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Title: Silicon in health : a beneficial element in reducing the body burden of aluminium
Author: Jones, Krista Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 7223 8229
Awarding Body: Keele University
Current Institution: Keele University
Date of Award: 2018
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The essentiality of silicon and the toxicity of aluminium within humans are both topics of much debate; the current conception is that silicon is essential in ameliorating aluminium toxicity, however, the evidence for this remains inconclusive. To be able to elucidate the connection between silicon and aluminium in neurological disorders, it is first important to understand the relationship between the elements in healthy individuals. This research was designed to investigate whether supplementing the diet with a silicic acid-rich mineral water could be a non-invasive means of reducing aluminium body burden in both healthy individuals and those suffering from multiple sclerosis. Drinking a silicic acid-rich mineral water significantly enhanced the urinary excretion of aluminium, in both healthy individuals and in multiple sclerosis. Collecting whole daily urinary excretions for healthy individuals indicated that aluminium was concomitantly excreted with silicon; this was most effective when the mineral water was consumed as a bolus, suggesting that the mineral water has greater influence when consumed in large quantities over a short time. In addition, reductions in urinary aluminium were also witnessed over time, supporting the use of silicic acid-rich mineral water in reducing and maintaining aluminium body burden at a lower level. Supplementing the diet with a silicon-rich mineral water, for a period of 12 weeks, reduced aluminium body burden in individuals with multiple sclerosis; concomitantly, in this short amount of time, disability scoring showed clinically relevant improvements in 2 out of 15 individuals. Longer-term studies, involving larger study populations, are now needed to see if these effects are long lasting; if improvements are seen over time, it could support the link between aluminium and multiple sclerosis. This research also presents preliminary evidence that sweat may be a more efficient excretory mechanism in lowering the body burden of aluminium in healthy individuals. In conclusion, the results suggest that including a silicic acid-rich mineral water into the regular diet, without the need of following strict restrictions, could be a prophylactic therapy against aluminium toxicity in healthy individuals, and in addition, could be beneficial as a chelating agent for endogenous aluminium.
Supervisor: Exley, C. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: R Medicine (General)