Boron Safety for Breast Cancer Survivors

Health / Nutrition / Osteoporosis / Trace Minerals / January 12, 2015

Lara Pizzorno is the author of “Your Bones: How You Can Prevent Osteoporosis and Have Strong Bones for Life – Naturally” and a member of the American Medical Writers Association with 29 years of experience specializing in bone health.

Recently we asked Lara if she would help us provide a series of short, ongoing videos to help you (our customers and readers) stay up to date on the latest facts and science related to bone health and overcoming osteoporosis naturally.

In this latest video, Lara talks about whether boron is safe for breast cancer survivors who are taking aromatase inhibitors.  Watch the video below (or read the transcript provided) and let us know what you think in the comments. 🙂

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Hello, I’m Lara Pizzorno the author of “Your Bones” and I’m here today to share some information with you that I hope will help you have healthier bones.

In this last few videos we’ve been talking about the importance of a trace mineral called boron for healthy bones. In this video I wanted to discuss with you whether boron is safe for breast cancer survivors who are taking aromatase inhibitors such as Arimidex.

This topic came up for me because a few months ago now because a woman wrote me to ask if taking boron was a good idea for her. She had recently been successfully treated for stage 1 her 2 positive breast cancer which is an estrogen positive form of breast cancer and had prescribed a drug called Arimidex which she was to take for the next 5 years to block her body’s ability to produce estrogen, in the hopes that it would protect her against developing and recurrence of her breast cancer. The drug she was prescribed called Arimidex is used in both the treatment and to help recurrence of estrogen positive breast, ovarian and also prostate cancers. It’s one of a class of drugs called aromatase inhibitors and prevents the production of estrogen by binding to and shutting down an enzyme called aromatase. This is the enzyme that is responsible for synthesizing estrogen from its precursors which are other steroid hormones called androgens. And these include DHEA and testosterone and would normally be the targets of aromatase. Arimidex inhibits estrogen synthesis by out- competing androgens’ ability to bind with aromatase. Arimidex and the other aromatase inhibitors are so effective at preventing the production of estrogen that if you are taking one of these drugs you will be producing virtually no estrogen. So boron will have no estrogen to convert to its magnesium absorbing form. And this means that taking boron is not going to have any negative effect on breast, prostate or ovarian cancer treatment if you are taking an aromatase inhibitor. But it also means that estrogen’s beneficial effects, its beneficial effects on our ability to absorb magnesium, and in our production of osteoblasts and in our activation of vitamin D are going to be lost. For these reasons, aromatase inhibitors cause substantial bone loss and increase risk of osteoporosis and fractures. Not only when used in postmenopausal women with breast or ovarian cancer but also given as androgen deprivation therapy for men with prostate cancer.

If you’ve read “Your Bones” then you know that men produce a small amount of estrogen, but that it plays a very important role in their ability to maintain healthy bones. So by preventing men from producing the small amount of estrogen, the aromatase inhibitors also cause bone loss in men and increase their risk of osteoporosis.

Well, it turns out that boron is now being used to increase and restore effectiveness of another drug that is used to treat or prevent estrogen positive cancers called tamoxifen. Even in breast cancer patients whose cancer cells who are supposedly resistant to tamoxifen, boron is changing this.

And why might this be important for your bones if you have or are recovering from an estrogen positive type of cancer?

Well, tamoxifen causes far less bone loss than the aromatase inhibitors, so it is worth looking into if you might be able to use tamoxifen rather than one of the aromatase inhibitors. Tamoxifen has long been considered the first line therapy for estrogen positive breast cancers. Most all of the estrogen positive breast cancers respond positively to tamoxifen treatment but about 8% of patients with these cancers are resistant to tamoxifen. Why? Because these patients have a slow CYP2D6 enzyme, this is the enzyme in the liver that is responsible for converting tamoxifen into its most potent forms. Two potent metabolites called 4-hydroxy tamoxifen or 4-OHT, that’s what you’ll see in the research literature and endoxifen, both of which inhibit estrogen dependent cell proliferation. There are test that can now be run to determine if you are among these 8% of people who are resistant to tamoxifen treatment and if you are not, tamoxifen will be a much less bone destructive treatment for you than one of the aromatase inhibitors. So this is something you might want to discuss with your doctor.

Boron in addition is now being used to develop different forms of tamoxifen that are already in these two more potent forms the 4-OHT and endoxifen forms. So even people who are resistant to tamoxifen because they have a slow CYP2D6 enzyme can benefit from tamoxifen and discuss using it rather than an aromatase inhibitor their physicians.

