Loosely defined, arthritis is inflammation of the joints. There are many types of arthritis, namely osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, infectious arthritis, gonococcal arthritis, parvovirus arthritis, reactive arthritis, Reiter’s syndrome, and gout. According to the U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, there are about 37 million Americans who are suffering from this painful condition.
Research has shown that there are ways to alleviate the pain and stiffness caused by arthritis. One of them is by taking boron, a naturally occurring mineral that enhances calcium absorption and estrogen metabolism. Traces of boron can be found inside the human body as a result of our consumption of foods, including fruits and vegetables. However, keep in mind that boron is not a part of the essential human diet.
The use of boron in the treatment of arthritis is a fairly new concept. In the early 1908s, Doctor Rex E. Newnham, an Australian doctor suffering from arthritis, hypothesized that since boron has positive effects on bone health, it can be used to treat arthritis. For over a decade, he traveled all over the world, studying how the levels of boron in the soil could affect arthritis. His research took him to Africa, New Zealand, and northwest Australia among other regions. He concluded that plant foods containing higher levels of boron protected the local population from arthritis.
Since after this pioneering study, other health institutions carried out similar studies. The Royal Melbourne Hospital found that the majority of people who suffer from arthritis felt well from taking boron supplements. Meanwhile, the U.S. Human Nutrition Research Center, investigated how exactly boron works to relieve pain and cure arthritis. It concluded that boron helps control a parathyroid gland that controls the mineralization of bones.
So how much boron does it take to ease the pain of arthritis? In Doctor Newnham’s study, he found out that five to six milligrams of boron a day can prevent the development of arthritis. Thus, a higher dose may be needed to treat arthritis. In U.S. studies, however, a daily intake of 2.5 to 6 milligrams of oral boron supplement has been found to be effective in relieving pain caused by osteoarthritis. Patients of psoriatic arthritis, on the other hand, feel relief from pain by topical application of 1.5% boric acid with 3% zinc oxide ointment.
Studies have also shown that consumption of foods rich in boron helps patients suffering from arthritis. Thus, they are advised to consume peanut butter, wine, grapes, beans, peaches, prune juice, nuts, and raw avocado. Indeed, increasing your intake of boron through the consumption of such foods is better than taking concentrated doses of born supplements.
Keep in mind, however, that boron is a potentially toxic mineral. Excessive intake of boron can lead to toxicity, and large doses may even lead to poisoning. As such, extreme caution should be practiced before taking any boron supplements. Getting the advice of a doctor or nutritionist is highly recommended before taking any boron supplements.