Silica (silicon dioxide) is used in some powdered foods to ensure that they are free flowing. It is also used heavily in the manufacture of steel, thermal insulation, electronic circuit boards, semiconductors, and optical fibers. While its industrial uses are many, its health benefits appear to be nil.

Silica is a compound that is found in soil. There are people who have made the asinine assumption that it must be beneficial to health based on this. Another basis for the assumption about silica's benefits is the fact that trace amounts of it are found inside fruits and vegetables, which could produce some minor contributions to good health, but mostly to the health of those fruits and vegetables. Supplementing with silica has not been shown to provide any health benefits to humans, and all silica supplements contain far more silica than anyone could consume naturally.

Silica dust is a known carcinogen, lung irritant, and a central nervous system toxin. Although, it has been shown to be relatively neutralized when filtered through the human digestive system. This somewhat makes the point about how stupid silica supplementation really is. Since it is destroyed by the human digestive system, injections would be the only way to actually supplement with it. The website owners who profit from the fraud of silica supplements claim that it does all of the following:

Fraudulent Silica Claims

  • Prevents Alzheimer's disease
  • Prevents atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries)
  • Strengthens bones
  • Makes the skin "glow"
  • Prevents hair thinning
  • Increases mucosa during dehydration
  • Improves circulation
  • Prevents cancer
  • And everything else...

The list of supposed silica benefits goes on practically forever, so this is not a full listing of claims. It would be much simpler to list what its sales people do not make any claims about. The latter would be a very short list. Those who have a health condition, could search the Internet for their ailment alongside the word "silica", and they would undoubtedly find accolades about it being the very "miracle" that they had been seeking. Some companies have appeared on the market being dedicated to selling only silica, at prices which exceed those of real supplements. They are essentially selling sand as a high-priced dietary supplement, but it does not actually supplement any nutrient.

When silica is obtained from the horsetail plant (the standard process), it can actually cause a thiamine (vitamin B-1) deficiency. Thiamine is a real nutrient with real benefits. On the other hand, a silica (dirt) supplement simply is not going to be of much use to anyone, except the salesmen. A wise person should instead eat a balanced diet of natural foods, avoid refined sugars, and avoid chemicals. Sure enough, he will get trace amounts of silica in his diet too. Likewise, he will get trace amounts of other unnecessary elements which we would also never recommend supplementing with, like arsenic.

"Studies in mice suggest that horsetail [source of silica supplements] may change the activity of the kidneys, causing abnormal control of the amount of water and potassium release. Low potassium, which in theory may occur with horsetail, can have negative effects on the heart."

-- National Institutes of Health

The above quote cites the only known effect of silica supplementation. Eventual heart attacks are hardly a desirable effect of any supplement. We do not know the effect of supplementing with silica over an extended period of time. No one knows. All we know with certainty is that silica supplementation has never been proven to have any benefits for humans whatsoever, and we also know that it so thoroughly destroys the kidneys of laboratory animals that they become prone to having heart attacks.

Regular vitamins and supplements, which contain small amounts of silica are not harmful; but the presence of silica will not present any therapeutic effect, either.

 

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Comments   

Nicole Lamb
# Silica supplements Nicole Lamb 2010-04-17 21:45
I have to disagree with you on silica not having any benefit. While I agree with you that if you google it you will find many a website touting it's healing abilities, I don't think they are all quacks trying to take advantage.
I have rheumatoid arthritis. I was taking the generic version of Plaquenil for 3 years with no noticeable difference in my joints. I was always stiff and the days I was without pain were few and far between. It also didn't seem to halt the progress of the disease at all either.

I found silica quite by accident while researching something completely different. I decided it couldn't hurt to try. So I bought a bottle. I started taking 10-20 mg daily.

Within 1 week I noticed a marked difference in not only my pain level but also by flexibility. I was not doing anything different such as diet, exercise, or stretching to explain this. I can only think it was the silica and plan on buying another bottle.
C. Thomas Corriher (Managing Editor)
# C. Thomas Corriher (Managing Editor) 2010-04-18 00:27
We wrote the article, Naturally Eliminating Joint and Arthritis Pain (http://healthwyze.org/reports/324-joint-pain). We believe the advice contained within that story will be much more useful for helping than silica.

