STRONTIUM: The Future of Bone Health?
By Angela Hunt BSc. ND
Hamilton Naturopathic Doctor
When we think about bone supplements calcium
is usually the first and sometimes the only one that comes to mind. Yet, there is a mineral that could out shine calcium when it comes to osteoporosis prevention (a degenerative condition in which our bones become weaker), this element is strontium. Our bodies already contain 320 mg of strontium, almost all of which is found in our bones and connective tissue. Studies have shown that strontium ranelate given alone can increase bone mineral density up to 14% and decrease the incidence of fractures. Strontium is also one of the few substances that actually promotes the growth of new bone. The cells which build bone are called osteoblasts and the cells that break it done are called osteoclasts. Most treatments for osteoporosis, for example bisphonsphonates (ie. Alendronate ), inhibit the work of osteoclasts and prevent the breakdown of bone. But this mechanism of action does not promote newer and stronger bone formation- strontium however does this.
A 10 year study by (Reginster, 2011) shows that strontium increases bone density and reduce fractures rates, all this with little or no side effects. Currently the suggested dosage is 680 mg/day but it has been shown to be safe at doses as high as 2 g/day. Dosing will vary between patients and you should always check with your health care provider before starting a new therapy plan. Although it may take years for this simple mineral to gain the recongition it deserves, it should be definitely considered in osteoporosis plans.
Reginster JY, Deroisy R, Jupsin I. Strontium ranelate: a new paradigm in the treatment of osteoporosis. Drugs Today. Feb 2003; 39(2): 89-101.
Capuccini C, et al. Strontium-substituted hydroxyapatite coatings synthesized by pulsed-laser deposition: in vitro osteoblast and osteoclast response. Acta Biomater. Nov 2008, 4(6): 1885-93.
Reginster JY, et al. Maintenance of antifracture efficacy over 10 years with strontium ranelate in postmenopausal osteoporosis. Osteoporos Int. Nov. 2011 (online published).