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LE Magazine August 2006


Effect of dietary boron on mineral, estrogen, and testosterone metabolism in postmenopausal women.

A study was done to examine the effects of aluminum, magnesium, and boron on major mineral metabolism in postmenopausal women. This communication describes some of the effects of dietary boron on 12 women between the ages of 48 and 82 housed in a metabolic unit. A boron supplement of 3 mg/day markedly affected several indices of mineral metabolism of seven women consuming a low-magnesium diet and five women consuming a diet adequate in magnesium; the women had consumed a conventional diet supplying about 0.25 mg boron/day for 119 days. Boron supplementation markedly reduced the urinary excretion of calcium and magnesium; the depression seemed more marked when dietary magnesium was low. Boron supplementation depressed the urinary excretion of phosphorus by the low- magnesium, but not by the adequate-magnesium, women. Boron supplementation markedly elevated the serum concentrations of 17 beta-estradiol and testosterone; the elevation seemed more marked when dietary magnesium was low. Neither high dietary aluminum (1000 mg/day) nor an interaction between boron and aluminum affected the variables presented. The findings suggest that supplementation of a low-boron diet with an amount of boron commonly found in diets high in fruits and vegetables induces changes in postmenopausal women consistent with the prevention of calcium loss and bone demineralization.

FASEB J. 1987 Nov;1(5):394-7

Diet, nutrition, and bone health.

Nutrition is an important “modifiable” factor in the development and maintenance of bone mass and in the prevention of osteoporosis. The improvement of calcium intake in prepuberal age translates to gain in bone mass and, with genetic factor, to achievement of Peak Bone Mass (PBM), the higher level of bone mass reached at the completion of physiological growth. Individuals with higher PBM achieved in early adulthood will be at lower risk for developing osteoporosis later in life. Achieved the PBM, it is important maintain the bone mass gained and reduce the loss. This is possible adopting a correct behaviour eating associated to regular physical activity and correct life style. The diet is nutritionally balanced with caloric intake adequate to requirement of individual. This is moderate in protein (1 g/kg/die), normal in fat and the carbohydrates provide 55-60% of the caloric intake. A moderate intake of proteins is associated with normal calcium metabolism and presumably does’nt alter bone turnover. An adequate intake of alkali-rich foods may help promote a favorable effect of dietary protein on the skeleton. Lactose intolerance may determinate calcium malabsorption or may decrease calcium intake by elimination of milk and dairy products. Omega-3 fatty acids may “down-regulate” pro-inflammatory cytokines and protect against bone loss by decreasing osteoclast activation and bone reabsorption. The diet is characterized by food containing high amount of calcium, potassium, magnesium and low amount of sodium. If it is impossible to reach the requirement with only diet, it is need the supplement of calcium and vitamin D. Other vitamins (Vit. A, C, E, K) and mineral (phosphorus, fluoride, iron, zinc, copper and boron) are required for normal bone metabolism, thus it is need adequate intake of these dietary components. It is advisable reduce ethanol, caffeine, fibers, phytic and ossalic acid intake. The efficacy of phytoestrogens is actually under investigation. Some drugs may interfere with calcium and other nutrients and produce an unfavourable effect on bone health.

Clin Ter. 2005 Jan-Apr;156(1-2):47-56

Delay of natural bone loss by higher intakes of specific minerals and vitamins.

For early prevention or inhibition of postmenopausal and age-related bone loss, nutritional interventions might be a first choice. For some vitamins and minerals an important role in bone metabolism is known or suggested. Calcium and vitamin D support bone mineral density and are basic components in most preventive strategies. Magnesium is involved in a number of activities supporting bone strength, preservation, and remodeling. Fluorine and strontium have bone-forming effects. However, high amounts of both elements may reduce bone strength. Boron is especially effective in case of vitamin D, magnesium, and potassium deficiency. Vitamin K is essential for the activation of osteocalcin. Vitamin C is an important stimulus for osteoblast-derived proteins. Increasing the recommended amounts (US RDA 1989), adequate intakes (US DRI 1997), or assumed normal intakes of mentioned food components may lead to a considerable reduction or even prevention of bone loss, especially in late postmenopausal women and the elderly.

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2001 May;41(4):225-49

Effect of boron on vitamin D- deficient rats.

