Boron: An Anything-But-Boring Trace Element

by Melissa Chichester

Trace elements are minerals in the body that exist in small amounts but are needed for various functions.

The most abundant trace element in the body is iron. Zinc and iodine are other important trace elements. However, there’s one trace element that is necessary but tends to fly under the radar, and that’s boron. 

>>Shop for boron

The history of boron 

Boron is anything but boring!

For centuries, boron was only available in crystallized deposits from Lake Yamdok Cho in Tibet. It wasn’t until 1808 that two different chemists extracted boron from borax by heating it up with potassium. But here’s the twist – that still wasn’t the purest form of boron. One hundred years later in 1909, American chemist Ezekiel Weintraub finally produced pure boron. 

Boron is named after the Arabic word “buraq,” which is the name for borax. Today, researchers continue to explore different methods to extract and isolate boron. Part of this is because boron is challenging to work with. It is the second hardest element (carbon is the hardest). Boron is even used to control nuclear power!

Boron is also one of 17 essential elements plants need for growth, seed formation, and cell development. Plants get the boron they need from the soil. As you can see, boron is a complex element. But what does it have to do with human health?

>>Get to Know 5 Trace Minerals

Boron benefits 

Boron plays a role in bone metabolism and also in calcium metabolism to promote bone health.* It is also an important nutrient for joint health.*

According to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, “bone, nails, and hair have higher boron levels” in the body. 

Most people receive enough boron through their diets. If you’re concerned about boron intake, you can ask your doctor for a blood test. 

Food sources of boron 

The largest source of dietary boron might surprise you. It’s instant coffee! 

Other sources of boron include milk, apples, dairy products, avocados, prune juice, raisins, grape juice, peanuts, and cheese. Green vegetables are also a source of boron.

Boron supplements 

Boron is available as a supplement on its own and combined with other minerals. Puritan’s Pride Super Chelated Multi-Mineral combines more than 10 major and trace minerals into a comprehensive mineral blend. Super Chelated Multi-Mineral is made with calcium and magnesium, which play essential roles in maintaining proper bone mineralization, zinc, which helps support immune function, and boron, which plays a role in bone metabolism.*

Researchers today continue to examine the potential of boron and its impact on human health. However, one thing is for certain: eating a balanced diet can help you receive the boron you need. And if you’re going to take boron supplements, always consult your personal healthcare practitioner first.