Crusador: Chris, This is the third consecutive interview we’ve conducted together. Our readers have been thrilled and blessed with the health information you’ve shared on chromium and selenium. In this interview, I’d like you to go in depth on another mineral you hold in high esteem and of monumental importance when it comes to our health – silica. Why you are so passionate about silica?
It is quite easy to be passionate about the mineral silica — in the right form, which is that which is grown, and when taken in the right amount — as I see almost routinely what others call miracles. The passion is rather catching among those who have had long term problems that nothing helped, and those problems are then significantly helped or even disappear with this common yet so uncommonly known miracle mineral.
You know, Greg, it is so encouraging the way this has worked out with the previous two interviews and now this third one as it fits so perfectly with the other two.
One name noted in the previous interviews was that of Dr. Klaus Schwarz – but just barely, almost as a passing mention. Dr. Schwarz deserves so much more remembrance than a mention.
It was Schwarz who established the nutritional essentiality for life – first of the mineral selenium that we discussed in the last issue, and then of the mineral chromium that we covered in the issue prior to that one. Well, Greg, Dr. Schwarz is credited with establishing the nutritional essentiality for life with six different elements. That is more than any other man, and yet the name of Klaus Schwarz is barely known.
The mineral silicon is the last of those six elements established as essential for life by Dr. Klaus Schwarz, and all of them while he was in the employ of the federal government – first at the National Institutes of Health, then through the Veterans Administration Hospitals. He was in the midst of further major research on silicon when he died in the late 1970s. The government just disbanded his laboratories rather than follow up with his work.
The first two nutritional items established as essential by Schwarz (chromium & selenium) and the last, silicon, together make up a triumphant triumvirate of beneficial nutrients. These three not well known elements together make up a more common deficiency, and when finally learned about positively, effect more benefit to the body than any other three elements.
In the first interview, I noted that whole wheat is a rich source of chromium but that 91 per cent is removed during the refining of whole wheat into bleached, white flour. Well, whole wheat is also a rich source of selenium but 92 per cent is removed during refining into bleached, white flour. Whole wheat is a rich source of silicon as well but 95 per cent is removed during refining into bleached, white flour. Silicon has an important, harmonious role with selenium and chromium, and its deficiency has severe consequences from before you are born until the day that you die.
According to a U.S. government report last year, 20 per cent of Standard American Dietary (S.A.D.) choices are for white flour so that the substantial removal of these vital nutritional elements is quite a serious matter.
Silicon is important for what literally holds us together, and for the blood circulatory system, as well as for transmission of nerve signals throughout the whole body.
Collagen is connective tissue that literally holds the body together. Though many nutrients through the years have been discussed as involved or helpful with regard to collagen health, it is in fact the mineral silicon that is the key to collagen, and subsequently both strength and elasticity of the tissues. Declining collagen health leads to degradation of skin, hair and nails externally, which is an indicator of internal status of bone, blood vessel, and nervous system health. All of this has been well established by multiple researchers all around the world for more than half a century though it is – sadly – very, very far from common knowledge.
To be honest, even though Dr. Klaus Schwarz is credited with establishing silicon as an essential nutrient there are others who contributed more on the subject before Schwarz received credit.
In America, Dr. Edith Carlisle, of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in their school of Public Health tirelessly researched silicon nutrition both long before and long after Dr. Schwarz’s researches, especially related to so-called ‘calcification’ or more accurately, to strengthening of bone.
Throughout Europe, many researched silicon nutrition though none devoted as much to this mineral as Professor Louis Kervran of France.
Professor Kervran noted bone strengthening properties of silicon. Broken bones mended in half the normal time with high doses of 100 per cent whole food vegetal silicon. He theorized that using both calcium and silicon together nutritionally would work even better. However, he was surprised to find that silicon and calcium together did not mend bones as well as high levels of silicon and low levels of calcium.
Other European researchers prior to this noted that silicon was essential for proper fetal skeletal development. Because of this there is a strong demand placed on a pregnant mother for the baby developing. So many of the so-called common problems of pregnancy are actually silicon deficiency issues, such as aching teeth and bones, varicose veins, and also hemorrhoids – which are in fact a varicosity. Most Americans today are low in silicon due to a high intake of white flour and a low intake of dark leafy greens (the other high source of silicon that used to be much more commonly consumed), and pregnancy causes a silicon deficiency to be made worse.
