Osteopenia, Osteoporosis, and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Osteopenia, Osteoporosis, and Rheumatoid Arthritis

osteoporosis health,osteopenia health,arthritis,rheumatoid arthritis,boronBoron has been in the news lately, and according to Health Canada, it is possibly an essential trace mineral and one needed by the body to prevent osteopenia, osteoporosis, or rheumatoid arthritis. Osteopenia, osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis are connected in that bone loss occurs in all three, which can lead to broken bones, a loss of independence, and life threatening complications.

According to a study conducted in 1994 by naturopathy Dr. Rex E. Newnham and published in the Journal of Applied Nutrition, Vol. 46, No. 3 (1994), boron may retard bone loss; however, other studies need to be conducted to verify boron’s effectiveness in bone loss prevention. Currently, doctors are unsure exactly how boron helps. They believe boron may affect the calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus balance, as well as mineral movement and parathyroid hormone regulation. However, there is a question as to what exactly causes the disruption of calcium absorption and whether the problem is related to a deficiency of boron, a vitamin D deficiency, or both.

There does seem to be a relation between boron and arthritis and boron and osteopenia/osteoporosis. For instance, Newnham was able to show a connection between boron and arthritis levels in Israel and Jamaica, Mauritius, and Fiji. Israeli residents had high levels of boron in their soil and low arthritis rates (less than 0.5 percent), whereas, in Jamaica, Mauritius, and Fiji, soil boron levels are extremely low, and these groups show a much high degree of arthritis (70 percent, 50 percent, and 20-30 percent, respectively). In relation to osteoporosis, a study published in 1987 in the FASEB Journal, found “supplementation of a low-boron diet with an amount of boron commonly found in diets high in fruits and vegetables induces changes in postmenopausal women consistent with the prevention of calcium loss and bone demineralization.”

Dr. Elson M. Haas, author of Staying Healthy With Nutrition, suggests adequate levels of boron are 3-5 mg daily but claims American’s dietary intake is 1.2 mg per day. Therefore, Haas recommends supplements for people suffering from osteoporosis or arthritis. For postmenopausal women he recommends 3 to 5 mg of boron daily, taken at the beginning of a meal to avoid irritation and the supplementation amount spread out equally over three meals. Haas also recommends boron-rich foods be eaten daily, which means fresh foods (and preferably organic) should be eaten instead of canned, frozen, or packaged foods.

As far as boron’s toxicity, Haas and other doctors note that taking 5 mg or less is unlikely to cause any harm as boron does not accumulate in the body and is rapidly excreted in the urine. However, boron can affect those who are sensitive to it (the person would immediately experience nausea or vomit) or those peole who use excessive amounts, which would result in a B2 deficiency, anemia, seizures, hair loss, and skin problems over time.

Boron-Rich Foods
(Approx. 1/2 Cup)
(Approx. 1/2 Cup)
 Raisins 4.51  Peach 0.52
 Almonds 2.82  Celery 0.50


 Grapes (Red) 0.50
 Apricots (Dried) 2.11  Honey 0.50
 Avocado 2.06  Olives 0.35
 Peanut Butter 1.92  Apple (Red Delicious) 0.32
 Brazil Nuts 1.72  Bran (Wheat) 0.32
 Walnuts 1.63  Pear 0.32
 Kidney Beans (Red) 1.40  Broccoli 0.31
 Prunes 1.18  Carrot 0.30
 Cashews (Raw) 1.15  Orange 0.25
 Dates 1.08  Onion 0.20
 Shiraz Cabernet 0.86  Potato 0.18
 Lentils 0.74  Banana 0.16
 Chick Peas 0.71    


    Warning Note:

     If you decide to take baron, don’t lie down for at least thirty minutes
    after taking it. Doing so can erode the esophageal sphincter
    and result in Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).

    One site that does cellular nutrition and looks at “synergism,
    antagonism, recommended dietary allowances, toxicity/deficiency signs
     and symptoms, and cellular interactions with other biological factors
    and various disease processes,” reports boron reduces levels of
    manganese and calcium. The site also claims “the only circumstances
    which would justify the use of boron for osteoporosis—or any other
    condition—are situations where patients suffer from any type of liver
    disease that results in high manganese levels, which would otherwise
    have the potential to cause calcium (and magnesium) depletion.”

    Acccording to Aetna’s Intelihealth created by the faculty of Harvard
    Medical School
    , “Dietary boron can affect the breakdown of steroid
    hormones and several other nutrients, including calcium, magnesium
    and vitamin D, increasing their levels in the blood. If boron is used with
    antacids containing magnesium (Maalox, milk of magnesia), the
    beneficial effects that boron may have on calcium and estrogen may be reduced. Boron may increase estrogen levels if taken with drugs that
    contain estrogen (birth control pills, hormone replacement therapies). Alzheimer’s drug agents, analgesics, androgens, anti-inflammatories, antilipemics agents, antineoplastic agents, antiviral agents, arthritis
    agents, dopamine agonists, dopamine antagonists, drugs that damage
    the liver, osteoporosis agents, and drugs eliminated  by the kidneys
    may interact with boron.”


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