Boron is another one of the elements in our list that has been discovered only in recent years to be essential to bone health. The body requires boron for proper metabolism and utilization of various bone-building factors, including calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, estrogen, and perhaps testosterone. Though results have been somewhat mixed and the mechanisms have yet to become clear, studies overall show that boron has a mineral-conserving and estrogen-enhancing effect, especially among women with low magnesium intake. Lead researchers now consider boron important in the utilization and metabolism of calcium and vitamin D, as well as important for overall hormonal balance.

Though RDA’s for boron have yet to be established, we know that our ancestors consumed much more of this nutrient than most of us do today. Excessive boron in the supplemental form can be toxic, but there’s no need to restrict boron from our food sources. It’s easy enough to consume as much as 10 mg per day with a diet plentiful in fruits, veggies, and nuts, which could account for a lower osteoporosis rate among vegetarians. In fact, there are places in the world where people consume as much as four times this amount without adverse effects.

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