Two recent studies in the medical journal Bone support the theory that silicon, the second most abundant element in the Earth’s crust, plays an important role in bone formation.
In the first study, researchers found that silicon (as orthosilicic acid) may have a stimulatory effect on bone formation in the human body.1 “Orthosilicic acid at physiologic concentrations stimulates collagen type 1 synthesis in human osteoblast-like cells and enhances osteoblastic differentiation,” the researchers reported.
In another study, scientists found that dietary silicon was associated with greater bone mineral density in approximately 3,000 American men and pre-menopausal women, but not in post-menopausal women.2 Acc-ording to the researchers, these findings are “consistent with [silicon’s] role in bone formation rather than in preventing bone resorption. Orthosilicic acid app-ears to be an important nutrient with anabolic effects on bone.”
In an interview with Life Extension, researcher Dr. Ravin Jugdaohsingh of St. Thomas’ Hospital in London said, “silicon is a major component of the human diet, the intake of which has greatly been reduced due to modern food processing and refining, water treatment and purification, and the growth of vegetables under hydroponic conditions. Animal studies have shown that silicon is important for normal growth and development, specifically with skeletal growth.
“Currently, nearly all treatments for osteoporosis (or low bone mass) work by reducing the breakdown of bone, but none, with the exception of parathyroid hormone, actually increase bone formation (i.e., make new bone). Silicon could thus provide a new type of therapy for low bone mass or osteoporosis by increasing bone formation. Silicon has also been linked to atherosclerosis, having anti-atherosclerotic properties, and with connective tissue (i.e., skin, hair, and nails), and thus may have a wider beneficial role in human health.”
—Marc Ellman, MD