The importance of boron nutrition for brain and psychological function

Biol Trace Elem Res. 1998 Winter;66(1-3):299-317. doi: 10.1007/BF02783144.


Boron (B) nutriture has been related to bone, mineral and lipid metabolism, energy utilization, and immune function. As evidence accumulates that B is essential for humans, it is important to consider possible relationships between B nutriture and brain and psychological function. Five studies conducted in our laboratory are reviewed. Assessments of brain electrical activity in both animals and humans found that B deprivation results in decreased brain electrical activity similar to that observed in nonspecific malnutrition. Assessments of cognitive and psychomotor function in humans found that B deprivation results in poorer performance on tasks of motor speed and dexterity, attention, and short-term memory. However, little support was found for anecdotal reports that supplementation with physiologic amounts of B helps alleviate the somatic and psychological symptoms of menopause. Parallels between nutritional and toxicological effects of B on brain and psychological function are presented, and possible biological mechanisms for dietary effects are reviewed. Findings support the hypothesis that B nutriture is important for brain and psychological function in humans.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Boron / administration & dosage*
  • Boron / deficiency
  • Boron / physiology
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Cognition / drug effects
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Psychomotor Performance / drug effects
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*


  • Boron