Boron is a nonessential mineral found in many nuts, fruits, and vegetables. It is not present in meat but is found in high quantities of many foods like raisins, almonds, and hazelnuts.
While boron is not needed by the body, it has been shown to have a positive impact on cognition, bone growth, mood, energy levels, and male hormones.
There are multiple mechanisms responsible for these benefits but the primary action of boron that makes it beneficial for men to take is its ability to reduce SHGB and free up testosterone. It also has been shown to decrease estrogen and increase the absorption of vitamin D which both can have a positive impact on overall hormones and wellbeing.
Can Boron Increase Testosterone?
Boron does not directly stimulate testosterone production but rather binds to the sex hormone binding globulin (SHGB) which frees up testosterone. This is similar to the effect of tongkat ali which also raises levels of free testosterone by restricting the amount of total testosterone that is bound up and rendered unusable.
There are several studies relating to boron and testosterone. One study published in 2010 found boron to increase levels of free testosterone, decrease SHGB, and decrease estrogen. Another study found an elevation in serum testosterone after dietary boron was consumed for 119 days.
In addition to these two, there is a more recent study on boron which found a significant increase in free testosterone as well after only 1 week of supplementation.
Taking all research into account, there is strong evidence that supplementation with boron is able to decrease SHGB and thus increase levels of free testosterone. There is also evidence for an increase in DHT and reduction in estrogen.
How Much Boron Should You Take?
The recommended dose of boron is between 5-30mg. In a well balanced diet, you are already getting around 4mg of boron daily if you eat fruit, vegetable, and nuts. If not, you are likely slightly deficient and could benefit from supplementing 5-10mg per day.
Since boron is not an essential mineral there is not a recommended daily value but the World Health Organization advises boron intake to be within the range of 1-13mg per day.
Most people who take boron for its hormonal and cognitive benefits report positive effects in the range of 5-15mg per day. Of the studies that have been done on supplemental boron, the range of boron taken is typically around 10mg to see an increase in free testosterone.
As usual with supplements, it is best to start at a low dose such as 2-3mg initially then work up to higher amounts once you have judged your reaction to the substance. Dosing too high may have several side effects since boron can affect the body’s absorption of other minerals.
What Are the Side Effects of Supplementing Boron?
The side effects of supplementing boron may be nausea, dizziness, sickness, seizures, shaking, anxiety, and headaches.
Most people will not experience these side effects from supplementation and as long as you start at low doses, you will likely never feel any negative impact from boron supplementation. These side effects mainly result from a decrease in the absorption of magnesium and an increase in vitamin D that can result from elevated levels of boron. To reduce these side effects, lower the dose you are taking and increase your magnesium intake.
Boron toxicity generally occurs once the dose exceeds 100mg. There is no reason to supplement with over 30mg of boron so an overdose should not be a concern.
Why Men Can Benefit from Boron
The reason that all men should take boron is that as you age, free testosterone decreases and SHGB becomes elevated.
The fatigue, low energy, low libido, lower performance in the gym, depression, anxiety, weakness and more that is associated with age results mainly from this decrease in free testosterone and increase in SHGB. By increasing your intake of boron, many of these symptoms can be naturally alleviated without having to take more expensive alternatives that come with more side effects. Even if you are young, increasing the levels of unbound testosterone in your body will have a positive impact on almost every other area of your life.
Boron also has a large number of other benefits such as lower levels of estrogen, higher DHT, improved cognition, improved bone health, better skin health, more efficient use of vitamin D, increased levels of antioxidant enzymes, better ability for the body to get ride of heavy metals, and several others.
It is not necessary to supplement with boron since it is found naturally in many foods. This is a list of all foods that contain large amounts of boron. If you do not have access or the desire to consume high amounts of these foods, taking a boron or borax water (borax added to water forms boron) supplement can help you reach ideal levels.
Overall, all men can benefit from increasing their intake of boron.
The primary benefit from taking boron is an increase in free testosterone. The majority of testosterone in the body is never fully utilized due to SHGB. Free testosterone only makes up 2% of the total testosterone in the body, meaning that most of the testosterone produced never gets put to use. Boron can improve this ratio by decreasing SHGB, decreasing estrogen, boosting testosterone, and boosting DHT without throwing off the natural hormonal balance.
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