By Donald Ellsworth, M.D.
Boron, #5 on the periodic table of elements, has impressive health benefits. Boron is naturally obtained from our water and food, however, in North America, most of us do not get enough for optimal health. Boron deficiency is due to the combination of lower soil content, modern agricultural techniques and not eating enough of foods higher in boron content such as organic fruits, nuts, legumes, and vegetables. In the United States, we only consume 1-2 mg of boron, whereas the ideal intake is closer to 6-10 mg.
Boron deficiency is associated with an overall decline in health, including bone and muscle loss, arthritis, brain fog, sex hormone dysfunction, lower fertility, increased cancer risk, and increased toxicity issues with heavy metals and fluoride.
5 Reasons to Love Boron
1. Bone, Muscle and Mineral Health
Boron improves vitamin and mineral metabolism, especially concerning vitamin D, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus regulation. Boron reduces abnormal calcium deposits while improving bone density and strength. Boron also improves joint health and can help increase muscle mass. In areas where boron is low in the soil, animals have less muscle and both animals and people have more arthritis. For example, in Israel, the average intake of boron is high at 5-10 mg/day and only 0.7% of its population develops arthritis. Conversely, in the U.S where boron intake is estimated to be less than 3 mg/day, arthritis rates are estimated to be about 10-20%. What if osteoarthritis is already present? A small placebo controlled study showed adding 6 mg of boron relieved osteoarthritis in 50% within 3 months versus only 10% in the placebo group.
2. Hormone Health
In animal studies, boron depletion is linked with fertility problems and birth defects, suggesting boron is necessary for both conception and healthy fetal development. Boron also supports hormone health by improving testosterone and estrogen levels, and helps relieve menopausal symptoms and PMS.
3. Brain Health
Higher boron levels are correlated with improved response times when performing cognitive and psychomotor tasks. When contrasted with the high boron intake, low dietary boron resulted in significantly poorer performance on tasks emphasizing manual dexterity, eye-hand coordination, perception, and both short-term and long-term memory.
A 2.2% solution of boric acid is safe to use in the eyes to help clear up pink eye. Boric acid suppositories can be used to clear up vaginal fungal infections (but not during pregnancy). Boron reduces Candida/yeast overgrowth in the GI tract.
5. Other Uses
Boron has been shown to reduce heavy metal and fluoride toxicity. Higher boron intake is also associated with improved wound healing, lower rates of certain cancers (i.e. breast and prostate). Preliminary evidence suggests boron also helps fight diabetes and reduces heart disease risk factors, along with reducing some types of abnormal heart rhythms.
How does boron do so many amazing things?
If boron could be patented, scientists would show more interest in boron research. Despite all of what we know about boron, we need more research on this important trace mineral. Right now, evidence points to boron being necessary for healthy cell membranes and optimal internal cell signaling.
What is the recommended dosage?
Ideal daily intake (food + supplements): Adults = 6-10 mg/day, children 3-6 mg/day. Boron can be obtained by eating organic fruits, vegetables and nuts. Adults can take 6 mg of a boron supplement to ensure adequate intake. Boron is naturally consumed during pregnancy; however, since studies are not done during pregnancy to ensure safety, I recommend getting boron through food during pregnancy rather than supplements. Boron appears safe while breast feeding. You can obtain your boron at Hotze Vitamins. Call (800) 579-6545 or visit www.hotzevitamins.com.
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