Remember when boron supplements were all the rage in the 90s? Back in the day boron was being compared to actual steroids at the time which is almost always the kiss of death for a supplement. The problem is that sometimes, other beneficial aspects of an ingredient could be overlooked based on an unrealistic comparison. But perhaps boron does have a role. An interesting recent study with boron supplementation shows that it may have a role in increasing free testosterone levels, decreasing SHBG and improving Vitamin D status. It's just one study but perhaps there's something to it...
Comparative effects of daily and weekly boron supplementation on plasma steroid hormones and proinflammatory cytokines.
Naghii MR, Mofid M, Asgari AR, Hedayati M, Daneshpour MS.
Sport Physiology Research Center, Baqiyatallah (a.s.) University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran.
Boron possesses widespread properties in biochemistry and nutrition. Acute supplementation with 11.6mg of boron resulted in a significant increase in plasma boron concentration. Given such a fast bioavailability, the objective was to determine whether acute (hourly or daily), and weekly supplementation could have any significant biological effects on the steroid hormones and further on some inflammatory biomarkers. Eight healthy male volunteers attended the laboratory on three occasions (days 0, 1 and 7). On the first day (day 0), a blood sample collection at 8.00A.M was followed by ingestion of placebo with the breakfast. On the next day (supplementation-day 1), similar procedure was followed by ingestion of a capsule containing 10mg of boron. On both occasions blood was collected every 2h for the next 6h. Subjects were requested to consume a capsule of 10mg boron every day with their breakfast, and on the day 7, the blood collection was carried out at 8.00A.M, again. Boron in plasma increased significantly following hours and weekly consumption. Six hours supplementation showed a significant decrease on sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), high sensitive CRP (hsCRP) and TNF-α level. After one week (in samples taken at 8.00A.M, only), the mean plasma free testosterone increased and the mean plasma estradiol decreased significantly. Dihydrotestosterone, cortisol and vitamin D was elevated. Also, concentrations of all three inflammatory biomarkers decreased after supplementation. Of note, despite decreased proinflammatory cytokines, based on recent clinical data, this must be the first human study report to show an increase level of free testosterone after boron consumption.