Boron in Aging and Longevity

Part of the Healthy Ageing and Longevity book series (HAL, volume 8)


Only limited direct evidence from Drosophila studies exists to indicate that boron promotes healthy aging and longevity. However, substantial indirect evidence supports the suggestion that boron does have such an effect. Boron has bioactivity that affects the formation and activity NAD+ and SAM, which have been shown to affect aging and longevity. Evidence has been provided to indicate, that through affecting these two biomolecules, boron has beneficial effects on inflammatory and oxidative stress, DNA damage detection and repair, and SAM involvement in methylation and homocysteine levels. Through these effects, nutritional intakes of boron have been shown to moderate or alleviate several pathological conditions associated with aging, including cancer, cognitive decline, sarcopenia, and bone health. These findings indicate that a diet rich in boron will promote healthy aging and longevity.


Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide S-adenosylmethionine Inflammatory stress Oxidative stress DNA damage DNA repair Homocysteine Cancer Cognitive function Sarcopenia Bone 


  1. Apdik H, Doğan A, Demirci S, Aydin S, Şahin F (2015) Dose-dependent effect of boric acid on myogenic differentiation of human adipose-derived stem cells (hADSCs). Biol Trace Elem Res 165:123–130PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. Armstrong TA, Flowers WL, Spears JW, Nielsen FH (2002) Long-term effects of boron supplementation on reproductive characteristics and bone mechanical properties of gilts. J Anim Sci 80:154–161PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. Bai Y, Hunt CD (1996) Dietary boron enhances efficacy of cholecalciferol in broiler chicks. J Trace Elem Exp Med 9:117–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bakken NA, Hunt CD (2003) Dietary boron decreases peak pancreatic in situ insulin release in chicks and plasma insulin concentrations in rats regardless of vitamin D or magnesium status. J Nutr 133:3577–3583PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Barberger-Gateau P, Raffaitin C, Letenneur L, Berr C, Tzourio C, Dartigues JF, Alpérovitch A (2007) Dietary patterns and risk of dementia: the three-city cohort study. Neurol 69:1921–1930CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Barranco WT, Eckhert CD (2004) Boric acid inhibits human prostate cancer cell proliferation. Can Lett 216:21–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bhasker TV, Gowda NKS, Mondal S, Krishnamoorthy P, Pal DT, Mor A, Bhat SK, Pattanaik AK (2016) Boron influences immune and antioxidant responses to modulating hepatic superoxide dismutase activity under calcium deficit abiotic stress in Wistar rats. J Trace Elem Med Biol 36:73–79PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cao J, Jiang L, Zhang X, Yao X, Geng C, Xue X, Zhong L (2008) Boric acid inhibits LPS-induced TNF-α formation through a thiol-dependent mechanism in THP-1 cells. J Trace Elem Med Biol 22:189–195PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chen X, Schauder S, Potier N, Van Dorsselaer A, Pelczer I, Bassier BL, Hughson PM (2002) Structural identification of a bacterial quorum-sensing signal containing boron. Nature 415:545–549PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Choi M-K, Jun Y-S (2008) Analysis of boron content in frequently consumed foods in Korea. Biol Trace Elem Res 126:13–26PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cui Y, Winton ML, Zhang ZF, Rainey C, Marshall J, De Kemion JB, Eckhert CD (2004) Dietary boron intake and prostate cancer risk. Oncol Rep 11:887–892PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Doğan A, Demirci S, Bayir Y, Halici Z, Karakus E, Aydin A, Cadirci E, Albayrak A, Demirci E, Karaman A, Ayan AK, Gundogdu C, Şahin F (2014) Boron containing poly-(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) scaffolds for bone tissue engineering. Mater Sci Eng C44:246–253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Durga J, van Boxtel MPJ, Schouten EG, Kok FJ, Jolles J, Katan MB, Verhoef P (2007) Effect of 3-year folic acid supplementation on cognitive function in older adults in the FACIT trial: a randomized, double blind, controlled trial. Lancet 369:208–216PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. European Food Safety Authority (2004) Opinion of the scientific panel on dietetic products, nutrition and allergies (NDA) related to the tolerable upper intake level of boron (sodium borate and boric acid). EFSA J 80:1–22Google Scholar
