Absolutely nothing is more disheartening and frustrating than to be doing everything you believe to be right, and spending hours a day teaching others about real food and nutrition, while suffering in silence with unexplained joint pain and trying to hide an ever incapacitating limp!
And then at a Weston A. Price conference on nutrition, Sally Fallon casually dropped a ‘precious jewel’ that has given me the promise of a whole new day! A day? (a lifetime?) without the pain, stiffness and inflammation that have become my albatross. I would like to share it with you, because I know that too many people are suffering just like me.
BORON is a mineral that is simply an activator. It helps to activate or cause many other functions to happen within the body. Boron is one of the main minerals used in the bone building process. Boron initiates estrogen by helping convert vitamin D into an active state. The estrogen then improves absorption of calcium. Boron also helps metabolism to take place within the bone. With this metabolism properly functioning, osteoporosis is not a major factor to a person’s health. Once osteoporosis sets in, Boron can play a major role in helping the body to replace lost calcium.
Boron also assists in preventing arthritis and tooth decay. Boron is one of the minerals necessary for building and repairing joint cartilage. Boron is essential in maintaining the correct levels of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus in the body. Boron helps to regulate hormones, especially estrogen and testosterone. Boron also helps maintain brain function and memory capabilities.
Boron deficiency can cause cell walls to become very weak and fragile, rendering the cells incapable of properly transferring nutrients into them. The body depends on Boron for performing most of its functions. With its interactions with calcium and other minerals…
…Boron is a very important part of a long chain that intertwines all the minerals necessary for individual cell growth and health!
Boron is essential for ALL life in plants as well as animals. Boron is essential for the integrity and function of cell walls and the way signals are transmitted across cellular membranes.
When ingested it reacts with hydrochloric acid in the stomach to form Boric acid, ingested Boron compounds are rapidly and nearly completely excreted with the urine.
Chemical fertilizers inhibit the uptake of Boron from the soil. An organic apple grown in rich soil may have 20 mg Boron, but if grown with fertilizer it may have only 1 mg of Boron. The average intake of Boron in developed countries is only 1-2 mg of Boron per day.
This creates health problems due to Boron deficiency which is now very common, but very few of us know about it.
BORON DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS
Boron is necessary throughout the body with the highest concentration in the parathyroid glands, the bones, joints and the dental enamel. It is essential for healthy bone and joint function, it is responsible for regulating the absorption and metabolism of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.
Some symptoms of Boron deficiency are arthritis, brittle bones, carpal tunnel syndrome, degenerative joint disease, hormonal imbalance, loss of libido, memory loss, muscle pain, osteoporosis, receding gum, and weak joint cartilage. Boron deficiency causes greatly increased amounts of calcium and magnesium to be lost with the urine.
Boron deficiency causes the parathyroid to become overactive and stressed which causes the glands to release too much parathyroid hormone. Excess parathyroid hormones raise the blood level of calcium by releasing calcium from the bones, joints and teeth into the blood stream. This then leads to osteoarthritis and other forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile arthritis, spondylitis, gout, lupus, osteoporosis, pyorrhea and tooth decay.
With advancing age high blood levels of calcium lead to calcification of soft tissues causing muscle contractions and stiffness; calcification of the eyes, endocrine glands, especially the pineal gland and the ovaries. Arteriosclerosis, kidney stones, and calcification of the kidneys ultimately leading to kidney failure. When the intracellular calcium levels get too high the cells will die!
Bone analysis has shown that arthritic joints and nearby bones have 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.
Arthritis in its various forms and its close relative osteoporosis affect a very large percentage of the population in developed countries. Osteoporosis is responsible for more long-term hospital care than any other individual disease. This is due to the very high incidence of fractures, and especially the protracted nature of hip fractures.
Please note that these ‘casualties’ are a main source of income for the medical-pharmaceutical system!
