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Health Benefits of Borax:

Normalizing Calcium-Magnesium Metabolism
for Bone Health and More
by Catherine M. Haug, July 2012
Return to Boron: Introduction & Overview of Benefits
Boron & Arthritis: The research of Dr. Rex Newman
Double-blind study
Relationship: low soil levels of boron and arthritis
Bone & joint studies
Boron & Osteoporosis
Cal-Mag Metabolism
Health Benefits (separate articles under construction)
Borax as a Supplement (includes how to prepare,
dosage, side effects and toxicity concerns)
Borax and Sex Hormones (includes discussion of
osteoporosis, post-menopausal low estrogen, breast
cancer and prostrate health)
Borax and Fluoride or Heavy Metal Toxicity
Borax and Politics
See also (this site)
Introduction to Bone Health

Photo from Amazon

I am not a doctor and am not qualified to advise you on

your specific health situation.

The information on this and related pages is a paraphrase of Walter Last's The Borax
Conspiracy (although I've added a few notes of my own). Ive also saved his article as a
WebArchive file, in the event his article is lost: borax_WalterLast.webarchive.

Cats introduction to the topic of bone health

Arthritis, osteoporosis and atheroslcerosis (hardening arteries) are closely related disorders,
in that all involve deposits of calcium accumulating in the wrong places. and boron plays a
significant role in all three.
The problem created by synthetic fertilizers
To me, it is not surprising that all three of these disorders are happening with more frequency,
and to younger people, than in times prior to WWII. What is significant about WWII? The
process to fix nitrogen (convert the gas to ammonia) was invented to produce explosives
used in bombs. After the war, the companies that did that conversion needed another outlet for
their product, and they found it in synthetic fertilizers. They bought up small farms to create the
large corporate farms we know today; these large farms then used the synthetic fertilizers that
the small family farms were reluctant to use.
And with the extensive use of synthetic fertilizers, our soils became depleted of essential
minerals that were previously made in a useable form by the organisms that thrive in rich soils.
Instead, the minerals included in the synthetic fertilizers were simply washed away into ground
water and streams, rather than staying in the soil. Boron is one of those minerals that has
been lost.
You can augment your garden soil with borax, so that your plants (and ultimately you) will be
more rich in boron content. However, your plants will suffer if you use too much (borax is also
known as a weed-killer, and any plant can be a weed). See Cats Garden: Soil Augmentation
for more.
Factors affecting bone health
It seems science discovers a new factor every few years, so Im sure there are more yet to be
discovered. So far we know the following:
Several macro-minerals, (those which are in greatest abundance in the body and are
needed in significant amounts in our diet) play key roles: calcium, magnesium,
phosphorus, potassium. See below for more on the role these play.
Many trace minerals (these are usually needed at dietary levels less than 100 mg, day)
are also important, either directly or indirectly (by influencing the effect of other minerals).
In fact, it is my belief that all the minerals found naturally in sea water (not contaminated
seas) have benefit for our bones and other tissues.
Zinc plays a role in bone growth, and inhibits bone loss. (see Zinc and bone loss, and
Livestrong: Zinc & Bone Loss.
Copper also plays a role in bone density by affecting the balance of osteoblasts (boneforming cells) and osteoclasts (bone-removing cells). (see Health Benefits of Copper).
One should bear in mind that zinc and copper need to be maintained in proper balance of
10:1 (zinc to copper).
Boron affects bone and joint health by influencing the parathyroid glands and the
parathyroid hormone (PTH) produced there. It is needed for the body to use calcium and
magnesium properly. This mineral is the focus of this series of articles.

Nickel, selenium, silica, vanadium and other trace minerals also play roles that are not
yet fully understood. (see Alge-Cal: Health Benefits of Trace Minerals)
The hormones PTH (from the parathyroid glands) and calcitonin(from thyroid) direct the
dissolution and resorption of calcium from/to bone tissue, respectively; these glands in
turn are controlled by other hormones from the brain and pituitary gland The sex
hormones testosterone and estrogen also play significant roles in bone health. See Bone
Development & Structure for lots more.
Vitamins D and K. the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone also play a significant
Exercise - especially weight-bearing exercise is also important.

See my article Introduction to Bone Health for more on this general topic.

Boron and arthritis: The Research of Dr. Rex Newman

As mentioned in Boron: Introduction & Overview of Benefits, the introduction to this series of
articles, boron is essential for healthy bone and joint function. It works by regulating the
absorption and metabolism of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus through its influence on
the parathyroid glands. These glands cannot function properly without adequate boron, just as
the thyroids cannot function properly without adequate iodine. More on this below (see CalMag Metabolism). but first, a review of the pioneering work of an Australian scientist.
The following is from Walter Last's The Borax Conspiracy.

Dr Newmans arthritis
In the 1960s, Dr. Rex Newman, an Australian soil and plant scientist, looked to the chemistry
of plants for help in treating his osteo-arthritis. Boron aids calcium metabolism in plants, so he
postulated it would also help in humans, and decided to try it. Because boron deficiencies in
plants are treated by adding borax as a soil amendment, he started his treatment with 30 mg
borax daily. After 3 weeks ALL of his arthritis symptoms (pain, stiffness) were gone.
His efforts to get the attention of the medical and pharmaceutical community to recognize the
value of his treatment went nowhere, and indeed placed roadblocks in his path. He was fined
by the Australian government for selling poison. He tells his story on the website WHALE

Double-blind study
He published several scientific papers on treatment of arthritis with borax, including a doubleblind trial which showed (WL-3):
70% of those who completed the trial were greatly improved;
Only 12% improved when on placebo.
No negative side effects
Some reported their heart ailment had also improved
There was better general health and less tiredness.

