Plasma boron and the effects of boron supplementation in males

Environ Health Perspect. 1994 Nov;102 Suppl 7(Suppl 7):73-7. doi: 10.1289/ehp.94102s773.


Recently, a proliferation of athletic supplements has been marketed touting boron as an ergogenic aid capable of increasing testosterone. The effect of boron supplementation was investigated in male bodybuilders. Ten male bodybuilders (aged 20 to 26) were given a 2.5-mg boron supplement, while nine male bodybuilders (aged 21 to 27) were given a placebo for 7 weeks. Plasma total and free testosterone, plasma boron, lean body mass, and strength measurements were determined on day 1 and day 49 of the study. A microwave digestion procedure followed by inductively coupled argon plasma spectroscopy was used for boron determination. Twelve subjects had boron values at or above the detection limit with median value of 25 ng/ml (16 ng/ml lower quartile and 33 ng/ml upper quartile). Of the ten subjects receiving boron supplements, six had an increase in their plasma boron. Analysis of variance indicated no significant effect of boron supplementation on any of the other dependent variables. Both groups demonstrated significant increases in total testosterone (p < 0.01), lean body mass (p < 0.01), and one repetition maximum (RM) squat (p < 0.001) and one RM bench press (p < 0.01). The findings suggest that 7 weeks of bodybuilding can increase total testosterone, lean body mass, and strength in lesser-trained bodybuilders, but boron supplementation affects these variables not at all.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Composition / drug effects
  • Body Composition / physiology*
  • Boron / administration & dosage
  • Boron / blood*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Physical Endurance / drug effects
  • Physical Endurance / physiology
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Weight Lifting / physiology*


  • Testosterone
  • Boron