s3 e4: nothing boring about boron

In this episode, I am doing a mineral deep dive on boron. A lot of people are familiar with boron because of its positive impact on bone health and vitamin D, but it actually has a pretty big impact on our hormones and inflammation too. I hope you enjoy this format. Please share this episode in your stories on Instagram and tag me @hormonehealingrd to let me know you enjoyed it! 
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Amanda Montalvo 0:00
Hey, this is Amanda Women’s Health dietitian. And I’m Emily nutritional therapy practitioner. And this is the RU menstrual podcast where we help you navigate the confusing world of women’s hormones in teach you how to have healthy periods. Each week, we will be diving into a different topic on women’s health and sharing our perspective using nutrition, female physiology and metabolic health. Our goal is to help you wade through conflicting health information and empower you on your healing journey. We hope you enjoy it.

Heart rate, right, we have a mineral deep dive episode on boron, which I’m excited for I feel like people. I mean, some people know about boron, but I think it’s a very under recognized mineral. I did a mineral deep dive on iodine at the end of season two. And it’s one of my most popular episodes. So I was like, I’ll do another one. And then something that just kind of kept coming up, I get a lot of questions on like male fertility, men’s health. And I do plan to have an expert on the future.

But when I think of mental health, I think of boron. So I was like, you know, I’ll do a deep dive on boron haven’t talked about it much. And I feel like it’s one that can help people in multiple ways. And a lot of that is like one with like, our hormones. And we’ll talk about how it can support testosterone in men and women, and then also estrogen and postmenopausal women, it also increases the half life of vitamin D. So it can help us metabolize vitamin D better and use it better. It’s great for inflammation. It’s good for yeast, like there are so many benefits with boron. And that’s why this episode is titled nothing boring about boron. That’s actually the title of a research article too. That’s, that’s why I like thought of it. And I was like, I’m pretty sure I didn’t make that up. And it turns out I did not. It was one of the research articles that I read. And I’m going to mention a lot of studies in this episode, you can find them all in the show notes. So I organize them by topic. And that’s what I’ll do for the mineral deep dives I shared a lot with the iodine too. Just because it’s you know, when you’re making lots of claims, I get it, you guys want to nerd out and check them. I mean, it’s an absurd amount. But

I mean, there’s there’s a lot of research on boron, but we need more on the mechanisms because now, we don’t really fully understand yet exactly how it works with hormones. But we just have seen like, you know, the possible effects of it, benefiting them. So let me know if you like this format of the mineral deep dives, iodine, boron sharing your stories, tag me at hormone healing rd, message me or comment on something I just want to know so that I know like yes, I should probably do a whole season of this stuff, or at least sprinkle more of these episodes in. Alright, so what is boron? And what does it do in our bodies. It’s a trace mineral, which is why I focus on it. In my practice, because we do the hair mineral testing. It’s a trace mineral, it’s involved in maintaining bone health. It’s involved in balancing calcium and magnesium and has an impact on both of those minerals. It’s also impacts our vitamin D status, like I mentioned in sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone and sex hormone binding globulin. That’s like the biggest thing that has an impact on which we’ll talk about what that means and how it can help your hormones. It also has the potential to reduce arthritis. That’s probably one of the top things that boron is used for in like that people know of and like day to day. And that’s because of how it can impact calcium, magnesium and vitamin D, those can all support our bones. It also is helpful for inflammation. There are some studies on impacting insulin and supporting blood sugar balance, and parathyroid. That’s like probably the biggest thing that I learned about it for first because I had a few clients with hyperparathyroidism. And so boron was very helpful for dealing with their symptoms and the calcium issues and all that stuff, especially because they were utilizing other supplements that were making them feel worse, even though their labs technically looked better. But boron was like a saving grace for them. So it does a lot of different things in the body, right? It can impact us, hormonally our immune system, also like cognitive function, inflammation, lots of different things. And that’s This is why I feel like it’s such an underappreciated mineral. It’s also one that we can definitely get it from food but adding some via supplementation, which we’ll talk about at the end, can also be helpful as long as you know you’re doing it in small amounts and you’re being smart, but there is not a lot of talk about it. I feel like one because like not everyone knows what hair mineral testing is and one of the best ways to test it is through your hair. It’s found in the largest amounts in our bones, nails in hair.