If you need to be on an aromatase inhibitor, the good news is that not only will taking boron NOT interfere with the cancer protective effect of aromatase inhibitor therapy, but boron will lessen some of its harmful effects on your bones. Boron is still going to help you convert vitamin D into the form in which it helps absorb calcium most effectively and the latest research which I have discussed in an earlier video clip in this series on boron is  showing us that boron plays a number of protective roles for us including greatly lessening chronic inflammation, which would otherwise excessively activate osteoclasts.

So boron can still help you maintain the health of your bones even if you need to be on an aromatase inhibitor. In our next video we will talk about how much boron you need to take and whether you can rely on dietary sources for this trace mineral or whether you should consider a bone health supplement that will provide boron for you. Thanks for tuning in, I hope this was helpful.


Sources:

Limburg C, Maxwell C, Mautner B. Prevention and treatment of bone loss in patients with nonmetastatic breast or prostate cancer who receive hormonal ablation therapy. Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2014 Apr;18(2):223-30. doi: 10.1188/14.CJON.223-230. PMID: 24675258

Decensi A, Sun Z, Guerrieri-Gonzaga A, et al. Bone mineral density and circulating biomarkers in the BIG 1-98 trial comparing adjuvant letrozole, tamoxifen and their sequences. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2014 Apr;144(2):321-9. doi: 10.1007/s10549-014-2849-2. Epub 2014 Feb 1. PMID: 24487691

Jiang Q, Zhong Q, Zhang Q, et al. Boron-Based 4-Hydroxytamoxifen Bioisosteres for Treatment of de Novo Tamoxifen Resistant Breast Cancer. ACS Med Chem Lett. 2012 Apr 6;3(5):392-396. PMID: 23864928

Comments
Patricia C Harrison
Patricia C Harrison

Mrs. Pizzorno–

I would like to know if taking magnesium oxide, which is the main ingredient in a product that I take called H2Go by Lane Labs, would interfere and should be avoided 2 hours before taking Strontium. I read that magnesium hydroxide should be avoided 2 hours before taking Strontium and wonder if the two are similar. I have depended on taking the H2Go nightly for regularity. So far, this is the only thing that helps with the OIC that I must deal with (which is a side effect from having to use a Transdermal Pain Patch). My diagnosis is: Nerve Root & Plexus Disorder, Intractable Intercostal Neuropathic Pain. This occurred after a 2001 right modified radical mastectomy, performed by a female expert breast cancer surgeon. Twelve lymph nodes were taken also on the right side which were negative. I have a lot of burning throughout the day and heavy pain at the site of the mastectomy. My invasive ductal carcinoma was 2.2 cm and an early stage two at the time.
I was not a candidate for Tamoxifen at the time due to my ER/PR Staus. I had four rounds of Adriamycin/Cytoxan and four rounds of Taxol every three weeks for 6 months total. The Taxol left severe neuropathy in the feet.

I’m on Nortriptyle, 25 mg. (1 cap nightly) which my PCP added to the Gabapentin medication that I take currently in the amount of 3,200 mg. per day, I’ve been on both since 2001, as my PCP said Nortriptyline could help some additionally along with the Gabapentin medication.

I believe the Nortriptyline (Pamelor) falls under the category of a tricyclic antidepressant. I noticed that you changed your thinking on the tricycyclic antidepressants and what amount this medication contributes to bone degradation.
In recent times you feel that it’s more than you originally thought when you wrote your 2013 book, Your Bones.

I’m still having difficulty finding out about how much Gabapentin (an anticonvulsant medication) depletes bone density percentage wise. I’d read your book hoping to find some information on it, but did not see it mentioned, nor could I find out anything on your blog.

Are there any studies which you have access to that would reveal the percentage of bone loss on the two above medications? I wish that I had gotten some results from the Lyrica (as you mention it does not contribute to bone loss) but I did not after trying it for three months in the past.

Do you know of any substitutes for Gabapentin and Nortriptyline that would be safer for me to take?

