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Environ Health Perspect. Nov 1994; 102(Suppl 7): 59–63.
PMCID: PMC1566640
Research Article
Biochemical and physiologic consequences of boron deprivation in humans.
F H Nielsen
United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Grand Forks, North Dakota 58202-9034.
Abstract
Boron deprivation experiments with humans have yielded some persuasive findings for the hypothesis that boron is an essential nutrient. In the first nutritional study with humans involving boron, 12 postmenopausal women first were fed a diet that provided 0.25 mg boron/2000 kcal for 119 days, and then were fed the same diet with a boron supplement of 3 mg boron/day for 48 days. The boron supplementation reduced the total plasma concentration of calcium and the urinary excretions of calcium and magnesium, and elevated the serum concentrations of 17 beta-estradiol and testosterone. This study was followed by one in which five men over the age of 45, four postmenopausal women, and five postmenopausal women on estrogen therapy were fed a boron-low diet (0.23 mg/2000 kcal) for 63 days, then fed the same diet supplemented with 3 mg boron/day for 49 days. The diet was low in magnesium (115 mg/2000 kcal) and marginally adequate in copper (1.6 mg/2000 kcal) throughout the study. This experiment found higher erythrocyte superoxide dismutase, serum enzymatic ceruloplasmin, and plasma copper during boron repletion than boron depletion. The design of the most recent experiment was the same as the second study, except this time the diet was adequate in magnesium and copper. Estrogen therapy increased plasma copper and serum 17 beta-estradiol concentrations; the increases were depressed by boron deprivation. Estrogen ingestion also increased serum immunoreactive ceruloplasmin and erythrocyte superoxide dismutase; these variables also were higher during boron repletion than depletion for all subjects, not just those ingesting estrogen.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
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