I'm going to be frank and honest here. The fact that silica seems to be helping you is an indication that there is something terrible about your diet -- not that silica is curing you. We know this because the only known biological use for silica is as a filtration agent (cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=13471694). In fact, it is used to filter food and aid digestion in birds for that reason. You can even make your beer more pure (www.fuji-silysia.co.jp/english/product/micronized_silica/sylopute.html) with it!

The question is, what exactly is the silica filtering out? In any case, the silica is merely temporarily helping shield you from whatever garbage is going into your body, so it is hardly the best option. The better option is for you to discover and eliminate whatever is aggravating your problems.

Read those labels carefully. They're meant to deceive.
Nicole Lamb
# Nicole Lamb 2010-04-23 00:15
Of course I think research is always good especially when trying out supplements. I have in the past used turmeric, which helped for a short time. It always made me burp and I had to take it at night so it didn't upset my stomach. Not only that, but it also seemed like my body built up a tolerance to it. At one point it just seemed like it stopped working at all.
I have also taken cherry supplements. I didn't feel any noticeable difference at all with the cherry.
As far as my diet being terrible, I eat fruits and vegetables daily, most of the time they are organic. I usually only drink water and sometimes milk. I don't drink sodas at all and don't generally eat candy. I don't see how this could be blamed on diet at all. I have been diabetic for 25 years and that is for sure a contributing factor, especially with the inflammation part of it.
Dr. Asad Choudhry
# Dr. Asad Choudhry 2013-04-26 16:54
diatomaceous earth - agreed is the type your should use. Yea the rest are garbage and def not helpful. People need to stoop thinking that you can pop a drug or pill to achieve adequate or optimal health.
C. Thomas Corriher (Managing Editor)
# C. Thomas Corriher (Managing Editor) 2010-04-23 00:42
It is time to be a little more honest with yourself. If you have had diabetes for 25 years, then your diet is obviously not so good. Getting rid of it is probably the most important thing, if you want to get better and feel better. Everything you need to know is laid-out in the article, Special Investigative Report: Curing Diabetes Naturally and Holistically (http://healthwyze.org/reports/252-special-investigative-report-curing-diabetes-naturally-and-holistically).
s. franklin
# so you know all about diabetes too huh? s. franklin 2013-01-25 00:50
I would love to overcome my type 1 diabetes that I got at age four (45 yrs ago) with my already very strict, clean, and greatly managed diet....but there is NO natural cure for my diabetes other than maintaining it with insulin replacement!! NOT EVERYONE who has diabetes is type 2 !!!
Thomas Corriher (Managing Editor)
# Thomas Corriher (Managing Editor) 2013-01-25 12:28
Really? Is that what your doctor told you?

Yes, we do indeed "know all about diabetes", and thank you for mentioning that. No person affiliated with us has diabetes, and Health Wyze's own Sarah cured herself. So, yes, we are certainly far more qualified than you to write about diabetes.

Let me guess... your doctors told you that it was "genetic", right? Just enjoy the insulin, and keep patting yourself on the back about how much smarter you are. In the meantime, don't be angry with us because of your failures and the failures of your parents.

Your lack of faith and belief that God is a shoddy engineer has condemned you to the life and death that you truly deserve.
Suzanne Beardslee
# Harm Suzanne Beardslee 2011-05-01 21:53
But can silica do any actual HARM?
Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher)
# Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher) 2011-05-04 05:42
It is very unlikely that you would experience any actual harm, except to that of your wallet when swallowed. Inhaling silica is very different.
Ken Shackleton
# Ken Shackleton 2011-09-14 23:58
:o

My only experience with silica is eating bread in Africa. I was near the Sahara and there was quite a bit of sand in the food. It served as a pretty good colon scrub....not sure of any other benefits.
Mariel Thomson
# Horsetail Tea Mariel Thomson 2011-10-25 14:04
I have used horsetail [esquistum arvense] tea. It is supposed to treat edema, and strengthen teeth, bones ,fingernails, and connective tissue. I noticed that my bladder, which had not been a problem, felt stronger and good, as though some kind of tension was relieved. A tea is a better way to take this than a pill. Horsetail is a primitive fern that grows on a long runner root, and survives as a small plant.
From Wikipedia: Equisetum (play /ˌɛkwɨˈsiːtəm/; horsetail, snake grass, puzzlegrass) is the only living genus in the Equisetaceae, a family of vascular plants that reproduce by spores rather than seeds. [2]

