Silicon (Si), as silicic acid, is suggested to be the natural antidote to aluminium (Al) toxicity, and was recently shown to promote the urinary excretion of Al from body stores. The metabolism of Si in man, however, remains poorly investigated. Here we report on the pharmacokinetics and metabolism of Si in healthy volunteers following ingestion of orthosilicic acid (27-55 mg/l Si) in water. We also investigated whether orthosilicic acid promotes the urinary excretion of endogenous Al. Minimum, median uptake of Si from the ingested dose was 50.3% (range: 21.9-74.7%, n = 8) based on urinary analysis following dosing. Significant correlations were observed between creatinine clearance and Si levels in serum or urine (r = 0.95 and 0.99, respectively). Renal clearance of Si was 82-96 ml/min suggesting high renal filterability. These results suggest that orthosilicic acid is readily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract of man and then readily excreted in urine. There was no significant increase in Al excretion, over 32 h, following ingestion of the orthosilicic acid dose (P = 0.5; n = 5).