Boron is a mineral that occurs in trace amounts in the diet, and people sometimes use it as a supplement. This article reviews the health-related uses of boron, citing the results of scientific studies as evidence. The benefits discussed in the article range from treatment of menstrual pain to relief from arthritis. The article also reports on the effectiveness of boron supplementation.
Boron is a mineral, and people sometimes take it as a dietary supplement. It is believed to be useful for a variety of purposes, and researchers have conducted studies with boron to determine its specific benefits. The research suggests that boron is effective for multiple conditions, ranging from painful menstrual periods to gum disease.
Boron During Menstrual Periods
Women who experience significant pain and discomfort during their menstrual periods could benefit from supplementing with boron. In 2015, researchers working for universities in Iran conducted a study with boron to test its effectiveness among women experiencing painful cramps during menstruation. They found that compared to women who took a placebo, those who supplemented with boron enjoyed reduced pain severity and duration during their menstrual periods. The results of this study, which were published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, suggest that boron supplementation is effective for treating discomfort associated with menstrual periods . Women could even use boron in place of over-the-counter pain medications.
Boron and Arthritis
In addition to its ability to treat menstrual pain, boron has shown effectiveness in cases of arthritis. In fact, researchers have known for decades that boron can alleviate arthritis symptoms. A 1990 study in the Journal of Nutritional Medicine, led by a researcher from Royal Melbourne Hospital in Australia, compared the effectiveness of boron to that of a placebo among patients with osteoarthritis. Study results showed that the boron was more effective than the placebo was for improving arthritis . Boron could, therefore, serve as a natural treatment option for arthritis, or perhaps be used as an adjunctive treatment.
Boron as Treatment for Gum Disease
Beyond its benefits for arthritis and painful menstrual periods, boron has proven itself effective for the treatment of the gum disease periodontitis. In a 2008 study in the Journal of Dental Research, scientists associated with Boston University School of Dental Medicine treated some rats with periodontitis with a formulation containing boron. They found that compared to rats in a control group, those that they treated with the boron formulation experienced less inflammation and bone loss . Based on the results of this study, boron could be useful for providing relief in cases of gum disease.
Boron for Osteoporosis
Boron could promote healthy bone density and prevent osteoporosis. In a 2006 study in Journal of Southern Medical University, scientists from Xi’an Red Cross Hospital in China induced osteoporosis in rats and treated some of them with boron. They found that the boron promoted the formulation of new bone, and they concluded that boron is evidently effective for treating osteoporosis . Those who have low bone mineral density could benefit from supplementing with boron.
General Health Benefits of Boron
As the research has shown, boron is useful for treating specific health conditions, such as osteoporosis, gum disease, arthritis, and painful menstrual periods, but it also promotes general health and wellness. In a report in a 1998 edition of Biological Trace Element Research, a scientist from Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center discussed the importance of boron. He reported that boron is necessary for human health because it is involved with immune system functioning and fat metabolism. This author also asserted that boron plays a role in maintaining optimal psychological functioning .
Boron for Brain Functioning and Cognition
The scientist writing for Biological Trace Element Research did not just report on the health benefits of boron; he also conducted laboratory studies to determine its specific effects. He found that when animals and humans had inadequate boron intake, there was less electrical activity in their brains, which is also seen with malnutrition. In addition, he discovered that boron is important for motor skills and cognition. Specifically, he found that when humans were deprived of boron, they demonstrated impaired performance in dexterity, speed of movement, attention, and short-term memory . The results of this research suggest that boron is essential for optimal functioning.
Supplementation with Boron
Given the ability of boron to promote cognitive functioning and serve as a treatment for specific medical conditions, supplementation is likely to be beneficial. Researchers from the University of Sydney in Australia have shown interest in the effects of boron, and in a study, they administered it to male participants to evaluate its effects. Their work was published in a 1997 edition of Biological Trace Element Research, and it showed that boron supplements are absorbed at high rates, suggesting that they are actually effective. Interestingly, their study also showed that boron supplementation increased estrogen levels, which could prevent the development of plaque buildup in the arteries . Perhaps boron could promote cardiovascular health.
Boron for Triglycerides Reduction
As suggested by the work of researchers from the University of Sydney, boron could have a beneficial impact on heart health. Animal research does support this claim. In a 1997 study in Nutrition Research, scientists affiliated with the same university found that triglycerides levels were reduced in rats given boric acid in their water . Boron could potentially serve as a natural treatment for high triglycerides levels.
The research suggests that boron is effective for lowering triglycerides as well as for treating other health conditions and promoting general health and wellness. Boron seems to be useful for treating menstrual pain, osteoporosis, arthritis, and gum disease, and research suggests that it is important for proper motor skills and cognitive functioning. Fortunately, research with boron also indicates that supplementation is effective. People who are experiencing one of the health conditions discussed herein may find relief with a boron supplement, and because boron is associated with motor skills and brain operations, supplements are useful for most people for promoting optimal functioning.
Boron and Cellular Health
Boron is implicated in cellular function and could improve the health of cells, according to the research. In a 2010 report in The Open Mineral Processing Journal, scientists from the University of Nevada Las Vegas reviewed the body of research with boron. They reported that studies have shown that boron impacts cellular functioning in a way that improves conditions such as arthritis, cancer, and osteoporosis. They further indicated that boron seems to be involved in cell signaling and the activities of cell membranes . Boron is therefore necessary for maintaining optimally functioning cells.
Anti-Aging Effects of Boron
Boron is effective for slowing the aging process and preventing some of the physical and mental health complications that come with older age. According to a scientist from Integrative Medicine Advisors, LLC, in Seattle, Washington, boron has an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effect, which could prevent disease as one ages. This scientist also asserted that boron has a beneficial effect on electrical activity in the brain, and it is associated with enhanced memory and cognitive functioning among the elderly . Boron can protect physical and mental health during older age.
Boron for Hair Growth
Based upon its effects on the body’s hormones, boron could be useful for promoting hair growth. According to the scientist from Integrative Medicine Advisors, boron has a positive effect on the way the body utilizes hormones such as testosterone and estrogen, which are implicated in hair growth . Individuals who are suffering from thinning hair may see an improvement with a boron supplement.