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Picture a warehouse full of forklifts. They are zipping around, beeping and whirring, raising and lowering their forks to move boxes…

…only there are no boxes.

That’s what happens in your body if you have plenty of vitamins but inadequate minerals. Your forklifts (vitamins) have no boxes (minerals)! Most people know that Vitamin D is the forklift for calcium, but there’s more to the story.

There’s this humble mineral called boron, number 5 on the periodic table. It’s not making headlines, but it really should, because without it, all that Vitamin D you are taking is much less active and less effective. By supplementing boron, even while not also taking Vitamin D, you can raise your blood levels of Vitamin D, and as a result, help your bones and your teeth remineralize. That’s how important boron is. To make matters worse, boron has been lost from most US soils for decades, so people generally ingest much less than they actually need.

The parathyroid is boron’s favorite organ, and vice versa. They are best friends. Boron deficiency causes the parathyroids to become overactive. This means that they  release too much parathyroid hormone (PTH) which raises the blood level of calcium by taking calcium out of storage (bones and teeth). Stay like this for a long enough period of time and you have the dreaded effects we call “bone loss” and “tooth decay”.

What does this have to do with Vitamin D? All that calcium in your bloodstream makes your parathyroids stop secreting PTH altogether. PTH is also the hormone that tells your kidneys to convert stored Vitamin D into the active form, so your vitamin D levels stay low and your body doesn’t get to absorb the calcium from the bloodstream because active Vitamin D is what makes that possible. The excess calcium will either end up in your urine (a waste) or as deposits in your joints, arteries, or kidneys (a pain!).

Bring in boron to save the day. Once the parathyroids have enough of their yummy boron, they can do their job correctly so that the calcium and vitamin D you have available can be used properly. Bones will stop losing calcium. Vitamin D will be activated in the right amounts so it can support your immune system and neurotransmitter production. The calcium in your diet and supplements will be available to your bones and teeth wherever its needed. (Hence the improvement I’ve experienced in that one tooth lately.) It’s almost like playing country music backwards.

Walter Last has a bold boron article out there that goes beyond what I’m saying here to recommend supplementing boron by ingesting tiny amounts of borax, a method which has apparently done wonders for the health of many. But since the borax box and the many national governments around the world all proclaim that borax is dangerous to use this way, I’m not going to recommend anybody in my readership do that, regardless of whether I happen to think those warnings are valid.

There is a way to get boron into your system at a safe and effective rate, however, and I’ve tried it myself to my great delight. While using this method, a small cavity I had in one molar has filled itself back in, and my energy level has been very even throughout each day. (One caveat: it won’t work if you are deficient in magnesium, so eat your greens!) You should also ask your doctor for permission if you have any concerns about trying the one weird tip I’m about to share.

I put borax in my socks! I use just a little bit, like a couple teaspoons, but I don’t actually measure it, and I don’t do it quite every day. I take a one or two day break from it each week.

This is just the tip of the iceberg on my friend boron. Its biological functions and benefits go much deeper, including hormone regulation, menopause symptom relief, joint health, vascular health, brain plasticity, cancer prevention, and more. But I hope this is enough about it to start the conversation.

Image credit: subactive / CC-BY-ND-2.0