As we age, we all start to notice some issues with our memory and bone strength. While there are many things you may consider to treat these issues, a little-know supplement called boron may be your best bet. Boron plays a key role in metabolizing vitamins and minerals once they’re in the body, and it could help transform your brain and bone health.
What is boron?
Boron is a mineral and trace element. Your body only needs a small amount (roughly 1.5 to three milligrams per day), but a boron deficiency could impact how well your body absorbs a number of compounds that are critical to keeping your brain and bones working properly.
One of boron’s most important functions is to help strengthen bones and protect them over time. It does this is by extending the half-life of vitamin D and estrogen, both of which are key promoters of overall bone health, especially as we age. This means that boron ensures that these compounds don’t degrade as quickly in the body and are able to help us function for a longer period of time.
Additionally, one study found that people who get 3.25 milligrams of boron per day through their diet and/or supplements also saw improved memory and hand-eye coordination compared to those with lower boron levels. More research needs to be conducted in that arena, but the work so far is promising.
What are the side effects of taking boron?
Generally, the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine recommends that adults take no more than 20 milligrams of boron per day. Ingesting more on a regular basis could lead to nausea, vomiting, skin inflammation, or diarrhea.
What’s the best way to take boron?
You can definitely make sure you’re getting more boron in your diet by eating foods like apples, potatoes, spinach, and kale. However, if you don’t consume enough of these foods, you may need to seek out additional sources elsewhere, especially since many daily multivitamins don’t include boron. If you want more of a boost than what you can get through eating, you can take an oral capsule (Buy on Amazon, $15.95) once daily to get an extra three to five milligrams of boron. It could make a slight but noticeable difference. Just make sure you talk to your doc first before trying a new supplement regimen!
This article originally appeared on our sister site, First for Women.