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Effect of oral intake of choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid on skin, nails and hair in women with photodamaged skin

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Chronic exposure of the skin to sunlight causes damage to the underlying connective tissue with a loss of elasticity and firmness. Silicon (Si) was suggested to have an important function in the formation and maintenance of connective tissue. Choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid ("ch-OSA") is a bioavailable form of silicon which was found to increase the hydroxyproline concentration in the dermis of animals. The effect of ch-OSA on skin, nails and hair was investigated in a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study. Fifty women with photodamaged facial skin were administered orally during 20 weeks, 10 mg Si/day in the form of ch-OSA pellets (n=25) or a placebo (n=25). Noninvasive methods were used to evaluate skin microrelief (forearm), hydration (forearm) and mechanical anisotropy (forehead). Volunteers evaluated on a virtual analog scale (VAS, "none=0, severe=3") brittleness of hair and nails. The serum Si concentration was significantly higher after a 20-week supplementation in subjects with ch-OSA compared to the placebo group. Skin roughness parameters increased in the placebo group (Rt:+8%; Rm: +11%; Rz: +6%) but decreased in the ch-OSA group (Rt: -16%; Rm: -19%; Rz: -8%). The change in roughness from baseline was significantly different between ch-OSA and placebo groups for Rt and Rm. The difference in longitudinal and lateral shear propagation time increased after 20 weeks in the placebo group but decreased in the ch-OSA group suggesting improvement in isotropy of the skin. VAS scores for nail and hair brittleness were significantly lower after 20 weeks in the ch-OSA group compared to baseline scores. Oral intake of ch-OSA during the 20 weeks results in a significant positive effect on skin surface and skin mechanical properties, and on brittleness of hair and nails.
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A. Barel Æ M. Calomme Æ A. Timchenko
K. De. Paepe Æ N. Demeester Æ V. Rogiers
P. Clarys Æ D. Vanden Berghe
Effect of oral intake of choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid on skin, nails
and hair in women with photodamaged skin
Received: 10 January 2005 / Revised: 20 April 2005 / Accepted: 23 June 2005 / Published online: 5 October 2005
Springer-Verlag 2005
Abstract Chronic exposure of the skin to sunlight causes
damage to the underlying connective tissue with a loss of
elasticity and firmness. Silicon (Si) was suggested to have
an important function in the forma tion and maintenance
of connective tissue. Choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid
(‘‘ch-OSA’’) is a bioavailable form of silicon which was
found to increase the hydroxyproline concentration in
the derm is of animals. The effect of ch-OSA on skin,
nails and hair was investigated in a randomized, double
blind, placebo-controlled study. Fifty women with
photodamaged facial skin were administered orally
during 20 weeks, 10 mg Si/day in the form of ch-OSA
pellets (n=25) or a placebo (n=25). Noninvasive
methods were used to evaluate skin microrelief (fore-
arm), hydration (forearm) and mechanical anisotropy
(forehead). Volunteers evaluated on a virtual analog
scale (VAS, ‘‘none=0, severe=3’’) brittleness of hair
and nails. The serum Si concentration was significantly
higher after a 20-week supplementation in subjects with
ch-OSA compared to the placebo group. Skin roughness
parameters increased in the placebo group (Rt:+8%;
Rm: +11%; Rz: +6%) but decreased in the ch-OSA
group (Rt: 16%; Rm: 19%; Rz: 8%). The change
in roughne ss from ba seline was significantly different
between ch-OSA and placebo groups for Rt and Rm.
The difference in longitudinal and lateral shear propa-
gation time increased after 20 weeks in the placebo
group but decreased in the ch-OS A group suggesting
improvement in isotropy of the skin. VAS scores for nail
and hair brittleness were significantly lower after
20 weeks in the ch-OSA group compared to baseline
scores. Oral intake of ch-OSA during the 20 weeks re-
sults in a significant positive effect on skin surface and
skin mechanical properties, and on brittleness of hair
and nails.
Keywords Photodamaged skin Æ Silicon Æ Orthosilicic
acid Æ Nails Æ Hair
Healthy skin impedes the penetration of microorgan-
isms which can cause infections and protects against
irritants. Ageing leads to several changes in the skin
and its appendages (hair, nails). These changes can be
broadly categorized as either intrinsic ageing (chrono-
biological) or photoageing (actinic ageing). Intrinsic
ageing results in subtle but important alterations of
cutaneous function that are presumed to be due to
time alone, whereas photoageing is the result of
preventable chronic exposure to ultraviolet (UV)
radiation superimposed on intrinsic ageing. Major
changes of photoageing occur in the dermis. A marked
decrease in collagen, glycosaminoglycans and proteo-
glycans is observed combined with a degeneration of
elastic fibers (elastosis) resulting in a rough leathery
skin surface with fine and coarse wrinkles. Fu rther-
more, a loss of elasticity and an increase in mechanical
anisotropy of the skin is observed. Premature age-
ing of the skin due to excessive exposure to UV light
either from the sun or/and from sun benches is an
increasing problem [32].
Silicon (Si) is a ubiquitous element present in various
tissues in the human body [1] and is present in 1–10 parts
per million in hair [29] and nails [1]. Studies of silicon
deprivation in growing an imals indicated growth retar-
dation and marked defects of bone and connective tissue
A. Barel Æ A. Timchenko Æ P. Clarys
Faculty of Physical Education and Physiotherapy,
Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium
M. Calomme (&) Æ N. Demeester Æ D. Vanden Berghe
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences,
University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1,
B-2610 Wilrijk-Antwerp, Belgium
Tel.: +32-3-820-2550
Fax: +32-3-820-2544
K. De. Paepe Æ V. Rogiers
Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy,
Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium
Arch Dermatol Res (2005) 297: 147–153
DOI 10.1007/s00403-005-0584-6
[9]. Nutritional Si deficiency was found to decrease both
the collagen synthesis and the formation of glycosami-
noglycans in bone and cartilage [7]. In vitro, the activity
of prolyl hydroxylase was reported to be dependent on
the Si concentration in the medium of bone cultures,
suggesting a Si-dependent pathway for collagen type I
synthesis [8]. Others have suggested a structural role of
Si in the cross-linking of glycosaminoglycans in co n-
nective tissue [25].
