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Bio-bullets

Does rickets show clinical deficiency of boron?

The quintessential osseous mineral is one scarcer than calcium.

professor caricatureProf. Mumblebard claims: “Regardless of the semantics of whether it is a vitamin or a prohormone, calciferol controls certain physiological functions in humans, and can be deficient to the degree of risking the serious disfigurement of children – known as rickets. Boosting the supply of calciferol to the body is therefore{njaccess 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8} the most rational treatment of poorly mineralised bones, whether in the form of rickets or osteomalacia in the elderly. Calciferol can be acquired by sunning the skin or by consuming supplements by mouth but – either way – boosting the amount of calciferol in the patient’s body is likely to be the most efficient way of restoring the mineralisation of bone to normal. The second priority is ensuring a sufficient intake of calcium.”{!njaccess}… See the hidden half of Prof. Mumblebard’s claim by subscribing here{/njaccess}

logoRobin and the Honey Badger respond: “Maladies of bone growth and replacement are caused by a collective deficiency of a suite of resources including ultraviolet light, magnesium, calciferol, parathyroid hormones and calcitonin, and at least six micronutrient elements. In this complex interaction, calciferol, sunlight, and calcium are unlikely to be high in the hierarchy of causal factors. This is because: calciferol can be{njaccess 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8} made by the body itself; some populations prone to osteomalacia have excessive exposure to sunlight as indicated by skin cancer; and calcium supplied by dairy products has not solved osteomalacia. It is instead likely to be another mineral nutrient – which like calcium cannot be made in any cell but which is more likely to be in short supply – that plays the most controlling role in the tangle of cause and effect. Boron may be cardinal for three reasons. Firstly it is likely to have been particularly deficient in the diets of those with rickets. Secondly it is – unlike the other micronutrients involved in bone tissue replacement such as copper, manganese, and selenium – more concentrated in bone than in any other tissue. Thirdly, it is part of a bio-alloy of metallic and non-metallic elements that constitutes the mineral matter of bone. Cases of rickets in the early twentieth century probably reflected insufficient intakes of the boron-richest foods such as certain fruits, vegetables, and nuts. This line of reasoning suggests that human demands for sunlight and calciferol are raised by deficiency of boron. The converse is also likely to apply i.e. sufficiency of boron boosts the efficiency of sunned skin in the photosynthetic production of calciferol and its conversion into its active hormonal form.  In conclusion, we hypothesise that the most efficient way to improve the mineralisation of bone would be to supplement the diet with boron regardless of age. This would be as safe as taking ‘vitamin D’ because borax – the most convenient additive of boron to the diet – is less toxic than calciferol.”{!njaccess}… Reveal the hidden half of this response by Robin and the Honey Badger by subscribing here{/njaccess}

 

Please join us here at the Bio-edge with your own comments. In the discussion below we encourage links to any evidence supporting either Prof. Mumblebard or Robin and the Honey Badger. Illustrations are welcome but please cite all sources or we may be forced under copyright to delete your comment.

 

Last modified on 15 July 2015

Comments   

0 #1 gena count 2014-07-01 15:28
What are some boron rich foods? Other than the grandmother myth of pushing your index finger into the borax powder to the first phalanx and licking your finger, for your daily supply......... ..
0 #2 Jeremy Jones 2014-07-04 09:05
@Gena, some boron-rich foods are grapes, raisins, prunes, and nuts. But that ‘grandmother myth’ may be no myth after all, and is probably the easiest fix.
0 #3 Jeremy Jones 2014-07-07 08:53
It’s interesting how toxic boron can be to herbaceous plants considering that it’s one of their nutrients. It’s well known you can poison ants with boron and it’s also a safe herbicide. Just mix 5 teaspoons of borax in a litre of water and water the weeds with this fairly dilute solution. With all this killing going on it’s easy to see how people come away with an impression that borax is more toxic to humans than it really is.
0 #4 Jeremy Jones 2014-07-21 08:40
Something that helps to explain why it may be necessary to supplement boron, and why borax is only weakly toxic despite an unfortunate reputation as a pesticide: boron passes from the blood through the kidneys very quickly. If you eat some borax, the boron in it starts coming out in your urine that same day. One aspect of this is that toxic accumulation would be unlikely even if boron was toxic to the human body. Another aspect is you can’t really rely on bodily stores of B, you have to make sure you get enough in your diet every week. All adds up to: probably smart to supplement with borax or some other form of boron.
+1 #5 Gronbek 2014-08-04 08:50
It sounds like you’re basically saying that just as what initially masqueraded as calcium deficiency turned out to be vitamin D deficiency, so what today masquerades as vit D deficiency could turn out to be boron deficiency in many cases. Is this kind of radical thinking really necessary?
0 #6 Jeremy Jones 2014-08-18 08:57
In ‘organic’ agriculture, there’s a saying “Calcium the trucker of all minerals and boron the steering wheel.” Please see nutri-tech.com.au/.../... It seems there’s a parallel in boron between plant ecology and human physiology. Plants need boron to use the soil calcium; and the nitrogen-fixing legumes are particularly dependent on boron. Similarly, in the human body the parathyroid depends on boron to do its work of regulating calcium metabolism.

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