Dr. Ron’s Research Review – September 5, 2012

This week’s research review focuses on boron in men and women.

Eight healthy male volunteers consumed a capsule of 10mg boron every day with their breakfast, and blood samples were collected at 8 AM, and on the first day every 2h for the next 6h. Six hours supplementation showed a significant decrease on sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), high sensitive CRP (hsCRP) and TNF-alpha level. After one week (in samples taken at 8.00 A.M, only), the mean plasma free testosterone increased and the mean plasma estradiol decreased significantly. Dihydrotestosterone, cortisol and vitamin D was elevated. Also, concentrations of all three inflammatory biomarkers decreased after supplementation. (Naghii, Mofid et al. 2011)

In postmenopausal women, 3 mg/day boron supplementation markedly elevated the serum concentrations of 17 beta-estradiol and testosterone; the elevation seemed more marked when dietary magnesium was low. (Nielsen, Hunt et al. 1987)        

Also included is a recent review article on boron: "Is boron nutritionally relevant?" (Nielsen 2008)

Dr. Ron


Articles

Comparative effects of daily and weekly boron supplementation on plasma steroid hormones and proinflammatory cytokines

            (Naghii, Mofid et al. 2011) Download

Boron possesses widespread properties in biochemistry and nutrition. Acute supplementation with 11.6 mg of boron resulted in a significant increase in plasma boron concentration. Given such a fast bioavailability, the objective was to determine whether acute (hourly or daily), and weekly supplementation could have any significant biological effects on the steroid hormones and further on some inflammatory biomarkers. Eight healthy male volunteers attended the laboratory on three occasions (days 0, 1 and 7). On the first day (day 0), a blood sample collection at 8.00 A.M was followed by ingestion of placebo with the breakfast. On the next day (supplementation-day 1), similar procedure was followed by ingestion of a capsule containing 10mg of boron. On both occasions blood was collected every 2h for the next 6h. Subjects were requested to consume a capsule of 10mg boron every day with their breakfast, and on the day 7, the blood collection was carried out at 8.00 A.M, again. Boron in plasma increased significantly following hours and weekly consumption. Six hours supplementation showed a significant decrease on sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), high sensitive CRP (hsCRP) and TNF-alpha level. After one week (in samples taken at 8.00 A.M, only), the mean plasma free testosterone increased and the mean plasma estradiol decreased significantly. Dihydrotestosterone, cortisol and vitamin D was elevated. Also, concentrations of all three inflammatory biomarkers decreased after supplementation. Of note, despite decreased proinflammatory cytokines, based on recent clinical data, this must be the first human study report to show an increase level of free testosterone after boron consumption.

Effect of dietary boron on mineral, estrogen, and testosterone metabolism in postmenopausal women

            (Nielsen, Hunt et al. 1987) Download

A study was done to examine the effects of aluminum, magnesium, and boron on major mineral metabolism in postmenopausal women. This communication describes some of the effects of dietary boron on 12 women between the ages of 48 and 82 housed in a metabolic unit. A boron supplement of 3 mg/day markedly affected several indices of mineral metabolism of seven women consuming a low-magnesium diet and five women consuming a diet adequate in magnesium; the women had consumed a conventional diet supplying about 0.25 mg boron/day for 119 days. Boron supplementation markedly reduced the urinary excretion of calcium and magnesium; the depression seemed more marked when dietary magnesium was low. Boron supplementation depressed the urinary excretion of phosphorus by the low-magnesium, but not by the adequate-magnesium, women. Boron supplementation markedly elevated the serum concentrations of 17 beta-estradiol and testosterone; the elevation seemed more marked when dietary magnesium was low. Neither high dietary aluminum (1000 mg/day) nor an interaction between boron and aluminum affected the variables presented. The findings suggest that supplementation of a low-boron diet with an amount of boron commonly found in diets high in fruits and vegetables induces changes in postmenopausal women consistent with the prevention of calcium loss and bone demineralization.

Is boron nutritionally relevant?

            (Nielsen 2008) Download

Evidence from numerous laboratories using a variety of experimental models, including humans, shows that boron is a bioactive beneficial element. Much evidence has come from studies that did not require nutritional or environmental stressors or fastidious methods in diet preparation or environmental control. The evidence includes deprivation studies showing that boron is necessary for some higher animals to complete the life cycle, and that realistic low boron intakes result in impaired bone health, brain function, and immune response. Thus, low boron intake is a relevant nutritional concern, which diets rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and pulses can prevent.


References

Naghii, M. R., M. Mofid, et al. (2011). "Comparative effects of daily and weekly boron supplementation on plasma steroid hormones and proinflammatory cytokines." J Trace Elem Med Biol 25(1): 54-8.