminium and may probably prevent the Alzheimer’s disease, so the silicon deficiency may lead to cognitive impairment;
- Sleep disturbance (insomnia) may occur;
- Disturbances of digestion and stomachaches;
- Weekend teeth and gums;
An increased intake of silicon with food or the administration of food supplements can resolve the condition, although too high doses of silicon are not recommended, as long as the overdosing is possible. Silicon is found in plants, especially in apples, cereals, nuts, oranges, cucumber, pumpkin, fish, unrefined grains, oats, almonds, onions and carrots. Silicon is also found in the some herbs such as birch, black cohosh, black walnut, celery, chaparral, ginseng, horsetail, nettle, oregon grape, parsley, peppermint, rose hips and thyme.