Boron is a trace element that is found throughout the global environment. It has been suggested for numerous medicinal purposes, but there is a lack of strong evidence for any specific use. Preliminary studies report that boron may not be helpful for enhancing bodybuilding, reducing menopausal symptoms, or treating psoriasis.
1-amino-3-[(dihydoxyboryl)methyl]-cyclobutanecarboxylic acid, 2-APB (2-aminoethoxydiphenyl borate), 3-[3-(7-NH(3)(+)-nido-m-carboran-1-yl)propan-1-yl] thymidine, 3-carboranyl thymidine analogs (3CTA), 3-carboranlyalkyl thymidine analogs, 3-[(closo-o-carboranyl)methyl] thymidine, 4-META/MMA-TBBO, 10B (pure isotope), 11B (pure isotope), 12-dicarba-closo-dodecaboranel-carboxylate (BCH), alanin-boric compound acid, amine-boranes, amorphous boron (impure boron), AN-2690, Arc Dia TPX®, atomic number 5, B, BCH (12--dicarba-closo-dodecaboranel-carboxylate) (borondifluoride), BF2 (borondifluoride), BF3 (borontrifluoride), bis-phenylboronate, boracic acid [B(OH)3], boracite, boracium, boranophosphate, borate transporter, borates, borax [Na2B4O5(OH)4.8H2O], Borax®, bore, boric acid, boric anhydride, boron 10 (pure isotope), boron 11 (pure isotope), boron aspartate, boron citrate, boron enriched cathode, borondifluoride [BF2], boron fluoride, boron glycinate, boron hydroxide [B(OH)3], boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT), boron nitride, boron oxide [B2O3], boron sesquioxide, boronated aminocyclobutanecarboxylic acid, boronic acid, boronophenylalanine (BPA), burah [Na2B4O5(OH)4.8H2O], buraq [Na2B4O5(OH)4.8H2O], C&B Metabond®, carborane (a carbon-boron compound) closo-dodecarborate, colemanite, crystalline boron (99% pure boron), decaborane, dicarba-closo-dodecaborane, dipyrrylmethene-BF2, Dobill's solution®, drug vitrum osteomag®, furan boron ethers, kernite [Na2B4O5(OH)4.2H2O], magnesium perborate, metaboric acid, rasorite [Na2B4O5(OH)4.2H2O], MMA-TBB (methyl methacrylate tri-n-butylborane), mono-phenylboronate, NH(2)-closo-m-carborane, NH(3)(+)-nido-m-carborane-substituted thymidine analogues, orthoboric acid, ortho-carborane derivative, sassolite, sodium biborate, sodium borate, sodium borocaptate, sodium metaborate, sodium perborate, sodium pyroborate, sodium tetraborate [Na2B4O5(OH)4.8H2O], sal sedativum [B(OH)3], sodium tetraborate, Superbond C&B®, Tincal®, TBB (tri-n-butylborane), TBBO (tri-n-butylborane partially oxide), tetracarboranylketone 4, thermal water, tincal [Na2B4O5(OH)4.8H2O], tribromide, tributylborane (TBB), trifluoride-methanol [BF3-MeOH], tri-n-butylborane partially oxide (TBBO), ulexite [CaB4O7*NaBO2*8H2O], zwitterionic 3-carboranyl thymidine analogues.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Boron may increase hormone (estrogen) levels in women, reducing vaginal discomfort after menopause. More research is needed in humans before a strong conclusion can be reached.
Improving cognitive function
Preliminary human study reports better performance on tasks of eye-hand coordination, attention, perception, short-term memory, and long-term memory with boron supplementation. However, additional research is needed before a firm conclusion can be drawn.
Based on human population research, in a boron rich environment, people appear to have fewer joint disorders. It has also been proposed that boron deficiency may contribute to the development of osteoarthritis. However, there is no clear human evidence that supplementation with boron is beneficial as prevention against or as a treatment for osteoarthritis.
Animal and preliminary human studies report that boron may play a role in mineral metabolism, with effects on calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D. However, research of bone mineral density in women taking boron supplements does not clearly demonstrate benefits in osteoporosis. Additional study is needed before a firm conclusion can be drawn.
Inorganic boron (boric acid, borax) has been used as an antiseptic based on proposed antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is proposed that boric acid may have effects against candidal and non-candidal vulvovaginitis. A limited amount of poor-quality research reports that boric acid capsules used in the vagina may be effective for vaginitis. Further evidence is needed before a recommendation can be made.
Bodybuilding aid (increasing testosterone)
There is preliminary negative evidence for the use of boron for improving performance in bodybuilding by increasing testosterone. Although boron is suggested to raise testosterone levels, in early human research, total lean body mass has not been affected by boron supplementation in bodybuilders. Additional research is necessary before a firm conclusion can be drawn.
It has been proposed that boron affects estrogen levels in post-menopausal women. However, preliminary studies have found no changes in menopausal symptoms.
Prevention of blood clotting (coagulation effects)
It has been proposed that boron may affect the activity of certain blood clotting factors. Study results conflict. There is not enough evidence in this area to form a clear conclusion.
Psoriasis (boric acid ointment)
Preliminary human study of an ointment including boric acid does not report significant benefits in psoriasis.