Acide Borique, Anhydride Borique, Atomic number 5, B (chemical symbol), B (symbole chimique), Borate, Borate de Sodium, Borates, Bore, Boric Acid, Boric Anhydride, Boric Tartrate, Boro, Numéro Atomique 5, Sodium Borate.
Boron is a mineral that is found in food and the environment. People take boron supplements as medicine.
Boron is used for building strong bones, treating osteoarthritis, as an aid for building muscles and increasing testosterone levels, and for improving thinking skills and muscle coordination.
Women sometimes use capsules containing boric acid, the most common form of boron, inside the vagina to treat yeast infections.
People also apply boric acid to the skin as an astringent or to prevent infection; or use it as an eye wash.
Boron was used as a food preservative between 1870 and 1920, and during World Wars I and II.
How does it work?
Boron seems to affect the way the body handles other minerals such as magnesium and phosphorus. It also seems to increase estrogen levels in older (post-menopausal) women and healthy men. Estrogen is thought to be helpful in maintaining healthy bones and mental function. Boric acid, a common form of boron, can kill yeast that cause vaginal infections.
Likely Effective for...
- Boron deficiency. Taking boron by mouth prevents boron deficiency.
Possibly Effective for...
- Vaginal infections. Some research shows that boric acid, used inside the vagina, can successfully treat yeast infections (candidiasis), including infections that do not seem to resolve with other treatments. However, the quality of this research is in question.
Possibly Ineffective for...
- Athletic performance. Taking boron by mouth does not seem to improve body mass, muscle mass, or testosterone levels in male bodybuilders.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Improving thinking and coordination in older people. There is some early evidence that taking boron by mouth might improve cognitive function and the ability to coordinate small muscle movements (fine motor skills) in older people.
- Osteoarthritis. Developing research suggests that boron might be useful for decreasing symptoms of osteoarthritis.
- Osteoporosis. Early research suggests that taking boron by mouth daily does not improve bone mass density in postmenopausal women.
- Increasing testosterone.
- Other conditions.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
Boron is LIKELY SAFE for adults and children when used in doses less than the Upper Tolerable Limit (UL) (see dosage section below). There is some concern that doses over 20 mg per day, the UL for adults, might harm a man's ability to father a child.
Boric acid, a common form of boron, is LIKELY SAFE when used vaginally for up to six months. It can cause a sensation of vaginal burning.
Boron is POSSIBLY UNSAFE for adults and children when taken by mouth in high doses. Large quantities of boron can cause poisoning. Signs of poisoning include skin inflammation and peeling, irritability, tremors, convulsions, weakness, headaches, depression, diarrhea, vomiting, and other symptoms.
Also, boric acid powder, a common form of boron, is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when applied in large amounts to prevent diaper rash.
Hormone-sensitive condition such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Boron might act like estrogen. If you have any condition that might be made worse by exposure to estrogen, avoid supplemental boron or high amounts of boron from foods.
Kidney disease or problems with kidney function: Do not take boron supplements if you have kidney problems. The kidneys have to work hard to flush out boron.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- There is no Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for boron since an essential biological role for it has not been identified. People consume varying amounts of boron depending on their diet. Diets considered to be high in boron provide approximately 3.25 mg of boron per 2000 kcal per day. Diets considered to be low in boron provide 0.25 mg of boron per 2000 kcal per day.
The Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL), the maximum dose at which no harmful effects would be expected, is 20 mg per day for adults and pregnant or breast-feeding women over 19 years of age. For adolescents 14 to 18 years of age and pregnant or breast-feeding women 14 to 18 years of age, the UL is 17 mg per day. For children 9 to 13 years old, the UL is 11 mg per day; children 4 to 8 years old, 6 mg per day; and children 1 to 3 years old, 3 mg per day. A UL has not been established for infants.
- For vaginal infections: 600 mg of boric acid powder once or twice a day.
