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Trace Elements in Medicine
International scientific and practical peer-reviewed journal
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(Literature review)

N.A. Egorova1, R.I. Mihajlova1, I.N. Ryzhova1, G.D. Morozova2, M.G. Kochetkova1

1 FSBI "Centre for Strategic Planning and Management of Biomedical Health Risks FMBA of Russia",
10/1, Pogodinskaya str., 119121, Moscow, Russian Federation

2 FSBI "Scientific and Clinical Center of Toxicology named after S.N. Golikov FMBA of Russia"
1, Bekhtereva str., 192019, St. Petersburg, Russia

ABSTRACT. The review is devoted to one of the aspects of the problem of the biological role of silicon – its content in the human and animal organisms. Until the 1970s, silicon was considered as an inert universal transit pollutant with no specific biological properties, "an accidental reminder of our geochemical origins or an indicator of environmental impact." Later, attention began to be paid to the fact that silicon is the third (after physiologically significant iron and zinc) trace element in the human body in terms of prevalence, which contributed to further studies of its content in individual organs and tissues. The review contains data on the total amount of silicon in the human and animal body, information on its percentage in some internal human organs, concentrations in the skin, nails, hair, tooth enamel, intervertebral discs, mammary gland tissues, in serum, plasma and whole blood, samples of bile, pancreatic juice, cerebrospinal, pleural, peritoneal, synovial and amniotic fluids and in urine. The results of studying the presence of silicon in such biological substrates of animals as blood serum, tissues of different parts of the large intestine, muscle tissue, bones, skin, internal organs – liver, kidneys, heart, lungs, trachea, esophagus, brain, subcellular fractions of the liver, including nuclei, mitochondria and microsomes are presented. Attention is drawn to the possibility of the influence of age and gender on the levels of silicon in organs and biological fluids of humans and animals. It is noted that in most studies of the silicon content in biological substrates, atomic absorption and atomic emission methods of analysis are used. The data on the presence of silicon in different parts of the human body do not always completely coincide and are not always directly comparable, however, they well illustrate the dynamism of the interaction of silicon with biological substrates, contributing to the answer to the question whether silicon is a trace element and a truly essential element for humans.

KEYWORDS: silicon, trace elements, biological substrates, atomic absorption and atomic emission methods of analysis.