HEALTH EFFECTS OF BORON
A Boron supplement will reduce the daily loss of calcium by nearly 50%. As this calcium is withdrawn mainly from your bones and teeth, Boron deficiency may be the most important factor in causing arthritis, osteoporosis and tooth decay today.
Boron affects the metabolism of steroid hormones, and especially the sex hormones. Supplementing with Boron increases low testosterone levels in men and estrogen levels in menopausal women. Boron also has an important role in converting vitamin D to its active form, thus increasing the calcium uptake and deposition into the bones and teeth rather than causing soft tissue to calcify. Also other beneficial effects have been reported such as improvement of heart disease, vision, psoriasis, balance, memory and cognition.
A German cancer researcher by the name of Dr. Paul-Gerhard Seeger has shown that cancer commonly starts with the deterioration of cell membranes. Since Boron is essential for cell membranes and Boron deficiency is widespread, this may be an important cause for the initiation of tumor growth. Boron compounds have anti-tumor properties and are “potent anti-osteoporotic, anti-inflammatory, hypolipemic, anti-coagulant and anti-neoplastic agents” (1).
In the 1960’s a soil and plant scientist by the name of Rex Newnham, Ph.D., D.O., N.D, developed arthritis.
He tried conventional drugs but they not help so he looked for answers in the chemistry of plants. He realized that plants in the area in which he lived were mineral deficient. Knowing that Boron aids calcium metabolism in plants he decided to try supplementing with BORAX. Yes, you read it right…Borax. You may find it unimaginable that Borax, the humble insecticide and laundry detergent seems to be the missing link!
Dr. Newnham took 30 mg of Borax per day and in three weeks ALL pain, swelling and stiffness had disappeared!
The chemical names for Borax are Sodium Tetraborate, Disodium Tetraborate Decahydrate, or Sodium Borate. Chemically it is all the same, it is a naturally occurring mineral commonly mined from dried salt lakes. There is no “food-grade” Borax available or necessary as all Borax is the same and “natural”, it is usually mined in California or Turkey. Borax is commonly used as household cleaner, it is non-toxic and does not contain heavy metals. Pharmaceutical grade is not noticeably purer or better. Borax has antiseptic, antifungal, and antiviral properties but only mild antibacterial action.
Most of Dr. Rex Newnham’s later research was devoted to the relationship between soil Boron levels and arthritis. He published several scientific papers on Borax and arthritis. One was a double-blind trial in the mid 1980’s at the Royal Melbourne Hospital which showed that 70% of those who completed the trial were greatly improved. There were no negative side-effects reported, some participants reported that their heart ailments had also improved, and there was better general health and more energy. (3)
He told public health and medical school authorities about his discovery but they were more concerned about loss of their own profits and ended up instigating a government law that Boron be declared a poison in any concentration. This resulted in Dr. Newnham being fined and threatened and Borax becoming unavailable in the country in which he lived. Before the national ban, many people with arthritis who heard of Dr. Newnham’s discovery were delighted as they began supplementing with Borax and saw vast improvement. Others were afraid to take something that was being sold to kill cockroaches and ants.
SOIL BORON LEVELS
Dr. Rex Newnham’s research found that the traditional sugarcane islands, due to long-term heavy use of fertilizers, have very low soil Boron levels. Jamaica has the lowest level of soil Boron and the arthritis rates of the population are 70%, he noted that even most of their dogs were limping.
The Mauritius islands off the southeast coast of Africa have very low Boron levels and 50% of the populations suffers with arthritis. The daily Boron intake in these countries is less than 1 mg/day.
An interesting comparison is between India and the native Fijians. The Indians are estimated to have an arthritis rate of 40% and eat much rice grown with fertilizer while the native Fijians with an estimated arthritis rate of 10% and eat mainly starchy root vegetables grown without fertilizer.
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 approximately 20%.
Israel has some of the best soil in the world and a very high Boron content, with an estimated daily Boron intake of 5 to 8 mg. An independent survey in 1978-1980 at Kaplan Hospital showed arthritis for the whole country to be less than 1%.
