Update on human health effects of boron

J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2014 Oct;28(4):383-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jtemb.2014.06.023. Epub 2014 Jul 5.


In vitro, animal, and human experiments have shown that boron is a bioactive element in nutritional amounts that beneficially affects bone growth and central nervous system function, alleviates arthritic symptoms, facilitates hormone action and is associated with a reduced risk for some types of cancer. The diverse effects of boron suggest that it influences the formation and/or activity of substances that are involved in numerous biochemical processes. Several findings suggest that this influence is through the formation of boroesters in biomolecules containing cis-hydroxyl groups. These biomolecules include those that contain ribose (e.g., S-adenosylmethionine, diadenosine phosphates, and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide). In addition, boron may form boroester complexes with phosphoinositides, glycoproteins, and glycolipids that affect cell membrane integrity and function. Both animal and human data indicate that an intake of less than 1.0mg/day inhibits the health benefits of boron. Dietary surveys indicate such an intake is not rare. Thus, increasing boron intake by consuming a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts and pulses should be recognized as a reasonable dietary recommendation to enhance health and well-being.

Keywords: Bone; Boron; Central nervous system; Fructoborate; Hormones.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone and Bones / drug effects
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism
  • Borates / metabolism
  • Borates / pharmacology
  • Boron / metabolism*
  • Boron / pharmacology*
  • Central Nervous System / drug effects
  • Central Nervous System / metabolism
  • Humans


  • Borates
  • Boron