Silicon

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What other names is Silicon known by?

Acide Orthosilicique, Atomic number 14, Dioxyde de Silicium, Numéro Atomique 14, Orthosilicic Acid, Phytolithic Silica, Polysilicone-11, Si, Silica, Silica Hydride, Silice Hydride, Silicea, Silicio, Silicium, Silicium de Sodium, Silicon Dioxide, Sodium Silicate.

What is Silicon?

Silicon is a mineral. Silicon supplements are used as medicine.

Silicon is used for weak bones (osteoporosis), heart disease and stroke (cardiovascular disease), Alzheimer's disease, hair loss, and improving hair and nail quality. It is also used for improving skin healing; and for treating sprains and strains, as well as digestive system disorders.

Do not confuse silicon with silicone. Silicone is the name of a group of materials resembling plastic that contain silicon, oxygen, and other chemicals. Silicone is used to make breast implants, medical tubing, and a variety of other medical devices.

Possibly Effective for...

  • Increasing bone strength when obtained from foods. Men and younger (pre-menopausal) women who get more silicon from their diet seem to have higher bone mineral density, which could reduce the risk of weak bones (osteoporosis). But higher silicon intake does not seem to benefit older (post-menopausal) women. These women tend to develop weak bones because their bodies continually break down bone. Silicon doesn't seem to stop the bone breakdown. It promotes only bone formation.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of silicon for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Quick GuideVitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough?

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How does Silicon work?

A clear biological function for silicon in humans has not been established. There is some evidence, though, that silicon might have a role in bone and collagen formation.

Are there safety concerns?

Silicon is LIKELY SAFE in food amounts. Its safety as a medicine is unknown.

Kidney stones can occur, though rarely, in people taking silicon-containing antacids for long periods of time.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Silicon is LIKELY SAFE when used in food amounts. Its safety in larger medicinal amounts is unknown. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Dosing considerations for Silicon.

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:
  • For osteoporosis: dietary intakes of 40 mg of silicon seem to be linked with stronger bones than lower doses.
There is no recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for silicon, since an essential biological role for it has not been identified.

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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Reviewed on 3/29/2011 12:35:40 PM

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