After oxygen, silicon
is the most abundant element on earth. Its presence in our bodies might
be thought of as that of an environmental contaminant. From the health
point of view, most interest has centered on toxicity to the lungs from
inhalation of silica dust. However, it has been shown in animals that
silicon is essential for normal growth. Its action appears to be connected
with bone mineralization and formation of connective tissue.
The best known
form of silicon is silica or sand, but this is not the form that has
been used to prevent growth abnormalities in animals. In a different
chemical form, known as a 'salt' form, it appears to be more available
to metabolic processes.
Good sources are
wholegrain cereals and citrus fruits.
and adequate intake is not known.