What the Science Says: Collagen and Silica 

December 10, 2020 1 Comment

What the Science Says: Collagen and Silica 

Move over calcium and vitamin D; we have two new health best friends on the block. 

Let’s introduce our favourite dynamic duo to the scene – collagen and silica! 

To truly understand what collagen and silica are, and how silica is the Bonnie to collagen’s Clyde, let’s dive deeper into the research behind these ingredients. 

What is collagen?

Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins naturally found in the body and provides strength and stability to connective tissues. Collagen production is integral for healthy skin, hair, nails and bones. When it comes to skin, collagen is responsible for youthful-looking skin that’s strong and highly elastic.1 

What is silica?

Silica is the third most abundant trace mineral in the body, after iron and zinc.  Silica creates bonds between protein molecules which helps the skin retain water; crucial for cell repair and renewal. Silica provides strength, flexibility and resilience for connective tissues, making it an imperative for healthy nails, teeth, hair and skin. Silica also assists calcium and magnesium metabolism, which is crucial for balanced hormones, strong muscles and a healthy heart.  

Collagen and silica’s bond go beyond skin deep 

While collagen provides the framework for our bones, silica strengthens these bonds and makes them more mobile. Silica is required for both building and then absorbing collagen, helping to glue collagen together. In millennial terms, silica is collagen’s hype girl. 

In youth, the body naturally produces higher levels of collagen and silica, reflected in wrinkle-free skin and pain-free joints. But, as we age (from as early as our mid-twenties!), both collagen and it’s biggest supporter, silica, rapidly decline, which can reduce skin elasticity, strength and elasticity.1 

This rapid decline can cause several other symptoms, including:  

  • Slow-growing and thin hair
  • Wrinkles, fine lines and aged skin
  • Brittle nails 
  • Poorly formed joints
  • Osteoporosis
  • Calcium deposits in bones, joints and soft tissues 

Several factors influence the rate of collagen and silica decline, including microbiome health, diet, stress, inflammation, sleep and sun exposure. So, if we can do our best to look after these factors, and support silica and collagen production, we may be able to mitigate these risks and maintain the skin, hair, nails, bones and joints of our youth.

Collagen and silica for bone health 

Collagen and silica are key players when it comes to connective tissue and bone health.

Both collagen and silica assist new bone formation by stimulating osteoblasts – our bone-building cells. Collagen and silica also inhibit bone breakdown by inhibiting osteoclasts, our bone-resorbing-cells, which try to break down bone tissue and release minerals required for strong bones into the rest of the body.

One research study indicated that daily silica consumption improved bone mineral density of participants, with a group who consumed 40mg recording a bone mineral density that was 10% higher than participants who consumed 14mg of silica daily.3 Clearly, collagen and silica have their work cut out for them when it comes to bone health, but we believe they’ll rise to challenge! 

Collagen and silica for beauty 

While collagen is getting a lot of love in the beauty space at the moment, let’s not forget to thank silica, too! 

Silica stimulates fibroblasts, which secrete collagen type I – the type of collagen found in abundance in youthful skin. Consuming collagen and minerals that support collagen synthesis, naturally boosts healthy and glowing skin.

Both collagen and silica are naturally anti-inflammatory, which helps manage and reduce symptoms of inflammatory skin conditions, like eczema and psoriasis.

Where can you find these magical ingredients? 

While there’s no daily recommended intake for silica or collagen, we know that youthful, firm skin with reduced blemishes and wrinkles, healthy joints and bones are just some of the benefits associated with silica and collagen consumption. 

So, where do we sign up? 

Find silica in the following foods: 

  • Avocado
  • Brown rice
  • Dandelion tea
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Diatomaceous earth 
  • Nettle tea
  • Oats
  • Potatoes
  • Root vegetables
  • Rosehip tea 
  • Seafood
  • Strawberries 

Boost your collagen with the following foods: 

  • Avocado
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Bone broth 
  • Beans
  • Brown rice
  • Chicken
  • Dandelion tea
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Diatomaceous earth 
  • Eggs
  • Garlic
  • Guava
  • Oranges
  • Seafood
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes

Unfortunately, the silica and collagen content in our food isn’t as potent as it used to be. If you’re thinking about a great-quality, all-natural vegan source silica, why not consider trying Supercharged Food’s Earth and Sea Beauty Silica Capsules or all-natural silica and collagen together in Super Nourished hair, skin and nails? Both products will make a noticeable difference to your skincare and bone health. 

Carrillo., (2013). Dartmouth Under Graduate Journal of Science

2 Jugdaohsingh R. (2007). Silicon and bone health. The journal of nutrition, health & aging11(2), 99–110.

Jugdaohsingh, R., Tucker, K. L., Qiao, N., Cupples, L. A., Kiel, D. P., & Powell, J. J. (2004). Dietary silicon intake is positively associated with bone mineral density in men and premenopausal women of the Framingham Offspring cohort. Journal of bone and mineral research: the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research19(2), 297–307. https://doi.org/10.1359/JBMR.0301225

Reffitt, D. M., Ogston, N., Jugdaohsingh, R., Cheung, H. F., Evans, B. A., Thompson, R. P., Powell, J. J., & Hampson, G. N. (2003). Orthosilicic acid stimulates collagen type 1 synthesis and osteoblastic differentiation in human osteoblast-like cells in vitro. Bone32(2), 127–135. https://doi.org/10.1016/s8756-3282(02)00950-x

1 Response

Janeene Wolfe
Janeene Wolfe

October 17, 2021

Hi Lee, I’m concerned about the label “contains fish” as this doesn’t elaborate on what kind of fish ie. shellfish ??? I’m allergic to shellfish and have found that some products containing marine collagen actually come from rocks. And what grows on rocks …. oysters, clams etc to which I’m allergic. I’d really love to have a product to help my hair & nails as they’re getting thinner, but there isn’t a product anywhere to help because they all contain elements of shellfish. Please advise (hoping there’s no shellfish in the Nourished Hair Skin Nails powder. Thanks

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