Boron Contents of German Mineral and Medicinal Waters and Their Bioavailability in Drosophila melanogaster and Humans


Boron is a trace element that naturally occurs in soil, making mineral and medicinal water important contributors to overall intake. Thus, in a systematic screening, the mean boron concentrations of 381 German mineral and medicinal waters are determined.

Methods and results

Boron concentrations in mineral and medicinal waters are analyzed by inductively coupled mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Highest boron values find in waters from the southwest of Germany. The boron content of the waters is positively correlated with the concentration of most other analyzed bulk elements, including calcium, potassium, magnesium, and sodium. Mineral waters with either low (7.9 µg L-1 ), medium (113.9 µg L-1 ), or high (2193.3 µg L-1 ) boron content are chosen for boron exposure experiments in fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) and humans. In flies, boron-rich mineral water significantly increases boron accumulation, with the accumulation predominantly occurring in the exoskeleton. In humans, serum boron and 24-h urinary boron excretion significantly increase only in response to the intake of boron-rich mineral water.


Overall, the current data demonstrate that mineral and medicinal waters vary substantially in the content of boron and that boron-rich mineral water can be used to elevate the boron status, both in flies and humans.


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