Silicon is a trace mineral.
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Silicon is required in trace amounts for normal bone formation, and supplementation with silicon has increased bone mineral density in a small group of people with osteoporosis.
Silicon is required in trace amounts for normal bone formation,1 and supplementation with silicon has increased bone formation in animals.2 In preliminary human research, supplementation with silicon increased bone mineral density in a small group of people with osteoporosis.3 Optimal supplemental levels remain unknown, though some multivitamin-mineral supplements now contain small amounts of this trace mineral.
Sprains and Strains
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Trace minerals, such as silicon are known to be important in the biochemistry of tissue healing.
Zinc is a component of many enzymes, including some that are needed to repair wounds. Even a mild deficiency of zinc can interfere with optimal recovery from everyday tissue damage as well as from more serious trauma.4 Trace minerals, such as manganese, copper, and silicon are also known to be important in the biochemistry of tissue healing.5 , 6 , 7 , 8 However, there have been no controlled studies of people with sprains or strains to explore the effect of deficiency of these minerals, or of oral supplementation, on the rate of healing.
Because silicon has not been established as essential, a recommended intake has not been established. The average diet is estimated to provide 5–20 mg of silicon per day—an amount that appears adequate. When used as a supplement, common amounts range from 1 to 2 mg per day.
Good dietary sources for silicon include whole-grain breads and cereals, root vegetables, and beer. A form of silicon called silicates is added to some processed foods.
Silicon is not an essential mineral. Deficiencies have not been reported.
A high dietary intake of silicon is not associated with any toxic effects. Inhalation of large amounts of silicon (in an industrial setting) can cause the respiratory disease silicosis.
1. Carlisle EM. Silicon localization and calcification in developing bone. Fed Proc 1969;28:374.
2. Hott M, de Pollak C, Modrowski D, Marie PJ. Short-term effects of organic silicon on trabecular bone in mature ovariectamized rats. Calcif Tissue Int 1993;53:174-9.
3. Eisinger J, Clairet D. Effects of silicon, fluoride, etidronate and magnesium on bone mineral density: a retrospective study. Magnes Res 1993;6:247-9.
4. Sandstead HH. Understanding zinc: Recent observations and interpretations. J Lab Clin Med 1994;124:322-7.
5. Tenaud I, Sainte-Marie I, Jumbou O, et al. In vitro modulation of keratinocyte wound healing integrins by zinc, copper and manganese. Br J Dermatol 1999;140:26-34.
6. Pereira CE, Felcman J. Correlation between five minerals and the healing effect of Brazilian medicinal plants. Biol Trace Elem Res 1998;65:251-9.
7. Carlisle EM. Silicon as an essential trace element in animal nutrition. Ciba Found Symp 1986;121:123-39.
8. Leach RM. Role of manganese in mucopolysaccharide metabolism. Fed Proc 1971;30:991.
Last Review: 07-08-2014
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