Equisetum is a "living fossil", as it is the only living genus of the entire class Equisetopsida, which for over one hundred million years was much more diverse and dominated the understory of late Paleozoic forests. Some Equisetopsida were large trees reaching to 100 feet tall.
Diane Warner
# Diane Warner 2013-01-31 08:23
I just saw an a program on TV about silicon which made it sound like a miracle drug. I was most interested in it because they said it would help grow your hair in thicker. My hair has been thining really bad for years. If silicon can't help do you have any suggestions on what to take to make the hair healthier?? Thank you
Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher)
# Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher) 2013-01-31 11:52
It is important to find the cause of the hair thinning, instead of just treating the symptom. Otherwise the cause will eventually manifest itself in another problem, and it could be much more severe.

It is possible that you have hypothyroidism, and you should be able to determine that from reading our article on the topic: How To Cure Hypothyroidism Naturally (http://healthwyze.org/reports/211-how-to-cure-hypothyroidism-naturally)

It could also be caused by your diet. You may find these articles helpful:

The Relationship Between Body pH and Disease (and other facts you're not supposed to know) (http://healthwyze.org/reports/361-the-relationship-between-body-ph-and-disease-and-other-facts-youre-not-supposed-to-know)

God's Nutrition: From The Big Guy Himself (http://healthwyze.org/reports/335-gods-nutrition-from-the-big-guy-himself)
Jasmine Barratt
# Jasmine Barratt 2015-07-30 20:40
Hi,

Just wanted to mention that magnesium could be helpful for thicker hair. I was taking it for psoriasis and found it also made my hair thicker and have more life, which I was not expecting. It took about a month to notice a difference if I remember rightly.
Lloyd Phillips
# Sarah Cain: check your information Lloyd Phillips 2013-04-16 19:19
A 2013 study has indeed confirmed that silica/silicon removes aluminum, and improved symptoms in a significant number of Alzheimer's patients:

doi: 10.3233/JAD-2012-121231

PMID: 22976072
Thomas Corriher (Managing Editor)
# Thomas Corriher (Managing Editor) 2013-04-19 00:36
This degree of stupidity and misinformation is exactly why we do what we do. That study is the epitome of bad science, and they were obviously shopping for the results that they wanted to get. It's like F.D.A. science. In the study they used mineral water, which means that it was impure (on purpose!). It wasn't distilled water with pure silica or some other method of supplementing with pure silica, but it was instead mineral water with minerals and various impurities, including salt compounds. At first glance, it doesn't appear that they even used a control group, or any other method to compare results of those who were not "treated" with mineral water. It's just incredible. Out of the natural compounds in the mineral water, it is impossible to know what helped to excrete the aluminum, but it was most likely the small amounts of selenium -- which by the way -- does actually help remove and neutralize metals. The science was done so poorly that the higher levels of aluminum might have merely been due to a worsening diet, because the subjects overall intake of aluminum increased.

Is Keele University even a real school? Regardless, this will hardly merit mention in the annals of great medical research, and it is something they should be academically ashamed of.

Perhaps you should push the silica supplements over at Cure Zone. You'll have better luck with your "science" over there.
Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher)
# Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher) 2013-04-19 03:19
Judging from the test results, it is likely that there was aluminum in the spring water itself. They didn't bother to test for that, did they?
Alex Elias
# Alex Elias 2013-04-22 12:14
Hi. I was recommended DE (Fossil shell Flour) as a Silica supplement. If it's no good for Silica what other benefits does DE provide? Thanks
Karen Peterson
# Health Risk of Silica in Stevia? Karen Peterson 2013-07-11 04:57
Just purchased some stevia today at Trader Joe's and noticed after getting home that silica is in it. Comments on whether this is a health risk or just plain unhealthy? (actually comments on stevia AND silica very welcome!)
Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher)
# Sarah C. Corriher (H.W. Researcher) 2013-07-12 00:28
Silicon dioxide is commonly added to products to make spices, herbs and powders more free-flowing. It is not harmful, but it should not be considered a dietary supplement, because it does not yield any significant health benefits.
Jimmie Miller
# Good to know Jimmie Miller 2014-03-06 09:13
I bought a bottle of Horsetail herb caps and took them once for "hair and nail" health, I'll know better now. My husband and I are implementing your advice for hypothyroidism. Thanks again for all the great info.
Brian Wm Burnett
# Question of toxic side effects of silicon dioxide. Brian Wm Burnett 2014-05-08 21:56
Has anyone heard of becoming toxified from constant exposure to Silicon Dioxide?