  15. Gallardo-Williams MT, Chapin RE, King PE, Moser GJ, Goldsworthy TL, Morrison JP, Maronpot RR (2004) Boron supplementation inhibits the growth and local expression of IGF-1 in human prostate adenocarcinoma (LNCaP) tumors in mice. Toxicol Pathol 32:73–78PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gerdhem P, Ringsberg KAM, Obrant KJ, Akesson K (2005) Association between 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels, physical activity, muscle strength and fractures in the prospective population-based OPRA study of elderly women. Osteoporsis Int 16:1425–1431CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gorustovich AA, López JM, Guglielmotti MB, Cabrini RL (2006) Biological performance of boron-modified bioactive glass particles implanted in rat tibia bone marrow. Biomed Mater 1:100–105PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gorustovich AA, Steimetz T, Nielsen FH, Guglielmotti MB (2008) Histomorphometric study of alveolar bone healing in rats fed a boron-deficient diet. Anat Rec (Hoboken) 291:441–447CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hakki SS, Bozkurt BS, Hakki EE (2010) Boron regulates mineralized tissue-associated proteins in osteoblasts (MC3T3-E1). J Trace Elem Med Biol 24:243–250PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hegsted M, Keenan MJ, Siver F, Wozniak P (1991) Effect of boron on vitamin D deficient rats. Biol Trace Elem Res 28:243–255PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Henderson K, Stella SL Jr, Kobylewski S, Eckhert CD (2009) Receptor activated Ca2+ release is inhibited by boric acid in prostate cancer cells. PLoS ONE 4:e6009PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hu Q, Li S, Qiao E, Tang Z, Jin E, Jin G, Gu Y (2014) Effects of boron on structure and antioxidative activities of spleen in rats. Biol Trace Elem Res 158:73–80PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hunt CD (1989) Dietary boron modified the effects of magnesium and molybdenum on mineral metabolism in the cholecalciferol-deficient chick. Biol Trace Elem Res 22:201–220PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hunt CD (1998) Regulation of enzymatic activity. One possible role of dietary boron in higher animals and humans. Biol Trace Elem Res 66:205–225PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hunt CD, Meacham SL (2001) Aluminum, boron, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc: concentrations in common Western foods and estimated daily intakes by infants, toddlers; and male and female adolescents, adults and seniors in the United States. J Am Diet Assoc 101:1058–1060PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hunt CD, Nielsen FH (1981) Interaction between boron and cholecalciferol in the chick. In: McC Howell J, Gawthorne JM, White CL (eds) Trace element metabolism in man and animals (TEMA-4). Australian Academy of Science, Canberra, pp 597–600CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hunt CD, Herbel JL, Idso JP (1994) Dietary boron modifies the effects of vitamin D3 nutriture on indices of energy substrate utilization and mineral metabolism in the chick. J Bone Miner Res 9:171–181PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Iacobazzi V, Castegna A, Infantino V, Andria G (2013) Mitochondrial DNA methylation as a next-generation biomarker and diagnostic tool. Mol Genet Metab 110:25–34PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board (2001) Arsenic, boron, nickel, silicon, and vanadium. In: Dietary reference intakes for vitamin A, vitamin K, arsenic, boron, chromium, copper, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, silicon, vanadium, and zinc. National Academy Press, Washington, DC, pp 502–553Google Scholar
