Boron is an essential or vital trace element for the human body, which occupies fifth place in the periodic system of D.I. Mendeleev.
The compound is involved in the metabolism of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, supports bones in a healthy state, strengthens muscles, improves vitality, prevents postmenopausal osteoporosis, improves brain function.
In nature, boron does not occur in its pure form, only as salts. Today there are 100 minerals containing it. For the first time, the trace element was obtained by French scientists L. Tenard, J. Gay-Lussac in 1808.
In the earth’s crust, the content of boron is 4 grams per ton, in the human body – 20 milligrams. Half of the total amount of the element is concentrated in the skeleton (10 milligrams). A little less of the compound is found in the thyroid gland, bones, spleen, tooth enamel, nails (6 milligrams), the rest is present in the kidneys, lymph nodes, liver, muscles, nervous tissue, adipose tissue, parenchymal organs. The average concentration of boron in the blood plasma is in the range of 0,02 – 0,075 micrograms per milliliter.
In the free state, the element is presented in the form of a colorless, dark amorphous, gray or red crystalline substance. The state of boron (there are more than a dozen of them) depends on the temperature of its production and determines the color shade and structure of the compound.
To maintain health, a person needs to use 1 – 3 milligrams of a microelement per day every day.
If the daily dose does not reach 0,2 milligrams, a deficiency of the compound develops in the body, if it exceeds 13 milligrams, poisoning occurs.
Interestingly, in order to maintain women’s health, the representatives of the beautiful half of humanity need a greater intake of boron (2 – 3 milligrams) than men (1 – 2 milligrams). It has been established that with a normal diet, the average person receives 2 milligrams of an element per day.
Routes of entry of boron into the human body
How can a substance get inside:
- With air. At risk are people working in the beard and boron processing industries. The same category includes persons living near these factories.
- With water. In natural reservoirs, the element is presented as ions of boric acids, in alkaline – in metaboric and polyboric, in acidic – orthoboric. Mineralized waters with pH > 7 are considered the most saturated with this compound, the concentration of the compound in them reaches tens of milligrams per liter. In underground reservoirs, boron sources are saline deposits (colemanite, asharite, borax, caliberite, ulexite), clays, and skarins. In addition, the substance can enter the environment with effluents from production.
- With food. In food, the element is presented in the form of boric acid or sodium tetraborate decahydrate. When ingested, 90% of the compound is absorbed from the digestive tract.
- With insecticides, detergents and fire fighting products through the skin and respiratory system.
- With makeup.
According to studies conducted in the USA, skin contact with boron is not harmful to human health. However, the intake of trace elements with water, food, through the respiratory system in excess (over 3 milligrams per day) increases the risk of developing malignant tumors.
The role of boron in the body
To date, the properties of the trace element are under study. Initially, scientists found that boron favorably affects the growth of plants: lack of connection caused a halt in their development, the formation of new buds. The obtained experimental data made biologists think about the role of the element for human life.
- Normalizes the activity of the endocrine glands.
- Participates in fat, carbohydrate metabolism, the conversion of vitamin D into an active form.
- Increases the level of sugar, estrogen, testosterone, steroid hormones in the blood. In this regard, women in menopause are especially in need of regular intake of boron.
- It inhibits the activity of the following enzymes: tyrosine nucleotide-dependent and flavin nucleotide-dependent oxidoreductases.
- Improves brain function, participates in the processes of magnesium, calcium, fluorine metabolism.
- Important for the absorption of zinc.
- Regulates the production of parathyroid hormone.
- Enhances nucleic acid metabolism, promotes muscle gain.
- Slows down the oxidation of adrenaline.
- Removes copper from the body.
- Prevents the loss of calcium in bone tissue, prevents the development of osteoporosis, diseases of the spine.
- Supports healthy joints. A micronutrient deficiency causes the development of arthritis, arthrosis. In regions with low boron content in soil, water, air, people are 7 times more likely to experience joint problems.
