Solgar Silica from Red Algae v Calcium - Bone Health

Bone Health

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Solgar Silica from Red Algae v Calcium

Debs4 profile image
18 Replies

Hello

I’m so confused about diet and supplements! 🤦‍♀️ Running out of the supplements I’ve been taking which include Magnesium, Boron, Curcumin, Vitamin C, Vitamin D & K & B complex. I take them a bit erratically but in a kind of planned way too i.e. if I feel I’ve had enough C in my diet that day I’d leave it out. Same with D if I’ve managed to spend enough time in the sun. I used to take calcium with a 2.1 ratio of magnesium but more research seemed to suggest the ratio should be 1.1 🤷‍♀️ Seems to depend what you read. Anyway, I used to get palpitations whilst taking calcium (it took me a long time to realise it was probably that) and so now don’t take it at all. I take magnesium every day as our soil is so depleted it’s lacking in a natural diet.

Anyway during this lockdown I haven’t been eating so well as been trying to avoid going shopping too much. I’ve noticed my nails are in a terrible state all split and broken. Wondering if it’s lack of calcium or a lack of silica. Pre lockdown I used to juice with ginger and cucumber daily and I believe cucumber has lots of silica in it. I also used to take Solgar Silica from Red Algae which seemed to help my nails and I’ve read that it’s better than taking calcium 🤷‍♀️ TBH I’m sick of taking all these supplements especially not knowing if they are having much effect and at such a cost! God knows when we’ll get a Dexa now so no way of monitoring either. Any experience or advice please?

18 Replies
Met00 profile image
Met00

It is all very confusing, isn't it? I did a lot of reading before starting a supplement regime, gradually introducing others when I became convinced there was sufficient research evidence to support them. I started with high dose Vit D, having been told by an orthopaedic consultant that my blood level should be at least 100nmol/litre (40ng/ml). Everyone's different with Vit D, so the only way to know how much you need is to have regular blood tests. I eventually discovered that I wasn't making much from the sun, so when I reduced my supplement, my blood level dropped, even when I'd spent hours in the sun. Vit D plays a really important role in absorbing calcium. Vit K2 (MK7 or MK4, but MK4 is expensive and hard to find in the UK) helps direct calcium from the blood to the bones, and magnesium plays a part in this too. I take 200mcg K2-MK7 daily, and 100mg magnesium, but I do get a lot of magnesium from food (can't tolerate much in supplement or skin spray form). If diet is the main/only source of your calcium and magnesium, that should ensure it's in the correct ratio. I get all my calcium from diet - really not difficult. I also take 15mg zinc a day, as that has also been shown to be helpful for bone health, plus 500mg Vit C (though there's less evidence that a Vit C supplement is useful, unless you're not getting enough in diet). I was also getting extra silica from Volvic water, but I've stopped that during lockdown; my nails are still very strong. Along with all of this, it's really important to eat a healthy diet, high in nutrients, low in sugar, plus keep alcohol and caffeine to a minimum. And finally get as much exercise as you can, as high impact as is safe! I hope this has helped a bit, and not confused you even more!

springcross profile image
springcross in reply to Met00

Do you have adequate Biotin in your diet - just thinking about your nails.

Met00 profile image
Met00 in reply to springcross

I assume so as my nails are very healthy 😉

springcross profile image
springcross in reply to Met00

Sorry Met00, I responded to you instead of Debs4.

Debs4 profile image
Debs4 in reply to springcross

Thanks Springcross ... I’m not sure but will research what I should be eating to get it!

Debs4 profile image
Debs4 in reply to springcross

Just checked and I have loads of foods containing biotin ... 🤷‍♀️

springcross profile image
springcross in reply to Debs4

Back to the drawing board then! 😁

Debs4 profile image
Debs4 in reply to springcross

But saying that I think it’s more true to say I’ve had less of all fresh fruit n veg over the lockdown as I was making things last longer to avoid shopping so much. As a rule I eat loads of avocados, sweet potato, rasberries etc so I do think I’m suffering now because of it. At least we’re able to relax a bit now and get lots of fresh stuff 😉

springcross profile image
springcross in reply to Debs4

That may be why your nails are bad then. As I said, it was just a thought. x

springcross profile image
springcross

Hi Debs4. Are you eating foods high in Biotin? I am wondering if that's why your nails are so bad.