So that’s why in my master minerals course, when the students go through that, if they order a hair test through me, we automatically add boron to it. Sometimes people come to us, and they’ve already done a hair test. And they’re like, how come I don’t have more on on there, it costs extra. So you do have to request to add it, the labs will automatically do it. I think it’s worth it. It’s like $7. So we always add it for people. But it’s a big one. And it can give you information on Iron too. So we’ll talk about how it interacts with other nutrients as well. Boron is found in our environment, right, we can get mostly we’re getting it from plants, things like fruits, veggies, nuts, but it’s found all over in the in our food in our environment, it has an atomic weight of 10.81. And the symbol for it is b. So if you are looking at a hair test, then you’ll know if you had it tested because they’ll just have a B. And if you have the trace elements, one like the one that we use, then it’s all the way on the right side, it’s like towards the right. And if it says an A above it, that means that they did not test it. If there’s two little arrows, that means that it was so low that it wasn’t detectable. Boron is a tough element. It’s very hard. And it’s essential for all green plants, which I thought was interesting. It’s present in all plants, and unprocessed foods if you’re getting like plant based foods. So we’re always going to be getting some in our diet. If we’re eating fruits and veggies, maybe some nuts. It’s also in beans and legumes. So most likely, there’s some trace amounts of boron in your diet, we’ll talk about which foods are the highest and and at the end and like how you can start adding boron into your day to day. But that’s like boron, in a nutshell does a lot of different things. But it is a trace mineral though, so it means that we don’t need it and like very large amounts.

So how does boron impact our hormones? I do wish there was a little bit more research on menstruating women because a lot of the research is on men and postmenopausal women, which is most research because you know the cyclical nature of women is hard to it adds a lot of variables to a study. But I would say when it comes to boron, the biggest impact that it’s having is that it can help lower steroid hormone binding globulin sh BG This is a protein. And it does exactly what it sounds like it binds to steroid hormones, it can bind to DHT, which I talked a lot about in the hair loss episode that is it is an androgen so it’s a male hormone. It’s a very strong one has lots of androgenic properties. So it can contribute to hair loss, acne, that sort of thing. So it can bind to DHT testosterone and drops on a dial estradiol and estrone and those are just two different forms of estrogen Ester dials e two on lab work as drone is E one. So as hBg can bind to all of those it has a greater affinity for androgens though, so the testosterone type of hormones, then the female hormones like estrogen and progesterone, but it does bind to some estrogen. It has like that hierarchy those typically it’s going to bind to antigens first, and then it will bind to estrogens if it is too high. And research has shown that when we supplement with boron, it can lower sh BG levels. And that can lead to higher levels of things like testosterone and estrogen in testosterone in men, and then in estrogen in postmenopausal women. And there’s a study that was done on eight min, it was six hours. So the thing I thought was cool about it is it looked at hourly and weekly and how that affected the levels. So this is straight from the study. Six hours of supplementation showed a significant decrease on sex hormone binding globulin, high sensitive CRP, which is like an inflammatory marker and TNF alpha levels after one week in samples taken at 8am Only the mean plasma free testosterone increased and the mean plasma estradiol decreased significantly. So this was in men, so that increase their testosterone and it decreased their estrogen which is what you would want the DHT cortisol and vitamin D or also elevated all concentrations of all three inflammatory biomarkers decreased after supplementation. So cortisol DHT, which is another androgen and vitamin D all improved, like went up. And then the other markers like the CRP and the TNF alpha, those are inflammatory markers, those improved so that’s why it was such a profound study one because they had never seen the effect of testosterone increasing in humans. Obviously, this is only done eight men, but it’s I still think that this is significant. especially because they did it on the six hour basis. And then after one week that’s not even that long of supplementation and they saw a significant difference. But a lot of it’s because it’s lowering that SHP G, so if you have less of this binding protein, and it’s not binding to as many androgens that leaves more free testosterone available for use, and then for there’s also some studies on like perimenopause, not just post menopause. But it shows that increase in estrogen and that’s why, you know, boron is helpful for bone health and recommended in postmenopausal women, because it keeps that estrogen higher, which is important for bone formation, but then it’s also helping with decreasing inflammation. And it helps with calcium and magnesium and phosphorus and getting those into the bone. So many different components there. They also found that bronze supplements significantly increased testosterone in postmenopausal women as well, a lot of women that are postmenopausal and no longer cycling, experience low testosterone levels, along with estrogen and progesterone, and that also can affect their libido give them unwanted symptoms. So this is another one where it’s like there were a lot of benefits, even if it wasn’t like the same as using like hormone replacement therapy, like HRT or something. The other cool thing with hormones and boron and that I mentioned this in the beginning, like one of the reasons I got so into horn I wanted to talk about it was for male fertility, testosterone, of course, but it’s also been shown to be helpful for preventing birth defects, which I found very interesting, and I’ll link the study. And then when it comes to male fertility, it’s