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Trace Elements in Medicine
International scientific and practical peer-reviewed journal
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Trace Elements in Medicine (Moscow)
2022, 23(1): 04-13


S.P. Sapozhnikov1, V.S. Gordova2, V.E. Sergeeva1, V.A. Kozlov1

1 Chuvash State University, 428015, Cheboksary, Moskovsky ave., 15
2 Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, 236022, Kaliningrad, A. Nevsky street, 14

DOI: 10.19112/2413-6174-2022-23-1-4-13 

ABSTRACT. Synthetic amorphous silica (SiO2) is widely used in the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry. It is one of the essential compositе components of baking powders, anti-caking agents, thickeners, and is also used for cleaning different alcohol-containing liquids including beer and wines. It is believed that SiO2 is inert and biologically inactive, and therefore it is safe for human health in the concentrations and doses it used. Nevertheless, SiO2 industrial samples contain significant proportion of silicon compound nanoparticles, and numerous studies proved that nanoparticles due to their size have special biological properties. Information about the long-term biological effects of SiO2 nanoparticles beyond the time limits of classical toxicological experiments has not been systematized. The review purpose is to systematize information about the possible influence of silicon compounds entering the human body with drinking water, food and inhalated air on the key pathogenetic mechanisms of atherosclerosis development. The review systematizes freely available articles devoted to the study of the influence of inorganic silicon compounds, primarily SiO2, on known mechanisms of atherogenesis. Nanocrystalline SiO2 particles (from 30 to 58 nm in size) used in industry, both in vivo and in vitro, dose-dependently stimulate the formation of reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide, also activate cellular and coagulation hemostasis. Thus, nanoparticles play a role in the development of endothelial damage. Nanocrystalline SiO2 also increases the activity of macrophages as well as it activates the inflammatory cascade. The toxic effect of SiO2 nanoparticles is inversely proportional to their size, and the smaller the size of the nanoparticles, the greater the toxic effect. It has been established that silicon nanoparticles increase their negative influence in the presence of titanium dioxide nanoparticles and also in combination with cold exposure. It was concluded that amorphous silica, widely used in the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries, directly affects all the key stages of the atheromatous plaque formation and, accordingly, excessive intake of SiO2 could not be excluded from risk factors for the development of cardiovascular diseases.

KEYWORDS: amorphous silica, orthosilicic acid, drinking water, food, reactive oxygen species, endothelial dysfunction, platelet activation, atherothrombosis.

* Corresponding author: S.P. Sapozhnikov E-mail: adaptagon@mail.ru