Life Extension Magazine®
Dirt labeled with Boron and other minerals found that can improve overall health

What is Boron?

The trace mineral boron provides profound anti-cancer effects, in addition to maintaining stronger bones.

Scientifically reviewed by: Dr Gary Gonzalez, MD, on July 2021. Written By Laurie Mathena.

Boron is a trace mineral found in the earth’s crust and in water. Its importance in human health has been underestimated.

Boron has been shown to have actions against specific types of malignancies, such as:

  • Cervical cancer: The country Turkey has an extremely low incidence of cervical cancer, and scientists partially attribute this to its boron-rich soil.1 When comparing women who live in boron-rich regions versus boron-poor regions of Turkey, not a single woman living in the boron-rich regions had any indication of cervical cancer.2 (The mean dietary intake of boron for women in this group was 8.41 mg/day.)
    Boron interferes with the life cycle of the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is a contributing factor in approximately 95% of all cervical cancers.1
    Considering that HPV viruses are increasingly implicated in head and neck cancers,3,4 supplementation with this ultra-low-cost mineral could have significant benefits in protecting against this malignancy that is increasing in prevalence.
  • Lung cancer: A study conducted at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center between 1995 and 2005 found that increased boron intake was associated with a lower risk of lung cancer in postmenopausal women who were taking hormone replacement therapy.
  • Prostate cancer: Studies point to boron’s ability to inhibit the growth and spread of prostate cancer cells.
    In one study, when mice were exposed to boric acid, their tumors shrank by as much as 38%.6 One analysis found that increased dietary boron intake was associated with a decreased risk of prostate cancer.7
Researcher holding beaker to study boron and reducing the excretion of calcium

Several human and animal studies have confirmed the important connection between boron and bone health.

Boron prevents calcium loss,8 while also alleviating the bone problems associated with magnesium and vitamin D deficiency.9 All of these nutrients help maintain bone density.

A study in female rats revealed the harmful effects a deficiency in boron has on bones, including:10

  • Decreased bone volume fraction, a measure of bone strength,
  • Decreased thickness of the bone’s spongy inner layer, and
  • Decreased maximum force needed to break the femur.

And in a study of post-menopausal women, supplementation with3 mg of boron per day prevented calcium loss and bone demineralization by reducing urinary excretion of both calcium and magnesium.8

In addition to its bone and anti-cancer benefits, there are nine additional reasons boron is an important trace mineral vital for health and longevity. It has been shown to:1

  1. Greatly improve wound healing,
  2. Beneficially impact the body’s use of estrogen, testosterone, and vitamin D,
  3. Boost magnesium absorption,
  4. Reduce levels of inflammatory biomarkers, such as high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α),
  5. Raise levels of antioxidant enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, and glutathione peroxidase,
  6. Protect against pesticide-induced oxidative stress and heavy-metal toxicity,
  7. Improve the brain’s electrical activity, which may explain its benefits for cognitive performance, and short-term memory in the elderly,
  8. Influence the formation and activity of key biomolecules, such as S-adenosyl methionine (SAM-e) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), and
  9. Potentially help ameliorate the adverse effects of traditional chemotherapeutic agents.

Because the amount of boron varies in the soil, based on geographical location, obtaining enough boron through diet alone can be difficult.

Supplementing with low-cost boron is an effective way to maintain adequate levels of this overlooked micronutrient.

Most Life Extension® supporters obtain 3 mg to 6 mg of boron in their multi-nutrient supplements.

Those who want to supplement with additional boron can affordably do so because the cost is so low (around four pennies a day).

If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Wellness Specialist at 1-866-864-3027.

References

  1. Pizzorno L. Nothing Boring About Boron. Integr Med (Encinitas). 2015 Aug;14(4): 35-48.
  2. Korkmaz M, Uzgoren E, Bakirdere S, et al. Effects of dietary boron on cervical cytopathology and on micronucleus frequency in exfoliated buccal cells. Environ Toxicol. 2007 Feb;22(1):17-25.
  3. Zandberg DP, Bhargava R, Badin S, et al. The role of human papillomavirus in nongenital cancers. CA Cancer J Clin. 2013 Jan;63(1):57-81.
  4. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/hpv/basic_info/hpv_oropharyngeal.htm. Accessed January 23, 2018.
  5. Mahabir S, Spitz MR, Barrera SL, et al. Dietary boron and hormone replacement therapy as risk factors for lung cancer in women. Am J Epidemiol. 2008 May 1;167(9):1070-80.
  6. Gallardo-Williams MT, Chapin RE, King PE, et al. Boron supplementation inhibits the growth and local expression of IGF-1 in human prostate adenocarcinoma (LNCaP) tumors in nude mice. Toxicol Pathol. 2004 Jan-Feb;32(1):73-8.
  7. Cui Y, Winton MI, Zhang ZF, et al. Dietary boron intake and prostate cancer risk. Oncol Rep. 2004 Apr;11(4):887-92.
  8. Nielsen FH, Hunt CD, Mullen LM, et al. Effect of dietary boron on mineral, estrogen, and testosterone metabolism in postmenopausal women. FASEB J. 1987 Nov;1(5):394-7.
  9. Nielsen FH. Studies on the relationship between boron and magnesium which possibly affects the formation and maintenance of bones. Magnes Trace Elem. 1990;9(2):61-9.
  10. Nielsen FH, Stoecker BJ. Boron and fish oil have different beneficial effects on strength and trabecular microarchitecture of bone. J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2009;23(3):195-203.