I have heard of silicosis but has anyone heard of becomiong ill with symptoms that mirror scabies, which I do not have and never did, lice, fungus of the scalp, or any other of the easy medical guesses that I have been given .
14 years ago I applied a bit too freely Insectigone because of a perceived flea problem. 10 years ago after a 6 month absence from my home I returned, had a new furnace installed and had the same lesions appear without any solution or cause identified. It eventuallty cleared up with a lot of time and numerous guesses.And aftyer the heating season was over.
Recently after 10 years of dormancy
it returned without warning.
Now I should explain that I did not do any vacuuming or dusting since last spring, a year ago, developed a white powdwery dusty condition in my house, built in 1875,
as it was a long heating season, starting in Oct and just ending now, and I wanted to wait for warmer weather here in Ontario Canada to return before I strarted the cleaning routine.

Any ideas apart from leaving , cleaning all the house surfaces or doing the drastic solution of burning it down and starting over.
No home ownwers insurance and I am not into fraud either if I did have coverage.
I believe my cat and I are at risk but have no-where else to go. I should explain that I have a very modest income of $1300/month due to a motorcycle / car collision 11 years ago which left me partly disabled and unable to workmat a full time job.

How do I detox myself ?The house I know needs to be completely emptied to the base walls and all my possessions cleaned but that is not in my budget and the more I attempt to clean the more I breakmout in itchy painfuy;l lesions the medicos are stumped by.
And I have taken the xcat to the vet, not cheap either as well to confirm nofleas, no ear mites, no mange and no internal parasites. Same as myself.
Any help will be appreciated and I do apologise for the length of this.
Brian Wm Burnett
# Questions about becoming senstized to DE Brian Wm Burnett 2014-05-10 15:04
Has anyone heard of long term exposure to low levels of DE causing hypersensitivity to the silicon Dioxide?
I understand breasthing in the dust can cause silicosis but also was wondering about inadvertantly consumuing low levels for a long time.
Doesanyone have an answer either way?
MY idea is theis would explain why I have had an undiagnosed skin rash and lesions breaking out on various sections of my boidy the medicos all say is something different each time I am looked at.
Or for that matter has anyone heard of any thing similar? It is the onlynlogical thing I can think of now the parasite , disease, etc. hasa been eliminated by trial and error.
Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Helen Hawthorne
# Reasons for rashes and such Helen Hawthorne 2015-10-01 20:32
Absolutely, I know a good reason. I just recently took two doses of diatomeceous earth (which, contrary to the above article was not made out of horsetails, but, was made entirely out of dieatomaceious earth), and, some of what I feel happening is some of the thing thing that I felt happening when I was following Dr. Drook's Yeast Overgrowth diet (such as I did follow it) .

D.E. is known to help balance your intestinal flora, according to many sources. I feel it doing that to mine, at least to the extent of getting rid of some of the bad. The thing is, when the bad bacteria dies, it releases poisons.

This can make you headachy, nauseated, give you rashes, pimples, boils and all sorts of nasty things like that.

Now, the thing is, I am not sure how long D.E. takes to pass through one's system. I am under the impression that it might, like bentonite clay, take a long time. So, I would suggest you stop taking it for a day or two, to do a test that Dr. Crook suggested to help you to see if your illness is a bad thing or a good thing that just feels bad for now.

If you stop taking it, and, you begin feeling better, that doesn't really tell you anything, right away.

But, if you then eat a bunch of garlic, jalapenos, turnips, and/or horseradish (not too much, just enough to fire you up a bit) and it makes you feel more gassy, headachy and miserable - but, then, about 4 - 12 hours later (after it has had time to fairly well pass through) you feel better than you did before you ate them, you are almost certainly yeasty, and, you can take it the D.E. was helping fix this.

In which case, if you haven't done so already, you should study up on Yeast Overgrowth. I have found Dr. Crook's books to be the most helpful sources of information.
Brian Wm Burnett
# Brian Wm Burnett 2014-05-11 00:00
My apologies for the numerous spelling errors contained in my last 2 postings.
This has stresses me out with all the costs involved with the pharmacutical products prescribed and numerous topical solutions as well as the cleaning supplies I have been using.
Normally my spelling is a great deal better than the above 2 posts would suggest.