Carnarvon in Western Australia has high Boron levels both in the soil and water, and the arthritis rate is only 1%.
It is similar to a place named Ngawha Springs in New Zealand which has very high Boron levels in the spa water and is acclaimed as a curative for arthritis. A hotel in Ngawha has a collection of wheelchairs and crutches that were left behind by people who no longer needed them when they left to go home after their stay there. Incidentally ALL SPAS reputedly curing arthritis have very high Borax levels.
You may have read about green lipped mussel extract from New Zealand that is claimed to relieve arthritis pain and other symptoms. These mussels were gathered from a volcanic island with vents under the sea. The NZ mussels have absorbed Boron from the sea; that is the secret to their healing properties. Mussels gathered from other areas do not have the same effect because they lack Boron.
SUPPLEMENTING WITH BORAX
Dr. Newnham’s research proved that after Borax supplementation an individual’s bones were much harder and stronger. With additional Boron, bone fractures healed in half the normal time in both man and animal. Horses and dogs with broken legs, and even a broken pelvis, fully recovered. A young girl, aged 9 months, with juvenile arthritis was supplemented with Boron and she was essentially ‘cured’ by Dr. Newnham in 2 weeks.
Rex Newnham’s research indicates that generally people are healed from their arthritis pain, swelling and stiffness in approximately 1 to 3 months.
He also stated that many patients with arthritis commonly experienced a Herxheimer reaction, which is an early aggravation of symptoms with increased pain for a short period of time (you may feel worse before you feel better). It is commonly due to toxins being released by killed Candida and mycoplasma. This is very common with antimicrobial therapy, and borax definitely is an exceptionally good and strong fungicide. Dr. Newnham regarded Herxheimer as a good prognostic sign indicating that the body was healing.
It has been estimated that 55% of Americans over the age of 50 have osteoporosis and of these approximately 80% are women. Worldwide 1 in 3 women and 1 in 12 men over the age of 50 have osteoporosis, and this is responsible for millions of fractures each year. In scientific studies Rats with osteoporosis were given a Boron supplement for 30 days with the result that their bone quality was then comparable with that of the healthy control group and of a group supplemented with estradiol (6).
The beneficial effect of Boron on bones seems to be due to two interrelated effects: a higher Boron content of the bones which makes them harder, and a normalization of sex hormones which stimulates the growth of new bone. Low estrogen levels after menopause are thought to be the main reason why so many older women develop osteoporosis. In men testosterone levels decline more gradually which seems to be reflected in their later onset of osteoporosis as a group.
Research has now shown that Boron supplementation in postmenopausal women doubles the blood level of the most active form of estrogen, 17-beta estradiol, to the level found in much younger women. Equally, the blood levels of testosterone more than doubled (7). Boron appears to BALANCE the levels of sex hormones. With Conventional Synthetic Hormone Replacement Therapy there is a higher risk of breast or endometrial cancer which is NOT known to happen with hormones produced by the body as with Boron supplementation or with Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy.
Breast cancer is related to calcifications in the breast. Tests have shown that it is important to normalize the calcium-magnesium metabolism and cellular membrane functions within the body in order to reduce the risks of breast cancer.
A recent study in younger men (29 – 50) showed that the level of free testosterone (the form that matters most) had risen by one third after a daily supplementation borax for one week (8). This may be of special interest for bodybuilders. Research with Boron has shown that elevated testosterone levels are beneficial by shrinking prostate tumors and PSA levels, PSA being a marker for tumors and inflammation in the prostate gland.
Significantly improved memory and cognition in both sexes of elderly individuals may be partly due to increased levels of sex hormones and to improved membrane functions of the brain cells (9).
FUNGI AND FLUORIDE
Being such an excellent fungicide it is not surprising that Borax is being successfully used to treat Candida overgrowth. There is a great deal of interesting information on an Earth Clinic forum called Borax Cures (10). Many contributors have written that it has completely cured or greatly helped them.
