Submitted to: Journal of Trace Elements in Experimental Medicine
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: March 31, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Boron is an element found in nature. We typically consume about one milligram of boron every day when we eat fruits, nuts, vegetables, and legumes. These plants require boron for their own growth and reproduction. Normal amounts of boron in the diet change they way in which the body uses other nutrients. There is evidence that boron may help fight some kinds of infections because of its observed role in immune function and the normal inflammation process. Boron also changes the number of certain cells in the blood that help the body get rid of an infection. Future research will try to find how boron changes the number of these blood cells because it may help develop a new way of treating or preventing rheumatoid arthritis in people.
Technical Abstract: There is evidence to support the hypothesis that dietary boron helps control the normal inflammatory process by serving as a suppressive signal that down-regulates specific enzymatic activities at the inflammation site that are typically elevated during inflammation. This reviews literature on the apparent beneficial effect of boron on aspects of inflammatory process including joint swelling, antibody production, hemostasis, and leukotriene metabolism. It also summarizes current research findings on the immunomodulatory effects of physiologic amounts of dietary boron fed to arthritic rats that reduced paw swelling and circulating neutrophil concentrations and increased circulating concentrations of natural killer cells and CD8**+/CD4**- cells. Possible biochemical mechanisms for the effects of boron on the inflammatory response are discussed with emphasis on possible roles of boron in the inhibition of activities of leukocyte 6- phosphogluconate dehydrogenase, gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase, cyclooxgenase, and serine proteases (elastase, chymase, cathepsin G, thrombin, and coagulation factors IXa, Xa, XIa) activities involved in the respiratory burst mechanism, reactive oxygen species metabolism, hemostasis, and eicosanoid metabolism.