Physicians are aware of the benefits of calcium and vitamin D supplementation. However, additional nutritional components may also be important for bone health. There is a growing body of the scientific literature which recognizes that silicon plays an essential role in bone formation and maintenance. Silicon improves bone matrix quality and facilitates bone mineralization. Increased intake of bioavailable silicon has been associated with increased bone mineral density. Silicon supplementation in animals and humans has been shown to increase bone mineral density and improve bone strength. Dietary sources of bioavailable silicon include whole grains, cereals, beer, and some vegetables such as green beans. Silicon in the form of silica, or silicon dioxide (SiO2), is a common food additive but has limited intestinal absorption. More attention to this important mineral by the academic community may lead to improved nutrition, dietary supplements, and better understanding of the role of silicon in the management of postmenopausal osteoporosis.
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