important for sperm count and motility. So like, how well that sperm is moving to the egg. And I had a friend that she and her husband had low sperm count and poor motility and he was about to get procedure done to help with that. And I was like, try the boron first. And it did actually help his sperm count. I’m not sure about the motility. But I do remember his sperm count increasing, and he didn’t do a crazy amount. I’ll talk about supplementation at the end. But he was doing, he started off at like six milligrams a day, he went up to nine. And I think he only did it for like two months. And that really helped with their conception. So boron is huge for men, I get a lot of questions on what should my husband be doing to prepare for conception and fertility. I’m always saying boron. Selenium is also helpful for sperm. But that’s how boron is impacting our hormones. So this is one that I do really like for post menopause for women, mainly because yes, it’s gonna support estrogen. But it’s also really important for bone health. And it’s one for men too. That’s great, you know, it’s going to help have more free testosterone available can lower inflammatory markers. I mean, who doesn’t want an improved vitamin D status, like who doesn’t want that? So that’s hormones, when it comes to our parathyroid gland. So like a different type of hormone that we’re making. Boron can actually helped with hyperparathyroidism. And it has been suggested that boron is to the parathyroid gland, how iodine is the thyroid gland. So if you listen to the iodine episode, then you know how important we iodine is for making adequate thyroid hormone. And when we don’t have enough we have a deficiency we can experience both hypo or hyper thyroidism. And so a lot of research has suggested that that’s what boron is to the parathyroid gland, we need to have adequate levels. Otherwise, we could have hyperparathyroidism which changes how we regulate calcium and everything. So if you’re like, what is the hyperparathyroidism or what are parathyroid glands, we have four very small pea sized parathyroid glands that are behind our thyroid. So in our neck behind our thyroid, they control how much calcium is in the blood and within our bone. So they’re, they very tightly regulate calcium. And it’s very important to do this and if you’ve gone through my mineral course and learned about calcium, you know that, you know, an excessive amount of calcium leaving the bones and teeth obviously, there’s bone and oral health concerns, but there’s also like thyroid health concerns and slowing down of that metabolism, which once our metabolism slows, everything is impacted by that. Right our digestion, ovulation hormone production. Everything’s impacted. So detoxification so when we have these parathyroid glands functioning properly, they’re going to help maintain our body’s calcium levels within a very narrow range. This is also important for our nervous system and how our muscular system are functioning. Boron deficiency has been shown to cause those parathyroid glands to become overactive. And so if we release too much parathyroid hormone instead of having that really tight regulation of calcium, we are going to start to release care Also from the bones in the teeth, and that leads to higher blood levels, often leading to higher hair test levels as well. And then we have more arthritis, osteoporosis, bone loss, right tooth decay issues, overall, just like a slowing of the metabolism, and eventually your thyroid can be impacted by that as well. So boron is very important for someone that struggling with hyperparathyroidism when we think about how magnesium plays into this, because when when I think of clients I’ve worked with that have had hyperparathyroidism and, you know, what else do we focus on? Like, yes, boron is important. But we also have to look at magnesium status and magnesium can deficient levels can also cause our parathyroid gland to become overactive. And so usually, I’m looking most at mineral status through hair mineral testing, but definitely boron magnesium. And the interesting thing with magnesium is that boron can actually improve our absorption of it some similar to calcium. So if you are trying to boost magnesium status, then including some boron in your diet, or via supplementation, we’ll talk about the end can really help with that. So parathyroid, we want to think foreign, but we also want to pay attention to magnesium,

vitamin D, and bone health, I talked about how boron can help calcium and magnesium and phosphorus that go inside the cell in to our bones and our teeth. That’s a huge one. It’s also preventing that bone loss when it helps support estrogen levels. So we’ve seen in studies it can improve bone density, it can help prevent bone loss, and it helps with things like osteoporosis. That’s why like, if you ever look at a supplement that’s like for bone health, it usually doesn’t just have calcium, it’ll usually have calcium, vitamin K, too. And boron, sometimes they have magnesium if they’re smart. But those I don’t recommend supplementing with calcium, by the way, that’s like a whole I talked about utilizing whole food calcium in my course, I would. Definitely not recommending that just, you know, you might have seen boron on a supplement like this. I know my mom was recommended one. And I was like, No, we’re not doing that. But it can also help protect the bones because of that estrogen. And that’s something that does particularly happen post menopause estrogen drops, it can lead to more bone loss, and more iron, right when we have, we’re not bleeding as much, we’re not losing that blood, women still absorb a lot of iron even as we are older. So once that happens when we have too much iron that can also prevent new bone formation. And so I look at bone loss and menopause is like it’s an estrogen hormone issue, often a micronutrient like a mineral deficiency issue. And then typically paired with some excess iron, or just iron that’s not being regulated properly. And so boron can also help get excess iron out of the bone. So it’s helping a bone health in a number of different ways. But with vitamin D, this is also an important one, because remember, Vitamin D is going to impact how we absorb calcium in our gut. So