Top Health Benefits of Boron
If it’s strong enough to stop a bullet, imagine what boron can do for your bones!
That’s right! Boron is part of one of the strongest compounds on earth, which is used to make tank armor and bulletproof vests.
It’s even used in vehicles, jet fighters, and military-style helicopters to add structural strength and stability.
And in your bones, boron’s strength makes it an essential teammate to bone-health superstars calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D. It even helps your body form new bone. So if you’re not getting enough boron, your bones may pay the price…
Read on for five researched-backed ways boron supports strong, healthy bones — and why it belongs in your bone-building toolbox!
You’ll also discover additional boron health benefits (especially important if you suffer from kidney stones, osteoarthritis, or insulin-related distress!). Plus, find out how much boron you need and where to get it. (Hint: It’s easier than you think!)
How Boron Benefits Your Bones
1. Helps Maintain Calcium and Magnesium Levels
One of the most interesting things about your body is how different nutrients work together to help each other out. You could almost say they need each other to perform at their best. Boron, calcium, and magnesium (and many others, as we’ll see below) share this kind of special relationship, working together to help your body build and preserve bones.
And boron? Boron helps your body retain more calcium and magnesium by reducing the amount of each that’s lost through urine.
To see this interplay in action, we can look to research. In a two-part study, researchers gave 12 postmenopausal women a diet providing 0.25 mg of boron for 119 days. Then they supplemented with 3 mg of boron during two 28-day trials. Here, seven of the women were fed a diet low in magnesium (116 mg a day), and the other five supplemented with 200 mg of magnesium a day.
And here’s what’s interesting: With boron supplementation, the women’s overall daily calcium through urine was reduced by 44%! What’s more, the loss in calcium from boron supplementation was 52 mg a day for the women low in magnesium, and only 22 mg a day for the women supplementing with magnesium. The women also retained more magnesium (less was lost through urine, just like the calcium).
Although the study sample size was small, and additional clinical research is needed, the results are impressive and support boron’s role in preserving calcium and magnesium in the body. The women’s calcium loss was affected by how much magnesium and boron they had. And boron supplementation also prevented them from losing as much magnesium!
You can see the powerful relationship between these nutrients — and why keeping balanced levels of each is vital to your bone health. But there’s something else your body needs just as much, and boron helps you preserve more of that, too…
2. Extends Vitamin D Availability
Another essential member of the boron-calcium-magnesium social circle is vitamin D — specifically vitamin D3. And here’s why: Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. Magnesium is the cofactor (or helper) for the enzyme that converts vitamin D into an active form your body can use.
And boron lengthens the amount of time that vitamin D remains available in your body, allowing you to absorb more calcium.
It does this by extending the half-life of vitamin D. The half-life is the amount of time it takes for the vitamin D (or any nutrient, for that matter) to break down to half of its original amount.
Specifically, boron inhibits the activity of an enzyme called 24-hydroxylase. That’s important because 24-hydroxylase causes urinary loss of vitamin D (and also estrogen and testosterone, which we’ll get to later…). Boron also increases levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 –– the form of vitamin D that circulates throughout your body.
If that sounds a bit complicated, think of it this way: By inhibiting 24-hydroxylase and increasing the amount of time that 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 remains in your body, boron helps extend your vitamin D availability.
Take a look at this study involving 13 middle-aged people in Serbia with low levels of vitamin D. Each person supplemented with 6 mg of boron for 60 days during the winter months. Sunlight exposure was at its lowest, so researchers thought vitamin D levels could drop even more.
But instead, a 20% increase in vitamin D levels occurred during the trial. In fact, boron raised the half-life and bioavailability of vitamin D! That means more time for vitamin D to remain available to help your body absorb more calcium.
Of course, the number of people in the study was limited, so more research is needed. Yet the outcome supports boron’s friendly relationship with vitamin D, and once again shows why maintaining balanced levels of bone-building nutrients is critical to overall bone health.
3. Helps Build New Bone
Your skeleton has a whopping 213 bones. And each one is constantly rebuilding itself. In a never-ending cycle, old bone is broken down and removed, and new bone is formed — it’s all part of an elaborate process called osteogenesis, or bone remodeling.
When the formation of new bones doesn’t keep up with the removal of old bone, your bones can become weak and brittle.
But before we get into details, let’s meet the key players of osteogenesis, osteoblasts and osteoclasts.
→ Osteoblasts are cells that build bone. They fill in small holes or cavities in bone by forming flat, closely packed layers on the bone’s surface.