I noticed you mention online that anticonvulsants reduce blood levels of vitamin K and cause a deficiency of folate and/or B6 and that these drugs interfere with our ability to absorb vitamin D and to metabolize it into the form that helps us absorb calcium. I currently have my vitamin D level checked and am trying to keep it up. I’m studying your blog and the website on AlgaeCal Plus and Strontium Boost currently and will be talking with my PCP (after the flu season is over) about the Strontium Boost in particular. It does not seem like the doctors who do the DXA Scans want to talk with you about alternative things (My bone density doctor has an Internal Medicine background).
How does one handle the battle of trying to present to the bone density doctor the fact that she wants to try Strontium? I know they seem unwilling to bring this up as an alternative to the bone drugs (or at least no one has to me). The bone density doctor wanted me one year ago to start on the drug, and I feel uncomfortable about it due to the side effects that are possible. In 2011, after a four-day hospital stay, I found out that I had Ulcerative Colitis and a Hiatal Hernia. I had started to bleed out and was admitted as an emergency patient.

I was on Lialda 1.2 GM TABLETS – 3 TIMES PER DAY until recently, when my insurance automatically switched me over to Mesalamine 1.2 GM – three times per day.

Now, I am wondering if Lialda and Mesalamine
contribute to bone loss. Can you tell me?
I think on the Butrans Transdermal System (Pain Patch) – 15 mcg/hr – rotated every seven days that there is probably some concern about that too, and wonder if you could educate me on that as well. Does that cause bone loss due to depleting estrogen in the body? I don’t imagine at 72 years old that there is that much to be depleted, but is that the biggest concern one faces with continued use of it? Do you have any suggestions on medications that might be less problematic that could help withtt his kind of neuropathic pain on the right chest wall?

I’m trying to see if there is anything that I can give up or substitute with.

Thanks for responding to my previous post about the Osteo Mins as well. I’ll await your follow-up on that. You may even want to post something on the Amazon site for those who may want to consider it.

Patti Harrison

Lara Pizzorno
Lara Pizzorno

Mrs. Pizzorno–
I would like to know if taking magnesium oxide, which is the main ingredient in a product that I take called H2Go by Lane Labs, would interfere and should be avoided 2 hours before taking Strontium. I read that magnesium hydroxide should be avoided 2 hours before taking Strontium and wonder if the two are similar. I have depended on taking the H2Go nightly for regularity. So far, this is the only thing that helps with the OIC that I must deal with (which is a side effect from having to use a Transdermal Pain Patch).
Hi Patti, I am going to respond to your questions in BOLD following each in your email.
Re magnesium — I checked the amount of magnesium oxide present in H2Go and can see why this product is enabling regularity for you. It’s dosing you with 1,152 milligrams of magnesium from magnesium oxide! In individuals without your health concerns and medications, this product would definitely cause osmotic diarrhea, but for you, it appears to be overcoming the constipating effect of your pain medication. Although magnesium and strontium do not utilize the same absorption pathways (see below), and thus it’s not as essential to take them at separate times, given the very high dose of magnesium you are taking, and the fact that you are taking it to promote elimination, I would recommend you take strontium at a different time of day from both calcium and H2Go—several hours after you consume calcium and several hours before you take H2Go.
Calcium and strontium utilize the same absorption pathways, which is why you do not want to take them at the same time. Calcium will always be preferentially absorbed over strontium, so you would receive no benefit from strontium taken when calcium is consumed at the same time. Some references on this: Vilaça T, Camargo MB, Rocha OF, Lazaretti-Castro M. Vitamin D supplementation and strontium ranelate absorption in postmenopausal women with low bone mass. Eur J Endocrinol. 2014 Mar 8;170(4):469-75. doi: 10.1530/EJE-13-0899. Print 2014 Apr. PMID: 24394724; Dijkgraaf-Ten Bolscher M, Netelenbos JC, Barto R, van Der Vijgh WJ. Another reference here.
Magnesium and calcium (and magnesium and strontium) are not absorbed via the same pathways. The majority of magnesium is absorbed in the small intestine by a passive paracellular mechanism, while calcium and strontium absorption is primarily accomplished with the assistance of vitamin D, i.e., its mechanism of absorption is not passive, but active. A minor, but important regulatory fraction of magnesium is absorbed via the transcellular transporter transient receptor potential channel melastatin member (TRPM) 6 and TRPM7—which also play an important role in intestinal calcium absorption. Here’s a paper that discusses magnesium absorption and regulation in detail if you want to read more: Jahnen-Dechent W, Ketteler M. Magnesium basics. Clin Kidney J. 2012 Feb;5(Suppl 1):i3-i14. doi: 10.1093/ndtplus/sfr163. PMID: 26069819 PMCID: PMC4455825

