Boron for Osteoarthritis

Boron is a trace mineral that helps the body use calcium and magnesium. It may also help prevent bone loss and improve bone and joint health. Boron is found in fruits like apples, pears, and grapes; vegetables, nuts and dried beans.

Common uses:

To treat osteoarthritis and osteoporosis; improve memory, regulate hormones, and help the body metabolize magnesium.

Scientific Evidence

Studies of large populations indicate that in areas of the world where the intake of boron is one mg a day or less, the range of arthritis is 20 to 70 percent. In populations which get 3 to 10 mg of boron a day, the incidence is far less, about zero to 10 percent. [Environ Health Perspect. 1994 Nov; 102 Suppl 7:83-5.] In a 1996 British study, researchers found that bone close to arthritic joints had significantly lower concentrations of boron than normal joints. [Bone. 1996 Feb; 18 (2): 151-7.] A small British study showed that boron aids those with osteoarthritis. [Journal of Nutritional Medicine. Vol.1.Abingdon, Oxfordshire. U.K.: Carfax, 1990: 127-32.]

piece of boron on periodic table of elements

Side Effects and Interactions

• May cause diarrhea and upset stomach.

• May irritate skin, mouth, eyes and throat.

• May increase levels of calcium in the blood, especially if you are already taking supplements containing calcium.

Safety Concerns

• Excessive doses can be poisonous.

• Boron may increase estrogen levels, which could up the risk of cancer in some women. It should not be taken with birth control pills, hormonal replacement therapy or any drugs containing estrogen.

• Those with an allergy to boric acid, borax, citrate, aspartate or glycinate should not take boron.

• Pregnant and nursing women should avoid boron.


Doses of 3 to 6 mg a day have been used in studies. You may already get 3 mg of boron from your diet and/or from a multivitamin, so you should not take more than three additional mg a day. Calcium supplements often contain boron so be sure to read the label.

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