Boron in the plasma form of boric acid also has been found to inhibit the growth of human prostate cancer cells.7 In laboratory research using cultured lines of human prostate cancer cells, the application of boric acid showed an increase in cell death and an inhibitory effect on new cell growth.7

Safety, interactions


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Large amounts of boron in either a single dose or chronically can cause poisoning. Signs of poisoning include skin inflammation, tremors, seizures, diarrhea, vomiting.8 Boron also has been found to increase estrogen levels in the body when taken in large amounts.


How supplied, cost 

Foods rich in boron include fruits, vegetables, and nuts.10 Supplemental boron is available in tablet and capsule form, but there are questions as to its solubility and bioavailability compared to natural boron in foods. The maximum recommended intake for adults is 20mg/d, but there is no established minimum amount.13 Nutritionists agree that a habitual intake of 1 to 3 mg/d would prevent deficiency. 

Summary

Boron appears to be yet another reason for the nutritional recommendations for high fruit and vegetable intake. Considering an estimated 85% of Americans do not meet the recommended daily intake of these foods, boron deficiency may be a frequent issue.12

As with all supplements and other alternative therapies, the goal is to achieve a healthy body in the most natural way possible. Since we know the impact of fruits and vegetables on many other aspects of our health, the need for boron adds yet another incentive to improve our dietary habits.

References

  1. Meija J, Coplen T, Berglund M, et al. Atomic weights of the elements 2013 (IUPAC Technical Report). Pure and Applied Chemistry. 2016;88:265-291. doi:10.1515/pac-2015-0305.
  2. Hakki SS, Bozkurt BS, Hakki EE. Boron regulates mineralized tissue-associated proteins in osteoblasts (MC3T3-E1). J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2010. 24:243-250.
  3. Ying X, Cheng S, Wang W, et al. Effect of boron on osteogenic differentiation of human bone marrow stromal cells. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2011;144:306-315.
  4. Chebassier N, Ouijja EH, Viegas I, Dreno B. Stimulatory effect of boron and manganese salts on keratinocyte migration. Acta Derm Venereol. 2004;84:191-194.
  5. Dzondo-Gadet M, Mayap-Nzietchueng R, Hess K, Nabet F, Belleville F, Dousset B. Action of boron at the molecular level: Effects on transcription and translation in an acellular system. Bio Trace Elem Res. 2002;85:23-33.
  6. Korkmaz M, Uzgören E, Bakirdere S, Aydin F, Ataman OY. Effects of dietary boron on cervical cytopathology and on micronucleus frequency in exfoliated buccal cells. Environ Toxicol. 2007;22:17-25.
  7. Barranco WT, Eckhert CD. Boric acid inhibits human prostate cancer cell proliferation. Cancer Lett. 2004;216:21-29.
  8. Nielsen FH. Boron in human and animal nutrition. Plant and Soil. 1997;193:199-208.
  9. Naghii MR, Mofid M, Asgari AR, Hedayati M, Daneshpour MS. Comparative effects of daily and weekly boron supplementation on plasma steroid hormones and pro-inflammatory cytokines. J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2011;25:54-58.
  10. Nielsen FH. Is boron nutritionally relevant? Nutr Rev. 2008;66:183-191.
  11. Boron. Acu-Cell Nutrition website. http://www.acu-cell.com/b.html.
  12. Moore LV, Thompson FE. Adults meeting fruit and vegetable intake recommendations—United States, 2013. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015;64:709-713.