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Br J Nutr. 2013 Sep 28;110(6):1024-30. doi: 10.1017/S0007114513000184. Epub 2013 Feb 25.

Silicon absorption and excretion is independent of age and sex in adults.

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  • 1Elsie Widdowson Laboratory, MRC Human Nutrition Research, Fulbourn Road, Cambridge CB1 9NL, UK.


Host factors influencing the absorption and excretion of Si are poorly understood, although previous murine and human studies have suggested that age, sex and oestrogen status may affect Si metabolism and thus function. Here, serum and urine samples were collected from twenty-six healthy adults at baseline and over a 6 h period following ingestion of 17·4mg Si (orthosilicic acid) and analysed by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry. Fasting baseline serum and urinary Si concentrations were marginally higher in older adults (51-66 years old) compared with young adults (20-47 years old); however, there was no difference in the absorption of Si into serum (overall profile, rate of Si appearance, peak concentration and time to peak) between the different adult groups. The rate of elimination of Si from serum did not significantly differ with age or sex, although serum concentration at 6 h was higher in older adults and significantly correlated with age (r 0·5; P=0·01). There were, however, no significant differences in the excretion of Si into urine (a proxy for overall uptake) between the groups, averaging approximately 45 %. Oestradiol levels did not correlate with any of the above measures of Si. Thus, overall, host age and sex did not appear to markedly influence Si absorption or excretion in human adults and no correlations were found with serum oestradiol status. The marginally higher baseline and 6 h post-dose Si levels in older adults may reflect modestly impaired renal function and/or the loss of Si from connective tissues with ageing.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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