Recent animal studies confirm the involvement of Si
in bone metabolism both in young animals [26, 27] and
in models for postmenopausal osteoporosis [15, 24].
Subcutaneously implanted sponges of Si-deprived rats
were found to contain less hydroxyproline compared to
rats on a normal diet indicating that Si deprivation de-
creases collagen formation which is associated with
wound healing [28]. In addition, the activity of liver
ornithine aminotransferase, an important enzyme in the
pathway of collagen formation, was lower in Si-deprived
rats compared to Si-adequate rats [28].
Soluble Si is present as orthosilicic acid (OSA) in
beverages and water. It is stable in dilute concentrations
M) but polymerizes at higher concentrations
around neut ral pH into a range of silica species.
Absorption studies indicated that only OSA is bio-
available, whereas its polymers are not absorbed [16].
Dietary silicates undergo hydrolysis, forming OSA
which is readily absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract.
Physiological concentrations of OSA stimulate skin fi-
broblasts to secrete collagen type I [23].
A stabilized form of OSA, choline-stabilized OSA
(‘‘ch-OSA’’), was found to have a high bioavailability in
humans compared to other Si supplements that contain
polymerized forms of OSA [3, 33]. Sup plementation of
animals with low doses of ch-OSA resulted in a higher
collagen concentration in the skin [5] and in an increased
femoral bone density [4, 6].
Choline, the stabilizing agent in ch-OSA, is classified
by the Food and Nutrition Board as an essential nutri-
ent [12]. Although humans can syn thesize it in small
amounts, dietary sources are needed to maintain normal
health [2]. Choline is important for the structural
integrity of cellular membranes since it is the precursor
of phospholipids (phosp hatidylcholine and sphingomy-
elin) which are essential components of biological
membranes. One of its metabolites, betaine, participates
in the methylation of homocysteine to form methionine.
Betaine is also known as an essential intracellular osm-
olyte [35]. Choline directly affects nerve signaling (as a
precursor of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine), cell
signaling (as a precursor for intracellular messengers
such as diacylglycerol or ceramide, platelet-activating
factor and sphingosylphosphorylcholine) and lipid
transport/metabolism (required in the biosynthesis of
very low-density lipoproteins).
In the present study we investigated the effect of oral
intake of ch-OSA on skin, hair and nails in a random-
ized, placebo-controlled double-blind study in subjects
with photo-aged facia l skin.
Subjects and methods
Fifty healthy Caucasian females, aged between 40 and
65 years, with clear clinical signs of photo-ageing of
facial skin were included in this study after written in-
formed consent. The subjects were assigned to two
groups which were matched on the basis of photo type,
age and actinic ageing. Subjects were randomly supple-
mented with ch-OSA or a placebo in each group. Wo-
men, using silicon suppleme nts less than 3 months
before the start of the trial or any food supplement other
than the study medication during the trial, were ex-
cluded. In addition, subjects following any dermato-
logical or cosmetical antiageing or antiwrinkle therapy
including collagen, hyaluronic or botox injections,
chemical and laser peelings, retinoic and alpha hydroxy
acid treatment during the trial, were excluded. Fur-
thermore, exposure to sun benches or sunlight was
prohibited during the trial. The subjects provided a de-
tailed list of all cosmetic products that they use daily.
Subjects agreed not to change this daily regimen during
the trial. On the day that noninvasive tests took place,
subjects were instructed to refrain from using lotions,
creams or other products on face and forearms. The trial
was started in the autumn of 2003 and was completed in
the spring of 2004.
Ethical approval was obtained from the regional
Ethics Commi ttee (Academic Hospital, Vrije Universi-
teit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium, protocol number 03/4
entitled antiageing effect of ch-OSA on photodamaged
skin in healthy volunteers). The study was carried out in
accordance to the Declaration of Helsinki (1964) chan-
ged by the 29th World Medical Assembly at Tokyo
All patients were supplemented during 20 weeks with
two capsules daily containing eithe r the excipiens (mi-
crocrystalline cellulose pellets, Pharmatrans Sanaq AG,
Switzerland) or 10 mg of silicon in the form of ch-OSA
pellets (Bio Minerals n.v., Belgium). Subjects were in-
structed to take one capsule in the morning and another
in the evening with a glass of water or juice. Placebo and
ch-OSA capsules were identical in color, taste, odor and
packaging and their content was blinded to the subjects
and investigator.
Blood samples were collected from fasting subjects at
baseline and after a 20-week supplementation, using Si-
free polypropylene syringes (Sarstedt, Germany) and
needles (Microlance, Becton Dickinson, Spain). Imme-
diately after the sample was taken, the blood was
transferred into Si-free polypropylene tubes without
anticoagulant (Sarstedt, Germany).
Si concentration in serum was analyzed in one batch
by electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry with
inverse longitudinal Zeeman background correction
(AAnalyst 800, Perkin Elmer, Bodenseewerk, Germany).
Pyrolytic-coated graphite tubes were used. The hollow
cathode lamp settings were respectively 30 mA lamp
current, 251.6 nm spectral line and 0.2 nm band width.
