Benefits of Boron
Boron is an element that is commonly found in plant-based foods but can also be taken as a supplement. It is considered a non-essential nutrient, but there are several potential benefits associated with it. In this article, we’ll identify the potential signs and symptoms of a boron deficiency as well as explore some of the benefits of boron use.
Signs and Symptoms of Boron Deficiency
The average daily intake of boron from foods and supplements ranges from 1 to 1.5 milligrams per day. Therefore, boron deficiency is rare. Boron levels are measured in blood or urine but are rarely checked. Unfortunately, the signs and symptoms are not fully understood, so it’s hard to determine who is at risk. However, some experts predict that individuals who have low boron levels may experience the following:
- Sex hormone imbalance
- Abnormal calcium and magnesium metabolism
- Neural malfunction
14 Benefits of Boron
Believe it or not, it’s easy to include boron in your daily diet- especially if your diet is rich in plant-based foods such as nuts, fruits and veggies, legumes, and grains. Some of the benefits of boron include the following:
Improves Testosterone Levels
Boron has been proven to improve testosterone levels in males, which is one of the reasons it is so popular among male athletes and bodybuilders. Although some serious weightlifters prefer taking supplements to increase their testosterone levels, there’s no concrete evidence why supplementation makes them more successful than those who do not supplement.
Balancing Sex Hormones
Some research indicates that boron may increase natural sex hormones within the body, which reduces the need for hormone replacement therapy or other medication-based solutions.
Menstrual Pain Relief
Some experts state that boron may reduce the severity of menstrual pain when taken each day of the menstrual cycle.
Facilitates Wound Healing
According to research, boron may speed up the healing process by facilitating the enzyme activity required for wound repair and healing.
May Prevent Arthritis
Boron is known to increase the integration of calcium into the cartilage and bones, which means it may successfully treat arthritis pain. In fact, over 95% of patients saw significant improvement in their symptoms after taking boron. As you age, bones typically become weak and porous. However, boron can stop this deterioration by maximizing calcium levels.
In both animal and human studies, the anti-inflammatory effects of boron on arthritis have been highlighted. Early research also indicates that it may reduce the severity of inflammatory conditions including rheumatoid arthritis.
Improves Bone Health
An animal study in 2006 indicated that supplementing with boron may provide relief against osteoporosis. Another study shows that it has a positive effect on overall bone health. However, in order to confirm these findings, more research is required.
Most of the time, more emphasis is put on the bone-building capabilities of calcium over boron. However, the two work together to improve bone strength. It may reduce the risks of arthritis and osteoporosis and improve the metabolism of minerals involved in bone development such as copper, calcium, and magnesium. In addition, boron influences hormones such as testosterone and estrogen, which are related to bone health.
Some research indicates that boron may promote magnesium absorption and improves magnesium deposits in the bones. This is also helpful for improving bone health.
Prevents Post-Menopausal Osteoporosis
The symptoms associated with menopause such as night sweats and hot flashes may be eased by boron. Since post-menopausal women often suffer from hormonal imbalances, boron can keep everything at the appropriate levels so that important bodily functions are not interrupted.
Promotes Proper Functioning of Cell Membranes
Boron is important for maintaining proper functioning of cell and organ membranes, as well as stabilizing hormone receptors so that bodily processes run smoothly.
Reduces Lipid Levels in Plasma
Boron naturally reduces accumulation of lipids and removes cholesterol through various ways- which reduces the risk of developing blood clots and atherosclerosis. By doing this, the body is protected against heart attack and stroke, as well as alleviates the problems caused by congestive heart failure.
May Reduce Fungal Infections
Some research indicates that boron may protect against fungal vaginal infections, including yeast infections. Results from another study indicate that boric acid protects against these infections as well. However, in order to confirm these findings, more research is needed.
Research indicates that boron may improve cognition, including eye-hand coordination, brain functioning, concentration, and short-term memory.
May Inhibit Formation of Harmful Enzymes
Boron may prevent the formation and/or acting of certain harmful enzymes, while promoting the formation and acting of beneficial enzymes.
How Much Should You Take?
Before taking boron or any other supplement, you need to consult with your medical provider to ensure that the supplement and dosage are appropriate for your condition. At this time, there is no RDA for boron, but a tolerable upper limit of 20 milligrams per day has been set. Most Americans consume 1 to 3 milligrams daily through diet alone, with vegetarians consuming more. According to the World Health Organization, an acceptable safe range is 1 to 13 milligrams. Most of the clinical trials use a dosage of 1 to 6 milligrams per day.
Side Effects of Boron
Research shows that boron is generally safe when consumed in acceptable dosages- but there are certain side effects associated with consuming too much:
Some of the side effects reported at higher dosages include skin flushing, vascular collapse, tremors, convulsions, and fatal poisonings.
According to the National Institutes of Health, boron supplementations or a high consumption of dietary sources of boron may be harmful to those with hormone-sensitive conditions including uterine fibroids, breast cancer, or endometriosis. The concern is that boron increases the production of testosterone and estrogen. There have been some reports that supplementing with boron may also reduce levels of phosphorous in the blood.
If you are considering supplementing with boron, make sure to speak with your medical provider first.
Boron is naturally found in plant-based foods and can also be taken as a dietary supplement. There’s not a lot of research that supports boron supplementation, but there does seem to be several benefits associated with it.
There is no specific RDA for boron. Most healthy people can get enough boron in their diet alone, so they should not need supplementation. However, consider speaking with your medical provider before starting this or any other supplements.
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