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Plants need boron for proper health, but it's not known whether humans do. However, boron does seem to assist in the proper absorption of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus from foods, and slows the loss of these minerals through urination. Very preliminary evidence suggests that boron supplements may be helpful for osteoarthritis and osteoporosis .
Boron aids in the proper metabolism of vitamins and minerals involved with bone development, such as calcium , copper , magnesium , and vitamin D . 1 In addition, boron appears to affect estrogen and possibly testosterone as well, hormones that affect bone health. 2 On this basis, boron has been suggested for preventing or treating osteoporosis . However, there have been no clinical studies to evaluate the potential benefits of boron supplements for any bone-related conditions.
On the basis of similarly weak evidence, 3 boron is often added to supplements intended for the treatment of osteoarthritis.
Boron has also been proposed as a sports supplement , based on its effects on hormones. 4 However, studies have, as yet, failed to find evidence...
Since the therapeutic dosage of boron is about the same as the amount you can get from food, it is probably fairly safe. Unpleasant side effects, including nausea and vomiting, are only reported at about 50 times the highest recommended dose.
One potential concern with boron regards its effect on hormones. In at least two small studies, boron was found to increase the body's own estrogen levels, especially in women on estrogen-replacement therapy. 5 Because elevated estrogen increases the risk of breast and uterine cancer in women past menopause, this may be a matter of concern for those who wish to take supplemental boron. Further research is necessary to discover whether boron's apparent effect on estrogen is a real problem or not. At the present time, we would...