The injected sample volume was 20 ll and signals were
measured in the peak-area mode. Serum samples were
measured in dup licate by standard addition. Standards
and serum dilutions were prepared in matrix modifier
solution containing 72 mg/l CaCl
(Aldrich, Belgium),
1.508 g/l NH
(Merck, Belgium) and 0.5 g/l
EDTA (Aldrich, Belgium) in ultrapure water (con-
ductance £ 0.08 lS). The sensitivity determined as the
amount of silicon yielding a 0.0044 Abs.s signal was
90 pg. A pool of serum obtained from fasting healthy
subjects was analyzed on several days to determine the
inter-assay c.v. and was found to be 8.7% for a mean Si
concentration of 109.09 lg/l (n=16).
To evaluate the safety of oral treatment with ch-OSA,
serum concentrations of urea, creatinine, uric acid, total
protein, cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-chole sterol
and direct bilirubin, glutamic-oxalacetic transaminase
(GOT), glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (GPT), gamma-
glutamyltransferase (gamma-GT), cholinesterase, crea-
tine kinase (CK), amylase and lipase were determined.
Other parameters analyze d were sodium, calcium,
phosphorus and zinc. All parameters were measured in
serum at baseline and after 20 weeks of supplementation.
Noninvasive methods
All measurements were performed under standardized
conditions, i.e., room temperature of 19±2Canda
relative humidity level of 45–55%. An acclimatization
time of at least 30 min was respected before measure-
ments started. Hydration and microrelief of the skin
were evaluated on the forearm, whereas visco-elastic
properties were measured on the forehead, at baseline
and after 20 weeks of supplementation, respectively,
with the following noninvasive methods.
Hydration level of the skin surface was measured
with the Corneometer CM 825 (Courage-Khazaka,
Colgne, Germany) [10] and visco- elastic properties of
the skin were measured with the Reviscometer MPA 5
(Courage-Khazaka, Colgne, Germany). The measuring
principle of the Reviscometer is based on resonance
running time. The time to propagate from transmitter to
receiver is measured (shear wave propagation time) and
is expressed in arbitrary units. This parameter is
depending on the direction of the collagen fibers.
Therefore, two measurements are made in a different
angle, i.e., longitudinal vs lateral measurement.
Mechanical anisotropy is an indicator of skin photo-
ageing and was evaluated by the difference between
longitudinal and lateral shear wave propagation time
[14]. Microrelief (roughness) of the skin was measured
with the skin visiometer SV 600 (Courage-Khazaka,
Colgne, Germany). Investigated roughness parameters
were Rt (depth of roughness), Rm (maximum rough-
ness) and Rz (mean depth of roughness) [11].
Evaluation of hair and nail brittleness
Subjects were evaluated at baseline and after 20 weeks
of supplementation; the degree of brittleness of hair and
nails on a 4 point scale with ‘‘0’’ no brittle hair/nails, ‘‘1’’
slight, ‘‘2’’ moderate and ‘‘3’’ severe.
Statistical analysis
Differences between groups were evaluated with a
Mann–Whitney U test and differences within groups
were analyzed with a Wilcoxon-matched pairs signed
rank test. P<0.05 was considered to be significant.
The mean age (±SD) in the placebo and the ch-OSA
group was 49.2±4. 7 years and 51.8±6.0 years, respec-
tively. The mean body mass index was not significantly
different between both gro ups (placebo: 24.1±4.4, ch-
OSA: 26.3±5.7).
Mean baseline valu es of total cholesterol, LDL cho-
lesterol and bilirubin were higher than the upper lim it of
the normal range in both the placebo and the ch-OSA
group. All remaining parameters were within the normal
range at baseline and after the 20-week supplementation
in both groups. Twenty-four subjects in both the placebo
and the ch-OSA group completed the study. In neither of
the two treatment groups there were adverse effects re-
ported that were related to the study medication.
The mean serum Si concentration was comparable
for both groups at baseline but was significantly in-
creased after 20 weeks of ch-OSA supplementation
(P<0.0001 vs T0 and P=0.0005 vs 20 weeks placebo,
Table 1), whereas no differences were observed in the
placebo group.
Skin hydration decreased significantly after supple-
mentation in both groups but no differences were found
between the placebo and the ch-OSA group (Fig. 1).
Skin roughn ess parameters increased in the placebo
group (Rt: +8%; Rm : +11%; Rz: +6%) but decreased
in the ch-OSA group (Rt: 16%; Rm: 19%; Rz:
8%). The change in roughness from baseline was sig-
nificantly different between ch-OSA and placebo groups
for Rt (0.12 vs +0.02 mm, P<0.05) and Rm (0.13 vs
+0.05 mm, P<0.05, Fig. 2).
The difference in longitudinal and lateral shear
propagation time increased after 20 weeks in the placebo
group but decreased in the ch-OSA group (P<0.05,
Fig. 3).
VAS scores for nail and hair brittleness were signifi-
cantly lower after the 20-we ek supplementation with ch-
OSA (P<0.05) compared to baseline scores (Fig. 4),
whereas no significant differences were observed in the
placebo group.
Several studies have illustrated the beneficial effects of
topical treatment with tretinoin [20] or alpha hydroxy
acid [31] containing creams in cutaneous ageing.
Few studies investigating the effects of oral supple-
mentation of minerals on aged skin have been published.