- For prevention of recurring Candida (yeast) infections: 600 mg twice weekly.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Banner, W., Jr., Koch, M., Capin, D. M., Hopf, S. B., Chang, S., and Tong, T. G. Experimental chelation therapy in chromium, lead, and boron intoxication with N-acetylcysteine and other compounds. Toxicol.Appl.Pharmacol 3-30-1986;83(1):142-147. View abstract.
Barranco, W. T. and Eckhert, C. D. Boric acid inhibits human prostate cancer cell proliferation. Cancer Lett 12-8-2004;216(1):21-29. View abstract.
Beattie, J. H. and Peace, H. S. The influence of a low-boron diet and boron supplementation on bone, major mineral and sex steroid metabolism in postmenopausal women. Br J Nutr 1993;69(3):871-884. View abstract.
Benevolenskaia, L. I., Toroptsova, N. V., Nikitinskaia, O. A., Sharapova, E. P., Korotkova, T. A., Rozhinskaia, L. I., Marova, E. I., Dzeranova, L. K., Molitvoslovova, N. N., Men'shikova, L. V., Grudinina, O. V., Lesniak, O. M., Evstigneeva, L. P., Smetnik, V. P., Shestakova, I. G., and Kuznetsov, S. I. [Vitrum osteomag in prevention of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women: results of the comparative open multicenter trial]. Ter.Arkh. 2004;76(11):88-93. View abstract.
Biquet I, Collette J, Dauphin JF, and et al. Prevention of postmenopausal bone loss by administration of boron. Osteoporos Int 1996;6 Suppl 1:249.
Burnham, B. S. Synthesis and pharmacological activities of amine-boranes. Curr Med Chem 2005;12(17):1995-2010. View abstract.
Chao, T. C., Maxwell, S. M., and Wong, S. Y. An outbreak of aflatoxicosis and boric acid poisoning in Malaysia: a clinicopathological study. J Pathol 1991;164(3):225-233. View abstract.
Chapin, R. E. and Ku, W. W. The reproductive toxicity of boric acid. Environ Health Perspect. 1994;102 Suppl 7:87-91. View abstract.
Chebassier, N., El Houssein, O., Viegas, I., and Dreno, B. In vitro induction of matrix metalloproteinase-2 and matrix metalloproteinase-9 expression in keratinocytes by boron and manganese. Exp Dermatol 2004;13(8):484-490. View abstract.
Chebassier, N., Ouijja, el H., Viegas, I., and Dreno, B. Stimulatory effect of boron and manganese salts on keratinocyte migration. Acta Derm.Venereol 2004;84(3):191-194. View abstract.
Chung, M. K., Lee, H., Mizuno, A., Suzuki, M., and Caterina, M. J. 2-aminoethoxydiphenyl borate activates and sensitizes the heat-gated ion channel TRPV3. J Neurosci. 6-2-2004;24(22):5177-5182. View abstract.
Enfissi, A., Prigent, S., Colosetti, P., and Capiod, T. The blocking of capacitative calcium entry by 2-aminoethyl diphenylborate (2-APB) and carboxyamidotriazole (CAI) inhibits proliferation in Hep G2 and Huh-7 human hepatoma cells. Cell Calcium 2004;36(6):459-467. View abstract.
Fukuda, R., Hirode, M., Mori, I., Chatani, F., Morishima, H., and Mayahara, H. Collaborative work to evaluate toxicity on male reproductive organs by repeated dose studies in rats 24). Testicular toxicity of boric acid after 2- and 4-week administration periods. J Toxicol Sci 2000;25 Spec No:233-239. View abstract.
Garabrant, D. H., Bernstein, L., Peters, J. M., and Smith, T. J. Respiratory and eye irritation from boron oxide and boric acid dusts. J Occup Med 1984;26(8):584-586. View abstract.
Goldbloom RB and Goldbloom A. Boron acid poisoning: report of four cases and a review of 109 cases from the world literature. J Pediatrics 1953;43(6):631-643.
