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Silicon is undoubtedly one of the most important elements for all living organisms, yet its importance to the health of all of us is still underestimated...
Silicon, an element with the chemical name Si, is the second most common element on Earth, right after oxygen. In contrast, silicates, silicon derivatives, make up the vast majority of the rocks forming the crust of our planet – over 90%. Many scientists, interchangeable with carbon, the basic element of life are called silicon.
The element so common and still so underestimated. Many people do not realize that many health problems can result from a deficiency of silicon in the body. This element is an extremely important building block of a lot of structures in our body, mainly connective tissue, that is: bones, tendons, joints, cartilage, blood vessels, skin, hair, nails. Without silicon, many important processes in the body would not take place. For example, silicon is responsible for proper bone mineralization, maintaining the condition of blood vessels, synthesis of compounds necessary in the structure of the skin, proper functioning of the urinary tract and many others. Yes, silicon certainly deserves to be called the element of health and life.
What is organic silicon? The term „organic silicon” can be found many times by browsing the websites and forums regarding the health of natural methods of treatment. From the chemistry point of view, the term „organic” refers to a substance based on carbon compounds. Increasingly, however, this formulation is attributed to belonging to the world of living organisms. Something that is „organic” comes from a living organism, animal or plant, and is important for these organisms. More explorers will also find the definition defining „organic silicon” as an active form – unoxidized and digestible by the body – as opposed to a mineral form, i.e. simply sand, which is an oxidized and non-absorbable form. The source of such an organic, available silicon derived from living organisms is our diatomite soil, which comes straight from diatoms, organisms that once inhabited an aquatic environment. The organic origin of silicon is, however, extremely important for obtaining the desired health effects of supplementation of this element, because it is necessary that the silicon obtained has a form that is absorbed by the body.
Many health problems may result from a shortage of silicon in food. In silicon we can find, among others, in: herbs, especially grasshopper, cereal grains, fruit skins, vegetables, meat, chives, garlic and others. Usually, however, our diet is structured so that we do not supply enough silicones with food and shortages are created. Especially older people, after mechanical injuries and pregnant women need to take more of this element. Typical symptoms of a deficiency of silicon in the body are, for example: poor condition of hair, skin and nails, weak bones and joints, fragile blood vessels. Therefore, it is very important to ensure the proper dose of silicon throughout the whole life by using a proper diet or supplementing the demand with supplements containing silicon or silicates with an absorbable form.
Due to the current high degree of food processing, it is very difficult to satisfy the body’s demand for silicon only from food, which is why it is usually necessary to use supplements. There are many silicon supplements on the market, and silicon on hair and nails, often available in tablets or capsules, can be particularly popular. Unfortunately, it turns out that silicon as a supplement in this form is very little available – only at the level of about 3%. Liquid silicon supplements are also available on sale. In the biologically active nature, available for living organisms, the form of silicon and silicates is orthosilicic acid. The diatoms we offer, i.e. the amorphous diatomite soil, are a great source of orthosilicic acid, so they are an appropriate supplement that supplies silicon. Below we present a database of scientific articles about diatomite soil itself, as well as the importance of silicon and silicates for human health. This collection will be systematically extended for you by further interesting items. We invite you to read!
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Biological activity of silicates on human health, Guy E. Abraham, MD
How to take diatomaceous earth – principles, Kieve Kavanaugh, co-worker of the eHow Health magazine
Diatomite (diatomaceous earth) – characteristics and impact on human health, Małgorzata Wiewióra, fragment of engineering diploma thesis, Warsaw University of Life Sciences
An article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition regarding the reduction of Alzheimer’s disease in older women by increasing the content of silicon in water
An article published in the International Journal of Endocrinology on the review of silicon property and its potential in the prevention and treatment of postmenopausal osteroporosis
An article published in PubMed.gov on the impact of using natural diatoms to reduce the concentration of cholesterol in the blood
Information from Oregon State University regarding the most frequently asked questions about diatomite earth
The effect of adding silica on the reduction of the amount of fish food in the diet of shrimp, WATTAgNet.com, poultry portal / farm animals
Observed side effect: silica increases the amount of dissolved oxygen in water, contributing to the reduction of ammonia in manure and manure.