Combined oral and topical treatment with colloidal si-
licic acid was found to have a positive effect on hair and
nail brittleness in an open study [18]. However, no evi-
dence was presented that the colloidal silica was ab-
sorbed in the gastrointestinal tract. In fact, polymerized
forms of OSA such as colloidal silica are known to have
a very low bioavaila bility compared to OSA [22]. Oral
intake of extracts, derived from marine fish cartilage,
was reported to have a repairing effect on photodam-
aged skin [19, 17]. However, it must be emphasized that
Fig. 1 Skin hydration
(Corneometer CM 825)
measured at the forearm at
baseline and after 20 weeks of
supplementation (T20) with
placebo (n=24) and choline-
stabilized orthosilicic acid (ch-
OSA, n=24). * P<0.05 vs
baseline, Wilcoxon-matched
pairs signed rank test. Mean
values ± SE are given
Table 1 Serum concentrations of silicon and safety parameters at baseline and after 20 weeks of supplementation (T20) with placebo and
choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid (ch-OSA)
Normal range Placebo (n=24) ch-OSA (n=24)
LL UL Baseline T20 Baseline T20
Urea(mol/l) 8.00 5.70±1.10 5.30±1.00 6.07±1.15 6.17±1.44
Creatinine(lmol/l) 53.00 123.00 77.83±6.72 77.53±8.05 81.36±9.75 80.44±7.52
Uric acid(lmol/l) 154.00 428.00 263.29±62.61 236.02±69.76 276.43±72.26 253.12±65.63
Total proteins(g/dl) 7.2±0.3 7.3±0.4 7.5±0.3 7.4±0.3
Cholesterol(mmol/l) 5.00 5.76±0.83 5.55±0.77 6.09±1.27 5.85±1.40
Triglycerides(mmol/l) 2.00 1.10±0.55 0.87±0.35 1.16±0.67 1.07±0.50
HDL cholesterol(mmol/l) 1.00 1.54±0.30 1.55±0.36 1.54±0.26 1.51±0.29
LDL cholesterol(mmol/l) 3.00 3.71±0.75 3.60±0.65 4.01±1.17 3.85±1.31
Bilirubin direct(lmol/l) 7.00 9.00±2.18 8.96±2.64 8.93±2.84 8.08±2.48
GOT(AST)(u/l) 37 22±5 23±5 22±4 24±6
GPT(ALT)(u/l) 38 8±5 12±5 9±6 13±8
Gamma-GT(u/l) 50 18±10 17±6 27±19 24±16
Cholinesterase(u/l) 3,930 11,500 6,847±1427 6,812±1261 7,311±1376 7,286±1510
CK(u/l) 87±101 78±43 77±23 84±46
Amylase(u/l) 96 49±14 48±11 48±15 45±14
Lipase(u/l) 7 60 23±11 23±12 22±7 22±10
Sodium(mmol/l) 136±3 135±3 137±2 137±2
Calcium(mg/l) 86 100 95±4 96±4 98±3 97±4
Phosphorous(mg/dl) 2,7 4.5 3.8±0.4 3.8±0.5 3.6±0.4 3.7±0.5
Zinc(lg/dl) 70 130 91±14 85±20 88±10 89±11
Silicon(lg/dl) 93.4±74.7 97.6±72.8 86.0±53.9 168.8±60.4
LL, lower limit of normal range; UL, upper limit of normal range. HDL, high-density lipoproteins; LDL, low- density lipoproteins; GOT,
glutamic-oxalacetic transaminase; GPT, glutamic-pyruvic transaminase; gamma-GT, gamma-glutamyl transferase; CK, creatine kinase.
P<0.05, vs baseline (Wilcoxon-matched pairs signed rank test);
P<0.05, vs T20 placebo (Mann–Whitney U test). Mean values ± SD
are given. Serum silicon values were normally distributed.
none of these studies were double blind nor placebo-
controlled. Consequently, the obtained results could
have been biased by seasonal influence and subjective
The present study is the first randomized, double
blind and placebo-controlled study that illustrates a
positive effect of an oral supplement on skin microrelief
and skin anisotropy in women with pho toaged skin. The
dose of ch-OSA supplementation (10 mg Si/day) was
low compared to the average daily Si intake of 20–50 mg
reported previously by Pennington [21]. The major die-
tary sources of Si are cereal/grain-based products and
vegetables but modern food processing, including
refining, is likely to reduce the dietary Si intake as it was
shown that fibers contribute the most to the silicon
content in plant-based foods [30]. After ch-OSA sup-
plementation the serum silicon concentration increased
with more than 90% compared to the baseline level
which confirms the high bioavailability dem onstrated in
clinical [3, 33] and animal studies [5, 4]. In a compara-
tive, bioavailability study [3], the silicon absorption from
a single dose of ch-OSA (20 mg Si) was compared with
colloidal silicic acid and phytolytic silica in healthy
volunteers. Total silicon absorption was evaluated as the
area under the time curve (AUC, serum Si concentra-
tion) and was found to be significantly higher for ch-
OSA compared to the other silicon supplements and a
placebo. In another study [33], the bioavailability of ch-
OSA was compared with a silicon-rich diet and phyto-
lytic silica. After a 4-day intake of ch-OSA (10 mg Si/
day), both the serum Si concentration and the urinary Si
excretion increase d, whereas no increase was found after
the intake of a Si-rich diet (45 mg Si/day, 31 days) and a
normal diet (14 mg Si/day, 4 days).
Fig. 2 Change in skin
microrelief parameters
(Visiometer SV 600) from
baseline, measured at the
forearm, after supplementation
with placebo (n=24) or ch-OSA
(n=24). Rt, depth of roughness;
Rm, maximum roughness; Rz,
mean depth of roughness. *
P<0.05 vs placebo, Mann–
Whitney U test. Mean values ±
SE are given
Fig. 3 Change in mechanical
skin anisotropy (Reviscometer
MPA 5) from baseline,
measured at the forehead, after
supplementation with placebo
(n=24) or ch-OSA (n=24).
Mechanical anisotropy was
calculated as the difference
between longitudinal and
lateral shear propagation time.
