Arthritis, bone strength, joints and boron

Boron, a trace mineral, is particularly important to people who want relief from arthritis or rheumatism. This was first discovered in sheep and chicken and is particularly visible in arrid 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 links to less arthritis (less than 1% of population). In Jamaica where there are low levels of boron in the soil, arthritis has hit 70% of the over 60s.

Boron is essential as you age; it was formerly used as a 'sedative salt' for excitable people; it also aids calcium and magnesium absorption.

A reader writes, "The US, England, Australia and New Zealand generally have average soil-boron levels with an estimated 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. These are also high in Israel with an estimated daily boron intake of 5 to 8 mg and only 0.5 - 1% arthritis.

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".