Boron is a mineral that is vital for supporting healthy joints, bones, and cartilage. It helps absorb magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus to improve brain function and increase mental alertness.
In 1920, researchers discovered that boron was essential for plants. In 1981, sixty-one years later, scientific reports began surfacing that boron was also beneficial for people.
However, boron’s history for human health goes as far back as 500 BC, where it was used as a contraceptive to control female infertility. (Source- Table 2)
Researchers have stated that it enhances the immune system, is anti-inflammatory, fights cancer, helps the central nervous system, regulates hormones, and much more.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at the benefits of boron.
Top Foods Richest In Boron
Food mg/100 g (Source-Table 1)
|Prune juice, 1 cup||1.43|
|Avocado, raw, cubed, ½ cup||1.07|
|Raisins, 1.5 ounces||0.95|
|Peaches, 1 medium||0.80|
|Grape juice, 1 cup||0.76|
|Apples, 1 medium||0.66|
|Pears, 1 medium||0.50|
|Peanuts, roasted, salted, 1 ounce||0.48|
|Beans, refried, ½ cup||0.48|
|Peanut butter, 2 tablespoons||0.46|
Benefits Of Boron
Is An Ergogenic Aid (Athletic Performance Enhancer)
Boron has been proven to raise testosterone levels naturally, and for this reason, it has been suggested for athletes so to avoid the side effects of drug and synthetic steroid abuse.
However, Table 3 of this review claims that boron has no benefits for athletes.
Let’s use some common sense here. The definition of “ergogenic” is:
“…any training technique, mechanical device, nutritional practice, pharmacological method, or psychological technique that can improve exercise performance capacity and/or enhance training adaptations.”
The evidence is clear, “BORON CAN RAISE ENDOGENOUS (made naturally inside the body)TESTOSTERONE LEVELS.”
- “…boron supplementation suggests a higher rate of conversion of total testosterone (T) to free testosterone (FT) in the testosterone metabolic pathway.“
The question then is, “Can higher levels of testosterone create an advantage in sports?” The answer to this question is an absolute “YES.“
One scientific study said it perfectly:
- “Whether of endogenous or exogenous origin in males and in females, excess testosterone creates an advantage in sports (ACSM, 2006).”
Jack LaLanne, “The Godfather Of Modern Fitness,” who performed superhuman feats of strength and stamina even in his 70s and 80s, and is regarded as bringing weight training and nutrition to the world, used boron in his famous “power drink.”
The bottom line is that boron can raise testosterone levels in the body and as such, common sense dictates that it will help athletes perform better in sports.
As per the ergogenic definition above, boron is clearly a nutritional practice and a pharmacological method for enhancing sports performance.
Boron Is A Nootropic (Enhances Brain Function)
According to scientific researchers, the definition of “nootropic” is:
- “Nootropics or smart drugs are well-known compounds or supplements that enhance the cognitive performance. They work by increasing the mental function such as memory, creativity, motivation, and attention.“
Let’s take a look to see if boron fits this definition.
Studies have shown that significantly older people who were limited to less than 3 mg of boron daily for 42 – 73 days had a lower attention span, dexterity problems, and more flawed memory. And it adversely impacted their cognitive performance.
The studies were conducted on older people supplementing with boron while being connected to an electroencephalogram (EEG) to determine brain activity changes.
The results of the studies showed a significant improvement in:
- Cognitive and psychomotor performance
- Psychomotor skills
Researchers of these studies concluded that:
- “..low boron intake apparently results in poorer performance on tasks which emphasize psychomotor skills and the cognitive processes of attention, perception, and memory. In the present series of studies, Search-Count, a measure of attention, and Symbol Digit, a measure of encoding skills and short-term memory, consistently showed effects of dietary boron on response times.“
Other studies showed that people given boron supplementation after being deprived of it increased “mental alertness, improved psychomotor skills of motor speed and dexterity, and improved cognitive processes of attention and short-term memory.“
Boron can boost brain function, memory, cognitive performance, and more. As such, it meets the criteria for being considered a nootropic.
In 1963, a researcher named Dr. R. Newnham discovered that boron was effective against arthritis.
He noticed that in parts of the world where boron intake was low, at or below 1 mg of boron daily, arthritis was more prevalent, ranging between 20 -70% of the population.
Areas with a higher intake of boron, 3 -10 mg daily, suffered significantly lesser from arthritis, at a 0 -10% range. Dr. Newnham went on to confirm his theory by personally conducting a study on arthritis patients. (Source on pages 48-49)
A study published in 2015 further strengthened the effectiveness of boron for arthritis. An 8-week experiment was conducted on patients suffering from osteoarthritis.
