This review summarizes the progress made in establishing essential roles for boron in human physiology and assesses that progress in view of criteria for essentiality of elements. The evidence to date suggests that humans and at least some higher animals may use boron to support normal biological functions. These include roles in calcium metabolism, bone growth and maintenance, insulin metabolism, and completion of the life cycle. The biochemical mechanisms responsible for these effects are poorly understood but the nature of boron biochemistry suggests further characterization of the cell signaling molecules capable of complexing with boron. Such characterization may provide insights into the biochemical function(s) of boron in humans.