The little-known mineral that fights arthritis, osteoporosis and cancer

When you think about a diet that will keep your body and mind healthy and strong as you age, you probably think of including minerals like calcium and iron, as well as a wide range of vitamins.

But have you ever thought about how well your body actually uses those nutrients after you’ve eaten them?

Think of it this way: What’s the good of putting gasoline in your car if the fuel injection system isn’t working properly? It may be premium quality fuel your putting in, but if it’s not getting to the engine, your car won’t move.

Our bodies work that way too. Many vitamins and minerals need help if they are to be absorbed by the body and put to good use.

There’s a trace mineral you’re almost certainly overlooking that’s the “gatekeeper” for most of the important vitamins and minerals your body needs. This often-ignored mineral makes all the healthy food you’re eating accessible to your body, preventing some of the conditions we all fear as we get older.

The “start” button for better health and nutrition

What are some of the conditions that strike fear into our hearts? The ones that slow us down or even stop us in our tracks as we age?

  • Arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes

Boron helps guard your body against them all!

5 ways boron keeps you young

Boron is a trace mineral naturally present in some foods because it occurs in the earth’s crust, like other minerals that do the body good. And the list of benefits is long. In fact, boron helps…

  1. Relieve arthritis. There is quite a bit of evidence that boron supplementation alleviates arthritic pain.

In parts of the world where boron intake is 1 mg per day or less, incidences of arthritis range from 20 to 70 percent of the population, compared to no more than 10 percent when it is intake is higher (between 3 and 10 mg per day).

  1. Prevent osteoporosis. Boron facilitates the absorption of calcium into the bones. (Remember the car-gas analogy? If your bones don’t absorb the calcium you eat, it can’t help make them stronger!) It also helps the body produce and use Vitamin D.

A study from the Department of Orthopedics at Xi’an Red Cross Hospital in China found that rats who were fed a low-boron diet had spongy bones, bone loss and an increase in osteoporosis. Rats given high-boron supplements showed improvements in bone mass, thickness and volume.

  1. Think more clearly. Boron is an essential nutrient for brain health. Data from animal and human studies indicates that inadequate levels can impair eye-hand coordination, response time, attention, and both short- and long-term memory.
  2. Balance hormones. Boron supports estrogen production and regulates magnesium levels. This makes it valuable in controlling the unpleasant symptoms of menopause.
  3. Suppress disease-causing inflammation. Studies have shown that boron supplementation can reduce blood levels of C reactive protein and other markers of inflammation. Controlling inflammation reduces your risk for heart disease and cancer.

Boron’s cancer-fighting power

As if all that anti-aging power weren’t enough, boron is also known to have impressive cancer-fighting abilities.

The mineral has been proven to block the growth of lung, cervical and prostate cancers. It inhibits tumor-induced angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels that feed cancerous tumors) and induces apoptosis (cell death).

Scientists are even working to develop boron-based drugs to treat two especially devastating forms of cancer: multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Foods to eat to boost boron

Although you don’t hear much about boron, there’s no lack of wonderful foods that can boost your intake.

Apples, coffee, dried beans, milk and potatoes are the five most commonly eaten foods that contain significant levels of boron.

Some other terrific sources:

  • Almonds
  • Raisins
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Dried apricots
  • Hazelnuts
  • Peanut butter
  • Brazil nuts
  • Walnuts
  • Dates

While boron is widely recognized as safe, the FDA has set no dietary guidelines around minimum or maximum daily recommended amounts.

But high doses of supplements can potentially cause nausea, gastric discomfort, vomiting, diarrhea, and anxiety. It’s typically best to get minerals from whole food sources, like those listed above.

The National Institute of Health warns that since the supplements can increase estrogen, they could be problematic for people with hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast or prostate cancer, endometriosis or uterine fibroids.

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Sources:

  1. 15 Surprising Benefits Of Boron — organicfacts.net
  2. [Therapeutic effect of dietary boron supplement on retinoic acid-induced osteoporosis in rats]Journal of Southern Medical University
  3. Nothing Boring About BoronIntegr Med (Encinitas)
  4. Beyond Bones: 7 benefits of boron for healthy aging — Nurtured Bones
  5. Dietary boron, brain function, and cognitive performanceEnvironmental Health Perspectives

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Joyce Hollman

By Joyce Hollman

Joyce Hollman is a writer based in Kennebunk, Maine, specializing in the medical/healthcare and natural/alternative health space. Health challenges of her own led Joyce on a journey to discover ways to feel better through organic living, utilizing natural health strategies. Now, practicing yoga and meditation, and working towards living in a chemical-free home, her experiences make her the perfect conduit to help others live and feel better naturally.