Minerals play a vital role in keeping your body working properly. If you take a daily multivitamin, it most likely includes essential trace minerals like iron and zinc, along with macrominerals like calcium, sodium, and potassium.
But there’s another mineral that may not be on your radar: boron.
Researchers are still working to unlock all the potential benefits of this trace mineral.1 Here’s what you need to know—and how to make sure you’re getting enough.
What is Boron?
Boron is a nonmetallic element on the periodic table that plays a key role in plant growth, pollination, and seed formation.2
Researchers are still learning about its exact role in human health. But while boron hasn’t officially been classified an “essential nutrient” yet, experts believe it may offer many important benefits to support overall health.
“Boron is known to have advantageous health benefits on bodily functions, including reproduction and development, calcium metabolism and bone formation, immunity, and energy metabolism,” says Mary Wirtz, MS, RDN, CSSD, nutritional consultant at Mom Loves Best.3
What are the Benefits of Boron?
Growing research suggests boron may support overall health in a variety of ways. Here are some of the most promising potential benefits of boron.
1. Nutrient Absorption
“According to nutrition research, boron affects the activity of many enzymes and is essential in the metabolism of nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D,” Wirtz says.
2. Vaginal Health
Boric acid, a form of boron, may help to promote acid balance in the vagina. Because of this, it is commonly used in suppository form to help relieve some of the symptoms of vaginal yeast infections.4
3. Reproductive Health
Research suggests boron may help to reduce the severity and duration of menstrual cramps.5 Boron may also support healthy estrogen levels post-menopause.6
4. Brain Health
Though the data is still limited, research suggests boron deficiency may reduce mental alertness and impair executive brain function.7 Getting an adequate amount of boron each day from food or a supplement may help you sidestep these symptoms.
5. Bone Health
Calcium is critical for maintaining bone strength, but boron plays a supporting role by helping to improve calcium absorption. Research suggests supplementing with boron may benefit bone health.8
6. Immune Function
Boron may support healthy immune function, reduce certain inflammatory biomarkers, and raise levels of certain antioxidant enzymes.9
How Much Boron Do Pregnant Women and New Moms Need?
So how much boron do you need each day? There’s not a clear-cut answer when it comes to the ideal boron dosage, because the Food at Nutrition Board (FNB) at the National Academies of Sciences—a.k.a. the committee of experts who develop dietary guidelines—hasn’t established a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for boron yet.
However, the ideal intake seems to be between 1 and 13 mg per day,10 and the FNB has established a Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for boron of 20 mg per day.11 The UL is the highest amount of a nutrient you can likely consume without experiencing adverse effects.
This upper limit applies to most adults, including pregnant and lactating women who are 19 years of age or older. Pregnant women and lactating women may get boron from food or from a multivitamin for pregnancy.
Consuming higher doses of boron may lead to symptoms such as headache, restlessness, or indigestion. But most women aren’t at risk for boron toxicity.
The median dietary intake of boron is 0.87 to 1.35 mg per day in adults, and 1.05 to 1.08 mg per day in pregnant women. Vegetarians and vegans may have slightly higher average intake levels because of the amount of plant-based food in their diets.
Perelel’s prenatal vitamins and Mom Multi Support Pack all provide 1 mg of boron (as boron amino acid chelate), so you can reap the benefits of this trace mineral and avoid deficiency without worrying about whether you’re consuming too much.
Best Food Sources of Boron
Boron isn’t listed on nutrition labels, so you may be wondering: Is boron found in food?
Yes—because boron is a component of plant cell walls, it can be found in many plant-based foods. “Typically the recommendation is to consume a nutritious diet with a wide variety of food groups,” Wirtz says.
Some of the best sources of boron in food are:
- prune juice (1.43 mg per one-cup serving)
- avocado (1.07 mg per ½ cup of cubed avocado)
- raisins (0.95 mg per 1.5-ounce serving)
- peaches (0.8 mg per medium peach)
However, in the U.S., most dietary boron comes from coffee, milk, apples, beans, and potatoes—simply because these foods are so prevalent in our diet. Boron can also be found in wine, cider, and beer.12
Boron content in soil is relatively low in many areas of the United States, which may affect the amount of boron present in your food. Taking a vitamin and mineral supplement that includes boron can help to ensure you’re getting enough of this element each day.
Read more nutrition content like this. Plus, shop OB/GYN-formulated vitamins for each stage of womanhood now.
1 Lara Pizzorno; Nothing Boring About Boron; Aug 2015
2 National Institutes of Health; Boron: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals
3 Forrest H Nielsen; Is boron nutritionally relevant?; Apr 2008
4 Christos Iavazzo et al; Boric acid for recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis: the clinical evidence; Aug 2011
5 Somayeh Nikkhah et al; Effects of boron supplementation on the severity and duration of pain in primary dysmenorrhea; Apr 2015
6 National Library of Medicine; MedlinePlus: Boron
7 National Institutes of Health; Boron: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals
8 Lara Pizzorno; Nothing Boring About Boron; Aug 2015
9 Lara Pizzorno; Nothing Boring About Boron; Aug 2015
10 National Institutes of Health; Boron: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals
11 National Institutes of Health; Boron: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals
12 National Institutes of Health; Boron: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and we recommend that you always consult with your healthcare provider. To the extent that this article features the advice of physicians or medical practitioners, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert and do not necessarily represent the views of Perelel.