Monday, August 17, 2009

Silica for Hair, Nails & Skin: BioSil vs. JarroSil

Silica has been shown to increase nail thickness. (Photo by James Jordan)

It's time for another update on my experiment with orthosilicic acid, the bioavailable form of silica.

For the past four and a half months I've been taking BioSil, a supplement that contains silica in a more absorbarble form known as choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid (ch-OSA). In one study, this form of silica improved skin, hair and nail quality in women after 20 weeks, so I decided to see whether it would affect my nail and hair growth too.

During the first two and a half months, I took 5 mg of BioSil daily to see whether a lower dose would be effective. I concluded that it might have increased nail thickness slightly, but that the rate of growth was unchanged. I also saw no increase in hair growth speed or thickness.

As the study on women used 10 mg instead of 5 mg daily, I doubled my dose after the 10 week mark. For the past two months, I've been on the 10 mg dose. The total time of my experiment is therefore very close to the duration of the study on women. The difference is that until about halfway through, I was taking half a dose.

To evaluate the effectiveness of BioSil, I've been cutting my nails every 14 days and trying to measure the speed of my nail growth. I've also looked at variation in the thickness of roots and tips of shed hairs. Based on my subjective evaluation, there's been no significant change. My nails are thicker than they were some years ago, but I suspect the change is due to a healthier lifestyle in general rather than supplementing with silica. During these past months, I've seen no further improvement.

I also took a two-week break from BioSil to see if my nail growth speed would come to a decline. Again, based on subjective evaluation, there's been no change. Nevertheless, I'm continuing the experiment at least until I've taken 10 mg of orthosilicic acid daily for 20 weeks. That way comparisons between my own experiment and the published study are more comparable.

However, from this point on, I'm switching from BioSil to JarroSil. Both are silica supplements that contain orthosilicic acid in a stabilized form, but the method of stabilization is different: JarroSil uses PEG and a boron compound, while BioSil uses choline.

If you've used BioSil before, then you might be aware that Jarrow used to sell BioSil. Currently, the Belgian supplier of BioSil has sold the rights to Natrol, so Jarrow decided to make their own form of stabilized orthosilicic acid and give it a different name.

What about price? Well, one 1 oz (30 ml) bottle of Natrol's BioSil costs $23.99 at iHerb and contains 120 servings of 5 mg orthosilicic acid. A 2 oz (60 ml) bottle of Jarrow's JarroSil costs $17.99 and contains 120 servings of 4 mg of orthosilicic acid. So a month of daily 10 mg doses will cost you $12 with BioSil and $11.25 with JarroSil. Not much of a difference.

Jarrow claims that their product is 2.5 more bioavailable than other formulations, but as of yet, there are no studies showing that this is true. Also, quite a few of the studies have used the (ch-OSA found in BioSil, while other formulations have been studied less. At this point, we just don't know which one is better. Maybe this experiment will shed more light on the issue.

For more information on hair, skin and nails, see these posts:

Topical Vitamin C for Skin: Re-examining the Case
Lutein for Skin Elasticity, Hydration and Photo-Protection – Experiment Begins
Do Flax Lignans Reduce Hair Loss from MPB?
Coconut Oil Is Better than Olive Oil for Atopic Dermatitis

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17 kommenttia:

Anonymous September 2, 2009 at 9:33 AM  

I'm currently using Biosil also (have almost finished a bottle) and i did see a difference in my skin texture, i have very rough skin on my fingers and that is almost gone, plus i do notice my hair and nails growing faster but i'm also taking Biotin. I did not notice the skin improving before Biosil and while on Biotin so i attribute it to Biosil

Anonymous November 22, 2009 at 9:16 PM  

Hmm, I may give this stuff a try, I even have a coupon code for $5 off at HAK686

Does it regrow hair or just make it grow faster though?

Anonymous December 29, 2009 at 5:38 AM  

What happened with the experimant. Results?

Anonymous December 29, 2009 at 5:39 AM  

Sorry - should have put on my glasses before publishing.

Unknown March 16, 2010 at 11:06 AM  

I ordered Parachute Hair solution at It's really working ..

Anonymous June 9, 2010 at 4:33 PM  

I've been taking choline stabilized biosil for less than a month, and there are definite improvements in the skin on my face (feels smoother, softer, fuller, fine lines and creases when smiling appear diminished)...and the skin on my body, according to my girlfriend, feels "so smooth and soft".

Lol, I'm not complaining about that. The reason I got it though, was for my joints which are too loose; I think based on the improvements in skin, in such a short time already, it's clear that it does aid in collagen production - it's quite remarkable. I now hope that my body figures out to put some of that collagen in the right places in my knees!

I definitely think this supplement is worth a try for anyone.

Anonymous June 6, 2011 at 1:58 AM  

I've been taking 16 for the past 17 weeks. I have long nails for the first time in my life. The speed of growth has not changed. My husband is amazed.

Hair - Definite increase in thickness and strength.

Skin - Husband said it's like someone took of 8 years. I think that being older the absorbtion of the product effects me differently. Maybe silca is harder to absorb as you age from food and this delivery system helps your body to get the most out of product?

Anyway other sources are non alc. beer, bananas and green beans.

I'm NOT giving up this product.

JLL June 7, 2011 at 4:50 PM  

Good, I'm glad you found the product helpful! I've also heard good results from some other people, so maybe there are individual differences. It's worth a try anyway, one bottle won't cost too much, and if it does nothing, at least you've learned something.


Anonymous June 13, 2011 at 6:19 AM  

Are the caps worth trying?

Anonymous October 3, 2011 at 2:15 AM  

I've been taking NoiSily for just over a month, and have had amazing results. My skin is more radiant, nails are long and extremely strong, and my hair is growing like a weed. I take it I'm capsule form, twice daily. I am 39 years old.

Anonymous January 9, 2012 at 12:23 PM  

I have been using BioSil for the last 5 months and there has been a very big difference in my hair (grew 6 inches), my complection (smooths out parathesis lines), however there has been no change to my nails. (I can live with that!). I only drop 5-6 drop in a very small glass of juice every day. I am sticking with BioSil, I know it works!! It is an amazing product!


Anonymous October 18, 2012 at 1:19 AM  

I started using Biosil about 6years ago then went to jarrowsile and have been using it ever since. I take 8 to 10 drops a day in a cup of coffee each morning. It really helps my nails, bones, gums, and my skin is so soft all over. Only thing I don't care for is my hair grows so fast. Perhaps you should try using it for longer than two months. It takes about 3 to 6 months to get is into your system. I will take jarrowsile for the rest of my life, and I am 55 years old right now.

Anonymous November 5, 2012 at 4:47 PM  

Does anyone know if Biosil is available in South Africa?

Anonymous December 22, 2012 at 9:26 AM  

You can order it at to be delivered to South Africa.

Anonymous February 9, 2014 at 2:25 AM  

I got tendinitis, a broken hand ligament and joint damage from cyprofloxacine. I just started biosil a week ago. I hope to see some good results from it in a couple of months...

Anonymous March 7, 2015 at 3:14 AM  

Wow! I am so impressed and intrigued!
i like the idea of not using anything at all. I'm definitely giving this a try!

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Anonymous April 27, 2016 at 4:19 PM  

"I've been taking 16 for the past 17 weeks." Could someone please tell me to which brand of silica this poster is referring? I don't know what is meant by "16."

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