* P<0.05 vs placebo, Mann–
Whitney U test. Mean values ±
SE are given
The intake of 10 mg Si in the form of ch-OSA is safe
as no adverse effects related to the study medication
were reported. Serum safety parameters remained within
the normal range. Total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol
and bilirubin levels were already increased at baseline
which is most likely due to the consumption of a diet
high in cholesterol and saturated fats [13].
Both the ch-OSA group and the placebo group
showed a small increase in hydration after 20 weeks of
supplementation compared to baseline. Since all subjects
started the study in October and finished the study in
March, these changes are likely to be the result of a sea-
sonal shift in temperature and relative humidity and are
not related to the study medication. After 20 weeks of ch-
OSA supplementation, both skin microrelief and
mechanical properties improved. We previously demon-
strated that oral intake of low doses of ch-OSA (5% in-
crease of total dietary Si intake) during 24 weeks in calves
resulted in a significant higher hydroxyproline content in
the dermis compared to placebo and found a significant
correlation between the serum Si concentration and the
hydroxyproline content in cartilage [5]. Reffitt et al.
found that low levels of OSA (typical serum concentra-
tions) stimulate the synthesis of collagen type I in cultures
of huma n osteoblasts and skin fibroblasts [23]. The OSA-
dependent stimulation of collagen synthesis was abol-
ished in the presence of prolyl hydroxylase inhibitors. As
type I collagen and its monomer hydroxyproline are
major constituents of skin, the improvement in skin
parameters after ch-OSA supplementation points to po-
tential regeneration or de novo synthesis of collagen fi-
bers. Silicon was also reported to be involved in the
synthesis of glycosaminoglycans [25] and was suggested
to have a structural role as a cross-linking agent in con-
nective tissue. Accordingly, treatment with ch-OSA
might improve the glycosaminoglycan structure in the
dermis an d the keratin structure in hair and nails. Fur-
thermore, the choline compound present in ch-OSA
might have a synergistic effect with OSA since it is well
known that choline is involved in several basic biological
processes [2] including the fact that choline is a precursor
of phospholipids such as phosphatidyl choline which is an
essential component of cellular membranes. The physio-
logical significance of choline is substantiated by the fact
that intentional deprivation of choline disrupts cell
growth and division [34].
To our knowledge, the present study is the first ran-
domized, double blind placebo-controlled trial that
illustrates the positive effect of an oral mineral supple-
ment on skin surface and mechanical properties and on
hair and nails brittleness, respectively.
Acknowledgements The authors thank Dr. Andre
Moreels and the
technical staff of The Medical Centre, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, for
blood sampling of the study subjects. ch-OSA was developed by
Dirk Vanden Berghe for Bio Minerals n.v. This study was sup-
ported by a grant of Bio Minerals n.v.
Fig. 4 Brittleness of hair and
nails at baseline and after
20 weeks of supplementation
(T20) with placebo (n=24) and
ch-OSA (n=24). Brittleness was
evaluated on a 4-point scale
with ‘‘0’’ no brittle hair/nails,
‘‘1’’ slight, ‘‘2’’ moderate and
‘‘3’’ severe. Plot (a) nails; Plot
(b) hair. * P<0.05 vs baseline,
Wilcoxon- matched pairs signed
rank test. Mean values ± SE
are given
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... Silicon is present in all healthy tissues of the human body, including the connective tissues, bones, liver, heart, muscle, kidneys and lungs [137]. Si is also present in the skin, hair and nails [138]. The amount of silicon in tissues decreases with age, most likely because the organ responsible for silicon absorption is the thymus, which atrophies with age [137]. ...
... Barel et al. demonstrated that the oral intake of choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid for 20 weeks had a significant positive effect on the surface and mechanical properties of skin. Treatment with silicon may also improve keratin structure in the hair and nails and reduce brittleness [138]. Supplementation with silicon in a highly bioavailable form can be used for skin rejuvenation [141]. ...
... Barel et al. studied the effect of supplements containing choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid (ch-OSA) on the skin, hair and nails. In a group of 50 women with photodamaged facial skin taking 10 mg of Si/day orally for 20 weeks, significant improvements were observed in the surface characteristics and mechanical properties of the skin, as was a positive effect on the brittleness of the hair and nails [138]. ...
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Human skin is continually changing. The condition of the skin largely depends on the individual’s overall state of health. A balanced diet plays an important role in the proper functioning of the human body, including the skin. The present study draws attention to bioactive substances, i.e., vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, polyphenols, and carotenoids, with a particular focus on their effects on the condition of the skin. The aim of the study was to review the literature on the effects of bioactive substances on skin parameters such as elasticity, firmness, wrinkles, senile dryness, hydration and color, and to define their role in the process of skin ageing.
... This effect was confirmed in humans demonstrating a beneficial effect on bone turnover, especially on bone collagen formation and femoral bone mineral density, when treating osteopenic women with CS-OSA and Ca/Vit D3 for 12 months compared with Ca/Vit D3 alone [17]. A possible effect of CS-OSA on collagen metabolism was also suggested when photoaged women were found to have improved surface and mechanical properties of the skin when taking CS-OSA compared to women who took a placebo [18]. Recently, 12-week CS-OSA supplementation of men with knee osteoarthritis resulted in symptomatic improvements associated with a significant reduction of cartilage degradation biomarkers, suggesting a possible effect of CS-OSA on collagen metabolism in both cartilage and subchondral bone [19]. ...
... Based on these previous studies [13][14][15][16][17][18][19], one can hypothesize that CS-OSA may have a possible effect on bone loss in peri-implantitis. The aim of this explorative study was to evaluate the effect of the oral intake of CS-OSA over a 12-month period on clinical symptoms of peri-implantitis and the associated bone loss. ...
