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As shared on Facebook: Wake Up World: Arthritis Cure Found in Nature?

This article claims that boron kills amoebae that cause rheumatoid arthritis. It also claims that areas of the world that have higher boron concentrations in the soil have lower rheumatoid arthritis rates.

Did you know that there is a direct correlation between the incidence of arthritis and the presence of trace mineral boron in the body? [...]

Dr. Newnham also found quite a bit of evidence relating the correlation of boron concentration in certain geographical areas and the development of not just rheumatoid arthritis, but common arthritis as well. He found that in certain areas of Australia, where drinking water contained high levels of boron, there were no incidence of arthritis in humans and animals! [...]

In conclusion, worldwide evidence is now starting to link low intake of boron with increased levels of arthritis — proof that arthritis is a symptom of nutritional deficiencies and not simply a “normal” process of aging, as the medical industry would have us believe.

It goes on to recommend some types of food that are (allegedly) high in boron.

Is there evidence that increased ingestion of boron reduces the incidence or severity of rheumatoid arthritis?

[I'm less fussed about whether the proposed mechanism (i.e. boron kills arthritis-causing amoebae) works as to whether the treatment has been proven effective.]

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    I think it's important to note that it claims boron helps for "...not just rheumatoid arthritis, but common arthritis as well." Since the incidence of rheumatoid arthritis is not geographically the same as osteoarthritis (the most "common" form), that's worth taking into consideration. – Is Begot Oct 7 '14 at 14:25
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    So, does that really mean it's a lack of boron, or the presence of amoebae? If I'm not infested, somehow, then the presence or absence of boron makes no difference. – PoloHoleSet Jul 31 '18 at 18:06
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There is some evidence that boron intake by food or supplements (3-6 mg/day) is associated with less symptoms in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Foods high in boron include avocado, lentils, red kidney beans, nuts, prunes and raisins (1-2 mg/serving).

It is currently not clear if boron is an essential nutrient, since there is no agreement if there are any obvious deficiency symptoms due to low boron intake (ScienceDirect).

The following evidence is from few small studies, so more research is needed before making clear conclusions.

Evidence:

1) According to Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database about boron (an article on Medline Plus, last reviewed 2018):

  • Boron is likely effective in preventing boron deficiency.
  • There is insufficient evidence about effectiveness of boron in relieving pain in arthritis.

2) Essentiality of Boron for Healthy Bones and Joints (Environmental Health Perspectives, 1994):

In conclusion, over 30 years of accumulating evidence indicates that boron is essential for healthy bones and joints. Both epidemiologic and controlled animal and human experiments suggest that boron supplementation in amounts found in some diets throughout the world is effective in preventing or treating various forms of arthritis.

3) A small study about the effectiveness of boron in reliving symptoms of osteoarthritis: Boron and Arthritis: The Results of a Double-blind Pilot Study (Tandofline, 2009, a study from 1990):

This report describes the conduct and results of a double-blind trial comparing oral intake of 6 mg of boron per day to placebo in the treatment of arthritis. The results indicate that boron may well be beneficial. Of the 10 patients on boron, five improved and five did not, but only one of the 10 patients on the placebo improved...There were no side-effects and these were sought. The indication is that boron (as sodium tetraborate decahydrate) are safe and beneficial in the treatment of osteo-arthritis and that further research is required.

4) Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study to Evaluate the Effect of Calcium Fructoborate on Systemic Inflammation and Dyslipidemia Markers for Middle-Aged People with Primary Osteoarthritis (Biological Trace Element Research, 2011):

...short-term CF [calcium fructoborate] supplementation (only 15 days) can increase the quality of life for OA patients, with a favorable prognosis for inflammatory states.

5) Boron (Drugs.com):

Studies have shown that the concentration of boron in bones and synovial fluid of people with rheumatoid arthritis is lower than in people without this disorder.

An epidemiologic relationship has also been established between arthritis and low boron intake. In areas of the world where boron intake is 1 mg/day or less, the estimated incidence of arthritis ranges from 20% to 70%, whereas in areas where boron intake is usually 3 to 10 mg/day, the estimated incidence ranges from 0% to 10%. Newnham 1994 Low boron intake may also worsen rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis and decrease the ability to engage in physical exercise that requires a high-energy output.Jamison 2003

6) A double-blind randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial with 60 days treatment in Baghdad: The adjuvant use of calcium fructoborate and borax with etanercept in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: Pilot study (Journal of Intercultural Ethnopharmacology, 2017):

The use of boron, as adjuvant with etanercept, has potentiated therapeutic outcomes in RA [rheumatoid arthritis] patients.

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