- Breaks down and reduces the risk of the formation of kidney oxalate stones.
- Increases life expectancy.
- It accelerates the growth of children and adolescents.
- Stimulates protein synthesis.
- Restores the nervous system, is used at the initial stage of the treatment of epilepsy.
- Fights malignant neoplasms.
When using boron, keep in mind that it slows down the absorption of flavonoids, vitamin C. So, the functions of riboflavin (B2) and cyanocobalamin (B12) are inactivated under the influence of borates. The effect of alcohol and certain medications microelement, on the contrary, enhances 2 – 5 times.
Signs and consequences of a shortage
Boron deficiency in the body is not well understood, since this phenomenon is very rare. Experiments conducted on chickens showed that the experimental animals stopped growing when the microelement was insufficient. Symptoms of a lack of boron:
- increased drowsiness;
- growth retardation in a child;
- crumbling teeth;
- joint pain, bones;
- stratification of the nail plate;
- split hair;
- extinction of sexual function;
- fragility of bones;
- poor wound healing, jointing of fractures;
- decreased immunity, mental ability;
- tendency to diabetes;
- lack of vitality;
- distracted attention.
Consequences of micronutrient deficiency in the human body:
- hormonal imbalance, which contributes to the development of polycystosis, mastopathy, erosion, fibroids;
- concentration disorder;
- changes in protein, fat metabolism;
- slowing down the reaction to external stimuli;
- memory problems;
- disruption of the endocrine glands;
- change in blood composition;
- the progression of diseases of the joints, musculoskeletal system;
- oncology of reproductive organs;
- early menopause;
- the development of hyperchromic anemia, urolithiasis, thrombocytopenia;
- deterioration of the central nervous system, brain.
Possible causes of boron deficiency in the body: dysregulation of the metabolism of the compound, insufficient intake of trace elements with food or nutritional supplements.
Signs and consequences of excess
Boron belongs to the category of potent toxic substances, therefore, excessive consumption of a trace element is dangerous to health.
Symptoms of overdose:
- decreased appetite;
- dehydration of the body;
- itchy red rash;
- hair loss;
- deterioration of spermogram indicators;
- peeling of the skin.
The consequences of an excess of the compound in the body:
- damage to the lungs, nervous system, kidneys, digestive tract;
- irritation of the mucous membranes of the internal organs, primarily the stomach and intestines;
- sudden weight loss (anorexia);
- muscle atrophy;
- the development of anemia, polymorphic dry erythema, diseases of the digestive tract.
Obtaining an excess of boron with food is impossible. Overdose can occur due to prolonged use of drugs, additives containing a trace element in excess of the daily requirement of the body.
If you experience symptoms that indicate an excess of boron in the body, limit the intake of foods, medicines, dietary supplements containing the element and seek help from your doctor.
The largest amount of boron is concentrated in raisins, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. Interestingly, cider, beer, red wine are also enriched with a useful trace element if they are prepared in the traditional way from quality raw materials. Dairy products, meat, fish are scarce for a useful compound.
|product Name||Boron content per 100 gram of product, micrograms|
|Raisins||625 ̶ 2200|
|Essentuki No. 4, mineral water||900|
|Food Grain, Buckwheat||730|
|Wheat, flour (2 varieties)||93|
|Wheat, flour (1 varieties)||74|
|Wheat, flour (premium)||37|
|Rye, flour (wallpaper, rye)||35|
Thus, boron is a vital trace element for human health, which has an anti-inflammatory, antitumor effect, and contributes to the normalization of lipid metabolism. Overdose and deficiency of the compound cause negative reactions in organs, systems, cells (see p. Signs and consequences of shortage, excess), so it is important to maintain the right amount of the substance in the body.
Today, boric acid is used in medicine for the manufacture of ointments for dermatitis, Teymurov’s paste for sweating, diaper rash. Aqueous 2 – 4% solution based on the compound is used as an antiseptic for rinsing the mouth, eyes and washing wounds.