What tasks does boron perform in the human organism? Does additional intake of the trace element have a beneficial effect on health? Are there any effects on the bones? What is the average intake of boron in the diet?
What is boron?
Boron is a non-essential trace element, so it is not vital for humans to take it in. Therefore, there is no minimum absolutely necessary intake quantity, which is necessary for the smooth processes in the organism.
Boron is contained in various soils, rocks and sediments. It is also found in the form of oxides in fresh water and in the sea. Humans can absorb the trace element in various compounds. These include boric acid and borate.
What functions does boron perform in the human organism?
Boron does not appear to fulfill any special vital tasks in human growth or body development, as far as current knowledge goes. Nevertheless, effects on biological functions are known from a small administration of boron of 0.3 to 0.4 milligrams per day.
Experiments on animals led to the view that boron could have a positive effect on humans in various ways. For example, there is evidence of the influence exerted by the absorption of the trace element on calcium metabolism. It is therefore assumed that boron has an effect on bone calcification.
A study of female students who consumed an additional 3 milligrams of boron per day to their usual diet over a period of one year showed that the trace element had no effect on bone density or on the excretion of calcium via urine. According to the studies available to date, favorable effects on bone metabolism parameters due to the additional intake of boron are considered unlikely.
Positive effects of boron on the prevention and therapy of prostate cancer are also controversial. One study showed a positive course of the disease in men with high boron intake compared to patients who consumed little boron. However, the European Food Safety Authority is of the opinion that there is insufficient evidence for positive effects on prostate cancer.
Also under discussion were possible positive aspects of the trace element on the functions of the thyroid gland. Studies on animals formed the basis for this. However, no studies have been carried out on the influence of boron on thyroid functions in humans, so that the boron effects cannot be adequately assessed.
Another theory suggested a positive effect of boron on the preservation of cognitive functions. Thus, initial studies showed an impairment of psychomotor and cognitive characteristics due to an inadequate supply of boron. However, further studies could not discover any correlation between human memory performance and boron intake.
Likewise, positive effects of the trace element on joint arthrosis (osteoarthritis) had to be negated after further studies. Therefore, boron does not have a positive effect on normal joint functions.
The absorption of the trace element takes place in the intestine by passive transport. The bioavailability of boron absorbed with food is > 90 percent. Most of the trace element is excreted from the organism by the kidneys. There was no evidence of boron accumulating in the body. Following an intake of 10 milligrams of boron, 84 percent of the trace element was rapidly excreted in the urine. Smaller amounts were absorbed into the bones.
How much boron should the body absorb?
The DGE (German Society for Nutrition) has no recommendations on how much boron should be consumed per day.
Upper limits for prolonged boron intake
The term UL (Tolerable Upper Intact Level) is used to describe the highest prolonged total intake of nutrients without causing harmful side effects in healthy people. The upper limit for boron, according to a scientific opinion of the European Food Safety Authority, is 0.16 milligrams of boron per kilogram of body weight per day for adult humans, which corresponds to an amount of 10 milligrams of boron per day for adults weighing 60 kilograms.
The limits for children depend on their body weight and age. Children between the ages of 1 and 3 receive 2 milligrams of boron per day, while children between the ages of 4 and 6 receive 3 milligrams. For children between 7 and 10 years of age, the value is 5 milligrams daily. Between the ages of 11 and 14, 7.5 milligrams of boron per day can be given.
What is the average intake of boron in humans?
There are only a few studies on the average intake of boron in humans. According to findings from a British study, the average daily intake for adults is 1.5 milligrams of boron. The daily intake from drinking water was 0.2 to 0.6 milligrams. Depending on the data available, the average intake from water and food falls below the tolerable maximum of 10 milligrams for adults.
Most boron comes from plant foods as well as mineral water and water. However, dietary supplements containing boron are also available. Ingestion through cosmetic products is also possible.
A higher amount of boron is absorbed by people who eat a vegetarian diet. The reason for this is the higher boron content in plant foods. The average maximum intake of boron is around 5 milligrams per day.
Foods in which boron is abundant are nuts, vegetables, leafy salads, fruit and mushrooms. The trace element is also present in beer and wine. Some groups of people absorb more boron than the rest of the population. These are mainly bodybuilders, who consume between 1.5 and 30 milligrams a day.
The content of boron in food
In drinking water, the boron content is between 0.1 and 0.3 milligrams per liter. In Germany, the values for drinking water are even lower at 0.02 milligrams per liter. The average value for mineral water is 0.75 milligrams per liter. In some mineral waters, the boron content is given in the form of borate. In this case, 30 mg/L of borate corresponds to 5.5 milligrams of boron per liter. In a natural mineral water, the value should not exceed 1.5 milligrams of boron per liter.
What happens when there is a deficiency of boron?
Boron has no vital functions for the human organism. Therefore, a deficiency of the trace element can also not have a negative effect.
Can an overdose of boron occur?
Poisoning with boron in humans as well as experiments with animals revealed different physical impairments due to an excess of boron. These include effects on plasma levels of lipids and steroid hormones. In addition, higher boron levels in animals have been reported to have unfavorable consequences for reproduction and fetal development.