The Importance of Bioactive Silicates in Human Health, Guy E. Abraham, MD
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The element silicon does not exist in nature in its pure form but rather is always combined with oxygen. Next to oxygen, silicon is the most abundant element in the earth’s crust. Silicon dioxide or silica, SiO2, is formed by covalent binding of two atoms of oxygen to one atom of silicon. Free silica is found both in the amorphous state such as opal and in the crystalline state such as quartz. Biological systems are capable of forming amorphous microparticles of hydrated silica, but they cannot form the crystalline state of silica. Under proper conditions, one molecule of silica will react covalently with one molecule of water to form monometasilicic acid, H2SiO3; combined with two molecules of water, it becomes monoorthosilicic acid, H4SiO4 In both plants and animals, monoorthosilicic acid is the biologically active form of silicon and silica. Up to saturation at 100 parts per million (100 PPM), aqueous solution of monoorthosilicic acid exists in its free form, below a pH of 9. Above saturation, monoorthosilicic acid loses one molecule of water to form monometasilicic acid which polymerizes and precipitates out of solution to form opal. Plant tissues contain this form of opal, with extremely small particle sizes. The loss of two molecules of water from silicic acid results in the formation of silicic anhydride, more commonly known as silica or silicon dioxide, SiO2. When two molecules of monoorthosilicic acid combine by condensation (loss of on molecule of water), they generate disilicic acid. When three molecules of monoorthosilicic acid combine through condensation, with the loss of four molecules of water, trisilicic acid is formed:.
2 H4SiO4 = H2O + H6Si2O7
3 H4SiO4 = 4 H2O + H4Si3O8
The natural silicates found in rocks correspond to these silicic acids, combined with transition metal oxides and as salts of alkali metals (silica-mineral complexes). Sixty percent of all rocks are made of silica, either in its pure form or as silica-mineral complexes. Erosion of those rocks releases into the soil, streams, and ground water all these forms of silica and silicates. Silica is often the principal solute in natural fresh water, where it occurs entirely as monoorthosilicic acid. The reported concentrations of monoorthosilicic acid, expressed as silicon, ranged from 0.8-5.0 PPM in streams and 3.5- 28.0 PPM in ground water compared to 1.0-40.0 PPM in soil solution. In an aqueous environment, hydrated silica releases silicic acid in solution by hydrolysis. The amount of silicic acid released is dependent on the surface/ volume ratio of the silica particles. The smaller the particle sizes, the greater the surface/volume ratio and the greater the release of silicic acid. Increasing the zeta potential (electrical charge) of the aqueous suspension of silica by the presence of alkali metal salts of polyacidic organic compounds enhances the hydrolysis and release of silicic acid. Humic acid in the moist soil enhances the release of free silicic acid from the soil silica- mineral complexes. Coating of the hydrated silica particles with organic compounds stabilizes the silica particles and inhibits the release of silicic acid. These two opposing factors control hydrolysis and release of free silicic acid and play an important role in the availability of silicic acid in the moist soil.
The Silica Cycle
The silica cycle begins with the uptake of bioactive silica, that is monoorthosilicic acid, by roots of plants. Below a pH of 9, monoorthosilicic acid, hereafter called silicic acid, exists in its free form in water up to saturation (100 PPM). After translocation, condensation, and precipitation in plant tissues, silicic acid performs several important functions.
The next step in the silica cycle involves the assimilation of plant silica by herbivorous animals. Although plants and animals can combine silicic acid into organic substances, it is most likely via Si-O-C silanolate bonding through condensation of a silanol group with a hydroxyl group of an organic compound as proposed by Schwartz. The Si-C bond, that is true organic silicon, does not exist in the earth crust, only man-made.
Plants in the early stage of growth contain a small fraction of silica in the form of silicic acid. The proportion of silicic acid decreases with the increasing age of the plant and approaches zero in mature plants, probably due to coating of the silica particles with organic polyals and polyphenols. Drying of plant tissues causes condensation of silicic acid, so that silicic acid concentrations in dried plants of any age are reduced markedly. Therefore, a large proportion of the ingested silica from feed (greater than 95%) by herbivorous animals is not bioavailable. Silicic acid in water is much more bioavailable, and is either absorbed rapidly after a short transit time in blood, excreted in the urine, or diffused passively in extracellular fluid compartments. Plant tissues contain much larger amounts of silica than animal tissues. Plants assimilate silica from the soil more efficiently than animals absorb and retain silica from plants. As a result, herbivorous animals excrete in their urine 10 -30 times more silica than carnivorous animals.