  30. Kim D, Marbois B, Faull K, Eckhert C (2003) Esterification of borate with NAD+ and NADH as studied by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry and 11B NMR spectroscopy. J Mass Spectrom 38:632–640PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kim D, Faull K, Norris A, Eckhert C (2004) Borate-nucleotide complex formation depends on charge and phosphorylation state. J Mass Spectrom 39:743–751PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  32. Kobylewski SE, Henderson KA, Yamada KE, Eckhert CD (2017) Activation of the EIF2α/ATF4 and ATF6 pathways in DU-145 cells by boric acid at concentrations reported in men at the US mean boron intake. Biol Trace Elem Res 176:278–293PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  33. Korkmaz M, Uzgören E, Bakirdere S, Aydin F, Ataman OY (2007) Effects of dietary boron on cervical cytopathology and on micronucleus frequency in exfoliated buccal cells. Environ Toxicol 22:17–25PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  34. Korkmaz M, Avci CB, Gunduz C, Aygunes D, Erbaykent-Tepedelen B (2014) Disodium pentaborate decahydrate (DPD) induced apoptosis by decreasing hTERT enzyme activity and disrupting F-actin organization of prostate cancer cells. Tumor Biol 35:1531–1538CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kucukkurt I, Ince S, Demirel HH, Turkmen R, Akbel E, Celik Y (2015) The effects of boron on arsenic-induced lipid peroxidation and antioxidant status in male and female rats. J Biochem Mol Toxicol 29:564–571PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  36. Loenen WAM (2006) S-adenosylmethionine; jack of all trades and master of everything? Biochem Soc Trans 34:330–333PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  37. Mahabir S, Spitz MR, Barrera SL, Dong YQ, Eastham C, Forman MR (2008) Dietary boron and hormone replacement therapy as risk factors for lung cancer in women. Am J Epidemiol 167:1070–1080PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Massie HR (1994) Effect of dietary boron on the aging process. Environ Health Perspect 102(Suppl 7):45–48PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Massie HR, Whitney SJ, Aiello VR, Sternick SM (1990) Changes in boron concentration during development and ageing of Drosophila and effect of dietary boron on life span. Mech Ageing Dev 53:1–7PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  40. Mattocks DAL, Menich SJ, Shneyder J, Ables GP, Sun D, Richie JP Jr, Locasale JW, Nichenametia SN (2017) Short term methionine restriction increases hepatic global DNA methylation in adult but not young male C57BL/6J mice. Exper Gerontol 88:1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Militaru C, Donoiu I, Craciun A, Scorei ID, Bulearca AM, Scorei RI (2013) Oral resveratrol and calcium fructoborate supplementation in subjects with stable angina pectoris: effects on lipid profiles, inflammation markers, and quality of life. Nutrition 29:178–183PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Morley JE, Baumgartner RN, Roubenoff R, Mayer J, Nair KS (2001) Sarcopenia. J Lab Clin Med 137:231–243PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Naghii MR, Samman S (1997) The effect of boron on plasma testosterone and plasma lipids in rats. Nutr Res 17:523–531CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Nielsen FH (1994) Biochemical and physiologic consequences of boron deprivation in humans. Environ Health Perspect 102(Suppl 7):59–63PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Nielsen FH (1996) Evidence for the nutritional essentiality of boron. J Trace Elem Exp Med 9:215–229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Nielsen FH (2004) Dietary fat composition modifies the effect of boron on bone characteristics and plasma lipids in rats. BioFactors 20:161–171PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Nielsen FH (2009) Boron deprivation decreases liver S-adenosylmethionine and spermidine and increases plasma homocysteine and cysteine in rats. J Trace Elem Med Biol 23:204–213PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Nielsen FH (2014) Update on human health effects of boron. J Trace Elem Med Biol 28:383–387PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Nielsen FH (2017) Historical and recent aspects of boron in human and animal health. Boron 2:153–160Google Scholar
