Silica, also referred to as silicon, is a naturally occurring element of silicon, which is a naturally occurring element of silicate mineral family.
Silicon is present in many living organisms, but is mostly found in the human body. The human body makes most of its silicates from silice. Silica occurs in varying concentrations throughout the body, with the highest concentration in bones, teeth, and nails. Other parts of the body that make up a large percentage of silica are kidneys, brain, lungs, liver, and thyroid gland.
Silica is most commonly known as silicon dioxide, and is an oxide of silicate mineral family with the atomic symbol SiO₃. In many parts of the earth, silicon is the major component of silica sand. The importance of silica in the human body is not known till recently, when scientists realized the presence of silicate minerals in animal bones. This was the basis for the study of human body and its relation to silica. Later on, studies were also conducted on humans, and now we know that silica is necessary for normal functioning of the human body. Therefore, silica plays a significant role in maintaining a healthy body.
As per some researches, there is a difference between silica and silicon dioxide, which is a part of human body.
Some studies have proved that silica may help to decrease the risk of colon cancer and is essential for normal skin health. It can also help to maintain good bone structure. In addition, it has been found out that silica is essential for proper functioning of the kidney and bladder and helps to maintain normal blood pressure.
There are different levels of silica. Silica is available in small amounts in different food items such as grains, nuts, fruits, and seeds. High concentration of silica is also found in certain types of water sources like springs, wells, streams, etc. However, high concentration of silica is not found in meat, fish, or dairy products because of its absorption process.
The benefits of silica are mainly in the form of silicon dioxide. There are two forms of silica-organic and inorganic. Silica in inorganic is derived from silicon, which is present in silica sand. in the form of crystalline.
Inorganic silica has the same chemical composition as silicon dioxide, but in this form, it has more than one silicon molecule per molecule.
In this form, the silica molecule is less than that in silicon dioxide. These types of silica are used in making silicon-based products and glassware. Silica dioxide in the form of silicon oxide is used in food processing and also as a fertilizer. Silica dioxide is commonly used as a binder in textiles and paints. In general, the silica content in food items, especially in vegetables, can vary from four percent to five percent.
The benefits of silica and silicon dioxide are derived through the fact that silica helps in building strong bones and teeth. It also helps in improving blood circulation, strengthening bones, preventing arteriosclerosis and hypertension, prevents damage to the heart and other organs, prevents the occurrence of cancer and other diseases. In animals, silica can be used for the treatment of arthritis, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and kidney disease.
Silica is also an important trace mineral, especially for people who have low calcium silicate levels. Silica is very much important for the development of cartilage and bones. When people consume silica-rich foods, the silica increases the absorption of calcium in the body and also prevents bone deterioration. Silica and calcium are one of the essential elements that help the formation of collagen and elastin.