Boron is a natural element that's found in large quantities in mineral deposits in the earth all over the world.

It's used widely in industrial applications like fiberglass or ceramics. But it's also found in a lot of the things you eat. It's as safe for you as table salt. And you could be getting up to 3 milligrams (mg) every day just by eating an apple, drinking coffee, or snacking on some nuts.

Boron is also thought to play a key role in adjusting your body's natural production of testosterone and estradiol, a type of estrogen.

This use has made some waves among people with erectile dysfunction (ED) or low testosterone. But while there's some evidence boron might affect ED or testosterone levels, it's not clear how much it really makes a difference.

Let's get into whether it can truly work as a testosterone or ED supplement, it's possible side effects, and its benefits.

The short, simple answer to this question is yes. But let's parse out what the science actually says.

According to a 2015 review of boron literature published in IMCJ, taking a 6-mg dose of boron for just a week has the following benefits:

  • increases the metabolism of the total testosterone in your body to free testosterone, which is used for many sex-related functions
  • increases free testosterone levels by nearly 25 percent
  • reduces the amount of estradiol by nearly half
  • reduces indicators of inflammation, such as interleukin and C-reactive proteins, by more than half
  • allows more free testosterone to bond with proteins in your blood, which can have even more benefits as you age

So there's a lot to be said for boron as a low testosterone supplement. A small 2011 study of eight male participants confirmed these results — taking 10 mg a day for a week increased free testosterone and lowered estradiol significantly.

However, past research raised some doubt about boron and testosterone levels.

A 1993 study of 19 male bodybuilders found that even though bodybuilding itself can increase natural testosterone levels, taking a 2.5-mg boron supplement for seven weeks didn't make any difference compared to a placebo.

The idea that boron works for ED is based on the effects it has on free testosterone. If the source of your ED is low testosterone levels, high levels of estradiol, or other hormone-related causes, you may find some success in taking boron.

But if the source of your ED is another cause, like poor circulation due to a heart condition or nerve damage resulting from a condition like diabetes, taking boron won't do much to help you.

Talk to a doctor about diagnosing any underlying condition that may be causing ED before you take boron.

Some other possible benefits of taking boron include:

  • metabolizing vitamins and minerals in your diet, which can improve blood flow that contributes to healthy sexual function and maintaining balanced androgen hormones like testosterone
  • improving cognitive functions like hand-eye coordination and memory
  • increasing the effectiveness of vitamin D, which can also contribute to healthy testosterone levels

Dosage Warning

Boron has been known to be fatal when taking more than 20 grams in adults or 5 to 6 grams in children.

Here are some of the other documented side effects of taking too much boron:

  • feeling sick
  • vomiting
  • indigestion
  • headaches
  • diarrhea
  • skin color changes
  • seizures
  • shaking
  • damage to blood vessels

Be careful with supplements. A little bit can go a long way, but too much can be dangerous. Your body may not be able to efficiently filter out the excess amount, causing it to build up in your bloodstream to toxic levels.

Always talk to a doctor before adding any supplements to your diet. Interactions with other supplements or medications can happen.

There's no one recommended dose for boron. But here's what the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine says are the absolute highest amounts you should take based on your age:

AgeMaximum Daily Dose
1 to 33 mg
4 to 86 mg
9 to 1311 mg
14 to 1817 mg
19 and older20 mg

Boron's pretty safe as far as supplements go. But there's no evidence that it's safe for children under 1 year old or during pregnancy, when boron can get absorbed into a fetus.

You can also try eating specific foods that have a lot of boron if you prefer to go the natural route. Here are some options:

  • prunes
  • raisins
  • dried apricots
  • avocados

The exact dosage can vary from person to person, but the best evidence shows that the ideal amount for increased testosterone or ED treatment is 6 mg of boron supplements once daily.

Research suggests that you may start to notice a difference after taking this dose for a week.

Boron can have a slight impact on your testosterone levels, and you may very well notice some differences. But it's less likely that you'll see any changes in symptoms of ED.

It doesn't hurt to try as long as you follow the suggested dosing guidelines. Talk to a healthcare provider about other possible treatments, both natural or medical, for symptoms of low testosterone levels or ED.