Most forms of stones and rock contain silicon in one form or another. Silica is also a very common component of your body, and is contained in all of your connective tissues such as cartilage and tendons, nails, hair, muscle tissue and bone. Your complexion and shiny hair all depend upon silica, which apart from its other properties help your skin and hair to retain moisture and keep looking young.
Not only that, however, but it also strengthens your hair, and renders it less likely to become brittle and suffer from split ends and that dull look that so many women spend a fortune on trying to overcome with various types of hair conditioner. Conditioners are designed to keep the moisture in your hair; that is also one of the main properties of the form of silicon that we call silica. The term is often wrongly used for other forms of silicon such as silicates and silicones, although these do not take part in human biochemistry in the same way as silica does.
If your intake of silica is at its optimum, your skin and hair will be well hydrated, and maintain a luster that makes it attractive and young looking, rather than lank or frizzy. It is not an overnight effect, however, and you may have to take silica supplements for two or three months until you see visible effects. You should then be able to maintain the effects through diet, although silica supplements can be used if preferred. It is not only your hair that will benefit, but also your skin, as already suggested, will maintain a youthful hydrated look and the wrinkles will take longer to appear.
You will therefore tend to look younger for longer, especially if you also have a good intake of antioxidants to prevent free radical damage to your skin cells. Silica can help to prevent baldness, but it is stressed that it cannot be taken to cure it. It stimulates the growth of your hair and keeps it healthy and strong in addition to looking more beautiful and attractive.
Silica Found in Food
Silica in all its forms is a trace mineral in our diets, and is a relatively rare component. It is also a very important mineral because human life depends upon it. There are certain food sources of silica that you can use to ensure that you get the maximum amount naturally that you can.
The foods that contain most silica include oats and rice, which is why Asians tend to have the healthiest and strongest hair. Silica is primarily high in the foods that grow underground (Potatoes, Peanuts, Beets). The highest amount of Silica is in the skin (peel). Silica is also present in the fiber like substances in the foods, examples: the fibers emanating from the pit of the mangoes, the fibers in the celery). Silica is found in the bran of whole grains.
Others are organic cucumbers with the skin, asparagus, lettuce, cabbage, alfalfa, bell peppers, onions, garlic, green leafy vegetables, and sunflower seeds. Fruits include strawberries, and if you eat a diet rich in these various foods, then you should have a good natural intake.
Other sources of silica include horsetail and oat straw, or the stalks left once the oats have been harvested. Although not conventionally eaten, these sources are used for the preparation of silica supplements. It has often been claimed that beer is a good source, but only because silica is frequently used in fine powder form to act a defoamer in beer.
Meat sources do not include much silica, and neither do processed foods. Most junk food diets are low in this mineral that is so vital for the condition of your hair. A good balanced, whole food diet is necessary to ensure that you get adequate silica.
As with many other trace elements necessary in human biochemistry, you do not have to take large amounts of silica to meet your daily needs, and it is not the foods that are rich in silica that is the only aspect of the mineral you should consider, but also in the form in which it is available for the body to use. This ‘bioavailability’ is very important with all forms of nutrition, not only silica, since if the body is unable to use it as part of its biochemistry, then it is of no use as a supplement.
As an example of this, the processing of foods, including grains, can convert silica to silicates that the body cannot use since its chemistry is unsuitable. Silicates have to be converted first to silicic acid which the human body can easily absorb through the intestines. This acid, then, would be a good supplement for those deficient in silica, though only very small amounts are needed by the body. In fact, silicic acid is the silica gel supplement that provides the silica needed for healthy hair, and is formed by the hydration of sodium silicate which itself cannot be absorbed by the intestines and take part in the human biochemical reactions needed.
The reason for the importance of silica is that it is converted to orthosilicic acid that is an essential part of the biochemical pathway for the formation and stabilization of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) or mucopolysaccharides, that are essential to human life. Chondroitin sulfate is an example of a GAG. As one ages, ones ability to produce these compounds in the stomach reduces, and is one reason for aging skin and hair.
The effect of silica in the human body in general, and on the hair in particular, has been proved, and as you age you will find the need for some form of supplementation. Even younger people who do not include an adequate quota of silica in their diet should consider a supplement containing this little known but essential trace element for bouncy, attractive and youthful hair.
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Did You Know?
-80% of all of our body’s silica is used up by the time we become adults.
-Silicon is the second most common element on earth, lead only by oxygen, and is the second-most abundant element in the Earth's crust.