Friday, May 25, 2012

Food Facts Friday: Did you say boring? No ...BORON!

I took my daughter to the OBGYN this week (sorry girlfriend, I'm trying to make a point). At the receptionist's desk, there was a display of all sorts of vitamins for sale. One vitamin was for 'Strong Bones'. I thought this particular supplement was interesting because it stated that it contained vitamin D and the fifth element of the periodic chart, boron.
I think you are going to hear quite a bit about Boron. Currently, there is no FDA Recommended Daily Allowance determined for boron. I am guessing, with our aging population, this could change. The reason for this is due to lots of new research providing evidence that dietary boron effects metabolic processes, like coronary artery disease, osteoporosis, and arthritis.

When dietary consumption of boron is increased, it has been shown to increase estrogen, testosterone, blood calcium levels, decrease calcium excretion and blood lipids levels, as well as counteract the negative effects of vitamin D and magnesium deficiencies. In an aging population, this information can be particularly useful  - especially to those who suffer from arthritis, atherosclerosis and osteoporosis.

Some research has shown that boron can form corticosteroids, alleviating symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Other research reports how boron can promote removal of cholesterol from tissues and lower blood lipid levels, benefitting persons suffering from atherosclerosis.

Regarding bone health, boron plays a role in vitamin D, magnesium and calcium metabolism, which can benefit bone metabolism, leading to a decrease in bone brittleness and an increase in bone strength.
Resistance exercise helps build strong bones, at any age!
There was also another study, which probably won't concern many people - especially those suffering from osteoporosis, arthritis or high blood lipid levels. It caught my eye, though, because I like to run and to run, you need to produce ATP, cellular energy.

Boron influences about 26 different enzymatic activities in plants & animals. In this role, boron regulates enzymatic activity involved in energy substrate metabolism (like burning sugar for energy). In this role, boron competes with ATP precursors (NAD, FAD & GDP) and reversibly inhibits their activity. Out of this research, stems boron's ability to be an anti-oxidant, which may sound great to some, but when I am out there competing, telling every mitochondria in every cell (except RBC's, of course) to make ATP, I don't want to have a defeating moment, where my brain tells me that my body can't make ATP because I've been taking vitamin D supplements with boron.
My goal on Sunday in the Boston 1/2 marathon: Make a lot of ATP!
One of my readers once commented and said, 
"This is too complicated. I just eat healthy food."
I agree!

That's why it's good to know that boron is abundant in fruits, vegetables and legumes. Like that expression, an apple a day: apples are a great source of boron ... and so are grapes, apricots, dates, raisins, celery, cabbage, lentils, chick peas, almonds and bananas.

Unfortunately, levels of boron may vary among foods, based on levels of boron in the soil in which these fruits, veggies and legumes have been grown. That's why it is best to eat a variety of fruits, veggies and legumes to ensure you are getting a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, besides, it gets boring eating the same old things!


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