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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Monday, March 22, 2010

Strontium And Calcium

For patients taking any strontium salt (e.g., strontium ranelate, strontium citrate) for osteoporosis, it is recommended that you obtain an adequate calcium intake as part of a well balanced diet. If you have difficulties obtaining adequate calcium from your diet, a calcium supplement may also be required. (All patients participating in the strontium ranelate research trials had an adequate calcium intake.) Take your calcium supplement or calcium-rich food at least two hours before or two hours after you have taken the strontium because calcium will prevent the absorption of strontium.

There is an upper limit to the amount of calcium that can be taken safely. It is recommended that you do not exceed 2000 - 2500 mg of calcium per day included in your food, drink and supplements. Consistently exceeding the upper limit may increase your risk of medical problems, including a high level of calcium in the blood (milk alkali syndrome), and may interfere with the absorption of other minerals such as iron. If you have a history of kidney stones, consuming a diet rich in calcium will not increase your risk of further stone formation. Most renal doctors do not restrict calcium intake for their patients these days.

Splitting your calcium intake into 500-mg doses is advisable, as the gut would not be able to absorb 1000 mg all at once. To maximize the absorption of your calcium tablet, take it at meal times with or after food. If you take iron tablets for other health reasons, avoid taking calcium at the same time by staggering the tablets throughout the day. This will ensure that both minerals are fully absorbed.

This information is from the National Osteoporosis Society, located in the United Kingdom, where strontium ranelate (Protelos) is an approved prescription drug for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis. To obtain NOS publications and Information Sheets, go to


Dr. Bones said...

I see BoneLady is now delving into facts for a change so I wrote to the FDA's Office of New Drugs" to ask the FDA's opinion of strontium and it's use in the treatment of osteoporosis. Here's the statement from their chief of the Office Of New Drugs: "Despite interest in the EU, UK, and Asia for the use of strontium renelate (Protolos) and its OTC citrate and malonate analogs, neither Servier SA, nor any U.S. School Of Medicine, nor any non-profit group or manufacturer whom are financing research into alternative medical treatments of osteoporosis, have furnished the the FDA's Office Of New Drugs adequate test protocols or valid statistical, peer-reviewed studies that would merit the FDA's current recommndation NOT to include strontium in any form in it's "Notice OF New Drugs" sent to physicians monthly.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Office Of New Drugs
Associate Director of Pharmacology and Toxicology
David Jacobson-Kram, Ph.D., D.A.B.T. 301-796-0175

BoneLady said...

Dr. Bones,

"Manufacturers and distributors do not need FDA approval to sell their dietary supplements. This means that FDA does not keep a list of manufacturers, distributors or the dietary products they sell." This is quoted from FDA's website. Strontium citrate is a supplement.

The FDA "expert" you quoted is misinformed about strontium malonate being an over-the-counter (OTC) preparation. Should it become available for sale, it will be a prescription drug.

Prescription drugs need FDA approval to be sold in the U.S. Servier, the manufacturer of strontium ranelate, is not currently pursuing FDA approval to market its product. The company does not comment on future plans. Osteologix intends to file a marketing application during the first half of 2011 and to begin marketing NB S101 (strontium malonate) in the European Union in 2012. Plans for marketing in the U.S. and Japan may follow successful entry into the E.U.

It is interesting that you quote an official from the FDA's Office of New Drugs, whose director, Dr. John Jenkins, has been in the news recently for allegedly briefing GlaxoSmithKline on the agency's internal debate about the company's diabetes drug, Avandia, which has an increased risk for heart attacks. Such conversations should never have taken place, and it makes me wonder about the leadership of the FDA. See

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.