Skeleton Pirate

Skeleton Pirate
Artist: LindaB


Have you experienced, or read about, negative, and even dangerous, side effects from Fosamax (alendronate), Boniva (ibandronate), Actonel (risedronate), and other bisphosphonates prescribed for osteoporosis? If you have, then rest assured there is a safe, effective treatment for this condition. Strontium, primarily in the form of strontium citrate, is taken orally once a day.

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

My DXA Scan on August 4, 2016

My scores improved, but I am still in the osteopenia range. Therefore, I will keep taking 680 mg strontium per day from strontium citrate, along with my other supplements. Here are my results:

Spine: Total BMD of the spine (L1-4) is 0.897 g/cm2, with a T-score of -1.4.

Left Femoral Neck: BMD is 0.729 g/cm2, with a T-score of -1.1.

Left Total Hip: BMD is 0.812 g/cm2, with a T-score of -1.1.

Compared to the prior study (August 21, 2013), there was a 3% increase in BMD of the lumbar spine and a 5% increase in BMD of the left total hip.

My lumbar spine T-scores have always been worse than my left total hip T-scores.
My lumbar spine T-scores went from -3.0 (osteoporosis) in May 2007 to -2.7 (still osteoporosis but better) in July 2009 to -1.6 (osteopenia) in August 2013 to -1.4 (osteopenia) in August 2016.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Strontium Interaction with Calcium and Food and Antacids

Most of us taking strontium know that for maximum absorption strontium must be taken at least two hours away from calcium supplements and dairy foods. Actually, strontium is best absorbed on an empty stomach, defined as at least two hours after eating. Food, milk and derivative products, and medicinal products containing calcium may reduce the bioavailability of strontium by about 60-70%.

Many are unaware that antacids should be taken at least two hours AFTER strontium. A study has shown that taking antacids containing magnesium hydroxide or aluminum hydroxide either together with strontium or two hours before strontium causes a 20-25% decrease in strontium absorption.

Here is a direct quote from Servier’s Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC) for Protelos (strontium ranelate):

“An in vivo clinical interaction study showed that the administration of aluminium and magnesium hydroxides either two hours before or together with strontium ranelate caused a slight decrease in the absorption of strontium ranelate (20-25% AUC decrease), while absorption was almost unaffected when the antacid was given two hours after strontium ranelate. It is therefore preferable to take antacids at least two hours after Protelos. However, when this dosing regimen is impractical due to the recommended administration of Protelos at bedtime, concomitant intake remains acceptable.”

Monday, March 21, 2016

Strontium for Knee Osteoarthritis

“Preliminary research suggests that strontium may also benefit arthritic joints by stimulating cartilage formation, among other possible mechanisms. In a large study in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases in 2013, people with knee osteoarthritis took strontium ranelate (1 or 2 grams a day) or a placebo for three years. Both strontium groups showed less joint space narrowing on X-rays (indicating slower disease progression) than the placebo group. The higher-dose group also had improvements in knee pain and physical functioning.”

Below is an edited abstract:

Background Strontium ranelate is currently used for osteoporosis. The international, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled Strontium ranelate Efficacy in Knee OsteoarthrItis triAl evaluated its effect on radiological progression of knee osteoarthritis.

Methods Patients with knee osteoarthritis (Kellgren and Lawrence grade 2 or 3, and joint space width (JSW) 2.5–5 mm) were randomly allocated to strontium ranelate 1 g/day (n=558), 2 g/day (n=566) or placebo (n=559). The primary endpoint was radiographical change in JSW (medial tibiofemoral compartment) over 3 years versus placebo. Secondary endpoints included radiological progression, Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) score, and knee pain. The trial is registered (ISRCTN41323372).

Results The intention-to-treat population included 1371 patients. Treatment with strontium ranelate was associated with smaller degradations in JSW than placebo (1 g/day: −0.23 mm; 2 g/day: −0.27 mm; placebo: −0.37 mm); treatment-placebo differences were 0.14 for 1 g/day and 0.10 for 2 g/day. Fewer radiological progressors were observed with strontium ranelate for 1 and 2 g/day. There were greater reductions in total WOMAC score, pain subscore, physical function subscore and knee pain with strontium ranelate 2 g/day. Strontium ranelate was well tolerated.

Conclusions Treatment with strontium ranelate 1 and 2 g/day is associated with a significant effect on structure in patients with knee osteoarthritis, and a beneficial effect on symptoms for strontium ranelate 2 g/day.

Monday, February 15, 2016

My Progress with Strontium Citrate

I’ve been taking Doctor’s Best Strontium Bone Maker (680 mg strontium) once daily since January 2008. That’s eight years of taking strontium continuously. My back is stronger than it’s been in years. This morning I did yard work—pulling up oak seedlings and weeds and burying a cable that keeps being uncovered by the rain. I bent over numerous times with no pain. I should have taken a work bench and not bent over, but, sometimes I forget to avoid forward bending because I feel well. I’ve had no fractures, although I keep getting older. My BMD has continued to improve. I love strontium citrate!

