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Home > Supplement Categories > Minerals > Boron

Boron Minerals

What is Boron?

Boron (B) is a dietary mineral that, although not considered an essential mineral, is still taken to supplement good health. During the two world wars and from the years 1870 to 1920, boron was used as a food preservative. It is commonly taken as medicine to treat bone conditions and vaginal infections.

Boron is almost completely absorbed into the body through the intestines. This is possible because of the transporter SLC4A11, which combines with the mineral as borate. The boron contained in the body is excreted through stool, urine, sweat, and breath.

Boron Food Sources

Fruits, vegetables, tubers, and drinking water are all excellent boron foods. This is especially true for avocados, flaked onions, parsley, apple juice and sauce, cherries, grape juice, peaches, and broccoli stalks.

Other good sources of boron include ground cinnamon, beef bouillon, ice cream, flour, fortified corn flakes, and enriched white bread.

What is Boron Used For?

There are quite a number of different uses of boron. However, more intensive studies have to be done to confirm most boron benefits.

Common boron uses include supplementing bone, muscle, and joint development, regulating hormone levels, and increasing cognitive function. Boric acid, which is a form of boron, is utilized as astringent or applied to the skin to prevent infections from spreading. It is also used as an eye wash and treatment for candidiasis, or vaginal yeast infections. Other boron health benefits include:

  • wound cleansing
  • increase in life span
  • treatment for cancer
  • treatment for diabetes
  • treatment for inflammations
  • prevention of viral infections
  • decrease in blood cholesterol levels
  • treatment for onychomycosis, or fungal infections

The regulation of magnesium and phosphorus absorption by the body and the increase of estrogen levels are some more examples of the benefits of boron. Estrogen hormones are said to help in the maintenance of healthy bones and good mental capabilities.

There has been some talk regarding the effect of a deficit in dietary boron levels on neuronal membrane stability. The delta power in the left parietal and temporal lobes seem to be enhanced when the body is lacking in its supply for boron, while frontal lobe activity appears to be diminished. Thus, another one of the health benefits of boron may be the regulation of proper brain wave functions.

Taking boron supplements helps prevent the adverse effects of boron deficiency. One of the most widely-know boron supplement benefits is the regulation and maintenance of hormones. Depending on the dosage and frequency of intake, boron helps healthy male adults increase their testosterone levels and significantly lessen serum estradiol, which is a kind of estrogen. Boron-deficient postmenopausal women, on the other hand, are able to control their testosterone levels and preserve estrogen, which minimizes vaginal discomfort, by taking boron supplements.

Boron supplement intake can also contribute to other bodily processes, including:

  • passing of kidney stones in people with urolithiasis
  • improvement of hand-eye coordination, attention span, perception, and memory
  • prevention of excessive blood coagulation
  • metabolism of minerals, especially calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D

What are Boron Side Effects?

Because boron is quickly expelled from the body through stool and urine, it normally does not build up in harmful amounts. However, excessive intake of dietary boron has the potential to be toxic. Poisoning may be detectable through one or more of the following symptoms:

  • hair loss
  • irritability
  • high fever
  • headaches
  • depression
  • sore throat
  • dehydration
  • eye irritation
  • hyperthermia
  • strong tremors
  • abdominal pain
  • weakness and fatigue
  • violent fits of coughing
  • convulsions and seizures
  • diarrhea (blue-green feces)
  • skin inflammation and peeling
  • dryness of the mouth and nose
  • nausea and throwing up (blue-green vomit)

High levels of boron may also cause a number of effects on the blood, including a decrease in the number of red blood cells, a drop in blood pressure, a decline in insulin levels, and acidosis, or metabolic changes in the blood. Thyroid hormone levels may also undergo changes.

Some studies have shown that high levels of boron may also accumulate in the testicles, causing a decrease in sperm motility in men. This contributes to reduced fertility, which makes it more difficult to father a child. In women, excessive therapeutic use of boron as a preventive measure for vaginal yeast infections may cause a sensation of burning.

The risk of boron toxicity may be significantly higher in individuals who suffer from one or more of the following hormone-sensitive conditions:

  • breast cancer
  • endometriosis
  • uterine cancer
  • ovarian cancer
  • uterine fibroids

People who have problems with their kidneys are also advised not to take too much supplemental boron. Excessive intake will not only force the kidneys to work harder, but may also cause build-up of other harmful substances. This is because the kidneys are primarily responsible for the proper expulsion of bodily waste, and a malfunction may cause these to accumulate in the body.

Because boron causes similar effects to the body as estrogen does, conditions that may worsen from excessive estrogen may also be aggravated by boron. Pregnant women should also steer clear of the mineral, as it has been associated with an almost threefold increased risk of birth defects during the first four months of pregnancy.

The following substances may also react negatively with boron:

  • citrate
  • aspartate
  • glycinate
  • analgesics
  • androgens
  • antilipemics
  • arthritis agents
  • antiviral agents
  • Alzheimer's drugs
  • anti-inflammatories
  • osteoporosis agents
  • antineoplastic agents
  • drugs that damage the liver
  • dopamine agonists and antagonists

Boron Dosages

Boron is found in many foods but its essential role still has to be proven. Therfore, there is no recommended daily dose for supplements. However, individuals who take supplements must note the tolerable upper intake level (UL) for boron as follows:

Age

Dosage (mg/day)

Children 0 to 1 years

N/A

Children 1 to 3 years

3

Children 4 to 8 years

6

Children 9 to 13 years

11

Adolescents and pregnant or breastfeeding women 14 to 18 years

17

Adults and pregnant or breastfeeding women over 18 years

20

References:

WebMD. Boron.

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-894-BORON.aspx?activeIngredientId=894&activeIngredientName=BORON

MedlinePlus. Boron.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/894.html

Healthline. Boron.

http://www.healthline.com/natstandardcontent/boron

Examine. Boron.

http://examine.com/supplements/Boron/

Disclaimer:

This information should not take the place of medical advice. We encourage you to talk to your health care providers (doctor, registered dietitian, pharmacist, etc.) about your interest in, questions about, or use of dietary supplements and what may be best for your overall health.

Products (Total Items: 4)

Boron Plus 6mg 250 tabs by Douglas Labs
Boron Plus 6mg 250 tabs by Douglas Labs
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Silboron 100 vcaps by Intensive Nutrition
Silboron 100 vcaps by Intensive Nutrition
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Boron Chelate 3 mg 100 caps by Nature's Way
Boron Chelate 3 mg 100 caps by Nature's Way
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Boron 2 mg 60 vcaps by Pure Encapsulations
Boron 2 mg 60 vcaps by Pure Encapsulations
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