The Mineral Boron
The trace mineral boron, B on the periodic table of elements, is not as well known as some of its flashier mineral shelf-mates, but its importance in human nutrition, for decades not entirely understood, is shown by studies to be vital to many facets of health.
B is for Bones
The most famous research on this mineral has focused on its role in calcium maintenance in the body and thus bone health and prevention of osteoporosis. In a nutshell, boron has been determined to induce mineralization of (bone-building) osteoblasts by
regulating the expression of genes related to tissue mineralization and
the actions of key hormones (estradiol, testosterone, and vitamin D) involved in bone growth and turnover. What this means as far as calcium and bones is that boron seems to have a complex relationship with other minerals involved in bone tissue building and maintenance. In one well-publicized study from the late ’80s, twelve post-menopausal women consumed a very low boron diet for 17 weeks. They were then given a daily 3 mg boron supplement for seven more weeks. Within 8 days of initial supplementation they lost 40 percent less calcium, one-third less magnesium, and slightly less phosphorus through their urine. Their calcium and magnesium losses were lower than prestudy levels, when they were on normal diets. The three minerals are necessary to keep bones strong and hard.
Steroid Hormones Effect
Boron has been shown to regulate hormone levels in men and women alike. Increased levels of sex steroids have been demonstrated in both men and women after boron supplementation. The studies from the ’80s involving mineral retention also showed that boron supplementation could result in increased 17 b-estradiol (the active, strong form of estrogen) and testosterone levels in postmenopausal women. Estradiol levels nearly doubled and testosterone levels more than doubled. These increases in steroid hormones positively impact bone health. Further studies involving healthy men found boron supplementation of 6 mg a day to significantly increase free testosterone levels along with an increase in vitamin D levels. Inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein (CRP) were decreased.
Boron’s effect on increasing vitamin D levels seems to be a result of the mineral inhibiting an enzyme which breaks down the vitamin, increasing the half-life. This seems also to be the mechanism behind its increase of estradiol. In addition, it has shown dramatic effects in reducing such inflammatory markers as TNF-a (tumor necrosis factor) and C- reactive protein. One study showed a 50% decrease in C-reactive protein levels after one week of 10 mg a day supplementation. CRP is a known predictor of risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), heart attack, and stroke. Other studies have shown increases in superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels, the body’s own powerful antioxidant network.
Food Sources of Boron
Food sources of boron include fruits such as pears, apples and grapes. Legumes and leafy green veggies are also good sources. Boron is not found in meat and dairy. Eating your fruits and vegetables may help you maintain healthy bones and hormone levels! Supplemental forms of this mineral are all well-absorbed, such as glycinate and citrate.
We carry boron alone or as part of formulas for bone-building and more plus multivitamin and/or mineral combinations in capsules, tablets, liquids and powders. Evergreen Nutrition offers you optimum options for healthy living.
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