studies actually show that the body can produce and use vitamin D better with boron and absorb that calcium better when vitamin D is present. But the cool part about boron is that it’s getting increasing that halflife of vitamin D. So instead of it, you know, staying in our bloodstream for a shorter period, it’s going to stay in the body in a more useful form, that 25 hydroxy form longer. So instead of like half the time, it’s going to double that. And then of course, if we don’t have enough form, we’re gonna have a hard time with calcium and vitamin D levels. So we pair boron with adequate vitamin D, that’s going to help us absorb more calcium in the gut, which is important for bone health, but it’s not the only mineral and I know that that it’s like gets the main focus because our bones are definitely made up of a lot of calcium, but they also have phosphorus and magnesium in there. So we want to remember that too, that we need adequate magnesium for hyper parathyroid, you know if we have too little that our parathyroid glands going to be overactive that can Bucha route to bone loss. But we also restore some magnesium in our bones. And I think a lot of people don’t realize that. And then in one study was actually pretty cool. It found that boron supplements can increase bone formation and inhibit bone resorption producing therapeutic protection against osteoporosis and that was an animal study. But they saw that when rats were fed boron deprived diets, they experienced spongy bones, bone loss and femurs and lumbar vertebrae and just like more osteoporotic conditions, but when rats got a high boron supplement in their diet, it showed improvements in bone mass, bone thickness, bone volume and higher levels of estrogen. And remember, boron one of the benefits that can lower that sh BG which means that those postmenopausal women can have more a sturgeon that’s not being bound up. So supports vitamin D and bone health on many levels. And in a lot of it’s the interactions with other minerals. And I think that’s like one of the big picture things to keep in mind. Sometimes we want this like mineral to fit in a box. So like a born causes, like directly causes this right cause and effect. But a lot of the times when it comes to things like vitamins and minerals, they’re synergistic. They’re working together. So it’s really hard to try to isolate them and say, Well, if we take more on, this is exactly what’s going to happen. We don’t even know exactly how things happen still with boron, and a lot of other nutrients by the way that are recommended to us. But we can see that okay, well, foreign affects magnesium and calcium and phosphorus. And then we see oh, when a study, it helps with bone health, it’s probably because it’s how it’s impacting those other minerals. So there’s a lot of interactions. But I think that’s what makes minerals so fun, is that they all impact each other. And so that’s why focusing on like balanced sources, not just honing in on only one mineral we have to look at all of them is so helpful. Blood sugar, and insulin. Boron has been shown to reduce inflammation in the pancreas and preserve pancreatic beta cells. So the beta cells, that’s what releases insulin, when we eat something that has carbohydrates in it. So we eat, the carbohydrate gets broken into glucose, the beta cells release insulin, and that Insulin helps get the sugar out of our blood inside ourselves. And that is how we keep a stable, healthy, balanced blood sugar. When we don’t have enough of that insulin releasing that sugar will hang out in our blood, create inflammation, it can damage our organs and like have lots of long term issues. So the fact that we can reduce inflammation with boron in the pancreas and preserve that function for someone with like type one diabetes, I would say like that’s amazing news. It’s something I do think with boron, like we might eventually see, work with someone that uses insulin, maybe in the future, it will be recommended. If they keep doing this research, I could totally see how it’d be either in like a supplement, or paired with a medication that helped insulin since it’s you know, part of the process is helping reduce that inflammation and preserve the function. It also appears that it can help with the metabolism of carbohydrates, and the production of insulin. So the more stable we can keep that blood sugar, the more stable our insulin is going to be. When we have highs and lows, then we can tend to release more glucose, more insulin, and it can make us less sensitive. So boron can actually help with the pancreas, but also with how our body is using the carbohydrates. So it kind of hits it from two different angles. But I think one of the key things is the inflammation. And it’s interesting because there’s not there aren’t like a ton of studies like just on inflammation, a lot of it’s like blood sugar, or bone health, or even like yeast in the immune system. There was one on oral health that was really cool that I found. But a lot of it’s like it has this intended, it has this like great result. But a lot of it has to do with its natural anti inflammatory properties. So it just shows you like how important it is when to consider inflammation no matter what area of the body or system we’re looking at. And that same study, remember that one with the men that lowered their steroid hormone binding globulin and up their testosterone, it did also reduce those inflammatory markers. So that high, the HS CRP and the TNF alpha. And those are biomarkers that did decrease after supplementation, both of this six hour mark and at the weekly mark. So that’s just neat. It’s just cool to see that those markers improve, just with boron supplementation, like they didn’t do anything else. It does make you wonder if someone’s adding it to a lifestyle that already has like a really good foundation, and they’re working on other things like what would that type of research show, and hopefully they do more on women in the future. But I did see some in postmenopausal women that I’ll link that they did measure their CRP in the inflammatory stuff, and they did improve as well. So overall, boron can help with inflammatory markers, which then I’m like, Well, how does it help our immune system? It definitely