In normal healthy conditions Candida exists as harmless oval yeast cells. When challenged, chains of elongated cells called pseudohyphae develop, and finally strongly invasive long, narrow and tube-like filaments called hyphae. These damage the intestinal wall, and cause inflammation and Leaky Gut Syndrome.
Pseudohyphae and hyphae can be seen in the blood of individuals with cancer and autoimmune diseases. Candida can also form tough layers of biofilm. This same study shows that Borax inhibits the formation of biofilms and also the transformation of harmless yeast cells into invasive hyphal form. Other articles have shown that this process, commonly initiated by antibiotics, is a basic cause of most of our modern diseases, and this makes Borax and Boron primary health remedies. Boron is also used to remove accumulated fluoride and heavy metals from the body (14).
Fluoride not only causes bones and joints to deteriorate, but also the pineal gland to calcify and the thyroid gland to become under-active. Borax reacts with fluoride ions to form Boron fluorides which are then excreted in the urine.
While in good health and especially in younger years a calcium – magnesium ratio of 2:1 is normal and beneficial. But with increasing age, Boron deficiency and resulting disease conditions we REQUIRE progressively less calcium but more magnesium.
Boron is an important regulator of cell membrane functions, especially in regard to movements of calcium and magnesium. In Boron deficiency an excessive amount of calcium moves into the cell while magnesium is unable to move inside to displace the calcium.
This is the condition of old age; and all of the symptoms of boron-deficiency diseases leading up to it.
For Boron to be fully effective in reversing tissue calcification ample magnesium is required. For older individuals 400 to 600 mg of magnesium together with the daily Boron supplementation spaced out during the day. However, the correct form of oral Magnesium must be taken to avoid the usual laxative effect.
Sources strongly doubt whether calcium supplements are needed or even beneficial, even in case of osteoporosis. Tests show that most individuals have plenty of calcium (stored in their soft tissues where it does not belong), and supplementing Boron and Magnesium redeposit this misplaced calcium directly into bones.
Research has shown that the medical focus on high CALCIUM supplemental
intake is a prescription for ACCELERATED AGING…
…we CAN actually turn ourselves into ‘a walking coral reef’!
Long-standing severe calcification buildup cannot be redistributed in a short period of time while on Boron supplementation. Increased calcium levels in affected areas such as the hips and shoulders may cause problems for a considerable time, such as a tendency to severe cramping and pain, or problems with the blood circulation, or nerve transmission. Higher amounts of calcium and fluoride passing through the kidneys may cause temporary kidney pain. Further, kidney pain appears to be mainly due to kidney stones being released, after a few days when the stones are cleared the pain usually stops.
Such healing reactions cannot be avoided when aiming for a higher level of health, but they can be minimized by increasing boron levels only gradually. Whenever you experience an unpleasant effect reduce or temporarily stop boron intake until the problem subsides. Then gradually start increasing again. Helpful additional measures are a greatly increased fluid intake, using more organic acids such as lemon juice or vinegar, and improving lymph flow as with rebounding, walking or inverted positions.
WHAT AND HOW MUCH TO USE….here is where it clearly becomes a personal choice.
Like MANY other people, Sally Fallon the President and Founder of The Weston A. Price Organization, takes pure BORAX dissolved in water, [as I have detailed below], and has benefited greatly and reports excellent results. I too began to supplement with Borax and was experiencing much pain relief of my arthritis in a short period of time but I also began to experience gastrointestinal distress. (Perhaps I was taking too much, I was unable to find an amount of Borax that my body did not react to. I was forced to stop taking Borax because of this.)
Signs of taking too much Borax are not being hungry, nausea, vomiting, lethargy, dermatitis and diarrhea. If you stop taking it for a day or so all of these symptoms will go away. *The antidote for Boron toxicity is to consume extra B2.
