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Abstracts

Boron Overview

Boron is a trace element which has an important influence on both calcium and magnesium metabolism. Boron is concentrated in the bone, spleen, and thyroid indicating boron’s functions in bone metabolism and suggesting a potential role for boron in hormone metabolism. Boron is thought to be useful to increase muscle mass; increase muscle strength; maintain bone density; improve calcium absorption; decrease body fat.

According to the USDA, boron is a trace mineral that helps bones develop and grow normally. Boron becomes especially important when there is not enough vitamin D in the diet. Boron may also prevent arthritis in the elderly.

Research has shown that low boron diets have been associated with reduced testosterone levels and boron supplements have been shown to increase serum levels of testosterone in postmenopausal women. This finding caused an increase in boron supplements targeting athletes and bodybuilders for boosting testosterone levels, strength and muscle mass. However, specific research on athletes has not yet confirmed this association that boron alone will boost testosterone.

Dietary Sources: Dried fruits, nuts, dark green leafy vegetables, applesauce, grape juice, and cooked dried beans and peas. Meat and fish are poor dietary sources of boron. One mg of boron is found in 1.5 ounces of raisins or prunes; 2 ounces of almonds or peanuts; 4 ounces of red wine

Dosage: Daily needs for boron probably fall somewhere around 1 mg.

Side Effects: 1-10 mg per day is considered safe, but caution is warranted at higher intake levels as consumption of 50 mg or more may be linked to toxicity, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, skin rashes, lethargy, and diarrhea.

(Source: http://www.nal.usda.gov/ttic/tektran/data/000009/61/0000096130.html and www.supplementwatch.com)

Research Overview

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 Citations (38)