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.

Visitors to my blog can leave comments or ask questions and can remain anonymous, if they wish. Their comments are relayed to my g-mail inbox. Below each post, the number of comments for that post is cited and underlined because it is a link. By clicking on that link below any post, a window opens so that a visitor can leave a comment. Ideally, visitors leave comments on posts most relevant to their comments. All comments to my posts are moderated by me.

Browse the posts and visit the link library of references.

Visit me at

Blog Archive

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Strontium Ranelate Reduces Fracture Risk In The Elderly

According to a study by Ego Seeman et al., strontium ranelate produces an early and sustained reduction of both vertebral and nonvertebral fractures in women 80 years of age and older. More than 30% of all fragility fractures and 60% of hip fractures occur in women aged 80 and older, because of the high prevalence of osteoporosis and high incidence of falls. The aim of this study was to determine whether strontium ranelate, an agent that reduces the risk of vertebral and nonvertebral fractures in postmenopausal women >50 years of age, also reduces fractures in the elderly.

An analysis based on pooled data from two international, phase III, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind studies (the Spinal Osteoporosis Therapeutic Intervention [SOTI] and TReatment Of Peripheral OSteoporosis [TROPOS]) included 1488 women between 80 and 100 years of age followed for three years. Yearly spinal X-rays were performed in 895 patients. Only radiographically confirmed nonvertebral fractures were included.

The risk of vertebral, nonvertebral, and clinical (symptomatic vertebral and nonvertebral) fractures was reduced within one year by 59% (p = 0.002), 41% (p = 0.027), and 37% (p = 0.012), respectively. At the end of three years, vertebral, nonvertebral, and clinical fracture risks were reduced by 32% (p = 0.013), 31% (p =0.011), and 22% (p = 0.040), respectively. The medication was well tolerated, and the safety profile was similar to that in younger patients.

The authors concluded that treatment with strontium ranelate safely reduces the risk of vertebral and nonvertebral fractures in women with osteoporosis aged 80 and older. Even in the oldest old, it is not too late to reduce fracture risk.

J Bone Miner Res 2006;21:1113–1120. Published online on May 8, 2006; doi: 10.1359/JBMR.060404


Dr. Bones said...

BoneLady's excuse for the lack of US clinical trials of Protolos, or even a study of the citrate form of strontium, is lack of FDA approval. However, the FDA often gives approval to experimental EU-produced drugs for clinical trials as off-label use. Many chemo drugs are thus tested. So, is Servier SA afraid what a US clinical trial will show? Why has no supplement manufacturer funding a study of strontium citrate? BoneLady is afraid to bring up these issues as she's just a tool of the health-food industry. If you have osteoporosis, stick with proven therapies that your physician has selected for you and avoid quackery.

And, as for the role of strontium in arterial plaque formation and kidney stone development, nobody knows anything about these issues. Furthermore, let's not even ask her about the long-term toxicology of ingesting strontium salts. Does she need to contact the Chinese Health Ministry to see how the strontia miners are faring? She would cringe if she found out how bad their health is.

BoneLady said...

Dr. Bones,

Try reading my blog instead of just ranting and you will know that the University of California at Davis (UCD) is currently conducting a clinical study on strontium citrate for postmenopausal osteoporosis. I do not know why the French pharmaceutical company Servier has not applied for FDA approval of strontium ranelate. Perhaps it is because strontium citrate works so well and is readily available in the U.S.

Kidney stones begin as concentrations of salts, minerals, and other substances in the urine, and range in size from a grain of sand to a golf ball. Calcium stones, generated by calcium and oxalate buildup in the kidneys, make up three-fourths of all cases. Other types include struvite stones (from urinary tract infections), uric acid stones (indicating too much acid in the urine, often the result of a diet high in animal protein), and the rare and usually hereditary cystine stones. I have not read any documented case of strontium stones. If I do, I will post the information on my blog.

On 01/21/09, I responded to an anonymous post on my blog under my “Strontium for Osteoporosis” post of April 22, 2008: The formation of arterial plaque involves deposits of fatty substances, cholesterol, calcium, and fibrin (a clotting protein). Because the chemistry of strontium is so similar to that of calcium, it is possible for strontium to contribute to arterial plaque formation, which leads to hardening of arteries (atherosclerosis) and coronary heart disease (CHD).

Strontium commonly occurs in nature, forming about 0.034% of all igneous rock, and in the form of the sulfate mineral celestite (SrSO4) and the carbonate strontianite (SrCO3). Celestite occurs frequently in sedimentary deposits of sufficient size to make the development of mines attractive. The main mining areas are the UK, Mexico, Turkey and Spain. Read more:

Strontium is also mined in China, as you mentioned. I wouldn’t be surprised if Chinese miners were in poor health, but it would not be from stable strontium. It would be from the poor working conditions and poor nutrition common among Chinese laborers of all stripes.

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.