... Twenty-one patients were randomly assigned to take a capsule of either the active treatment (520 mg beadlets containing 5 mg of silicon and 100 mg of choline in the form of CS-OSA (ch-OSA ® , Bio Minerals NV, Belgium [18])) or placebo (520 mg microcrystalline cellulose beadlets; Pharmatrans Sanaq AG, Switzerland) twice daily, one in the morning and another in the evening with a glass of water or juice, for 12 months. The treatment allocation occurred sequentially in a 1:1 ratio using a randomization list, which was generated by an independent statistician in R (software version 3.3.3 ...
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Background Choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid (CS-OSA) was previously found to stimulate bone collagen formation in osteopenia and to improve biomarkers of cartilage degradation in knee osteoarthritis. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of oral administration of CS-OSA on clinical symptoms of peri-implantitis and the associated bone loss. Methods Twenty-one patients with peri-implantitis were randomized in CS-OSA or placebo groups. After initial clinical and cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) measurements [probing pocket depth (PPD), bleeding on probing (BOP), mucosal recession (REC), distance from implant shoulder to alveolar crest (IS-AC) and distance from implant shoulder to first bone-to-implant contact (IS-BIC)], flap operations were performed at the peri-implantitis sites. All patients were instructed to use either placebo or CS-OSA capsules twice a day for 1 year. Measurements were repeated 6 and 12 months after randomization. Results The data of 18 patients (36 implants) were used in the per protocol analysis. PPD and BOP improved significantly ( p < 0.05) compared to baseline for both groups after 6 and 12 months. However, REC significantly increased in the placebo group but not in the CS-OSA group. The change in REC over 6 and 12 months was significantly different between groups ( p < 0.01). IS-BIC and IS-AC measurements remained stable in the CS-OSA group whereas in the placebo group, both parameters increased significantly after 6 and 12 months. The change in IS-BIC over 12 months was significantly different between groups (p < 0.05). Conclusion The results of this preliminary study suggest that CS-OSA may stabilize and even prevent further bone loss after surgical peri-implantitis treatment and support mucosal tissue healing. Trial registration The trial was retrospectively registered at ISRCTN registry, registration number: ISRCTN14348802, registration date: 24/06/2020.
... These results were obtained by non-invasive bioengineering devices: viscoelastic properties and anisotropy by the Reviscometer ® MPA 5; skin anisotropy by the mechanical anisotropy indicator; and the presence of wrinkles was evaluated by the Visiometer ® SV 600. Measurements were conducted before and after oral supplementation for 20 weeks with capsules containing equivalent doses of 10 mg of silicon in the form of ch-OSA pellets (Bio Minerals n.v., Destelbergen, Belgium) twice daily [87]. ...
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Skin health is not only significantly affected by ageing, but also by other lifestyle-related factors, such as sun exposure, exercise and eating habits, smoking or alcohol intake. It is known that the cutaneous tissue can exhibit visible signs of senescence, in the form of, for example, dull complexion, loss of firmness, or changes in pigmentation. Consumers attempt to improve skin health and appearance not only by cosmetic products, but also with the consumption of food supplements. Recently, there has been an increase in the amount of food supplements with claims that are related to skin and hair health. Nevertheless, the literature is still scarce in evidence of the efficacy of this type of products. Considering this scenario, we aim in this review to assemble studies and methodologies that are directed at the substantiation of the cutaneous health claims of food supplements. For example, we reviewed those that were indicative of antioxidant properties, improvement in pigmentation disorders, increased hydration or protection against the damages caused by ultraviolet radiation.
... Moreover, epidemiological studies showed that dietary Si was favourably related to markers of bone density and turnover. Moreover, Si in nutritional amounts may lower the risk of Alzheimer's disease and may improve photo-damaged skin or hair and nail conditions 3,[27][28][29] . In future studies, to determine whether Si derived from the intake of G5 Siliplant, Orgono Powder and G7 Aloe supplements has been retained in tissues or metabolized by cells, Si balance must be analysed using isotopic labelling, either by stable or radioactive isotope methods. ...
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The purpose of the present study was to compare the relative absorption of a new powder presentation of silicon (Si) as orthosilicic acid with maltodextrin (Orgono Powder) compared to usual Si liquid presentations as orthosilicic acid with Equisetum arvense and Rosmarinus officinalis (G5 Siliplant) and orthosilicic acid with aloe vera (G7 Aloe). All dietary supplements were administered at the same Si oral dose (21.6 mg) in a randomized, double-blind, crossover post-prandial study conducted in 5 healthy men. Urine was collected at baseline and over the 6-h post-dose period in 2 separate 3-h collections for the analysis of Si concentration, which was conducted by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry as the gold standard method. No significant differences in total urinary Si excretion were found after the intake of these 3 dietary supplements; 34.6%, 32.4% and 27.2% of the ingested Si from G7 Aloe, G5 Siliplant and Orgono Powder, respectively, was excreted in urine over the 6-h follow-up period. The 3 different oral Si formulations tested, in powder and liquid presentations, provide highly bioavailable Si and present an equivalent relative absorption in healthy humans.
... However, poly(allylamine) hydrochloride has dose-dependent toxicity and is not approved as a pharmaceutical ingredient [44]. Although choline supplement has limited value in bone metabolism [45], choline-stabilized soluble silica is believed to have high bioavailability compared with other Si supplements [46]. Accordingly, choline chloride was used in the present work to stabilize the silicifying medium as the first step of intrafibrillar silicification. ...
