Silicon is present in connective tissue, hair and nails. In most daily diets Silicon is often too low, because not enough Silicon is absorbed by the body. This deficiency increases when aging. Extensive research has shown that silicon as we age is less well absorbed in our body. How much silicon we ingest daily through our food and drinking water is difficult to measure because there are different silicon compounds in our food and most of these forms cannot be absorbed by the body. Only silicic acid is bioavailable, but the quantities in the gut are (too) low. Although silicic acid is present in water, due to the intensive water purification, most silicic acid is lost causing a relative silicic acid deficiency for the (human) body.
Symptoms of a lack of silicon (‘silicic acid deficiency’) are weak brittle nails (which immediately break), dry hair and wrinkles. Wrinkles arise because the formation of connective tissue that supports the skin from the inside is diminished by the silicic acid deficiency.
Sources of silicon include: whole grains, vegetables, fiber, citrus and hard drinking water, but the amounts of the silicic acid fraction is low. An example: banana contains a lot of silicon, but only 2-3 % is bioavailable.
Boron is an almost essential mineral. Boron is essential for the growth and maintenance of bone and greatly improves wound healing. Boron beneficially impacts the body’s use of estrogen, testosterone, and Vitamin D. It is also related to increase magnesium and calcium absorption. Boron is synergistic for a sufficient calcium level. It reduces the amount of calcium and magnesium lost through the urine important for the maintenance of strong bones and smooth joints. Boron is therefore important (next to calcium) for the prevention of bone depletion (osteoporosis).
In addition, boron could help prevent joint arthritis (arthrosis) and arthritis. Boron is also synergistic to Vitamin D and some other minerals including silicon.
Boron has beneficial effects on cognitive performance and short-term memory for elders.
Moreover Boron has demonstrated preventive and therapeutic effects in a number of cancers, such as prostate, cervical, lung cancers, and lymphoma.
A boron deficiency causes calcium loss and loss of minerals in the bones.
- fragile bones
- low calcium in the blood
- too much of calcium and magnesium in the urine
In addition, a severe boron deficiency would cause growth retardation (like Zinc), stress and transient complaints and would strengthen a Vitamin B deficiency.
Zinc plays a role in many biological processes in the body. It is, inter alia, involved in the synthesis of DNA, RNA and hormones like testosterone. This mineral is also involved in the way Vitamin A works and the metabolism of carbohydrates, alcohol and fatty acids. Zinc is involved in enzymes, which protects the body against free radicals.
Zinc is also important for the immune system. Symptoms of low zinc levels are: low resistance, hair loss, fatigue, white spots on the nails, irritability, skin problems and poor appetite. Zinc deficiency in young children causes growth retardation and impaired immune function, so sufficient intake of Zinc is important.
Major sources of zinc include oysters, fish, (body) meat, vegetables, mushrooms, whole grain products, milk, egg yolk and yeast.
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a role in maintaining the health of the body’s connective tissue as well as acting as an antioxidant. The human body needs to ingest Vitamin C, Vitamin C foods, on a daily basis in order to maintain necessary supplies. The human body does not make Vitamin C on its own, and it does not store it either, so it is important that the diet contains enough fruits and vegetables that contain Vitamin C.
The benefits of Vitamin C may include protection against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and even skin wrinkling.
A deficiency in Vitamin C shows itself in several common ways in the body. While the signs and symptoms of Vitamin C deficiency are not too troublesome, the results of long-term low levels of Vitamin C can be detrimental. A severe Vitamin C deficiency will result in scurvy, a disease resulting from the breakdown of collagen. It affects bone and muscle strength and it suppresses the immune system. Scurvy is rarely seen today, because a very small amount of Vitamin C is needed to prevent it.
Other signs of Vitamin C can be serious as well, like easy bruising, bleeding gums, gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), slow wound healing, dry and splitting hair, rough, dry, scaly skin, weakened immune system and swollen and painful joints.
Health problems related to a Vitamin C deficiency can get much worse over time and are related to serious health issues such as high blood pressure, atherosclerosis and certain cancers.