The mild cases received 6 mg of boron daily, and the severe cases were given 12 mg daily.
By the end of the experiment, “mobility and flexibility significantly” improved 77.8% of the patients. And 67% of them stopped taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as Ibuprofen.
May Be Essential For The Immune System
Boron has also been shown to be an immuno-modulator. In other words, it can regulate particular aspects of your immune system.
In one study done on rats, boron was able to regulate the circulating concentrations of Natural Killer (NK) cells. (Source on page 303)
NK cells make up about 15% of your blood lymphocytes (One of the main types of white blood cells found in your body).
NK cells play a significant role in the first line of defense when your body is invaded by a harmful pathogen, such as bacteria or viruses.
In the study, the rats were injected with a chemical that induced inflammation associated with arthritis.
The researchers gave some of the rats a low boron diet while feeding others with a high boron diet (an equivalent of 13 gm per day in humans).
On the thirteenth day of the experiment, the rats given the high dosages of boron had a significant amount of NK cells circulating in their blood, while the low-dose boron-fed rats did not.
It was concluded that boron could regulate the production of these NK cells. In this sense, anything that can stimulate and regulate these potent NK cells will afford a lot of protection, particularly against viruses and cancer.
For Bone Health
Boron has been proven to be vital for osteogenesis (brittle bone disease). When people do not get enough of this micronutrient, it has been shown to affect bone development and regeneration.
Other studies have shown that boron deprivation weakens bones. And supplementation could increase the density, thickness, and volume of bones.
One of the ways boron protects bones is by regulating the production and action of steroid hormones. It prevents calcium and other essential minerals from being removed from your bones and stimulates bone growth.
Another study explained that boron supplementation plays an essential role in bone metabolism and increases mineralization in bones.
Prevents Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D has been getting a lot of publicity lately, mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Interestingly, over one billion people worldwide are deficient in vitamin D.
Vitamin D is known as the “Sunshine Vitamin” because you can get plenty of it from the sun’s rays.
It plays a significant role in your health. A lack of vitamin D can contribute to causing:
- chronic fatigue syndrome
- osteoporosis and
- neuro-degenerative diseases
- development of cancers
- heart disease
- autoimmune diseases
- birth defects
- periodontal disease
- weakened immune system
However, nothing has ever been mentioned about preventing a deficiency in this precious vitamin and ultimately protecting your health.
Boron is the answer. There is undeniable proof that it prevents a deficiency in vitamin D.
A study was conducted on middle-aged people from October to January. (This is a time of the year where vitamin D where people go indoors, get less sun, and as a result less vitamin D).
The study group was given 6 mg of boron per day for 60 days. At the end of the study, the levels of vitamin D were measured.
Instead of a drop in Vitamin D, ordinarily seen in the winter months, the levels had increased by an incredible 20% with the boron supplement.
Vitamin D is activated and degraded by a process called “hydroxylation” in the liver through an enzyme called 24-hydroxylase. Researchers believe that boron suppresses the activity of 24-hydroxylase, stopping the breakdown of vitamin D. (1)
Helps To Heal Wounds
Boron has effectively been used to speed up wound healing. In one study, patients in a surgical intensive care unit were treated with a boric acid (derived from boron) solution, while other patients were treated with common antiseptics.
The group treated with the boric acid recovered three times faster than the non-boric acid group.
Another experiment showed that a unique hydrogel made up of boron and another chemical was also useful for burn wounds.
The gel protected the wounds and showed significant antimicrobial results against bacteria, yeast, and fungi. It was the first study to prove that boron hydrogel could effectively heal burn wounds.
Presently, there is no Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for boron.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends 1 to 13 mg per day for adults. They believe this to be a safe range.
Other reliable sources have stated that a maximum range of 20 mg per day has been established for over 18.
According to the National Institute Of Heath, “no data are available on the adverse effects of high boron intakes from food or water.”
If you take 20 mg or less, there are no known side effects. And it is safe.
Women taking estrogen supplements need to be careful because boron may raise the body’s estrogen levels.
People suffering from kidney problems should not take boron supplements. Kidneys that do not function correctly may not be able to remove boron out of the body. Extreme amounts could then build up throughout your body, including the brain and heart.
Please speak to your medical provider before taking boron supplements to determine it is safe for you.
Boron is a vital trace mineral found naturally in many foods and can also be taken in a supplement form.
Boron helps build strong bones and muscles by raising testosterone levels. It can improve cognitive skills, memory, and coordination.
It can enhance immunity and much more. Boron should be added to everyone’s diet regimen. It is anti-aging and remarkably essential to health.