During menopause and postmenopause, bone density decreases. Boron in the diet or taken as a supplement may benefit bone health.
Boron is a trace element that is present in many plant foods. People can also take boron as a supplement.
Boron may affect calcium, vitamin D, and estrogen levels, which all play a part in bone health for menopausal or postmenopausal females.
This article looks at boron, which foods contain it, the potential benefits of boron, and its side effects.
Boron is a mineral and trace element found in many foods. It is also available as a dietary supplement.
According to the
- reproduction and development
- metabolizing calcium
- bone formation
- brain function
- metabolizing insulin and sources of energy
- steroid hormone function, including vitamin D and estrogen
Most females experience menopause between the ages of 45–55 years. During this time, periods stop, and estrogen levels decline, leading to a loss of bone density. Females may lose up to 10% of their bone mass in the 5 years following menopause. This can be a risk factor for osteoporosis.
The NIH reports that boron may play an important role in bone growth and formation. Still, research has shown no clear link between boron supplementation and an improvement in bone mineral density.
How does boron affect bone density?
According to the NIH, a low-boron diet may affect postmenopausal females. The NIH classes a low boron intake as
In postmenopausal females, a low boron diet may:
- increase calcium and magnesium excretion in urine
- reduce serum concentrations of estrogen
In both males and females, low boron intake may also reduce calcium and vitamin D levels and increase calcitonin and osteocalcin.
Calcitonin is a hormone that helps regulate calcium and phosphate levels in the body. Osteocalcin is a protein found in bones and teeth.
These changes in the body may affect bone mineral density.
According to a 2020 review, boron may have a positive role in calcium metabolism, which may help prevent bone loss and osteoporosis.
The review also noted that boron may increase serum levels of ergocalciferol, a form of vitamin D. This effect is similar to that of estrogen therapy.
Other research shows that animals and humans who ate a diet with boron supplementation had improved bone density.
According to the
The following table shows foods high in boron:
|Food||Amount of boron|
|1 cup prune juice||1.43 mg|
|½ cup raw, cubed avocado||1.07 mg|
|1.5 ounces (oz) raisins||0.95 mg|
|1 medium peach||0.80 mg|
|1 cup grape juice||0.76 mg|
|1 medium apple||0.66 mg|
|1 ounce roasted, salted peanuts||0.48 mg|
|½ cup refried beans||0.48 mg|
Boron amounts in foods vary depending on where they were grown and the levels of boron in the soil.
According to a 2020 review, supplementing with 3 mg of boron per day may help support bone health and help maintain or prevent loss of bone mineral density. Although there is no recommended daily intake of boron, the upper limit is
According to the
The NIH states that blood boron levels tend to remain constant even when a person greatly increases their dietary intake of boron. This suggests that the body has mechanisms for regulating the amount of boron in the blood and may eliminate excess boron in the urine.
Boron in certain forms
Boron in the diet and in supplements is safe as long as people do not exceed the upper limit.
According to the
If people consume excessive amounts of boron, it can cause toxicity. People may experience:
In infants, high boron intake may cause:
Below are answers to some common questions about boron.
Does boron cause hair loss?
In very high doses, boron
Does boron cause weight loss?
According to 2019 research, a boron-rich diet may result in lowering:
Study participants increased their intake of boron through boron-rich foods, such as avocado, dried fruits, and nuts. Therefore, other factors may have also played a part in weight loss, such as an increase in:
Boron supplementation of 3 mg per day may benefit bone health and bone mineral density. This may help support bone health during menopause and postmenopause, when bone loss can increase.
Low boron levels may link to an increased risk of osteoporosis, while diets higher in boron may help improve bone density.
High doses of boron
Boron is a trace element occurring in many plant foods. People can also take boron as a supplement.
Although experts do not currently consider boron essential for human health, it may have health benefits for females going through menopause and postmenopause.
Boron may affect levels of calcium and vitamin D, and steroid hormones such as estrogen, which may help to promote bone health. Increasing boron intake may help slow down the loss of bone density during menopause, although there is a lack of recent research to support this.
Excessive intake of boron can be dangerous to health. If people are unsure about taking boron supplements, they can discuss with a healthcare professional.