It is well known that silicon is an essential trace element for the proper development of connective tissue, skin, hair, and nails. Less known, however, is the role that silicon plays in bone health. Silicon is a unique semi-conductor element with piezoresistive properties, and it has been shown to play a role in the initiation of the mineralization process. However, the exact relationship between silicon and bone mineralization is still not fully understood. In this blog post, we’ll explore what we know about the link between silicon and bone health, as well as some potential theories about how silicon may contribute to better bone health.
The Role of Silicon in Bone Health
Silicon is an essential nutrient for proper skeletal development. Carlisle performed electron probe microanalyses of various regions of bone and determined that silicon is twenty-five times more concentrated in immature osteoid than in mature bone. This led Carlisle to conclude that silicon plays a role in initiating the mineralization process. It is also known that silicon is used in micro-pressure transducers and in the computer electronics industry because of its unique piezoresistive properties. However, the relationship between silicon and bone mineralization is still not fully understood.
One theory posits that negative piezoelectric forces are generated by silicon and stimulate bone growth. Additionally, it has been shown that silicon can increase osteoblast proliferation and differentiation, as well as collagen synthesis. These effects may help to explain how silicon contributes to better bone health. However, more research is needed to confirm these theories and to explore the exact mechanisms by which silicon supports better bones.
Why You Need Silicon Supplementation as You Age
Although silicon is abundant in nature, most people do not get enough from their diet alone. This is particularly true for older adults, who are at increased risk of deficiency due to poor absorption and decreased intake of fruits and vegetables. Furthermore, many medications can decrease silicon absorption. As a result, older adults are often advised to supplement with silicon to maintain healthy bones.
Silicon supplementation has been shown to be effective in improving bone mineral density and preventing fractures. In one study of postmenopausal women with osteoporosis, those who were supplemented with silicon had significantly higher levels of bone mineral density after one year than those who did not supplement.
Furthermore, another study showed that silicon supplementation reduced the incidence of fractures by nearly 50% over a five-year period. These studies suggest that silicon supplementation can play a vital role in preventing age-related osteoporosis and reducing the risk of fractures.
While more research is needed to understand the relationship between silicon and bone mineralization fully, it is clear that silicon plays a role in the initiation of the mineralization process. Additionally, silicon has been shown to increase osteoblast proliferation and differentiation, as well as collagen synthesis.
These effects may help to explain how silicon contributes to better bone health. If you are interested in supporting your own bone health or are dealing with problems related to poor bone health, talk to your doctor about whether adding a supplement with Silicon might be right for you.