Boron is a mineral found in foods like nuts and in the environment. Boron is also sometimes taken in supplement form to enhance athletic performance and improve thinking or coordination. Some women use boron to treat yeast infections. Not all of these uses are supported by scientific evidence.
What is boron used for?
Studies have shown that boron is involved in vitamin D and estrogen metabolism and may affect cognitive function. In alternative medicine, boron supplements are sometimes thought to help improve bone mineral density and prevent and/or treat the following health problems:
- high cholesterol
- menopause symptoms
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
Additionally, boron supplements are said to improve athletic performance by increasing testosterone levels and reducing inflammation.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), there isn’t enough scientific evidence to support most claims about the health benefits of taking boron supplements.
Boron for Yeast Infections
One of the more popular uses of boron is to treat vaginal yeast infections. Some women use boric acid capsules in the vagina because they believe boron makes the vagina more acidic.
Boric acid is a form of boron. When used as a vaginal suppository, it is sometimes said to help with recurrent vaginal yeast infections. Never ingest boric acid.
In a 2003 research review Obstetrics and Gynecology SurveyFor example, researchers analyzed multiple studies on the use of various complementary and alternative medicines to treat yeast infections. They found that boric acid appeared to be beneficial for women with recurrent yeast infections resistant to conventional treatments, but cautioned that boric acid may cause vaginal burning and other side effects in some cases.
In a recently published research review Women’s Health Magazine In 2011, researchers concluded that “boric acid is a safe, alternative, and economical option” for women with recurrent yeast infections. However, boric acid can be absorbed through the skin and a safe dose has not been established.
So, while there are some studies linking the use of boron supplements to treat candidiasis (yeast infection), most of the studies are outdated and the quality of the studies is questioned to prove this benefit.
possible side effects
Excessive intake of boron can cause nausea, vomiting, indigestion, headache and diarrhea. At higher doses, skin flushing, convulsions, tremors, collapsed blood vessels, and even fatal poisoning have been reported at 5-6 grams in infants and 15-20 grams in adults.
The National Institutes of Health warns that boron supplements (or high boron dietary intake) may be harmful to people with hormone-sensitive diseases, including breast cancer, endometriosis, and uterine fibroids. Worryingly, boron may increase levels of hormones such as estrogen and testosterone in some people.
Also, boron is excreted primarily through the kidneys, so people with kidney disease or problems with kidney function should avoid it.
Pregnant women, nursing mothers, and children should not take boron or use boric acid in any form, including suppositories, topical boric acid powder, or borax solutions used to clean baby pacifiers.
If you are considering boron, be sure to consult your healthcare provider first. It is important to note that self-treating the disease and avoiding or delaying standard care can have serious consequences.
Dosage and Preparation
Boron is found in many foods, including avocados, red apples, peanuts, raisins, plums, pecans, potatoes, and peaches. Although trace amounts of boron are thought to be important for several metabolic functions, the recommended daily intake (RDA) has not been established. For adults and pregnant or breastfeeding women over the age of 19, the tolerable upper intake level (UL) for boron (defined as the maximum dose at which no harmful effect is expected) is 20 mg per day.
While there is some evidence that vaginal boric acid suppositories have potential in the treatment of vaginal yeast infections, oral boron supplementation is probably one to skip given the lack of scientific support, the prevalence of boron in food and water, and the safety concerns of excessive intake. . If you’re considering using boron in any form, be sure to speak with your healthcare provider first to weigh the pros and cons.
what to look for
Boron supplements are available online and are available at many natural food stores and at stores specializing in dietary supplements.
Remember, if you choose to buy supplements such as boron, the NIH recommends that you check the Supplement Facts label on the product you buy. The label will contain important information, including the amount of active ingredients per serving, as well as other added ingredients such as fillers, binders and flavorings.
Additionally, the organization recommends that you look for products that include a seal of approval from a third-party organization that provides quality testing. These organizations include USP, ConsumerLab.com, and NSF International. A seal of approval from one of these organizations does not guarantee the product’s safety or effectiveness, but it does guarantee that the product is correctly manufactured, contains the ingredients listed on the label, and is free of harmful levels of contaminants.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I take boric acid while pregnant?
It is not safe to take boric acid or boron supplements during pregnancy. A study suggests that elevated boron levels may be detrimental to human development, and while more research needs to be done, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Is boron good for arthritis?
Moderate intake of boron is believed to be beneficial for arthritis. One study concluded that taking at least 3 mg of boron daily may provide anti-inflammatory effects and help treat osteoarthritis. It has also been shown to positively affect the body’s use of testosterone, estrogen and vitamin D.