  50. Nielsen FH, Meacham SL (2011) Growing evidence for human health benefits of boron. J Evid-Based Complement Altern Med 16:169–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Nielsen FH, Penland JG (2006) Boron deprivation alters rat behavior and brain mineral composition differently when fish oil instead of safflower oil is the fat source. Nutr Neurosci 9:105–112PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Nielsen FH, Stoecker BJ (2009) Boron and fish oil have different beneficial effects on strength and trabecular microarchitecture of bone. J Trace Elem Med Biol 23:195–203PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Nielsen FH, Hunt CD, Mullen LM, Hunt JR (1987) Effect of dietary boron on mineral, estrogen, and testosterone metabolism in postmenopausal women. FASEB J 1:394–397PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Nielsen FH, Mullen LM, Gallagher SK (1990) Effect of boron depletion and repletion on blood indicators of calcium status in humans fed a magnesium-low diet. J Trace Elem Exp Med 3:45–54Google Scholar
  55. Nielsen FH, Gallagher SK, Johnson LK, Nielsen EJ (1992) Boron enhances and mimics some effects of estrogen therapy in postmenopausal women. J Trace Elem Exp Med 5:237–246Google Scholar
  56. Obata F, Miura M (2015) Enhancing S-adenosyl-methionine catabolism extends Drosophila lifespan. Nature Comm 6:8332. Scholar
  57. Park LK, Friso S, Choi S-W (2012) Nutritional influences on epigenetic and age-related disease. Proc Nutr Soc 71:75–83PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Penland JG (1994) Dietary boron, brain function, and cognitive performance. Environ Health Perspect 102(Suppl 7):65–72PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Penland JG (1995) Quantitative analysis of EEG effects following experimental marginal magnesium and boron deprivation. Magnes Res 8:341–358PubMedGoogle Scholar
  60. Penland JG (1998) The importance of boron nutrition for brain and psychological function. Biol Trace Elem Res 66:299–317PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Penland JG, Eberhardt MJ (1993) Effects of dietary boron and magnesium on brain function of mature male and female Long-Evans rats. J Trace Elem Exp Med 6:53–64Google Scholar
  62. Ralston NVC, Hunt CD (2001) Diadenosine phosphates and S-adenosylmethionine: novel boron binding biomolecules detected by capillary electrophoresis. Biochim Biophys Acta 1527:20–30PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Rogoveanu O-C, Mofoşanu GD, Bejenaru C, Bejenaru LE, Croitoru O, Neamţu J, Pietrzkowski Z, Reyes-Izquierdo T, Biţa A, Scorei ID, Scorei R (2015) Effects of calcium fructoborate on levels of C-reactive protein, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, triglycerides, IL-1B, IL-6, and MCP-1: a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study. Biol Trace Elem Res 163:124–131PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Roubenoff R, Harris TB, Abad LW, Wilson PW, Dallal GE, Dinarello CA (1998) Monocyte cytokine production in an elderly population: effect of age and inflammation. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 53:M20–M26PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Roubenoff R, Parise H, Payette HA, Abad LW, D’Agostino RD, Jacques PF, Wilson PWF, Dinarello CA, Harris TB (2003) Cytokines, insulin-like growth factor 1, sarcopenia, and mortality in very old community-dwelling men and women: the Framingham Heart Study. Am J Med 115:429–435PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Scorei RI, Rotaru P (2011) Calcium fructoborate—potential anti-inflammatory agent. Biol Trace Elem Res 143:1223–1238PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Scorei R, Ciubar R, Ciofrangeanu CM, Mitran V, Cimpean A, Iordachescu D (2008) Comparative effects of boric and calcium fructoborate on breast cancer cells. Biol Trace Elem Res 122:197–205PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Scorei RI, Ciofrangeanu C, Ion R, Cimpean A, Galateanu B, Mitran V, Iordachescu D (2010) In vitro effects of calcium fructoborate upon production of inflammatory mediators by LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages. Biol Trace Elem Res 