We live in an incredibly active culture, with just about everyone participating in some type of activity. Whether it’s sports, fitness, hiking, or just working, people are over-using their knees. Well, it seems like they’re over-using their knees.
With the huge number of doctors’ visits for knee pain, it seems like our knees are falling apart. And they are – but is it due to overuse? Or something else? And what can we do about it? The answer could come in a simple and very common cleaning product.
Our knees were meant to be used. God created our knees to handle the punishment we put them through. But there are extenuating factors that are causing our knees and other joints to wear out.
The biggest factor may surprise you. We’re not using our joints enough. In fact, it’s not our joints that are wearing out – it’s our muscles. Today, so many people work behind a desk and have sedentary lifestyles that the muscles supporting our joints are weak. Then, when we jump up and start doing an activity, our muscles aren’t strong enough to support the joint. Add to this the fact that many are overweight from their sedentary lifestyle, and you have a recipe for joint disaster: weak muscles + excess weight + movement that the muscles can’t support = damage to the joints.
That means exercising your muscles enough to keep them strong and supportive for the health of the joints is vital. Any type of exercise that reduces impact on the joints is best. This can include swimming, weight lifting, and elliptical exercises. While weight lifting increases the weight on the joint, it’s usually not accompanied by an impact that can damage the joint.
On the other side of the spectrum, any fast movement, such as running, cutting, twisting, or jumping can increase your risk of injury. Many people sit all day for their jobs, then get up and go running and wonder why their knees hurt. Their leg muscles have been atrophying all day, for years at a time, and the running puts an enormous impact on the knees, causing damage.
A sedentary lifestyle, weight gain, and a nutrient-deficient diet are all part of the problem. Getting up and moving as much as you can, even standing while you work, can help tremendously for the first two. The third – a nutrient-deficient diet – needs to be addressed by changing what you eat – obviously.
But it also means replenishing the nutrients you’ve lost. And one little trace mineral that we’ve become more and more deficient in could be the key to the entire problem.
How a Simple Cleaning Product Stopped This Man’s Arthritis Pain in 3 Weeks
The discovery of this deficiency was quite ingenious. A PhD from Australia named Rex Newnham saw that the plants in his area were mineral depleted. Because of his chemistry and plant expertise, he knew that plants need boron to metabolize calcium. So he wondered if taking boron might help his arthritis.
What Newnham did next was rather shocking to the medical establishment. He started taking a common household cleaner called Borax. Three weeks later, his arthritis pain was gone – and it didn’t come back. What’s more, his swelling and stiffness were gone too.
Borax, in case you’re not familiar with it, is a household cleaner, but is also used as a pesticide. It’s quite toxic to insects, but in small doses is not toxic to humans and most pets. Borax goes by two chemical names – sodium tetraborate and disodium tetraborate. However, it’s not the same as boric acid (hydrogen borate), which is its chemical cousin. Both are used as low-toxicity pesticides. And both come as white powders that easily dissolve in water. Borax is a natural mineral (which we know as boron) that comes from the ground or evaporated deposits. When you acidify borax, it becomes boric acid.
When used as recommended in small doses, Borax is very safe for humans. But at high doses, it can cause skin and eye irritation. And it also can disrupt hormone levels. The Environmental Protection Agency also found that borax and boric acid can cause testicular atrophy in male mice when they are exposed to high doses over a long period of time. Other animal studies suggest they can cause disruptions in ovulation and fertility in females. But no such side effects have ever occurred in human studies. Besides, you don’t need high doses to treat arthritis.
In 1994, Dr. Newnham published a study where he looked at the worldwide causes of osteoarthritis. Something interesting jumped out in his results. He found that in areas of the world where intake of the trace mineral boron 1.0 mg or less per day, the rate of osteoarthritis ranges from 20-70%. But in places where the intake of boron is 3-10 mg a day, the rate of arthritis plunges from 10% to zero. These are still relatively small doses.
Another study, this one a double-blind placebo study, looked at 20 men and women with X-ray evidence of osteoarthritis. The researchers in this case discovered that people who take 6 mg of boron per day experienced a very positive response. In fact, 50% of the subjects taking this dose improved compared to only 10% receiving the placebo. The form of boron that they used was sodium tetraborate decahydrate, which is the same as Borax.
Other studies have shown similar results. Here’s a sampling:
• Researchers who looked at the content of boron in the bones and joint linings of people with arthritis found significantly lower levels of boron than they do in people without arthritis.
• Another group of researchers found that the levels of boron in arthritic hips is half the level of boron in healthy hips.
• When researchers give rats injuries that lead to arthritis, they found that boron stops the arthritis from forming.
Why You Shouldn’t Use Borax
Even though Borax helped Dr. Newnham eliminate his arthritis and it’s helped thousands of people see the same results, it’s not the best form of boron for fighting arthritis. That distinction belongs to calcium fructoborate. This natural compound is a combination of calcium and boron that are linked to two fructose molecules. As you may know, fructose is the main sugar found in fruit. Boron and fruit are an excellent match, as fruit and fructose are excellent carriers for boron. This means mixing it with fructose allows your body to absorb it better, particularly when you take it in supplement form.
Studies have shown that this innovative form of boron is not only safe and well tolerated, but is more bioavailable than other commercial forms of boron. Other studies have shown that this delivery mechanism works even better for calming inflammation and suppressing the potent free-radical superoxide ion. And just as importantly, it’s much safer than Borax. There are studies that have given as much as 3 mg of calcium fructoborate per pound to humans – and they didn’t experience any toxicity or side effects. If you do the math, that’s about 450 mg for a 150 pound adult. That’s safer than any conventional pain reliever on the market. But does it really work?
A few years ago, researchers divided 60 men and women with painful arthritic knees into two groups. They had half of them take 110 mg of calcium fructoborate. The other half took a placebo. After two weeks, the researchers said, “Results showed that supplementation with calcium fructoborate significantly improved knee discomfort in the study subjects.” What was interesting about this study is that the pain relief really increased in the second week. In fact, it almost doubled. So it takes a little time – though not very much – for the compound to be most effective.
As you can see, boron could be the missing link in arthritis treatment. Unfortunately, most people are deficient in this vital trace mineral. Our soils are depleted and we don’t eat enough fruits and veggies – the primary source of boron. So if you want to fight arthritis, make sure you’re taking at least 5 mg a day. It could be the difference between living in pain and living pain free!
Environ Health Perspect. 1994 November;102 Suppl 7:83-5. “Essentiality of boron for healthy bones and joints.”
Naghii, M.R., M. Mofid, et al. “Comparative effects of daily and weekly boron supplementation on plasma steroid hormones and proinflammatory cytokines.” J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2011.
Pietrzkowski, Z., M.J. Phelan, et al. “Short-term efficacy of calcium fructoborate on subjects with knee discomfort: a comparative, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study.” Clin Interv Aging. 2014 June 5;9:895-9.
Reyes-Izquierdo, T., M.J. Phelan, and R. Keller. “Short term efficacy of a combination of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate compared to a combination of glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate and calcium fructoborate on improvement of knee discomfort in healthy subjects. A comparative, double blind, placebo controlled acute clinical study.” Journal of Aging Research & Clinical Practice, volume 3, number 4, 2014.
Scorei, R.I. and P. Rotaru. “Calcium fructoborate—potential anti-inflammatory agent.” Biol Trace Elem Res. 2011 December;143(3):1223-38.