Boron TABLETS can be bought from health shops or the Internet, commonly with 3 mg of Boron per tablet. While suitable as a general Boron supplement, it is not known if or how well Boron tablets work, Chelated Minerals are only 40% absorbable in the body. Most scientific studies and individual experiences in regard to arthritis, osteoporosis, or sexual hormones and menopause were with pure Ionic Borax. It is not yet known if non-ionic Boron tablets are as effective as Borax.
CURRENTLY I AM SUPPLEMENTING WITH LIQUID IONIC BORON http://www.healthshop101.com/boron.html without experiencing ANY gastrointestinal issues. I am taking one teaspoon (placed under the tongue where it is absorbed very quickly) twice per day; once in the morning and once after dinner at night, this correlates to 3 mg. of Boron per day.
- Ionic Liquid Minerals are 98% absorbable, being 7000 times smaller than red blood cells.
Since ionic Boron does not build up in the body, it never reaches toxic levels. Therefore feel free to find the amount that works best for you.
In the USA Borax can still be found in the laundry and cleaning sections of supermarkets, (unlike Europe where it is banned, and Australia where it can be found in the ‘poison’ section ha! ). It is very SAFE to use, and is the legal standard for agricultural grade Borax.
Remember that there is no “food-grade” Borax available or necessary because ALL Borax is the same and “natural”. Under ‘Ingredients’ it should list ONLY Sodium Tetraborate.
**Do not buy the ‘New Borax Substitute’, this product has added perfumes and anti-caking compounds**
HERE IS HOW ONE SUPPLEMENTS WITH PURE POWDERED BORAX (which is also an Ionic form of Boron when taken into the body): Dissolve a lightly rounded teaspoonful (5-6 grams) of Borax in 1 quart of filtered water. (Pour a small amount of boiling water in the quart jar first and stir to dissolve; once dissolved, fill the jar with cold, filtered water.) This is your concentrated solution, keep it out of reach of small children.
For the Standard Dose:
1 teaspoon (5 ml) of the above mixed concentrate. This has 25 to 30 mg of Borax and will provide you with approximately 3 mg of Boron.
If you DO have health problems such as arthritis, osteoporosis and related conditions such as, joint-pain, cramps, spasms, or stiffness, menopause, and also to improve low sex hormone production, increase the intake to 1 – 3 Tablespoons (depending on your size and how you feel after taking the doses.) Space-out these doses over the day for several months or longer until you feel that your problem has sufficiently improved. Then drop back to 1 or 2 teaspoons per day for maintenance.
Closely monitor how you feel and adjust accordingly. Stopping the doses for a couple of days per week can be a good protocol, or take one week per month off and then start the doses again. Pay attention to how you feel.
I plan to assess how I feel and I may re-adjust how I am taking the Ionic Liquid Boron and also the number of times per day. In any case I plan to take Boron for the rest of my life to prevent arthritis from coming back, along with any of the other diseases of aging mentioned above.
By the way if the Boron ‘cure’ for the above mentioned diseases should become widely known, the vital income stream for the pharmaceutical Industry would dry up and the system would collapse. Since Big Pharma is the biggest and most profitable industry in the world they will do anything in their power to prevent this from happening. For example, publicly demonizing Borax for ‘alleged’ toxicity that quite simply is NOT true.
Simple TABLE SALT is 100 times more dangerous than Borax! Table Salt changes ones genetic material and is a mutagenic. (A mutagen is a physical or chemical agent that changes the genetic material, usually DNA, of an organism and thus increases the frequency of mutations; such as cancer.) However, have you ever seen a CAUTION statement on a box of Table Salt? Borax is a clean and natural product and is not harmful when taken in small quantities.
I am relieved to find out that my joint issues are simply a Boron deficiency, and now I know how to correct that deficiency. I’m so happy I learned before I went under the knife!
To your health!
The fine print:
Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods or supplements have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (USDuh) and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. I do not have marketing connections to any of the brands, topics or products that I may mention in my blog. ~ Chef Lynda