My diagnosis is: Nerve Root & Plexus Disorder, Intractable Intercostal Neuropathic Pain. This occurred after a 2001 right modified radical mastectomy, performed by a female expert breast cancer surgeon. Twelve lymph nodes were taken also on the right side which were negative. I have a lot of burning throughout the day and heavy pain at the site of the mastectomy. My invasive ductal carcinoma was 2.2 cm and an early stage two at the time.
I was not a candidate for Tamoxifen at the time due to my ER/PR Staus. I had four rounds of Adriamycin/Cytoxan and four rounds of Taxol every three weeks for 6 months total. The Taxol left severe neuropathy in the feet. I am so distressed to hear all this – nerves DO heal. However, they heal slowly. Hang in there. Your pain may not be permanent.
I’m on Nortriptyle, 25 mg. (1 cap nightly) which my PCP added to the Gabapentin medication that I take currently in the amount of 3,200 mg. per day, I’ve been on both since 2001, as my PCP said Nortriptyline could help some additionally along with the Gabapentin medication.
I believe the Nortriptyline (Pamelor) falls under the category of a tricyclic antidepressant. Yes. I noticed that you changed your thinking on the tricycyclic antidepressants and what amount this medication contributes to bone degradation.
In recent times you feel that it’s more than you originally thought when you wrote your 2013 book, Your Bones.
Yes, unfortunately, the latest research indicates TCAs are not less harmful for bone as we had hoped, and in fact, may be worse. I spend the first 3-4 hours of every day reading the current studies, and as more information becomes available, I am reporting it, thus the change in what I wrote about TCAs in 2013. Since it appears that you must continue to take an antidepressant, my best advice for you is to ask your doctor to help you determine which drug will be least harmful. As I mentioned in my article on AlgaeCal, it is by antagonizing dopamine receptors that the antipsychotic drugs cause hyperprolactinemia—and thus osteoporosis. Some of these drugs have a lesser antagonizing effect on dopamine receptors in the brain than others and one that has a lesser antagonizing effect may be appropriate for you. Your doctor should be far more aware of the differences among these classes of drugs than I, and more importantly, your doctor should be aware of the full mix of medications you are taking and potential interactions among all the drugs, which will definitely impact which antidepressant will be the best choice for you.
I’m still having difficulty finding out about how much Gabapentin (an anticonvulsant medication) depletes bone density percentage wise. I’d read your book hoping to find some information on it, but did not see it mentioned, nor could I find out anything on your blog.
I believe your doctor has prescribed Gabapentin for you because it’s been shown to that a combination of gabapentin and nortriptyline is more effective for pain relief than either drug alone.
Unfortunately, the current research does indicate Gabapentin causes bone loss – the percentage of bone lost has varied in the studies, so I cannot say, “this drug causes X% of bone to be lost within X amount of time.” What we know is that long-term treatment with gabapentin can lead to loss of bone at the hip, lumbar spine and femoral neck, and is associated with an increased risk for fracture. Very few studies are available on the prevention and treatment of bone disease in patients on any of the anti-epileptic drugs long term. The suggestions made in the latest papers to help lessen adverse effects on bone are minimal: Ensure vitamin D levels are optimal and stress importance of regular physical activity, a well-balanced diet with sufficient protein intake, and cessation of both smoking and excessive alcohol intake. Then they suggest prescribing a prescription bone drug. And finally, they admit this needs to be researched!: “Further investigations of newer AEDs to assess their long-term effects on bone are essential. Even in the absence of evidence, it seems reasonable to give supplements and maintain levels of 25(OH)D and further research is needed to clarify the particular subgroups, dosages, and other factors that may influence the effects of AEDs on BMD and bone metabolism. There is a compelling need of formulation of guidelines for treatment and prevention of AEDs-induced bone loss based on randomized clinical trials.” In other words, the drugs cause bone loss, and they have no effective treatments. (Here’s a current paper on all this: Arora E, Singh H, Gupta YK. Impact of antiepileptic drugs on bone health: Need for monitoring, treatment, and prevention strategies. J Family Med Prim Care. 2016 Apr-Jun;5(2):248-253. PMID: 27843822 PMCID: PMC5084542) You can do A LOT better than this – PLEASE take AlgaeCal Plus along with Strontium Boost and a good omega-3 supplement. I suggest you ask your doctor about SPMs (specialized pro-resolving mediators) – these are the metabolic end products of omega-3 metabolism and may significantly reduce your pain. I believe Metagenics has an SPM product – yes, they do – here’s a link to it on Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/Metagenics-SPM-Active-60-Count/dp/B019FYPYRA
Are there any studies which you have access to that would reveal the percentage of bone loss on the two above medications? I wish that I had gotten some results from the Lyrica (as you mention it does not contribute to bone loss) but I did not after trying it for three months in the past.
Do you know of any substitutes for Gabapentin and Nortriptyline that would be safer for me to take? I strongly recommend you have your omega-6:oega-3 ratio tested and ensure your intake of omega-3s results in a ratio of no more than 4:1 omega-6:omega-3. Please read my articles on the importance of omega-3s for bone health on AlgaeCal’s website. There are a number of recent papers on the use of omega-3s for pain – and specifically for the use of SPMs. Here are a couple of references on this:
Maroon JC, Bost JW. Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) as an anti-inflammatory: an alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for discogenic pain. Surg Neurol. 2006 Apr;65(4):326-31. PMID: 16531187
Ramsden CE, Zamora D, Makriyannis A, et al. Diet-induced changes in n-3- and n-6-derived endocannabinoids and reductions in headache pain and psychological distress. J Pain. 2015 Aug;16(8):707-16. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2015.04.007. Epub 2015 May 7. PMID: 25958314 PMCID: PMC4522350

