Boron Introduction

Boron, a naturally occurring trace mineral, may prove to be essential in the many intricate processes occurring within human physiology. Although this mineral is unfamiliar to many individuals, it may play an important role in the overall health of our skeletal structure by assisting in metabolic bone processes. The majority of boron we consume is deposited in dental enamel, fingernails, blood, and most importantly, in our skeletal structure. Boron’s ability to provide stability in bone mineral density has just been recently discovered by clinical researches within (approximately) the last two decades. This nutrient may be a key component in the health of bone tissue and in the prevention of osteoporosis. [1]

Boron is readily converted to boric acid. Boric acid accounts for the most common form of boron found in our systems. Although boric acid itself does not provide our body with specific metabolic processes, it is found in many chemical substances in the body, including vitamins, carbohydrates, and nucleotides. When converted, boric acid provides the highest bioavailability for the internal process, ‘passive diffusion’ via fluids circulating throughout our bodies. Medicinally, boric acid has also been used as an antiseptic for the eyes and skin.

As mentioned, boron/boric acid may provide for the many delicate processes associated with bone. It may be equally important in joint health, and further enhance the absorption of Vitamin D. Research has indicated that boron may also be integral in the body’s utilization and conversion of the D vitamin. [2] This finding may prove critical in relation to calcium intake, as vitamin D is a primary factor in proper calcium absorption and use in the body.

Boron Food Sources

Fruits, vegetables, and other whole food sources are the main sources of boron. Because boron is found in the majority of foods we eat, a food graph is omitted in this section. Generic forms of boron are also available for purchase in nutritional supplements and provide adequate intakes of the mineral. The forms of boron found is popular nutritional supplements, include;

  • Sodium borate
  • Boron citrate
  • Boron aspartate
  • Boron glycinate

Examples of foods with high concentrations of boron include; granola/bran cereals, wine, raisins, prune juice, potatoes, pecans, peanuts/peanut butter, coffee, beans, avocados, and even chocolate. [3]

Boron Uses

Boron’s main function in the body lies within its regulation of the parathyroid (gland), which is responsible for hormones that provide for numerous metabolic processes. It is also a major component in calcium and magnesium metabolism and for this reason alone, may contribute to irregular conditions associated with decreased bone mineral density. [1]

Boron provides stability and health of our boney structures. Studies have suggested that boron may assist in the prevention of osteoporosis, osteomalacia, and rheumatoid arthritis. [4] The three different classifications of arthritis may directly benefit from dietary supplementation of boron. [2] These forms of arthritis include osteoarthritis, juvenile arthritis, and the aforementioned, rheumatoid arthritis. Dietary supplements containing boron are often used in the prevention and treatment of symptoms caused by these bone-related diseases. [5]

Women may benefit the most from the dietary supplementation of boron. In one particular study involving post-menopausal women, 3 milligrams of boron supplemented on a daily basis, for a duration of 48 days, reduced calcium excretion by nearly 50%. [6] Blood serum levels of 17 beta-estradiol (a female hormone produced by the body for normal female sexual development), and testosterone dramatically increased in correlation to a higher intake of boron. These findings suggest that the dietary supplementation of boron, in conjunction with calcium and magnesium, may ultimately prevent bone demineralization in a number of women. [6]

Overall cognitive function of the brain may be directly assisted by the proper dietary intake of boron as well. [7] Research suggests that boron supplementation improves mental functioning. Improvements in behavioral attentiveness, less drowsiness, and mental focus were observed in deficient subjects who received dietary supplementation of boron. Memory and psychomotor functioning were also enhanced.

Boron may also play an integral role in calcium metabolism. The lack of this exacting metabolic process has been linked to hypertension and diseases of the heart. Abnormal calcium metabolism, due to inadequate dietary intakes of boron, is linked to atherosclerosis, and other types of cardiovascular diseases (i.e. ischemic heart disease). [1]

Boron Dosages

Boron Dosages

There has not been any established dietary reference intakes (DRI), or recommended daily allowances (RDA) for the mineral boron. There are varying degrees of boron intake in the American diet. The normal intake (for most Americans) is 0.5 to 3 milligrams (mgs) daily. The average dosage provided by dietary foods and nutritional supplements consumed is 1.7 to 7 mgs/day. Many researches indicate 3 to 9 mgs/day to be both beneficial and safe.

According to a nutritional research group, boron intakes are “respectively…2.42 mg/day for men;…1.94 mg/day for women; and…2.18 mg/day for pregnant women.” [8]

Boron Toxicities and Deficiencies

Boron Deficiencies

Deficiencies of boron closely resemble the bone changing characteristics associated with osteoporosis. Boron deficiencies increase urinary excretion of calcium and magnesium, and also decrease blood levels of calcium (i.e. calcitonin). The bone demineralization that is associated with calcium loss also causes the decreased serum levels of the hormones estrogen and testosterone.

Boron Toxicities

There is a low probability for toxicity of boron in humans. Extremely high doses of boron, exceeding 500 mgs/day may prove to be dangerous. [2] The usual signs of a boron overdose are nausea, prolonged vomiting, diarrhea, and mental and physical fatigue.


1. Kirschmann, G & J, Nutrition Almanac 4th ed. New York: McGraw Hill, 1996.

2. Murray, M. Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements. Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing. 1996.

3. Panel on Micronutrients, Subcommittees on Upper Reference Levels of Nutrients and of Interpretation and Use of Dietary Reference Intakes, and the Standing Committee on the Scientific Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc; Washington, DC: National Academy Press; 2001:404-12.

4. Travers RL, et al. Boron and Arthritis: The Results of a Double- blind Study. J Nutr Med. 1990;1:127-32.

5. Newnham RE. Arthritis or Skeletal Fluorosis and Boron. Int Clin Nutr Rev. 1991;11(2):68-70.

6. Nielsen FH, et al. Effect of Dietary Boron on Mineral, Estrogen, and Testosterone Metabolism in Postmenopausal Women. Fed Am Soc Exp Biol. 1987;1(15):394-97.

7. Penland J.G. The importance of boron nutrition for brain and psychological function. Biol Trace Elem Res. 1998; 66:200-317.

8. Rainey CJ, Nyquist LA, Christensen RE, Strong PL, Culver BD, Coughlin JR. Daily boron intake from the American diet. J Am Diet Assoc. 199 Mar;99(3):335-40.

9. Somer, E. The Essential Guide to Vitamins and Minerals. New York: Harper Collins, 1995.


Boron (as amono acid
chelate) Products