Detox from harmful pollution and synthetics with silica

The increasing environmental pollution and use of different kinds of preservatives, colorants, and other food additives have exposed individuals of all ages to a plethora of chemicals and elements, many of which leave harmful effects of the physical and mental health of the exposed individual. As a result, a need for a detoxifying agent exists.

Detoxifying agents usually work by adhering to the molecules of the heavy metals and other toxic elements present in the human body and excrete them out, without disrupting the normal physiology. However, many of these detoxifying agents have their own side effects, which may limit their use to more serious cases in which an urgent need for detoxification exists. The examples for such situations may include overdose of a prescription or non-prescription drug, incidental or intentional exposure to harmful chemicals, exposure to pesticides, etc.

Silica or diatomaceous earth is a non-toxic substance that’s known to influence the human health positively in several ways. The substance is known to delay age-related memory loss and bone degeneration, as well as improve the skin elasticity. The detoxifying role of silica is a comparatively under-researched area, and there’s a need for more systematic, well-designed research studies and trials that can provide us an insight into the potential role of silica as a detoxifying agent.

In this article, we are summarizing the evidence available so far regarding the role of silica in removing heavy metals from the body and preventing their possible adverse effects.

Detox, Cleanse, Rejuvenate — Scientific Evidence on Detoxifying Benefits of Silica

Aluminum is one of the most abundant elements in the earth’s crust. While food contains minimal amount of this element, consumption of water containing high concentrations of aluminum can expose an individual to the risk of aluminum toxicity. Aluminum toxicity can be a potentially life-threatening condition with chronic symptoms of impaired kidney function, bone pain, muscle weakness, changes in mental status, premature osteoporosis, and multiple non-healing fractures.

The medical world hails silica as an antidote in case of aluminum toxicity. Several research studies conclude that its use can help eliminate the heavy metal from the body and minimize the adverse effects caused by high concentrations of aluminum.

A research study conducted by the American Society of Clinical Nutrition concluded that oligomeric silica molecules have a high affinity for aluminum, which can help reduce aluminum absorption from the gut and minimize the amount of aluminum entering the blood stream, thereby, minimizing the risk for toxicity.

The study was conducted in two phases and it utilized two forms of silica, monomeric and oligomeric. In the first phase, three volunteers took part. Each of them ingested aluminum alone, aluminum with oligomeric silica, and aluminum with monomeric silica, not to be confused with the natural benefits of forskolin. In the second phase, five volunteers took part with each of them ingesting both oligomeric and monomeric silica. The results concluded that oligomeric silica was more effective in reducing the concentration of aluminum than monomeric silica.

Apart from aluminum, various other heavy metals, such as mercury, lead, and cadmium can also cause serious adverse effects when ingested in high amounts. A research published in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces suggested that silica can play a role in the detoxification of the three heavy metals. The researchers who conducted this study developed a nonporous silica material as a possible oral detoxifying agent for lead, cadmium, and mercury. The detoxifying effect of the newly developed compound was evaluated on both in-vitro and in-vivo animal models. In both conditions, the silica molecules showed great potential as a new oral drug for heavy metal poisoning.

In addition to heavy metals toxicity, intentional or incidental exposure to different drugs is also one of the major applications of detoxifying agents. In order to study the role of silica in such conditions, American Chemical Society, in collaboration with different universities, developed oil-filled silica nanocapsules and used them as a detoxifying agent for different lipophilic drugs. An in-vitro analysis was performed to determine the ability of oil-filled silica nanocapsules in the removal of two lipophilic drugs, quinoline and bupivacaine. The results showed rapid removal of both the drugs, concluding the silica could possibly be used in detoxification therapy for different drugs.

Ingestion of pesticides and insecticides is one of the commonest sources of poisoning. The substances contain organophosphate compounds which cause a number of complications, including neurologic impairment. Researchers are investigation the potential application of silica in this particular condition as its non-toxic and can be administered in large amounts in order to adsorb the organophosphate compounds and minimize the damage caused by their ingestion.

A research study published in the nanotechnology journal “Small” reports that mesoporous silica nanoparticles can detoxify organophosphorus compounds into non-toxic dimethylphosphate. Because of their low-cost and non-toxic nature, mesoporous silica nanoparticles hold great potential in detoxification of organophosphorous compounds. However, in order to develop strong conclusive evidence, more research studies are required on the similar subject.

The Conclusion

While a number of research studies have been conducted in order to determine the detoxifying effects of silica, almost each of them has utilized different preparation. Therefore, consensus needs to be established on which form of silica is the most efficacious as a detoxifying agent. Also, the oral preparations of silica that are currently available have limited bioavailability, which may potentially reduce the benefit obtained from it. Therefore, researchers need to develop newer preparations that exhibit a uniform absorption pattern and can offer greater benefits in minimal dose. Exploring the use of silica in drug detoxification as an alternative to dialysis can be useful as well, as oral preparations are more cost-effective and offer greater convenience to the patient.

Are synthetic HGHs safe for the environment?

