A good friend of mine who does professional dog-walking (daily hilly hikes of 4-8 miles) had recently been suffering from increasing pain in his knee and his hikes were getting shorter and less frequent. The doctor said his knee cartilage had deteriorated until the joint was bone-on-bone.
However, just one week after starting a supplement (“Move Free” from Schiff), his pain was relieved and he’s walking further than he has in many months. This supplement contained the usual “joint supplement” ingredients of glucosamine, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid (which I’ve tried and not found helpful for my kind of pain), but also a new one I hadn’t seen before: Calcium Fructoborate.
When I researched it in the NIH Library, I found several studies explaining the effectiveness of this particular molecule for reducing the pain of inflammation, not just in joints, but throughout the body.
The most recent study of this molecule to ease painful inflammation is from 2018, so I suspect that it isn’t researched more because this molecule (found in many fruits and vegetables) cannot be profitably patented.
Without such motivation, the pharmaceutical industry is not interested in funding studies on the seemingly significant proven benefits.
A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study to Evaluate the Effect of Calcium Fructoborate on Systemic Inflammation and Dyslipidemia Markers for Middle-Aged People with Primary Osteoarthritis – Free full-text /PMC3241914/ – Dec 2011
The objective of this pilot study was to determine whether 15 days of dietary supplementation with calcium fructoborate could acutely modulate inflammatory and lipid blood markers in individuals diagnosed with primary osteoarthritis.
During 2 weeks, a placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind study was conducted on 116 subjects that were initially recruited. Seventy-two subjects started the study, being divided into four groups, and only 60 completed the study as designed
The aim was to compare the effects of calcium fructoborate to placebo on subjects diagnosed with knee primary osteoarthritis.
No serious adverse events were reported.
The calcium fructoborate showed beneficial effect on the inflammatory markers for all groups subjected to the treatment when compared with the placebo group and slight changes in the lipid metabolism. This study suggests that short-term (2 weeks) calcium fructoborate supplementation in patients with osteoarthritis symptoms has a favorable prognosis on inflammation diseases.
We have demonstrated that CF has potential efficacy in terms of reducing pain and improving the physical ability of OA patients.
You’d think this would be exciting news since osteoarthritis causes so much chronic pain, but without potentially sky-high profits from patenting and selling this molecule, there seems to be little interest – at least in the research community where finding funding is critical.
CRP, FBR, and ESR levels were used to monitor disease activity and to observe the subjects’ responses to treatment
Prior findings have shown that CVD and OA often coexist in patients and CVD could play a pathogenic role in OA. In this study, the obtained results demonstrate that in the case of OA associated with dyslipidemia, CF might provide a favorable prognostic for cardiovascular diseases, but the data are not sufficiently conclusive.
Consequently, dietary supplementation with CF shows a slightly life-quality improvement for individuals suffering of OA associated with dyslipidemia.
In conclusion, with this experimental design, the presented study suggests that short-term CF supplementation (only 15 days) can increase the quality of life for OA patients, with a favorable prognosis for inflammatory states.
The importance of this study is related to the beneficial actions of CF on systemic inflammation and perturbation of lipid metabolism for elderly individuals who otherwise might have an unfavorable prognosis in cardiovascular diseases
This is the gold standard of studies: double-blind and placebo-controlled.
Calcium fructoborate (CFB) at a dose of 110 mg twice per day was previously reported to improve knee discomfort during the first 14 days of treatment.
Results showed that supplementation with CFB significantly improved knee discomfort in the study subjects
In conclusion, supplementation with 110 mg CFB twice per day was associated with improving knee discomfort during the 2 weeks of intake.
Of all the boron and borate supplements available, CFB has shown the most potential to improve several health conditions
For example, CFB has been identified as a potential anti-inflammatory agent. Also, earlier clinical studies have shown that C-reactive protein (CRP), a blood marker secreted by the liver in response to inflammation or infection,7 can be reduced with CFB supplementation in subjects with angina pectoris and cardiovascular conditions.10 Most recently, published clinical research has suggested that CFB has the ability to improve symptoms associated with inflammatory conditions, such as joint discomfort and osteoarthritis
Current medical treatments aim at decreasing discomfort and increasing mobility.
They generally include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to control discomfort and inflammation. Unfortunately, chronic use of these medications can lead to significant adverse effects, including gastrointestinal bleeding and loss of kidney function
This is an interesting truth presented here that you’ll never find in studies of opioids.
Because the study wasn’t predicated on demonizing opioids, the researchers are plainly stating how dangerous NSAIDs are for long-term use. Yet, NSAIDs are exactly what the CDC tries to push on us instead of opioids.
