Plasma boron concentrations in the general population: a cross-sectional analysis of cardio-metabolic and dietary correlates


Katharina Weber, Ilka Ratjen, Janna Enderle, Ulrike Seidel, Gerald Rimbach, Wolfgang Lieb




European journal of nutrition




PURPOSE: Experimental evidence suggests positive effects of boron on health and metabolism, but human data are still scarce. We aimed to identify dietary and cardio-metabolic correlates of plasma boron concentrations in the general population. METHODS: In a community-based sample (n = 899, 57% men, mean age 61 years), plasma boron (median [IQR]: 33.80 µg/L [25.61; 44.65]) concentrations were measured by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Overall (PDI), healthy (hPDI), and unhealthy (uPDI) plant-based diet indices were derived from a validated food frequency questionnaire. Reduced rank regression (RRR) yielded a dietary pattern explaining 30% of the variation of circulating boron. Cross-sectional associations of dietary indices and cardio-metabolic traits with plasma boron concentrations were assessed using multivariable-adjusted linear regression analysis. RESULTS: The RRR pattern was characterized by high intake of fruits, nuts/seeds, tea, wine and low intake of e.g. bread, poultry, processed meat, chocolate/sweets, and soft drinks. 10-point increments in PDI, hPDI, and uPDI were associated with 8.7% (95% CI: 4.2; 13.4), 10.4% (95% CI: 6.6; 14.3), and -8.8% (95% CI: -12.1; -5.4) change in plasma boron concentrations, respectively. Age and phosphate were directly, while BMI, plasma lipid concentrations, and CRP were inversely associated with circulating boron. Plasma boron concentrations were higher in summer vs. winter, in individuals taking vs. not taking antihypertensive medication, and in individuals with high or medium vs. low education level. CONCLUSION: Higher plasma boron concentrations appeared to associate with a healthier diet, were related to lower BMI and a more favorable cardio-metabolic risk profile, and showed seasonal variations.