Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 186, Issue 1, pp 31–51 | Cite as

The Physiological Role of Boron on Health

  • Haseeb Khaliq
  • Zhong Juming
  • Peng Ke-MeiEmail author


Boron is an essential mineral that plays an important role in several biological processes. Boron is required for growth of plants, animals, and humans. There are increasing evidences of this nutrient showing a variety of pleiotropic effects, ranging from anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects to the modulation of different body systems. In the past few years, the trials showed disease-related polymorphisms of boron in different species, which has drawn attention of scientists to the significance of boron to health. Low boron profile has been related with poor immune function, increased risk of mortality, osteoporosis, and cognitive deterioration. High boron status revealed injury to cell and toxicity in different animals and humans. Some studies have shown some benefits of higher boron status, but findings have been generally mixed, which perhaps accentuates the fact that dietary intake will benefit only if supplemental amount is appropriate. The health benefits of boron are numerous in animals and humans; for instance, it affects the growth at safe intake. Central nervous system shows improvement and immune organs exhibit enhanced immunity with boron supplementation. Hepatic metabolism also shows positive changes in response to dietary boron intake. Furthermore, animals and human fed diets supplemented with boron reveal improved bone density and other benefits including embryonic development, wound healing, and cancer therapy. It has also been reported that boron affects the metabolism of several enzymes and minerals. In the background of these health benefits, low or high boron status is giving cause for concern. Additionally, researches are needed to further elucidate the mechanisms of boron effects, and determine the requirements in different species.


Boron Dietary nutrient Safe intake Physiological benefits 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 31272517, 31672504.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Animal Science and Veterinary MedicineHuazhong Agricultural UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.College of Veterinary MedicineAuburn UniversityAuburnUSA

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