Boron doesn’t get the flashy press like vitamin C. Nor is it a widely known and appreciated element like iron. Instead, it has languished in the shadows of scientific awareness since it was discovered by Joseph L. Gay-Lussac in 1808. In recent years, however, researchers have discovered that boron plays an important role in some fundamental aspects of overall health.
Boron is now known to be crucial to bone development, to assist brain function and to reduce inflammation. Your body also uses it to heal wounds and regulate insulin levels. So you ignore boron at your own peril. We’ve spent long hours examining the boron supplement landscape and determined that the following are the 10 best boron supplements of 2020.
1. Life Extension Boron 3mg
Life Extension Boron provides a safe 3mg dose of boron complemented by 25mg of vitamin B2 (also known as riboflavin). The vitamin B2 aids in cell metabolism. And since boron plays a central role in numerous metabolic processes including B2 makes sense. What you won’t find in this boron supplement are common food allergens like gluten or soy, superfluous vitamins and minerals and genetically modified organisms.
Life Extension Boron comes 100 capsules to a bottle and is very reasonably priced. The product is certified vegan and manufactured in a Good Manufacturing Practices facility in the great state of Florida under the watchful eye of the FDA.
2. Swanson Ultra Boron
The ‘ultra’ in Swanson Ultra Boron is an extra 3mg of boron per capsule over what you get with most boron supplements. That means each capsule contains 6mg of boron with a bit of rice flour to provide bulk to the capsule. And that’s it. There’s no unneeded vitamins and minerals, no food allergens or GMOs. Just boron.
This type of enhanced dose is recommended for those suffering from a boron deficiency or those hoping to gain some relief from inflammation, menstrual cramps or unstable blood sugars. Just keep in mind that it’s a good idea to consult your doctor before taking boron for any of these conditions.
3. Pure Encapsulations Boron Glycinate
Pure Encapsulations provides a very modest per capsule dose of 2mg. That’s a good amount for people who may not have any pressing need for boron supplementation, but who still want to make sure they get enough. Pure Encapsulations Boron Glycinate is free of gluten, soy, dairy and other potentially troublesome ingredients.
It’s not artificially propped up by the inclusion of unnecessary vitamins and minerals and there are no GMOs. As most every multivitamin on the market ignores boron this is a great way to ensure you get what you need. Pure Encapsulations Boron Glycinate is made in the US in a good manufacturing practices facility.
4. Nature’s Way Boron Complex
You’ll find Nature’s Way supplements on numerous ‘best of’ lists for a very good reason: they have a solid reputation for quality and purity. Their 3mg Boron Complex supplement is another example of that. It’s a no-nonsense product that provides a modest amount of boron aspartate for those who desire to cover all the nutritional bases.
The ‘bone health’ label added by the marketing department is a bit unnecessary. Since any boron supplement will help you build stronger bones. That said, Nature’s Way Boron Complex is free of odious ingredients and is certain to provide the boron you need to maintain optimal health.
5. BlueBonnet Triple Boron
BlueBonnet takes essentially the same road as Nature’s Way Boron Complex in leveraging boron aspartate and boron salts to provide a pure and effective supplement. Each capsule contains the standard 3mg of boron, which should be plenty for the average person.
If you believe you need more to address a specific health condition you may consider taking 2 capsules, but you should discuss that with your doctor first. BlueBonnet Triple Boron is free of ingredients that might undermine its effectiveness. And it’s produced in a GMP facility in the US. It’s also certified kosher, vegan and vegetarian.
6. Good State Natural Ionic Liquid Boron
Good State takes a different approach to delivering boron. Their Liquid Boron supplement suspends the chemical in a base of purified water. It’s recommended you place a half-cap of this liquid in your morning juice or a glass of water if you wish. That should provide 5mg of high quality boron that will be quickly absorbed by the body.
If you don’t have a pressing need to address a specific health problem it might be smart to use a bit less. Just because the body’s typical need for boron is fairly modest. Good State is not a household name but they have a solid reputation for quality and they produce this supplement at their GMP facility in Pennsylvania.
7. Vibrant Health Super Natural Boron
Calcium fructoborate is derived from fruits and vegetables and contains a small amount of boron. Vibrant Health uses it instead of a more intensive refinement process and claims it makes their supplement more effective at promoting healthy bones. Science would disagree.
Still, boron is good for bone health whether you get it via calcium fructoborate or some other method so it’s all good. The broccoli powder they add to the mix is kind of superfluous. But on the whole the product is as safe and effective as any of the other supplements on our list.
8. NOW Supplements Boron
NOW is one of the best known supplement makers in the US and has carved out a significant market share providing a full range of high-quality supplements. Their boron supplement is free of GMOs, food allergens, superfluous vitamins and minerals and is produced in a GMP facility in the US.
