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Boron -





      • From: Taka <taka0038@xxxxxxxxx>
      • Date: Tue, 27 Jan 2009 21:20:55 −0800 (PST)

Beneficial Effects of Boron

Findings from human and animal experiments show that boron is a
dynamic trace element that can affect the metabolism or utilization of
numerous substances involved in life processes including calcium,
copper, magnesium, nitrogen, glucose, triglyceride, reactive oxygen,
and estrogen. Through these effects, boron can affect the function or
composition of several body systems including blood, brain, and
skeleton ( Nielsen, 1987).

Evidence is accumulating that dietary boron has a significant effect
on certain metabolic processes, such as coronary heart disease,
arthritis, and osteoporosis (Naghii & Samman, 1997). Boron may prevent
these chronic diseases by increasing the production of certain steroid
hormones. When boron is increased in the diets of humans, it has been
shown by some researchers to increase estrogen, testosterone, and
plasma ionized calcium levels, and decrease calcium excretion and the
negative effects of vitamin D and magnesium deficiency (Nielsen et
al., 1990).

Over 30 years of accumulating evidence indicates that boron is
essential for healthy bones and joints. Both epidemiologic and
controlled animal and human experiments suggest that boron
supplementation in amounts found in some diets throughout the world is
effective in preventing or treating various forms of arthritis. Thus,
boron is a nutrient and therefore should not be considered a poison or
a pharmaceutical. Because boron is of apparent clinical and
nutritional importance, efforts should be expanded to assure that
people consume enough of this important element every day (Newnham,

Numerous studies suggest that boron interacts with other nutrients and
plays a regulatory role in the metabolism of minerals, such as calcium
and subsequently bone metabolism. Altough the mechanism of action has
not been defined, it may be mediated by increasing the concentration
of steroid hormones such as testosterone and ²−oestradiol. Via its
effect on steroid hormones and interaction with mineral metabolism,
boron may be involved in a number of clinical conditions such as
arthritis. Higher dietary doses are well tolerated and interact

Boron                                                                                 1
favourably with calcium and vitamin D metabolism. Preliminary evidence
hints at a role for boron in the prevention of chronic diseases such
as osteoporosis and other steroid hormone dependent diseases. The
mechanism may involve increasing the production and/or the half life
of the plasma hormones. A non−specific interaction between boron and
metabolic pathways cannot be ruled out. Biochemical and cell membrane
− related pathways may also be influenced. Further research is
required to elucidate the wide range of biochemical functions which
appear to involve boron (Naghii & Samman, 1993).

Concerns about osteoporosis, the most common bone disorder in elderly
women, have stimulated much interest in the nutrient calcium. Although
most evidence reported indicates that massive intakes of calcium do
not prevent bone loss in postmenopausal women, calcium intakes
difficult to achieve through diet alone, those of up to 1500 −2000 mg/
day, are being recommended to women. These recommendations seem
inappropriate because high−calcium intakes could lead to other
disorders through effects on the metabolism of other nutrients. In
this study, Nielsen et al. decided to examine the effects of aluminum,
magnesium, and boron on major mineral metabolism in postmenopausal
women. The findings show that aluminum and magnesium treatments had no
marked effects on calcium metabolism. Supplementation of a low−boron
diet with an amount of boron commonly found in diets high fruits and
vegetables induces changes in postmenopausal women consistent with the
prevention of calcium loss and bone demineralization (Nielsen et al.,

The effects of boron supplementation on blood and urinary minerals
were studied in female college students−−17 athletes and 11 sedentary
controls−−over a one−year period. The athletes had lower percent body
fat and higher aerobic capacities than sedentary controls. Athletic
subjects consumed more boron in their normal diets than sedentary
subjects; all other dietary measures were similar between the two
groups. The athletes showed a slight increase in bone mineral density,
whereas the sedentary group showed a slight decrease (Meacham & Hunt,

Since 1963, evidence has accumulated that suggests boron is a safe and
effective treatment for some forms of arthritis. The initial evidence
was that boron supplementation alleviated arthritic pain and
discomfort of the author. This was followed by findings from numerous
other observations epidemiologic and controlled animal and human
experiments. These findings included a) analytical evidence of lower
boron concentrations in femur heads, bones, and synovial fluid from
people with arthritis than from those without this disorder; b)
observation evidence that bones of patients using boron supplements
are much harder to cut than those of patients not using supplements;
c) epidemiologic evidence that in areas of the world where boron
intakes usually are 1.0 mg or less/day the estimated incidence of
arthritis ranges from 20 to 70%, whereas in areas of the world where
boron intakes are usually 3 to 10 mg, the estimated incidence of

Boron                                                                    2
arthritis ranges from 0 to 10%; d) experimental evidence that rats
with induced arthritis benefit from orally or intraperitoneally
administered boron; e) experimental evidence from a double−blind
placebo−boron supplementation trial with 20 subjects with
osteoarthritis. A significant favorable response to a 6 mg boron/day
supplement was obtained; 50% of subjects receiving the supplement
improved compared to only 10% receiving the placebo. The preceding
data indicate that boron is an essential nutrient for healthy bones
and joints, and that further research into the use of boron for the
treatment or prevention of arthritis is warranted (Newnham, 1996).

The present cell culture study suggest that boron is an unrecognized
natural anti−cancer agent present in the human diet (Barranco et al.,

Cui et al. (2004) declare that dietary boron intake is inversely
related to prostate cancer, suggests that higher boron intake might
have a beneficial effect on prevention of prostate cancer.

An increase in dietary intake of B from 0.25 to 3.25 mg/d has been
reported to increase plasma oestradiol and testosterone and decrease
urinary Ca excreation in postmenopausel women. Consequently, it is
suggested that the higher level of B intake could reduce bone loss
associated with the menopause and cessation of ovarian function
(Beattie et al., 1993).

Dietary boron affects estrogen metabolism in postmenopausal women. The
findings suggest that boron enhances estrogeb theraphy, perhaps
through decreasing 17²−estradiol breakdown or excretion, in
postmenopausal women with a diet of 3 mg B/day (Nielsen et al., 1991).

Boron is beneficial, or essential, for optimal calcium metabolism and
in the which occurs in postmenopasual women and older men (Nielsen et
al., 1990).

The findings suggest that the lack of dietary boron can induce
detrimental changes in variables associated with estrogen and calcium
metabolism (Nielsen et al., 1992).

A number of studies have demonstrated that boron influences steroid
hormone metabolism and support the hypothesis that boron is necessary
for the hydroxylation step in the formation of specific steroid
hormones (Devirian & Volpe, 2003).

Ergogenic substances and synthetic steroids have a wide spread use,
particularly among non−professional athletes. To avoid the side−effect
of drug abuse, it is suggested that the key to success is a proper
athletic nutrition. Boron is a trace element nutrient, and recently
its supplements have been shown to increase the concentration of
plasma steroid hormones. The elevation of endogenous steroid hormones
as a result of boron supplementation suggest that boron may be used as

Boron                                                                    3
an ergogenic safe substance for athletes which should be further
investigated (Naghii, 1999).

Boron has an essential function that affects macromineral and cellular
metabolism at the membrane level (Nielsen, 1994).

Boron deprivation depresses mean corpuscular hemoglobin content and
concentration, and elevates red blood cell and platelet counts in
humans. These findings lend further support to the hypothesis that
boron is an essential trace element for humans (Nielsen,1991).

Boron has been shown to have important roles in calcium and magnesium
metabolism and macromineral functions and may be important for energy
use and membrane function. Boron may play a role in human brain
function and cognitive performance (Penland, 1994).

For more see:

Boron                                                                    4

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