Gordon, A. S., Prichard, J. S., and Freedman, M. H. Seizure disorders and anemia associated with chronic borax intoxication. Can Med Assoc J 3-17-1973;108(6):719-721. View abstract.
Hunt, C. D. The biochemical effects of physiologic amounts of dietary boron in animal nutrition models. Environ Health Perspect. 1994;102 Suppl 7:35-43. View abstract.
Hunt, C. D., Herbel, J. L., and Idso, J. P. Dietary boron modifies the effects of vitamin D3 nutrition on indices of energy substrate utilization and mineral metabolism in the chick. J Bone Miner.Res 1994;9(2):171-182. View abstract.
Hunt, C. D., Herbel, J. L., and Nielsen, F. H. Metabolic responses of postmenopausal women to supplemental dietary boron and aluminum during usual and low magnesium intake: boron, calcium, and magnesium absorption and retention and blood mineral concentrations. Am J Clin Nutr 1997;65(3):803-813. View abstract.
Ishii, Y., Fujizuka, N., Takahashi, T., Shimizu, K., Tuchida, A., Yano, S., Naruse, T., and Chishiro, T. A fatal case of acute boric acid poisoning. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol 1993;31(2):345-352. View abstract.
Jansen, J. A., Andersen, J., and Schou, J. S. Boric acid single dose pharmacokinetics after intravenous administration to man. Arch.Toxicol. 1984;55(1):64-67. View abstract.
Kageji, T., Nagahiro, S., Uyama, S., Mizobuchi, Y., Toi, H., Nakamura, M., and Nakagawa, Y. Histopathological findings in autopsied glioblastoma patients treated by mixed neutron beam BNCT. J Neurooncol. 2004;68(1):25-32. View abstract.
Kouri, M., Kankaanranta, L., Seppala, T., Tervo, L., Rasilainen, M., Minn, H., Eskola, O., Vahatalo, J., Paetau, A., Savolainen, S., Auterinen, I., Jaaskelainen, J., and Joensuu, H. Undifferentiated sinonasal carcinoma may respond to single-fraction boron neutron capture therapy. Radiother.Oncol 2004;72(1):83-85. View abstract.
Lee, I. P., Sherins, R. J., and Dixon, R. L. Evidence for induction of germinal aplasia in male rats by environmental exposure to boron. Toxicol.Appl.Pharmacol 1978;45(2):577-590. View abstract.
Limaye, S. and Weightman, W. Effect of an ointment containing boric acid, zinc oxide, starch and petrolatum on psoriasis. Australas.J Dermatol. 1997;38(4):185-186. View abstract.
Linden, C. H., Hall, A. H., Kulig, K. W., and Rumack, B. H. Acute ingestions of boric acid. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol 1986;24(4):269-279. View abstract.
Litovitz, T. L., Klein-Schwartz, W., Oderda, G. M., and Schmitz, B. F. Clinical manifestations of toxicity in a series of 784 boric acid ingestions. Am J Emerg.Med 1988;6(3):209-213. View abstract.
Miggiano, G. A. and Gagliardi, L. [Diet, nutrition and bone health]. Clin Ter. 2005;156(1-2):47-56. View abstract.
Miljkovic, D., Miljkovic, N., and McCarty, M. F. Up-regulatory impact of boron on vitamin D function -- does it reflect inhibition of 24-hydroxylase? Med Hypotheses 2004;63(6):1054-1056. View abstract.
Murray, F. J. A human health risk assessment of boron (boric acid and borax) in drinking water. Regul.Toxicol Pharmacol. 1995;22(3):221-230. View abstract.
Newnham RE. The role of boron in human nutrition. J Applied Nutrition 1994;46(3):81-85.
Nielsen FH and Penland JG. Boron supplementation of peri-menopausal women affects boron metabolism and indices associated with macromineral metabolism, hormonal status and immune function. J Trace Elements Experimental Med 1999;12(3):251-261.