does. It supports vitamin D helps reduce inflammation. So overall, it’s having good immune effect. But the other way that it can impact our immune system is how it can eradicate yeast. It has a lot of antifungal properties to it. And if you know if you’ve ever heard of boric acid, the active ingredient in that is boron, and a lot of people will use boric acid depositories for yeast infections. I’ve also used boron internally for Candida with people, amongst other things, but boron has been shown in research to work better than something based off like nice statin but it has been more effective than your typical insert for use infections, like the cream based ones that are very messy. If there was a double blind comparison study that looked at boron that was is a powder that was encapsulated in a gelatin capsule. They compared it to your typical commercial yeast infection. suppository, and boron was actually better able to treat yeast infections. 92% of the women had relief after seven to 10 days of treatment with a boron based one, the boric acid one compared to 64%, using the standard cream, I mean, that’s pretty significant. And it doesn’t have any unwanted side effects. Right. That’s the big thing. I would love if they did a study on a recurrent yeast infections, because I have seen that quite a bit in clients. And I do find that the boric acid is so much more effective. Obviously, you want to get to the root cause what is going on with their immune system? Is it exhausted if they’re having recurrent yeast infections, most likely? And you’d want to figure out like, why isn’t that immune system functioning properly? Why is the yeast able to overgrow? But in the meantime, I mean, boric acid suppository seemed like a much better. And just like a better option, because it’s like a more natural antifungal, and it works better. And then you’re not completely disrupting your vaginal microbiome

Hey, Amanda here, just giving you a quick break, hopefully a break for your brain in the middle of this podcast episode, to remind you that if you haven’t gone through our free training, optimizing hormone health through mineral balance, we really do recommend starting there. And the main reason for that is because you’re going to hear us say things like mineral foundation, having a solid foundation, are you putting the foundations in place, especially what was we get deeper and deeper into different hormonal topics and specific imbalances in the body, the, the mineral foundation is always going to be so essential. So if you haven’t watched the free training, you can find it in our show notes. Or you can go to hormone healing rd.com. And it’s going to be right on that front page there. But we really recommend starting there so you can understand how is your current mineral status? How do you assess this and how to get started with all that just you can get as much as you possibly can out of the rest of the podcast episodes. But that’s it I hope you enjoy the rest of this episode

and there also was I found something on an astringent Let me see. Oh, yeah, so boron, all it can also act as an astringent or treat infections on the skin. I’ve never actually used it for this because I didn’t find it until I was getting everything together for this podcast. But I wasn’t shocked because I’ve I’ve had clients use the suppositories also do the baths like boron baths, which we’ll talk about. And they have seen a lot of improvements with like yeast fungal stuff, and like skin like skin issues like even like psoriasis and stuff. But it is like a natural astringent. And so it can like reduce that inflammation and too much moisture on the skin. But it’s also why people will use it as like an eyewash. Like if they have a spy in their eye. You could mix whether it’s like a liquid boron supplement, and I’ll share some of my favorites at the end. Or like a powder with water. You can use it as an eyewash. And or put it on like when I think of somebody having a spy in their eye. Typically you put it on like a washcloth, and the warm washcloth, put that in your eye. But yeah, it can help kill the bacteria there too. So because it can support it’s antifungal, it can support yeast eradication, has some antibacterial properties, can reduce inflammation, all those things are great for your immune system, right and having a healthy gut and vaginal and skin microbiome. So those are like the major benefits of boron, all the different things that it’s been researched for. And I’ll put all those studies in the show notes. When it comes to how it reacts to other nutrients. I talked a little bit about these, but I just want to go reiterate them one more time, and go to a little bit more detail on iron, because I think it’s interesting and hopefully you guys do too. But magnesium is the first one remember I talked about low magnesium can lead to hyperparathyroidism boron enhances the absorption of magnesium. Boron also helps get calcium and phosphorus into the bones and teeth and keep them there, which is key. Because when we start releasing those, and that can happen after lots of chronic stress, too. It’s not just hyperparathyroidism I think people are like oh good, I don’t have that. I see a lot of high calcium on hair tests. And if you don’t have hard water then it’s typically a sign of that super chronic stress or other nutrient deficiencies. But it’s really important for calcium and phosphorus keep those in check which is important for your metabolism, metabolism. Hopefully you know by now, it’s important for your hormones. As in everything increases the half life of vitamin D. And then for copper and zero plasma, and it’s actually interesting studies have shown higher levels of cyrilla plasmon when supplementing with boron, it also helps make it more bioavailable, like copper in general. That’s really what I mean when I say bioavailable copper is that sarila plasmon and I talked about all about copper and iron in season one and our copper and iron episode that I’ll put in the show notes. But those are like the main interactions. Basically, it’s making more copper more available, which now helps us make sense of the next one, which is iron. And I mentioned before how boron can be helpful for iron, which is why it’s so important in menopause, because