Speaking of varicosities, silicon is the key to both strength and elasticity of the tissues, including of blood vessels which makes silicon especially important regarding cardiovascular health.
Once again, it was European researchers some decades ago that discovered in cadaver studies that those who died with healthy cardiovascular systems had an abundance of silicon in the blood vessels while those dying from heart problems have very low levels of silicon in the blood vessels.
There is also an electrical aspect to heart health with some heart problems being sort of a short-circuiting problem. That is yet another important part of the mineral silicon and heart health. Silicon is a semi-conductor. Most everyone has heard of ‘Silicon Valley’ in central California that is the heart of the burgeoning computer industry. It was called that originally because of all the silicon chip manufacturing in that region. The better the silicon chip the more information the computer can handle and the faster it can handle it. It is similar in the human body.
I’m telling you Greg, there are so many facets to the mineral nutrient silicon regarding health that we can only just begin to do justice to the subject even in a lengthy interview.
For instance, your body communicates through the nervous system similar to a computer network. Your body’s ‘CPU’ if you will, is your brain and silicon is a big part of faulty brain messaging such as in Alzheimer’s. There has been much documentation on this though it gets little attention.
You know how aluminum has been mentioned often in the health food industry as “the” cause of Alzheimer’s? Did you know that aluminum is found significantly in the earth’s crust in the form of SILICON-aluminate? Silicon manages aluminum. It is the absence of the semi-conductor mineral nutrient silicon necessary for facilitating electrical messages in the brain more so than the presence of aluminum that is the problem in nervous system disorders. For instance, high dose silicon can also make a noticeable difference for one with Multiple Sclerosis.
Going back to collagen for a minute, we can also tie in silicon deficiency to cancer. You see, Greg, doctors have done a disservice (a long and ever growing list if ever there was one) by making it sound like cancer spreads by eating up other cells. That is not exactly accurate. I don’t know if they explain it that way for some misguided attempt at simplicity or if it has to do with their being such simpletons when it comes to nutrition and cancer – or pretty much nutrition and anything.
Cancer doesn’t spread by magic. It is still bound by the laws of physics. Two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time. I learned by way of Dr. Matthias Rath that cancer cells produce an enzyme that breaks down collagen in order to make room for growth. He uses a convoluted and complex protocol to strengthen collagen with a variety of nutrients in order to make the body more resistant to cancer growth. I thought that the simplicity of increased silicon should work just fine and discovered that is indeed the case. In the end MSM, glucosamine, chondroitin, proline, ascorbic acid (so called vitamin C) all end up primarily as covers for silicon deficiency.
These issues are not just book learning for me but things that I have actually seen time after time, over and over again through four decades working with silicon or silica.
Are you starting to see why I’m so passionate about silica? If you’re like most people you’ll start getting passionate about silica, too!
Crusador: Arthritis, bone and joint problems are at epidemic levels and cause millions of Americans to suffer. Why does silica have such an impact on bone and joint health and what kind of results have you personally seen with people you’ve consulted?
Silicon is actually the most important nutrient in order for one to have healthy bones and joints. Throwing calcium at the problem in increasing amounts actually makes the problem worse and can’t work for some lengthy, complex reasons that I won’t take time away from silicon to get into.
Electrical stimulation is used to hasten bone healing especially with professional athletes and those who are well-to-do. Well, silicon is a semi-conductor, so it naturally increases the body’s own “electrical stimulation” by way of nervous system healing messages.
As far as the kind of results I have personally seen with people using silica, well Greg, that would fill more than a year’s worth of your newspapers.
The Alta Health Products company has always marketed the product with emphasis on it as “an internal beauty agent” for hair, skin and nails in order to not rile up authorities with health claims. Initially I would appeal to women’s vanity in order to get them to use the product although I was more interested in their long term bone and cardiovascular health. This worked very well as women would see the difference in a short time with their nails, and shortly thereafter they would see the difference in their skin and hair. I’ve had women who could never grow their hair much beyond their shoulders able to grow their hair down their back with regular silica supplementation.
After a while I got my first crack at broken bones. Actually it was much more than a crack.
Almost 30 years ago I was working at a health food store and the manager and I saw a man in the parking lot with a walker who was having a great deal of trouble walking even for a man with a walker. His wife had to assist him in walking even with his use of a walker. It appeared he was in great pain. Then we noticed he was headed in our direction.