Each veggie capsule contains a bit of rice flour and a touch of stearic acid to stabilize the contents and help make it palatable. That’s it. If you’re looking for a manufacturer with an unquestioned reputation and a boron supplement to help you maintain optimal health, you can’t lose with NOW Supplements 3mg boron capsules.
9. Solgar Calcium Magnesium plus Boron
What are calcium and magnesium doing in a boron supplement? Well, it just so happens that boron is necessary to effectively metabolize those minerals. And so if you want to help ensure strong bones it’s a good idea to make sure you get boron, magnesium and calcium. Of course if you already take a multivitamin you’re probably getting all the calcium and magnesium you need.
But if you don’t, then taking Solgar Calcium Magnesium plus Boron might be a good idea. Solgar has been around for more than 70 years and has a solid reputation. This supplement is free of problematic ingredients and is very reasonably priced.
10. TwinLab Tri-Boron Plus
The last of our best boron supplements is Tri-Boron Plus from TwinLab. It features 3mg of boron per capsule. As well as calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese and vitamin D. If you don’t already take a daily multivitamin Tri-Boron Plus can likely fill in some of the mineral gaps in your diet (should you have any).
Most all of these ingredients have either a direct or indirect effect on bone development so they certainly can’t hurt. The reason this wound up at the bottom of our list is because of the presence of trace amounts of soy, sodium and various starches. However, if those ingredients aren’t a problem for you this supplement should serve you well.
What is Boron and Why is it Important?
Boron (1) is what’s known as a ‘low-abundance element’ that has its own spot on the periodic table at #5 (2). Unlike other entrants on the periodic table – like iron – it does not come up much in discussions of human health. It is present in the human body in small amounts and, until the past few decades, it’s role in human physiology was not well-understood. Over the past 3 decades, however, researchers have been taking a closer look at boron and what they’ve discovered has been eye-opening.
Boron, as it turns out, plays a critical role in everything from enzyme activation to hormone production and immune system response. Boron deficiencies can result in reduced brain function, weaker bones and an increased risk of heart disease. Just to name a few things. So making sure you get enough boron is an important part of a common sense nutritional plan. And boron supplements are the best available way to do that.
What are the Benefits of Taking Boron?
Boron may help reduce inflammation – There has been a lot of research into boron in recent years. One of the most promising results of that research has been emerging evidence that boron may play a role in reducing inflammation (3). Although inflammation is a natural part of the body’s immune response (4) in some instances it can get out of control and actually cause more harm than good. If boron is able to reduce inflammation this could have widespread therapeutic benefits.
Boron is good for your skeletal system – Among the many important roles it plays in human physiology boron has been found to be vitally important for the health of your skeletal system (5). This is likely due to the relationship between boron and the minerals calcium and magnesium (6). Both of these minerals are essential for the building and maintenance of strong bones and joints. And boron plays an important role in enabling the action of these minerals.
Boron may help treat yeast infections – While the jury is out on just how effective boron may be in treating yeast infections (7) there does seem to be a beneficial effect (8). Particularly for those women who suffer from chronic yeast infections. Effective treatment is not as simple as just bombarding your system with supplemental boron. But if you suffer recurring vaginitis you may want to discuss boron with your doctor.
Boron can enhance bone strength – Studies indicate there is an important relationship between boron and calcium. Take boron away and the ability of calcium to produce strong bones is diminished (9). It’s important to note, however, that while there seems to be a cause and effect relationship between boron levels and bone health the current research is in its infancy. So we won’t know exactly how best to put this information to use for some time.
Boron may improve cognitive function – Studies indicate a relationship between boron and brain function (10). It is now believed that insufficient levels of boron may impede reaction time, problem solving, attention levels and even hand-eye coordination. There doesn’t seem to be much doubt about the findings. As there is with other aspects of boron’s relationship to humans.
Boron may help reduce menstrual cramps – As we mentioned earlier boron has demonstrated an ability to reduce inflammation. This has all kinds of potential health effects. One of those potential health effects is the ability to reduce the pain and discomfort many women experience from menstrual cramps (11). Early studies have provided ample evidence that boron supplementation can in fact reduce the pain of menstrual cramps (12) by reducing the inflammation that is often at the heart of the problem.
Boron helps heal wounds – The scientific discussion on the topic of boron and its role in healing wounds tends to be extremely technical. So unless you’re aware of the implications of decreased alkaline phosphatase activity and understand the extracellular matrix there’s no point in slogging through the details. Suffice to say that there’s compelling evidence that boron plays a fairly significant role in wound healing (13). Particularly for diabetics (14).
