Boron has been proven to be an important trace mineral because it is essential for:
- the growth and maintenance of bone;
- greatly improves wound healing;
- beneficially impacts the body’s use of estrogen, testosterone, and vitamin D;
- boosts magnesium absorption;
- reduces levels of inflammatory biomarkers, such as high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α);
- raises levels of antioxidant enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, and glutathione peroxidase;
- protects against pesticide-induced oxidative stress and heavy-metal toxicity;
- improves the brains electrical activity, cognitive performance, and short-term memory for elders;
- influences the formation and activity of key biomolecules, such as S-adenosyl methionine (SAM-e) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+);
- has demonstrated preventive and therapeutic effects in a number of cancers, such as prostate, cervical, and lung cancers, and multiple and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma;
- may help ameliorate the adverse effects of traditional chemotherapeutic agents.
The current review focuses primarily on boron’s most salient effects on human health, including its impact on bone development and regeneration, wound healing, the production and metabolism of sex steroids and vitamin D, and the absorption and use of calcium and magnesium. In addition, boron has anti-inflammatory effects that can help alleviate arthritis and improve brain function and has demonstrated such significant anticancer effects that boronated compounds are now being used in the treatment of several types of cancer. A summary of the evidence suggesting that boron should be given consideration as an essential micronutrient is provided, together with leading dietary sources and intake recommendations.