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Boron and Osteoporosis 26 July 2009

Boron is a trace mineral which is critical for bone strength. Without boron, absorption of calcium is limited. Calcium, magnesium and vitamin D need boron to make strong bones. Boron also reduces the pain of arthritis and reduces the risk of prostate cancer. It is present in plant foods, especially plums, grapes and avocados. However our intake of boron is generally deficient.

When people consume a boron deficient diet, they have increased urinary loss of calcium and magnesium. Boron supplementation reduces this urinary loss.

Parts of the world which have a low boron intake have an incidence of arthritis ranging from 20 to 70%. Areas of the world with a higher boron intake have an incidence of arthritis of zero to 10%.

It has also been found that men with the highest intake of boron were 64% less likely to develop prostate cancer than men with the lowest intake. Boron has been found to decrease the activity of prostate specific antigen which now seems to be a cause, not just a marker of prostate cancer. Animal studies have suggested that supplemental boron may help shrink prostate cancers and decrease levels of prostate specific antigen.

In summary, women at high risk of osteoporosis and anyone with arthritis should make sure they take extra boron. All men should ensure a high intake of fruit, nuts and avocados — high boron foods which may reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

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