This post will overview findings of positive effects associated with the use of Boron supplements or dietary boron intake, as well as possible adverse side effects.

Boron Snapshot

  • Strengthens bones and joints
  • Is anti-inflammatory
  • Increases testosterone levels

Health Benefits of Boron

1) Bone Health

Bones of patients using boron supplements are much harder to cut than those of patients not using supplements (R).

The United States Department of Agriculture conducted an experiment in which postmenopausal women took 3 mg of boron a day. The results showed that supplemental boron reduced excretion of calcium by 44%, suggesting a possible role in the suppression of osteoporosis (R).

Boron supplementation increases bone mineral density (R).

Boron improves calcium metabolism in those with postmenopausal deficiencies (R).

2) Anti-Inflammatory and Arthritis

In 20 subjects with arthritis, half of the subjects improved when given 6 mg of supplemental boron/day, compared to only 10% receiving the placebo (R).

In areas of the world where boron intakes usually are 1.0 mg or less/day, the estimated incidence of arthritis ranges from 20 to 70%. In areas of the world where boron intakes are usually 3 to 10 mg, the estimated incidence of arthritis ranges from 0 to 10% (R).

There are lower boron concentrations in joint fluid from people with arthritis than from those without this disorder (R).

Boron increases the secretion of chemical mediators of inflammation which aids in healing, regenerating cells, and reducing inflammation (R).

Boron induces growth of anti-inflammatory and bacteria eating cells (phagocytes) that help fight infection. The stimulation of these cells triggers heightened immune response and strength in killing foreign bodies (R).

3) Cancer

Prostate-specific antigens (PSA) are linked with increased levels of IGF-1, which causes tumor growth (R).

Boron has been found to be an inhibitor of serine protease, especially PSA’s (R).

In mice, boric acid significantly decreased PSA and IGF-1 levels within the tumor (R).

A chemotherapy drug, Bortezomib, contains boronic acid and has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of Multiple Myeloma (cancer of plasma cells). This drug sensitizes cancerous cells to apoptosis (cell suicide) and enhances sensitivity to other chemotherapy medications (R).

Boric acid has also been found to cause the resistance of DNA damage that may go on to cause cancer (R).

Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT)  has been found in emerging studies to destroy cancer cells without killing surrounding healthy cells (R).

The injection of Boron elements has proven to inhibit growth and reduce the size of tumors in mice. This is done by utilizing high amounts of Boron to induce cell toxicity to the product, eventually killing the injected cells (R).

In mice with melanoma, this method also resulted in prolonged survival compared to those untreated (R).

4) Increases Free Testosterone

Dietary supplements containing boron increase overall testosterone levels in both men and women.

After only 1 week of boron supplementation of 6 mg/d in 8 healthy males, there was a significant increase in free testosterone, which rose from an average of 11.83 pg/mL to 15.18 pg/mL [R].

Six hours after supplementation resulted in a significant decrease in sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). After a week, average free testosterone and DHT were increased (R).

Boron supplementation markedly elevated concentrations of estradiol and testosterone in postmenopausal women; the elevation seemed more marked when dietary magnesium was low (R).

5) Yeast Infections

Boric Acid is a popular treatment to use for vaginal yeast infections. The powder is used to kill the yeast and prevent further infections (R).

6) Kidney Stones

10mg daily increased the rate of kidney stone excretion. It also decreased the level of pain felt (R).

Sources

Boron is found naturally in many foods consumed by humans on a daily basis. This includes fruits and vegetables such as apple’s, dates, prunes, raisins, and many nuts (R).

Boron Dosage

The normal supplemental dosage is 3mg a day.

The U.S. National Institutes of Health states that “Total daily boron intake in normal human diets ranges from 2.1–4.3 mg boron/day (R).

There is no recommended daily allowance. To stay on the safe side, adults should take no more than 20 mg per day by mouth. For vaginal infections, women should only use 600 mg of boric acid powder once or twice a day (R).

Side Effects

There are no long term side effects (R).

Boron toxicity rarely occurs because the body easily expels it. Symptoms include gastrointestinal tract problems, confusion, menstrual irregularities, and convulsions (R).

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