Why Is There Silica in My Vitamin?
Silica, like other essential minerals, is a natural substance that is vital for normal growth and development. Silica deficiency can have significant consequences to your body's well-being, which is why silica may be included in your multivitamin to ensure your intake of this mineral is sufficient. However, you only need small amount of this mineral, so it is usually not necessary to supplement your diet with supplements.
Benefits of Silica
Silica, also known as silicon dioxide, is important for the health and development of strong bones. It works with vitamin D and calcium, both of which are essential to bone maintenance. Silica is also a component in many different tissues including tendons, blood vessels, liver and kidneys. Silica levels diminish as you age, so taking supplementary silica may help to combat signs of aging such as decreased skin elasticity, according to Vital Health Zone.
Most people consume about 20 to 50 milligrams of silica through their diet every day. The United States Department of Agriculture does not provide a daily recommended amount for silica, which suggests that dietary intake of the mineral should be sufficient. However, Dr. Rona suggests that because silica promotes healthy bone growth and development, supplementary silica in multivitamins may help to combat osteoporosis. Talk to your doctor about whether you need to boost your intake of this mineral.
Taking a multivitamin containing silica helps ensure that you get adequate amounts of this mineral. However, a silica deficiency is uncommon because it is found in foods such as bananas, whole-grain bread, bran cereal, raisins, carrots, green beans and brown rice, according to Vital Health Zone. If you do suffer from silica deficiency, symptoms may include brittle hair and nails.
The upper tolerable limit of silica for children and pregnant women is not yet clear due to a lack of information regarding potential adverse effects among these groups. Long-term use or very high doses of silica has been linked to irreversible kidney damage, according to Vital Health Zone. It is important to consult your doctor before beginning any supplement, in order to sure that it is a safe addition to your daily regimen.
- MedlinePlus: Multivitamins; American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
- The Journal of Nutrition and Health Aging: The chemistry of silica and its potential health benefits; Martin KR
- United States Department of Agriculture: Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc
- Go Vita Good Health Library: Silica
- Vital Health Zone: Silica (Silicon)
- Vitality Magazine: Bone Density Drugs And the Best Natural Alternatives for Osteoporosis; Dr. Zoltan P. Rona
- Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images