Orthosilicic acid is a natural substance found in seafood, seawater, vegetables, whole grains, and certain beverages, including beer. Sometimes referred to as soluble silica, an ortho silicic acid is a dietary form of silicon, a mineral involved in the formation of collagen and bone.
Orthosilicic acid is available in supplement form and is used to treat certain medical conditions and to boost hair and skin health. Some, but not all, of these uses have been supported by scientific evidence.
Note: Silicon should not be confused with silicone—a substance used to make medical devices, including breast implants.
Some alternative medicine proponents claim that orthosilicic acid supplements can treat or prevent a wide range of health conditions, including:
In addition, orthosilicic acid is said to improve nails, protect skin from the negative effects of aging, preserve dental health, and stimulate digestion.
To date, very few studies have tested the health effects of orthosilicic acid, so it's too soon to recommend it as a treatment for any condition. However, preliminary research shows that orthosilicic acid may offer certain health benefits in some key areas.
In early studies on human cells, scientists discovered that orthosilicic acid may help promote bone formation by stimulating the production of collagen (a protein found in connective tissue, including bone) and promoting the development of bone-forming cells.1
A 2008 study from BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders suggested that orthosilicic acid may help protect against loss of bone density. For the study, 136 women with osteopenia took calcium, vitamin D, and either orthosilicic acid or a placebo every day for a year.
By the study's end, participants given the vitamins with orthosilicic acid showed greater improvements in bone formation. According to the study's authors, this finding indicates that orthosilicic acid shows promise as a treatment for osteoporosis.
However, studies have been inconsistent in determining if taking an orthosilicic acid supplement is as effective as consuming silicon through diet. So far, research indicates that getting silicon from food may be more effective.
Although not a major plant nutrient, silica is still considered to be important in any grow room. One of the most abundant components in the earth’s crust, silicon is a major contributor to the plant kingdom. It comprises of about 55-70% of soil mass and just happens that some plants have the ability to gather high levels of silica in their tissue. These plants have high levels of silica compared to minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus.
In the past, agronomists ignored the use of silicon fertilizer but lately, due to its benefits to the growth of a plant and its ability to improve plants resistance to disease it is becoming more popular with many plant growers who apply silica to their gardens for a wide range of plants.
The use of silica is common among hydroponic farmers who add it directly to the reservoir away from other nutrients since the mineral becomes sticky when added together with other concentrated salts.
Liquid seaweed fertilizer is simply what its name suggests: a fertilizer that has been derived from natural seaweed sources. Seaweed is collected, some of the saltwater rinsed away and then allowed to decompose or ferment in water until the plant material is broken down into a liquid or slurry.
Seaweeds - especially kelp, a large brown seaweed - and liquid seaweed extract have been used for many years as fertilizers in commercial crop production because of their positive effect on plant growth and yield. As the trend towards using sustainable products increases, these products are gaining more popularity both commercially and in home gardens to meet plant demands. Known as biofertilizers, or biostimulants, they offer many benefits over conventional fertilizers.
As a new type of fertilizer, water soluble fertilizer has obvious advantages compared with traditional fertilizers and granulated compound fertilizers. It is a quick-acting fertilizer with good water solubility, no residue, can be completely dissolved in water, and can be directly absorbed and utilized by the roots and leaves of crops.