The Benefits of a Boron Supplement

Boron For Better Health?

Assorted dried fruit
Dried prunes, apricots, and raisins are a source of boron.. Maximilian Stock Ltd./Getty Images

Boron is a mineral found in foods like avocado, red apples, peanuts, raisins, prunes, pecans, potatoes, and peaches, and in the environment. 

Why Do People Use Boron Supplements?

Research suggests that boron is involved in vitamin D and estrogen metabolism and may influence cognitive function. In alternative medicine, boron supplements are sometimes said to help with bone mineral density and prevent and/or treat the following health problems:

  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Menopausal symptoms
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Psoriasis
  • Yeast infections

In addition, boron supplements are purported to boost sports performance (by raising testosterone levels) and reduce inflammation.

Do Boron Supplements Really Work?

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), there is not yet enough scientific evidence to support most of the claims for the health benefits of taking boron supplements.

Possible Side Effects

Consuming boron in excess can cause nausea, vomiting, indigestion, headache, and diarrhea. At higher doses, skin flushing, convulsions, tremors, vascular collapse, and even fatal poisonings (at 5-6 grams in infants and 15-20 grams in adults) have been reported. 

The NIH cautions that boron supplements (or high dietary intake of boron) may be harmful to people with hormone-sensitive conditions, including breast cancer, endometriosis, and uterine fibroids.

The concern is that boron may increase the levels of hormones such as estrogen and testosterone in certain individuals.

In addition, boron is eliminated primarily through the kidneys, so it should be avoided by people with kidney disease or problems with kidney function.

Pregnant women, nursing mothers, and children should never take boron or use boric acid in any form, including suppositories, topical boric acid powder, or a borax solution to clean infant pacifiers.

 If you're considering the use of boron, make sure to consult your healthcare provider first. It's important to note that self-treating a condition and avoiding or delaying standard care may have serious consequences. You can get additional tips on using supplements here.

Don't Confuse Boron With Boric Acid

Boric acid is a form of boron. It is sometimes said to help with recurrent vaginal yeast infections when used as a vaginal suppository (boric acid should never be ingested).

In a 2003 research review from Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey, for instance, investigators analyzed a number of studies on the use of various types of complementary and alternative medicine in the treatment of yeast infections. They found that boric acid appears to be beneficial for women with recurrent yeast infections that are resistant to conventional therapies, but caution that boric acid may cause vaginal burning and other side effects in some instances.

In a more recent research review (published in the Journal of Women's Health in 2011), the researchers concluded that "boric acid is a safe, alternative, economic option" for women with recurrent yeast infections.

However, boric acid can be absorbed through skin, and a safe dosage hasn't been established. 

Where to Find Boron

Available for purchase online, boron supplements are sold in many natural-food stores and in stores specializing in dietary supplements.

The Takeaway

Although there's some evidence that vaginal use of boric acid suppositories has potential in the treatment of vaginal yeast infections, given the lack of scientific support, the ubiquity of boron in food and water, and the safety concerns with excessive intake, an oral boron supplement is probably one to skip. If you're considering using boron in any form, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider first to weigh the pros and cons. 


Devirian TA, Volpe SL. "The physiological effects of dietary boron." Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2003;43(2):219-31.

Iavazzo C, Gkegkes ID, Zarkada IM, Falagas ME. "Boric acid for recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis: the clinical evidence." J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2011 Aug;20(8):1245-55.

National Institutes of Health. "Boron: MedlinePlus Supplements." January 2012.

Nielsen FH. "Is boron nutritionally relevant?" Nutr Rev. 2008 Apr;66(4):183-91.

Penland JG. "The importance of boron nutrition for brain and psychological function." Biol Trace Elem Res. 1998 Winter;66(1-3):299-317.

Van Kessel K, Assefi N, Marrazzo J, Eckert L. "Common complementary and alternative therapies for yeast vaginitis and bacterial vaginosis: a systematic review." Obstet Gynecol Surv. 2003 May;58(5):351-8.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.

Continue Reading