Justification for Providing Dietary Guidance for the Nutritional Intake of Boron

B

ecause a biochemical function has been defined for boron (B), its nutritional essentiality has not been firmly established. Nonetheless, dietary guidance should be formulated for B, because it has demonstrated beneficial, if not essential, effects in both animals and humans. Intakes of B commonly found with diets abundant in fruits, vegetables, legumes, pulses, and nuts have effects construed to be beneficial in macro mineral, energy, nitrogen, and reactive oxygen metabolism, in addition to enhancing the response to estrogen therapy and improving psychomotor skills and cognitive processes pf attention and memory. Perhaps the best-documented beneficial effect of B is on calcium (Ca) metabolism or utilization, and thus, bone calcification and maintenance. The paradigm emerging for the provision of dietary guidance that includes consideration of the total health effects of a nutrient, not just the prevention of deficiency disease, has resulted in dietary guidance for chromium(Cr), this element has beneficial effect in humans. Knowledge of B nutritional effects in humans equals or is superior to that of Cr; thus, establishing a dietary reference intake for B is justified. An analysis of both human and animal data suggests that an acceptable safe range of population mean intake of B for adults could well be 1-13 mg/d. Recent findings indicate that a significant number of people do not consistently consume more than 1 mg B/d; this suggests that B could be a practical nutritional or clinical concern.

Nielsen FH, Biol Trace Elem Res, 1998;66:319-330