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Silicon-Rich Water May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s: Study

Water-droplets-on-a-plant-stemAlzheimer’s disease has become rampant, stealing the sunset years of millions. You may be able to avoid it, though, simply by drinking the right kind of water. A new study, one of a series, provides ever more support that silicon-rich water can prevent or reverse it.

by Heidi Stevenson

Christopher Exley is a leading scientist on the issue of aluminum toxicity. He refers to this time as the Aluminum Age. It’s everywhere, and not just in construction, but also in a host of daily-use products, such as deodorants, and is commonly found in vaccinations. As a result, aluminum is routinely found in the human body, though it has no metabolic role—and it’s strongly implicated as a cause of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Clearly, if you can leach it from your body, you are giving yourself better odds of avoiding that devasting disease, which steals our golden years and puts so much stress on our families.

Dr. Exley’s latest study is designed to determine whether silicon dissolved in water (silicic acid) can chelate aluminum from the body and whether it might have any harmful effects by chelating too much of other metals. In an e-mail exchange, he informed me that:

These studies were actually designed to help us to understand how the body ‘handles’ silicon. Previous research has compared the effectiveness of silicon-deficient mineral water to remove aluminium via the urine and these did not show any effect.

A preliminary study had already determined that nonsilicon-rich water does nothing to help chelate aluminum from the body. So this study was the next step. It compared people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s to those without such a diagnosis. Dr. Exley stated of his latest study:

The non-AD group can be considered as an age and gender-matched control for how our body handles silicon, with subsequent information on urinary excretion of alumininum, iron and copper.

Note that this is not a placebo controlled trial. It’s purpose is to verify whether, as stated in the article:

[S]ilicon-rich mineral water may be a promising therapy to test the aluminum hypothesis of AD.

Despite cries to the contrary, placebo controlled trials are not always appropriate. In this case, nothing would be gained, because the trial was not a test of efficacy, but rather a test to see if silicon-rich water can chelate aluminum, not to see how well it does.

The Study

As noted, the study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease1, matched Alzheimer’s patients with non-Alzheimer’s people and utilized carers to help assure the study’s validity. It started with 16 people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and 16 others of about the same age who had not been so diagnosed. The study ran for 12 weeks, and during that time, the subjects were given one liter of silicon-rich water every day. Dr. Exley informed me that most of them drank all of it.

15 of the Alzheimer’s group and 14 of the non-Alzheimer’s group completed the study. One study pair didn’t finish because of compliance issues, and one of the non-Alzheimer’s carers was unable to complete the study because of her health problems.

Every subject provided a first-of-the-morning urine sample, which was managed by the carers. They drank all, or most, of the silicon-rich water. Beginning-of-study samples were also taken. At the beginning of the trial (week 0) and the end (week 12), the subjects were given the Alzheimer’s disease assessment scale – cognitive (ADAS-Cog) test. The practitioners who gave the tests were blinded to the results of the urine testing.

All study results are provided in tables, including the amounts of aluminum, silicon, iron, and copper found in the urine each at the study’s onset, the end of week 1, and the end of the study (week 12), along with the before and after ADAS-Cog test results.

Results

I’m providing the results for the ADAS-Cog testing in table form, and will describe the chelation results. First the cognition results: The ADAS-Cog70 test is scored from 0 through 70, with lower scores better. That’s why, in the following tables, those with no Alzheimer’s diagnosis have much lower scores.

No Alzheimer’s Disease Diagnosis:
Males Females
Identity Age ADAS-Cog70
Scores
Start→End
Identity Age ADAS-Cog70
Scores
Start→End
01 79 05→09 05 77 07→07
03 71 05→07 09 75 07→06
07 78 07→09 13 77 05→02
11 59 06→10 17 63 04→03
15 71 05→02 19 71 07→09
23 68 00→03 21 63 06→04
25 65 02→01
27 66 05→04

 

Alzheimer’s Disease Diagnosis:
Males Females
Identity Age ADAS-Cog70
Scores
Start→End
Identity Age ADAS-Cog70
Scores
Start→End
6 81 20→26 02 79 42→42
10 75 29→36 04 74 16→23
14 80 30→29 08 80 26→21
18 69 15→22 12 56 48→50
20 71 21→23 16 67 29→36
22 81 53→61 24 68 31→23
26 64 17→21 28 64 19→18
30 77 20→11  –  –

 

Cognition results are mixed, so it’s difficult to draw any firm conclusions. Of course, this can be explained by the fairly small sample size, but other factors could be involved, including gender and type of Alzheimer’s.

Men’s scores were more likely to go up or stay the same, though one man (#30, Alzheimer’s diagnosis) had a remarkable 9 point drop in his score. Women’s scores were considerably more likely to drop over the course of the study, though, interestingly, the women without Alzheimer’s diagnosis were more likely to exhibit a score decline, indicating that, perhaps, the chelation of aluminum is more beneficial in those who don’t already have Alzheimer’s.

