The connection between healthy strong teeth, gums, and rest of the body is the first thing I discuss with patients. One thing I always try and help people understand, the way your feed your body, is what it uses to make strong bones and teeth.
Boron is a nutrient you may never have considered to prevent tooth decay naturally.
Who doesn’t want healthy bones and joints for the rest of their life? What about better nutrient absorption and improved hormone balance? That sounds good too right? All of these and more are benefits of the mineral boron.
Though it gets little attention, boron is essential to the human body through a variety of supporting functions. Boron also reduces inflammation and oxidative stress – two things anyone trying to stay healthy should care about.
Researchers have found a number of health benefits for boron.
How Boron Works In Your Body
The roles boron plays in your body are diverse and important, especially in your metabolism and other functions that involve maintaining homeostasis. You might be surprised to hear that your sex hormones are closely linked to gingivitis. These hormones can change your oral microbiome balance and affect your immune system. In fact, it’s one reason women should be more concerned about bleeding gums during pregnancy. Your body needs boron to create and maintain a good balance of sex hormones, estrogen and testosterone. Although if you take too much boron, you can quickly throw these off. With boron, there is such thing as too much of a good thing.
An important role of boron includes how it helps your body absorb magnesium better. Magnesium is an important mineral for hundreds of functions in your body. Fortunately, these two minerals work hand-in-hand to keep you feeling your best. Boron also impacts how your body uses calcium and phosphorous.
Of all the functions boron has in your body, it is by far the most famous for its role in your joints and bones. Boron induces the mineralization activity of what’s called your osteoblasts. Osteoblasts are a type of cell that creates new material to rebuild bones. Boron activates these cells through regulating gene expression.
This is only the beginning – there are many other surprising health benefits of boron.
5 Surprising Health Benefits of Boron
Speeds up wound healing
Boron is great for speeding up and improving wound healing. A 1990 studythat is still widely cited today found that a 3 percent boric acid treatment on deep wounds reduced the overall healing time by two-thirds.
Since then we’ve seen that boron helps wounds through specific action on the most common enzymes in animal tissues – collagenase, alkaline phosphatase, and elastase. Similar to how boron activates the osteoblasts in the bones, it also activates fibroblasts of the skin and tissues.
Improves gum and teeth health
Boron helps keep your teeth and gums healthy through reducing inflammation and improving bone and tissue repair. There’s an interesting study that came out in 2013 that found boron would helps the tooth building cells in such a way it’s believed that boron could be used in bone and tooth tissue engineering. This is a long way off from becoming a reality but a fascinating possibility nonetheless. A healthy dose of boron could help to prevent gum disease naturally.
Prevents vitamin D deficiency
First of all, you need to know that vitamin D is essential to your overall health. Vitamin D is so important I wrote a four part series on it. The fact that boron is so good at preventing vitamin D deficiency is worth discussing. And the way in which boron prevents vitamin D is fascinating. It actually increases the biological half life of vitamin D levels in your body. Meaning, it prolongs the amount of time vitamin D stays in your body in a useful form.
You may have noticed a theme when it comes to boron and other minerals and vitamins – it’s great at improving your natural absorption of many.
Boron is effective at reducing certain inflammatory markers called cytokines – specifically, hs-CRP and TNF-α. These two cytokines have been associated with breast cancer, obesity, insulin resistance, lung cancer, heart disease, depression, and more.
In fact, because of its role in both reducing inflammation and activating healing cells of bones and joints, boron is considered an effective natural treatment for osteoarthritis.
We’ve touched on this briefly, but boron’s influence over our hormones is worth a deeper look. Boron is important in both men and women. Studies indicate that boron supplements cause an increase in estradiol and testosterone.
Due to this, you’ll come across a lot of advice, especially in men’s health forums, recommending boron supplementation. This advice usually points out that boron does indeed boost testosterone levels. However, what these usually fail to mention is that boron also increases estrogen levels, which isn’t great for men in general. This is one nutrient I believe is best to mostly get from your diet and forgo supplementation unless you’re doing so under the supervision of a doctor.
Boron supplements and dosage
In a few cases, a doctor might prescribe a boron supplement as a medication. Always ask your doctor before taking a boron supplement. Boron is a supplement where I recommend you use caution. For a high-quality boron supplement, I recommend this brand.
Boron may not be needed in the supplemental form, it’s only needed only in trace amounts. Sufficient boron can be found good food sources of boron. Also, it’s rare that you would have a boron deficiency. Of the trace minerals your body needs, selenium deficiency is far more common. Selenium supplementation makes a lot more sense for your health and yet, so take this into consideration before taking a boron supplement.
Boron is generally safe but it can cause toxicity symptoms and issues at high levels. If you take boron supplements you can experience heart palpitations, vomiting, and diarrhea. You can get plenty through your food but be sure you’re getting enough.
Best food sources of boron
Instead of supplementation with this important mineral, opt for foods high in boron. These include:
- Brazil nuts