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Boron-the forgotten mineral

MagazineSeptember 2000 (Vol. 11 Issue 6)Boron-the forgotten mineral

Boron is a trace mineral which, until recently, was largely ignored by the scientific community

Boron is a trace mineral which, until recently, was largely ignored by the scientific community. Nevertheless, it is known that boron is necessary for maintaining several body processes and that it is useful in the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Boron works in two ways: it assists the body's uptake of calcium through its interactions with magnesium (Magnes Trace Elem, 1990; 9: 61-9) and vitamin D; and it stimulates the body to produce more of its own oestrogen (J Trace Elem Exp Med, 1992; 5: 237-46).

One study showed that women who took 3 mg of boron daily decreased the amount of calcium lost in their urine while increasing their oestrogen levels (FASEB J, 1987; 1: 394-7). Levels of 17 betaoestradiol the most active form of oestrogen reached those commonly found in women taking oestrogen replacement therapy.Low levels of boron have also been associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis (Biol Trace Elem Res, 1997; 56: 273-86) and declining cognitive function (Environ Health Perspect, 1994; 102 (Suppl 7): 65-72).

High levels of boron are found in fruit, especially apples, pears, grapes, dates, raisins and peaches; in legumes, especially soya beans; in nuts, including almonds, peanuts and hazelnuts; and in honey. The average Western diet contains only about half the effective dose of boron. Yet, you could get the amounts used in the above study by eating two apples and three and a half ounces of peanuts a day.

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