Boron Review: Can It Ramp Up Your Testosterone?

Boron testosterone

Boron is a dietary mineral found in foods such as kale, apples, beans, and milk. An average person typically consumes between 1.5-3mg of boron daily.

There are many benefits to boron. It helps strengthen your bones and skeletal structure. It’s also helpful in preventing osteoporosis and treating arthritis.

Most surprising though, are boron’s effects on testosterone levels, muscle mass, and strength.

That’s exactly what we’re going to look into today.

What Is Boron?

Boron is a trace mineral that naturally occurs in foods.

I already mentioned kale, beans, apples, and milk.

But the truth is, boron is present in a wide variety of foods – including dark leafy greens, nuts, and even raisins.

So what’s so special about this mineral? First of all, it’s a trace mineral, and unfortunately, boron is one of those compounds that’s underutilized.

However, more and more research is showing the potential health benefits of this nutrient [1]. Such as:

  • It improves bone density
  • Treats various musculoskeletal conditions, including arthritis and osteoporosis
  • Helps you gain strength and muscle mass
  • Improved male hormones
  • Enhances brain function

Although we can get a pretty good amount of this compound through solid foods, many athletes still choose to supplement it for additional benefits. Some of which I listed above.

Okay, now let me explain how you can get enough of this mineral each day.

How Do We Get It?

There are two ways to get enough boron every day: through food, or supplementation.

Obviously, the best and most natural option is getting it through food. Since it’s naturally present in many wholesome foods, such as fruits, nuts, and plants, it’s not that hard to consume enough boron every day.

However, if you’d prefer additional benefits from higher doses, then supplementation might do the trick for you.

There are plenty of supplements which feature boron. It’s commonly used in high-quality testosterone boosters. This is due to its benefits on the male hormone – we’ll get to that soon.

The type of boron you get from food and supplements is called boric acid. AKA B(OH)3. There’s a theory that boric acid helps balance pH levels in your blood, supporting a healthy homeostasis in the body.

Can Boron Boost Testosterone?

Onto the main question: can boron actually improve your testosterone levels?

There aren’t a lot of studies that have specifically tested boron’s effects on testosterone. And only a handful of them included human subjects.

This obviously isn’t enough evidence to say with certainty that boron can boost your testosterone. But the current evidence looks promising. [2] [3]

One study, in particular, caught my attention the most. It showed the effects of 10mg of boron supplementation daily on a group of healthy men. The benefits were almost immediate.

After just six hours, these men had greatly reduced levels of SHBG (Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin), which is responsible for reducing free testosterone.

More surprises followed, as these men started to show increased steroid hormones in their blood – including testosterone. After just one week, their free testosterone increased and their estradiol (estrogen steroid hormone) decreased significantly.

But this wasn’t the end of surprises.

The study later discovered that men who supplemented with 10mg of boron daily also had elevated levels of Dihydrotestosterone and Vitamin D. [2]

As you may already know, vitamin D is closely related to testosterone – optimal levels of this vitamin are linked to increases in the male hormone.

Their cortisol did also slightly increase, but it wasn’t enough to cause any health detriments.

What’s The Optimal Boron Dose For Increasing Testosterone?

While small doses of boron are helpful for joint and bone health, they aren’t enough to impact your T-levels. So what’s the ideal dose for this goal?

According to Examine.com, it’s 10mg or more per day. Here’s a quote from their site:

“The lowest active dose of Boron supplementation appears to be 3mg, which is effective in supporting hormonal parameters in postmenopausal women. Studies on osteoarthritis have used 6mg of Boron while studies in youth investigating hormonal changes have used 10mg.” [7]

Other Key Benefits

Improves Skeletal Function and Bone Density

One interesting thing about boron is its ability to prevent bone loss. It does this by sending the calcium right into the bones, where it helps with mineralization and improving weak areas in the bone structure.

Our body often sends calcium to places where we don’t want it. Such as arteries. But boron helps prevent this by facilitating calcium right where it should be – in your bones.

As I’ve already said, boron also increases the levels of vitamin D3. Which is another nutrient that’s crucial for maintaining healthy bones, along with other benefits for cognitive function and testosterone.

Studies suggest that boron supplementation helps increase bone formation. Additionally, this mineral also helps to prevent bone resorption, which is extremely helpful for people who suffer from osteoporosis.

There was one study which gave rats a diet that was deprived of boron. The study results revealed that these rats experienced significant bone loss in their femur and other areas. Some of them also developed osteoporosis-linked conditions.

The other part of the study did the opposite. They gave another group of rats a diet high in boron. These rats saw an increase in their bone density, thickness, and volume – leading to stronger and healthier musculoskeletal functioning. [4]

Supports Muscle Gains

Boron helps with the utilization of certain vitamins and minerals which are important for muscle growth, fat loss, and tissue recovery.

Although there are no studies proving boron’s direct effects on male muscle mass, it helps indirectly by boosting the effectiveness of other nutrients.

Since it helps promote healthy T-levels, this trace mineral also helps lead to better gains and energy levels in the gym.

Boron also helps boost athletic performance by improving brain function. This allows the muscles to react better to stimulus from the weights, along with the added benefit of stronger bones from boron supplementation.

This is one of the reasons why many sports supplements include boron in their products. So far, this dietary mineral promises great benefits for athletes.

Still, there’s more evidence needed to further prove these results.

Balances Hormones in Both Men and Women

Boron isn’t just for men. In fact, it’s shown to help relieve PMS and menopausal symptoms in women. It also helps to balance estrogen levels in females, just like it does with testosterone in males.

