What is Silica?
Where Does Silicon Dioxide Come From?
Silicon dioxide occurs naturally as a compound of oxygen and silicon, two of the most common organic materials on Earth. Commonly called silica, silicon dioxide comprises more than half of the planet's crust and nearly all existing rocks, but it appears as quartz in its most recognizable form. Silica shows up in the sand on the beach and in animals, plants, water, and human tissues. Our bodies remove unused silicone dioxide as waste.
As an essential nutrient, silica occurs in brown rice, oats, bell peppers, beets, and leafy greens like kale and spinach.1 You can also consume dietary silica in strawberries, leeks, beans, green beans, nuts, apples, sweet potatoes, barley, millet, asparagus, celery, and cucumbers. Some foods, such as prepared baking mixes, also use silica as a food additive with approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.2
If you don't commonly eat foods with high silicon dioxide content, look for dietary supplements containing silicon dioxide. The FDA has established a recommended daily maximum of 10 to 30 grams of silica for adults. A single cup of green beans has about 7 milligrams of silica, compared to about 5 mg in a good-sized banana, 4 mg in just two tablespoons of spinach, and more than 3 mg in a serving of cereal fortified with oat bran.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that adults get most of their silica from solid foods, but intake declines with age. Bananas and green beans were the primary silicone dioxide sources for female study participants.3 In contrast, male participants got most of their intake from bananas and beer (which has more silica in a single serving than any other food or beverage).
5 Uses for Silicon Dioxide & its Benefits
Best known for strengthening bones, silica can potentially assist with several other health concerns.4
Bone Strength: Epidemiological studies show a connection between a Silicon diet and high Bone Mineral Density (BMD), meaning bones are made stronger and are healthier with appropriate Silicon diets. In one study, dietary silicon intake had a measurable positive correlation with higher BMD, suggesting skeletal health may be bolstered by — or even rely on — Silicon intake.5 In fact, PeaceHealth lists Silica as a homeopathic primary remedy to Osteoporosis, a condition affecting bone structure.6 Silica deficiency can lead to skeletal deformities or weak joints, making Silica vital for bone health.7
Hair, Skin, and Nail Health: Your hair, nails and skin are the external display of your internal health. Presence of toxins or lack of proper nutrition can lead to drastic changes in these external features, from acne outbreaks to hair loss. These features are fed by nutrients such as collagen, a protein using amino acids to strengthen skin and promote hydration. In an article for the Brazilian Society of Dermatology, doctors explain Silicon is “important for optimal collagen synthesis,” and “higher silicon content in the hair results in a lower rate of hair loss."8
Detoxification: Silicon Dioxide is an enterosorbent, a molecule capable of collecting other molecules or substances by binding to them either by chemical or physical interactions within the digestive tract. This means Silica goes in your body, attaches to toxins like a magnet, and removes them from your body. A clinical trial testing the effectiveness of Silica at removing aluminum from the body found patients had increased excretion of aluminum while consuming Silica for the trial, with significantly lower levels of excretion after the trial ended.9 The consumed Silica entered the body, bonded with the aluminum, then carried it out.
Digestive System Disorders
Research published in the journal Gastroenterology found that silicon plays a role in GI health. The scientists from Virginia Commonwealth University and the Medical College of Virginia reported that silicon supports the creation and maintenance of healthy tissue in the digestive system.10 They theorized that this reparative effect comes from collagen-producing silicone within the muscle cells of the intestines. Collagen helps create new cells to repair the lining of the intestines, which can degrade due to gastrointestinal conditions such as Crohn's disease and irritable bowel syndrome.
Silicon also absorbs toxins in the digestive tract, including but not limited to heavy metals, waste, and bacteria. This demonstrated detoxifying effect can ward off constipation, bloating and gas. Some even report that silicon supplements help reduce or eliminate difficulty tolerating or digesting certain foods. As with the health impact of fiber on the heart and blood vessels, silica may serve as the active ingredient in fiber to support regular digestion.
Heart Disease and Strokes
A comparative review of research published by the journal Lancet found lower than average silicon levels in the artery walls of participants who have arteriosclerosis. The studies reviewed supported the role of silicon dioxide as a collagen-producing agent that supports and strengthens muscles, including veins and arteries.11 Researchers also theorized that the silica content of fiber-rich foods like oats and brown rice explains the proven ability of fiber to improve cardiovascular health.12
Scientists also know that collagen prevents the calcification of tissues, illustrated by the high silica content of healthy bones. They believe silica may also keep arteries from hardening with plaque buildup that leads to heart attack, heart disease, and stroke.
Is Silicon Dioxide Safe?
In short: yes! Silicon and Silica are both natural components of human development. This means they are both safe for humans and beneficial. Researchers have conducted multiple clinical studies relating specifically to how Silicon Dioxide processes through your body.
Many of the foods we eat contain added chemicals which, when absorbed into the body in high quantities, can cause discomfort. Silica, on the other hand, is not absorbed into the body. Instead the enterosorbent enters, grabs toxins, and exits. This means Silica helps remove harmful toxins safely without remaining in the digestive tract.
Finding Silicon Dioxide in Nature
Silicon Dioxide is already present in many foods we eat on a daily basis. It is naturally found in water, plants and animals. Considering the Earth’s crust is nearly 59 percent Silica, it follows that fruits and vegetables growing from soil contain high concentrations of it.
Some common sources of Silica include:
- Underground Plants - Potatoes, beets and carrots
- Whole Grains - Oats, rice bran, brown rice and bran cereals
- Leafy Vegetables & Sprouts - Alfalfa and lettuce
- Fruits - Bananas, raisins, oranges and strawberries
Polisorb and Silicon Dioxide
Powerful Relief for Digestive Tract Discomfort Shop Polisorb
Polisorb is a concentrated, pure form of Silicon Dioxide, helping to naturally detox your digestive tract by binding with toxic substances as it passes through your body. Whereas the Silica found in the foods listed above is sometimes absorbed by the human body, Polisorb’s pure form of Silicon Dioxide is not absorbed, and thereby serves only to remove toxins. Instead, it acts like a magnet, attracting toxins in your digestive tract through toxic foods or substances. This process can often alleviate stomach discomfort by removing irritants such as heavy metals or allergens from your body to stop disrupting the delicate balance in your gut. Polisorb works as quickly as 10-15 minutes after consumption!