Boron may help relieve symptoms of diabetes – Animal research indicates a clear link between boron and insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is one of the hallmarks of diabetes. Boron supplementation seems to bolster insulin resistance, thereby resulting in more stable blood sugar levels (15). This is important both for people with diabetes and those in danger of developing type II diabetes at some point.
Boron may help alleviate psoriasis – Many millions of people suffer from the skin condition known as psoriasis (16). Psoriasis produces red, scaly patches on the skin that are often itchy and sometimes crack and bleed. The condition is the result of skin cells multiplying much faster than necessary on the surface. Boron has been shown to be an effective treatment for psoriasis when mixed with neutral creams and applied to the skin (17).
Boron may help lower cholesterol levels – When researchers first began to take a close look at boron some 30+ years ago one of the first things they discovered was its ability to influence the levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol in the blood (18). Numerous follow-up studies have confirmed this ability which, of course, has positive implications for cardiovascular health. Less bad cholesterol in your blood should mean lower risk of heart disease (19).
Boron may help reduce the severity of kidney stones – Kidney stones (20) are an incredibly painful phenomenon that affects people the world over. Kidney stones are the result of minerals (most often calcium) building up in the kidneys and gathering into lumps or ‘stones’. These stones then make their way down the urinary tract that was never designed to pass something so large and hard. The good news is that research indicates boron may be able to reduce the size of kidney stones (and by extension the pain they cause), by reducing urinary calcium excretion (21).
Can Boron Relieve Arthritis Pain?
We touched on the anti-inflammatory properties of boron in the above section. And it’s true this characteristic enables it to help reduce the pain and discomfort of menstrual cramps and help in wound healing. But few people suffer from inflammation more than those with arthritis. Without some form of treatment they have no way to obtain relief from the pain and stiffness.
Research has been spotty in this regard. But what there is (22) seems to confirm the hypothesis that the anti-inflammatory properties of boron can reduce the pain associated with arthritis. If this is confirmed by further research it may well represent a new breakthrough in the treatment of this debilitating degenerative condition.
Can Boron Boost Testosterone?
This is a question that lots of people have been asking for different reasons. The short answer is ‘yes’ it does seem able to provide a boost to testosterone levels (23). This has a lot of potential benefits as testosterone (24) plays an important role in fertility, bone strength, muscle strength (25) and even ovarian function in women.
Many believe low testosterone may have a hand in the development of ED in some men. And testosterone supplementation has historically been one of the approaches used to treat ED (26) before the advent of Viagra changed everything. Still, there are plenty of men averse to using the blue pill and for them boron supplements may result in a beneficial testosterone boost.
Can Boron Aid in Weight Loss?
There is compelling evidence that boric acid can induce weight loss (27). However, boric acid and boron, while related, are not the same thing. This has caused a lot of confusion with people convinced that boron is going to make them thin. But while that notion is questionable at best there is nonetheless evidence that boron may have a role to play in preventing obesity (28). Even if it doesn’t turn out to be a magic weight loss pill.
Can Boron Boost Estrogen Levels?
There’s a lot of conflicting information about this on the internet. But a quick search of some reliable sources like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reveals that boron supplements not only increase testosterone levels but also levels of 17 beta-estradiol (29). 17 beta-estradiol is the most common type of estrogen found in humans. This increase in estrogen has the knock-on effect of helping prevent bone loss in post-menopausal women. That in turn can help reduce the risk of broken bones that negatively impact the lives of so many older individuals.
Are There any Side Effects to Taking Boron?
For the most part boron is considered to have very low toxicity. In fact, according to the CDC, you’d need to ingest something like 30 grams (30,000 mg or 1,000 typical boron capsules) in short order before you’d do serious damage to your internal organs (30). So for most folks boron supplements are safe and virtually side effect free when taken as directed.
There are, however, certain groups of people who should probably refrain from taking supplemental boron. They include pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding. That’s because there is very little information on the potential ramifications of passing excessive amounts of boron onto babies. So better safe than sorry in those cases. Also, because boron is known to boost testosterone and estrogen production, people undergoing any type of hormone therapy should probably avoid it.
The Bottom Line
Boron is one of those building blocks of biology that gets very little press when compared to things like vitamin C or D or minerals like calcium or magnesium. Yet boron is essential to the safe, effective operation of the human body at a variety of levels.
In recent years scientists and health professionals worldwide have put boron under the microscope and discovered that it has the potential to be a game changing type of supplement. It can be effective against arthritis, help alleviate menstrual cramps, improve cognitive function, make for stronger bones and even help bodybuilders create larger muscles. Boron has also shown itself to be safe and virtually free of side effects when taken as directed.
The boron supplements on our list are produced by some of the world’s most renowned supplement makers under the watchful eye of the FDA. Any one of them should help you achieve the benefits you’re after. Still, if you have any questions about whether boron supplementation is right for you ask your doctor.