In relation to testosterone, boron is very much ‘old hat’. Back in the mists of time, boron was touted as a testosterone booster before the supplements industry was even an industry.
In the late 80s and early 90s it was hyped up as a natural alternative to steroids. Bear in mind that in those days the internet was years off being invented, so ‘hype’ meant word of mouth between guys with Magnum P.I. moustaches and tiny shorts in gyms.
Those pioneering bros didn’t mess about, if it didn’t work then they didn’t get suckered into taking it. It worked.
… but for whatever reason it faded away, was replaced by the Next Big Thing and never really became the star that it deserved to be.
However, boron’s story as a muscle building supplement never ended there. Interest in boron was revived in 2011 following the publication of a study conducted by a team of Iranian researchers in the Sports Physiology Research Centre, University of Medical Sciences in Tehran.
This is one of those studies that makes you sit up and pay attention because;
There’s one final reason the study is worthy of our time. Often you’ll see studies done where, rather than base the results on undisputable medical results such as blood draws, testing for hormone levels etc – the researchers base their results on largely arbitrary factors such as how much the subjects can bench press, or run, or swim. Factors that could be influenced by any number of reasons.
In this study they actually had their blood taken and the free testosterone levels measured.
What was discovered was that after the subjects had ingested the boron there was a dramatic decrease in levels of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG).
SHBG is a protein which binds to testosterone and renders it unusable by androgen receptors. This means that all the good things which testosterone does (build muscle, increase your energy levels, boost your sex drive – all the things you’d take a test supplement for) won’t happen because the SHBG has bound itself to the testosterone.
So reduce the SHBG and you increase free (unbound) testosterone, which can then go on to do it’s wonderful things.
This was what happened during this clinical trial. SHBG dropped through the floor and as a result free testosterone levels increased by an average of 28% whilst estradiol decreased by 39%. What’s estradiol? It is and estrogen, and what is known as a testosterone receptor antagonist.
We want our available free testosterone to bind to androgen receptors – estradiol prevents this happening by binding to them first (but not activating the receptor so we get no benefit). Reduced estradiol means the already high levels of free testosterone (courtesy of the SHBG) can then go on to be efficiently used by the body. A win-win.
With studies such as the Naghii study backing up the effects boron supplementation has on SHBG, estradiol and free test, it’s difficult to claim it’s not worth having in the mix.
Our top supplement for those with low testosterone contain Boron, read more about it in our Prime Male review.