135:334–344PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Secher M, Ritz P, Vellas B (2012) Nutrition and aging. In: Erdman JW Jr, Macdonald IA, Zeisel SH (eds) Present knowledge of nutrition, 10th edn. Wiley, Ames, IA, pp 654–668CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Selhub J, Troen A, Rosenberg IH (2010) B vitamins and the aging brain. Nutr Rev 68(suppl 2):S112–S118PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Sheng MH-C, Taper LJ, Veit H, Qian H, Ritchey SJ, Lau K-HW (2001a) Dietary boron supplementation enhanced the action of estrogen, but not that of parathyroid hormone, to improve trabecular bone quality in ovariectomized rats. Biol Trace Elem Res 82:109–123PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  72. Sheng MH-C, Taper LJ, Veit H, Thomas EA, Ritchey SJ, Lau K-HW (2001b) Dietary boron supplementation enhances the effects of estrogen on bone mineral balance in ovariectomized rats. Biol Trace Elem Res 81:29–45PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  73. Sogut I, Oglakci A, Kartkaya K, Kusat O, Sogut MS, Kanbak G, Inal ME (2015) Effect of boric acid on oxidative stress in rats with fetal alcohol syndrome. Exper Therap Med 9:1023–1027CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Tepedelen BE, Soya E, Korkmaz M (2016) Boric acid reduces the formation of DNA double strand breaks and accelerates wound healing process. Biol Trace Elem Res 174:309–318PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  75. Turkez H, Arslan ME, Ozdemir O, Chikha O (2016) Ameliorative effect of boric acid against nicotine-induced cytotoxicity on cultured human primary alveolar epithelial cells. Boron 1:104–109Google Scholar
  76. Turkez H, Geyikoğlu F, Dirican E, Tatar A (2012) In vitro studies on chemoprotective effect of borax against aflatoxin B1-induced genetic damage in human lymphocytes. Cytotechnol 64:607–612CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Üstündağ A, Behm C, Föllmann W, Duydu Y, Gegen G (2014) Protective effect of boric acid on lead- and cadmium-induced genotoxicity in V79 cells. Arch Toxicol 88:1281–1289PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  78. Verdin E (2015) NAD+ in aging, metabolism, and neurodegeneration. Science 350:1208–1213PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  79. Vitvitsky V, Martinov M, Ataullakhanov F et al (2013) Sulfur-based redox alterations in long-lived Snell dwarf mice. Mech Ageing Dev 134:321–330PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Weglicki WB (2012) Hypomagnesemia and inflammation: clinical and basic aspects. Annu Rev Nutr 32:55–71PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  81. World Health Organization (1996) Boron. In: Trace elements in human nutrition and health. World Health Organization, Geneva, pp 175–179Google Scholar
  82. World Health Organization, International Programme on Chemical Safety (1998) Environmental health criteria 204 boron. World Health Organization, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  83. Wu C, Miron R, Sculean A, Kaskel S, Doert T, Schulze R, Zhang Y (2011) Proliferation, differentiation and gene expression of osteoblasts in boron-containing associated with dexamethasone deliver from mesoporous bioactive glass scaffolds. Biomater 32:7068–7078CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Yazbeck C, Kloppmann W, Cottier R, Sahuquillo J, Debotte G, Huel G (2005) Health impact evaluation of boron in drinking water: a geographical risk assessment in Northern France. Eviron Geochem Health 27:419–427CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Ying X, Cheng S, Wang W, Lin Z, Chen Q, Zhang W, Kou D, Shen Y, Cheng X, Rompis FN, Peng L, Lu CZ (2011) Effect of boron on osteogenic differentiation of human bone marrow stromal cells. Biol Trace Elem Res 144:306–315PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Zhang D, Sun X, Liu J, Xie X, Cui W, Zhu Y (2015) Homocysteine accelerates senescence of endothelial cells via DNA hypomethylation of human telomerase reverse transcriptase. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 35:71–78PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Nutritionist ConsultantGrand ForksUSA

Personalised recommendations