From strengthening bones to improving conditions like arthritis, from enhancing brain function to building muscles, the mineral boron is definitely good for health.
Ask anyone about minerals that help to maintain health and prompt will be the reply – calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. Very few would name boron in the list of health promoting nutrients. Unlike other minerals that are required in higher concentration on a daily basis, boron requirement is less to fulfill body needs. Hence, boron is regarded as a trace mineral, which means the body requires it in smaller amounts to drive its biological processes. Having said that, one cannot undermine the multitude of health benefits the mineral provides. Research confirms that boron deficiency can have a negative impact on bone and joint health. Some of the proven boron uses health wise discussed below:
Its importance from a health standpoint is certainly laudable because research on effects of dietary boron show that the trace mineral can reduce the incidence of diseases like lung and prostate cancer. So, if the diet is an excellent source of boron, then it definitely lowers the chances of cancer in men and women. Other benefits are discussed below:
Promotes Bone Health
Want to ensure proper development of bones? Well, then make sure that the diet is rich in boron. There is a misconception that calcium intake is sufficient to keep bones healthy. No matter how much calcium you take, if it is not being properly absorbed by the body, bones tend to become brittle. Boron encourages adequate absorption of calcium. The body retains more calcium in the presence of boron. All this contributes in strengthening bones and assures optimal bone health. Various animal studies have also proved that bone development takes a backseat when consumption of boron is not in adequate amounts. Due to its ability to promote calcium retention, boron is also helpful to prevent and speed up healing of fractures in both human and animals.
Taking boron supplements is a natural way to improve symptoms of arthritis. Recent studies have shown that a large percentage of arthritis patients did experience relief from boron. Supplemental form of boron is found to be effective in relieving joint pain. Boron helps in regulating calcium metabolism that allows the body to maintain calcium in the normal range. This is crucial for optimizing joint function. No wonder, low boron intake has been linked to increased incidence of arthritis.
Research is suggesting that boron supplements may help to reduce stiffness and inflammation associated with arthritis. Medical experts are of the opinion that a person taking the boron dosage below 2mg/day has 20% chance of falling prey to arthritis. People suffering from osteoporosis, osteoarthritis and rheumatism may also benefit from usage of boron therapy.
Alleviates Menopausal Symptoms
An easy way to get relief of menopausal symptoms that primarily occur due to low estrogen levels is by increasing intake of boron. The period of menopause in a woman’s life is typically marked by stoppage of menstruation and hormonal imbalance because of dip in estrogen production. Having foods high in boron or use of boron supplements is found to raise estrogen levels in the body. This increase in estrogen production works to effectively manage menopause symptoms like hot flashes and sleep disturbances. Boosting estrogen levels also increases sexual drive in women. Thus, boron can be useful to restore sexual health after menopause.
Improves Cardiovascular Problems
Managing heart ailments like congestive heart failure can be much easier with adequate boron intake. CHF that is typically marked by poor functioning of the heart, causes breathing problems, fluid retention in the legs, weight gain and decrease in appetite. Intake of boron through diet or in supplemental form can play a crucial role to improve CHF symptoms.
Boron displays cholesterol lowering properties, which was evident in animal study. In a study, chicken were also given boron along with regular meals, for a specified duration. Results showed that the inclusion of boron in their diet helped to bring down cholesterol in chickens. Whether human studies will produce the same outcome is not yet established but the effect of boron on humans is under scrutiny and further results are awaited.
Supports Brain Function
Expect better memory, higher concentration levels and mental alertness when the diet is rich in boron. How important boron is for us can be gauged from the fact that people with poor boron intake are likely to have a hard time staying focused.
Promotes Muscle Building
This trace mineral can play an important role to improve testosterone levels. Testosterone categorized as a steroid hormone is produced in significant amounts in the body. Increasing testosterone production in the body is necessary to tone up the muscles. Be it to strengthen muscles or gain muscle mass, presence of testosterone is crucial. Boron acts as a natural testosterone booster and so can contribute in making the muscles bigger.
Combats Fungal Infections
Fungal infections caused by Candida albicans (yeast) also respond quite well to boron therapy. It is found to be extremely effective to get rid of yeast infections. When taken in supplemental form, boron does help in stopping the infection from recurring.
Sources of Boron
Boron is predominantly found in vegetables and fruits, whereas meat products contain boron in negligible amounts. So, those eyeing to increase boron need to include the following foods in the diet:
- Vegetables such as tomatoes and pulses
- Fruits like grapes, apples, pears, raisins and kiwi
- Nuts such as almonds and peanuts
On the whole, one can understand that boron deficiency is an open invitation to various medical ailments related to the bones, muscles and the joints. So, ensuring that the diet is a good source of essential nutrients including boron is indeed a natural remedy to stay mentally and physically active.