How does silica affect the body?

You might have never heard of silica, but it’s everywhere. Well, almost. Silicon dioxide – that’s its real name – can be found in sand, rocks and even in your morning cereal (fun fact: Kellogg’s Corn Flakes contain 2% silica). It’s a mineral that has numerous industrial uses such as making glass, ceramics or computer chips. However, today we’re not going to talk about electronics or architecture; instead, we’ll take a look at how silica affects our bodies.

What is Silica?

Silicon dioxide (SiO₂) is one of the most abundant minerals on earth and has been used by humans for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians made their famous blue ceramic beads with it 7 millennia ago! They also claimed it could increase life expectancy- well there was no way to fact-check then so… 😜

But let’s return to present day usage: apart from being an ingredient you’d find in food processing plants ($$), it’s also used quite frequently in cosmetics as an exfoliator (ever seen scrubs containing “crushed pearls”? Yeah…)

On another note, if you’ve burned your hand while cooking or grabbed a hot pan without mitts (ouch!) – over-the-counter medication usually contains silicon as an active ingredient because of its cooling properties!


We all know too much sugar isn’t suitable for us (hello cavities) , same story applies here; Don’t turn into Jimmy McGill (looking @Better Call Saul fans 🚨 )

Just like anything else that should be consumed moderately including caffeine capsules & aspirin tablets; silica should be taken only according to permissible exposure limits(PFLs)- which varies depending on several factors – AGE (!!), gender etc.

Overexposure leads to high risk Health issues such as:

Respiratory Problems

Silicosis is an example of a lung disease that can occur due to inhaling silica dust. Silica particles irritate the lungs and cause scarring, leading to impaired breathing. Symptoms may not show up until five or ten years after exposure – and once worried ? expensive pulmonary tests.

Kidney Damage

Skeletons are strong right? Well, if we were made with transparent bones (like Baymax in Big Hero 6) then silicate would weaken it- which increases the risk of fractures in old age anyhow!! (queue sad music 🎼) But seriously too much silica can build-up and harm our kidneys?

This usually happens when you have chronic exposure; work environments such as mining asbestos (yep still common!) expose workers every day by kicking up clouds of unseen toxic fiber… their counterparts working with minerals like quartz also need to watch out.

But Mining aside…

We’ve spoken about silica being present in food through different stages of manufacturing but now let’s delve into natural mineral intake !!

The exact amount needed depends on your physique (height etc.) ,specific health issues and well, how prone are you to falling or tripping (it’s important!)

Women on average require around 50% for daily cell growth/repair since that figure decreases significantly after menopause whilst children need less than adults (-3g for kids vs +7g for seniors).

|Age Range | Recommended Silica Intake |
|(0–6 months) | Not enough research |
|(7–12 months) | Not enough research |
|(1–3 years) | Up to 9mg/day |
|(4–8 years) | Up to 10mg/day |
|(9–13 years) | Up to 14mg/day |
|(14–18 years) | Up to 23mg/day for males |
| |Up to 18mg/day for females|
|(19+ years) | Averages at about |
| |20-25mL per day |

As previously mentioned silica is used in the beauty industry as an exfoliator . Remind me again what it does ?

Exfoliating essentially involves removing old, dead skin cells from the outermost layer. Sometimes exfoliators contain irritants which might cause allergic reactions but products with silica are gentler on sensitive skin.

That’s not even where its benefits end…

Anti-Aging Properties

Research has shown that silicate can increase collagen production and decrease absorption of UVB radiation – meaning less premature aging! (Who doesn’t want that?)

Silicon also helps with overall elasticity of our body- it keeps us toned!

When we think fitness regimes silicone dumbells may come up….. because they will activate those muscles more than traditional metal weights! WHEY protein powders (!!!), protein bars ,beans (chickpeas/lentils/dried beans), pumpkin seeds, dark green veggies…you can find low-level silicon-high foods anywhere! Just Make sure you’re getting enough… 😇

Now that you know all about silica’s various uses–both good and bad– don’t worry too much; just practice moderation. Add some collagen-rich vitamin C containing fruits to your diet like papayas or citrus🍊 They help synthesize the mineral!
Remember: anything within permissible exposure limits isn’t harmful; neither is everything being labeled organic/natural necessarily safe. Keep a lookout for dosages recommended by physicians if taking specific supplements containing SiO 2 🧐