Public Release: 16-Nov-2017
Credit: Andrei R. Grabeklis
Researcher from the RUDN University (Russia), together with his colleagues from Croatia, determined the range of reference values for boron in the tissues of human body. This study will provide a better understanding of the role that this important trace element plays in metabolism. The results of the work were presented in the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology.
Trace elements (substances essential for the life of plants and animals, but present in the organism only in microscopic amounts) play an important role in the metabolism. Until recently, boron was not considered to be an essential trace element for humans. However, a number of recent studies have emphasized the importance of boron. It has anumber of useful biochemical functions, plays an important role in bone metabolism and vitamin D metabolism. In many instances, boron does this by being an essential co-partner with other substances to fine-tune many human physiologic interactions. Also, some recent studies have shown that boron regulates the action of parathyroid hormone (a substance secreted by the parathyroid glands regulates the level of calcium and phosphorus in the blood).
“In order to diagnose and correct the exchange of boron in humans, you need to know the norms of its concentration in the body. Then it will be clear if there is a shortage of boron, or, on the contrary, it is in excess. To establish these boundaries, our work was started,” — co-author of the article Andrei Grabeklis (RUDN University) explained.
Almost all boron usually enters the human body in an alimentary way (with food). The purpose of this study was to establish adequate reference range of boron concentration in hair and whole blood. These two “carriers” are different in their indicators: in the blood, the content of all substances is maintained within strict limits, and any deviationsindicate either short-term changes (e.g, a half-hour ago a person ate a dish with a high boron content), or serious health issues. In the hair, substances are washed out from blood and accumulate there gradually (as the hair grows). Therefore, this indicator allows scientists to track what has been ingested in the body over a long period of time.
Hair boron was analyzed in a random sample of 727 apparently healthy adults (263 Men, 464 Women). Whole blood was analyzed in a subset of 212 subjects (152 women and 80 men); the median age of women and men was 47 and 41.5 years, respectively. The cohort consisted of subjects from the general Croatian population who were interested to learn about their health status; the majority of them were living in the capital city region of Zagreb, Croatia. All the subjects were fed their usual home prepared mixed mid-European diet, and none of them have reported an adverse medical health condition.
Hair boron and whole blood boron were then analyzed with the inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) at the Center for Biotic Medicine (CBM), Moscow, Russia. The CBM is an ISO Europe certified commercial laboratory for analyzing bioelements (macro elements, trace elements, and ultratrace elements) in different biological matrices.
It was established that the adequate reference range for hair boron concentration was (μg · g-1) 0.77-6.51 for men and distinctly lower 0.47-3.89 for women. There was no detectable difference in the whole blood boron for the adequate reference range between men (0.020-0.078 μg · ml-1) and women (0019-0.062).
According to scientists, these results indicate that the nature of boron metabolism in the human body is not gender-dependent, and its functions are the same for men and women. At the same time, the dietary balance of boron is different in men and women, most likely due to different patterns of food consumption.