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Silicon is a very important element found in many foods. It is a key component in the production of collagen and glycosaminoglycans. It is necessary for the structural integrity and development of connective tissue, and it has been shown to strengthen bones, nails and skin.
Calcium silicate is an inorganic substance that can exist in different forms: CaSiO3 or Ca2SiO4. It is often used as an anti-caking agent in food ingredients.
It is a very common mineral supplement, and has been found to help improve bone and joint health. It has also been shown to aid the spongy interior bone tissue, called trabecular bone.
Animal research has demonstrated that dietary deficiencies of silicon can lead to bone defects and impaired synthesis of connective tissues such as collagen. It is believed that a low level of dietary silicon in humans leads to osteoporosis and osteopenia, as well as other connective tissue disorders such as arthritis.
Studies show that silicon is found in the aorta, trachea, tendon, spongy bone and hair, as well as in blood and its appendages. Generally, blood levels of silicon are quite constant, averaging 50 ug/dl in adult humans and animals.
In addition to the biological importance of silicon, a significant number of animal studies have shown that it is essential for skeletal structure and bone formation [45-47]. Dietary deficiency of silicon can also affect calcification and collagen production irrespective of vitamin D consumption. However, it is not clear if this mechanism of action is due to a nutrient deficiency or to a dietary insufficiency of other minerals and vitamins that are known to influence bone mineralization.