My lumbar spine T-scores went from -3.0 (osteoporosis) in May 2007 to -2.7 (still osteoporosis but better) in July 2009 to -1.6 (osteopenia) in August 2013. I documented my scores on this blog:

I have orders for another DXA scan this year (2016). I haven’t made an appointment yet. I’m hoping for normal (-1.0 and above) T-scores this time. I’ll keep you posted.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Fall Prevention and Vitamin D in the Elderly


Preventing falls and fall-related fractures in the elderly is an objective yet to be reached. There is increasing evidence that a supplementation of vitamin D and/or of calcium may reduce the fall and fracture rates. A vitamin D-calcium supplement appears to have a high potential due to its simple application and its low cost. However, published studies have shown conflicting results as some studies failed to show any effect, while others reported a significant decrease of falls and fractures. Through a 15-year literature overview, and after a brief reminder on mechanism of falls in older adults, we reported evidences for a vitamin D action on postural adaptations - i.e., muscles and central nervous system - which may explain the decreased fall and bone fracture rates and we underlined the reasons for differences and controversies between published data. Vitamin D supplementation should thus be integrated into primary and secondary fall prevention strategies in older adults.


Falls in the elderly, as well as fall-related adverse outcomes such as low trauma bone fractures, are events that could be prevented. Epidemiological studies conducted over the past 15 years provide an increasing number of arguments in favor of an action of vitamin D on muscles and CNS. Vitamin D improves postural balance, propulsion and also executive functions and navigation abilities among older adults. Vitamin D supplementation thus not only determines gait performance, but also prevents the occurrence of falls and their complications among older adults. Mixed data regarding the absence of effect of vitamin D and calcium supplementation are mainly due to the fact that some confounders were not taken into account, but also to the baseline serum vitamin D concentration on initiation of treatment, as a low serum vitamin D concentration appears to be associated with better efficacy. The prescription of at least 800 IU of vitamin D daily in insufficient elderly subjects is a simple intervention that should be incorporated into new strategies for postural rehabilitation, primary and secondary fall prevention, strength training, integration of body schema, automation of gait and adaptation to the environment.

For the entire study, click here:

Monday, December 21, 2015

Strontium Carbonate Products

Strontium citrate is more readily absorbed than strontium carbonate, just as calcium citrate is more readily absorbed than calcium carbonate. If you eat food when you take calcium carbonate, you can get around the absorption problem, but, for best absorption, strontium should be taken on an empty stomach. You must not take food, supplements, or antacids containing calcium or magnesium within two hours of taking strontium because calcium and magnesium compete for absorption with strontium. For best absorption, strontium should be taken on an empty stomach.

Some people cannot take citrate products due to digestive problems. They may be interested in one of the following two strontium carbonate products. 
 BioStrong Strontium Piperine contains 680 mg strontium (as strontium carbonate) and BioPiperine (black pepper extract) in two tablets. Piperine improves absorption.

2.      OsteoValin by Basic Research contains 400 IU vitamin D, 80 mcg vitamin K, and 1012 mg Osteoval Carbonate Forte Proprietary Blend of strontium carbonate, Quercetin, and Hesperidin in one capsule. NEVER EXCEED 1 CAPSULE PER DAY.

Quercetin and Hesperidin are flavonoids. Flavonoids are generally considered beneficial anti-oxidants, but there is some controversy about Quercetin. An FDA study on rats found Quercetin to be mutagenic. Other studies indicate it works to prevent cancer. Quercetin is also an anti-histamine and an anti-inflammatory. I found a website with references and a balanced discussion on the pros and cons of Quercetin at

Hesperidin is a flavonoid found in citrus fruits. It is part of vitamin P. As a powerful anti-oxidant, it has many benefits from retarding the aging process to helping the body detoxify carcinogens.

I am not aware of any specific benefit to bones for either Quercetin or Hesperidin.

Wandering Skeleton

Wandering Skeleton
Artist: Joel Hoekstra

Osteoporotic Bone

Osteoporotic Bone

How Strontium Builds Bones

Strontium is a mineral that tends to accumulate in bone. Studies have shown that oral doses of strontium are a safe and effective way to prevent and reverse osteoporosis. Doses of 680 mg per day appear to be optimal. See my "For More Information About Strontium" links section.

Osteoporosis is caused by changes in bone production. In healthy young bones there is a constant cycle of new bone growth and bone removal. With age, more bone is removed and less new bone is produced. The bones become less dense and thus more fragile.

Scientists believe that strontium works in two ways. It may stimulate the replication of pre-osteoblasts, leading to an increase in osteoblasts (cells that build bone). Strontium also directly inhibits the activity of osteoclasts (cells that break down bone). The result is stronger bones.

When taking strontium, be sure to take 1200 mg calcium, 1000 IU vitamin D3, and 500 mg magnesium daily. It is best to take strontium late at night on an empty stomach. Calcium and strontium may compete with each other for absorption if taken together.