|What’s it used for?||Prevention of arthritis and osteoporosis; control of other bone-building nutrients; needed for action of vitamin D|
|Best food sources||Plant foods; fruits and vegetables; nuts and legumes|
|How much do I need?||No Nutrient Reference Value has been established*|
|Need to know||It’s a relative newcomer to the essential trace mineral scene!|
*A Nutrient Reference Value or NRV is the recommended level set by the UK Department of Health for daily nutrient intake
Boron is a rare element extracted from the earth. It’s only found in nature combined with other elements as borate, borax or boric acid. Its method of action still requires further research, but it appears to help protect against calcium loss, and also activates oestrogen and vitamin D, which slow the demineralisation of bone. Research has therefore centred around its bone protective action, particularly in post-menopausal women.
Why do I need it?
In addition to boron’s role in bone health, it may play a role in blood pressure regulation due to its relationship to calcium metabolism. Abnormal calcium metabolism may lead to plaque formation on the artery wall, which attributes to atherosclerosis or ‘furred’ arteries.
Boron’s mode of action is still to be fully understood. However, it’s known that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables offers significant protection against osteoporosis and osteoarthritis – two conditions in which boron appears play a part. It also appears to have a beneficial effect on something called the parathyroid hormone which helps control calcium, magnesium and phosphorus balance – all minerals associated with healthy bones.
Best food sources
Although fruits (particularly dried fruits) and vegetables are generally the best sources, this does depend on having adequate levels in the soils, and unfortunately mineral levels are depleted in soil due to modern Western over-farming. Meat and dairy products are not high in this mineral because it doesn’t accumulate in tissue.
Five foods high in boron
Raisins – 4.5 mg per 100g
Almonds – 2.2mg per 100g
Avocadoes – 2.1mg per 100g
Peanut butter – 1.9mg per 100g
Lentils – 0.71mg per 100g
Are you getting enough?
Boron deficiency is becoming more of an everyday concern due to the Western diet. This can lead to an increase in bone-related diseases. Additionally, boron deficiency may be associated with an increased risk for postmenopausal bone loss in women.
Did you know?Boric acid has been used for centuries as an antiseptic for skin and eyes
Boric acid eye wash is probably boron’s most common medicinal use
It is safe to take during pregnancy and breastfeeding at recommended dosages – consult your healthcare professional for advice
Boron appears to be essential in the conversion of vitamin D to its active form
One of the best sources of boron in the supplement marketplace is sodium borate
Boron is found in the Alive! range of multi vitamins and minerals.
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