Calcium Fructoborate: A Novel Nutrient for Bones & Joints
Friday, May 24, 2013
Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
Calcium fructoborate (FruiteX-B) is a unique nature-identical form of the mineral boron, a nutrient woefully lacking in American soil and consequently the American food supply. Scientists have known for several decades that the depletion of boron1 in soil due to chemical fertilizers has increased the rate of arthritis around the world – and supplemental boron helps. Research over the past decade demonstrates that calcium fructoborate has excellent absorption and sustained bioavailability, along with the ability to reduce inflammation in joints, improve bone and joint health, and enhance the status of calcium, hormones, and vitamin D.
Calcium fructoborate2 as a dietary supplement is a patented compound composed of calcium bound to boron (from plants). The boron molecule is linked to two fructose molecules (from fruit, nuts and legumes), creating a unique natural chelate of all three nutrients. This carbohydrate/boron structure has an enhanced ability to guide and connect boron to appropriate cell membrane receptors. It naturally regulates parathyroid function to support healthier levels of calcium, vitamin D, estrogen, and testosterone, thereby helping to offset typical problems of aging. It also helps reduce vitamin D elimination from your body and can even improve vitamin D status by itself.
Building and remodeling bones and joints is a complex activity that requires carpenter cells—osteoblasts for bones and chondrocytes for cartilage. Bones also contain a demolition crew of osteoclasts, which work in step with osteoblasts to prevent bone loss. There are also 2 x 4s and plywood: calcium, protein, glucosamine, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid. These are the raw materials that simply must exist if anything is to be built. There are natural lubricants, a plethora of anti-inflammatory nutrients that reduce friction within bones and joints and help keep everything running smoothly. Then there are nails and screws that hold the 2 x 4s and plywood together, without which little would be accomplished. Boron is such a nail, and calcium fructoborate is a nature-identical chelate of boron that we might call a “super nail,” acting as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and general regulator promoting key functions of bone and joint health.
A more recent study3 and an earlier study4 show calcium fructoborate to be a potent anti-inflammatory nutrient. Inflammation is one major aspect of wear and tear to both bones and joints, so any nutrient that assists in this way will lend support. Likewise, antioxidants protect body structures, and calcium fructoborate clearly has antioxidant activity5. As a side note, calcium fructoborate was recently found to induce cell death in breast cancer cells6, turning off the highly inflammatory pathway that drives breast cancer cell replication.
What makes calcium fructoborate an even more intriguing nutrient is its ability to help regulate hormones7 and vitamin D8 in a manner that improves bone and joint health. It seems to act as a “bodyguard” for vital activities needed for the rejuvenation of important body structures.
A pilot study with 20 osteoarthritis patients9 (10 mild to moderate and 10 severe) found that the group with mild to moderate symptoms experienced substantial improvements in pain and stiffness reduction and overall joint function. After eight weeks, 88% of the participants found improvement in pain experienced during walking, and 83% had less pain when climbing stairs. 70% of participants had less stiffness and 78% experienced better joint movement. In the severe group, 75% were able to decrease pain medication, 66% improved flexibility, and 86% had no pain at rest.
Another pilot study of 100 participants with osteoporosis10 found that most experienced reduced bone pain by day 21 and that 66% had improved calcium metabolism at the end of 6 months.
Boron is woefully lacking in the American food supply. An encouraging body of preliminary science shows that boron in the form of calcium fructoborate has novel benefits for bone and joint health. In this context, it can be used as part of a comprehensive approach to natural bone and joint health management.
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