I have rarely come across a multi vitamin / mineral capsule that contained BORON. I wonder why? That is not to say they don’t exist –Life Extension immediately springs to mind with their product. However it just does not seem common.
A little reading and research shows how amazing this mineral really is for the human body. And like many other minerals we only require it in small – trace amounts. Literally you could wet the end of your small finger and dip it into BORAX powder, once a day – to get all the boron your body needs.
So what are some of the benefits of this mineral; what is its history and why am I only just learning about it? I will tell you some of what I have learned, but encourage you to follow the links provided and do some further reading yourself. The following is compiled from many articles available using Google Search Tools.
The things that stand out for me about this little known or talked about mineral concern calcium and magnesium absorption, cholesterol lowering (in chickens) and arthritis management. It seems to also have some effect on hormone levels and affects both the parathyroid and the thyroid glands.
(LINK) Boron was accepted in 1923 as an essential nutrient for all vascular plants. Since then, evidence has been accumulating that boron may be required by animals and humans. Boron is known to influence a variety of metabolic actions. It interacts with calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium, which are all important in bone metabolism. Boron accumulates in bone in concentrations dependent on the amount of boron consumed. Boron has also been found to increase steroid hormone concentrations in postmenopausal women and to have antioxidant properties, which could make it beneficial in preventing atherosclerosis. Boron is abundant in nature as boric acid and borate and can be obtained in the diet through the consumption of fruits, vegetables, and legumes. This review article discusses past research that shows the nutritional importance of dietary boron in both animals and humans.
Ask anyone about minerals that help to maintain health and prompt will be the reply – calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. Very few would name boron in the list of health promoting nutrients. Unlike other minerals that are required in higher concentration on a daily basis, boron requirement is less to fulfil body needs. Hence, boron is regarded as a trace mineral, which means the body requires it in smaller amounts to drive its biological processes. Having said that, one cannot undermine the multitude of health benefits the mineral provides. Research confirms that boron deficiency can have a negative impact on bone and joint health. Some of the proven boron uses health wise discussed below:
Promotes Bone Health; Relieves Arthritis;
Alleviates Menopausal Symptoms; Improves Cardiovascular Problems
Managing heart ailments like congestive heart failure can be much easier with adequate boron intake. CHF that is typically marked by poor functioning of the heart causes breathing problems, fluid retention in the legs, weight gain and decrease in appetite. Intake of boron through diet or in supplemental form can play a crucial role to improve CHF symptoms.
Boron displays cholesterol lowering properties, which was evident in animal study. In a study, chicken were also given boron along with regular meals, for a specified duration. Results showed that the inclusion of boron in their diet helped to bring down cholesterol in chickens. Whether human studies will produce the same outcome is not yet established but the effect of boron on humans is under scrutiny and further results are awaited.
Supports Brain Function
Expect better memory, higher concentration levels and mental alertness when the diet is rich in boron. How important boron is for us can be gauged from the fact that people with poor boron intake are likely to have a hard time staying focused.
Promotes Muscle Building; Combats Fungal Infections etc (LINK to full article)
Health Benefits of Boron
Boron is a vital trace mineral that is required for normal growth and health of the body. Many disease conditions like arthritis, menopausal symptoms and osteoporosis among others are naturally managed by Boron. It is believed that boron improves the natural ability of human body to absorb calcium and magnesium.
Deficiency symptoms: Though the deficiency symptoms of boron are not fully understood, it is known that boron deficiency might cause abnormal metabolism of calcium and magnesium. Some of the other symptoms include Hyperthyroidism, Sex hormone imbalances, osteoporosis, arthritis and brain malfunction.
Important sources: Fruits like apples, oranges, almonds, red grapes, pear, plum, kiwi, sultanas, dates, vegetables, soybeans and nuts are rich sources of Boron. Chickpeas, borlotti beans, hazel nuts, currants; peanut butter, red kidney beans, tomato, lentils, olive, onion, potato wine, beer etc are also notable sources of Boron.
Boron is an essential trace element that is largely overlooked. However, it is very crucial to include boron in the daily diet to ensure a healthy and diseases free life. Some of its benefits include the following:
- o Prevents arthritis: Boron is a successful treatment option for arthritis and in more than 95% of cases significant improvement was noticed by bringing about effective calcium integration into the cartilage and bone. With increase in age the bones might become weak and porous and boron can stem this deterioration effectively.
