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Silica water and MS

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Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a devastating disease of the central nervous system and affects about 1 in 1,000 people in the Netherlands. The cause of MS is unknown and likely includes genetic and environmental factors, as well as lifestyle choices. There is no cure for MS and current therapies are limited and focus primarily on the symptoms of the disease. We investigated the effect of Silica water.

The research on silica water and MS

We, at Keele University, were interested in a link between human aluminum exposure and MS. Because our research showed that affected individuals have an unusually high body burden of aluminum. We showed that individuals with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) and secondary progressive MS (SPMS) secrete significant amounts of aluminum in the urine (Exley et al., 2006). This, we thought, an unexpected finding led us to speculate whether aluminum might play a role in MS? One indication that it might play a role was the consistent observation in animal models of aluminum poisoning. That myelin is a preferred target for aluminum in the brain. Because the breakdown of myelin is a major factor in the progression of MS in humans. We hypothesized that human exposure to aluminum played a role in the disease.

The research question.

We designed a small clinical trial to further test our observation. That people with MS have a high body burden of aluminum, and we included a prospective therapeutic element in the study. We had previously shown that regular drinking of a silicon-rich mineral water was an effective and non-invasive therapy for removing aluminum from the body.

Would it also be effective in helping remove aluminum from the bodies of individuals with MS? Neither research councils nor MS charities in the UK were willing to fund our trial. So we approached Spritzer, a Malaysian mineral water company. They came together with Keele University's ACORN plan to support the trial as part of a PhD.

Our findings.

We completed the trial by the end of 2015 and the results are now reported in the journal EBioMedicine. The trial ran over 24 weeks. During the first 12 weeks (referred to as the control period), we simply measured urinary excretion of aluminum and silicon in 15 individuals with SPMS. We then continued these measurements for the next 12 weeks (referred to as the treatment period) during which time all subjects drank at least 1L of silica-rich mineral water(ACILIS by Spritzer®) daily. The results of the trial are unequivocal. Both to show that people with MS have a high body burden of aluminum and to show that regular drinking of Spritzer helped remove aluminum from their bodies.

Although none of the participants suffered relapses during the 24 weeks of the trial, this period is too short to know whether they benefited from drinking the silicon-rich mineral water. However, we now know that people with MS have too much aluminum in their bodies and therefore, if aluminum contributes to their disease, regular drinking of a silicon-rich mineral water may be a much-needed, simple, non-invasive and effective therapy for individuals with MS.

Exley C, Mamutse G, Korchazhkina O, Pye E, Strekopytov S, Polwart A & Hawkins C (2006) Increased urinary excretion of aluminum and iron in multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis 12, 533-540.

Christopher Exley PhD FRSB

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