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Low boron, higher arthritis

Dr Rex Newnham's research has found persuasive evidence worldwide linking low intake of boron with increased levels of arthritis. In parts of Australia, for instance, where the drinking water contains high boron levels (seven parts per million), there is no arthritis in either humans or animals. Other examples are:

  • In Israel, with high soil boron levels, arthritis runs at 1% compared to 20% in the US, with both low water and low soil boron levels
  • The Zhosa tribe in South Africa drinks high-boron water. Only 3% of its people suffer from arthritis until they move into cities, where their arthritis levels quickly rise to those pertaining in that area

The opposite is also true. In parts of the world where boron intake (from both food and water) is under one milligram a day, arthritis levels generally run between 20% and 70%.

click here for more articles on boron

click here to view boron-based Osteo-trace Bone Food supplement

Ed.- According to Dr. Alexander G. Schauss, boron’s apparent ability to relieve arthritis may stem from its role in the formation of specific steroid hormones. Boron can complex with hydroxyl groups and form corticosteroids, which are known to alleviate symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis.


Country and ------- Daily intake - Incidence -------- Remarks ----
--- Source ---------- (mg boron) -- Arthritis % ------------------------

Jamaica 1974 ----------- <1 ---------- 70 ---------------- All food crops
soil analysis ---------------------------------------------------- deficient

Mauritius ----------------- <1 ---------- 50 ---------------- Most food crops
sugar cane analysis------------------------------------------ deficient

Fijian Indians ------------- 1 ---------- 40 ----------------- Eat mostly rice

Native Fijians ------------ 3-5 -------- 10 ----------------- Eat mostly root
---------------------------------------------------------------------- vegetables

USA, UK, Australia, ---- 1-2 --------- 20 ------------------- Most elderly
South Africa -------------------------------------------------------- arthritic
food analyses

Xhosa tribe/Transkei --- 2-5 --------- 3 ---------------- Eat native grown
(Meyers 1977) ----------------------------------------------- maize without
---------------------------------------------------------------------- fertiliser
Xhosa in big cities ------ 1-2 --------- 20 -------------- Eat commercial
--------------------------------------------------------------------- maize grown
--------------------------------------------------------------------- with fertiliser

Carnarvon, Australia --- 6-10 -------- 1 ----------------- Soil and water (survey 1981) --------------------------------------------------- high boron
------------------------------------------------------------------------ content

Israel (Volcanic Inst. -----10+ -------- 0.7 ----------------- Water high
and 1981) ------------------------------------------------------ boron content

Most groundwater supplies in the US and Europe have low boron levels, leaving plenty of scope for safe boron supplementation. Some bottled waters are a rich source, yielding up to 4.5mg a litre. Pears, grapes, nuts, cabbage, parsley and dandelion are also good sources, but only if they have been grown in boron-rich soils.

View boron-based Osteo-trace supplement

Conventional medical research findings

  • Low boron intake (less than 2mg/day) has been linked to a 20% increased risk of developing arthritis
  • The maximum safe daily intake of boron is 13 milligrams
  • Adequate levels of boron may be important for brain function, and appear to raise oestrogen and testosterone levels, possibly increasing fertility
  • A daily intake of 1.8 milligrams of boron appeared to have reduced men’s risk of developing prostate cancer by a half
  • There is evidence of lower boron concentrations in femur heads, bones, and synovial fluid from people with arthritis
  • The bones of patients using boron supplements are much harder to cut than those of patients not using supplements
  • In areas of the world where boron intakes usually are 1.0 mg or less/day the estimated incidence of arthritis ranges from 20% to 70%. In areas of the world where boron intakes are usually 3-10mg/day the estimated incidence of arthritis ranges from 0% to 10% [1]

Dr Newnham's book

Beating arthritis and beating osteoporosis
Dr Rex Newnham worked on the links between boron and arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis and fibromyalgia for over 40 years. Beating Arthritis and Beating Osteoporosis described his findings and gave his advice on boron supplementation. He found that boron supplementation can also help animals.

In his review of Beating Arthritis and Beating Osteoporosis
Dr J.R. Mansfield (past president of the British Society for Allergy, Environmental and Nutritional Medicine) stated that boron supplementation doubled his success rate when treating osteo-arthritis. He also stated that Rex deserved enormous credit for his single-handed discovery “which should ... result in millions of people being spared the agonies of this highly unpleasant condition”.

[1] Newnham,RE. Environmental Health Perspectives 1994;102:83-85

(12774) Nick Anderson. Green Health Watch Magazine 1.6.03