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Sensory nerves promote osteogenesis through the release of neuropeptides. However, the potential application and mechanism in which sensory nerves promote healing of bone defects in the presence of biomaterials remain elusive. The present study identified that new bone formation was more abundantly produced after implantation of silicified collagen scaffolds into defects created in the distal femur of rats. The wound sites were accompanied by extensive nerve innervation and angiogenesis. Sensory nerve dysfunction by capsaicin injection resulted in significant inhibition of silicon-induced osteogenesis in the aforementioned rodent model. Application of extracellular silicon in vitro induced axon outgrowth and increased expression of semaphorin 3 A (Sema3A) and semaphorin 4D (Sema4D) in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG), as detected by the upregulation of signaling molecules. Culture medium derived from silicon-stimulated DRG cells promoted proliferation and differentiation of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells and endothelial progenitor cells. These effects were inhibited by the use of Sema3A neutralizing antibodies but not by Sema4D neutralizing antibodies. Knockdown of Sema3A in DRG blocked silicon-induced osteogenesis and angiogenesis almost completely in a femoral defect rat model, whereas overexpression of Sema3A promoted the silicon-induced phenomena. Activation of “mechanistic target of rapamycin” (mTOR) pathway and increase of Sema3A production were identified in the DRG of rats that were implanted with silicified collagen scaffolds. These findings support the role of silicon in inducing Sema3A production by sensory nerves, which, in turn, stimulates osteogenesis and angiogenesis. Taken together, silicon has therapeutic potential in orthopedic rehabilitation.
... In the human body, the highest concentration of silicon is found in the walls of blood vessels, tendons, skin, hair, and nails [7][8][9]. It also plays a key role in the process of skeleton mineralization, regeneration, and collagen synthesis [10,11]. ...
Full-text available
Silicon (Si) is an element necessary for the proper functioning of the body. It affects cell viability, osteoblast differentiation, blood vessel elasticity, type I collagen synthesis, as well as the condition of the skin, hair, and nails. It is also considered an antiatherosclerotic agent. The silicon content in the human body is 6 – 7 g, and the only absorbable form is orthosilicic acid. The average daily requirement of the body for this element is in the range of 20 to 40 mg, whose diet does not fully provide. In addition, the silicon content in the body decreases with age, so there is a need for its supplementation. There are many liquid, gel, and spray diet supplements available that vary in concentration and silicon compound. The aim of the research was to determine the content of orthosilicic acid in liquid diet supplements. Thirteen preparations were selected for the study, in which concentration of available silicon was determined by a spectrophotometric method. This method was based on reaction in the acidic environment of dissociated silicon with ammonium molybdate. Among the selected products, the highest concentration of available silicon form was obtained for pharmaceuticals composed of choline stabilized orthosilicic acid, which is in the range of 50-2000 ppm. However, its concentration in preparations containing monomethylsilanetriol (MMST) did not exceed 50 ppm. Keywords: chemical sciences, orthosilicic acid, Uv-Vis spectroscopy
Mesoporous silica (MPS) particles (MSPs) have been exhibiting and offering multiple applications due to their features including large surface area, high pore volume with adjustable pore size, and excellent biocompatibility. The use of MSPs as source of silicium (silicon) has not been extensively studied. It now appears certain, as already predicted by L. Pasteur in 1878 “Silicon is expected to revolutionize our therapeutic methods.” The stable Si–O–Si network structure makes MSPs difficult to degrade in aqueous media. Therefore there is a strong and definitive desire to design and develop tailor-made and customized biodegradable MPS. Although many efforts have been devoted to improve and boost their biodegradability, optimizing the biodegradation of MSPs has not been effectively realized to date but by very few research teams. The latest tests and results especially due to Sil’innov and Eytelia impressive work will be discussed as they are dealing with numerous applications in the food, feeding, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industry, making silicium becoming a high-end luxury active principle for something that could be considered as a breaking new premiere.
As the cosmeceutical market for nail products is growing, there is an emerging need for dermatologists to provide patients with evidence‐based information regarding over‐the‐counter products and supplements for nail growth. By law, there is no required efficacy and safety assessment by the Food and Drug Administration prior to these products being made available to consumers. This carries financial and health consequences for patients seeking affordable and effective over‐the‐counter products to improve their nail conditions. In this comprehensive review, we discuss available oral nail growth products, their mechanisms of action, and side effects.
Hair supplements are a vast and growing industry. Patients often turn to oral supplements to address hair concerns as they are easily accessible. There are numerous products on the market, many with thousands of reviews (both positive and negative). Nutritional supplements are regulated by the FDA as foods instead of drugs, meaning they do not have to prove their efficacy and safety before becoming available to consumers. While some oral supplements have strong evidence supporting their use for hair growth, many ingredients have not been tested in clinical trials, have only in vitro evidence for hair growth, or have only been tested in animals. Given these industry characteristics, it is important for dermatologists to be aware of the safety and utility of these ingredients to provide appropriate counseling to their patients. The goal of this review is to evaluate the efficacy of popular hair growth oral supplement ingredients and formulations. This review does not address the topical formulations of these ingredients and their effects on hair growth.
The hair follicle is subject to a constant turnover in the course of perpetual cycles through phases of proliferation, involution, and resting, with regeneration in the successive hair cycle. Understanding the basics of the hair cycle enables insight into the principles of hair growth and shedding. Many factors can lead to a pathologically increased hair loss. Whatever the cause, the follicle tends to behave in a similar way. To grasp the meaning of this generalization requires understanding the varied derangements of the normal hair cycle. Cyclic hair growth activity occurs in a random mosaic pattern with each follicle possessing its own individual control mechanism over the evolution and triggering of the successive phases, including the local milieu at the level of the stem cells. In addition, a number of systemic and environmental factors may have influence, such as hormones, cytokines and growth factors, toxins, and deficiencies of nutrients, vitamins, and energy (calories). Normal supply, uptake, and transport of proteins, calories, trace elements, and vitamins are of fundamental importance in tissues with a high biosynthetic activity such as in the course of hair cycling. It may appear that on a typical Western diet, people are not subject to nutritional deficiencies. Nevertheless, genetic diversity in nutrient requirements, inappropriate food selection or preparation, intensive physical exertion, comorbidities, and use of drugs may lead to deficiency symptoms resulting in unhealthy hair. In fact, nutritional needs fluctuate with age and with situations that occur throughout the life cycle: infancy, childhood, adolescence, pregnancy, lactation, old age, lifestyle (restricted diets, smoking, alcohol consumption), and health status (chronic disease, medications).
