Boron, a trace mineral, seems increasingly to be an essential mineral having benefits in bone strength, arthritis, brain function and muscle mass as well as being anti-microbial.
is particularly important to people looking for relief from arthritis and/or rheumatism. This was first discovered in animals (sheep and chicken) and has been particularly noted in arid areas, which tend to have higher boron levels.
Indeed there are parts of Australia where the local population has high blood boron levels and this is clearly linked to lowered levels of arthritis (less than 1% of population). In contrast, in Jamaica (where there are low levels of boron in the soil) arthritis has climbed above 70% in adults over 60 years of age.
Boron was formerly used as a ‘sedative salt’ for excitable people, but is now understood to be essential as you age; it also aids calcium and magnesium absorption in the body.
A reader writes, “The US, England, Australia and New Zealand generally have average soil-boron levels with an estimated daily intake of 1 to 2 mg of boron, and arthritis rates of about 20%. But Carnarvon in Western Australia has high boron levels in soil and water, and the arthritis rate is only 1%. There is a similar result in Ngawha Springs in New Zealand with very high boron levels in the spa water which is curative for arthritis. Many spas reputedly curing arthritis have very high boron levels. Levels are also high in Israel with an estimated daily boron intake of 5 to 8 mg and only 0.5 – 1% arthritis amongst older adults.
Bone analysis showed that arthritic joints and nearby bones had only half the boron content of healthy joints. Equally, synovial fluid that lubricates joints and provides nutrients to the cartilage is boron deficient in arthritic joints”.
Boron is a rare mineral and only found in certain areas of the world and is in low concentrations overall. It seems increasingly likely that it is an essential mineral. There are several boron-containing antibiotics in nature and boron is anti-microbial. As such it can be used to treat yeast (candida) infections and has been used as a food preservative.
Research suggests it helps the way the body assimilates calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.
It may help in cases of osteoporosis, athletes sometimes use it to strengthen muscle mass, and some research suggests it helps in anti ageing and brain function. It also seems to improve plasma lipid levels(1).
Food sources of Boron include: almonds, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, apricots, red grapes, raisins, red wine, prunes, red kidney beans, dates and cashews.