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Four Reasons for More Silica
By Dr. Jen Morganti, NEEDS Education Director

Sun exposure, smoking, and freeradical excess breakdown collagen and eventually cause wrinkles and sagging skin. If there was a way to replenish our collagen levels, it would help slow the skin-aging process, but it just isn't that simple. Detractors question whether collagen supplements really increase collagen levels; effectiveness may be highly dependent on what type of collagen is used and how it is processed.

A better bet is silica, because if effectively absorbed, it can increase the body's ability to naturally produce collagen in needed quantities. The challenge is that many forms of supplemental silica are poorly absorbed. Also, farming soil is becoming depleted, so we aren't getting silica from our diet at the levels that we need. The production of type-1 collagen is silica-dependent and animal studies demonstrate that silica deficiency is associated with poor collagen synthesis and lower glycosaminoglycoans in bone and cartilage.

A small clinical study showed that taking a specific form of silica increases collagen production over the course of 20 weeks. And increased collagen production leads to four desirable outcomes:
    · Smoother, plumper skin, with less wrinkles
    · Shiny, stronger, and less brittle hair
    · Strong, less brittle nails
    · Stronger, denser bones
If you aren't sure if you are deficient in silica, consider these questions. Is your hair thin or does it break easily? Are your nails soft or brittle? Do you have osteoporosis or osteopenia? If you said yes to one or more of these questions, they could be signs of silica or other mineral deficiencies. Unfortunately, silica is hard to obtain in the diet and is poorly absorbed as a supplement. So what is the answer?

The study previously mentioned used orthosilicic acid (OSA), a soluble form of silica stabilized by choline (ch). Over 20 weeks, this form of silica increased collagen levels, and improved hair and nails (less brittle), and skin (smoother).

Silica also helps with bone density by improving mineralization and bone density. It improves the strength of the bone structure to help prevent fractures, but also allows for flexibility, a key factor in preventing fractures. We know we also need minerals like calcium and magnesium, along with nutrients such as vitamin K and vitamin D3.

Natural Factors BioSil® Healthy Bones Plus kit offers all the bone supporting nutrients necessary, plus a good dosage of orthosilicic acid form of silica to improve collagen production.

Arch Dermatol Res (2005) 297: 147–153

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