O'Sullivan, K. and Taylor, M. Chronic boric acid poisoning in infants. Arch Dis.Child 1983;58(9):737-739. View abstract.
Orley, J. Nystatin versus boric acid powder in vulvovaginal candidiasis. Am J Obstet.Gynecol. 12-15-1982;144(8):992-993. View abstract.
Pahl, M. V., Culver, B. D., and Vaziri, N. D. Boron and the kidney. J Ren Nutr 2005;15(4):362-370. View abstract.
Prutting, S. M. and Cerveny, J. D. Boric acid vaginal suppositories: a brief review. Infect.Dis Obstet.Gynecol. 1998;6(4):191-194. View abstract.
Rainey, C. J., Nyquist, L. A., Christensen, R. E., Strong, P. L., Culver, B. D., and Coughlin, J. R. Daily boron intake from the American diet. J Am Diet.Assoc 1999;99(3):335-340. View abstract.
Restuccio, A., Mortensen, M. E., and Kelley, M. T. Fatal ingestion of boric acid in an adult. Am J Emerg.Med 1992;10(6):545-547. View abstract.
Schillinger, B. M., Berstein, M., Goldberg, L. A., and Shalita, A. R. Boric acid poisoning. J Am Acad.Dermatol. 1982;7(5):667-673. View abstract.
Shinohara, Y. T. and Tasker, S. A. Successful use of boric acid to control azole-refractory Candida vaginitis in a woman with AIDS. J Acquir.Immune.Defic.Syndr.Hum.Retrovirol. 11-1-1997;16(3):219-220. View abstract.
Tangermann, R. H., Etzel, R. A., Mortimer, L., Penner, G. D., and Paschal, D. C. An outbreak of a food-related illness resembling boric acid poisoning. Arch Environ.Contam Toxicol 1992;23(1):142-144. View abstract.
Travers RL and Rennie GC. Clinical trial: boron and arthritis. The results of a double blind pilot study. Townsend Lett Doctors 1990;360-362.
Travers RL, Rennie GC, and Newnham RE. Boron and arthritis: the results of a double-blind pilot study. J Nutritional Med 1990;1:127-132.
Valdes-Dapena MA and Arey JB. Boric acid poisoning. J Pediatr 1962;61:531-546.
Van Slyke, K. K., Michel, V. P., and Rein, M. F. The boric acid powder treatment of vulvovaginal candidiasis. J Am Coll.Health Assoc 1981;30(3):107-109. View abstract.
Wallace, J. M., Hannon-Fletcher, M. P., Robson, P. J., Gilmore, W. S., Hubbard, S. A., and Strain, J. J. Boron supplementation and activated factor VII in healthy men. Eur.J Clin Nutr. 2002;56(11):1102-1107. View abstract.
Woods, W. G. An introduction to boron: history, sources, uses, and chemistry. Environ.Health Perspect. 1994;102 Suppl 7:5-11. View abstract.
Acs N, Banhidy F, Puho E, Czeizel AE. Teratogenic effects of vaginal boric acid treatment during pregnancy. Int J Gynaecol Obstet 2006;93:55-6. View abstract.
Bleys J, Navas-Acien A, Guallar E. Serum selenium and diabetes in U.S. adults. Diabetes Care 2007;30:829-34. View abstract.
Di Renzo F, Cappelletti G, Broccia ML, et al. Boric acid inhibits embryonic histone deacetylases: a suggested mechanism to explain boric acid-related teratogenicity. Appl Pharmacol 2007;220:178-85. View abstract.
Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2002. Available at: www.nap.edu/books/0309072794/html/.
Green NR, Ferrando AA. Plasma boron and the effects of boron supplementation in males. Environ Health Perspect 1994;102:73-7. View abstract.
