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.
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
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
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.