Lara Pizzorno
Lara Pizzorno

I’ve copied in the full abstract from the above citation for you here: Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are biosynthetic precursors of endocannabinoids with antinociceptive, anxiolytic, and neurogenic properties. We recently reported that targeted dietary manipulation-increasing omega-3 fatty acids while reducing omega-6 linoleic acid (the H3-L6 intervention)-reduced headache pain and psychological distress among chronic headache patients. It is not yet known whether these clinical improvements were due to changes in endocannabinoids and related mediators derived from omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. We therefore used data from this trial (N = 55) to investigate 1) whether the H3-L6 intervention altered omega-3- and omega-6-derived endocannabinoids in plasma and 2) whether diet-induced changes in these bioactive lipids were associated with clinical improvements. The H3-L6 intervention significantly increased the omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid derivatives 2-docosahexaenoylglycerol (+65%, P < .001) and docosahexaenoylethanolamine (+99%, P < .001) and reduced the omega-6 arachidonic acid derivative 2-arachidonoylglycerol (-25%, P = .001). Diet-induced changes in these endocannabinoid derivatives of omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid, but not omega-6 arachidonic acid, correlated with reductions in physical pain and psychological distress. These findings demonstrate that targeted dietary manipulation can alter endocannabinoids derived from omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in humans and suggest that 2-docosahexaenoylglycerol and docosahexaenoylethanolamine could have physical and/or psychological pain modulating properties. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01157208) PERSPECTIVE: This article demonstrates that targeted dietary manipulation can alter endocannabinoids derived from omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and that these changes are related to reductions in headache pain and psychological distress. These findings suggest that dietary interventions could provide an effective, complementary approach for managing chronic pain and related conditions.
I noticed you mention online that anticonvulsants reduce blood levels of vitamin K and cause a deficiency of folate and/or B6 and that these drugs interfere with our ability to absorb vitamin D and to metabolize it into the form that helps us absorb calcium. I currently have my vitamin D level checked and am trying to keep it up. I’m studying your blog and the website on AlgaeCal Plus and Strontium Boost currently and will be talking with my PCP (after the flu season is over) about the Strontium Boost in particular. It does not seem like the doctors who do the DXA Scans want to talk with you about alternative things (My bone density doctor has an Internal Medicine background).
How does one handle the battle of trying to present to the bone density doctor the fact that she wants to try Strontium? I know they seem unwilling to bring this up as an alternative to the bone drugs (or at least no one has to me). The bone density doctor wanted me one year ago to start on the drug, and I feel uncomfortable about it due to the side effects that are possible. In 2011, after a four-day hospital stay, I found out that I had Ulcerative Colitis and a Hiatal Hernia. I had started to bleed out and was admitted as an emergency patient. Our doctors are trained to prescribe drugs that suppress symptoms; they are not trained in how to support healthful human physiology, so when you ask about this, they are clueless – and furthermore, medical schools teach physicians that the body is flawed and only drugs that take over it’s function are able to manage disease – but that’s all the drugs do – MANAGE not cure symptoms. I strongly suggest that you take a look at the Institute for Functional Medicine – a developing form of medicine that focuses on identifying the real causes of dysfunction and then supporting healthful human physiology to restore normal function. IFM has a credentialing course and now literally 1,000s of physicians have become certified as functional medicine practitioners. These doctors will be willing AND able to assist you. IFM has a Find a Practioner page, so you can see who is fully certified in the practice of functional medicine in your area. If you doctor can’t help you, find one who can! Remember, your doctor is YOUR employee. If your current physician isn’t competent to do more than prescribe a drug, find one who has the training to help you heal.
I was on Lialda 1.2 GM TABLETS – 3 TIMES PER DAY until recently, when my insurance automatically switched me over to Mesalamine 1.2 GM – three times per day. Mesalamine is simply a generic (less expensive) form of Lialda. Your insurance switched you to the generic form of the drug to save $.

