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

Friday, September 30, 2011

Supplements For Bone Health

On August 5, 2010, I posted “My Daily Supplements,” a list of the many supplements I take. You can access it at Here are the three supplements I take specifically for osteoporosis and to which I attribute my significant gain in bone mineral density. The multivitamin is for general health, but, with 1000 IU vitamin D3, 200 mg calcium, 100 mg magnesium and 80 mcg vitamin K, it is an important part of my bone-building strategy. This list may help you get started on your own supplement program.

Because each one of us is unique, each will have to individually tailor his/her own program. Some people, for example, will need much more vitamin D3 than the 1000 IU I take. If your blood calcium level is low and/or your 25-hyroxy vitamin D test is low, and/or you live in a northern climate or an area of high smog density where your sun exposure is limited, you may have to take much higher vitamin D dosages. Corticosteroids, diuretics, anticonvulsants, and some heartburn medications may interfere with vitamin D. If you take any of these medicines, you may need to increase your vitamin D intake. I spend considerable time outdoors in a southern climate and my blood calcium levels tend to run high normal; therefore, 1000 IU vitamin D3 is plenty for me.

Doctor’s Best Strontium Bone Maker, 1944 mg strontium citrate, 680 mg elemental strontium in two capsules. I buy this at

Nature Made Multi For Her 50+ (contains 22 key nutrients, including 1000 IU vitamin D3, 200 mg calcium, 100 mg magnesium, 80 mcg vitamin K, 2500 IU vitamin A with 60% as beta carotene, 25 mcg vitamin B12, 180 mg vitamin C, 60 IU vitamin E, 15 mg zinc, 70 mcg selenium). I buy this at when they have two-for-one specials. Walgreens drugstores have the same specials.

Kal Extra-Strength Calcium Magnesium (I take one tablet, which contains 500 mg calcium and 250 mg magnesium.) The multivitamin listed above contains 200 mg calcium and 100 mg magnesium. I get approximately 500 mg calcium from food to total the 1200 mg recommended for a woman over 50 years old. I do eat dairy products. I am currently buying this supplement at


Anonymous said...

Hi BoneLady
Thanks for the information. Do you think taking higher doses of Vit. D3 (i.e. around 2,5000 IU)and Calcium (about 2,000) is ok? Or is it harmful?

BoneLady said...

To Anonymous poster of 1/19/12:

The total calcium needed from diet and supplements depends on your age, gender, and whether you are pregnant or nursing. The highest total for any category is 1200 to 1300 mg calcium. So, no, taking 2000 mg calcium is NOT OK.

To determine how much calcium to supplement, you must first determine how much you are getting from your diet. The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) has a nice calcium calculator:

I can't tell from your question if you are asking if it's Ok to take2500 IU or 25,000 IU vitamin D3. You typed 2,5000 IU. I do not recommend supplementing with more than 1000 IU D3 unless your physician has determined you have low vitamin D levels in your blood.

To determine how much vitamin D to supplement, you must first have a 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test done. If your blood level is low, you will need to supplement with vitamin D, preferably D3. You could take 5,000 IU vitamin D3 daily, or up to 10,000 IU of D3, until your 25(OH)D level is optimized. Some people feel the optimum level is 50 to 70 ng/ml. Once you have reached this level, or the level determined as adequate by you and your physician, you may be able to reduce your vitamin D intake, depending on the season, to maintain an even level throughout the year. Some physicians initially order 25,000 to 50,000 IU vitamin D2 for a very short period of time and then recheck the 25(OH)D. This initial treatment is followed by lower levels of supplementation with vitamin D as needed.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your blog!! It has helped me figure things out about my osteoperosis I wasn't able to find anywhere else online! I am confused about "elemental" calcium (& other supplements as well). Do we go by the "Elemental" value listed on the calcium bottle or the amount? For instance, I have a liquid calcium that lists 1000 mg, in the column next to it under "Elemental" it reads 300 mg.
Again, thank you for your blog. I received my first order of strontium today!

BoneLady said...

To Anonymous of 02/07/2012:

It is the elemental calcium (in this case, 300 mg) that counts. Think of elemental calcium as just another way of saying calcium. Calcium supplements contain the element calcium in a variety of compounds (molecules). These compounds are metabolized to yield different percentages of calcium.

This is true for other compounds as well. If you take strontium citrate, you want to know the amount of elemental strontium per dose.

Good luck with your strontium and calcium therapy! Be sure to separate the two supplements by at least two hours for best absorption. Take your strontium on an empty stomach or with a little apple sauce, if you prefer.

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.