Oct 282022

Boron – Essential Mineral for Horses Health
Soil analysis has confirmed the low levels of this nutrient.
The role of boron in humans and animals has long been known to be diverse. An animal’s inability to access boron from their diet will:

  • Reduce the horse’s ability to reduce inflammation – for example horses with laminitis will be especially prone to an inability to reduce inflammation.
  • Swollen joints will subside very slowly. This is associated with the animal’s inability to synthesise lipoxygenase – an enzyme that helps control inflammation.
  • General movement will be restricted due to the collective effect of the inflammation.
  • Old and young animals will display an inability to maintain bone density and be slow to recover from injury.
  • Sensitive feet, Fungal Infections like Seedy Toe, or poor hoof health, is often a problem associated with a lack of boron. This will obviously be exacerbated if the horse is suffering from laminitis.
  • Boron and magnesium are both required to enable a horse to metabolise calcium. Without adequate access to both elements bone loss will steadily accelerate, which often stimulates the development of osteoporosis.
    If your horse is lacking ‘mental alertness’ and underperforming, then a lack of boron can often be the problem.

Health Effects of Boron
Due to their content of boron, borax and boric acid have basically the same health effects, with good antiseptic, anti-fungal, and antiviral properties but only mild antibacterial action. In plants as well as animals boron is essential for the integrity and function of cell walls, and the way signals are transmitted across cell membranes.
Boron is distributed throughout the body with the highest concentration in the parathyroid glands, followed by bones and dental enamel. Their Parathyroids need help, with the recommended minerals containing Cal+Mag+Boron.  Boron is essential for healthy bone and joint function, regulating the absorption and metabolism of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus through its influence on the parathyroid glands. With this boron is for the parathyroids what iodine is for the thyroid.
Boron deficiency causes the parathyroids to become overactive, releasing too much parathyroid hormone which raises the blood level of calcium by releasing calcium from bones and teeth.

This then leads to osteoarthritis and other forms of arthritis, osteoporosis and tooth decay.
With advancing age high blood levels of calcium lead to calcification of soft tissues causing muscle contractions and stiffness; calcification of endocrine glands, especially the pineal gland and the ovaries; arteriosclerosis, kidney stones, and calcification of the kidneys ultimately leading to kidney failure. This is so very important for very obvious reasons in horses that suffer with all types of myopathies, including Recurrent Exertional Rhabdomyolysis (Tying -Up), PSSM- (Polysaccharide storage myopathy) and HYPP- (Hyperkalemic periodic paralysis)

Boron deficiency combined with magnesium deficiency is especially damaging to the bones and teeth. Boron affects the metabolism of steroid hormones, and especially of sex hormones. It increases low testosterone levels in men and oestrogen levels in menopausal women, as testosterone also governs muscle integrity and as there is one muscle you don’t want to become flaccid and weak and that is the heart muscle.
It also has a role in converting vitamin D to its active form, thus increasing calcium uptake and deposition into bone and teeth rather than causing soft tissue to calcify.
Also other beneficial effects have been reported such as improvement of heart problems, vision, psoriasis, balance, memory and cognition.
Boron often combines with the hydroxyl groups and form corticosteroids, which are known to alleviate symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis and joint inflammation.