Boron

Boron is a dietary trace element found primarily in plants. Boron supplementation can markedly reduce urinary excretion of calcium and magnesium, and is a particularly important trace element for postmenopausal women.
The bigger minerals receive most attention from the researchers, and to date very little research has been done on boron and little is known about the symptoms of boron deficiency.

Boron Is Essential For Osteoarthritis Prevention

Increasing evidence suggests that boron is essential to human beings. Boron seems to assist in the proper absorption of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus from foods, and slows the loss of these minerals through urination,” the centre admits, noting that preliminary research has linked high levels of boron consumption and lower incidence of osteoarthritis. In places where people consume 3 to 10 mg daily, the incidence of osteoarthritis is substantially lower than in places where people eat 1 mg or less a day. Arthritic joints have also been found to contain less boron.

Experts believe that boron is not only essential for a correct magnesium and calcium metabolism, it is probably intimately involved in oestrogen and testosterone metabolism as well. There are a lot of reasons to suspect that a boron deficiency is involved in hyperthyroidism.

I can remember speaking with Dr. Peter Lester here in New Zealand a few years ago. Peter is an expert in animal and soil health and mentioned that about one in ten farms he visited in Hawke’s Bay had such marked boron deficiency in the soil, that cattle were showing signs of leg fractures.

Boron for thyroid health

Boron appears to work with magnesium and this may be one reason that it benefits persons with hyperthyroidism or persons with thyroid disease who are experiencing low magnesium symptoms like rapid heart rate and muscle cramping. Boron both lessens the effects of a low magnesium diet but can amplify deficiency symptoms. These seem to be the typical characteristics of when one nutrient works with another. Boron thus seems essential for magnesium metabolism and administration of boron will lower magnesium levels because it is enabling more of the magnesium to be utilised.

Another interesting observation in this study is that fructose mimics a magnesium deficiency, which reminds me of the studies on copper deficiency which showed that the symptoms of copper-deficiency are worse if the animal is also consuming fructose. We have seen that “hypers” have increased symptoms after eating fruit and this effect may be due to fructose increasing copper-deficiency symptoms. It would be very interesting to know how this fructose effect works–perhaps not by increasing copper deficiency itself but because it works like copper-deficiency in increasing the magnesium deficiency effects.

Actions of Boron include:

  • Important for the promotion of bone and joint health, particularly in women.
  • Supports oestrogen levels in postmenopausal women, which slows calcium loss from bone. Boron increases the body’s level of estradiol (estradiol 17-Beta form).
  • Boron impacts on steroid hormone metabolism in humans, affecting levels of both oestrogen’s and testosterone.

Clinical Applications Of Boron:

  • Cancer: Researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles (2001) recently found that men who consume the lowest amounts of boron in their diets had the highest rates of prostate cancer.
  • Cognitive function: low Boron can cause decreased alertness, cognitive performance, poor coordination, memory, drowsiness, reduced attention span.
  • Hormonal: Boron increases (female) libido (by stimulating the production of Estradiol which increases female sexual desire). Boron regulates steroid hormones.
  • Metabolic: Boron concentrates in parathyroid & thyroid glands, alleviates fatigue.
  • Musculoskeletal: Boron concentrates in bone, alleviates rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, prevents & alleviates osteoporosis.

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