Boron is a trace mineral normally found in the body and nature. This mineral appears to help maintain bone health and hormonal balance.
Functions of Boron:
The possible mechanisms of action of boron are:
- Affects metabolism of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamin D. It decreases urinary loss of calcium and magnesium by enhancing their reabsorption in the kidneys.
- May enhance production of estrogen.
- May increase testosteronelevel.
- Has been linked to blood sugar and improves insulin function.
- May have an impact on abstract thinking skills (for example, memory and attention), and fine motor skills.
Food Sources of Boron:
Boron is naturally found in the body with the highest concentration in the parathyroid glands, which are responsible for controlling calcium level. The foods rich in boron are prunes, raisins, parsley, and nuts particularly almonds and peanuts.
Athletic Benefits of Boron:
Non – Athletic Benefits of Boron:
The following conditions may benefit from boron:
- High blood pressure.
- Diabetes type II.
- Vaginal yeast infection (as boric acid).
- Astringent and disinfecting agent for the skin and eyes (as boric acid).
Dosage and Side Effects:
Currently there is no recommended daily allowance for boron. However, 1 – 3 mg daily in the diet seems sufficient. As a food supplement, it is taken 3 – 6 mg a day. For vaginal yeast infections, boric acid is used intravaginally by inserting 1 – 2 suppositories at night for not more than two weeks.
Boron is considered safe with regular doses. The tolerable upper limit of boron for adult is 20 mg daily. It might cause some side effects at extremely high doses. Boron toxicity may occur due to excessive use or increased sensitivity to boric acid. Clinical findings of boron toxicity are:
a) Early findings:
- Increased urinary loss of vitamins C, B2, and B6.
- Loss of appetite.
b) Late findings:
- Hair loss.
- Skin rashes.
- Depressed mood.
- Testicular atrophy.
- Male infertility.
- Developmental defects (when used higher doses during the first trimester of pregnancy).
Boron may interact with few other supplements and conditions:
- Boron may decrease blood levels of vitamins C, B2 and B6 followed by a need to increase their daily intakes.
- Boron may increase blood levels of magnesium.
- Boric acid should never be used topically to the skin of infants and on open wounds.
- Boron supplementation should be avoided in the following conditions:
- Kidney failure and diseases.
- Estrogen – sensitive medical conditions: breast cancer, fibrocystic disease of breast, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, and uterine fibroids.