Metabolism of Silicon in Man: in most studies of bioactive silicates performed on man, the values reported are expressed as concentrations of the element silicon (Si). The compounds measured, however, were obviously not pure Si but derivatives of silica and silicic acid. To convert values expressed as Si to values expressed as silica, multiply by 2.14. To convert values from Si to silicic acid, multiply by 3.4. When values reported in publications are expressed in molar concentrations, these conversion factors do not apply.
Mental Health: in 1987 Carlisle investigated the relationship between silicon deficiency and Alzheimer’s disease in humans. Alzheimer’s disease affects 5% of the population of people over 70 years of age. Two women more than men suffer from this disease. Carlisle has been conducting a 22-month study on the effects of the addition of aluminum and silicon to food for young (22 days) and older (10 months) rats. The results of silicon and aluminum content were collected from 12 areas of the brain, including those responsible for Alzheimer’s disease. It turned out that older rats did not have an increased concentration of aluminum in the brain with a diet rich in aluminum and silicon. With the diet rich in aluminum and low in silicon, the brains of older rats contained an increased amount of aluminum. Research shows the protective role of silicon against aluminum toxicity in older organisms.
Charnot showed a reduction in the content of orthosilicic acid by 50% in the serum of female rats subjected to castration. This effect did not occur in male rats after castration. This may explain the higher incidence of Alzheimer’s disease in menopausal women than in older men. It has been shown that estrogen replacement therapy reduces the development of Alzheimer’s disease by 50% in women. The positive effect of estrogen can be increased by administering agents containing biologically active orthosilicic acid. Research suggests that to protect the body against neurotoxicity of aluminum, the daily dose of biologically active silicon should be 84 mg of silicon in an adult human weighing 70 kg. Due to the fact that toxic aluminum was found in the brains of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, biologically active silicates may also be effective in the treatment of diseases unrelated to Alzheimer’s disease.
Physical Health: as previously mentioned, high concentration of silicon occurs in connective tissues, such as the aorta, trachea, skin, tendons and bones. Research conducted by Carlisle indicates that silicon deficiency leads to disorders in the functioning of joint cartilage and other connective tissues, which may have an impact on the development of arthritis.
Aging of animals and humans causes gradual reduction of silicon in the skin. Age-related loss of silicon in the skin causes loss of interstitial fluid and reduced formation of collagen, glycosaminoglycans and hexosamine. The use of biologically active silicon improves skin condition in older people by increasing the synthesis of the above substances, which leads to the hydration of the extracellular matrix.
In aorta, the consequences of silicon loss with age are even more visible. Loeper et al. Noticed that the aorta in humans and rabbits rich in collagen, elastin and gliozaminoglycans, is characterized by a high concentration of silicon. In rabbits the aorta was 5-10 times more silicon than the neck of the pancreas, liver, heart or kidneys. Loeper measured the silicon content in human aorta and found that silicon content in severely damaged aortas was three times lower than in healthy aortas.
Loeper also investigated the effect of biologically active silicon in rabbits fed a 2-month high cholesterol diet. It turned out that out of 31 examined rabbits, 24 suffered from atherosclerotic lesions. Of the 28 rabbits that received additional intravenous silicon in the form of sodium silicate and others, in a daily dose of 10 mg only 6 had atherosclerotic lesions. In rabbits treated with sodium silicate in liquid form, 3 of 10 had atherosclerotic lesions. This means that:
Loeper also noted that increasing the content of silicon in the diet resulted in increased elasticity of the elastin and stiffness of the aorta in it.
In another study, Loeper analyzed three groups of rabbits for atherosclerotic lesions. In the control group, 14 out of 15 rabbits did not have atherosclerotic lesions, and one had atherosclerotic plaques. In the second group, 18 rabbits were fed a cholesterol-rich diet for 2 months. Only 2 rabbits did not have atherosclerotic lesions. In the third group, 18 rabbits were fed a diet rich in cholesterol with the addition of silanol monomethyl. 14 out of 18 rabbits did not show any atherosclerotic lesions, 2 showed minor changes, and only 1 had major lesions. By calculating the silicon monomethyl silane content and taking into account the human weight, it was calculated that a 70 kg man should take 35 mg of silicon daily in the form of biologically active silicon.
