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Role of micronutrients: Boron and molybdenum in crops and in human health and nutrition.

Gupta, U.C., Srivastava, P.C., and Gupta, S.C. (2011). "Role of micronutrients: Boron and molybdenum in crops and in human health and nutrition.", Current Nutrition & Food Science, 7(2), pp. 126-136. doi : 10.2174/157340111795713807  Access to full text


Boron (B) and molybdenum (Mo), two of the seven essential micronutrients, also known as trace elements, are required for the normal growth of most plants. The Principal functions of B include its role in membrane integrity, seed production, root elongation and sugar metabolism. During recent years, B has also been found to be implicated in human health. Detailed studies need to be undertaken to monitor and promote the concentration of B in vegetables and other food crops as it may be related to human and animal health. The chief biochemical functions of Mo include its role in N fixation in legumes, and regulation of nitrate reduction and protein content. The role of Mo in humans, in general, is less well understood. Plants can have very high levels of Mo before its toxicity symptoms appear. It is well known that feeding crops, high in Mo, to the cattle, results in Mo toxicity, often referred to as molybdenosis or Mo induced Cu deficiency. In humans, B deficiency has been found to be linked to calcium metabolism, bone health, prostate cancer, enhancing the effect of estrogen ingestion, cognitive functions, thyroids function and some other ailments. Some of the B deficiency diseases include arthritis, osteoporosis and abnormal bone growth, reduced estrogen ingestion, rapid heart rate and muscle cramping. In general, Mo deficiency in humans is not common. Deficiency of Mo in humans has been reported in patients receiving prolonged parenteral nutrition. Chief symptoms of Mo deficiency include tachycardia, headache, mental disturbances and coma.

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