Boron is the fifth element in the periodic table of elements and has a number of important functions that have
only recently been discovered and have yet to be fully appreciated. Boron is essential for plant growth, and
it has recently been shown to be essential in at least one species of animal (zebra fish), with evidence
mounting that it is probably essential for humans as well. The first edition of The Merck Manual (1899) credits
boric acid, the most common form of boron, with being a useful treatment for amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea,
epilepsy and elevated uric acid.
Prior to 1981, boron was thought to be all but irrelevant in daily human nutrition. Since then, there have been
a number of animal and human studies (including one by the U.S. Department of Agriculture) determining
boron as essential for the hormonal influence of estrogen and testosterone as well as bone metabolism. It is
also purported to have anti-carcinogenic potential as well as preserving cognitive function. From a scientific
perspective, boron appears to have earned its place on our list of vital nutrients in the orchestration of health.
It has, however, yet to receive any official recognition as an essential mineral – yet.
Sources of Boron
Boron is found in non-citrus fruits such as plums, red grapes, apples, pears, and avocados, as well as in
legumes and nuts. It is also present in significant amounts in coffee and red wine. Dried fruits contain a much
higher amount of boron than fresh fruit. Although boron currently is not considered an essential element in
the diet of humans, many scientists believe it merits the status as an essential "ultratrace" element.
BORON'S EFFECT ON CANCER
Much of the recent research on boron’s anti-carcinogenic potential has been
particularly centered on prostate cancer. In a study presented at the annual
Experimental Biology conference in Florida in 2001, boron was shown to have
reduced the incidence of prostate cancer development by 64%. The study, from the Cancer Epidemiology Training Program at the UCLA