I.  Physiological Role

  1. B is essential for plants
  2. B may be involved in mineral metabolism of animals
    1. B may be important in preventing osteoporosis in humans (FASEB J. 1:394, 1987; 5:2661, 1991)
      1. B supplementation reduced urinary excretion of Ca, Mg and P, especially when dietary Mg was low
      2. B elevated serum 17b-estradiol and testosterone suggesting urinary loss of Ca, Mg, and P was prevented through endocrine mechanisms
      3. Supplementation of a low B diet induced changes in postmenopausal women consistent with prevention of Ca loss and bone demineralization.
    2. A B X Mg interaction in rats was characterized by more marked deficiency signs of one element when the other element was also deficient
      1. Signs of B deficiency were more marked when the diet was marginal in methionine and luxuriant in arginine
      2. Signs of B deprivation include depressed growth, depressed bone Mg and elevated organ/body weight ratios for spleen and kidney
    3. Dietary B reduces detelerious effects of vitamin D deficiency
  3. Could high B intakes from alfalfa contribute to milk fever in dairy cows?

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