Guaschino S, De Seta F, Sartore A, et al. Efficacy of maintenance therapy with topical boric acid in comparison with oral itraconazole in the treatment of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2001;184:598-602. View abstract.
Heindel JJ, Price CJ, Field EA, et al. Developmental toxicity of boric acid in mice and rats. Fundam Appl Toxicol 1992;18:266-77. View abstract.
Jovanovic R, Congema E, Nguyen HT. Antifungal agents vs. boric acid for treating chronic mycotic vulvovaginitis. J Reprod Med 1991;36:593-7. View abstract.
Makela P, Leaman D, Sobel JD. Vulvovaginal trichosporonosis. Infect Dis Obstet Gynecol 2003;11:131-3. View abstract.
Meacham SL, Taper LJ, Volpe SL. Effect of boron supplementation on blood and urinary calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, and urinary boron in athletic and sedentary women. Am J Clin Nutr 1995;61:341-5. View abstract.
Meacham SL, Taper LJ, Volpe SL. Effects of boron supplementation on bone mineral density and dietary, blood, and urinary calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and boron in female athletes. Environ Health Perspect 1994;102(Suppl 7):79-82. View abstract.
Naghii MR, Samman S. The effect of boron supplementation on its urinary excretion and selected cardiovascular risk factors in healthy male subjects. Biol Trace Elem Res 1997;56:273-86. View abstract.
Newnham RE. Essentiality of boron for healthy bones and joints. Environ Health Perspect 1994;102:83-5. View abstract.
Nielsen FH, Hunt CD, Mullen LM, Hunt JR. Effect of dietary boron on mineral, estrogen, and testosterone metabolism in postmenopausal women. FASEB J 1987;1:394-7. View abstract.
Nielsen FH. Biochemical and physiologic consequences of boron deprivation in humans. Environ Health Perspect 1994;102:59-63.. View abstract.
Penland JG. Dietary boron, brain function, and cognitive performance. Environ Health Perspect 1994;102:65-72. View abstract.
Rein MF. Current therapy of vulvovaginitis. Sex Transm Dis 1981;8:316-20. View abstract.
Ringdahl EN. Treatment of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis. Am Fam Physician 2000;61:3306-12, 3317. View abstract.
Shils M, Olson A, Shike M. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lea and Febiger, 1994.
Singh S, Sobel JD, Bhargava P, et al. Vaginitis due to Candida krusei: epidemiology, clinical aspects, and therapy. Clin Infect Dis 2002;35:1066-70. View abstract.
Sobel JD, Chaim W, Nagappan V, Leaman D. Treatment of vaginitis caused by Candida glabrata: use of topical boric acid and flucytosine. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2003;189:1297-300. View abstract.
Sobel JD, Chaim W. Treatment of Torulopsis glabrata vaginitis: retrospective review of boric acid therapy. Clin Infect Dis 1997;24:649-52. View abstract.
Swate TE, Weed JC. Boric acid treatment of vulvovaginal candidiasis. Obstet Gynecol 1974;43:893-5. View abstract.
Thai L, Hart LL. Boric acid vaginal suppositories. Ann Pharmacother 1993;27:1355-7. View abstract.
Usuda K, Kono K, Iguchi K, et al. Hemodialysis effect on serum boron level in the patients with long term hemodialysis. Sci Total Environ 1996;191:283-90. View abstract.
Van Kessel K, Assefi N, Marrazzo J, Eckert L. Common complementary and alternative therapies for yeast vaginitis and bacterial vaginosis: a systematic review. Obstet Gynecol Surv 2003;58:351-8. View abstract.
Van Slyke KK, Michel VP, Rein MF. Treatment of vulvovaginal candidiasis with boric acid powder. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1981;141:145-8. View abstract.
Volpe SL, Taper LJ, Meacham S. The relationship between boron and magnesium status and bone mineral density in the human: a review. Magnes Res 1993;6:291-6.. View abstract.