Strontium Supplements Better Than Osteoporosis Drugs

Published: 10th February 2007
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Strontium - The first Bone BUILDING Supplement!

In the last 5 years, there have been 4 groundbreaking studies showing amazing increases in bone mineral density and reduced fracture risk with Strontium supplementation.1-6 Existing drugs for osteoporosis, including calcium and vitamin D, work by reducing bone resorption, but do not form new bone. These drugs and nutrients can add minerals to the bone, but they do not form new bone tissue. Actually, within weeks of starting bisphosphonate drug treatment such as Fosamax, your bodies formation of new bone actually decreases somewhat. The result of taking Fosamax is your bone becomes more mineralized and less prone to fracture, but certainly not the same as new bone. Strontium is the only treatment known to increase the production of new bone without compromising the quality of your bone. As such it is the only supplement or drug proven to build new, complete bone.

Is Strontium Safe?

Strontium is a common element which is naturally found in your bones. Studies show supplementation with Strontium in it's various forms is well tolerated and completely safe. Strontium's extraordinary safety should not be surprising since it lies directly below calcium on the periodic table of elements so calcium, strontium and magnesium are all in the same chemical family. They are all naturally occurring metals which easily form into stable salts like calcium citrate, magnesium citrate and strontium citrate. They also form carbonates, sulfates, lactates and ranelate.

As an alkaline earth element, strontium is similar to calcium in its absorption in the gut, incorporation in bone, and elimination from the body through the kidneys. Strontium is naturally present in trace amounts with around 100 micrograms in every gram of bone, and one Finnish study estimated you eat about 2 mg per day in your diet normally. Strontium use in the largest osteoporosis clinical trials found it most effective at 680 mg per day of elemental Strontium. When you supplement with strontium you are making large doses of this element available for incorporation into your bone.

How Does Strontium Work?

Scientists have discovered Strontium has a unique method of action which provides a dual activity in your bones. Your bone cells are continuously growing and being re-absorbed at the same time; bone growth drugs or calcium plus vitamin D supplements effect only one side of the equation. Strontium inhibits bone resorption while simultaneously stimulating bone growth, an exciting double benefit. No other natural substance or drug is known to provide this dual effect.

Unlike Fosamax and Actonel, which work strictly by decreasing bone resorption, strontium increases bone mass.

Strontium Supplementation

Strontium was studied in both animals and humans from the early 1950s to the early 1960s and was shown to have bone health properties. For example, in 1959, Mayo Clinic discussing a study involving strontium lactate for osteoporosis, reported "the therapeutic value of the drug appears to be established". However, it promptly fell out of favor, perhaps because atomic bomb testing converted a lot of the natural strontium into a radioactive form called strontium-90. In spite of these encouraging early results, few studies were conducted until many years later.

In 1981, a McGill University study involving 142 patients took strontium carbonate or strontium gluconate in doses ranging from 100 mg to 1.5 grams per day demonstrating a dose - response relationship along with increasing bone mineral density for strontium.

In 1985, a small study pointed to a potential role for strontium in the treatment of humans. This time strontium carbonate was used with similar positive results to the strontium lactate used 30 years earlier. Three men and three women with osteoporosis were each given 600 to 700 mg/day of strontium. Bone biopsies were taken in each patient at the hip bone, before and after six months of treatment with strontium. Biopsy samples showed a 172 % increase in the rate of bone formation after strontium therapy, with no change in bone resorption. The patients receiving strontium remarked that the pains in their bones had diminished and their ability to move around had improved.

Several studies involving strontium chloride have been conducted involving dental applications throughout the 1980's up to today showing benefits for reducing cavities and teeth sensitivity.

In the 1990's animal studies involving strontium ranelate were common and from 2001 to 2007 the first human studies involving strontium ranelate have been reporting extraordinary results and safety.

Study Shows Bone Growth

A 2004 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that it may be at least as good a treatment for osteoporosis as currently available oral drug therapies including Fosamax (alendronate), Actonel, (risedronate), and Evista (raloxifene).

Post-menopausal women normally lose about 1% of their bone per year, but the Strontium studies are showing 3 year bone growth of 8.1 %! These exciting results were published in a large phase three study that followed two other very positive multinational strontium randomized clinical trials. In this most recent study, 1,649 postmenopausal women with osteoporosis who had had at least one vertebral fracture were randomized to receive either strontium ranelate or placebo for three years. Both groups also took calcium and vitamin D with the strontium to achieve these amazing results.

Several forms of strontium are available in the market, but strontium ranelate was used in the study because it was not a common form and hence patentable. Once patents are granted, it is protected so that it makes it worthwhile for a drug company to invest in the above mentioned large clinical studies. Strontium Ranelate has become a new prescription drug called Protelos® which is approved for osteoporosis treatment in Europe and seeking approval in the United States currently. Expect to hear more about this Strontium form in the future.


1. McCaslin FE Jr, Janes JM. The effect of strontium lactate in the treatment of osteoporosis. Proc Staff Meetings Mayo Clin. 1959;34:329-334.

2. Marie PJ, Skoryna SC, Pivon RJ, et al. Histomorphometry of bone changes in stable strontium therapy. In: Trace substances in environmental health XIX, edited by D.D. Hemphill, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, 1985, 193-208.

3. Marie PJ, Hott M. Short-term effects of fluoride and strontium on bone formation and resorption in the mouse. Metabolism. 1986, 35:547-551

4. Meunier PJ, Slosman DO, Delmas PD, et al. Strontium ranelate: dose-dependent effects in established postmenopausal vertebral osteoporosis: a 2-year randomized placebo controlled trial. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2002;87(5):2060-2066.

5. Meunier PJ, Roux C, Seeman E, et al. The effects of strontium ranelate on the risk of vertebral fracture in women with postmenopausal osteoporosis. N Engl J Med. 2004;350:459-468.

6. Reginster JY, et al. Strontium ranelate reduces fractures in osteoporotic women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005; 90(5):2816-2822.

7. Nutr Rev 1983; 41:342-4

This article was written for Algaecal Strontium Supplements

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