This is not a put on or someone seeking attention. I am truly concerned about this.

As I said any help or legitimate suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks.
April Grant
# TOTALLY Disagree April Grant 2015-01-14 09:28
I totally disagree! I've been taking raw silica for 3 weeks now and I can attest to whats true for me. My skin really is glowing 1 co-worker even said it looks creamy smoothe lol. My nails and hair are growing super fast. My nails are so thick and strong(fingers and toes) I get a mani pedi and have them buffed and it looks like a french manicure but it's all natural. My joints (i'm only 38 and started to see some problems) that would hurt when it was cold or raining don't anymore. I have energy and best of all, at times i'd have racing thoughts or feel panicked to make a decision or in a rush doing everyday things and I don't anymore, I feel calm, like "this is the way it feels to be normal" and I love it.
Helen Hawthorne
# In disagreement Helen Hawthorne 2015-10-01 20:55
Let's start with the fact that all the diatomaceous earth that I have come across was not made from horse tail plants, whatever those were, but, was made from diatomaceous earth and that's where everyone that I have ever heard of, until coming to this site, has gotten their silica from. Maybe horsetail plants are horrid for you, but,they are not the primary source of silica.


Secondly, you may suppose, conjecture, guess, be in suspicion of anything you want, but, you cannot in all good conscience call something or someone a fraud without actually submitting proof that this is so. And, that is said to you primarily in regard to the wee little statement that a silica dirt supplement is not going to be of much benefit to anyone except the salesman, or, however it was put, exactly.

I just spent two or three days studying diatomaceous earth. I had heard about it's positive effects on humans long ago, but, I had heard it from Darwinians who didn't believe in God, but, think scientists really know anything that was going on 100,000,000 years ago, despite everything other scientists have said about the arbitrary nature of how time is determined when it comes to the soil layers, so I found their information potentially suspect, at best.

The thing is, there are a lot of people who, perhaps out of desperation, perhaps out of curiosity, tried diatomaceous earth for themselves. Some of them actively set out to prove it wasn't worth anything. I only read of one of them that decided it really wasn't worth taking, and, sadly, it is obvious that he, like the person who posted in the comments way down below, was almost certainly curing himself of yeast overgrowth without knowing it and, so, thinking he was becoming ill only from taking d.e.

All the other people report feeling less exhausted, less achy, less ill, or, whatever other good thing they reported.

So, I thought it over, including how many scientists say that a good lot of our health problems can be attributed to the fact that things are too clean and no one much gets any dirt in their diet anymore, and that the FDA has approved it as food grade, etc. And, I went ahead and took some last night.

Kind of a bad move, as, for the first time in over a week, I was wide awake. Though, strangely, it was also the best sleep I have had in months, when I did sleep. And, when I woke up I was all the way awake, which has almost never happened in my life, unless I woke up in a panic and this was not panic.

I also used it to do a quick scrub/face mask. My skin still feels so wonderful!

I took some more in my coffee, this morning. This is the first time in months that my muscles have not been aching. My knees were hurting so bad, yesterday afternoon, that I could barely stand or walk at all, and, tonight, I am contemplating walking a mile down the road to buy something and walk back home. My muscles feel like they are actually capable of working together, and, my arms feel so strong.

Mind you, my arms actually are so strong. I am not saying it suddenly gave me super human strength. I am saying I can access that strength and do things with it, when, yesterday afternoon I couldn't even properly flex my arms.

Oh and, my skin is not as dried out and creepy as it's been for the last few months.

So, no, I don't feel superhuman, but, I do feel human and there has not been much of my life where that's been true.

So, I will continue to test out my little "silica dirt supplement", otherwise known as diatomaceous earth, and see if things improve from here. I hope other people who might benefit from experimenting it will also do research on the people who say they have been taking it for a while and how their life has improved - people who are not out to sell anything, most of them, mind you- and, maybe try it out for themselves.

I will take your good advice, though, to avoid horsetails, of all sorts.

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The Claimer: The information provided herein is intended to be a truthful and corrective alternative to the advice that is provided by physicians and other medical professionals. It is intended to diagnose, treat, cure, and prevent disease.