Dietary Boron: Evidence for a Role in Immune Function
Research in a number of animal species indicates that boron is of nutritional importance and findings continue to support the concept that boron is an essential trace element (Nielsen, 2002). Recent studies indicate that dietary boron affects various immune processes (Hunt and Idso, 1999; Armstrong et al. 2001). The immune system consists of an array of interrelated components that function to protect the host animal against foreign materials, including pathogenic organisms. The immune system can be divided into innate and adaptive or acquired immunity. Innate immunity is non-specific in regard to foreign organisms that it will attack, and consists of physical barriers to organisms such as skin and internal mucous membranes, as well as components that are induced by exposure to foreign material such as phagocytic cells and complement. The innate immune system responds rapidly to invasion of the host by foreign materials; however, its effect is of relatively short duration. The adaptive immune system develops slower in response to attack by various invaders, but is more substained and leads to proliferation of lymphocytes and synthesis of antibodies specifically directed at the organism invading the host. In addition, the adaptive immune system also results in immunological memory that provides long-term immunity against future attacks by the same organism. This paper will review research indicating a role for boron in immune function.
KeywordsBoric Acid Migration Inhibitory Factor Adaptive Immune System Foreign Material Intradermal Injection
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