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Trace Minerals – Silicon

Trace Minerals – Silicon

(By Joshua Wong, Guardian Pharmacist) 

What is silicon?

Silicon is a trace mineral that is found in the body in the form of orthosilicic acid. Most of the silicon in the body is found in the connective tissues such as bones, tendon and skin. Although the functional role of silicon in a human body has not been identified, some scientific studies have shown that silicon may play a part in bone and collagen formation. 

Can silicon be obtained from food sources?

Silicon can be obtained naturally from certain beverages (e.g. beer, coffee, unfiltered water), dark leafy vegetables (e.g. lettuce, spinach), fruits (e.g. banana, apple, strawberries) and some seafood.

What are the signs of silicon deficiency?

Silicon deficiency has not been observed in humans. However, silicon deficiency theoretically can cause deformities in skull or bones which would eventually lead to poorly formed joints as observed in animals.  

Are there any dangers associated with excessive silicon intake?

Excessive silicon incidences are rare; however, there are reports of kidney stones occurring in individuals with extensive consumption of silicon containing antacids (e.g. magnesium trisilicate). 

Is silicon the same as silicone?

Silicon and silicone are different. Silicone is a synthetic polymer that is made of the trace mineral silicon and other elements such as carbon, hydrogen, oxygen. Scars reducer sheets to soften and reduce the appearance of scars are made of silicone.

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