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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Boron in Human and Animal Nutrition

Author
item Nielsen, Forrest

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 1997
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: This review describes the findings from human and animal studies indicating that boron is a dynamic trace element which, in physiological amounts, can affect the metabolism or utilization of numerous other substances involved in life processes including macrominerals, energy substrates such as triglycerides and glucose, nitrogen containing substances such as amino acids and proteins, reactive oxygen species, and estrogen. Through these effects, boron can affect the function or composition of several body systems, including the brain, skeleton and immune system, generally in a beneficial fashion. Moreover, homeostatic mechanisms apparently exist for boron because it is rapidly excreted in the urine, does not accumulate in tissues, and is maintained in a relatively narrow range of concentrations in blood of healthy individuals. Thus, even though boron has not been conclusively established as essential l because a biochemical function for it has not been identified, its beneficial actions suggest that an intake of over 1 mg/day (but probably not more than 13 mg/day) is desirable; diets low in fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts may not provide this amount of boron. Boron may be of more practical nutritional importance than currently acknowledged.

Technical Abstract: This review describes the findings from human and animal studies indicating that boron is a dynamic trace element which, in physiological amounts, can affect the metabolism or utilization of numerous other substances involved in life processes including macrominerals, energy substrates such as triglycerides and glucose, nitrogen containing substances such as amino acids and proteins, reactive oxygen species, and estrogen. Through these effects, boron can affect the function or composition of several body systems, including the brain, skeleton and immune system, generally in a beneficial fashion. Moreover, homeostatic mechanisms apparently exist for boron because it is rapidly excreted in the urine, does not accumulate in tissues, and is maintained in a relatively narrow range of concentrations in blood of healthy individuals. Thus, even though boron has not been conclusively established as essential l because a biochemical function for it has not been identified, its beneficial actions suggest that an intake of over 1 mg/day (but probably not more than 13 mg/day) is desirable; diets low in fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts may not provide this amount of boron. Boron may be of more practical nutritional importance than currently acknowledged.

Last Modified: 12/19/2014
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