Boron Health Benefits
Boron health benefits include an ability to lower PSA (prostate specific antigen) levels, inhibit prostate cancer growth, and promote bone health. Fruits and nuts are the main food sources of boron, which also helps support brain function.
Boron is a trace element that is critical for bone strength, as it prevents the bones from losing calcium and magnesium. Among other boron health benefits is an ability to help improve eye-hand coordination, memory, and attention span.
A study published in Anticancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry noted that boron-containing compounds are most effective against prostate, breast, cervical, and lung cancer. That’s because boron interferes with the reproduction of cancer cells. (Scorei 2009) Other research revealed that boric acid and boronic acid can significantly reduce PSA levels and shrink prostate tumors in mice. (Gallardo-Williams 2004) Another study showed that boron inhibited the spread of prostate cancer cell lines (Barranco 2004).
Boron health benefits regarding prostate cancer also were observed in a small study from the University of California, Los Angeles. In that trial, men who had the highest dietary intake of boron reduced their prostate cancer risk by 54 percent compared with men who had the lowest boron intake. (Cui 2004)
No recommended daily intake has been established for boron, although the National Academy of Sciences has determined that the upper tolerable limit is 20 mg daily. (National Academy of Sciences) Most people get between 1 and 3 mg daily from their diet, which is believed to be sufficient. Boron is found mainly in apples, pears, avocados, raisins, red grapes, plums, and most nuts. Men who want to explore boron health benefits should consult their healthcare provider before taking supplements.
Barranco WT, Eckhert CD. Boric acid inhibits human prostate cancer cell proliferation. Cancer Lett 2004 Dec 8; 216(1): 21-29
Cui Y et al. Dietary boron intake and prostate cancer risk. Oncol Rep 2004 Apr; 11(4): 887-92
Gallardo-Williams MT 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; 32(1): 73-78.
National Academy of Sciences: http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=10026
Scorei RI, Popa R Jr. Boron-containing compounds as preventive and chemotherapeutic agents for cancer. Anticancer Agents Med Chem 2009 Nov 16.