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How can boron help people with osteoarthritis?

Howard S. Smith
Pain Medicine
Boron is an essential trace element for plants but has only recently been considered essential for humans. In Australia, where much of the food is grown on soil deficient in this mineral, it is reported that boron supplements were popular as a treatment for osteoarthritis. These supplements started to sell at a rate of 10,000 bottles per month before the Australian government took the boron products from the market.

An interesting study on boron comes from Australia where 20 people were randomly assigned to receive boron (6 milligrams per day) or a placebo for eight weeks. Fifty percent of those patients who took boron experienced improvement compared with only 10% of those taking a placebo. There were no reported side effects, and researchers concluded that boron supplementation may be helpful for individuals with osteoarthritis whose diets are low in boron.

There is no established recommendation for boron intake. The best food sources are iron-enriched cereals and breads, fruits, vegetables, legumes (dried beans and peas), dried fruits, leafy greens, nuts and seeds. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.