Relationship between low soil levels of boron, and arthritis

He continued to study the relationship between low boron levels in the soil, and arthritis in
humans. Areas with long-term use of chemical fertilizers have extremely low boron levels in
the soil, and the local people have high levels of arthritis. Walter cites the example of Jamaica
and the sugar cane industry with long-term use of chemical fertilizers. The soil has the lowest
level of boron in the soil (of places he studied) and 70% of its people suffer from arthritis.
Mauritus is another example with very low levels of boron, and 50% arthritis in its population.
The daily intake of dietary boron in these countries is less than 1 mg/day - extremely low.
In the US, we have an average boron intake of 1 - 2 mg/day, with arthritis levels above 20% of
our population. By contrast, areas like Carnarvon in western Australia have high soil levels of
boron and arthritis rate of only 1%. Clearly, Dr. Newman was on to something.

Bone & joint studies

These show that osteo-arthritic joints and nearby bones had only half the content of boron
content of healthy joints. Similarly, the synovial fluid (that lubricates the joints and provides
nutrients to the cartilage) is boron deficient in arthritic joints. After boron supplementation, the
bones were much harder (and surgeons found them difficult to saw through - why were they
sawing them?).
Bone fractures healed faster (half the time) when human and animal patients were treated with
He found that boron treatment was also effective against Rheumatoid Arthritis, Juvenile
Arthritis, and Lupus.
Boron treatment used in studies
Boron treatment in these studies consisted of three tablets each containing 3 mg boron, daily,
or total of 9 mg boron. (Cats note: I believe the form of boron used in these treatments was Dr.
Newmans borax tablets). Treatment typically takes 1 - 3 months for pain, welling and stiffness
to disappear in the affected joints. At that point, the dosage can be reduced to 1 tablet (3 mg
boron) per day as a maintenance dose.
If a patient experiences a Herxheimer reaction, this is a positive, healing sign; Dr Newman
recommends persevering another 2 - 3 weeks when the pain, swelling and stiffness will be
gone. (The Herxheimer reaction is commonly associated with candida and mycoplasma dieoff; see my article: Borax as a Supplement under Side Effects for more on this. See also The Healing Crisis, or Herxheimer Reaction).
For cofactors in arthritis treatment, Walter refers the reader to his articles:
Arthritis and Rheumatism
Overcoming Arthritis (available as an e-book, for a fee)

Boron and Osteoporosis

As mentioned in Boron: Introduction & Overview of Benefits, the introduction to this series of
articles: Boron is essential for redistributing calcium deposits from soft tissues to bone and
teeth (when adequate magnesium is present), thus reversing osteoarthritis and hardened
arteries. It also has a role in converting vitamin D to its active form. This in turn increases
calcium uptake and deposition into bones and teeth (as opposed to calcification of soft

The following is from Walter Last's The Borax Conspiracy

Osteoporosis and Sex Hormones

When functioning properly, bone tissue is broken down and rebuilt every day. The old, tired
tissue is broken down, releasing or resorbing calcium and magnesium into the blood, and new
tissue is built to replace it, taking up or adsorbing these minerals from the blood. However,
other problems besides aging tissue can cause resorption, such as when needed to break
down proteins during digestion. Once that digestion is complete, the bone tissue adsorbs the
Health problems and nutrient deficiencies, too, can cause resorption. When this happens,
there is too much calcium and magnesium in the blood. The blood tightly controls the levels of
these (and other) minerals within a very narrow range, so it sends it to the kidneys for
excretion in the urine, or it deposits it in soft tissue like joints, causing arthritis (see above) and
arteries, causing atherosclerois (hardened arteries). And the depletion of calcium from the
bones and teeth can lead to osteoporosis.
[Cats comment: Most people believe osteoporosis is not reversible so the best defense it to
take more calcium (or drugs that interfere with normal adsorption/resorption in a desperate
attempt to keep resorption from happening). However, osteoporosis can be reversed if the real
cause of the depletion is addressed].
And this is where boron comes into play. Supplemental boron can reverse daily loss of
calcium by 50%! That is significant

It has been estimated that 55% of Americans over 50

have osteoporosis and of these about 80% are women.
Worldwide 1 in 3 women and 1 in 12 men over the age
of 50 may have osteoporosis, and this is responsible
for millions of fractures each year. Rats with
osteoporosis were given a boron supplement for 30
days with the result that their bone quality was now
comparable with that of the healthy control group and of
a group supplemented with oestradiol (6).
The beneficial effect of borax on bones seems to be
due to two interrelated effects: a higher boron content
of the bones which makes them harder, and a
normalisation of sex hormones which stimulates the
growth of new bone. Low oestrogen 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.


Topic: Text


Walter Lasts References from his original article on Boron

WL-5 and Arthritis.pdf
WL-17 http:/

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