One precious non metallic mineral that seems to have a positive effect on bone development and hormonal growth in human being is – Boron. Earlier, Boron was used only in plant development, but studies during the mid 1980s showed its important role in human development too. The health benefits of Boron, the trace non metallic element are interesting and many. Therefore, in this article you will find useful information about the health benefits, dosage, sources and deficiency symptoms of Boron in the human body.
What Is Boron?
Boron was discovered by three different scientists after carefully joining boric acid (H3BO3) to Potassium in the year 1808. This trace mineral is found in the human body largely in the parathyroid glands, in our bones and dental enamels. The name Boron owes its origin to the Arabian and Persian languages where the term relates to the mineral borax. Boron has the chemical symbol B and the atomic number 5 for its identification.
The chief role of this mineral in the humans is to regulate all other essential minerals in our body such as calcium, phosphorous and magnesium. Boron largely helps in absorbing calcium for bone development. Boron is absorbed in our body from the intestine and gets out of our system via the urine.
The health benefits of this trace mineral are many, but sadly they were all ignored for a very long period of time. Today, with important research studies conducted periodically by scientists, researchers and the medical community, people are getting aware of the usage of Boron as a health supplement for the human body.
Rich Food Sources Of Boron
The following food sources are rich in boron – Prunes, nuts, legumes, pears, apples, grapes, avocados, raisins, tomatoes, honey, dates, chocolates, coffee, milk, potatoes, pecans, granola/bran cereals, wine, beans and all green leafy vegetables. Traces of Boron also enter the human digestive system from soil and drinking water mostly in arid climates.
Uses And Benefits Of Boron
Boron offers many benefits to our body, such as:
Prevents Loss Of Precious Minerals In Our Body
Boron is required in our body at optimum levels as this mineral prevents calcium and magnesium from being excreted in the urine. Like Boron, calcium and magnesium are needed for our overall growth and development.
Reduces PMS Symptoms
Some studies have also shown that Boron helps in increasing the level of estrogen hormone (oestradiol level) and this significantly reduces menstrual pain in women.
Promotes Muscle Growth
Boron is mainly used by athletes as it helps in promoting muscle growth by increasing the production of estrogen and testosterone in the human body.
Prevents Osteoporosis & Maintains Healthy Bones
As explained earlier in this article, Boron works by absorbing calcium and magnesium and thereby reduces their loss from the human body. Boron thereby helps in preventing osteoporosis as it prevents gradual thinning of bones.
Prevents Arthritis and Helps Menopausal Women
Boron also plays a key role in preventing other bone related ailments like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. The mineral reduces more than 95% of the symptoms of arthritis in humans (however, its effect is reduced for severe arthritis conditions where the joints are completely damaged). Thus, post menopausal women should take Boron supplements as it helps in reducing the loss of calcium through urinary excretion.
Menopausal Symptoms And Sex Hormones
Apart from saving their bones, menopausal women should also take Boron supplements as it aids in the production of estrogen hormone. Lack of estrogen during menopausal time leads to low sex drive in older women. Boron supplements help in reversing this effect and also reduces the frequency of hot flushes in such women. Therefore, women who are in line for a hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can use Boron supplements for a change.
Boron also helps in increasing the levels of serum estrogen and testosterone in the human body. The trace mineral also facilitates the maintenance of healthy cell membranes and enhances mental alertness. Along with calcium, this very important trace mineral also helps in our body’s metabolism of magnesium.
Apart from the above given benefits, Boron also helps in slowing down the following health conditions in humans – aging, menopausal symptoms, allergies, candida infection, hay fever and Lupus Erythematosis. Boron supplements also reduce the toxic effect of Fluoride in human body.
Recommended Dosage of Boron
Those suffering from Arthritis or any other bone related ailment can take 10 mg of Boron supplement per day. In places where the soil is grossly deficient of this trace mineral, people can take as much as 30 mg of boron supplement per day. By taking the required dosage of Boron, arthritis patients can see marked improvement within three months of Boron supplementation.
In other simple cases of boron deficiency, a daily dosage of 3 mg is more than adequate to restore the mineral balance in the body. Boron supplementation is usually available in tablets and capsule forms.
Deficiency Symptoms of Boron
For those suffering from arthritis and for older women going through menopause, it is easy to guess the deficiency of boron in their body. However, for others the following deficiency symptoms can be helpful in deciding the need for supplementation of boron and the required dosage needed to counter the deficiency: skin rashes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and circulatory problems. Ignoring the symptoms of boron deficiency can lead to osteoarthritis, high blood pressure and even prostate cancer.
Side Effects & Other Considerations Related to Boron Supplementation
If Boron supplements are taken at the required dosage levels, the chances of having any possible side effects are very less. Boron supplements have a very low toxicity level. Dosage levels as high as 15 to 20 grams per day can become life threatening in humans. The signs of boron toxicity include the following – nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fatigue.
Studies have so far shown no side effects of boron supplementation in pregnant women, lactating women and in breast fed infants. However, pregnant and lactating women should first get the opinion of a qualified medical practitioner before starting with boron supplementation.
Similarly, younger and middle aged men should not take boron supplements for long periods of time without the knowledge of a doctor. This is because taking relatively higher doses of boron supplement over a long period of time can result in infertility in men.