Animal studies suggest that boron depletion leads to fertility issues in both males and females. While these aren’t human studies, it’s still an indication of the effects that boron might have on the reproductive system. [5]

Improves Cognition

Boron is sometimes called a brain nutrient. That’s because it affects your cognitive functions, such as focus, attention, motor control, and even short-term memory.

Research suggests that low levels of boron can make you feel sluggish, unfocused, and unmotivated. In fact, boron deficiency can even impair your learning process and memory.

When studies compared the results of high boron consumption with low intake in healthy people, they found that the group which took more of this mineral had a higher-frequency brain activity than the other group.

This translated to better task performance, focus, response times, eye-hand coordination, and general memory. [6]

Helps Relieve Arthritis

Boron doesn’t just play a role in regulating bone density; it’s also important for your joints. It helps to deliver calcium to cartilage inside the joint. This prevents the deterioration of the joints, along with the reduction in pain from arthritis.

Studies prove this as well. Men who have lower boron concentrations in their blood also have higher rates of arthritis. On the other hand, men with a higher concentration of this mineral showed stronger joints and bones, along with a reduced risk of developing arthritis. [6]

And this isn’t just limited to one group of men. Research suggests that areas of the world with low boron intake suffer from higher rates of arthritis. As opposed to areas where the boron intake is higher.

Best Foods And Recipes With Boron

Okay, so I mentioned some foods that are a good source of boron. Now I’m going to list all the foods that are rich in boron, starting with the highest.

Below you’ll find 12 foods that are packed with this trace mineral.

Interesting fact: Boron is a natural preservative in food. This is a result of its anti-bacterial effect. It was used during both World War I and II, where it was added to foods to reduce the chance of spoiling and developing pathogens.

  • Beans (especially kidney and black beans)
  • Berries
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Walnuts
  • Cocoa powder
  • Apples
  • Avocados
  • Organic Milk
  • Coffee
  • Pears
  • Oranges
  • Organic Grape Juice
  • Red Wine (Don’t just go gulping on red wine now, it can be dangerous for your blood pressure! A glass or two will be more than enough.)

Here’s a healthy recipe which you can use to boost your dietary boron intake:

Avocado Lettuce Wrap Recipe

Necessary ingredients:

  • Gluten-free wraps
  • 2 sliced avocados
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 diced red onions
  • 1 red pepper (also diced)
  • 6-8 romaine lettuce leaves (chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • A quarter of a cup of chopped cilantro

How to:

  • Mix the ingredients in a bowl.
  • Put the ingredients in a gluten-free wrap, roll, and the meal is ready.

How Much Is Too Much?

It’s extremely hard to overdose on boron through diet alone. In fact, most people are deficient in this mineral. In order to get optimal amounts of it, you should eat a varied diet based on whole foods sources.

Due to limited research involving boron, the health authorities still haven’t determined the RDA for this dietary mineral. But they did find the upper safe limit, which is the maximum amount of boron you can safely consume every day.

The safe upper limit for boron depends mostly on your age and gender. Here’s how it looks:

  • 1–3 years old: 3 milligrams per day
  • 4–8 years old: 6 milligrams per day
  • 9–13 years old: 11 milligrams per day
  • 14–18 years old: 17 milligrams per day
  • 19–50 years old: 20 milligrams per day
  • Pregnant women: 17–20 milligrams per day
  • Breastfeeding women: 20–25 milligrams per day

Side Effects

Boron is generally a safe nutrient. If you get it through solid food alone, there’s no need to worry about side effects or overdose.

In fact, many people still choose to supplement in addition to having a diet rich in boron in order to experience its full scope of benefits.

Farmers use boron to reduce radiation in the soil. Some of them also give boron supplements to their animals to reduce the negative effects of the environment. This trace mineral is able to capture radioactive molecules, which is why many farmers treat the soil with high amounts of boron.

That said, too much of anything is bad. The same goes for boron. If you take high amounts of it through supplements and cross the safe upper limit, you’re at risk for side effects. These include:

  • Nausea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Acne and other skin problems
  • Heart palpitations
  • Mental problems (cognitive impairment, depression)

So how much is too much? And is there a lethal dose for Boron?

So far, studies didn’t find any toxicity, but the lethal doses are thought to be at around 20 grams per day for adults and 3-6 grams per day for infants and children.

It’s worth noting though, that these dosages are extremely hard to achieve – even with supplementation.

Conclusion

Boron is a trace mineral found naturally in some foods. Such as leafy greens, berries, nuts, milk, and coffee.

There aren’t many studies proving its effects like in some other nutrients, but the current research looks promising. Studies suggest that boron supplementation can help improve testosterone, along with other benefits such as;

  • Increases bone density – reduces the chance of osteoporosis.
  • Improves strength and muscle mass – lack of studies in humans in this area, but animal research looks promising here.
  • Enhances cognition – boron supplementation can improve memory, focus, and motor skills.
  • Helps relieve arthritis – it promotes calcium integration in the joint cartilage, easing the pain and symptoms of arthritis.
  • Boosts fertility in men and women – research suggests that it can help boost sperm count in men, along with helping with estrogen balance in women.

You can get boron either through food or supplementation. For the goal of increasing testosterone, you should take 10mg+ of boron daily.

References

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[1] The physiological effects of dietary boron.

[2] Comparative effects of daily and weekly boron supplementation on plasma steroid hormones and proinflammatory cytokines.

[3] Nothing Boring About Boron – NCBI article.

[4] Therapeutic effect of dietary boron supplement on retinoic acid-induced osteoporosis in rats.

[5] Is boron nutritionally relevant? – NCBI article.

[6] Dietary boron, brain function, and cognitive performance.

[7] Boron – Examine.com article.

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