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Boron is a trace mineral that has only recently been recognised as having relevance in human nutrition. Bones contain the highest concentrations of boron, and the parathyroid and thyroid glands also accumulate this mineral.
The exact function of boron in human nutrition is yet to be fully understood. However, the mineral is thought to play a part in maintaining bone density.
Boron deprivation appears to depress mental alertness (1).
The daily requirement of boron has yet to be defined, as it remains to be proven that this mineral is essential for life. The boron content of most diets is around 1.5-3mg/day.
Based on the data available so far, it appears that boron has an effect on the prevention of bone loss and demineralisation. In a study conducted at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, postmenopausal women were supplemented with 3mg boron daily. Results of the study showed that boron decreased the percentage of dietary Calcium lost in the urine (2). Boron (3mg daily) also reduces excretion of Magnesium and elevates blood calcium and oestradiol levels (3)
Newnham, a researcher from New Zealand reported successful treatment of rheumatoid Arthritis using boron (4).
3-6mg of boron daily appears to have no known side effects. Higher levels have not been safety tested.
On present evidence there are no known contra-indications or drug interactions for boron taken at levels of 3-6mg daily.
Vegetables are by far the richest source of boron. Dairy products, fish and meat are the next best sources (in that order).
1. "Handbook of Dietary Supplements", Pamela Mason, Blackwell Science, 1995.