we can have an excess of iron. But Morley Robbins talks about this a lot. And boron is actually part of that root cause protocol. It has an inverse relationship to iron. So typically, like I mean, I’m always thinking of hair tests, because that’s what I do all day is look at people’s hair tests, and help people inside my course in my membership. So on the hair test, if we are looking at the kind of main chart of minerals, you’re going to see, you know, our main minerals, or second third level minerals. Boron is on there. And you’ll see iron hedges is not the best assessment of iron, it’s like one look at it, you want to compare blood work as well. But boron is inversely related to iron. So sometimes if we see really low levels of boron and a hair test, and we know Okay, iron is probably possibly acting out, especially if someone has symptoms. And when I think of like symptoms of that, of like excess iron, iron, getting out of the iron recycling system, or accumulating in like our livers or bones or tissues, I think of like lots of excess estrogen symptoms like painful heavy periods, recurrent GI issues, or pathogens, parasites or yeast in the gut, because that feeds off of iron, inflammation in general joint pain, those types of things. A lot of things can be related to iron, honestly, those are like the big ones that come to my mind right now. And boron can actually help with that, especially with when it comes to like bones and everything. But copper is huge. We need copper and its most bioavailable form, that Cirilo plasmon in order to keep iron moving in the iron recycling system in the body. And again, I’m gonna link that podcast episode if you want to hear all about iron recycling system. This ruler plasmid is what fuels the enzymes that move the iron around. So if we don’t have enough through the plasmid, because we don’t have enough copper and vitamin A, or things like boron, magnesium is also important for most kind of like our essential minerals. They’re going to help us keep this system functioning properly, minus how they affect everything else, right, Mr. Just talked about how boron affects all the different areas of the body. Same thing with all of our other minerals you learned about iodine, if you listen to that episode, they’re not just having that one cause and effect minerals are going to affect many different interactions and systems in the body. If we can get more through plasma and copper that’s going to help with iron regulation. When we don’t have enough active bioavailable copper, whether it be from like, maybe we’re not getting it in our diet, maybe we’re not eating copper rich foods, you know, not everyone. Most people don’t come to me eating organ meats, right, unless you have like an ancestral health background. Most people aren’t having those things. But a lot of us are taking like zinc supplements and stuff. And there’s actually a great study that I saw shared on Instagram, a few weeks back about how like supplementing zinc, so much, especially high doses, has led to cover deficiencies and a lot of people because they can copper are antagonists. So we don’t want too much of either one, right, we just want a balance of everything. And when it comes to looking at iron balance is key. So it’s not like we want to overdo copper and vitamin A, we just want to get enough on a regular basis in our diet so that we can keep that iron in a good place. And when we think of how boron is impacting this, boron helps with cell membranes when it comes to iron. So it helps to prevent that iron from really getting into that cell membrane and starting that oxidation process or that inflammation process. Oxidation in the body is just a fancy way to say inflammation. So boron helps prevent that because really iron should be staying inside the iron recycling system. When it starts to get outside of that and accumulate in different places because we have nutrient deficiencies or an imbalance in nutrients. That’s when we start to see inflammation in the body. And because boron can help get excess iron out of things like the joints, it can be very helpful for things like arthritis and joint pain, things like that. But I do think that the other side of that is just that it helps with calcium and magnesium and FOSS. So vitamin D and all those things can help your bone status as well. So I think it’s like a three fold piece where it helps get the iron out of the bones and helps to make more copper and Cirilo plasmin, to regulate that iron. And then it’s also reducing inflammation and getting minerals to where they need to be for bone health. So typically, it’s, you know, boron, I feel like it’s not really thought of for regulating iron, if you’re kind of in the copper iron space, but it does play a big role in just protecting ourselves from that inflammation and stress. So magnesium, vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus, copper, and iron. Those are those are going to be like the big minerals that are most impacted when it comes to boron and its nutrient interactions. When we think about okay, so boron is great. I maybe you’ve looked at some of the studies that I shared in the show notes, maybe you’re just taking all this information in and you’re like, what, how do I know like, if I need more boron, how much porn are we supposed to take in our diets or in supplements? And I always like to go to like, I mostly think it’s entertaining to look at RDA is recommended daily allowance for nutrients. And I did a whole series on Instagram about these. It was pretty high on my soapbox there because I don’t a lot of times when I recommend like minerals or I don’t I never give exact amounts but like say I’m recommending to like how to boost a mineral but then someone will always ask like what the RDA says like magnesium is only like 400 or something and I’m the supplement has like 800 in it. Or I’m taking this much from a supplement Should I take less since the RDA is less. And I always like to remind people the RDA is based on healthy people and what their dietary intake is. So it’s meant to one everyone is different. So there’s no bio individuality in that and then to it’s not like curing disease, it’s technically preventing it. So if someone already has a boron deficiency, then