Boron, a trace mineral, was discovered in the early 1900s as a necessary element for plants. It wasn’t until 1985 that it was discovered people also required this valuable nutrient.
Boron plays an important role in many functions of the body. Health benefits of boron include the following:
Boron is needed to build and maintain strong bones. It helps regulate important minerals necessary for healthy bones (including calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium) and is said to increase the effects of estrogen’s role in building strong bones by converting vitamin D into a form needed for calcium absorption.
It is also said that a low boron intake increases calcium excretion in the urine. In one study, performed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, post menopausal women who took boron (3 mg a day) had a 44% decrease in the excretion of calcium in their urine.
Much research suggests boron is an effective and safe treatment for arthritis.
• People with arthritis had lower concentrations of boron in bones, femur heads, and synovial fluid compared to people without arthritis.
• Bones are harder to cut in patients who take boron supplements than in those who do not.
• The incidence of arthritis in areas of the world that have an intake of boron of 1.0 mg or less per day ranges from 20-70%. Areas with a higher intake, about 3-10 mg per day, ranges from 0-10%.
• Boron benefited rats that were induced with arthritis.
• In a study involving individuals with osteoarthritis, 50% of the participants that took 6 mg of boron a day had significant improvement compared to only 10% of those who received a placebo.
Other health benefits of boron include:
- raising testosterone levels in males (may help with building muscle)
- helping in the treatment of menopausal symptoms in women by improving the production of estrogen
- improving brain function and cognitive performance
- removing cholesterol.
Boron Rich Foods
The following foods are rich in boron:
- hazel nuts
- dried apricots
- peanut butter
- Brazil nuts
- red kidney beans
- cashew nuts
- chick peas
- red grapes
No RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) has been established for boron. 1-10 mg a day is estimated to be a safe and adequate dose.
Toxicity from boron supplements appear to occur when taking 100 mg or more. Symptoms include rash, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and circulatory problems. Extreme doses can cause shock followed by coma.
 Environ Health Perspect. 1994 Nov;102 Suppl 7:83-5
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