Boron isn’t a nutrient you hear a lot about. But it’s vitally important to bone health.
Boron is a trace mineral. It’s role in bone support started to come into focus with research only in the early ’80s. Scientists discovered it helps prevent calcium loss.
A study published in FASEB Journal looked at menopausal women. Menopause is linked with increased risk of osteoporosis. The Researchers gave the subjects 3 mg of boron daily.
Half of the women ate a low-magnesium diet. The other half got adequate magnesium. Magnesium is necessary for the absorption of calcium.
Boron prevented calcium loss in the low-magnesium group. It inhibited the excretion of calcium and magnesium.
Research published in the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology looked at boron-deficient rats. The scientists found the animals’ bones:
- Were weaker and broke more easily.
- Were lower in density.
- Lost volume in the bones’ spongy inner layer.
After researchers gave the rats boron and fish oil, the rodents’ bones became stronger and denser.
A study published in Archives of Oral Biology looked at boron deficiency in mice. The animals had a 63% reduction in osteoblasts (cells that build bone) compared to mice fed adequate amounts of boron. Lack of boron led to “inhibition of bone formation.”
Besides better bone health, researchers have found that boron has another important benefit. It fights cancer:
- A study at the University of Texas MD Anderson looked at women on hormone replacement therapy. Researchers found that boron lowered their risk of lung cancer.
- Research published in the journal Toxicologic Pathology looked at cancerous mice. After ingesting boron, the rodents’ tumors shrank as much as 38%.
- A study in the journal Cancer Letters exposed human prostate cells to boron. The mineral stopped the cancer from growing.
A human study supported these findings. Researchers compared the boron intake of men with prostate cancer and men without the disease. The data showed a dose-dependent relationship between boron and lower prostate cancer risk. The higher the men’s boron intake, the less likely they were to have prostate cancer.
It’s hard to get a dependable amount of boron from food. Vegetables absorb it from the soil, and boron content in soil varies widely. So supplements are the way to go. Scientists recommend 3 to 6 mg a day.
Boron is sold online and at health food stores.
Do your bones a favor—while protecting yourself from cancer—by taking a boron supplement every day.