there is no RDA for Boron spoiler alert, because they say that there’s not enough research. But like for magnesium, for example, is like 400 to like 440, depending on your age, and pregnancy, lactation, all that stuff for women. So if someone has a magnesium deficiency, that’s not going to be enough most likely for most people to replenish and fix that magnesium deficiency. That’s more like if you’re starting from the beginning, you’re healthy, you don’t have any health concerns or health history. That’s the amount that is like considered safe for someone to prevent disease. So our days are based on Healthy People preventing disease not curing it. adequate intake, that is when it’s a level that helps to ensure nutritional adequacy. But there’s not enough evidence to make an RDA. So they just say, here’s what we think is adequate intake for it. And if there’s an estimated average requirement, an ear This is average to the level and take estimate to meet their apartment of 50% of healthy individuals usually used to assess nutrient intakes of groups of people and to plan nutritionally adequate diets for them. So it’s not the same as the RDA. But it’s kind of like RDA, we don’t have that we have an adequate intake, we don’t have that we usually have an estimated average requirement. And then there’s a tolerable upper intake level. So what’s the upper limit for that nutrient? And pretty much all micronutrients have these and boron doesn’t, because they’re like, Oh, we don’t have enough data. I feel like, I mean, I’m sharing a lot of data with you guys in this episode. I feel like it needs to be revisited. But they do have a what’s considered safe. So there’s no recommended intake, I would say like if you talk to most, like conventional medicine doctors, it’s usually going to be between like three to five milligrams a day, which is not a lot, right. That’s like a small amount. But boron is a trace mineral. If we look at what’s considered safe from the World Health Organization, it’s one to 13 milligrams a day. When you go above that you could possibly have some symptoms like digestive issues, headaches, restlessness, kidney issues, you do want to be careful if you have a kidney history, dermatitis, indigestion a lot a lot of it’s like GI issues, which I think is like a lot of stuff, but you could definitely take too much and it could have serious repercussions. So I never do the mineral deep dives for people to megadose on things. And I feel like I have to say that over and over because it’s like I get it it’s a cool mineral I’m highlighting it but I don’t want you to like overdo it. So safe is one to 30 milligrams a day. In practice, like what I typically see is that depending on like what someone has going on, usually like that six to nine milligrams can be very beneficial. Some people need closer to like 12 I know some people really go high with boron, they’ll go to like 2030 milligrams. I’ve never felt the need to do that with someone. And it’s still not that high, right? The only time that they’ve ever seen boron be fatal is if you’re taking like 15 to 20,000 milligrams. So if we’re thinking 15 to 20 milligrams, that’s like, so even that high of a dose is really not that high. But typically I see between six and nine milligrams a day is helpful, depending on like what you have going on. Usually, like when I think of like arthritis, osteoporosis, menopause, I see closer to like the nine milligram to 12 milligram range. And a lot of that just depends on that person’s health history, right? Like, how much inflammation do they have? How has their iron and mineral status been for the majority of their life?

Are they very depleted right now? It really depends on that. And I always recommend doing hair mineral testing, because then you can see what are my levels do I really need this is my iron out of balance or other minerals out of balance. I do love using it too. If someone has very high calcium, and they’re having a hard time getting that down. Boron is very helpful for that. And for men, it’s like one of the first things I recommend for men because especially if they have like fertility concerns, and I’ll put a little chart to from the National Institute of Health and it has like a tolerable upper intake level, based on age for men and women. It goes up to 20 milligrams. So again, like that’s not like a mega high dose. I just personally don’t like doing crazy high doses of minerals, because remember, I talked about they are synergistic, right. So like one mineral is going to impact another. Just because you don’t have like awful symptoms doesn’t mean you you want to keep doing it. So how can we get enough boron in our diets? It can be challenging, a lot of it I like to think about is like really prioritizing those plant based carbohydrates. That is key. I mean, I talked about this for minerals in general, right like potassium. Very rich sources in plant foods, fruits, right? Fruits are also a great source of boron turns out avocado, which also has magnesium which nature is so smart, right? Because boron helps us absorb magnesium better. So like prunes, lots of dried, any dried fruits gonna have more boron, avocados, peaches, grapes, apples. Nuts do typically have a good amount of boron, I would just you know, make sure they’re raw or sprouted if you can. Peanuts are a great source. Milk Honey cooked spinach. Spinach has a good amount, but you’re not going to absorb as much if it’s not cooked. So those are definitely like the top foods that have the most beans and legumes are really up there though. So and I love incorporating those for fiber to support our bile and estrogen removal from the body. And they can also feed good bacteria. So lots of benefits with that. But if you’re also looking to get more born in your diet beans are a great way to do it. If you’re looking to get closer to that like six to nine milligram amount, you’re most likely going to have to add some form of a supplement. So one of the ways you can increase your boron intake, it’s not really intake, its soaking. But you can do boron baths or foot soaks, you would just use borax powder. You want to get 100% borax, you need it to say 100% borax so that it’s pure. I get one on Amazon that I will link to that. I’ve reached out to the