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Table of Contents
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 66-67

Boron: A dietary mineral for human health

Department of Biotechnology, Rajiv Gandhi Proudyogiki Vishwavidyalaya, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication11-Mar-2019

Correspondence Address:
Roopesh Jain
Department of Biotechnology, Rajiv Gandhi Proudyogiki Vishwavidyalaya, Airport Bypass Road, Gandhi Nagar, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/am.am_59_18

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How to cite this article:
Jain R, Tiwari A. Boron: A dietary mineral for human health. Apollo Med 2019;16:66-7

How to cite this URL:
Jain R, Tiwari A. Boron: A dietary mineral for human health. Apollo Med [serial online] 2019 [cited 2023 Jan 30];16:66-7. Available from: https://apollomedicine.org/text.asp?2019/16/1/66/253867


Boron is a dietary mineral and is known to increase free testosterone and serum dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels when given at doses higher than from food.[1],[2] It currently does not have a known minimum requirement or recommended daily allowance because an essential biological role for it has not been identified. The lowest active dose of boron supplementation has known to be 3 mg (effective in supporting hormonal parameters in postmenopausal women). The tolerable upper intake level (UL), the maximum dose at which no harmful effects would be expected, is 20 mg/day for adults. For adolescents, the UL is 17 mg/day; children 9–13-year-old, 11 mg/day; children 4–8-year-old, 6 mg/day; and children 1–3-year-old, 3 mg/day.[3]

Boron is an essential trace element and crucial to include in the daily diet to ensure a healthy life. People consume varying quantities of boron depending on their diet. The major sources of boron in the diet are fruits, tubers, vegetables, and drinking water. Diets supposed to be high in boron provide around 3.25 mg of boron/2000 kcal/day, whereas diets supposed to be low in boron provide around 0.25 mg of boron/2000 kcal/day.[3] Good sources of boron are apple, avocado, beef bouillon, broccoli stalk, cherries, enriched white bread, fortified cornflakes, grapes, ground cinnamon, kiwis, lentils, nuts, olive, onion, oranges, parsley, peaches, soybeans, etc.[2] Boron has found to be well absorbed from the intestines and has been noted that, at dietary levels of intake, boron is minimally lost in the feces (2%).[4] Other routes of loss are urinary and to a degree via sweat. In a study, oral dose of 10 mg boron/day for 4 weeks in otherwise healthy persons resulted in 84% of the supplemented dose being recovered in the urine.[5]

Data published in “Environmental Health Perspectives” showed that a boron deficiency (intake of <0.23 mg daily) can affect brain function and cognitive performance, providing an evidence that boron is an essential nutrient for humans.[6] Epidemiologic evidence has suggested that, in areas of the world where boron intake typically is 1 mg or less/day, the estimated incidence of arthritis varies from 20% to 70% whereas, in areas where boron intake is between 3 and 10 mg, the estimated incidence of arthritis found up to 10%.[7] In a double-blind placebo-boron supplementation, twenty patients with osteoarthritis were recruited and compared daily oral dosages of 6 mg boron/day (55 mg of sodium tetraborate decahydrate). Fifty percent of patients receiving the boron supplement showed improvement compared to only 10% receiving the placebo. The findings suggested some possible benefits of boron to osteoarthritis.[8] In a study on 11 postmenopausal volunteers, boron was suggested to have a role in the control of urolithiasis (urinary stones) during low-magnesium nutriture.[9]

A week supplementation of 10 mg boron in eight healthy male volunteers showed a significant decrease in estradiol (an estrogen), sex hormone binding globulin, high sensitive C-reactive protein, and tumor necrosis factor-α level. Free testosterone, DHT, cortisol, and Vitamin D were found to be elevated.[10] Follicle-stimulating hormone was also reported to increase in time- and dose-dependent manner in an animal study.[11] In postmenopausal women, boron appeared to affect estrogen and testosterone. Boron deficiency was found to reduce androgen status in women, whereas sufficiency could restore levels.[12]

As recent research suggests, boron is a micronutrient with important roles in human metabolism. It is required for the normal growth and health of the body involving various metabolisms of minerals such as calcium and magnesium, bone mineralization, hormones, and energy substrates such as glucose and triglycerides, amino acids, free radicals, prostate health, mental function, and numerous other body systems.[1],[13]

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Pizzorno L. Nothing boring about boron. Integr Med (Encinitas) 2015;14:35-48.  Back to cited text no. 1
Mézes M, Erdélyi M. Antioxidant effect of the fibre content of foods. Orv Hetil 2018;159:709-12.  Back to cited text no. 2
Available from: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/894.html. [Last accessed on 2018 Jul 06].  Back to cited text no. 3
Devirian TA, Volpe SL. The physiological effects of dietary boron. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2003;43:219-31.  Back to cited text no. 4
Naghii MR, Samman S. The effect of boron supplementation on its urinary excretion and selected cardiovascular risk factors in healthy male subjects. Biol Trace Elem Res 1997;56:273-86.  Back to cited text no. 5
Penland JG. Quantitative analysis of EEG effects following experimental marginal magnesium and boron deprivation. Magnes Res 1995;8:341-58.  Back to cited text no. 6
Newnham RE. Essentiality of boron for healthy bones and joints. Environ Health Perspect 1994;102 Suppl 7:83-5.  Back to cited text no. 7
Traversa RL, Rennieb GC, Newnhamc RE. Boron and arthritis: The results of a double-blind pilot study. J Nutr Med 1990;1:127-32.  Back to cited text no. 8
Naghii MR, Einollahi B, Rostami Z. Preliminary evidence hints at a protective role for boron in urolithiasis. J Altern Complement Med 2012;18:207-9.  Back to cited text no. 9
Naghii MR, Mofid M, Asgari AR, Hedayati M, Daneshpour MS. Comparative effects of daily and weekly boron supplementation on plasma steroid hormones and proinflammatory cytokines. J Trace Elem Med Biol 2011;25:54-8.  Back to cited text no. 10
Lee IP, Sherins RJ, Dixon RL. Evidence for induction of germinal aplasia in male rats by environmental exposure to boron. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 1978;45:577-90.  Back to cited text no. 11
Nielsen FH, Hunt CD, Mullen LM, Hunt JR. Effect of dietary boron on mineral, estrogen, and testosterone metabolism in postmenopausal women. FASEB J 1987;1:394-7.  Back to cited text no. 12
Nikkhah S, Dolatian M, Naghii MR, Zaeri F, Taheri SM. Effects of boron supplementation on the severity and duration of pain in primary dysmenorrhea. Complement Ther Clin Pract 2015;21:79-83.  Back to cited text no. 13


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