Now, I am wondering if Lialda and Mesalamine contribute to bone loss. Can you tell me? This drug is an anti-inflammatory used to manage ulcerative colitis. It does not appear to increase bone loss – may help less the bone loss caused by ulcerative colitis, which is highly inflammatory. Chronic inflammation results in excessive activation of osteoclasts, thus causing bone loss. Here’s a recent paper on this: Krajcovicova A, Hlavaty T, Killinger Z, et al. Combination therapy with an immunomodulator and anti-TNFα agent improves bone mineral density in IBD patients. J Crohns Colitis. 2014 Dec;8(12):1693-701. doi: 10.1016/j.crohns.2014.08.004. Epub 2014 Aug 27. PMID: 25175812

I think on the Butrans Transdermal System (Pain Patch) – 15 mcg/hr – rotated every seven days that there is probably some concern about that too, and wonder if you could educate me on that as well. Does that cause bone loss due to depleting estrogen in the body? Yes, this drug causes bone loss – it’s an opiod. Supposedly less harmful than some others. Here’s a recent paper on this—I’ve copied in the abstract for you following the citation below:
Coluzzi F, Pergolizzi J, Raffa RB, Mattia C. The unsolved case of “bone-impairing analgesics”: the endocrine effects of opioids on bone metabolism. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2015 Mar 31;11:515-23. doi: 10.2147/TCRM.S79409. eCollection 2015. PMID: 25848298 PMCID: PMC4386765
Abstract
The current literature describes the possible risks for bone fracture in chronic analgesics users. There are three main hypotheses that could explain the increased risk of fracture associated with central analgesics, such as opioids: 1) the increased risk of falls caused by central nervous system effects, including sedation and dizziness; 2) reduced bone mass density caused by the direct opioid effect on osteoblasts; and 3) chronic opioid-induced hypogonadism. The impact of opioids varies by sex and among the type of opioid used (less, for example, for tapentadol and buprenorphine). Opioid-associated androgen deficiency is correlated with an increased risk of osteoporosis; thus, despite that standards have not been established for monitoring and treating opioid-induced hypogonadism or hypoadrenalism, all patients chronically taking opioids (particularly at doses ≥100 mg daily) should be monitored for the early detection of hormonal impairment and low bone mass density.
KEYWORDS: OPIAD; bone metabolism; chronic pain; endocrine system; fractures; opioids side effects

I don’t imagine at 72 years old that there is that much to be depleted, but is that the biggest concern one faces with continued use of it? Do you have any suggestions on medications that might be less problematic that could help witht this kind of neuropathic pain on the right chest wall? YES—as mentioned above SPMs may be extremely helpful for you.
Your doctors have you on a cocktail of bone-destructive drugs and are not providing you with the help you need to restore your health. I urge you to work with a functional medicine practitioner who can get a full overview of all your medications, help you deal with the interactions and adverse effects of each of these drugs, help you switch to less harmful variants or even better, eventually get OFF some of these medications, and most importantly, help you get on a diet and nutritional supplement program that will support your ability to regain your health, so you no longer require the medications.
Patti, please feel free to contact me for encouragement or even just to vent. I have such deep respect for you. You’ve been through so much and your powerful, amazing spirit remains strong despite all of it. You CAN regain your health. You just need good help – a physician who can guide you in how to support your body’s healthful function, not one who can only prescribe drugs to suppress your symptoms but that cause others, including osteoporosis. Don’t settle for this!

I’m trying to see if there is anything that I can give up or substitute with.
Thanks for responding to my previous post about the Osteo Mins as well. I’ll await your follow-up on that. You may even want to post something on the Amazon site for those who may want to consider it. I’ve contacted Dr. Wright – Osteo Mins are his product – and I believe your concerns are being fully investigated and a response will be posted on Amazon by him.
Patti Harrison
Patti, BE WELL, you will be in my thoughts and prayers, Lara

anne
anne

Hello Lara

I am interested in Boron for benefits to bone health and arthritis. I am 54, and had a rapid menopause at 49 due to chemotherapy.

