Boron is a trace mineral naturally found in some foods, and it is an “equal opportunity” micronutrient at that – that is, it has some properties especially unique to women’s health and yet is also embraced by athletic men for how it can boost bone density and testosterone, making it helpful for male athletes such as power lifters and bodybuilders looking to develop muscle mass.
Women also use boron specific to their needs; in capsule form, boron contains boric acid, which has been found useful for treating yeast infections inside the vagina, per webmd.com. Boric can also be used by men and women – or girls and boys – alike as an astringent lotion and an eye wash.
Boron hasn’t always been well-known for its medicinal or health-inducing characteristics. It was mostly used as a food preservative between 1870 and 1920, as well as during both World War I and II. It has been known for years, though, that boron is instrumental in bone health, per National Institutes of Health (NIH). A 1985 experiment conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that boron supplementation for post-menopausal women reduced their loss of bone-crucial calcium during their daily urinary excretions. Other USDA studies over the years have turned up similar findings supporting the notion that boron is crucial to our bone health.
Boron’s Food Sources
Many types of food contain a rich amount of boron. Per organicfacts.net, these include:
- Red grapes
- Other foods with at least a moderate amount of boron include chickpeas, hazelnuts, peanut butter, red kidney beans, tomatoes, lentils, olives, and onions. Potato wine and beer also made their way onto the list.
What Makes Boron Tick?
One important thing that boron does is affect how the body handles other minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. It also has shown an ability to bolster estrogen levels, per webmd.com, which for menopausal women means a return to pre-menopausal sex drive within days of treatment. It can also provide an increase of the body’s natural sex hormones, diminishing the need for hormone replacement therapy or prescription drugs.
In terms of its involvement with the body’s handling of other minerals, boron does more than just take a supporting role to calcium when it comes to bone health; per organicfacts.net, boron actually works in tandem with calcium when it comes to strengthening our bones, effectively helping to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and arthritis. Similarly, boron assists in the metabolism of minerals such as calcium, copper, and magnesium that contribute to bone development.
Boron and Testosterone
Bodybuilders, power lifters, and other athletes who depend greatly on their strength often turn to boron products because of how it helps the body in the production and use of testosterone, which, among other roles, helps in building muscle mass, in exercise recovery, and in warding off intense exercise-induced aches and pains, per draxe.com, apparently allowing for longer and/or more strenuous workouts. Boron also has been linked to improved cognition by helping to enhance concentration, focus and the ability to learn new information.
Boron’s Other Health Benefits
Here is a summary of some of the other reported benefits of boron supplementation:
- Arthritis prevention. Boron does this by bolstering the integration of calcium into bones as well as into the cartilage that supports bone structures. It is seen as a viable option when it comes to treating arthritis cases, with “significant improvement” shown in 95 percent of such instances, per organicfacts.net.
- Aid cell membrane functionality. This involves stabilization of hormone receptors so as to smooth out the bodily processes.
- Reduce fungal infections. Boron can help the body guard against the onslaught of parasitic agents such as Candida albicans, per organicfacts.net.
- Prevent blood clots. It reportedly does this not directly but by influencing some of the body’s clotting mechanisms.
- Reduce lipid accumulation. Along those lines, boron can also help with the removal of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) from the body, potentially reducing the chance of heart attack or stroke.