company it is 100% Pure, I trust it. It lasts you a long time. You don’t need a lot. It’s not like when you get like magnesium powder or Epsom salt for baths where you’re using a ton you’re using a small amount. And Borax is a combination. It’s not just boron. It’s sodium, boron, oxygen and hydrogen. So what I typically like to do is do like two cups of Epsom salt, one teaspoon of borax, because if we think about it, a quarter of a teaspoon of Borax is going to have about 130 milligrams of boron. So if we’re doing like a whole teaspoon or getting over 400 milligrams, this is not like taking it you’re not going to absorb 100% of that though, right. So even if you wanted to start with a quarter teaspoon, that would be fine. You don’t have to start with a hole most people end up doing like one two tablespoons of borax powder in their bath. So like I just always am like let’s just do it slowly. Let’s not freak your body out. So two cups of Epsom salt, one teaspoon of borax, you can work up to one or two tablespoons. If you want. For foot soaks, you would do a cup of epsom salt and then still a teaspoon of borax. I wouldn’t go up to more than like a tablespoon for the foot soaks, but those are great ways to start incorporating it. And remember if you use it with the Epsom salt, which is that magnesium chloride then you’re going to be able to boost the magnesium absorption too. So I love borax baths. And then for supplements. I like liquid boron. There’s like encapsulated versions. It doesn’t have a taste really so you can add it to end anything, but I like the trace minerals liquid boron, it’s just easy, you’re gonna absorb it well, and one serving of it has six milligrams. So I think it’s like one and a quarter milliliters has six milligrams. So obviously you would start with less than that. But you don’t need a lot to get a good amount of boron. And it’s a very easy way to start adding it in. Always talk with your doctor before or provider before adding anything in mind. Remember that minerals impact other minerals. So we don’t just want to like blindly supplement, you want to have a reason, right? You don’t want to be taking a million supplements, you want to know why you’re taking it. And if you’re like, I don’t really know, if I needed if I do anything that could decrease boron. Alcohol is a big one, it lowers our absorption of it. So I would say like anyone that drinks alcohol on a regular basis probably needs more boron. Chronic long term stress is going to eventually use up a lot of boron and then certain prescription medications can adjust like depends on what you’re taking. It’s more that they inhibit that absorption. So chronic stress, alcohol, certain prescription medications. And when we want to assess boron status, again, I really like hair testing, I have my master marrows course, you could purchase a hair test when you get the course or you could buy it later, if you want. You can also just get hair tests online. I feel like I’ve had people do that and then go through my course you don’t have to get through me. But hair tests are not super straightforward. They’re showing us your body’s natural response to stress. So it’s not like something’s high, it means you need less of it. It’s usually a loss. Not always, but a lot of times it’s showing how much you’re using of the mineral. And it’s also looking at the last few months. So hair testing is nuanced. That’s why I made a course that teaches you how to interpret and understand your hair test. But if you are gonna get one done, I really like trace elements, labs, I think they’re the best you just have to make sure you add boron, you have to request it. You do have to get it like through some type of provider though. So you can always go to my website, I always share there’s always a link in my description box to learn more about the course if you want to, or minerals in general, but that is definitely my favorite way to look at foreign most of it is in the bones, hair and nails. So like blood is not super accurate. Like even let me see what does it have a percentage. The lack of substantial changes in blood borne levels in response to large increases in dietary intake suggests that the body maintains boron homeostasis. Yeah, so it’s just one of those things I wouldn’t spend money on a blood test for boron, a hair and nails is going to be the best. And if you do a hair test, you can also take a nail sample doesn’t have to be here. But that is boron in a nutshell. So it’s gonna help with hormones it can help with male fertility can help women in that post menopause season. It can help with bone health, inflammation, oral health, it is a natural antifungal, like boric acid. For yeast infections, it interacts with other nutrients like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, it can help us make more bioavailable copper, and it can help us keep iron in check. Safe amounts, or one to 13 milligrams a day is what’s considered safe. There’s no really crazy effects. Until you get to like that 15 to 20,000 milligram amount which link hopefully no one would do. But it can be very detoxifying. So let’s be careful with boron. I’m not telling anyone to go take it. But if you want to start with the soaks, that’s what I usually have people do. It’s just a very gentle way to add in and of course through food. So have your fruits and veggies, cook the spinach, eat beans and lagoons. And that can be a great way to start introducing into your diet. But I hope that you found this episode, helpful. Intriguing. Maybe you have someone in your family and you’re like, Oh, well, they they have arthritis. I’m gonna like maybe they’ll do a hair test and we can consider some boron or maybe Oh, my mom just went through menopause and she’s having some trouble. Maybe we’ll try some boron. Maybe you have fertility concerns, whatever it might be. I hope this is helpful. Just let me know if you like these and I’ll definitely do more of them. And I will talk to you in the next episode

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Amanda Montalvo

Amanda Montalvo is a women's health dietitian who helps women find the root cause of hormone imbalances and regain healthy menstrual cycles.

Master Your Minerals

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