The man asked for me by name and said he had been referred because of his problem. He had had a tobogganing accident the previous winter that chipped a piece out of his hip in a V-shape almost 1” across at the top that was 2” deep. This was now Thanksgiving time so it had been more than 10 months. There had been no healing and he was in great pain. The man was well-to-do and had been flying back and forth from the Colorado ski lodge area orthopedic specialists as well as consulting with the orthopedic specialists at UCLA. The specialists had finally decided that with the absence of any healing for such a long period of time that a hip replacement was necessary. This was scheduled for three weeks later.
I shared with the man about what research indicated about high dose silica in the right form though letting him know that at that time I had only book knowledge on the subject. Well, he had nothing to lose at this point so he began taking 12 Alta Health Product Silica daily with 3 tablets being taken at morning, noon, evening and bedtime.
One week later this same man approached the store with only a cane. Though still in some pain the improvement was nothing short of astounding after only one week. He said the UCLA doctors were amazed and had called for the Colorado specialists to come to UCLA for a special symposium to examine what was suddenly happening with this case.
Another week later the same man approached the store and this time unassisted by any devices though still with a slight limp but without any pain. He said new x-rays taken for the hastily called specialist symposium showed the matrix of the bone filled in and hardening. He said the hip replacement surgery had been cancelled with a determination of “spontaneous healing” of the fracture.
I was very excited and told him I would gather all the documentation including that of Dr. Carlisle at UCLA (though she was in the Public Health department). The man stopped me expressing his great thanks but that he would not do so. He said that they would just laugh at him. This was very frustrating for me though through the decades I have gotten used to this.
Since that time I have seen countless bones speedily healed, and innumerable hip and knee replacement surgeries cancelled.
A legendary sculptress named Claire Falkenstein was referred to me by a mutual acquaintance. Falkenstein had invented an abstract style of sculpture that incorporated metal and glass together. Her works had been commissioned at legendary buildings and universities around the world – especially for the rich and famous.
Mrs. Falkenstein was well into her 70s at that time and arthritis had grown so strong in her hands that she had just become unable to sculpt any more. She was very distraught over no longer being able to continue in her life’s work when I met with her. She let me know at that time that a hip replacement surgery had just been scheduled for her.
Well, she went on the 12 daily regimen and within a few weeks she was so excited as she was sculpting again. This legendary sculptress had regained the use of her hands. Also, the hip replacement surgery was cancelled.
I received from her a beautiful folio of her work that was signed with thanks for restoring her life’s work to her again. I lost contact with her after some years. I recently learned that she did finally have that hip replacement surgery but that it was more than 10 years later as she neared 90 years of age. Even then, I wondered whether perhaps she had ceased using her silica.
Only a few years ago a man in our congregation who is a genuine cowboy rancher called me early one evening to tell me a large iron gate had fallen on him while he was alone and broke a bone in his leg. He had been trapped for several hours that afternoon before being discovered. He said that during that time he was unattended the swelling had become so great that doctors were unable to tend to it much and had only wrapped it telling him to come back in one week for casting. He then asked me, “What’s that herb stuff you have for bones?”
Well, I hustled straightway that evening to his place with Alta Health Products Silica that he started that very evening with 3 right away and then another 3 at bedtime. He also asked about something natural for pain. He said the doctors tried to give him some pain medication but he told me that he told them, “I ain’t takin’ none of your pharmaceuticals.” Now that is tough but he is one tough guy. There is no herb to take away that kind of pain unless you are smoking marijuana. I did fix up a quart of tea of a nervine herb that helps take the edge off of pain – maybe I’ll talk about that one some time. I brought it to him fresh every morning to drink throughout the day. The pain was less and less of a problem each day through the week.
One week later I went with him to the doctor. An x-ray was taken and when the doctor came in he sat down and was literally scratching his head. The doctor said he was not going to put a cast on. My friend pretty excitedly reacted to that one, “What do you mean you’re not going to put a cast on?”
The doctor very plainly stated that a cast wasn’t needed because the bone was healed. At that point I jumped in with a question.
“This man rides a horse for a living. When can he get back on a horse?” You see, Greg, I thought he must have meant that the bone was healed so much that a cast was no longer required. I’m used to seeing broken bones healed much more rapidly than usual but not in one week.
“As soon as he can get his foot in a stirrup he can get back on a horse,” the doctor replied.
That was a stunner even for me.
As I pondered this one some things became clearer. First, this man got right on the Alta Health Products Silica at the therapeutic level immediately. Usually it is a week or more before someone talks with me about a broken bone. A few times I’ve had people get started after a few days. Never before had I had someone to start the same day let alone within just hours of the bone being broken.