My question is, having been treated for ER2 (estrogen positive) breast cancer with chemo/radio/mastectomy but NOT Tamoxifen or Arimatose Inhibitors, is it still safe to take Boron. I ask because I’m not protected by any Estrogen blocker, but I have read that Boron assists in the production of Estrogen.

Thank you for taking the time to consider my query.

Anne

Lara Pizzorno
Lara Pizzorno

Hello Anne,

You’re so welcome! And the news is good. Not only is boron safe for you, it is especially beneficial. In fact, several boronic compounds are now utilized in cancer treatments.

Boron is strongly recommended for anyone at risk for or has osteopenia; osteoporosis; osteoarthritis; or breast, prostate, or lung cancer.

Boron exerts so many beneficial effects, I am only noting the most pertinent ones here for you – for the full discussion on boron, you can read my most recently published article in IMCJ, a PubMed listed medical journal. I titled it, “Nothing Boring about Boron,” because this is one amazing trace mineral! Here’s the citation:

Pizzorno L. Nothing Boring About Boron. Integr Med (Encinitas). 2015 Aug;14(4):35-48. PMID: 26770156 [PubMed] PMCID: PMC4712861

In relation to cancer, boron:

• does not increase estrogen production – it beneficially promotes our healthful use of estrogen.

• is critical for both the growth and maintenance of bone

• improves your body’s ability to utilize vitamin D as well as your ability to safely use estrogen and testosterone

• greatly improves wound healing

• boosts magnesium absorption, which as you probably know, is critical for healthy bones

• reduces levels of inflammatory biomarkers, including high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), both of which are strongly implicated in cancer development and progression, and both of which promote osteoclast activation and bone loss

• raises levels of key antioxidant enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, and glutathione peroxidase (again each of these enzymes is highly protective against cancer and against the chronic inflammation that excessively activates osteoclasts)

• protects against pesticide-induced oxidative stress and heavy-metal toxicity (two more cancer and inflammation and bone loss promoters)

At the amount required for its beneficial effects— 3 milligrams/day – boron is not readily available in the diet – unless you REALLY love raisins and would enjoy eating at least 3 ounces of them daily (185 calories) – or you could consume 6 tablespoons of peanut butter instead, which actually might be helpful for you if you are underweight as a result of cancer treatment since this amount of peanut butter would add about 570 calories, primarily as fat, to your daily caloric intake. If you are not underweight, your best boron choice by far is AlgaeCal Plus because it will provide you with all the key nutrients your bones require to healthfully rebuild and maintain themselves at the dosages shown in the research to be effective – including 3 milligrams of boron.

Be well, Lara

Michelle
Michelle

Hello, I am a ER positive breast cancer survivor of 7 yrs. I did take tamoxifen for 4 1/2 yrs. I was recently in a car crash and broke my clavicle. I read that it is best to take high levels of calcium and boron to help the bone heal correctly and quickly. If I am not on an estrogen blocker, is taking 60 mg of boron too risky? I am 48 years old. I have not had a period in 8 months, so I’m starting to go into menopause which of course lowers my estrogen. I am also on 25 mg/day of Spironolactone for adult acne which lowers my androgen levels.

I am at higher risk for osteoporosis due to heredity. I have never broken a bone until now. How do I keep my bones strong and healthy when it seems to conflict with ER/PR breast cancer?

Thank you for any information you can give me.

Lara Pizzorno
Lara Pizzorno

Hello Michelle,

First of all, having a clavicle break as a result of a car accident does not necessarily indicate fragile bones. BUT, if you have not done so already, you should have your DXA run – NOW, so you can see where you are.

You need boron. At the amount required for its beneficial effects—minimum of 3 milligrams/d–boron is not readily available in the diet – unless you REALLY love raisins and would enjoy eating at least 3 ounces of them daily (185 calories) – or you could consume 6 tablespoons of peanut butter instead, but this will add about 570 calories per day.

