At my recent visit with Dr. Zumhagen, an MD who does nutritional response testing, I asked about whether a nutritional deficiency might be causing the sudden weakness in my fingernails. He suggested that I try supplementing with diatomaceous earth, which has silicon in it and can strengthen nails. Diatomaceous earth is made from the shells of tiny organisms. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be safely ingested in water. (Oddly enough, it also is used as a pesticide, killing bugs not by toxicity but by the sharpness of the tiny shells. However, the shells do no harm to humans.)
Having never heard of this substance, I wondered if it also could strengthen bones. Several articles suggested that it can do so, and that it's the silicon that is beneficial to bones; for example, see the research article entitled Silicon and Bone Health and the article on Health Benefits of Diatomaceous Earth.
Another article turned up in my search that presented a much more attractive option for getting silicon: drinking a glass of beer: Research reveals link between beer and bone health. Apparently, beers made from barley have the highest silicon content.
So which sounds better to you? A glass of water with a little diatomaceous earth in it in the morning, or a glass of beer in the evening? Maybe I'll try the water during the week and the beer on the weekend....