Second, this man refused any pain medications. You know, Greg, pain medications are not magic. They don’t make pain “go away”. They work by interfering with the nervous system messages of pain that let you know there is a serious problem needing to be tended. Well, that nervous system message system also directs healing messages, too. Interfering with the nervous system pain messages also interferes with the nervous system healing messages. By not shutting down the nervous system with drugs, and relying only on a nervine herb that helps the nerves plus the bone healing mineral silicon – from yet another herb by the way – this bone healed in a miraculous “record” time. Also, there is the semi-conductor aspect of silicon further aiding the nervous system messaging system as well.
Crusador: What we learned from you about chromium and selenium is that the actual source of the mineral makes all the difference in the world as far as absorption in the body and overall results. In the case of those two minerals you taught us that in a “food grown” state they work far better than any other source on the market. Are there various sources of silica on the market as well and can you explain the differences?
Oh, indeed, Greg, “food grown” 100 per cent whole food “vegetal” silica makes all the difference in the world with silica as well, and, YES, there are various sources of silica on the market – sadly and tragically mucking things up.
Professor Kervran found that biological silicon in a grown form was dramatically superior to non-biological forms. Kervran then found that horsetail grass in the springtime had the greatest concentration of silicon, but that it was most active in a tea form.
It is more than interesting to me that old European herbalists knew that horsetail grass could be a great remedy as a tea but not so much in the whole herb form in which it could even be a stomach irritant. They didn’t know why but it has been discovered in recent years that there are a couple of aspects of whole horsetail grass that can be irritants – especially in larger quantities such as the amount necessary to get higher doses of silicon. However, making a tea dissolves the irritant aspects of the whole herb.
Crusador: What can you tell us about Professor Louis Kervran and his patented extraction process?
Professor Kervran developed a specialized aqueous process to preserve the biological potency of the silicon and also concentrate it in a 5 to 1 extract. For simplicity sake it is similar to making tea that is then dehydrated and the remaining powder is then tableted. It breaks down with its concentrated silicon content very readily. This was brought through very clearly to me when I had a man who had wonderful responsiveness to the silica tablets even though his stomach had been removed and he had sensitivities due to that as you might imagine.
A pioneering researcher who was one of the behind-the-scenes researchers for the famed nutrition author Paavo Airola was Dr. Richard Barmakian. Dr. Barmakian went to France and studied under Professor Kervran. Barmakian received the blessing of Kervran and the rights to the silica process with which he began Alta Health Products almost 40 years ago with Alta Silica as their lead item as it still is to this day.
Dr. Barmakian introduced silicon supplementation in the marketplace. The initial splash made by this marvelous water-processed silica made quite an impact though unscrupulous imitators soon thereafter poisoned the well and such mucking up of the waters has continued to slow the benefits that could be obtained from the very solid research on silicon that has been accumulated through more than half a century.
Crusador: What did Dr. Richard Barmakian tell you before his untimely death that led to convincing you about his source of silica being of so much help to so many people with various health issues?
I spoke often with Dr. Barmakian from the 1970s and into the 1990s, and was able to get close to him which was not an easy feat. Barmakian had been burned out on the too common unscrupulous characters in the nutrition business. Eventually he did open up and shared protocols with me for claims that he was not legally permitted to make as the manufacturer of the product. One of the most important and astounding of these was for the maximum therapeutic amount of silica for more difficult conditions by taking 12 tablets daily spread out over the day with 3 tablets morning, noon, evening and bedtime. This was referred to as the maximum therapeutic amount not because more was harmful but rather because more than that was though to be more than the body could use. The results I have seen with this through four decades are nothing short of amazing.
Often I will offer a challenge to those with serious problems that indicate silicon deficiency. I challenge the individual to take the maximum therapeutic amount of silica for three weeks and see what happens. Very commonly the response I get back from those who take my silica challenge is something like, ‘WOW!’ Sometimes they reduce the level at that time and sometimes they just continue at that level for a while longer as their serious problems continue to get better or even completely well.
Oh, and just for the record, in the last year or so I have had some with particularly serious silicon deficiencies and more serious health problems who on their own have taken 16 tablets daily with 4 tablets morning, noon, evening and bedtime as an extra boost for a limited time that reported to me even greater levels of improvement than with the 12 daily I had been taught was the most the body could use at one time.
