URL of this page: https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/894.html

Boron

What is it?

Boron is an element. Boron has been consumed for menstrual cramps and boric acid has been used vaginally for yeast infections, but evidence is limited.

Boron seems to affect the way the body handles other minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. It also seems to increase estrogen levels post-menopause. Boric acid, a common form of boron, can kill yeast that cause vaginal infections. Boron may have antioxidant effects.

People commonly use boron for boron deficiency and vaginal yeast infections. It is also used for athletic performance, menstrual cramps, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support many of these uses.

How effective is it?

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.

The effectiveness ratings for BORON are as follows:

Likely effective for...

  • Boron deficiency. Taking boron by mouth treats and prevents boron deficiency.

Possibly effective for...

  • Vaginal yeast infections. Applying boric acid inside the vagina can help treat yeast infections (candidiasis), including infections that do not seem to get better with other medications and treatments.

Possibly ineffective for...

  • Athletic performance. Taking boron by mouth doesn't seem to improve body mass, muscle mass, or testosterone levels in male bodybuilders.
There is interest in using boron for a number of other purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.

Are there safety concerns?

When taken by mouth: Boron is likely safe when used in doses that don't exceed 20 mg daily. Boron is possibly unsafe when taken in higher doses. Doses over 20 mg daily might cause male fertility problems. Large doses can also cause poisoning. Signs of poisoning include irritability, tremors, weakness, headaches, diarrhea, vomiting, and other symptoms.

When applied into the vagina: Boric acid, a common form of boron, is likely safe when used for up to six months. It can cause vaginal burning.

Special precautions & warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Boron is likely safe when taken by mouth during pregnancy or breast-feeding. For those 19-50 years old, do not take more than 20 mg daily; for those 14-18 years old, do not take more than 17 mg daily. Taking boron by mouth in higher doses is possibly unsafe and has been linked to lower birth weights and birth defects. Applying boric acid into the vagina during the first 4 months of pregnancy has also been linked to birth defects.

Children: Boron is likely safe when used appropriately. The amount that is safe depends on the child's age. Boron is possibly unsafe when taken by mouth in higher doses. Large quantities of boron can cause poisoning. Boric acid powder, a common form of boron, is possibly unsafe when applied in large amounts to prevent diaper rash.

Hormone-sensitive condition such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Boron might act like estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by estrogen, avoid supplemental boron or high amounts of boron from foods.

Kidney disease: Do not take boron supplements if you have kidney problems. The kidneys have to work hard to flush out boron.

Are there interactions with medications?

It is not known if this product interacts with any medicines.

Before taking this product, talk with your health professional if you take any medications.

Are there interactions with herbs and supplements?

Magnesium
Boron supplements can increase how much magnesium stays in the body. This can increase blood levels of magnesium. But it's not clear if this is a big concern.

Are there interactions with foods?

There are no known interactions with foods.

What dose is used?

Boron is naturally found in water and foods such as nuts and vegetables. There aren't any specific dietary recommendations for boron, but it's estimated that most adults consume about 1-1.5 mg daily.

In supplements, adults shouldn't consume more than 20 mg daily. For children, the amount that is safe depends on age. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out what dose might be best for a specific condition.

Other names

Acide Borique, Anhydride Borique, Atomic number 5, B (chemical symbol), B (symbole chimique), Borate, Borate de Sodium, Borates, Bore, Boric Acid, Boric Anhydride, Boric Tartrate, Boro, Calcium Fructoborate, Numéro Atomique 5, Sodium Borate.

Methodology

To learn more about how this article was written, please see the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database methodology.

References

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Last reviewed - 09/20/2021