Health Benefits of Boron
Boron helps keep your bones healthy and strong, and it also fuels cognitive function and prevents against bone disease. Osteopenia and osteoporosis are two common bone disorders that many women deal with due to hormonal changes during life, along with nutritional deficiencies that can happen for a variety of reasons. Boron helps preserve bone density, which is important since frail, weak bones lead to most bone disorders and bone loss. Fractures can also occur due to weak bones, which makes getting enough bone-boosting vitamins and minerals into our diets important.
1. Increases Concentration and Brain Function
Research shows low levels of boron can contribute to a sluggish brain, poor cognitive development, and trouble learning or retaining information. Boron is often thought of as a “brain nutrient” because it can help with task performance, better motor control, attention and even short-term memory.
When researchers compared the effects of low boron intake in healthy adults with higher intake, there was a significant increase in the proportion of low-frequency brain activity and a decrease in the proportion of higher-frequency activity in the group taking more boron.
Results showed improvements in task performance on various cognitive and psychomotor tests in the group receiving more boron, including better response times, motor skills and manual dexterity, eye-hand coordination, attention, perception, and both short- and long-term memory.
2. Helps Reverse Arthritis
Boron plays an important role in the integration of calcium into the joint’s cartilage, which helps prevent joint deterioration and arthritis pain. Research shows people with lower boron concentrations in their bones and synovial fluid experience higher rates of arthritis than those with higher levels. Other study observations show evidence that bones of patients using boron supplements are much harder to cut than those of patients not using supplements.
According to some epidemiologic studies, in areas of the world where boron intake is lower (around one milligram or less/day) the incidence of arthritis is significantly higher than in areas where boron intake is higher (around three to 10 milligrams/day on average).
3. Strengthen Bones
Boron uses also include the ability to prevent bone loss by facilitating calcium, the main mineral involved in bone mineralization, directly into the bones, where it helps prevent porous and weak bones from developing. Boron also protects bones because of its role in regulating estrogen function.
Additionally, studies show boron can help the body produce and use vitamin D better, which is a crucial nutrient for healthy bone formation, in addition to many other things like immune function and cognitive processes.
A study by the Department of Orthopedics at Red Cross Hospital in China found that boron supplements can increase bone formation and inhibit bone resorption, producing therapeutical protection against osteoporosis in animal studies. When rats were fed a boron-deprived diet, they experienced spongy bones, bone loss in the femurs and lumbar vertebrae, and increased osteoporotic conditions. On the other hand, rats given high-boron supplements showed improvements in bone mass, bone thickness, bone volume and higher levels of estradiol (a hormone tied to bone health).
4. Balances Hormones
As a mineral that can help balance levels of sex hormones in both women and men, including estrogen and testosterone, boron helps relieve menopause symptoms as well as PMS, and also for increasing fertility. In animal studies, boron depletion is linked with fertility problems and birth defects, which suggests that boron can play a role in healthy reproduction and fetus development.
In two small studies by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, when menopausal women were first fed a diet that provided low levels of boron and then were fed a diet richer in boron, they experienced lower levels of calcium and magnesium loss through urine and elevated (but still considered healthy) levels of estrogen and testosterone. (8)
5. Promotes Healthy Muscle Mass
Certain vitamins and minerals are better absorbed and utilized by the body when boron levels are higher, which is important for building muscle, burning fat and preventing pain by recovering muscle-tissue tears following exercise. And because boron helps promote healthy testosterone production, it might lead to higher energy levels and quicker strength gains.
Other research also shows that boron uses may including boosting athletic performance because it helps the brain think quickly, react better to stimulus and demonstrate hand-eye coordination, in addition to keeping bones and joints stronger and free from pain.
This is one reason why boron appears in more protein powders and athletic supplements promising better results, although more research is still needed to confirm whether or not boron can definitely impact body composition and physical abilities without being combined with other factors.
6. Prevents and Treats Yeast Infections
Boron is an active ingredient in tablets used to treat yeast infections in women. Boron, in the form of boric acid, is used as a natural alternative to messy over-the-counter yeast infection medicines or creams. Boric acid is considered safe and effective when inserted into the vagina to speed up healing of painful infections.
According to results from a double-blind comparison study looking at the effects of boron compared to another type of commercial yeast infection cream (made from nystatin), boron was better able to cure yeast infections. Ninety-two percent of women had relief after seven to 10 days of boron treatment compared to 64 percent using the standard cream.
Boron produced no unwanted side effects and was also self-made and much less expensive than the cream, leading researchers to conclude that boric acid is a natural fungistatic and can be a better, cost-effective option than “messy” vaginal creams.
7. Heals Skin and Prevents Infections
Boron uses include acting as an astringent to help prevent or treat infections on the skin, so it’s useful for lowering redness, inflammation, pain and other signs of irritation. For the same reason, some people also use boron as a natural eye wash to help kill bacteria that can lead to sties and other infections.
8. Fights Diabetes
Animal studies show that low levels of boron can increase physiological effects tied to diabetes, including changes in blood glucose (sugar) levels and triglyceride concentrations. It appears that boron can help with the metabolism of carbohydrates and the production of insulin from the pancreas that better controls stable blood sugar levels, so in the future we might see that boron uses include acting as a treatment for forms of insulin resistance.
9. Promotes Embryonic Development
Boron appears to be essential for reproduction and the development of the fetus, although not much information is available on this property, the research is ongoing.
10. Prevents Post-menopausal Osteoporosis
Boron can ease the symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats that are typically associated with menopause, and it ensures that the mineral level remains at appropriate levels since post-menopausal women often suffer from hormonal imbalances that can skew many of the body’s important systems.
11. Treats Cancer
Boron neutron capture agents are used for cancer therapy and in the development of strong enzyme inhibitors. Its compounds are also used as antibody mimics that can easily identify biologically important saccharides.
12. Proper Cell Membrane Function
It plays an important role in maintaining cellular and organ membrane functions and in stabilizing the hormone receptors so the bodily processes go smoothly.
13. Prevents Blood Clots
It is believed that boron can influence some of the blood clotting factors in the body. However, more studies need to be done to authenticate this finding, which would make it a major ally in the fight against heart disease.
14. Lowers Plasma Lipid Levels
Boron helps to reduce lipid accumulation and enables the removal of cholesterol through various means, thereby reducing the chances of developing conditions like atherosclerosis and blood clots, and protecting the body against stroke and heart attack.
15. Inhibits Harmful Enzymes
Boron might inhibit some harmful enzymes from forming or acting, while simultaneously serving as a co-factor for other beneficial enzymatic reactions.
Word of Caution: Symptoms of its overdose toxicity would include nausea, vomiting, weakness, and dermatitis. In some cases, skeletal abnormalities are also experienced. Normally, it is easily absorbed and excreted in the urine. However, in people with kidney problems, it might accumulate in the heart, kidneys, brain, and tissues, so be aware of how much you are taking in, particularly if you are using high-concentration supplements.
However, even good things should be consumed in moderation!
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