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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The Nutritional Importance and Pharmacologic Potential of Boron for Higher Animals and Humans

Author
item NIELSEN, FORREST

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: July 1, 2002
Publication Date: June 1, 2002
Citation: Nielsen, F.H. 2002. The nutritional importance and pharmacologic potential of boron for higher animals and humans. In: Goldbach, H.E., editor. Boron Plant and Animal Nutrition. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers:The Netherlands. p. 37-49.

Interpretive Summary: Since 1997, the number of research findings, coming from several research groups, supporting the position that boron is of nutritional and pharmacological importance have increased markedly. The new findings have established boron as an essential element for animal life, and thus indicate that boron is essential for humans. Many of the findings are consistent with the hypothesis that boron has an essential role in cell membrane function or stability such that it influences the response to hormone action, transmembrane signaling, or transmembrane movement of regulatory cations or anions. The recent research findings show that boron is needed or beneficial for many of life processes, including reproduction and embryogenesis, bone growth and maintenance, eye development or structure, psychomotor skills, and cognitive functions. Supra nutritional or pharmacologic intakes of boron have been shown to have salutary effects on bone growth, composition and mechanical properties; the presence or action of hormones involved in bone turnover and maintenance; and synthesis and release of angiogenic factors involved in wound healing. Boron pharmaceutical compounds have been developed that apparently inhibit the growth of certain types of cancer. Because the apparent importance of boron for good bone, brain, eye, immune, psychomotor, and reproductive function, dietary guidance is appropriate for this mineral element. A World Health Organization publication has suggested that an acceptable safe range of population mean boron intakes for adults is 1 to 13 mg per day.

Technical Abstract: Since 1997, the number of research findings, coming from several research groups, supporting the position that boron is of nutritional and pharmacological importance have increased markedly. The new findings have established boron as an essential element for animal life, and thus indicate that boron is essential for humans. Many of the findings are consistent with the hypothesis that boron has an essential role in cell membrane function or stability such that it influences the response to hormone action, transmembrane signaling, or transmembrane movement of regulatory cations or anions. The recent research findings show that boron is needed or beneficial for many of life processes, including reproduction and embryogenesis, bone growth and maintenance, eye development or structure, psychomotor skills, and cognitive functions. Supra nutritional or pharmacologic intakes of boron have been shown to have salutary effects on bone growth, composition and mechanical properties; the presence or action of hormones involved in bone turnover and maintenance; and synthesis and release of angiogenic factors involved in wound healing. Boron pharmaceutical compounds have been developed that apparently inhibit the growth of certain types of cancer. Because the apparent importance of boron for good bone, brain, eye, immune, psychomotor, and reproductive function, dietary guidance is appropriate for this mineral element. A World Health Organization publication has suggested that an acceptable safe range of population mean boron intakes for adults is 1 to 13 mg per day.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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