Silicon determinations were made in a variety of human tissues and body fluids. Both electron probe microanalyses of silicon were used, as were colorimetric assays, suitably modified to eliminate contamination by phosphorus. High silica levels were found in the central cores and in the rims of senile plaques found in Alzheimer’s dementia. The increased Si was substantially above that found in the background tissues and represented a striking focal increase in Si. Colorimetric assays of brain and other organs indicated that there was no generalized increase in silicon in the patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The increase in Si was not confined to Alzheimer’s plaques, but also occurred in corpora amylacea of the three patients with Alzheimer’s disease. There was no consistent relationship between red blood cell Si levels and age of the individual. In plasma, however, plasma silicon levels showed a slight tendency for bound Si to increase more than unbound Si in individual patients. In humans, red blood cell and plasma silica levels are relatively low (ranging up to 44 µg/g for red cells and 20 µg/g for bound Si), but silicon levels in nails were substantially above those in blood. Nail Si ranged up to over 1 500 µg/g. Increasing Si intake (0.1% Si) chronically produced no obvious changes in experimental animals. A precise correlation between silicon and the pathogenesis of disorders of ageing and the nervous system remains to be established.
Silicon is required for normal growth and development in the chick when a low silicon diet is fed in a trace element controlled environment. Day-old deutectomized cockerels fed a purified amino acid diet showed significantly retarded growth and development within 2 to 3 weeks. Chicks fed the same diet plus a silicon supplement showed 50 percent higher growth and normal development. Silicon meets the criteria for an essential trace element.
Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of 2 widely used topical α-hydroxy acids at low concentrations, 8% glycolic acid and 8% lactic (L-isoform) acid creams, in the treatment of photodamaged skin. Design: A single-center, 22-week, double-blind, vehicle-controlled, randomized clinical trial assessed the overall severity of photodamage on the faces and forearms of volunteers, based on 7 individual clinical components of cutaneous photodamage. Setting: The study was performed in an outpatient clinical research unit at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. Patients: Seventy-four women, aged 40 to 70 years, with moderately severe photodamaged facial skin were enrolled in the study. One subject withdrew from the study early because of skin irritation, and 6 subjects withdrew from the study for personal reasons. Interventions: Glycolic acid, L-lactic acid, or vehicle creams were applied twice daily to the face and outer aspect of the forearms. Main Outcome Measures: Improvement in α-hydroxy acid—treated photodamaged skin as determined by patient self-assessments and physician evaluations of efficacy and irritancy. Results: The percentage of patients using either 8% glycolic acid or 8% L-lactic acid creams on the face achieving at least 1 grade of improvement (using a scale from 0 through 9) in overall severity of photodamage was significantly greater than with the vehicle cream (76% glycolic acid, 71% lactic acid, and 40% vehicle; P<.05). On the forearms, after 22 weeks, treatment with glycolic acid cream was superior to the vehicle in improving the overall severity of photodamage and sallowness (P<.05). L-Lactic acid cream was significantly superior to the vehicle in reducing the overall severity of photodamage (P<.05), mottled hyperpigmentation (P<.05), sallowness (P<.05), and roughness on the forearms (P<.05) at week 22. Conclusions: Topical 8% glycolic acid and 8% L-lactic acid creams are modestly useful in ameliorating some of the signs of chronic cutaneous photodamage. These agents are well tolerated and available without prescription.(Arch Dermatol 1996;132:631-636)
New evidence indicates that choline, a small vitamin, is essential for optimal brain development. In his Perspective, Blusztajn summarizes recent work that points to choline's newly recognized importance, which has resulted in its reclassification as an essential nutrient by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences.
Some electrical properties of the skin may be related to the water content of the horny layer, and measurements of impedance and/or capacitance have been used to assess the hydration state of the skin surface. This study was designed to compare three commercially available instruments used in dermato-cosmetic research, namely, the Corneometer CM 825, the Nova DPM 9003 and the Skicon-200. Comparative measurements were carried out with the three instruments in vivo on the volar part of the forearms of 12 human volunteers. The decrease in hydration induced by an irritant cationic detergent, and the increase of hydration after application of a moisturizer cream under occlusion could be easily measured with the three instruments. High degrees of correlation were obsewed between the three instruments over a broad range of hydration values of the skin. This comparative study performed under controlled environmental conditions reveals that the three instruments give validated coherent information concerning relative changes in hydration of the upper layers of the epidermis.
BackgroundUV-exposure induces photoaging of the skin.Objective Testing the efficacy and safety of oral Imedeen® in photoaged skin.Methods Three month placebo-controlled randomized study of 144 subjects and 9-month-uncontrolled continuation. Efficacy measurements included clinical evaluation, self-evaluation, photograph evaluation, as well as ultrasound, transepidermal water loss and replica measurements.ResultsAfter 3 months, no significant effects were detected. One years treatment gave significant improvement compared with baseline in investigator's evaluation of fine lines and overall photoaging, in photograph evaluation of fine lines, overall photoaging, telangiectasia and hyperpigmentation, in self-evaluation of skin condition, density measurements by ultrasound, trans-epidermal water loss and skin smoothness from analysis of skin replica. No serious side-effects related to treatment were reported.Conclusion Imedeen® appears effective and safe for treatment of photoaged skin.