Aluminum Chelation Results

Put simply, drinking silicon-rich water was clearly documented to be effective in leaching aluminum from the body. The study states:

Herein it was demonstrated unequivocally that regular drinking of a silicon-rich mineral water increased the urinary excretion of Si and Al without concomitant effects on Fe and Cu. These effects were observed for individuals with AD and for a similar group of individuals without AD.

Note: Fe = ferrum (iron). Cu = copper. Si = silicon. Al = aluminum.

It should be noted that the study references results of a previous study, which is unpublished because it was preliminary to an earlier study2, not done as a stand-alone. Increases in aluminum excretion have been determined by comparison with that study.

In general, women in the study excreted more aluminum than did men. This may be related to the fact that Alzheimer’s disease is significantly more prevalent in women than in men. It is probable that women come into more direct contact with aluminum in personal care products and cosmetics. This might explain why Alzheimer’s is more prevalent in women than men, but it could also be that women are simply more sensitive to aluminum. In any case, it’s clear that aluminum toxicity and Alzheimer’s are not the same in men and women, and their ability to excrete it may also differ.

The study found no indication of any difference in aluminum excretion handling between Alzheimer’s patients and those without the diagnosis. Iron and copper excretion was increased, but not to a degree that is likely to evidence harm. The amount of silicon leached is related to the amount that’s taken in from the silicon-rich mineral water.

In short, this study provides direct evidence that silicon-rich water can leach aluminum, which has no legitimate place in human metabolism. The potential for adverse effects is very limited because most of the silicon is passed through the body and the chelation of copper and iron, which have a role in human metabolism, is minimal. The results in terms of effects on cognitive functioning are unclear.

The Next Step

Dr. Exley has informed me that he has collected data on the results of drinking silicon-rich water in healthy young people and that it will be published soon. The current study concludes:

Longer term studies are now required to show that any reductions in the body burden of Al can be further improved and sustained and that any cognitive benefits are similarly long-lived.

At this point, humble silicon-rich mineral water is the best prospect for prevention or treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. These studies may prove to be the key in reversing this modern scourge.

Implications

Since aluminum is linked to Alzheimer’s disease and it has no place in human metabolism, leaching it from your system on a regular basis is likely beneficial and may help prevent developing crippling dementia. This study provides evidence that making one small change in a normal healthy diet could provide great benefit. Drinking water is something we should all be doing. So why not make a point of drinking silicon-rich water? There are several such brands on the market right now, so you don’t need to go to great lengths to obtain it.

Chris Exley has previously discussed other sources of silicon. However, he believes that it’s more biologically available when suspended in water as silicic acid, as he stated here:

The critical thing about silicon in drinking water is that it is immediately biologically available and will be absorbed across the gut and into the blood. All other sources of silicic acid are much worse including horsetail which is composed of silica not silicic acid.

Therefore, the best way to obtain quantities that can safely and rapidly leach aluminum from your body is through drinking silicon-rich mineral water.

Dr. Exley informed me that there is a best way to imbibe the water:

If the water is drunk over as short a period of time as possible then this will ensure that the level of silicon (silicic acid) in the blood will rise to a level where the removal of aluminium via the kidney and urine is facilitated. Thus two drinks of 0.5L should be more effective than 10 drinks of 0.1L.

Getting a bolus of silicon into your system is the best we we now have to chelate aluminum. Therefore, it’s best to drink at least half the bottle at once to insure a significant blood level of silicon to help your body leach aluminum.

Finding silicon-rich mineral water is not difficult. The brands Fiji, Spritzer, and Volvic contain significant amounts of silicon, but they aren’t the only ones. Be careful, though, not to drink water that’s been flavored or contains fluoride. Sadly, both are common.

So read the labels! If the water contains silicon, it will have “silica” on the label and tell you how much. If it contains things like sucralose, acesulfame, chemicals you don’t recognize, or fluoride, it’s better to leave it on the shelf.

Since you need to drink plenty of water anyway, why not make sure that it contains silica, which may be able to stave off that thief of your sunset years, Alzheimer’s disease?

Sources:

  1. Silicon-Rich Mineral Water as a Non-Invasive Test of the ‘Aluminum Hypothesis’ in Alzheimer’s DiseaseJournal of Alzheimer’s Disease; Davenward S, Bentham P, Wright J, Crome P, Job D, Polwart A, Exley C; DOI 10.3233/JAD-2012-121231
  2. Non-invasive therapy to reduce the body burden of aluminium in Alzheimer’s disease. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease; Exley C, Korchazhkina O, Job D, Strekopytov S, Polwart A, Crome P.

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