Do hair, skin and nail supplements work?
Your hair and skin are one of the first things that people notice when they see you for the first time. Equally important are your hands including your nails since these tell a lot about you and your life. It is for this reason that it is vital to take care of these and yet many people simply do not acknowledge that that their daily lives are influenced by their hair, skin and nails. But did you know that the health of our hair, skin and nails are all connected?
Our skin is a unique organ that can tell us what is going on within our bodies. Perhaps we may have a vitamin deficiency or an illness and that is reflected through our skin’s appearance.
As a natural extension of our skin are our hair and nails. The condition, dryness and texture of our hair again reflects what is occurring within our bodies and likewise the colour, brittleness, and the general condition of our nails is indicative of our overall health. For example, sudden hair loss may be indicative of a new drug use, stress, mineral deficiencies including iron and illness. A bluish tint of nails is indicative of oxygen deficiency caused by poor circulation and a reddish cherry tint is often associated with iron deficiency.
So who does not want to have healthy hair, radiant skin and strong nails? If you are looking to achieve radiant skin, healthy hair and strong nails then consider silica as your new best friend.
What is silica and what is its role in your body?
Silica is a relatively unknown mineral which is absolutely astounding bearing in mind what it does for the body, which is nothing short of miraculous. Also known as Silicon, it is a combination of silicon and oxygen, the two most abundant elements on our planet. It is within the grass that herbivores eat whilst meat eating animals have much less of it within their bodies. Silica is found in many vegetables including leafy greens and onions as well as whole grains.
Silica is absolutely essential to bone growth and for the development of the body. When you are young, your body has abundant levels of silica which is why children normally have beautiful silky hair, soft skin and perfect nails. We are born with large amounts of silica and low amounts of calcium and as we age, we lose silica and our bodies deposit calcium in our glands which leads to what is termed “calcification” of our tissues and the eventual loss of gland functions. Calcium requires vitamin D3 for its absorption but it also requires silica for the utilization of calcium into building strong bones and teeth. A calcium deficiency is invariably associated with a deficiency in silica. Several studies have indicated that people with broken bones heal a lot quicker when silica levels are high irrespective of their calcium levels in the bloodstream. In fact, without silica your body could break apart!
Silica also promotes proper mineral balance between calcium and magnesium within the body. This mineral balance in turn helps with hormonal balance. This hormonal balance in turn is important because it is precisely hormonal imbalances that lead to osteoporosis. By achieving hormonal balance and its ability to enhance bone mineralisation, silica is invaluable in the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis and ideally every good calcium supplement should have some silica within the formulation.
Silica energises the immune system and it is thought that its action on alkalising the body may have a lot to do with this property. The alkalising property of silica is important because an acidic environment within the body, often as a result of poor dietary choices, results usually in a compromised immune system and illnesses. Silica is also required for the manufacture of antibodies and antigens both of which are essential components of a healthy immune system. Consuming this mineral along with healthy dietary choices and an exercise plan will help to restore healthy pH levels within the body.
Silica is used by every single cell and every internal gland within our bodies. Silica has an impact on strengthening the cardiovascular system as well as the central nervous system which relies of calcium and magnesium for the optimal transmission of nerve impulses. Silica also may be of value in the elderly for offering protection against Alzheimer’s since it counteracts aluminium’s effects on the body by aiding its removal.
How does silica help your skin, hair and nails?
Silica may be of great value when the skin begins to sag which obviously makes us look prematurely aged. One of the biggest components of collagen is actually silica. Since collagen is the connective tissue that makes up most of our skin, it is not difficult to realise the importance of adequate silica levels within our bodies. Having sufficient and well toned collagen will make our skin look soft and young which in turn helps with suppleness and an increased capability of being moisturised.
Whenever collagen is damaged in skin, and incidentally this is occurring all the time due to free radical damage, silica is required to take care of this by rebuilding and regenerating this connective tissue. Incidentally, silica is also an excellent supplement in combating mild to moderate acne. It does so by firstly enhancing collagen production which ensures healthy outer cell layers of the skin which are less likely to get inflamed from the hormonal waste that is connected with acne. Additionally, silica supplementation is great for the removal of toxins which arise as a result of digestion. These toxins normally seep into the bloodstream and cause inflammation leading to acne and dull lifeless skin!
Silica is a vital mineral when you are shedding your hair excessively leading to hair loss and it also helps both women and men for lack lustre and thinning hair. It is important to understand how silica works to achieve healthy looking vitalised hair.
Silica’s role for hair health appears to be two-fold. Firstly, as mentioned above, silica helps to achieve hormonal balance. An imbalance in the female sex hormones is one of the biggest single causal factors for hair loss and the thinning of hair. An intake of silica will most definitely help to prevent hair thinning, restore vitality to hair and may even address hair loss without the need for hormone mimicking herbs. This property is particularly suitable for those with cell mutation associated with excess oestrogen.
Secondly, silica bonds with many minerals in the body as mentioned above. Aside from removing aluminium from the body, silica takes many nutrients to the peripherals of the body, namely the hair, skin and nails, and thus ensures that the hair follicles are supplied with all the vital minerals necessary for hair growth and vitality.
Your nails are one of the hallmarks of beauty in modern culture. If you are not happy with the state of your nails, whether they are brittle, have spots on them, ridges or simply are not happy with the way they look, then silica supplementation may be beneficial. As mentioned above, silica takes all the nutrients to the nails helping not only to impart strength, but also feeds the nail bed with all the vital nutrients for encouraging healthy and strong nails.
Aside from its role in hair, skin and nails, silica’s much wider role throughout the body means that we really have to ensure that we do not have a deficiency in this important mineral. Silica is found in numerous vegetables and fruits and very little research has been carried out as to the possible deficiencies that exist in the general population though it is generally accepted that with silica’s wide role of activity, deficiencies are more than likely.
Where can you find silica?
Animal sources provide much lower levels of silica than plant sources. The refining and processing of foods reduces the amount of silica content, and soils are often depleted of this mineral. Good food sources of silica include unrefined cereals, apples, cherries, almonds, oranges, fish, oats and seeds. Unfortunately, most of the silica rich foods that are consumed provide silica as alumina-silicate or silica in a non-bio-available form again accounting for possible deficiencies.
Silica supplements are the best source of correcting a deficiency and these are generally derived from the herb Equisetum arvense, commonly referred to as Springtime Horsetail, or Bambuosa vulgaris, often referred to as Bamboo.
Most silica capsules supply this important mineral by using Horsetail extracts which unfortunately only supply between 5% and 8% of organic silica depending upon the brand. Supplements containing Bamboo Extract are the richest source of silica containing 70% of organic silica which is roughly ten times more potent for a more prominent effect on healthy hair, skin and strong nails.
Bamboo Extract helps:
To build healthy bones, teeth and nails.
Helps prevents wrinkles and keep skin beautiful.
Helps promote growth of thick, beautiful hair.
Bamboo Extract is not a supplement for the young who have an abundance of silica. If you are in your forties then it is very likely that you will be deficient in silica. If you care about the state of your hair, skin and nails, then ensure that you obtain your silica from one source – Bamboo Extract!
This content is not intended to replace conventional medical treatment. Any suggestions made and all herbs listed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, condition or symptom. Personal directions and use should be provided by a clinical herbalist or other qualified healthcare practitioner.
Excerpt from Shabir Daya www.victoriahealth.com