Boron Uses and Health Effects
It is called a “trace” mineral because you need only a tiny amount. But it has such widespread and important roles that every plant and animal must have enough of it to survive.
What Can Boron Be Used For?
Boron is not found by itself on Earth, but it is the main component of the 2nd and 3rd hardest and strongest materials (boron nitride and boron carbide) in the world, making boron one of the most useful minerals when it comes to its weight and strength. In fact, only diamond is harder than boron!
Boron compounds are used in:
- Cutting tools
- Bulletproof vests
- Aerospace technology
- Flat screen TVs
- Fishing rods
You may have used boron in the form of borax. Borax (sodium borate) has been a household mainstay for centuries, used as laundry detergent and to clean floors, unclog drains, and keep insects at bay. It was originally discovered in Tibet in dry lake beds, and the highest amounts are found in the soil of the world’s desserts.
Chemically, boron is a quirky mineral with an odd number of electrons that makes it chemically reactive. That means it can easily influence and affect other materials and form interesting new compounds. This makes it very versatile and useful for wonderful new inventions! Scientists are now working on using boron as a new energy source, and to conserve heat. (Solar water heating and solar power generation plants are using tubes made with boron.)
The Health Benefits of Boron
Centuries ago, healers gave people suffering from anxiety or trauma the sedative salt, boric acid, another compound containing boron. (Today it has been scientifically proven to aid brain and cognitive function.) Your grandmother probably applied boric acid to her skin as an astringent, used it as an eyewash for eye infections, and treated vaginal yeast infections with it.
According to new research, boron may have been partly responsible for the evolution of all life on Earth. This is because boron is involved in important factors for life. But the significance of boron to human health did not become known to scientists until the mid1980s.
- Heal wounds
- Improve brain function
- Reduce urinary calcium loss
- Prevent vitamin D deficiency
- Increase magnesium absorption
- Decrease inflammation in osteoarthritis
- Aid in short-term memory of older adults
- Prevent/treat prostate, cervical, and lung cancers
- Increase efficiency of estrogen, testosterone, and Vitamin D
Discover more in-depth information on the benefits of boron in our post about the Top Health Benefits of Boron.
Boron for Bone Health
Boron promotes many metabolic processes. These processes include the natural and constant building up and breaking down of cells and substances in the body. This is vital for functions including bone health.
Scientists have known for decades that boron is essential for bones. Even a study done 30 years ago found that postmenopausal women given boron supplements drastically reduced (by 44%) their daily loss of calcium. This normally occurs through excreting it in urine. Yet, keeping more calcium means stronger bones.
Research also shows that in areas of the world where getting boron in food is rare (so intake is low) the incidence of arthritis ranges from 20 to 70% of the population! Whereas in regions where boron intakes are higher (3mg -10mg), cases of arthritis are from 0 to 10%. The amount of boron was also found to be lower in bones and synovial fluid (fluid that keeps joints limber) of people with osteoarthritis compared with people who don’t have the disease. Boron has also been shown in studies to increase estrogen in postmenopausal women, which helps maintain healthy bones.
It is best to get supplemental boron in combination with other minerals, not by itself. This is partly because it affects the way the body handles minerals including magnesium, calcium and phosphorus. AlgaeCal Plus, for example, combines boron (at 3 mg per daily dose) with dozens of other minerals so that they synergistically work as a team to build strong bones. (More on this later…)
Boron Food Sources
You can get small amounts of boron from a variety of sources (listed in order from highest amount of boron to lowest):
- Raisins (4.51 mg of boron per 100 g)
- Almonds (2.82 mg of boron per 100 g)
- Hazelnuts (2.77 mg of boron per 100 g)
- Dried apricots (2.11 mg of boron per 100 g)
- Peanut butter (1.92 mg of boron per 100 g)
- Walnuts (1.63 mg of boron per 100 g)
- Prunes (1.18 mg of boron per 100 g)
- Red wine (0.86 mg of boron per 100 g)
- Chickpeas (0.71 mg of boron per 100 g)
- Olives (0.35 mg of boron per 100 g)
- Broccoli (0.31 mg of boron per 100 g)
- Red grapes (0.5 mg of boron per 100 g)
- Honey (0.5 mg of boron per 100 g)
For a full list of sources and more information on each one, read our post: The Top Boron-Rich Food Sources.
How to Safely and Effectively Use Boron
Research has shown that boron’s beneficial effects appear at intakes of 3 mg of boron per day or above. Less than 1 mg per day is considered inadequate.
However, no estimated average requirements or Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) has been set for boron. Only a safe upper intake level (also called Upper Tolerable Limit) of 20 mg per day has been set.
Boron supplements have shown to be very safe for adults and children when in doses less than the Upper Tolerable Limit = 20 mg per day. Over-consumption of boron is unlikely since even getting 3-5 mg of boron through food sources every day would prove to be a challenge (see Boron Food Sources list).
As 2015 research states, “The lack of studies showing harm in taking boron supplements compared with the substantial number showing benefits support boron supplementation of 3 mg per day for any individual whose diet lacks fruits and vegetables or who is at risk for/has: osteopenia, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, or breast, prostate or lung cancer.”
Boron has even been shown to reduce toxicity levels of heavy metals such as:
- Arsenic Trioxide
- Colloidal Bismuth Subcitrate
- Cadmium Chloride
- Mercury Chloride
- Lead Chloride
Boron may only not be safe if it is taken orally in higher doses than 20 mg per day (with symptoms including skin inflammation and peeling, irritability, weakness, headaches, diarrhea, vomiting.)
Reap Boron’s Benefits Safely and Naturally with AlgaeCal Plus
AlgaeCal Plus contains the research-recommended 3 mg of boron in a daily dose. It not only contains boron, but plant-based calcium, magnesium, vitamins D3, K2, C, boron and trace minerals – and is clinically proven to increase bone density.
As you can see, even though you use boron in its many forms within your home and technical devices each day, it may be most beneficial to get more boron into your body!
Boron has many surprising health benefits for men and women suffering from a variety of ailments. To ensure you are getting enough to reap its benefits, try AlgaeCal Plus. A daily dose (4 capsules) provides 3 mg of boron in addition to all 13 clinically proven bone-supporting nutrients in their proper proportions, the way nature intended.