Boron, Magnesium and Vitamin D

Vitamin D's classical importance in regulating calcium-phosphorus homeostasis and maintaining bone metabolism is well-known.  Often overlooked, however, are boron and magnesium, which are just as important as vitamin D for maintaining healthy bones and joints.


  • Boron is an essential trace mineral that can be gotten from fruits and vegetables.  However, because of modern agriculture and its dependence on chemical fertilizers, we are getting much less boron (and other essential trace minerals) from food than we were 50 or 100 years ago.
  • In areas of the world where the average intake of boron is 1 mg per day, the incidence of arthritis ranges from 20 to 70%.  By contrast, in regions where boron intake is 3 to 10 mg per day, the incidence of arthritis ranges from 0 to 10%.  The estimated average intake in the European Union is 0.8 to 1.9 mg of boron per day. 
  • Boron is essential:  for bone development and regeneration; it increases the expression of proteins that induce new joint cartilage growth; it increases the level of sex hormones in both men and women and thus helps to maintain bone mass as we age; it increases the half-life of vitamin D, preventing deficiency; it increases the uptake of magnesium; and it reduces inflammatory biomarkers. 
  • Epidemiological evidence, case reports, and controlled animal and human studies have provided evidence for the use of boron as a safe and effective treatment for osteoarthritis.
  • Magnesium is another essential trace mineral that we are getting less of in food, due to modern, industrial agriculture.  In the last 60 years, magnesium content in vegetables and fruit has decreased by 20 to 30%, and an estimated 60% of adults in developed countries are deficient in magnesium.
  • Magnesium is often overlooked, but is involved in over 600 enzymatic reactions in the human body, including energy metabolism and protein and DNA synthesis.
  • Within cells, magnesium acts as a calcium antagonist.  Magnesium works together with boron to remove calcifications from soft tissue, where they do not belong, and to redeposit calcium to bones and joints.  Within bone, magnesium increases the solubility of calcium, induces osteoblastic bone formation, and helps to maintain bone mass by reducing inflammatory cytokines that trigger osteoclastic bone resorption.


Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease of the joints affecting aging populations worldwide.  It has an underlying inflammatory cause, which contributes to the loss of chondrocytes, leading to a diminished cartilage layer at the affected joints.  Systematic reviews and a meta-analysis of the many clinical trials that have been done using curcumin for the treatment of osteoarthritis have shown that curcumin is effective for improvement in pain, physical function, and quality of life. 

A benefit of curcumin over the standard pharmaceutical interventions for osteoarthritis (NSAIDs, glucosamine, chondroitin) is that curcumin does not have the side effects with long-term use that these standard medicines can have:  gastrointestinal erosion, serious cardiovascular events, or impaired glucose metabolism.

One problem with curcumin is that its bioavailability is very low, perhaps as low as 1% for unformulated curcumin.  The curcumin that we carry, however, uses Meriva®, a patented formulation of curcumin that uses phosphatidylcholine to increase its bioavailability by 29x.  The Meriva® brand of curcumin has been used in many clinical trials of curcumin for osteoarthritis.

Undenatured Type II Collagen (UC-II®)

Human and companion animal studies have shown that UC-II is effective and safe for improving pain, stiffness and physical function in osteoarthritis, and is superior to glucosamine and chondroitin.  UC-II has also been shown to help maintain joint function and reduce joint pain due to strenuous exercise in healthy subjects.