A review of the effects of dietary silicon intake on bone homeostasis and regeneration

If you want to have a more in-depth understanding of why we developed our silicon products for you, we invite you to read more about the underlying research on silicon and bone health.

In 2015, Rodella, Bonazza, Labanca, Lonati, and Rezzani published a literature review of the effects of dietary silicon intake on bone homeostasis and regeneration. The researchers reviewed 38 studies about silicon (Si) consumption and bone metabolism. They were published between 1972 and 2013. Overall, the findings from these studies showed a positive relationship between dietary silicon intake and bone regeneration.

How does silicon occur in our diet?

Silicon is the second most commonly occurring element in the Earth's crust (28.9%). It is the major trace element in our body, especially in our hair, nails, bone, and skin cells. Our diet is the most important silicon source, with daily intakes between 20 and 50 mg in Western countries and 104-204 mg in China and India. The main bio-available form of silicon is ortho-silicic acid (OSA, SiOH4), available only in liquids but not in solid foods. However, silicon in solid foods turns into OSA after food consumption. The highest silicon levels exist in grains, such as oats, barley, white wheat flour, and rice. 

What happens when our silicon uptake is too low?

A lack of dietary silicon can lead to bone diseases such as osteoporosis, resulting in bone loss, deterioration, and increased risk of fractures. Suggested contributions of silicon to bone health include the synthesis and stabilization of collagen and matrix mineralization. 

What kinds of studies have helped to understand the relationship between silicon uptake and bone health?

Three major research types on silicon were available in the existing literature: in vitro studies on human and mouse cells, in vivo studies on patients with osteoporosis and animal models, and in vivo and in vitro scaffold studies using silicon. Scaffold studies use nanotechnology to develop artificial tissue and are of increasing interest in biotechnology and nanomedicine.

What do the researchers conclude about silicon uptake and bone health?

Based on the 38 reviewed studies, the researchers conclude that silicon represents an essential trace element for bone health and homeostasis or the optimal functioning of our bones. It has anti-aging, regenerating, and reinforcing effects, which help prevent bone disease. 

Rodella, L.F., Bonazza, v., Labanca, M., Lonati, C. & Rezzani R. (2015). A review of the effects of dietary silicon intake on bone homeostasis and regeneration. The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging 18, 820-826. doi: 10.1007/s12603-014-0555-8

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