* Not enough data exist to determine recommended intake, therefore new Dietary Reference Intakes were not established. ** Not determinable due to lack of data of
adverse effects in this age group and concern with regard to lack of ability to
handle excess amounts.
Some signs of boron deficiency noted in the
literature are depressed growth and reduction in steroid hormone
Because boron plays a role in bone metabolism, boron deficiency may be associated with an increased risk for bone loss. An inadequate intake of boron leads to increased urinary excretion of calcium and magnesium, and lower serum concentrations of estrogen and testosterone.56
Fruits and vegetables are the main dietary sources of boron. However, the concentration of boron in plants depends on
adequate concentrations of boron in the soil. 6 Other good dietary sources
of boron are legumes, pulses, and nuts. A vegetarian diet is thought to be
higher in boron than the typical American diet. 3
Since boron seems to play a role in bone metabolism, particularly with vitamin D and estrogen, postmenopausal women would
benefit from adequate intakes of boron to aid in the prevention of osteoporosis.
Caution with pregnancy or nursing, consult physician before using.
Information on the relationship between substances and disease is provided for general information, in order to convey a balanced review of the scientific literature. In many cases the relationship between a substance and a disease is tentative and additional research is needed to confirm such a relationship.91011
Bone Health/Osteoporosis: Some research has suggested that boron interacts with key vitamins and minerals (vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium) that play a role in bone metabolism.
One study on the effects of 3 mg of supplemental boron on blood and urinary minerals (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus) in athletic and sedentary subjects over 10 months, found that boron only significantly affected blood phosphorus concentrations, which were lower in the boron-supplemented group. 13 However, since boron did not significantly change calcium and magnesium concentrations and since high phosphorus concentrations can contribute to osteoporosis, supplemental boron may have a positive protective effect on bones.
The influence of dietary boron on urinary calcium loss seems to depend on magnesium nutriture. In a double blind experimental study, postmenopausal women were given either supplemental boron (3 mg/d), magnesium (Mg) (200 mg/d), and/or aluminum (1000 mg/d). In women who were not taking supplemental magnesium with a boron basal diet (supplemented with 200 mg of Mg), a lower amount of dietary calcium was lost in the urine compared to those taking supplemental boron and magnesium. 5 The variance in urinary calcium excretion as a function of boron and magnesium nutriture suggests a close interrelation among boron, calcium and magnesium—three key nutrients that affect calcium balance in the body.
Arthritis: Although somewhat inconclusive, boron may play a role in joint health. Previously, there has been numerous observational and controlled animal and controlled human experiments suggesting boron is a safe and effective treatment for some forms of arthritis.10
In one randomized double-blind controlled trial on 20
subjects with osteoarthritis taking a boron supplement or placebo, 50% of the
subjects responded favorably to 6 mg of boron daily versus 10% of subjects
receiving placebo. 14
A review article examined alternative treatments for arthritis and concluded that some natural substances, such as glucosamine and boron, have been shown to be as effective as the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs at relieving symptoms of osteoarthritis. 15
Cognitive function: Research from the USDA Nutrition Research Center in North Dakota
recognized a functional role of boron in psychological function and cognitive
performance. Results from various studies indicate that boron deprivation in
both animals and humans results in decreased brain electrical activity, as well
as poorer performance on tasks of motor speed and dexterity, attention, and
short-term memory. 16
The dietary supplement information contained on this site has been compiled from published sources thought to be reliable, but it cannot be guaranteed. Efforts have been made to assure this information is accurate and current. However, some of this information may be purported or outdated due to ongoing research or discoveries. The authors, editors and publishers cannot accept responsibility for errors or omissions or for any consequences from applications of the information in this site and make no warranty, expressed or implied, with respect to the contents herein.