Boron should not be a problem for you; in fact, several boronic compounds are utilized in cancer treatments.
Boron is strongly recommended for anyone at risk for or has osteopenia; osteoporosis; osteoarthritis; or breast, prostate, or lung cancer.
Boron exerts so many beneficial effects, I am only noting the most pertinent ones here for you – for the full discussion on boron, you can read my most recently published article “Nothing boring about boron” via PubMed: Here’s the citation:
Pizzorno L. Nothing Boring About Boron. Integr Med (Encinitas). 2015 Aug;14(4):35-48. PMID: 26770156 [PubMed] PMCID: PMC4712861 [Available on 2016-08-01]

Boron
· does not increase estrogen production – it beneficially affects how estrogen is used.
· is critical for both the growth and maintenance of bone
· improves your body’s ability to utilize vitamin D and safely use estrogen and testosterone
· greatly improves wound healing
· boosts magnesium absorption
· reduces levels of inflammatory biomarkers, including high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) (both of which are strongly implicated in cancer development and progression)
· raises levels of key antioxidant enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, and glutathione peroxidase (again highly protective vs cancer)
· protects against pesticide-induced oxidative stress and heavy-metal toxicity (two more cancer promoters)

To respond best for YOU, I need to know more.

Are you taking any bone support supplements? If you have read anything else I’ve written, you know that calcium alone – or just with vitamin D or just with boron – or just with any one other nutrient – is not going to provide the support your bones need for healthy rebuilding. Your bones require calcium, numerous trace minerals in addition to boron, magnesium, D3, K2, K1, vitamin C, B vitamins – and more for effective healthy remodeling / rebuilding. If you are not already taking AlgaeCal Plus, I cannot recommend it strongly enough – it will provide all but the B vitamins, and at the dosages and in the forms that are most effective. Plus, the trace minerals provided by AlgaeCal are no longer found in even remotely decent amounts in conventionally grown foods. We all need to supplement to get them.
What are your vitamin D levels (your blood level of 25(OH)D indicates your vitamin D status and should be between 50-80 ng/mL for optimal health).
Are you taking supplemental vitamin K2? If so, what form and how much?
Do you eat lots of leafy greens? You really need the K1 they provide now as you are beginning to transition through menopause, and as your estrogen levels drop, your pro-inflammatory cytokine levels will shoot up. K1 helps control the resulting increase in inflammation, and chronic inflammation promotes cancer as well as osteoporosis. Leafy greens are also high in magnesium, and if you are going to continue to take Spironolactone (see below, I hope you will reconsider and find an alternative solution), you really need the magnesium as your progesterone is also being zapped (plus, progesterone levels drop in peri-menopause anyway, so I expect yours are really low/non-existent.)
What is your diet like overall?
What is your weight?
Do you exercise?
How is your digestive system?

Apologies for the seeming digressions here, but as you are entering a phase of your life in which what you do now will greatly impact your experience of life from here on out, I am wanting to get the full picture to see if we can optimize your transition through menopause.

In sum, boron will be very helpful for you. The drug you are using for your acne, spironolactone, will not – big time, will not! You may already know that estrogen is produced in women’s bodies from testosterone via the activity of the aromatase enzyme. Spironolactone blocks androgens (i.e., testosterone and DHEA), and will nuke your dwindlling estrogen supply. In addition, it blocks progesterone, which keeps us calm and happy, and is required for osteoblast production and activity. You need both estrogen (highly anti-inflammatory, helps prevent excessive osteoclast production; and involved in magnesium absorption into bone) and progesterone (involved in osteoblast production and activity) to maintain bone. In addition, spironolactone is a diuretic – it will increase the rate and amount of your loss of all the trace minerals your bones require. Mineral deficiencies, especially of zinc, and hormonal imbalances cause adult acne – these can and should be corrected to restore your health, and beautiful skin. If your current physician is not capable of assisting you, I can provide you with a referral to a qualified functional medicine practitioner if you will let me know where you live.

If you are concerned about your estrogen levels, I urge you to have a full hormone evaluation run – the most comprehensive and accurate test is the 24 Hour Urine Comprehensive Hormone Profile that is run by Meridian Valley Labs. (I have no financial connections to this lab, but we use this test for our patients and for ourselves at least once a year). This lab checks all the estrogens, their metabolites and the balance among them (which is called your Estrogen Quotient), so you can see exactly where you are and if you are at any risk –and then fix this naturally via dietary changes and retest in a couple of months. It also checks adrenal hormones, progesterone, DHEA, thyroid hormones – and more. If you want to read up about this test, I’ve written a review article re hormone testing that includes a summary of it. This article is written for doctors, but you will get the gist of it. It can be accessed free on-line on Longevity Medicine Review at http://www.lmreview.com/articles/view/select-the-right-hormone-test-for-your-patient-using-bio-identical-hormone-/

You are at a crucial time in your life and deserve to be gloriously healthy for many many years to come. I very much hope this helps and that you will let me know more if I can further assist you,
Lara

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