Debs4 profile image
Debs4

Thanks Met00 ... not confusing but helpful thanks and thanks for taking the time to reply. I do think nails are a good indicator of bone health as I used to have very long stong nails prior to osteoporosis. Have read a lot of good things about the Solgar oceanic silica and also read how it can be dangerous to take too much calcium from supplements. Also, that vitamins and minerals should be taken in synergy to be effective. It’s a bit of a minefield but I really don’t want to go down the traditional medicine route. I try and have a good diet normally but these are not normal times 😉

Met00 profile image
Met00 in reply to Debs4

I've read that nail health is unrelated to bone health. I've always had healthy nails, yet still have osteoporosis.

MollyStark profile image
MollyStark in reply to Met00

My nails are strong and grow really well, I have to file them regularly or they grow too long, but my bones are not so good!

wbiC profile image
wbiC in reply to Met00

Where, have you read that?

China's elderly consume more than twice as much silicon in their diet as Westerners, and have an extraordinarily low rate of hip breakage (a likely association between the two, and/or their hip structure is slightly different which may confuse the issue). Anyway, I have good confidence in silicon's impact on improving BMD. Which is why I take a silicon supplement (2 x 6 mg BioSil capsules/day). Pricey (experimenting with Florasil, a simplistic soluble silica supplement that might also work at much lower cost).

A side effect after my taking BioSil for a couple of months was that my poor cracking / splitting nails, almost completely healed themselves(!). So, I relate finger/toe nail improvements with silicon's usefulness as a bone supplement. BioSil is promoted as a nail/hair supplement, no mention as useful for BMD improvement, btw (which, may be literally true, maybe the higher silicon intake instead goes to improved Quality of bone, leading to fewer fractures in elderly china residents).

~wbiC, member bonehealth forum

Debs4 profile image
Debs4 in reply to wbiC

Thanks for this and the Biosil tip. I’ve been taking Solgar Oceanic Silica but it’s done nothing so after after 3 months of taking it 🤷‍♀️Will give Biosil a try and hope that works ....

Met00 profile image
Met00 in reply to wbiC

I don't know where I read it now, it was a long time ago and I didn't make a note of it. I've tried looking for the reference and see that poor nail health can be related to bone health. However, I was pointing out from my own experience that I've never had a problem with my nails despite having osteoporosis. I don't disagree with you about silica, which is good for nails and bones. It may be that I have sufficient silica and other nail-friendly minerals in my diet, so that my nails are healthy but other factors have affected my bones. For example, lack of exercise would affect bones but shouldn't have any impact on the nails. Likewise having your hands in water a lot might affect your nails but wouldn't give you osteoporosis. So nail quality isn't necessarily an indication of bone health.

Collywobbles64 profile image
Collywobbles64

Hi Debs4, It can be a bit of a minefield knowing what to take and how much to take. There is a fb group Vitamin D and it's co-factors UK that you may find useful. I've been taking D3 for years and got myself into a bit of a mess as I didn't know about the co-factors. I do not take any calcium supplement as some of our food already has this added in, however I do take 600 mg of magnesium chloride. I have taken higher levels when taking malate, bisglycinate or ionic citrate, but I find making my own chloride solution the cheapest method. I too suffered from split nails after having caudal epidural injections for back pain (caused by the steroids I think). Finally 18 months after taking the co-factors my nails are now normal again. I also take boron and now make my own solution as it is the cheapest way. K2MK7 I take 1200 mcg - one to correct the problems caused by taking high D3 without co-factors and 2) to direct all the excess calcium to my bones. You are right about the mag/cal ratio being 1 to 1 but as we already have high levels of calcium in our diets and not so much magnesium that is why I supplement with magnesium as much as my bowels allow.

wbiC profile image
wbiC

For sure, watch out for calcium (I believe 600-900mg/day total ingestion is safe, less or more could well cause osteoporosis imo, and it's become well known that too much is bad for our hearts).

As to silicon, since I've been taking 'BioSil' my fingernails no longer crack/split, noticed after about six weeks (it's very pricey, I've snuck 2/day [6 mg Si each] down to an ave. of 1.5/day).

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