The protective role of biologically active silicon against tumors, and in particular brain tumors, was announced by Carlisle after rat research. The appearance of tumors was less frequent in food-fed rats with the addition of sodium silicate. In two-year longitudinal studies over a dozen generations of rats (corresponding to longitudinal studies on humans over a period of 70 years), brain tumors occurred in 60% of rats. No tumor was observed in the population of food-fed rats with the addition of silicon. The clinical implications of the protective role of silicon against cancer, and in particular brain tumors, are obvious. However, further research was not carried out in this direction due to the untimely death of Dr. Carlisle.
Directions for Taking Diatomaceous Earth Orally, Kieve Kavanaugh, co-worker of the eHow Health magazine, 2017
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How it Works: diatomaceous earth kills intestinal parasites by physically injuring them. The microscopic shell particles slice up parasites harbored in the body. Because of the microscopic nature of this dust it poses no harm to humans or animals. D.E. is a natural way to kill parasites without chemicals.
Human Benefits: many diseases in humans are parasitic in origin. Among them are some forms of fatigue, wounds and bowel problems. Diatomaceous earth has been approved by the FDA for human consumption and will destroy many internal parasites. It can be purchased online or at health food stores. Diatomaceous earth has been credited with increasing bone density and nail growth, lowering cholesterol, heavy metal detoxification, parasite control and cleansing the colon and intestinal systems.
Dosage and mixing: individual dosages vary. Manufacturers recommend one heaping tablespoon daily. Reports run the gamut between a heaping teaspoonful in a smoothie two to three times a week to a tablespoon each morning and evening with water. Take into account your size, weight and desired result. As with all new health routines, proceed cautiously. There can be health problems associated with evacuating too many parasites too quickly from your body. When mixing your D.E., remember it is texture and weight, more than taste, that will pose the challenge to a smooth mixture. Some people use a blender to get a smooth drink. D.E.’s taste is virtually undetectable, extremely bland, sometimes described as chalky. It is easy to whisk a teaspoon to a tablespoon into a small glass of water and chug it down. Expect a clay-like texture that varies in consistency depending on the amount of water you use. Try adding it to a blended drink. D.E. is similar in weight to protein powder and will mix easily into your blended concoction. Diatomaceous earth can be used in conjunction with other parasite cleanse products or on its own to maintain your system’s health.
Cautions: only consume D.E. labeled as „food grade.” Diatomaceous earth sold for swimming pool filters has been chemically treated and heated to change its composition. It is not „food grade” and is dangerous to humans, pets and livestock. The caution on organic diatomaceous earth is against inhaling it. This otherwise safe product is made from ground fossilized remains which are unhealthy to breathe. pyli.
Diatomite (diatomaceous earth) – characteristics and impact on human health, Małgorzata Wiewióra, fragment of engineering diploma thesis, School of the Major Rural Farm in Warsaw
Ziemia Diatomaceous earth [diatoms – note. WW], diatomaceous earth or diatomite, are fossil remains of diatom shells, microscopic unicellular algae, which lived millions of years ago in the aquatic environment, and then in the process of drying out the reservoirs formed organogenic rock deposits (1.). Said deposits of sedimentary rocks may be even several hundred meters thick (2.). Diatomaceous earth is extracted from decks all over the world, and, for example, the global extraction from 1997 is estimated at 1.4 million tonnes (3.). According to Fields (4th), diatomaceous earth shells in diatomaceous earth are mainly composed of silicon dioxide SiO2 and trace amounts of other minerals, such as: aluminum, iron oxide, lime, magnesium and sodium. The mechanism of action of diatomaceous earth in the body can be considered in two ways. Diatomaceous earth administered for human or animal consumption passes through the gastrointestinal tract, in a small amount absorbed into the blood stream in the form of orthosilicic acid H4SiO4. This acid is formed by the reaction of silica with two molecules of water and is in nature a biologically active form of silica and silicon. The diatoms can therefore be a source of bioavailable silicon (5.). In addition, diatomaceous earth finds use as an antiparasitic agent (6, 7, 8, 9, 10). Moving further through the digestive tract, the diatom shells destroy the parasitic organisms and their eggs encountered on their way, and then they are excreted. These events are of a physical nature, the rough surface of the armor mechanically rubs against the parasites, causing their damage, which is the cause of death. In addition, cylindrical diatom shells in their structure have water absorbing pores from the external environment, which affects the dehydrated bodies of pathogens and death due to dehydration.
