Submitted to: Health Effects of Boron and Its Compounds International Symposium
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 31, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: A new paradigm is emerging for giving dietary guidance, including the formulation of dietary reference standards such as the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs). Instead of focusing mainly on intakes that will prevent clinical signs caused by manifestly inadequate intakes, recommendations are now being made or developed that consider the total health effects of a nutrient. The specific health benefits consideration is exemplified by dietary intake recommendations for nutrients (e.g. calcium) that far exceed those required to prevent deficiency pathology. Recommendations for some dietary substances (e.g. fluoride) are based almost entirely on the basis of some health benefit. Based on the new paradigm, dietary guidance for boron is justified. Although a defined biochemical function has not been identified for boron, which has inhibited general acceptance of its nutritional essentiality, circumstantial evidence strongly suggests that it is essential. Most importantly, this circumstantial evidence shows that boron has numerous beneficial effects. These beneficial effects are especially expressed when humans or animals are exposed to nutritional stressors not uncommon to the general populace; these stressors include low magnesium, copper and vitamin D status. An analysis of both human and animal data has resulted in the suggestion that an acceptable safe range of population mean intakes of boron for adults could well be 1 to 13 mg/day. Recent studies indicate that many individuals consistently consume less than 1.0 mg/day, and thus are not receiving benefits of an adequate boron intake. There is full justification and thus an obligation for sources of food and nutrition information and education (including the RDAs) to provide dietary guidance for boron.