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In plants it's required for cell wall integrity. Studies have shown that it's a required nutrient for rats, but in extremely small amounts. It's believed to be necessary to people as well, but apparently we also only need small amounts, because nobody knows what a boron deficiency symptom is -- though some studies have linked a deficiency to hypothyroidism.

Some studies suggest that boron is involved in the metabolism of estrogen and testosterone, and it may help prevent arthritis. Studies by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) concluded that it's an important nutrient for brain and psychological function.

Natural sources of boron include all plants -- fresh fruit, vegetables and nuts.

It's unlikely you really need a boron supplement, but some may be included along with calcium and magnesium, especially if you take a multi-mineral supplement. 1 mg per day appears to be plenty.

Studies with plants indicate that those growing in soil with too much boron do suffer. In humans, studies have shown that taking 2.5 mg or more per day worsened menopausal symptoms in women.

By: Richard Stooker

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