It's hard to ignore the body's need for major nutrients–proteins, vitamins, and even fats–but most people give no thought to the diet's large cast of bit players. These include trace minerals, such as boron. Last week, scientists reported why U.S. diets tend to have relatively little boron and described health risks–including cancer–that may stem from overlooking this micronutrient.
Several years ago, Charlene J. Rainey of Food Research in Costa Mesa, Calif., conducted a six-nation comparison of dietary boron for the World Health Organization. Consuming a little over 1 milligram per day, U.S. adults took in 7 to 10 percent less boron, on average, than did people in Britain and Egypt and between 32 and 41 percent less than Germans, Kenyans, and Mexicans did.
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