Boron and Breast Cancer

I am thrilled that I found this site, which is refreshingly devoid of drug company propaganda. This is my first post, and I sincerely thank the NOF for making this forum available! I am a breast cancer survivor (2011), and my tumor was ER positive. I have gone through surgical menopause and have been taking an aromatase inhibitor, though I'm currently on a 2-month vacation because of side effects. I am also have a degree in biochemistry and am nearly certified in holistic nutrition (had to take a leave due to a disability from my cancer treatment), so I feel comfortable with choosing appropriate supplements and following an alkaline diet. In the past I have taken a full spectrum of minerals for bone support, including boron. Most recently, after a DEXA scan showed one area of my spine had decreased in density to the "osteopenia category," I began taking AlgaeCal, which contains boron. As well as strengthening connective tissue in the bone matrix, boron plays a role in synthesizing estrogen. Because my tumor is ER+, I need to avoid pro-estrogenic substances. Should I be concerned about supplementing with boron? I'd be interested in hearing from Lara Pizzorno if she's willing to comment.

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"As well as strengthening connective tissue in the bone matrix, boron plays a role in synthesizing estrogen. Because my tumor is ER+, I need to avoid pro-estrogenic substances. Should I be concerned about supplementing with boron?"

I think you just answered your own question. Lara P holds two masters of arts degrees. One in divinity studies and one in literature, none in medicine, but it would be interesting to hear her comments as well since she did write a book on the subject.\ and did do some research.

Have you tried searching the national institute of health database of medical research (www.pubmed.gov) using the search terms boron and breast cancer?

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Thank you, I should have thought of doing a search on pubmed. I did so, and now I have even more questions. The only studies I found concerned the ANTI-cancer activity of certain boron-containing compounds. This isn't the right forum for that discussion.

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I have done a research and the use of Boron does increase Estrogen levels. Since you have an ER postive BC you would not want to take supplements or foods that increase your estrogen levels. The AI's that you are/were taking are working to eliminate the estrogen in your body and starve the tumor so the thought is not to add estrogens to your body. I took have been taking An AI(femera) and have minimal side effects for the last 10 months and I stay away from any supplements that contain soy or facilitate estrogen production. If you want some other resources, I would be happy to provide you with some. The book "Your Bones" has been very helpful even tho I do not have Osteoporosis or Osteopenia as side effects. I take large does of Vit D3, calcium, glucosamine/chondroitin and so far so good....

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I was wondering the same thing about boron and breast cancer. How about getting boron from natural sources like prunes? I've read that eating about 10 prunes a day has the right amount of daily boron and is excellent for bone health. It's also more natural than a boron supplement.

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MariaB,

You probably want to stay away from DHEA supplements too.

Tom

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Maria,
Have you asked your Dr. this question?

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Hello Maria,
Sorry not to respond sooner. Have been wrapping up slides for a lecture on bone health I will be giving at a medical conference on menopausal issues for physicians this coming October. What dxaguru fails to mention is that I have been a medical writer for 30+ years; am the editor Longevity Medicine Review, a medical journal for physicians, and have written a number of books both for medical professionals and the public. I find dxaguru's omission of these facts disingenuous as I have called this individual on it before. I do not understand this person's desire to discredit me.
In regards to your question about boron:
I suggest you do not dismiss boron before discussing with your oncologist. The latest peer-reviewed research on PubMed (which is where I always go to get my information) suggests the combination of boron + calcium promotes apoptosis in human breast cancer cells.
Boron is known to have a chemo-preventive effect against prostate cancer and has recently been shown to also have anti-cancer effects versus breast cancer. Boron activates the apoptotic pathway in human breast cancer cells, and when combined with calcium (research is being done on a calcium + boron combination called calcium fructoborate) has had such significant effects that it is being investigated as a safe, non-toxic chemotherapeutic agent for human cancer. Boron exerts a number of anti-cancer mechanisms in cancer cells, most of which are based on inhibition of a variety of enzymatic activities, including those serine proteases, NAD-dehydrogenases, mRNA splicing and cell division, but also receptor binding mimicry, as well as its induction of cancer cell apoptosis. Boron-enriched diets are recognized to significantly decrease risk for prostate and cervical cancer, and lung cancer in smoking women. The most recent paper (2011) is a review of research on a combination of calcium + boron, calcium fructoborate, which has been found to have anti-cancer effects vs breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer and cervical cancer. Calcium fructoborate is found naturally in plants (boron is naturally attracted to calcium) and can be produced by chemical synthesis as well. The combination of calcium + boron has also been found to be beneficial for prevention and treatments (adjuvant) of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. Within breast cancer cells, calcium fructoborate acts as an antioxidant and induces the overexpression of apoptosis-related proteins and eventually apoptosis. Here are the references for this:
Scorei R, Ciubar R, Ciofrangeanu CM, et al. Comparative effects of boric acid and calcium fructoborate on breast cancer cells. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2008 Jun;122(3):197-205. Epub 2008 Jan 5. PMID: 18176783
Scorei RI, Popa R Jr. Boron-containing compounds as preventive and chemotherapeutic agents for cancer. Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2010 May;10(4):346-51. PMID: 19912103
Scorei IR. Calcium fructoborate: plant-based dietary boron as potential medicine for cancer therapy. Front Biosci (Schol Ed). 2011 Jan 1;3:205-15. PMID: 21196370

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