The Case of Missing Boron and Arthritis Pain

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Can a natural substance sometimes labeled as “poison” help 80% of all arthritis pain? A double blind clinical study proved that it can. Yet this trace mineral is not well known to the public. The story of boron has some intrigue. Read on to find out about the discovery of  this little-known mineral, and how it just might be the answer to your arthritis pain.

Quote of the Week:

"Trouble has no necessary connection with discouragement. Discouragement has a germ of its own, as different from trouble as arthritis is different from a stiff joint."

- F. Scott Fitzgerald

Boron Depletion Boron is a trace mineral your body needs to build bone and joint tissue. It’s found in many fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and beans. However, it has been severely depleted in most of the soil in the U.S., so the foods we eat may not contain the amounts of boron we need. A PubMed study shows that people with arthritis have less boron in their joints and bones. In countries where people get 3-10 mg a day, arthritis rates range from zero to 10 percent of the population. In areas where boron intake is three milligrams a day or less, the rates of arthritis can reach as high as 70 percent. The Boron Story An interesting story reveals discovery of the connection between boron and arthritis. Rex E Newnham PhD DO ND BANT is an international nutritional consultant, specializing in trace minerals and nutrition. He learned about boron 40 years ago when he developed arthritis. Here is a condensed version of his account. You can read thecomplete story here. Clay Soil“Forty years ago I developed arthritis that made walking difficult. I tried various medicines that did not help, and started looking for a reason for my arthritis. I had recently moved from a home on good clay soil to a home on sandy soil. I was teaching chemistry, soil science and agricultural botany at Fremantle Technical College, Australia. The clay soil showed mineral deficiencies and I looked into the properties of these minerals to see if there was anything to do with bone or joints. One of the deficient minerals was boron, but it was written off as not needed. Yet I knew that in green plants, boron was needed for proper usage of calcium. Bone contains a lot of calcium, and I wondered if boron could have anything to do with the calcium in bone. The most common compound of boron was borax, so I looked into the properties of borax and saw that it had about the same toxicity as common salt or sodium chloride. Borax is often labeled as 'poison', but salt is not. I experimented with taking borax, and in ten days the pain was less. In two weeks the swelling was going down and in three weeks all the pain, swelling and stiffness had gone. So I stopped taking the borax, and a year later it all returned. I took some more borax and soon all the pain, swelling and stiffness had gone again. I told other people who had arthritis and they were getting well, but they didn’t want to buy a packet of borax which was labeled 'poison, for killing cockroaches and ants'. So I began to make borax tablets and sell them. Then I did a foolish thing. I went to a drug company in Melbourne to see if they would make these tablets. At first they seemed interested and they paid for a double blind clinical trial at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. Then they realized that borax could not be patented, so they lost interest, and even made the Australian government declare boron a legal poison. That made me a criminal and I was fined for selling a poison. Clinical TrialI gave up teaching and studied to become a naturopath and nutritionist. I went to New Zealand, South Africa, Britain and America where boron was not a legal poison. I conducted a double blind clinical trial that lasted five years and was a success – 80% of those who used boron got better and those who used a placebo did not get better.” Newnham concludes: “There are people who claim a number of causes for arthritis, such as cold weather, too much weight, eating plants in the nightshade family and food allergies, such as that caused by wheat, oats, eggs, chicken, coffee, tea, beef and pork. Some people have used exclusion diets and have corrected their arthritis by these means. It is likely that some factors in these allergy-causing foods do affect certain joints or other parts of the body. Many different methods have been used to help these people, such as zinc supplements, copper supplements, nicotinamide, and evening primrose oil. All these can help some pain but none seems to help the great majority of joint pains or arthritis in the same way as a boron supplement, which helps 98% of all arthritic pains.”

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