CFB has been identified as a potential anti-inflammatory agent with the ability to modulate key markers associated with inflammation-related conditions such as osteoarthritis.
Participants reported subjectively an improvement in feelings of flexibility, comfort, and quality of life.
The amount of CFB supplemented to the participants was within the daily dietary boron requirements, which should not exceed 10 mg per day.
The results from the current study confirm our previous observations. Both studies showed improvement in discomfort and function over the 2-week study period. None of the subjects reported any adverse effects associated with treatment.
As reported here, 7 days’ supplementation with CFB resulted in statistically significant improvement of knee comfort as measured by MPQ. In parallel, reduction of WOMAC index values indicated a strong trend (P=0.06) at 7 days.
With the current focus on finding pain relief without opioids, you’d think this would be front-page news, but I had never heard of this before I specifically searched for it after my friend had so much success with supplementing it.
Both results indicate that CFB could improve knee distress as a result of short-term treatment.
The exact mechanism of action behind these observed and reported effects is not known at this time and requires further investigation.
This comparative double-blind study has confirmed the effect of CFB, showing significant improvements in knee discomfort and function over a period of 2 weeks.
Effects of Calcium Fructoborate on Levels of C-Reactive Protein, Total Cholesterol, Low-Density Lipoprotein, Triglycerides, IL-1β, IL-6, and MCP-1: a Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Clinical Study – Free full-text /PMC4297309/ – Nov 2014
Calcium fructoborate (CFB) has been reported as supporting healthy inflammatory response.
In this study, we assess the effects of CFB on blood parameters and proinflammatory cytokines in healthy subjects. This was a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial.
This is the gold standard for such studies.
Our data indicate that 30-day supplementation with 112 mg/day CFB (CFB-1) resulted in a significant reduction of
- MCP-1, and
I’m impressed with the large number of inflammatory factors that are improved by this molecule and surprised that it hasn’t been covered in the news, considering how desperately we’re looking for pain-relieving compounds that are not opioids.
Under these experimental conditions, we observed a statistically significant reduction in the blood levels of TC, LDL, TG, CRP, homocysteine, IL-1β, IL-6, and MCP-1 and an increase in the level of HDL.
Consequently, CFB exerts beneficial effects on these subclinical blood markers within a healthy population.
This study highlights the ability of CFB to maintain a healthy lipid profile (especially for LDL and TG) and to support the maintenance of healthy blood levels of proinflammatory markers in middle-aged healthy subjects.
Calcium Fructoborate for Bone and Cardiovascular Health – Free full-text /PMC4930945/ – Dec 2015
This is the most recent study I could find that heralds not only the pain relief but even cardiovascular benefits that can be achieved by supplementing with this molecule.
CF contains three forms of borate (diester, monoester, and boric acid) and all are biologically active, both at the intracellular (as free boric acid) and extracellular level (as fructose-borate diester and monoester).
At the cellular and molecular level, CF is superior to the boric acid/borate, exhibiting a complex “protective” effect against inflammatory response.
It provides effective and safe support against the discomfort and lack of flexibility associated with osteoarticular conditions (arthritis and joint degeneration),
In addition, orally administered CF is effective in ameliorating symptoms of physiological response to stress, including
- inflammation of the mucous membranes,
- discomfort associated with osteoarthritis disorders, and
- bone loss,
and also for supporting cardiovascular health.
Clinical studies have exhibited the ability of CF to significantly modulate molecular markers associated with inflammatory mechanisms, mainly on the elevated serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP).
Sugar–borates (SBs) are mono- or di-sugar–borate esters (SBEs) comprised of one or two monosaccharide molecules linked to a boron (B) atom.
SBEs occur naturally in commonly consumed herbs, vegetables, fruits, seeds, and nuts and, other than greatly varying levels of B found in local drinking water, are the primary natural dietary sources of B-containing molecules in humans
To date, the most studied SBE is calcium fructoborate (CaFB). CaFB represents an important example of how organic B-containing molecules are significantly distinct from their inorganic counterparts
Potential health benefits of CaFB have been clinically investigated in pilot and efficacy studies demonstrating
- significant reductions in knee discomfort and improved flexibility within 7, 14, and 90 days and
- significant effect on blood levels of inflammatory, cardiovascular, and other biomarkers.
CaFB is presented here in order to illustrate how physiological benefits are imparted by distinct organic boron-containing molecules rather than solely by the element B itself.
SBEs offer potential for safe, natural, and effective management of joint discomfort and improved mobility in human and animal health applications