Does boron increase testosterone levels in men?
Once upon a time, our ancestors got plenty of boron in their diets.
We got it by eating plenty of berries, nuts and fruits. This was a good thing, since boron is important for bone density, joint health, and brain function.
It’s also been used as a performance enhancer for athletes.
Doses of boron on the days of competition or heavy training were known to generate measurable gains in speed, strength, and even aggression.
It was one of those things jocks take instead of steroids or HGH to get some of the benefits of those banned substances.
But then we, as a species, started eating progressively crappier foods. Now, boron is in short supply in the normal human diet. We’re still getting enough for basic essential health, but in some men the shortfall impacts testosterone levels.
If you’re one of those men, supplementing your boron intake could boost your testosterone and help repair several aspects of your general and sexual health.
How does boron increase testosterone? Funny you should ask…
The anecdotal evidence of boron’s health benefits has been around for decades, but clinical research on what it does and how it might impact health began in earnest more recently.
The first notable study happened in 1997, when Dr. Naghii of the Human Nutrition Unit in the Department of Biochemistry of the University of Sydney studied the impact of boron on testosterone production in rats (source).
He added boron to the drinking water of one half of a cohort of rats, and tested plasma testosterone weekly for four weeks. Starting even the first week, he found significant increases in plasma testosterone, and those increases continued over the length of the study.
This proved that boron increases testosterone in mammals.
Now, humans are mammals…but not everything that works on rats works on humans. More research was needed to figure out what boron did in a human body.
In 2010, Dr. Naghii examined the impact of boron supplements on eight human males (source).
He supplemented their diets with 10 mg of boron per day and checked the hormone levels in their blood. Again, he found that blood testosterone levels increased in the subjects who got the boron.
Further, blood estradiol Decreased in subjects during the test period.
Those who read this blog regularly already know about the evils of estradiol. For those who don’t, estradiol is a form of estrogen your body gets by breaking up testosterone for parts, then rebuilding those parts into a female sex hormone.
It’s basically kryptonite for your testosterone levels.
At first, Naghii wasn’t sure how boron increased testosterone levels in the blood, but the lowered estradiol was the most likely culprit.
After additional research, his findings now strongly suggest that boron doesn’t increase how much testosterone you make, but rather how much you get to keep.
Understanding this is important because it tells you whether or not boron will help your testosterone production:
In 1997, Dr. Naghii’s team looked at boron supplementation and markers for risk of cardiovascular disease (source).
They carried out two studies using 18 healthy men. In addition to finding increased levels of testosterone, the research found elevated levels of estrogen.
“Wait one minute here,” some of you might be saying. “Didn’t that other study by the same guy find lowered levels of estrogen?”
Not really. What they found was lowered levels of estradiol, which the a type of estrogen you definitely want to keep in check.
As mentioned earlier, estradiol is made by tearing up your testosterone and turning it into estrogen. Boron, it would seem, increases your body’s content of other forms of less dangerous estrogen, the kinds that you don’t have to murder your testosterone to make.
Experts think that stimulating natural estrogen production in the body means less estrogen conversion via aromatase. It has plenty of estrogen already, and doesn’t need to do anything to maintain the balance necessary for general health.
With less testosterone getting converted into estrogen, you have more available in your bloodstream. And this extra testosterone creates balance between E and T in your system, which is the goal all men need to strive to achieve.
Like I said, athletes have used boron supplements as performance enhancers for decades, without fully understanding the chemistry of why it worked. Now that we know it can boost testosterone, we understand the why part.
The same benefits can work for your hormonal health if you have low testosterone levels, but normal testosterone production.
So how do you boost production?
The first line of defense would be to download this free testosterone enhancement ebook which is packed with info to help you get back on track.
Step two would be to go natural with hacks to your diet. Just like our ancestors did, you can cycle certain foods into heavy rotation on your meal plans.
Some of the best natural boron powerhouses include:
Just one serving of one of these foods per meal can give you enough extra boron to put your levels back in the healthy normal range
Note that excess red wine will also increase estrogen or decrease testosterone. So if you go this route, use this option sparingly.
If dietary changes either don’t work, or are too complex for your life right now, you can try taking supplements.
Simply taking 3-5 mg a day (I recommend in the morning, but that’s just my preference) is likely to give you a noticeable boost in your blood testosterone.
However, the supplementation will be a short-term fix only.
Dr. Naghhi’s research also found that up to 85% of excess boron is excreted in your urine.
Once you get your boron levels up to the healthy normal, your gains will plateau and the benefits to testosterone levels will likely fade away.