Silicon deficiency causes dry, brittle nail and impaired hair and skin qualities.
Silicon supplement is taken to improve nails, hair and skin condition.
Who is at risk?
However, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should not take silicon supplement as it may harm the mothers and their babies condition.
Why is silicon important?
Silicon is needed in collagen synthesis for the bones and connective tissues such as cartilage, tendons and joints. Collagen acts like gum that holds everything together. It plays a role together with magnesium, calcium and phosphorus to harden the bones. It also strengthens the bone and provides the flexibility of the bone.
Silicon is also needed in the synthesis of elastin. Elastin is needed to maintain elasticity of tissues, skin, hair and blood vessels. Its presence in blood vessels enables the vessels to constrict or dilate, thus controlling blood flows and pressure.
It also plays and important role in cross-linking the mucopolysaccharides and proteins in connective tissues to increase the strength and reduce the permeability of the extracellular matrix in connective tissues.
It also plays a role in maintaining impermeable condition of the skin. This helps the body to ward off any unwanted substance from entering the body.
What is the daily requirement of silicon?
The daily requirement for an adult is 20 – 50 mg.
Source of silicon
It can be found in oats, beets, barley, soybeans, whole grains, cereals, brown and white rice, root vegetables and herbs such as horsetail, alfalfa, borage and stinging nettle.
Interactions of silicon with other
Fiber, molybdenum, magnesium and fluoride increase silicon requirement. Silicon inhibits the effects of aluminium. Boron, calcium, manganese and potassium aid the utilisation of silicon.
Dietary silicon is considered non-toxic. Increased levels of silicon along with aluminium have been found in the brains of people with Alzheimer disease.
Some reports showed that long term use of the silicon-contained antacid magnesium trisilicate has been associated with the formation of kidney stones in some people.