Is boron deficiency a cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)? What is ALS? First things first, ALS also called Lou Gehrig’s disease is a disease causing the death of motor neurons that control voluntary muscles. What follows is my developing thoughts specifically on boron and ALS but also vitamin D3 and our health in general.
Those that suffer from it develop weakness due to loss of muscle mass. This leads to difficulty speaking, swallowing and eventually to the loss of ability to walk, use their hands and breath. It is more common in men then women. Occurring later in life in women than men.1
This last bit of information that ALS occurs later in life for women could mean that estrogen is protective as women have initially have higher levels. It only drops later in life with menopause. That by itself, these age related levels of estrogen in women, show a relationship but not necessarily causation.
Sounds crazy but hear me out. As always, I was thinking, and I was reading the reviews of a competitor’s book to see how I could market my book better. I ran across a review-more like a promotion for that reviewers soon to be published book on progesterone and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
That caused me to think. Hmm-could estrogen, low levels of it make one more likely to develop ALS and are there studies showing this connection? In fact, there are many studies showing a connection with a few referenced. 2,3,4,5
So where does boron come in? Well there are also studies showing increased boron intake increases our estrogen levels.6,7 In the Nielsen study, reference 6, the levels of estrogen almost doubled with supplemental boron in those women who were postmenopausal.
Postmenopausal that is and magnesium deficient (as accurately determining magnesium deficiency is difficult-please see blog post on magnesium-so not sure how they determined they were deficient of magnesium).
To digress for several paragraphs there is magnesium again. This why it is difficult to untangle and explain separately each vitamin or mineral. Why it is easier to confuse people. Confuse them to the point that they throw their hands up and give up. Don’t give up.
If your trying to heal yourself I see the only way currently is by self-education. Even those of us who study this area extensively we find it challenging to separate out all the interconnections. Everyone is unique.
And how each vitamin, mineral or supplement affects you, how YOU respond to them, that should be your guide. Of course, ideally as I have said multiple time before you ideally work with a doctor who “gets it”. To assure your blood levels are monitored and you stay safe.
Though how you respond is important if you don’t feel any effects immediately doesn’t mean your not benefiting from the addition or change in dosing. Only it may take more time. Or other vitamins, minerals or such are needed.
For example, if eating a protein deficient diet, you may not be able to produce the enzymes your body needs. So, despite adding a key substance nothing happens. As with vitamin D3 those same people are typically also magnesium deficient and these two works so well together I recommend both.
Thus, if in a situation where you for example start vitamin D3, but you feel no different taking it, it may be preventing you from additional stress on your body. Thus, for example preventing inflammation leading to a disease. Now with its addition it is a disease that now you will never suffer from.
Again, the problem of measuring the results of your actions involved in preventative medical approach. Because you avoid disease how do you know it is working. Perhaps if you would have made no changes you would have been fine. I would not bet on it. I remember a show once where the joke ran as such.
A guy from Texas states the special amulet he wears protects him from polar bears. The person listening considers that statement for a bit and then responds. That makes sense. As the nearest polar bear living in the wild is three thousand miles away. So just because there might be a relationship doesn’t mean it is the cause of the event.
Funny and a way to discredit supplements but you do so at your own risk. It is only if we keep studying supplements in an honest way. Not to hype nor discredit them but to find the truth. To make optimal use of our bodies, live a longer life and one less effected by disease. (continued in next blog post)
- Brann, D. W., Dhandapani, K., Wakade, C., Mahesh, V. B., & Khan, M. M. (2007). Neurotrophic and neuroprotective actions of estrogen: basic mechanisms and clinical implications. Steroids, 72(5), 31-405.
- Brinton RD. Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Estrogen Regulation of Memory Function and Neuroprotection Against Alzheimer’s Disease: Recent Insights and Remaining Challenges. Learn. Mem. May 1, 2001 8: 121-133
- Behl C. Oestrogen as a neuroprotective hormone. Nat Rev Neurosci. 2002 Jun;3(6):433-42.
- Liu SB, Han J, Zhang N, et al. Neuroprotective effects of oestrogen against oxidative toxicity through activation of G-protein-coupled receptor 30 receptor. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2011 Sep; 38(9):577-85
- Nielsen FH, Hunt CD, Mullen LM, Hunt JR. Effect of dietary boron on mineral, estrogen, and testosterone metabolism in postmenopausal women. FASEB J. 1987;1(5):394–397.
- Naghii MR, Mofid M, Asgari AR, et al. Comparative effects of daily and weekly boron on plasma steroid hormones and proinflammatory cytokines. J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2011 Jan; 25(1):54-8.
*The information posted above is for educational purposes only. Always check with your doctor before initiating any changes in your medical treatment. If you do not, then The Two-Minute Health Fact, Dr. Judson Somerville, nor The Optimal Dose is responsible!