Many women and men supplement their diets with a form of silicon called BioSil. Health food stores market this product as a solution for dry, brittle hair, and it is also an essential mineral for other nutritional needs. It strengthens nails, bones and other connective tissues.
Silicon is the second most abundant element on earth after oxygen, although humans cannot absorb the mineral in its elemental form. Dirk Vanden Berghe of Bio Minerals n.v. experimented with silicon to develop a readily absorbable form called choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid or ch-OSA, BioSil for short.
A group of scientists lead by Dr. R. R. Wickett wrote in the May 8, 2007 issue of “Archives of Dermatological Research” that the “supplementation of choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid helps to reduce loss in hair elasticity and strength and improves hair thickness” In the study, the scientists scrutinized the hair of 48 women before and after nine months of supplementation with BioSil. One group of women took a placebo identical to the BioSil, while a second group of women took the regular supplement. The placebo group lost strength and elasticity in the center keratin shaft, but the supplement group’s hair stayed strong and even grew thicker.
Collagen is the substance that gives elasticity and strength to hair, nails and connective tissue and density to bone structure. The more dense the collagen, the better elasticity the tissue has. The type of collagen that builds hair is called keratin. When the volume of the keratin in the hair shaft increases, so does the thickness of the hair.
Time, toxins and the sun all contribute to the aging process. Adults lose collagen naturally as we grow older and because of nutritional deficiencies in the diet. The degeneration of collagen has not been linked conclusively to one factor, but it has been significantly slowed and even halted by the supplementation of BioSil.
Dr. Wickett’s subjects took 5 mg of BioSil two times a day for the duration of the study. Although the deficiency of silicon has been linked to certain diseases, such as malformation and growth retardation of bones, the Food and Drug Administration has not recommended a daily allowance or added it to the list of human requirements.
There is no known toxicity associated with the bio-available form of silicon known as BioSil. If you experience uncomfortable gas, bloating or abdominal pain, discontinue use as recommended.