Boron is a biological trace mineral that has been studied for its many health benefits if consumed in the daily diet. Health conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis can be managed with medications prescribed by a doctor but more importantly with a diet that includes boron. It is suggested that boron aids in bone health, the immune system, increasing joint mobility, and possibly even prostate and breast health. It is also predicted to improve the absorption of other minerals such as calcium and magnesium.
Symptoms of Boron Deficiency
Although all of the deficiency symptoms of boron are not fully understood, it is predicted that this deficiency might result in the following:
- Abnormal metabolism of calcium and magnesium
- Sex hormone imbalance
- Osteoporosis and arthritis
- Neural malfunction.
Health Benefits of Boron
It is simple to include boron in the daily diet, more specifically a diet that is primarily rich in plant-based options such as fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and nuts. Some of its benefits include the following:
Relieves Menstrual Pain
According to MedlinePlus, it may help reduce the severity of menstrual pain. In some individuals, oral consumption of boron was found to reduce these symptoms if the supplement is taken each day of the menstrual cycle.
Aids in Wound Healing
According to an article published in Integr Med (Encinitas) boron can also help in speeding up the healing process. It facilitates the enzyme activity required for wound healing and repair.
Can Help Prevent Arthritis
Boron is a successful treatment option for arthritis and in more than 95% of cases, significant improvement was noticed as it effectively increased calcium integration into the cartilage and bones. With increasing age, the bones might become weak and porous, and it can stem this deterioration by ensuring that calcium levels are maximized and used effectively.
Some animal and human studies support the anti-inflammatory effects of boron on arthritis. Early research also suggests that it may help reduce the severity of inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Boosts Bone Health
A 2006 animal study suggests that boron supplementation may help provide relief against osteoporosis. Another study supports its beneficial effect on bone health. However, more scientific studies are required to support the benefit of boron for healthy bones.
The bone-building capacities of boron are often ignored in favor of calcium. However, it actually works in unison with calcium to strengthen the bones. It may aid in minimizing the risks of osteoporosis and arthritis. It may further support the metabolism of minerals that are involved in bone development such as calcium, magnesium, and copper. Also, it affects various hormones, including estrogen and testosterone, which are also related to the overall health of the bones.
Absorption of Magnesium
Research suggests that boron helps promote the absorption of magnesium. It further helps improve the magnesium deposition on the bones. This also helps in ensuring healthy bones.
Sex Hormone Balance
It increases the level of natural sex hormones in the body, thereby reducing the need for hormone replacement therapy or other pharmaceutical solutions.
Prevents Post-menopausal Osteoporosis
Boron can ease symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats that are typically associated with menopause. It helps to ensure that the mineral level remains at appropriate levels since post-menopausal women often suffer from hormonal imbalances that can skew many of the body’s important systems.
Intake of foods rich in boron may help protect against cancer such as lung cancer. According to a 2004 study boric acid has been found to be effective against prostate cancer cell proliferation in humans. More studies are required to support the anticarcinogenic effects of boron.
Boric acid may help provide relief against side effects of various chemotherapeutic agents.
Proper Cell Membrane Function
It plays an important role in maintaining cellular and organ membrane functions and in stabilizing the hormone receptors so the bodily processes go smoothly.
Enhances Testosterone Levels
Boron helps in enhancing the testosterone level in males; this quality is increasingly taken advantage of by male bodybuilders and athletes. Although some weightlifters prefer to take its supplements to enhance their testosterone levels, there has been no concrete evidence or explanation of the mechanism by which it helps to make them any more successful.
Lowers Plasma Lipid Levels
Boron helps reduce lipid accumulation and enables the removal of cholesterol through various means, thereby reducing the chances of developing conditions like atherosclerosis and blood clots, and protecting the body against stroke and heart attack. It can significantly alleviate the difficulties caused by congestive heart failure conditions.
Can Reduce Fungal Infections
According to MedlinePlus boron may protect against vaginal infections including yeast infections such as Candida albicans and other fungal infections. Another study suggests that boric acid has the potential to protect against infections. However, more studies are required to support the benefit.
A study suggests that boron is an essential mineral and may aid in enhancing brain function, eye-hand coordination, short-term memory, and concentration power.
Inhibits Harmful Enzymes
It might inhibit some harmful enzymes from forming or acting, while simultaneously serving as a co-factor for other beneficial enzymatic reactions.
List of Boron-Rich Foods
Some of the best boron-rich foods include the following:
- Fruits like apples, oranges, red grapes, pears, plums, kiwis, sultanas, dates, raisins
- Vegetables like avocado, onion, tomato, potato
- Nuts and nut butter
- Lentils, chickpeas, red kidney beans, borlotti beans, soybeans
- Olive oil
- Wine and beer
Word of Caution: Symptoms of boron toxicity would include nausea, vomiting, weakness, and dermatitis. In some cases, skeletal abnormalities are also experienced. Normally, it is easily absorbed and excreted in the urine. It is recommended to not take more than the suggested supplemental dose. If you have any chronic medical conditions, it is best to discuss it with your healthcare provider.