Boron is a chemical composition that can be found anywhere in nature; plants, soil, and even in some animals. However, this chemical compound isn’t a stand-alone element. It needs a combination of a substance called borate and oxygen for the elemental boron to exist. In ancient times, boron is considered a scarce resource and an important commodity in metal, pot, and glass production. Today, although industrial usage of boron has significantly increased, large miners still considered elemental boron hard to mine.
Dietary boron is naturally found in legumes, nuts, fruits, and green leafy vegetables. Humans and animals produce low-concentrated boron in their bodies and usually found in tissues, blood, and bone. The body usually absorbs it in boric acid form quickly and excreted as urine. It’s an essential micronutrient meaning individuals must consume it to meet the daily recommended allowance for nutrient intake. It enhances calcium absorption of the body. Thus, it’s popularly known to strengthen the bone and enhance teeth and gum health.
Humans have been consuming dietary boron from plants and animal since the dawn of mankind. In fact, it is essential in plant growth and can’t properly develop without it. It supports the proper development of the flowers and fruits, controls pollen production, and aids germination. However, records suggest that early civilization wasn’t aware of the presence of boron in plants until the 8th century AD. In one study, they say that we at least ingest an estimate of two to three boron mg/L compounds a day.
There’s an on-going debate among scientists whether we need boron to survive or not. However, they unanimously agree that it’s indeed essential to the overall health condition of a person. We may not get away from boron anyway. We may have been consuming boron daily through food consumption, clean water, and beverages.
We may also see borate chemical in most fertilizers, this is because boron in the soil can be affected by geographical disturbances, torrential rainfalls, or certain agricultural practices. These factors could reduce the presence of borate in soil that may affect the development of plants. It’s reported that farmers who used a fertilizer that contains borate have increased productivity especially in areas where there are low levels of borate.
Dietary boron primarily supports bone health. Studies have shown that it promotes osteoblast; it’s a cell activity that supports bone maintenance that prevents it from deteriorating. However, numerous studies suggest that boron extends beyond bone health. Scientists say that it may also enhance metabolism and nutrient absorption. It particularly enhances magnesium absorption, which is also important in maintaining bone health. Therapeutically, it’s believed that it may treat inflammations and has antioxidant properties. Today, it’s increasingly growing in popularity because of its said weight losing properties. Though this claim is not yet proven and further studies have to be made.
Though dietary boron may have potential health benefits, it may have adverse effects if ingested in excess. According to studies, its normal level in the bloodstream should not exceed 10 milligrams per liter (mg/L). In poisoning cases, it’s reported that patients have an approximate of 2,000 mg/L of boric acid in their bodies. In another study, they tested the effects of excess boric acid on rodents. They observed that about 8,500 mg/L of boric acid caused infertility among male rodents. On the other hand, an insufficient supply of dietary boron may lead to deterioration of bone health.
Reasons Why You Should Get Enough Boron
Enhance cognitive ability
One study was made on the elderly to test the effects of boron on their health. Though inconclusive, research shows promising results. What they found out was it doesn’t only improve bone health but also brain function.
Each participant was rationed boron daily for sixty days. The dosage ranges from 0.25 to 3 mg. They observed that individuals who consumed 3 mg daily have a significant increase in brain function, specifically in memory skills.
Enlisted are a few cognitive problems that scientist believed that boron may effectively address:
- Short and long-term memory
- Enhance individuals’ level of concentration
- Eye and hand coordination
These claims aren’t yet proven and proper caution must be employed when consuming products high in boron. There are dietary supplements available for individuals with boron deficiency. Consider asking your doctor or health professional before incorporating dietary boron in your daily diet.
Improve bone health
Boron is popularly known to strengthen the bone and improve its density. Regular intake of this compound may prevent risks of any bone-related disorder like osteoporosis. It effectively absorbs calcium that promotes bone mineralization. This process prevents the bones from becoming weak and brittle. It also protects the bone by supporting the proper function of estrogens.
One study was conducted by a Red Cross hospital in China to prove its effect on bone health. It involves intentionally depriving rodents of boron. After a few weeks, the rodents develop a condition called spongy bones and osteoporosis. They also experienced bone loss specifically in the lumbar vertebrae and femur area. On the other hand, the rodents that were fed with a high-boron diet showed significant bone improvements in terms of density and volume. They also noticed an increase in estradiol—a hormone associated with bone health.
Strengthen teeth and gums
A healthy amount of boron may enhance teeth and gum health. Thus, it reduces the risk of oral-related diseases. It’s also publicized by most scientists to treat and prevent tooth decay. It keeps your oral health in check by preventing the occurrence of inflammations and promoting tissue and bone repair.
A study made in 2013, observed that the presence of boron in oral disease eliminates the bacteria and aids the rebuild of damaged tissues.
It stimulates the secretion of a certain substance that promotes faster healing of wounds and lessens inflammation.
Researchers also believe that it may prevent arthritis and reduce pain experienced by individuals. One study shows that in countries where boron intake is at least 1 mg/L per day, arthritis cases were twenty to seventy percent less compared to areas with lower intake. While in countries where the intake is about 3 to 10 mg/L per day, arthritis cases were zero to ten percent less.
Another study of twenty participants with arthritis, where they were given a dosage of 6 mg/L per day shows improvement within weeks after the first intake. They also tested this method using a placebo, however, only ten percent shows progress.