The trace mineral boron might be the most overlooked, yet essential, micronutrient no one is talking about, with vitally important roles in plant metabolism and in human health. Most significantly in bone health and wound healing. Be prepared to be amazed at what this mighty mineral can do.
Bone and Joint Health
The highest concentration of boron in the body is in the parathyroid glands, followed by the bones and tooth enamel. When deficient in boron, the parathyroid becomes overactive and releases too much parathyroid hormone, which raises blood calcium levels by releasing calcium from bones and teeth, and can lead to osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and tooth decay. Boron is for the parathyroid what iodine is for the thyroid.
Boron protects calcium in the bones
Calcium and magnesium are strongly affected by the presence or absence of boron. Not enough boron leads to an increase in calcium excretion and a decrease in magnesium uptake. Boron activates the mineralization of osteoblasts, a type of cell that creates new material to rebuild bones.
Boron boosts magnesium absorption
Magnesium acts as a cofactor for numerous enzymes that regulate the metabolism of calcium and is crucial for bone health. About 60 % of the magnesium present in the human body is found in the bone, boron appears to improve the absorption of magnesium and deposit it into the cell.
Boron affects vitamin D absorption
Boron has been shown to improve the absorption of vitamin D, which is required for healthy, strong bones. Children who lack vitamin D can develop rickets, which cause bone weakness, bowed legs, and other skeletal issues. Studies have shown that adding boron supplementation can significantly improve serum vitamin D levels in people who are deficient in vitamin D.
Boron affects sex hormone metabolism
The rate of bone loss increases after menopause, indicating the importance of sex hormones and bone health. Boron acts as a hormone modulator and has been shown to increase levels of 17-beta estradiol (our most biologically active estrogen) and testosterone which influences our bone health.
Boron helps to speed up and improve wound healing through specific action on common enzymes in animal and human tissues – collagenase, alkaline phosphatase, and elastase. Boron activates fibroblasts of the skin and tissues, in a similar way that boron activates the osteoblasts in the bones.
In the 1970’s, Dr. Rex Newnham developed arthritic joint stiffness after moving to a sandy area with depleted soils. At that time, he was a soil and plant scientist in Perth Australia and knew that boron was essential to calcium metabolism in plants, so he decided to do an experiment. He ingested 6mg of boron (in the form of Borax) daily, and in three weeks all pain, swelling and stiffness had disappeared. In the coming years, he successfully alleviated arthritis in hundreds of patients.
Since that time, many studies on human health show the benefits of boron are seen with a dose greater or equal to 3mg/day. Look for foods rich in boron, such as prune(s) juice, avocados, raisins and peaches.
by Cher Thorsen, CNP
Find Cher at roserooted.com and IG @roserooted