The hormonal changes present in the body during menopause can significantly disrupt overall body function and health. And while each woman's body is different, certain nutrients are needed to promote healthy metabolism processes. Boron--available in foods and as a supplement--is one of the many essential nutrients needed for normal body function.
Menopause marks a period in a woman's life when the reproductive processes in her body begin to shut down. It's a natural biological process characterised by physical, mental and emotional changes in the body and how it functions. The official start of menopause occurs 12 months after the last menstrual cycle, according to the Mayo Clinic. Symptoms can start as early as a year before menopause begins and may appear in the form of hot flushes, problems sleeping, mood swings and irregular periods. Bone and muscle strength and mental acuity may also suffer as the body transitions through this process.
Boron is a trace mineral material used to help process other essential nutrients in the body, according to the Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. It acts as a coenzyme agent along with such nutrients as calcium, magnesium and potassium in the processing of protein materials for normal cell and tissue function. Boron also plays a significant role in helping the body absorb and process calcium in myriad chemical reactions throughout the body. Its role in processing needed nutrients may indicate ways that boron can assist in relieving menopausal symptoms.
Bone health may undergo changes as the body transitions through menopause, putting some women at risk of developing osteoporosis. A study conducted by the Department of Agriculture examined the effects of boron on bone strength in post-menopausal women age 48 to 82. Results from the study showed increased levels of bone-building materials such as calcium and magnesium in women who were given boron supplements. Also noted were increased oestrogen levels. Decreased oestrogen levels are a key contributor to the changes a woman's body goes through during menopause.
A study looking into the effects of boron on psychological function was conducted by the Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center in 1998. After administering boron supplements to rats that had been placed on a boron-deficient diet, results showed increases in mental activity. Studies conducted on people showed a lack of boron contributed to decreases in mental activity, hand-eye coordination, concentration and short-term memory. Boron's apparent effects on brain function may also help alleviate symptoms related to mental and emotional function during menopause.
Foods rich in boron include leafy vegetables, fruits, peanuts and beans. And in some areas, water also is high in boron. The recommended daily allowance for boron is 3 mg, according to the Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. As oestrogen therapy is designed to increase hormone levels, women who are receiving hormone replacement therapy may develop unhealthy levels of oestrogen when taking boron supplements. Increased levels of boron in the diet may be a safer, more natural way of experiencing the benefits of this nutrient during menopause.
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