Boron and Prostate Health
Boron is a trace element distributed throughout the human body with the highest concentration in the bones and dental enamel.Boron appears to benefit the body by regulating normal hormonal levels and the balance among them. In other words, boron works to establish and maintain homeostasis among hormones.
This hormonal connection makes boron one of the most powerful and effective trace nutrients we can take for the betterment of health.
- Boron seems to be essential for healthy bone and joint function, possibly because it improves metabolism of calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium.1
- Boron affects the metabolism of steroid hormones and may also play a role in converting vitamin D to its more active form, thus increasing calcium uptake and deposition into bone. It has been speculated that the body needs boron to synthesize estrogen, vitamin D and other steroid hormones. 1 ,2
- Boron also increases male sex hormone levels. The role of boron supplementation on sex hormone status is not completely understood. It is possible that boron may increase free testosterone levels by contributing to the release of the hormone from sex hormone binding protein (SHBP). SHBP is the protein carrier (acting as a taxi-cab) that shuttles sex hormones through the blood. As men age, SHBP finds it more difficult to release testosterone, keeping it bound and inactive. Boron may increase testosterone, raising levels as much as 50%.3 and 4
- Boron supports vigorous antioxidant enzyme activity, inhibiting collagenase enzymes and supporting healthful hormone balance.5
- Some researchers suggest boron has a potential role in controlling the formation of kidney stones. Boron supplementation shows a decrease in total urinary oxalate (crystals which form kidney stones).6
- Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), uncovered a significant relationship between boron and prostate cancer risk. After comparing the diets of nearly 8,000 men, they found that the risk of prostate cancer for men consuming an average of 1.8 milligrams daily of boron was less than one-third the risk for men consuming half that amount. This data is from preliminary experimental studies.7
Plant foods such as fruit, vegetables, soybeans and nuts are rich sources of boron but the level in food depends on the soil in which it is grown.The average intake of boron in the American diet is between 0.5 to 3 mg daily. It has been established that boron intakes in the elderly are lower. Dr. Forrest H. Nielsen, a biochemist and director of the Human Nutrition Research Center in Grand Forks, N.D., and researcher for the Federal Department of Agriculture: said the diets of many Americans are likely to be very low in boron because of the emphasis on animal foods like meats and dairy products.