Larger quantities of 25 to 76 milligrams of boron per kilogram of body weight also pose a risk of poisoning. This becomes noticeable through complaints such as pain in the gastrointestinal tract, diarrhea and vomiting.
Role of boron in the human body:
- Bone Health: Boron is known for its role in bone formation and strengthening. It supports bone mineralization and helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures.
- Hormone regulation: Boron is involved in the regulation of steroid hormones such as estrogen and testosterone. It can influence the production of these hormones and thus contribute to the maintenance of a healthy hormone balance.
- Cell membrane integrity: Boron supports the integrity and function of cell membranes. It is involved in signal transduction and cell communication, which is important for the smooth functioning of the body.
- Cognitive Function: Some studies suggest that boron plays a role in cognitive function and may improve memory and mental performance.
Recommended Daily Allowance: There is no established recommended daily allowance for boron, as it is present in the body in small amounts as a trace element. However, the generally accepted safe intake of boron for adults is about 1-3 mg per day, which can be achieved through a balanced diet.
Potential benefits of boron:
- Improve bone health
- Support hormone regulation
- Protection of cell membrane integrity
- Improvement of cognitive function
Boron is found in many foods, including fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes. A balanced diet is usually sufficient to absorb the required amounts of boron. Boron supplements may be recommended in some cases of health problems or deficiencies, but it is important to always coordinate the use of supplements with a physician or nutritionist.
What conclusion can be drawn about Bor?
Boron is not one of the essential components of food. Therefore, there are no recommendations on how much boron a person should consume per day. Mineral water and plant foods provide the greatest amount of the trace element. The daily limit for adults is 0.16 milligrams of boron. Contrary to initial assumptions, clinical studies have not shown any positive effects on humans from increased intake of the trace element.
While boron is not known to be a primary factor in mental health, there is some research to suggest that boron may have some impact on cognitive function and the psyche. It is important to emphasize that research in this area is still limited and further studies are needed to better understand the role of boron in mental health.
Some possible effects of boron on the psyche include:
- Cognitive function: Some studies have shown that boron can have a positive effect on cognitive function. A 1994 study showed that a diet rich in boron can improve cognitive performance in the elderly, including the ability to maintain attention, memory and motor skills. However, further research is needed to confirm these findings and better understand the underlying mechanism.
- Stress Response: There is some evidence that boron may play a role in the body's stress response. Boron is involved in the regulation of steroid hormones, which play an important role in the stress response. It may be that adequate boron intake helps to modulate the body's stress response and maintain healthy mental function.
- Antioxidant effect: Boron has antioxidant properties and can help protect the body from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a factor that has been linked to several mental illnesses, including depression and anxiety disorders. It is possible that boron indirectly contributes to mental health by protecting the body from the harmful effects of oxidative stress.
Despite these possible effects on the psyche, it is important to emphasize that research in this area is still in its infancy and there are no firm conclusions about the role of boron in mental health. A balanced diet that provides all necessary nutrients and trace elements, including boron, is important for overall health and well-being. If you have concerns about your mental health, it is advisable to see a doctor or psychologist to discuss appropriate treatment strategies.
Reliable sources of information , you can look up yourself to learn more about boron:
- National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Office of Dietary Supplements: The NIH provides information on various nutrients and trace elements, including boron. You can search for "NIH Office of Dietary Supplements Boron" to find their website.
- World Health Organization (WHO): WHO provides information on the importance of trace elements, including boron, to human health. Search for "WHO trace elements boron" to access their resources.
- PubMed: A great resource for scientific studies and articles is the PubMed database, operated by the US National Library of Medicine. You can type "boron" in the search bar to access relevant scientific studies.
- WebMD: WebMD is a well-known source of health information and also provides information about boron. Search for "WebMD Boron" in a search engine to access their content.
Here are some scientific articles and studies dealing with boron and its role in the human organism. You can search the articles using their titles and authors on scientific databases such as PubMed or Google Scholar. Note that some articles may be hidden behind a paywall and a university or institute affiliation may be required for full-text access.
- Nielsen, F.H. (2014). Update on human health effects of boron. Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology, 28(4), 383-387.
- Pizzorno, L. (2015). Nothing Boring About Boron. Integrative Medicine: A Clinician's Journal, 14(4), 35-48.
- Naghii, M.R., Samman, S. (1997). The effect of boron on plasma testosterone and plasma lipids in rats. Nutrition Research, 17(3), 523-531.
- Nielsen, F.H., et al. (1992). Effect of dietary boron on mineral, estrogen, and testosterone metabolism in postmenopausal women. FASEB Journal, 6(14), 3250-3256.
- Penland, J.G. (1998). The importance of boron nutrition for brain and psychological function. Biological Trace Element Research, 66(1-3), 299-317.
- Scorei, R.I., Popa, R. (2010). Boron-containing compounds as preventive and chemotherapeutic agents for cancer. Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry, 10(4), 346-351.
- Devirian, T.A., Volpe, S.L. (2003). The physiological effects of dietary boron. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 43(2), 219-231.
These articles provide insight into various aspects of boron in the human body, including its effect on bone health, hormone regulation, cognitive function, and potential applications in cancer prevention. Please note that scientific research is continually progressing, and newer studies may be available that provide additional insight.