History of Organic silicon
Organic silicon has been of interest to scientists and therapists alike for several decades
now. We have documented the research below for your further interest.
In terms of the
published scientific literature J Loeper undertook extensive studies in the
1960’s and 1970’s in the search for therapeutic aspects of organic silicon (specifically
MMST) in animal models (for example, spanning: ‘Loeper J, Loeper J. Study of the action of
silicic compounds on experimental atheroma. C R Seances Soc Biol Fil. 1967 Sep;
161(3):589-91’ to ‘Loeper J, Goy-Loeper J, Rozensztajn L, et al. (1979). The
antiatheromatous action of silicon. Atherosclerosis 397-408’. Loeper was not alone however:
Philippe Gendre and one or two others were also working in the field and such works are
easily identifiable on standard medical and scientific search engines.
However, it does not appear that until the mid to late 1970s any such work was carried out
and published on the search for therapeutic aspects of organic silicon (specifically MMST)
in humans. In particular, such works involved J. Eisenger (for example: Schiano A, Eisinger
F, Detolle P, Laponche AM, Brisou B, Eisinger J. [Silicon, bone tissue and immunity] Rev
Rhum Mal Osteoartic. 1979 Jul-Sep;46 (7-9):483-6 and references cited therein).
1976 saw the first commercially available organic silicon (MMST) for broad therapeutic uses
in humans, termed ‘Conjonctyl’ (for discussion, see ‘Prescrire no 195 5 ai 1999, 19:398).
Indeed, by the early 1980’s there was clearly sufficient interest in the potential
therapeutic aspects of organic silicon (MMST) to undertake human physiology (absorption and
metabolism) studies. In May 1982, P Allain and colleagues submitted a manuscript to the
journal ‘Thérapie’ on the gastrointestinal absorption of silicon from organic silicon (MMST)
and this was accepted for publication in October 1982 (see Allain P, Cailleux A, Mauras Y,
Renier JC. (1983). Etude de l'absorption digestive du silicium aprés administration unique
chez l'homme sous forme de salicylate de méthyl silane triol. Thérapie 38: 171-174.).
Silicon has long been proposed as a vital element for well-being but in 1972 the case was
rendered irrefutable with two influential reports that appeared in the journals Science and
Nature. These papers illustrated the essential nature of dietary silicon for the normal
growth of chicks and rats. This work, and much since, has noted that tissues containing
collagen such as the heart, other blood vessels, bone, joints, skin, hair and nails require
silicon for normal development and function. In 1979 and 1993 studies showed that either
injections or ingestion of silicon (in the organic silicon form- see below) increased bone
volume in the hip of older, female patients with the bone disease, osteoporosis.
However, recent data from the USA’s famous ‘Framingham Cohort’ indicate that it is not just
older female subjects with bone disease who benefit from increased silicon intakes. Again,
using bone density as a measure of bone health, the investigators showed that younger women
and men also respond well to high silicon intakes, increasing their bone mineral density.
The importance of silicon to bone has been highlighted in the orthopaedic field where
silicon-containing compounds are commonly used to help the healing of bone.
In addition, silicon has been shown to be beneficial in humans to hair, skin and nails.
These, like bone and joints, share the common feature of high ‘connective tissue’ content
and hence it is no surprise that silicon should be required in their optimal form and
function. The final member of this group is blood vessels, such as in the heart, as these
also are rich in connective tissue and it has indeed been shown that silicon is beneficial
for normal healthy arteries, preventing cholesterol plaque formation. Many reports have also
indicated that silicon has an important role in aspects of brain function and this
phenomenon has been especially related to the ability of silicon to bind to aluminium and
neutralise its toxicity.
It is encouraging that a number of high calibre academic groups are
now studying the biology, biochemistry and health aspects of silicon and that further
knowledge of its role in health will be disseminated in the scientific literature in the