Crusador: Are there any sources of silica that consumers should be aware of?
It was not too long after the introduction of silica supplementation to the world by Dr. Richard Barmakian with his Alta Health Products before a copycat ‘Silica’ labeled product entered the marketplace at only half the price. Sadly, it was not even half the product. It was in fact just plain horsetail grass. Underneath the prominent ‘Silica’ on that label were the italicized Latin words ‘equisetem arvense’ inside parenthesis in tiny little print. That is the botanical name for horsetail grass so they let you know up front that this was just horsetail grass IF you were schooled in herbs and Latin. You could have purchased plain horsetail grass labeled as such and not labeled ‘Silica’ for less money.
That ‘Silica’/horsetail grass product poisoned the well because so many bought the bargain variety and of course did not receive the results that they had heard about so the silica momentum started by Dr. Barmakian’s fastidious research and integrity has been slow – but steady – with only those stumbling onto Alta Health Silica or studiously finding their way to it knowing the astounding benefits of whole food, grown, vegetal silica.
Remember, the Alta Health Products Silica is a 5 to 1 extract so that at twice the price the actual cost is still less than half as much as other products that only have an appearance of lower cost. Oh, and that original copycat is still on the marketplace today. Many other silica products have entered the marketplace since primarily non-biologicals such as liquefied crystals and gel suspensions.
Do you remember the old, classic comic strip, ‘Pogo’? It was most famous for the phrase, “We have met the enemy and he is us!” That has all too often been the too true but sad state of nutrition care products for decades and continuing today.
One company writes against biological silicon having any effectiveness. That reminds me of the woman I once heard say, “That’s like trying to tell me I don’t know nothing about having babies and yet I have 5 babies calling me momma.” That company even cites as one proof point a study of Dr. Edith Carlisle as a reference that was conducted by Dr. Carlisle with Alta Health Products Silica!
Crusador: In addition to everything you’ve shared about silica, you make a major connection with silica, chromium and selenium taken together in combination. That an important reason why we have gone in order with our interviews with you. You stated to me that these three minerals in combination are the most important for anyone to take, especially with people dealing with some serious health challenges. Explain more about this connection?
Well, Greg, this interview is already pretty long. Are you planning a double issue this time? Maybe a recent news story about a new study from Harvard on whole grains published in last month’s American Journal of Clinical Nutrition can help to wrap this up succinctly.
One sentence from the news story can be used to tie together just a portion of the significant importance of chromium, selenium and silicon together.
“The fiber and other nutrients in whole grains may help lower cholesterol, blood sugar and insulin levels, as well as improve blood vessel functioning and reduce inflammation in the circulatory system.”
Now let's break that one sentence down …
1) “The fiber and other nutrients in whole grains may help …”
My one syllable response to this beginning is ‘DUH!!!!!!!’
2) “… lower cholesterol, blood sugar and insulin levels …”
This is the role of chromium in its 100% whole food, grown form of which 91 per cent of its abundance is stripped from whole grains to make white, bleached flour … another moment of DUH!!!!!!!
3) “… as well as improve blood vessel functioning …”
This is the role of silicon/silica in its 100% whole food, grown form of which 95 per cent of its abundance is stripped from whole grains to make white, bleached flour … yet another moment of DUH!!!!!!!
4) "… and reduce inflammation in the circulatory system …"
This is the role of selenium in its 100% whole food, grown form of which 92 per cent of its abundance is stripped from whole grains to make white, bleached flour … yet one more moment of DUH!!!!!!!
All this revelation culled from just one sentence. By the way, Greg, what’s up with nutritionists like those of ‘The American Journal of Clinical Nutritionists’ not knowing and understanding these long ago established basics?
Crusador: How do you recommend silica to be taken and should more be used for people struggling with health issues versus those that just want to take it for maintenance purposes?
My general recommendation for Alta Health Products Silica is one tablet taken four times daily – morning, noon, evening and bedtime, or at the very least one with each meal. For serious health problems that indicate serious silicon deficiency, I issue my silica challenge outlined earlier for taking 12 tablets daily spread out over the day with 3 tablets morning, noon, evening and bedtime for three weeks and then follow suit from there in accordance with results. If anyone reading this interview is truly serious about keeping their health on track or restoring lost health, a daily intake of chromium, selenium and silica are essential.
Crusador: As always, Chris, your information is first class. Thank you for all your time and effort in educating the masses about these issues.
Thank you, Greg, for giving me a forum to get these insights published.