→ Osteoclasts are cells that remove old, brittle bone. They attach themselves to the surface of bone and break it down, a process called bone resorption.
Bone metabolism is regulated by a balance between bone breakdown caused by osteoclasts and bone formation caused by osteoblasts. Once osteoclasts complete their work of bone resorption (for example, clearing away a microcrack in a bone), osteoblasts refill the cavity and make your skeleton strong.
Osteoblasts use a mixture of calcium, collagen, and proteins to make new bone. Think of it as scaffolding for your bones.
That’s where boron comes in… It stimulates the activity of a wide range of proteins, including the mineralized, tissue-associated proteins that osteoblasts produce as part of the bone mineralization (the bone-forming) process. This is backed by studies with osteoblast cells showing that boron supports bone mineralization via its interaction with these proteins — contributing to bone metabolism and regeneration at the cellular level.
What does all this mean for you and your 213 bones? Boron strengthens osteoblast (bone-building) activity and the mineralization of bone cells — two bone-healthy benefits you definitely want on your side.
Of course, additional human studies will help us better understand the exact mechanisms involved… but these findings support boron’s critical role as a pathway to healthy bone formation.
Fun Fact: Surgeons have reported that the bones of patients who supplement with boron are harder to cut through than the bones of patients who don’t.
4. Enhances Bone-Building Hormones
Enhances Bone-Building Hormones
5. Reduces Inflammation
Your body gets inflammation when its defense system releases white blood cells to ward off what it suspects is an intruder. If you have inflammation (and most people do), you may suffer from muscle stiffness, severe headaches, joint pain, swelling and redness, and even loss of joint function.
Chronic, low-grade inflammation is tightly linked to poor bone health. That’s because inflammation stimulates osteoclasts to work overtime, breaking down your bones. And that means the osteoblasts can’t come in and do their job — building new bone. The result? More bone is broken down than is being formed.
Boron helps reduce inflammation — even harmful (and painful!) osteoarthritis, which is inflammation of the joints. It does this by turning itself into a signal suppressor that stops the activities of certain enzymes involved in the inflammatory process, curbing the inflammation.
Researchers have discovered that in areas where boron intake is 1 mg or less per day, the rate of arthritis is between 20% and 70%! But in areas where boron intake is usually 3–10 mg per day, the rate is much lower, ranging from zero to only 10%.
Of course, this is observational and controlled clinical studies are needed to fully understand the connection between boron and arthritis. But these studies have merit, and human studies have led to similar findings…
A two-week, placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind study evaluated 60 older adults with osteoarthritis. They were separated into groups taking either a 1.5 mg, 3 mg, or 6 mg daily dose of boron, or a placebo (a fake drug that looks like a real one). The groups taking 3 mg and 6 mg of boron showed the most benefit, with researchers concluding that boron supplementation in patients with osteoarthritis symptoms has a favorable effect.
Boron’s power in controlling inflammation is well known in many parts of the world, especially in Europe. There, boron is often prescribed as a remedy for osteoarthritis — many people supplementing with boron have reduced, and even eliminated, their osteoarthritis symptoms altogether.
Other Health Benefits of Boron
How Much Boron Do You Need?
Now that you’ve seen the countless ways boron benefits your bones — and your body! — you’ll want to make sure you’re getting enough each day.
A recommended daily allowance for boron hasn’t been established, but researchers generally believe that 3 mg a day is enough to see its beneficial health effects — providing you’re eating a nutrient-rich diet full of fruits and vegetables.
And don’t worry about getting too much. The World Health Organization first suggested that 1–13 mg daily is generally considered safe, and later increased the upper limit to 28 mg daily. Meanwhile, the European Union established a 10 mg daily upper intake. And the United States Institute of Medicine Food and Nutrition Board set a 20 mg a day upper limit.
The Easiest Way to Get Enough Boron
While many foods contain boron, getting your 3 mg of boron each day through diet alone could be challenging. Most fresh fruits, vegetables, and even honey contain between 0.1–0.5 mg boron. Animal-based foods like chicken, milk, and tuna provide just 0.01–0.06 mg, so fruit and plant-based sources are your best bet.
Remember that boron needs calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D to work its magic. You could try tracking your diet to see if you’re getting enough of these key elements, which could take a lot of work. Or better yet, you could simply provide everything your bones need in one supplement…
AlgaeCal Plus provides a generous 3 mg of bone-strengthening boron in a daily dose balanced with the right amounts of magnesium, vitamin D, vitamin K2, and plant-sourced calcium — along with every other vitamin and mineral you need to support strong, healthy bones.