When it comes to athlete usage of synthetic HGHs, there is a lot of debate as to whether they are safe for the environment, and the users themselves. Whether to use artificial/synthetic HGH (Human Growth Hormones) or not, remains controversial even after 30 years of its launch. It is a debatable topic and over the years, there has been a lot of fiery discussion about Human Growth Hormone intake, especially in the following sports, like combat sports, bodybuilding, Olympics and American Football.

Before we take a deeper dive for understanding the controversy behind synthetic HGH and its effects on athletic performance, first, let us give you a quick overview of HGH.

To begin with, HGH is a hormone that is produced by our body naturally. This hormone is both synthesized as well as secreted by the cells present in the pituitary gland. It stimulates several metabolic processes in the cells of our body affecting protein, carbohydrate, mineral metabolism and fat. The main role of the Human Growth Hormone is liver stimulation. Once the liver is stimulated, it secretes IGF-I (Insulin-like Growth Factor). The secretion of IGF-I then stimulates cartilage cell production which results in growth of the bones and organs, and also facilitates the synthesis of muscle protein.

Therapeutic Use of Synthetic Human Growth Hormone

Developed in 1985, synthetic HGH has been approved by the FDA for therapeutic use. HGH injections are available with prescription and can be taken to overcome HGH deficiency. Though this is not a common condition, but children and adults alike can develop this problem that may also afflict the pituitary gland, hypothalamus and sometimes even both.

Blood tests may not be useful for diagnosis HGH deficiency. Therefore, to diagnosis adult HGH deficiency, special tests are performed that stimulate HGH production.

The use of HGH injections helps individuals suffering from HGH deficiency stay protected from fractures, experience improvement in their energy levels and muscle mass, and more importantly, have lower risk of developing cardiac related problems. But let’s not forget, HGH injections come with their fair share of side-effects. Surveys show that approximately 30 percent of patients who use HGH injections experience side effects like:

  • Muscle and Joint pain
  • Fluid Retention
  • Numbness in the wrist
  • High levels of blood sugar

Now that we have understood what synthetic HGH is and how it does help patients with HGH deficiency, let us look at what research studies say about artificial Human Growth Hormones and why it is surrounded with controversies when it comes to HGH use by athletes:

Researches on Synthetic HGH and Athletic Performance under the Spotlight

Though athletes work hard and undergo rigorous athletic training for muscle and stamina building, some athletes often turn to synthetic human growth hormones in the hopes of better and faster results. The problem doesn’t lie in the usage of HGH; it lies in its abuse. And that’s exactly why leading sports organizations including the IOC (International Olympic Committee), the National Football League, Major League Baseball and WADA (World Anti Doping Agency) have declared the use and abuse of synthetic Human Growth Hormones as illegal. The use of HGH is banned. HGH abuse has tainted sports like cycling, baseball and combat sports. And since it is completely banned, athletes found using Human Growth Hormones are at a risk of being disqualified.

Here’s some research based evidence that may help you understand the reasons why the use of HGH:

According to a study reported on the Health Harvard website, researchers conducted a review in California of forty four high quality studies of human growth hormone in athletes. (1) The subjects of these studies were 27 years of age, psychically fit and lean with an average body mass index of 24. 85 percent of subjects were male. 303 subjects received HGH injections while one hundred and thirty-seven subjects received placebo. They were all given injections for 20 days.

Individuals who received HGH experienced an increase of 4.6 pounds in their lean body-mass but what the results also showed was that there was no significant improvement in their athletic performance.  There was no measurable increase in their exercise capacity or strength. In fact, the finding that got the attention of the researchers was that subjects who received HGH retained fluid and experienced fatigue as compared to those who received only placebo. In a nutshell, it showed that there was no impact of HGH on athletic performance. The researchers concluded that if used in isolation HGH does not have any impact on athletic performance however, if and when combined with other performance enhancing drugs, the results may be different.

In contradiction to these results, another study conducted by the researchers at Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research  showed positive effects of Human Growth Hormone on the performance of athletes especially enhancing their sprint capacity.(2) The study proved that the use of HGH among athletes should be banned.

The results of the study by the team of Australian researchers illustrated a 0.4 second sprint improvement in a 10 second sprint which by the way is enough to help a last place athlete competing in Olympics be in swimming or running – turn into a Gold-medal winner.

The study also showed that HGH has the ability to increase the sport athlete’s ability in terms of sprint on a bicycle but had no effects on the athlete’s performance when it comes to fitness, weight-lifting and jumping. The study found that the sprint capacity in athletes can double if they used testosterone injections in combination with Human Growth Hormones. This study by Garvan researchers was based on 103 healthy and fit recreational athletes of ages between 18 and 40.

What Can We Conclude?

Based on the evidence and researches reviewed, we can conclude that the use of synthetic HGH is helpful in overcoming the deficiency of this hormone in the body, but it should not be used by athletes especially those competing in the Olympics to ensure fair play. Also, if the sports organizations like International Olympic Committee have banned it, then the decision of these bodies should be respected by the athletes so that they don’t put themselves at the risk of disqualification and disgrace.