Boron Clinical Evidence

Environmental Health Perspectives

Newnham, R.E. Essentiality of boron for healthy bones and joints. 1994; 102 (Suppl 7):83–85.

Topic:

What is the role of boron in bone and joint health?

Background:

Boron is an essential nutrient for plants, but its role as a nutrient for animals and humans is debated.

Study Type:

Review paper

Summary:

The author presents the following evidence for the importance of boron to bone and joint health:

  • The bones and joint synovial fluid of subjects with arthritis have lower concentrations of boron than those of people without arthritis.
  • The bones of subjects who have supplemented with boron are stronger than those of people who have not.
  • Arthritis incidence in geographic areas with low boron levels in the soil is higher (20%–70%) than in places with higher boron levels (0%–10%).
  • Experimental evidence shows rats with arthritis benefit from boron supplementation.
  • A 20-person, double -blind, placebo-controlled trial showed a significant improvement in arthritis symptoms after boron supplementation. 

Conclusion:

“In conclusion, over 30 years of accumulating evidence indicates that boron is essential for healthy bones and joints…. Because boron is of apparent clinical and nutritional importance, efforts should be expanded to ensure that people consume enough of this important element every day.”

Journal of Nutritional Medicine

Travers, R.L. Rennie, G.C., and Newnham, R.E. Boron and arthritis: the results of a double-blind pilot study. 1990; 1:127–32.

Topic:

Is boron an effective treatment for arthritis?

Background:

Anecdotal, epidemiological, and animal evidence points to a role for boron in bone and joint health. Can it alleviate the symptoms of arthritis?

Study Type:

Human clinical intervention trial

Study Design:

Double-blind, placebo-controlled. Subjects took boron supplements and were assessed at base line, 3 weeks, and 8 weeks.

Results:

In the treatment group, 50% of subjects showed improvement, while only 10% of the placebo group did. Of those who completed the trial, 71% of the boron group improved.

Conclusion:

“The indication is that boron (as sodium tetraborate decahydrate) is safe and beneficial in the treatment of osteoarthritis and that further research is required.”

Biological Trace Element Research

Scorei, R.I., and Rotaru, P.,  Calcium fructoborate—potential anti-inflammatory agent. 2011 Dec; 143(3):1223–38.

Topic:

Can calcium fructoborate reduce inflammation?

Background:

Calcium fructoborate is a boron-based supplement with a chemical structure similar like that of several naturally occurring forms of boron.

Study Type:

Review paper

Summary:

The researchers report that in vitro studies show calcium fructoborate is an antioxidant with an anti-inflammatory effect. It blocks the production of inflammatory mediators, such as cytokines. Animals and human studies have found that at doses of 17 mg/kg body weight, calcium fructoborate effectively reduced inflammation, with negligible side effects.

Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology

Naghii, M.R. et al. Comparative effects of daily and weekly boron supplementation on plasma steroid hormones and proinflammatory cytokines. 2011 Jan; 25(1):54–8.

Topic:

What are the short-term effects of boron supplementation on steroid hormone levels and proinflammatory markers?

Background:

Previous research has demonstrated quick bioavailability of boron at a dose of 11.6 mg.  

Study Type:

Human clinical intervention study

Study Design:

Subjects took a placebo on the first day and a boron supplement for the next 7 days. Blood samples were collected at base line and every 2 hours for 6 hours after the first dose, then again after 7 days.

Subjects:

8 healthy male subjects

Dosage:

10 mg/day for 7 days

Conclusion:

Boron levels rose significantly hours after consumption. After 6 hours, there was a significant reduction of sex-hormone-binding globulin (which binds testosterone to fat and makes it less available to the body), as well as C-reactive protein and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (markers of inflammation). After 1 week, free (unbound) testosterone, cortisol (a hormone that can reduce inflammation), and vitamin D levels had all risen, and estradiol (an estrogen) and all markers of inflammation had fallen.

Mechanism of Action

Boron helps reduce inflammation by regulating the production of inflammatory mediators. It decreases the production of cytokines and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (which create inflammation) and C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation). Boron also up-regulates vitamin D, increasing circulating levels of the vitamin in the body. Boron increases blood levels of antioxidants such as glutathione and vitamin C and reduces DNA damage and markers of oxidative stress, such as malondialdehyde and protein carbonyl.