The effects of different levels of dietary boron were determined in vitamin D deficient rats. Vitamin D deficient diets containing either 0.158 ppm or 2.72 ppm of boron were fed to rats for 11 w, and calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus apparent absorption and balance were measured in the twelfth week. Higher apparent absorption and balance values for calcium and phosphorus were observed in the rats with higher dietary boron, but very few differences were seen in body wt, organ wt, and bone parameters. Balance measurements represented the present status of the rats after 12 w on the diets, but other measurements represented an accumulation over the lifetime of the rat, including a suckling period with ample vitamin D and boron. The data demonstrated that when rats are vitamin D deficient, as indicated by hypocalcemia, the level of boron in the diet affects mineral balance.

Biol Trace Elem Res. 1991 Mar;28(3):243-55

Natural treatments for osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of joint disease. Although OA was previously thought to be a progressive, degenerative disorder, it is now known that spontaneous arrest or reversal of the disease can occur. Conventional medications are often effective for symptom relief, but they can also cause significant side effects and do not slow the progression of the disease. Several natural substances have been shown to be at least as effective as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs at relieving the symptoms of OA, and preliminary evidence suggests some of these compounds may exert a favorable influence on the course of the disease.

Altern Med Rev. 1999 Oct;4(5):330-41

Elemental analysis of femoral bone from patients with fractured neck of femur or osteoarthrosis

The elemental composition of bone has been determined by inductively coupled atomic emission and mass spectrometry to test the hypothesis that changes in major or minor elemental concentrations may contribute to the risk of fracture. Femoral bone was obtained from patients at operation for the treatment of fracture and compared with that of patients with osteoarthrosis and a necropsy control group. The data suggest that there are no major differences in bone elemental composition in patients with fractures compared with the control group. Bone adjacent to joints with osteoarthrosis tends to be less mineralized (per unit trabecular bone volume) than control bone and bone from fracture patients, and has significantly lower concentrations of boron, lead and, zinc. These observations may reflect the more rapid turnover of bone close to the arthritic joint.

Bone. 1996 Feb;18(2):151-7

The importance of boron nutrition for brain and psychological function.

Boron (B) nutriture has been related to bone, mineral and lipid metabolism, energy utilization, and immune function. As evidence accumulates that B is essential for humans, it is important to consider possible relationships between B nutriture and brain and psychological function. Five studies conducted in our laboratory are reviewed. Assessments of brain electrical activity in both animals and humans found that B deprivation results in decreased brain electrical activity similar to that observed in nonspecific malnutrition. Assessments of cognitive and psychomotor function in humans found that B deprivation results in poorer performance on tasks of motor speed and dexterity, attention, and short-term memory. However, little support was found for anecdotal reports that supplementation with physiologic amounts of B helps alleviate the somatic and psychological symptoms of menopause. Parallels between nutritional and toxicological effects of B on brain and psychological function are presented, and possible biological mechanisms for dietary effects are reviewed. Findings support the hypothesis that B nutriture is important for brain and psychological function in humans.

Biol Trace Elem Res. 1998 Winter;66(1-3):299-317

Dietary boron, brain function, and cognitive performance.

Although the trace element boron has yet to be recognized as an essential nutrient for humans, recent data from animal and human studies suggest that boron may be important for mineral metabolism and membrane function. To investigate further the functional role of boron, brain electrophysiology and cognitive performance were assessed in response to dietary manipulation of boron (approximately 0.25 versus approximately 3.25 mg boron/2000 kcal/day) in three studies with healthy older men and women. Within-subject designs were used to assess functional responses in all studies. Spectral analysis of electroencephalographic data showed effects of dietary boron in two of the three studies. When the low boron intake was compared to the high intake, there was a significant (p < 0.05) increase in the proportion of low-frequency activity, and a decrease in the proportion of higher-frequency activity, an effect often observed in response to general malnutrition and heavy metal toxicity. Performance (e.g., response time) on various cognitive and psychomotor tasks also showed an effect of dietary boron. When contrasted with the high boron intake, low dietary boron resulted in significantly poorer performance (p < 0.05) on tasks emphasizing manual dexterity (studies II and III); eye-hand coordination (study II); attention (all studies); perception (study III); encoding and short-term memory (all studies); and long-term memory (study I). Collectively, the data from these three studies indicate that boron may play a role in human brain function and cognitive performance, and provide additional evidence that boron is an essential nutrient for humans.

Environ Health Perspect. 1994 Nov;102 Suppl 7:65-72