The diatoms are not identical in all diatomaceous earth deposits. Freshwater deposits are characterized by a stable content of diatoms with a constant (cylindrical), durable shape of armor. The saltwater deposits contain a mixture of different types of diatoms of a different shape, and their fossilized shells are relatively fragile. The unchanging composition and permanent structure of diatomaceous earth are of great importance for the effectiveness of its operation. An important aspect is also the amorphous, i.e. non-crystalline, form of the diatomaceous earth used. Crystalline silica has very hard, sharp and relatively coarse particles that are dangerous to the walls of the digestive tract of humans and animals – it is used, for example, in filtration systems. Amorphous silica is, however, more delicate, gently rubs against the digestive tract, without causing damage.
Amorphous diatomaceous earth can be used in humans to obtain silicon into the body. According to Laane (1), despite the reliable results obtained in clinical studies on the beneficial effects of silicon on the human body, the role of this element in medicine is still underestimated. Meanwhile, more and more publications are showing a positive effect of silicon, among others on bone and cartilage. For example, the studies by Schiano et al. (2.) show an improvement in the quality of bony bony matter in patients given a solution containing silicon (orally or injections). The element may also have therapeutic application in the treatment of osteoporosis. This is confirmed by studies by Eisinger and Clairet (3rd), where supplementation of silicon to women with osteoporosis caused an increase in density of femurs. Also, Rico et al. (4.) in their work proved that the administration of silicon inhibits the loss of bone mass and stimulates its reconstruction. According to Laane (1), this element supports the accumulation of calcium in the bones, improves collagen synthesis and osteoblast function.
In the literature, the thread of the effect of silicon on the condition of hair, skin and nails is often scrolled. In his research Lassus (5.) showed statistically significant relaxation of wrinkles, improvement of skin thickness and firmness as well as condition of hair and nails by administration of colloidal silicic acid for a period of 3 months. Similar results were obtained by Barel et al. (6th). They also showed the healing effect of silicon gel when applied locally to a hypertrophic scar.
Numerous studies have shown that silicon is necessary for the proper functioning of the cardiovascular system. According to Jugdaohsingh et al. (7.), the incidence of atherosclerosis in developed countries is high due to the diet low in silicon, and much lower in developing countries, because there the food is less processed, which makes it contain a larger amount of this element. The important role of silicon in the prevention of atherosclerosis and maintaining the health of blood vessels is confirmed by Loeper et al. (8) and Schwartz (9). According to Laane (1), silicon may be helpful in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease, as it reduces the absorption of aluminum by the body, which in turn, according to reports, accelerates the development of this ailment. There are also scientific papers on the beneficial effect of silicon on the immune system by stimulating: an increase in the number of lymphocytes and immunoglobulins (especially IgG – type G immunoglobulin) (2.), multiplication of lymphocytes (10), multiplication of macrophages and maintenance of their viability (11.) . Laane’s research (1.) shows that it is in the form of orthosilicic acid H4SiO4, which can be obtained from diatomaceous earth, silicon is best absorbed by the body – absorption is even 80%, with the absorption decreases with age. In the 1980s, Carlisle (12) conducted work on the possible use of silicon in the fight against cancer, in particular brain tumors. During the two-year experience, several generations of rats were fed with silicon-poor food, another was supplemented with sodium silicate. In rats with a diet low in silicon, the tumor occurred in 60% of cases, while the tumor did not occur in any individual in the second group. The results clearly showed that the use of silicon in the fight against cancer can be breakthrough. Unfortunately, due to the untimely death of Dr. Carlisle, the study was not continued.
Amorphous diatomaceous earth (natural diatoms) can be used for natural cleansing of the intestines from food deposits and parasites. It also has a positive effect on the fight against excess of an unfavorable cholesterol fraction and detoxification of the body from heavy metals (13.). The effectiveness of diatomite in combating „bad” cholesterol confirms Johnson (14) – a significant decrease in cholesterol was observed with the daily intake of three portions of the 250 mg preparation. A supporter of diatomaceous earth in the deworming treatment is Nowak (15), who defines diatomite as the most effective and safest means of fighting parasites in the gastrointestinal tract. Among the benefits of the use are also mentioned: stimulation of metabolism, improvement of the functioning of the airways, improvement of joint flexibility, prevention of kidney stones formation or premature aging. According to Norton (16), diatomaceous earth, thanks to its adsorptive ability, can be used to eliminate toxins secreted by bacteria, fungi or other infections, including candida yeasts.