- o Reduces severity of rheumatoid arthritis: Boron greatly reduces the allergic conditions that are typically associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
- o Used for body building in males: Boron is able to enhance the testosterone levels in males and this quality is increasingly being made use of by male body builders and athletes. Though some weight lifters prefer to take boron supplements as it enhances the testosterone levels, making them sturdy, no concrete evidence is available to drive home this point.
- o Helps in bone building: The bone building capacities of boron are often ignored in favor of calcium. However, it is boron that works in unison with calcium to strengthen the bones. It plays a very important role in minimizing the risks of osteoporosis and arthritis. Boron helps in the metabolism of minerals that are involved in bone development such as calcium, magnesium and copper. Boron also affects the hormones of estrogen and testosterone that are also related to the overall health of the bones.
- o Helps in production of estrogen: Boron might improve the production of estrogen in menopausal women, bringing back their sex drive within a few days of treatment. Boron increases the level of natural sex hormones in the body, thereby reducing the need for Hormone replacement therapy.
- o Ensures proper embryonic development: Boron is essential in reproduction and development of fetus though not much information is available in this regard.
- o Prevents post menopausal osteoporosis: Boron can ease the symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats that are typically associated with menopause.
- o Useful in cancer therapy: Boron neutron capture agents are used for cancer therapy and in the development of strong enzyme inhibitors. Boron compounds are also used as antibody mimics that can easily identify biologically important saccharides.
- o Helps to maintain proper cell membrane function: Boron plays an important role in maintaining transmembrane functions and in stabilizing the hormone reception.
- o Helps in preventing blood clots: It is believed that boron can influence some of the blood clotting factors in the body. However, mores studies need to be done to authenticate this finding.
- o Reduces congestive heart failure conditions: Boron can significantly alleviate the difficulties caused by congestive heart failure conditions.
- o Lowers plasma lipid levels: Boron helps to reduce lipid accumulation and enables in the removal of cholesterol.
- o Decreases the severity of fungal infections: Boron protects the body from a host of parasitic attacks such as Candida Albicans.
- o Improves brain function and cognitive performance: Studies have shown that boron can enhance brain function, eye-hand coordination, short memory and concentration.
- o It serves as enzyme inhibitors: Boron might inhibit some enzymes while serving as a cofactor for yet another enzymatic reaction.
Remember, even Elixir could turn poisonous in high doses
Symptoms of overdose toxicity would include nausea, vomiting, weakness, loose motion, and dermatitis. In some cases skeletal abnormalities are also noticed. Normally boron is easily absorbed, and excreted through urine. In persons with kidney problems, boron might accumulate in heart, kidneys, brain and tissues. (LINK)
A review of animal and human research on boron yielded the following information which points to a much more comprehensive view of boron.
Deficiency in boron has been shown to contribute to:
1. Abnormal embryo development
2. Decreased sperm count
3. Ovarian deterioration
4. Damage in reproductive function
5. Decrease in electrical activity in the brain
6. Sub optimal mineral metabolism
7. Poor manual dexterity
8. Impaired hand-eye coordination
Boron supplementation was found to:
1. Increase steroid hormone levels (testosterone) and therefore may be of interest to athletes
2. Increase bone growth and strength
3. Augment estrogen function and therefore may help prevent atherosclerosis
4. Improve brain function and cognitive functioning
5. Reduce HDL cholesterol
6. Affect thyroid hormone levels
7. Alleviate harmful effects of vitamin D, magnesium, and potassium deficiency in postmenopausal bone loss
8. Play a role in the prevention of osteoporosis
9. Be of benefit in the treatment of arthritis
10. Prevents calcium loss in postmenopausal women
Some information about Boron:
1. Dried prunes are a good source of boron
2. The bones of humans using boron supplement are harder to cut
3. Research indicates that areas of the world with highest intake of dietary boron have the lowest incidence of arthritis
4. Boron increased life span in animal studies
5. Boron works synergistically with calcium and magnesium
6. Boron balances vitamin D3 deficiency
7. Boron contributes to growth cartilage maturation
Boron occurs in various forms in fruits, vegetables and nuts.The amount of boron is rather low (as indicated in the chart below), so these food sources are not practical sources of the recommended amount of boron.
Beans (red kidney)
Cashew Nuts (raw)
Wine (Shiraz Cabernet)
Additional Information on Boron (LINK)
So I hope you can see that this little known and thought about mineral has a multiplicity of, possibly life saving uses for the human body, and may be worth your while investing some time in learning more about it.