Boron for Yeast Infection
Vaginal yeast infections are fungal infections that cause many issues like irritation, discharge, and severe itching of the vaginal and vulva tissues. It is also known as vaginal candidiasis. It can affect up to 34% of women in their lifetime. Many women have at least two episodes. Boric acid, a form of boron, can kill the yeast that causes vaginal infection and relieves symptoms. Boric acid suppositories can be inserted into the vagina to balance the pH and ease itching and burning. Gynecologists and health care professionals may recommend vaginal boric acid for the treatment of yeast infections.
How does Boron Control Yeast Infection?
The Journal of Nutrition has published a study that shows how boron can be used to treat yeast infections. The experiment involved the preparation of low-boron yeast cultures. It was then examined how supplementation with boron affected the log phase. To determine if the addition of boron has an inhibitory effect upon yeast anaerobic metabolism, they analyzed the total ethanol produced by the cultures during their stationary phase. The boron content in the media and yeast cells was also examined to see if yeast retains the element even when it is not present in the medium. The results proved that boron could successfully inhibit yeast growth.
Boron is most commonly used to treat vaginal yeast infections. Boron has been used for yeast infections and bacterial vaginal vaginosis for over 100 years. Boric acid is one form of boron. It is used in the form of a boric acid suppository. It is a capsule containing boric acid powder (typically 600mg, as used in studies) and is inserted into the vagina. The usual treatment is for ten days (one suppository each day), although it can start working in as little as 36 hours. Boric acid promotes a healthy acid balance in the vagina. It inhibits yeast growth and relieves symptoms like itching and burning. However, boric acid should not be ingested.
Research supports boric acid’s anti-itch properties. One review of 14 studies that examined boric acid’s effects on yeast infections found cure rates ranged from 40 to 100 percent. It was also effective for women with resistant yeast infections. Research suggests boric acid suppositories might be beneficial for bacterial vaginal infections. A yeast infection can be caused by yeast overgrowth, but bacterial vaginosis occurs when there are excessive bacteria in the vagina. Boric acid can bring the pH level back to normal.
For example, in a 2003 research review by Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey, investigators analyzed various studies that looked at the effectiveness of alternative and complementary medicine for treating yeast infections. Boric acid was found to be beneficial to women suffering from recurrent yeast infections resistant to traditional therapies.
Blood boron tests showed little absorption from the vagina and a half-life of fewer than 12 hours. Patients were more accepting than those who used “messy” vaginal products. Moreover, self-made capsules containing boric acid powder are cheaper than expensive medication usually prescribed by doctors.
Dosage and Side Effects
A more recent review was published in the Journal of Women’s Health (2011). It concluded that boric acid is an economical alternative and safe option for women suffering from recurrent yeast infections. It is usually recommended for ten days, i.e., one each day, ten suppositories containing 600mg of boric acid. It may vary and be case-dependent.
As far as the side effects are concerned, in some cases, boric acid can cause vaginal pain, allergic reactions such as itching,skin rashes, hives, vaginal bleeding, irritation, redness, or burning. In case the side effects persist, one must see the doctor.
Pregnant and nursing mothers and children should not consume boron or boric acid in any form. This includes suppositories, powdered boric acid, or borax solutions to clean infant pacifiers. The NIH warns that boron supplements or high dietary intakes of boron may cause harm to hormone-sensitive individuals, such as breast cancer and endometriosis uterine fibroids. There is concern that boron could increase hormone levels such as estrogen or testosterone in some individuals. People who have impaired kidney function or kidney disease should avoid boron. One should consult your doctor before considering the use of boron. One should be aware that self-treatment of a condition or delay in seeking standard care can have serious consequences.
In her book, ‘The Vagina Bible-The Vulva and the Vagina: Separating the Myth from the Medicine,’ Dr. Jen Gunter recommends that doctors occasionally use boric acid to treat yeast infections that are resistant to treatment. However, they consider it only as the last option. Boric acid is so harsh that it can inflict injuries on the vagina and kill all good bacteria. She said that Boric acid kills the yeast because it nukes everything. She also shared that they actually see quite a significant amount of vaginal trauma from it. We are putting a caustic substance in the vagina, which can damage the mucous and makes one more vulnerable to getting infections. Bottom line: avoid any product with boric acid unless prescribed by a medical doctor.
Boron and Female Health
Boron helps treat yeast infection, but along with that, as a micronutrient, boron has many health benefits. It plays a unique role when it comes to women’s health. Research has shown that boron may play a role in vitamin D and estrogen metabolism and influence cognitive function. It is believed that estrogen can help maintain healthy bones and mental function. It may also increase estrogen levels in healthy older women (post-menopausal). Boron appears to affect how the body deals with other minerals like magnesium and phosphorus. Some research proves that boron can also help with dysmenorrhea. Boron supplements can be used to increase bone mineral density, prevent or treat diseases such as menopausal symptoms and osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
What to look for?
It is crucial to look for products with a seal of approval from an independent organization conducting quality testing when buying. These organizations include U.S. Pharmacopeia and ConsumerLab.com. Although a seal of approval issued by one of these organizations doesn’t guarantee safety or effectiveness, it assures that the product was correctly manufactured and contains all the ingredients on the label. It makes sure that there are no harmful contaminants.
Boron supplements can also be purchased online at many natural-food shops and specialty stores that sell dietary supplements. Remember that the NIH recommends you read the Supplement Facts label before buying a supplement like boron. The label will include important information such as the number of active ingredients per serving and other ingredients.
Boron is not limited to efficacy in terms of treating yeast infections in the body. It is a health supplement with multiple applications and potential for use in treating arthritis, preventing radiation. Boron can also be used to help raise testosterone levels in males who suffer from ED.